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This is the 39th T.G.I.F. Newsletter. This newsletter will always be free. Your support helps with site costs and provides some much-appreciated motivation. 🙏. You can keep me energized with a coffee ☕, or by using the button below. Thank You!
T.G.I.F. is a weekly newsletter featuring educational news, and teaching, personal development, and professional learning resources.
Hello Friends and T.G.I.F.
A highlight from this week was taking our 8th graders to Camp American Legion. The camp has been around for over 100 years. Students learned how the camp supports veterans and their families. They helped clear a hiking trail and began to draft cards that the veterans will receive when they arrive at the camp. I always am appreciative to work at a school that supports adventure and community service. In addition to the fieldwork, it was Spirit Week and Fire Prevention Week. If your week was like this, you know what it's like to be "teacher tired" 🥱.
Here are some things I thought were worth sharing this week.
Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.
- OER - The amount of Open Educational Resources available to teachers and students is rising. Teachers have been creating their own resources from the beginning, but now there is an organized effort to create quality resources that are free and readily available.
- Well-Being - Most school ecosystems are stressed, cracked, or crumbling. Teachers know that practicing self-care can help, but that it’s not enough to make the necessary repairs. How can eliminating or revamping policies help teachers recharge their batteries? Listening to the ideas of all school staff is a good place to start. Getting input from school staff is a good place to start.
- Projects - What do paper bag innovations, story slams, and museums of good ideas have in common? They are all projects that can be used to build a sense of community in the classroom. You can even create a museum of mistakes.
- What Do You Think - Are grades and homework necessary? Do schools need a makeover?
- Resource - Games like Wordle can add fun and engagement to the classroom. Here are some resources for using Wordle in the classroom, along with a few spinoffs.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Thought Exercise - We all know that anxiety and negative thinking can affect our well-being. Incorporating thought exercises can minimize stress and help improve your mental health over time. One exercise is to interrupt anxious thinking. This can be done by tensing and relaxing muscles, breathing with an intentional count, and counting backward slowly. Choosing a soothing task like washing dishes or stretching can help as well.
- Feeling Lucky - “Luck is a dividend of sweat. The more you sweat, the luckier you get.” - Ray Kroc. Believe you’re lucky. Set clear goals and voice them. Curate the people you choose to spend time with. These are some ways you can increase your luck. Here’s a guide of 9 actionable steps that can boost the odds in your favor.
- Exercise - Explore some common misconceptions people have when it comes to exercise.
- Great Decisions - It’s those big decisions that end up setting the trajectory of our lives. What would happen if you made four great decisions per year? The trick is to identify those “Big Decision” moments and give yourself the space and calm to choose wisely. Great decisions often occur after slowing down.
Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:
"It's the questions we can't answer that teach us the most. They teach us how to think. If you give a man an answer, all he gains is a little fact. But give him a question and he'll look for his own answers." — Patrick Rothfuss (The Wise Man's Fear (The Kingkiller Chronicle, #2))*
- 📅 On This Day - “Wake Up Little Susie” becomes the Everly Brother’s first #1 hit. Given what modern-day music is like, it's hard to believe this song was once banned in Boston. [source]
- 📰 Article - Stone Skipping - Is there something you’re so passionate about that you would sacrifice your family, friends, and career to pursue it?
- 🥇Firsts - Nicole Mann becomes the first Native woman to go to space. She’s traveling to the International Space Station for a six-month mission. One of their experiments involves printing human tissue.
- 🧰 Gadget - TikiTunes Portable Bluetooth 5.0 Indoor/Outdoor Wireless Speakers* - Add music and ambiance to your classroom with these flickering speakers.