Reading, Relationships, and a Human Upgrade

T.G.I.F. Teacher is a weekly newsletter featuring educational news, teaching, personal development, and professional learning resources. Topics for this week include read-alouds, relationships, technology tools, and more.

Reading, Relationships, and a Human Upgrade
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Happy Friday!

T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #59

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Hello Friends and T.G.I.F.

There is one more week until our Spring Break and I am ready. My tank is nearing empty and I'm rolling to the finish line with at least one flat tire. The sun finally peeked out a few times. I almost forgot what that feels like.

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

  1. Paper and pen are moving up on my list of important technology tools. There are many apps that I’ve tried in order to track student progress with assignments and grades. Paper and pen offer the greatest flexibility and efficiency.
  2. Creativity helps cement learning. Connecting an idea to an image forces you to slow down and think. This is one of the reasons I like interactive notebooks.
  3. Life is probably better with a balance between consuming and creating. It’s easier to consume. Creating provides purpose.

Happy Friday - Have a great weekend😄!

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

The News

Articles that grabbed my attention.

  • Read Alouds - Reading to your students supports literacy development, introduces students to new words and grammar, and improves fluency, and comprehension. Read Alouds are even more effective if students spend some time building background knowledge in advance.
  • Relationships - 2,939 respondents participated in an anonymous Twitter survey. 80.6 percent stated that teaching has negatively impacted their personal relationships. 54.9 percent stated that their school does not give them support in areas such as mental health. 69.8 percent have considered leaving teaching or taking time out due to a negative impact on personal relationships. They were also asked what was responsible for most of their stress. The three most consistent answers were excessive workload, student behavior, and unreasonable demands from superiors. The old adage is true, you have to take care of yourself first. Protect your relationships and beef up your self-care toolbox. Continue to support your colleagues and find ways that can bring about a better work-life balance.
  • Technology Tools -  Technology tools can help teachers gather real-time feedback from their students, allowing them to adjust their instruction accordingly. These tools can also be useful for quick formative assessments, such as the tool Quizziz. Utilizing technology can save teachers time and engage their students in new and exciting ways. Explore these 25 Technology Tools for The Classroom.
  • Resource - Feedback tools help to inform your instruction by giving you the pulse of your class. These feedback tools are a good place to start. My favorite tool is Quizziz for quick formative assessments. It works really well when using the Fast and The Curious EduProtocol.
  • Movie Tweet - I've been noticing that more and more students struggle to pay attention to an entire movie. Some of our social studies units have some great movies that bring the content to life. I shared this thought on Twitter and it took off. As of writing this it's received over 26,000 views and many educators have added their comments and connections. You can check out the discussion below.


Personal Development and Wellness Resources

  • Human Upgrade - Enjoy the benefits of getting into a love triangle. Get yourself into a little trouble now and then. Take bigger swings. Practice the listening part of being in a conversation. Check out these lessons and more from 62 episodes of TED’s How to Be a Better Human Podcast. Learn how to be a better human.
  • Fun - Having fun is good for our bodies and brain. It helps us reduce stress, improve our mood and build positive relationships with others. Having fun also boosts creativity and productivity. If you want to have more fun, stop worrying about how happy you are. Make sure you schedule time for it. It’s important enough to put your “fun” events on your calendar. Are you old enough to remember what fun was like before you were surrounded by screens? That’s the best kind of fun. Find your fun in real-world interactions and experiences and you’ll be better of for it.
  • Write It Out - Journaling helps reduce stress, clarify thoughts and feelings, and enhance self-awareness. It can also serve as a tool for personal growth and development. There are many ways to go about keeping a journal.  You could try a personal diary, Bullet Journal, Gratitude Journal, or even a Dream Journal. For the past year, I’ve been using Day One as my digital journal, and I’m also trying my hand at using a notebook. I am struggling with my paper journaling, but when I sit down to write, no matter what comes out, I always feel better after.
Build Your Personal Greatness*


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

"If we are not careful, we will end up with downgraded humans misusing upgraded computers to wreak havoc on themselves and on the world." — Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century*)

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