Eating Your Feelings, Routines, and Trends
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T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #60
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Welcome to this week's edition of the TGIF Newsletter.
Topics include the importance of building relationships in the classroom, the benefits of routines for both students and teachers, and how schools can measure their performance without socioeconomic bias. You’ll also find some of the emerging trends in education, including artificial intelligence and STEM education.
Some of my classroom highlights include a round of Gimkit snowball action, an investigation on how to graph motion, firing up the Spheros, and watching students create their own graphic organizers to capture what they learned about technology during World War I.
Here are three things I’ve been pondering this past week.
- Creativity helps learning stick. Connecting an idea to an image forces you to slow down and think. This is one of the reasons I like interactive notebooks.
- Look into your future and anticipate regrets. This might help you decide what to spend your time on today.
- Doing something is almost always better than doing nothing at all. Start building the habit of action, then once you are moving focus on the quality of outcomes. Too many people don't get past the starting line.
Happy Friday - Have a great weekend😄!
Here are some things I thought were worth sharing.
Articles that grabbed my attention.
- Win-Win - When teachers have good relationships with their students, the students will work harder in the classroom. This works the other way too. When the relationship is solid it leads teachers to bring their best to the classroom as well. This means that if teachers want to become better at their craft spending time building relationships is a win-win.
- Routine - Predicable routines throughout the week can help with classroom management and student achievement. Breaking each week into manageable chunks can also lessen stress levels for both students and teachers. When students know what to expect, there is less time spent on transitioning between activities, and more time spent on learning. I also like the idea of using Friday to check for understanding and to give students time to catch up on their missing assignments.
- School Quality - What’s the best way to measure school performance? Schools in North Carolina are rethinking ways to measure the quality of schools without socioeconomic bias. Some of the proposed metrics are graduation rates, communication skills, student attendance, and teacher effectiveness. There is also an ongoing discussion of including things like innovation, school climate, and extracurriculars. Perhaps at some point policymakers might also suggest asking the teachers in each school what is working well and what’s not. These highly qualified professionals could even be tapped for solutions.
- Education Trends - One aspect of education remains consistent, the most important factor that impacts a student’s education is whether or not they have a highly qualified teacher. But there are many ways in which the times are changing. Artificial intelligence, hybrid learning, soft skills instruction, and STEM education will begin to reshape how and what students learn. Students will need to be experts at learning and adapting to change. They will need to know how to transfer their knowledge and skills to new situations.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Stress Eating - There are certain people that are great at triggering stress and anxiety, but what you eat is also a contributor. If you want to keep stress and anxiety at bay try avoiding processed foods, industrial seed oils like corn and palm oils, and refined sugars. This can help reduce the inflammation that can overwhelm the body. Add more probiotics, prebiotics, and low-glycemic carbohydrates to keep your brain happy.
- Anti-Happy - Many people think certain things will make them happy when in fact they won’t. Here’s what won’t make you happy - dodging negative emotions, living in crowded cities, and having too much free time. Instead try spending time with loved ones, practicing gratitude, and engaging in meaningful activities that bring happiness. These activities foster positive emotions and a sense of purpose. Making time to take care of your physical and mental health also contributes to overall happiness and well-being.
- Reflection - If you’re looking to be more reflective this year, this list of questions will get you started. Here are my three favorites from the list. 1. What have I done lately to relieve stress and focus on my own mental health, to ensure I remain an effective teacher? 2. Is my demeanor and attitude toward my students hindering their learning? 3. In what ways am I challenging students who are clearly being successful in my class?
Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:
"The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts." —Marcus Aurelius (Meditations*)
- 🏖 Vacation - My Spring Break starts tomorrow. It's been a long time since I have looked forward to doing so little.
- 🤪 Individuality - Find your own rhythm. Blaze your own trail. Live differently.
- 🧰 STEM Activities - When things click just right, STEM activities are one of my favorite parts of being a teacher. Here are a few of my thoughts.