Martyrs, Hearts, and Hubs

T.G.I.F. Teacher is a weekly newsletter featuring educational news, teaching, personal development, and professional learning resources. Topics for this week include teacher martyrdom, teacher wellness, and protecting your attention span.

Martyrs, Hearts, and Hubs
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Happy Friday!

T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #57

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Hello Friends and T.G.I.F.

The weather here in the Great Northwoods of Wisconsin has been a rollercoaster consisting of rain, ice, snow, and sun. When the sun makes a brief appearance it sure feels good.

Here are three things I’ve been pondering this past week.

  1. Sometimes when I’m teaching I feel like a salesman that can’t make a sale.
  2. According to Education Secretary Miguel Cardano, “Student-to-counselor ratios right now are 400:1 or worse.” Not good. I have more students that need counseling now than at any other time in my 24 years of teaching.
  3. I’ve been thinking about how I would answer this question, “If you could create the ideal school in 2023 what would it look like?” How would you answer it? Send me an email and share your thoughts.

Happy Friday - Have a great weekend😄!

Here are some things I thought were worth sharing this week.

The News

Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.

  • Martyr - The challenge level of teaching is consistently increasing. Teachers continue to do their best because, on the whole, they are compassionate human beings that want to do the best they can for students. The current education system is not sustainable. Educators must be at the table to help shape local, state, and federal policies. Teachers are not meant to be martyrs.
  • Hearts and Hubs - Schools play an integral role in strengthening communities. They should be open for activity use while limiting, as much as possible, the barriers to access. Schools are also closely tied to the local economy. Quality schools attract quality employees.  When school and community ties are strong, public education will flourish.
  • Teacher Wellness Checklist - Many teachers may be afraid to check in on themselves because they know they’re hanging on by a thread. Here are five ways to use your senses to keep self-care at the center of your professional practice.
  1. Hug it out - Hugging provides a mood boost.
  2. Good Listener - Find a group of people who have similar shared experiences and are also good listeners. Listening to good music may also help.
  3. Visual - Strategically place photos, posters, and other images that bring you joy in your classroom and home. Spend some time admiring nature.
  4. Smell - Give essential oils a shot. Lavender and peppermint oil have been found to reduce the symptoms of migraines and headaches.
  5. Taste - Incorporate a few special treats into your daily or weekend routine. Just be careful not to overdo this one. I look forward to one caffeinated diet soda each and every Friday during the school year. It’s a small thing that brings me great joy.
  • Resource - It might feel strange to recite them at first, but the science is clear affirmations work. Here's what some of the research says along with 50 teacher affirmations to get you started.


Personal Development and Wellness Resources

  • Me, Me, Me - We all know a narcissist or two. Someone who is a self-centered person who seems entirely preoccupied with fulfilling their own needs and desires. The United States is more ideologically divided than ever. This divisiveness could be attributed to collective narcissism. This type of narcissism on a small scale can lead to conflict and on a large scale to war. Collective narcissism can be curbed by encouraging open and respectful dialogue, focusing on common ground, and promoting empathy. We would all be better off with less political and ideological polarization.
  • How to Survive Life - It starts with acceptance. The world is a tough place. Don’t be so tough on yourself.
  • Pay Attention - Your attention span is shrinking. Multitasking is a myth. The average American spends at least ten hours a day on screens. Most people focus on technology for short periods of time and then move on to the next thing. Some strategies to improve your attention span are to schedule periodic breaks, spend time in nature, and engage in mindless tasks like weeding or matching socks.
Build Your Personal Greatness*


Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:

"We demand too much of life, too little of ourselves." — Christopher Lasch (The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations)*

Favorite Things

  • 🤔 Clever Fundraising - The San Antonio Zoo raised funds by allowing people to name a cockroach after an ex and then fed it to the animals. For a few extra dollars, they recorded a video of the feeding and sent it to the ex.
  • Gadgets - Here are some of the unique and strange gadgets from the past 25 years.
  • 🙌 Gratitude - Thank you to Sherri, Perry, Laura, Joan, Erin, and Mom for buying me a coffee. I appreciate your support.
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