Needed, Not Enough

Topics include educating with a Hip-Hop mindset, the myth of fast learners, and the benefits of social-emotional learning.

Needed, Not Enough
Photo by Matt Botsford / Unsplash

TGIF Teacher Newsletter


TGIF Teacher Gadgets and Gifts
Every day should be Teacher Appreciation Day. Here are some teacher-approved gifts and gadgets that will bring smiles in and out of the classroom.

Happy Friday!

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

  1. Sometimes what’s best for students isn’t what’s best for their teacher. This is why adventuring out of your comfort zone can pay off.
  2. It’s easy to complain. Taking corrective action, now that’s something.
  3. Attending professional development conferences is one of the best ways to stay positive and energized during a challenging school year. You can find some of my takeaways from a recent conference I attended here and here.

In today’s newsletter…

  • Educating with a Hip-hop mindset
  • The myth of fast learners
  • Benefits of Social-Emotional Learning

The News

Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.

  • Hip-Hop Mindset - According to Toby Jenkins, a professor of higher education at the University of South Carolina, hip-hop culture can provide a powerful mindset for educators to overcome challenges in education. By embracing the hip-hop mindset, educators can assert their presence, build supportive communities, reimagine teaching approaches, draw inspiration from past struggles, and uphold authenticity. This mindset empowers educators to confront and triumph over obstacles, fostering truth-telling, creativity, and resilience within the classroom
  • Learning Rate - According to a study from Carnegie Mellon University, there is no evidence to support the idea that some individuals are faster learners than others. The researchers analyzed the learning rates of 7,000 children and adults and found that every one required practice to learn something new at the same rate. This challenges the notion of "raw talent" being a prerequisite for learning, suggesting that with well-designed practice exercises and effort, anyone can learn anything they want. Just like a race, an earlier start matters, but it's the continued effort that gets you across the finish line.
  • Dynamic Learning Environments - Students today are spending an average of 95 minutes daily on TikTok, while teachers report low student engagement. Instead of dismissing TikTok completely, there might be something to learn from its captivating elements. Inquiry and Phenomena-based learning might be a good place to start. As the world evolves outside of school buildings, our students are also influenced by these changes. Diversifying teaching methods can help keep the learning experience fresh.
  • SEL - One of the goals of education should be to help all students reach their full potential. Most teachers would say they have witnessed the number of students with mental health needs increase dramatically in recent years. Social-emotional learning programs have been found to improve social, emotional, and learning success. School-based SEL programs can also reduce conduct problems. [source]
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Personal Development and Wellness Resources

  • Needed, Not Enough - The notion of self-care is shared broadly as a cure for teacher burnout. Although it’s not enough it is necessary for any teacher who wants to stay in the game and be at their best. Maybe one of these self-care activities can be a catalyst for you.
  • Life Lessons - If you had to compose a list of 20 life lessons you've learned, what would they be? What do you think of these?


"Our notions about happiness entrap us. We forget that they are just ideas. Our idea of happiness can prevent us from actually being happy. We fail to see the opportunity for joy that is right in front of us when we are caught in a belief that happiness should take a particular form." -Thich Nhat Hanh

Teacher Commuter Playlist - The Obvious Child by Paul Simon. I love the drums in this one.

Favorite Things

  • Book - For the last few years I’ve set a goal to read at least two education/teaching books and write a summary. Here is my summary for The EduProtocol Field Guide.
  • Shower Thought - “You know you’re getting old when you type out a response to someone’s post, and then delete it because you don’t want the hassle of an argument.” [source]
  • Persistence - This guy visited a shelter dog every day for two months in an attempt to earn her trust. Eventually, it worked.

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