T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter | Learning Experiences, Teacher Trust, and the Friday Push
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Hello Friends and T.G.I.F.
We had student-led conferences this week and I'm officially teacher tired. It was wonderful that we could meet face-to-face and I was impressed with my Crew's habits of scholarship goal-setting.
Our lab report posters are in full swing and in Social Studies we're learning about the causes of the Civil War and fall break is on the horizon.
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.
- Just Right - How can cognitive science help you design compelling learning experiences? The key is to balance the cognitive load so the challenge level is just right while making sure students have the necessary resources.
- Experience - Teachers can consider themselves lucky when they have teammates. They’re even luckier when they have ample time to meet with each other. Research shows that experienced teachers can be utilized to reduce the stress of their colleagues. The “Big Idea” is that collaboration is a big win for teachers. School leaders should get creative in finding ways to give teachers time to work together.
- Trust Teachers - Many teacher wellness initiatives are well-intentioned, but they often miss the mark. Most initiatives come from the top down without surveying the teachers to ask them what they really need. Empowering teachers to drive wellness work in their schools is a step in the right direction.
- How Much - Each country has its own approach to investing in education. Here’s a breakdown of education spending as a share of GDP in selected countries. The top five spenders are Norway, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Canada.
- School Quality - School accountability data are narrow in design and closely tied to demographics. They yield more information about the socioeconomic of the students and families as opposed to the quality of education they offer. There’s a growing movement to find better ways to measure school quality.
- Resource - STEM activities help create future problem solvers. As a society, we're going to need them.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Flow - Many of the best moments of our lives happen we let go of our thoughts. Finding activities that require less thought can activate a state of “flow”. When we lose self-awareness we gain peace and calm.
- Dig Deep - Fridays are not usually the most productive days. It’s close to the weekend and I am generally ready for a break. Overall productivity can be increased by turning it up a notch before heading off into the weekend. Saving some less thought-consuming tasks for Friday can free up the rest of the week for “deeper” work.
- Check-In - How do you feel? Research shows that asking this question can impact the emotions you are currently feeling. “Affect Labeling” can soften the effect of negative emotions and increase positive emotions. It’s worth it to make “checking in with yourself” part of your routine.
Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:
"Students quit when they are tired; sages quit only when they have won."
— Matshona Dhliwayo
- 🥼 Physics - Tomatoes, bucket, and centripetal force.
- 🔢 Data - How many days since the last incident?
- 🔧 Gadget - Mavalus Tape* - Assorted Colors - This stuff is great. It sticks to everything. I use it to hang things up on cement blocks.