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T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #58
Hello Friends and T.G.I.F.
Snow Day today! What a gift to be able to stay home with my family. A family that removes snow together sticks together 😃.
Here are three things I’ve been pondering this past week.
- When a song pierces your body and soul it's called "frission". This is that moment when the music gives you "the chills". A new word for me.
- What are three pieces of advice you would give your younger self? Here are three that I came up with. 1. Your career is not who you are. 2. Always make time to exercise. 3. You can control your actions and reactions. That's about it. Spend time making sure both are serving you well. What advice would you give your younger yourself?
- I participated in a restorative yoga session Monday morning at the beginning of a professional development day. In the middle of the session, it was apparent to me that I need more of these types of activities in my life. The point of restorative yoga is to activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This helps the body rest, heal, and it restores balance. I'm pretty good at the corpse pose.
Happy Friday - Have a great weekend😄!
Here are some things I thought were worth sharing this week.
Articles that grabbed my attention.
- Restorative Justice - Restorative practices are not a magic cure for discipline challenges, but they are effective. Just like any other education initiative, these practices require time and resources. It just doesn’t work when only partially implemented. I am a proponent of restorative justice and the investment it requires in the form of dollars, guidance counselors, and school social workers. It’s currently the most equitable approach we have.
- Year-Round School - Would year-round school be more beneficial to the students in your community? It turns out it doesn’t require more days of school, they are just spaced out differently. Year-round school may also decrease summer learning loss and provide opportunities for earlier academic interventions. The year-round school calendar has worked in many districts which could serve as an example for other communities. I can’t help but think of those students who get most of their basic needs met at school. They might benefit from a schedule like this.
- Eggshells - Teachers report that states are imposing limitations on how public school teachers can address topics connected to race and gender. Many teachers also report that they are being influenced by the limitations and also feel their autonomy is being diminished. Parents and families are also reported to be a limiting factor when considering teaching about race or gender-related topics. I once heard a suggestion that substitute teaching should be like jury duty. This would give citizens a clearer picture of what really goes on inside a public school. It would be hard to show up each day and not understand the need to address race and gender with students.
- Portfolios - The students at my school have been curating portfolios for the past 15 years. We’ve used paper and electronic portfolios along the way. Students are able to practice their reflective and goal-setting skills. These are important life skills. Here are a few ways to get the most out of student portfolios.
- Resource - Try these 8 Interventions for Struggling Students.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Revved Up - Human understanding of how metabolism works is evolving. There isn’t any real scientific evidence that supports the idea that metabolism speeds up in puberty and slows down with middle age. It turns out our metabolism stays fairly consistent through middle age and doesn’t really slow down until around the age of sixty.
- Don’t Do List - Finland is home to the happiest people on earth. Here’s what they don’t do to stay happy. They don’t compare themselves to their neighbors. They don’t stay inside for too long. Nature calls and they listen. Happiness also stems from practicing the kind of integrity that protects the community circle of trust. It would certainly feel good to live in a place where it feels like the majority of people around care about your well-being.
- Tired - It’s hard to “positively think” your way to happiness. The first thing to do is to give yourself permission to feel your negative feelings completely. This is where you can start to build your activation energy. When you let go of perfection you can begin to take the small steps needed to achieve your goals. It’s about acknowledging the tough stuff while you're taking steps forward. Both things can happen at the same time.
Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:
"If you are acting like a sheep do not blame the shepherd. You cannot herd lions. Wake up and roar and you are free." - Papaji
- 🍎 Growing Community - A big "Welcome" to our newest members. I'm glad you are here. If you enjoy this newsletter please share it with a colleague or two. Consider responding to this email to say hello, share a resource, and/or tell me a little about yourself.
- 🎵 Frission - This scientifically verified playlist is guaranteed to give you the chills, all 715 songs.
- 🚿 Shower Thought - A "fat chance" and a "slim chance" have the same probability. [source]
- 👕 Teacher T-Shirt - I designed this shirt on my snow day. Here's the caption from my store, "Teaching is a tough profession. It takes a special person to show up and give their best each day in the classroom. This Teacher Strong Shirt is for the dedicated teacher in your life." You'll find a code for 15% off below in the image caption.