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T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #47
Hello Friends and T.G.I.F.
I'm writing this from the ballroom level of the downtown Sheraton in Chicago while attending the EL Education National Conference. So far I've learned about restorative practices and podcasting as service learning projects.
I've also eaten great tacos, a beef sandwich, and Chick-fil-A for the first time. I hope to add a "Stan's" donut to this list very soon and I'm not sure where the group decision will land us for dinner tonight, but I'm hoping for pizza.
The teachers here are intelligent, passionate, and hard-working. They are busting their butts to improve the lives of children and make the world a better place.
This can be said of teachers from all over the world.
Happy Friday - Have a great weekend! 😄
Here are some things I thought were worth sharing this week.
Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.
- Teaching is Hard - Teaching has its perks. Young people are energetic, compassionate, thoughtful, and most often fun to be around. It’s not a boring job. It’s also not so easy. It’s a job that often spills past the final school bell and is impossible to complete during the allotted time. Kids are all over the place in regard to aptitude and social-emotional intelligence yet they are expected all to learn the same content and skills as their peers at the same pace. All professions have their pros and cons, but I’m a teacher and teachers are my tribe. When you support teachers you support schools and communities. Teaching is hard.
- Climate Action - The data is in. The climate is changing in a way that will continue to negatively affect humanity. Schools contribute to climate issues with high use of energy, massive bus use, and food waste. Addressing climate issues in schools has benefits on the local level and as a result, affects the entire country by its compounding effect. When climate issues are addressed in schools students see adults in action, and learn about this important human issue along the way.
- Drowning - Students and teachers are struggling all across the country. Most teachers would rather leave the past behind them and focus on what can be done to help students recover both academically and emotionally. One solution is small-group instruction which is promising, but it’s expensive because it requires more teachers. Finding more teachers is not an easy thing to do at this moment. It may be best to slow down and focus on the social-emotional needs of students and teachers and then tackle the learning loss.
- Philosophy - What happens when children wrestle with questions like, “What is a paradox?”. Groups like PLATO are promoting initiatives to bring philosophical education to younger students. The end goal is to spark kids’ curiosity, critical thinking, and desire to search for the answers to big questions.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Better Life - Exercise on a Monday night. Wait 72 hours before you buy something. Try the Pomodoro technique. These are all small things that can slightly improve your life. Here are 97 more. What would you add to the list?
- Sleep - Most advice on how to sleep better involves shutting down technology hours before bed. There are things you can do to improve your sleep and still enjoy your tech. One of them involves setting yourself up for success during the day by getting enough sunlight which counteracts the impact of screen time at night.
- Possibility - The truth is slippery and anything is possible. Understanding is harder than shutting down, but it’s worth the work.
Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:
"If there's a single lesson that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so." -Lev Grossman, The Magicians #1
- 🧠 Learning - Every time I attend a conference I'm reminded of some of the reasons I became a teacher. I love learning and I've always liked being in schools. It felt great to be a student again.
- 🤣 Humor - These test answers will bring a smile to your face. Some of them wouldn’t earn a high grade but are certainly a sign of intelligence.
- 🧰 - SLINT Lapel Microphone 2 Pack- Clip-On Microphones* - These were used in a podcasting session I was in this week. The teachers placed these lapel mics on popsicle sticks to turn them into microphones. Genius! Now to start tinkering with a podcast.