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T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #56
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Hello Friends and T.G.I.F.
Here are some of the highlights from this past week...
My 8th graders are officially registered for high school, we investigated whether hot or cold salt water retains the most carbon dioxide, and we managed to pull off a grade-wide jigsaw activity while learning about the Progressive Era. I'm also in the midst of completing a Thirty-Day Challenge - Teacher Commuter playlist to boost my spirits. Here's what I have so far. My daughter and I have been jamming on the way to school. It's working.
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.
- Confessions - Do you equate being busy with being important? Do you have a more challenging time dealing with your cognitive load? Do you feel like you’ve lost some of your powers of creativity? As you get older, life expands and teaching isn’t always at the center. If you’re a mid-career teacher you're probably not alone. What would your confession sound like?
- Vintage Innovation - As technology advances education will need to change. Will schools turn to Techno Futurism? Many schools will attempt to block artificial intelligence technology. I like the sound of Vintage Innovation. This would involve students working to develop soft skills. Students would be presented will problems to solve and then encouraged to use their creativity. As the machines get better at doing “machine things” humans should get better at doing “human things”. This includes developing empathy, being curious, and innovating. Project-based learning and emerging technology can be used hand in hand as the skills needed to learn this way are timeless.
- Learn From The Best - Teachers have the greatest impact on learning in schools. It’s not necessarily the strategies they incorporate, rather it’s who they are as people and how they develop systems that create successful students. It’s important to understand what it is that teachers do that has a positive impact on learning. Maybe it’s as simple as finding good teachers and then allowing other teachers to watch what they do. I’ve learned more from my colleagues than from any book I’ve read or any teaching strategy I was introduced to.
- Resource - Here is a lesson plan from the New York Times to help students understand the devastating earthquake in Syria.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Noticing Workout - Make time for a 30-minute walk and take some pictures. You can try alternating between “ambient noticing” and “purposeful attention”. There are so many benefits associated with walking and going outside.
- Take a Deep Breath - According to a study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 60 to 80% of the humans on earth are breathing shallower and shorter than we’re biologically supposed to be. We should all be taking deeper breaths through our noses. For many people this takes practice but it’s worth it. I’ve been paying attention to my breathing when I’m teaching and have noticed that my breaths become shorter and rushed. When I slow down to breathe deeply I almost immediately feel better.
- A Good Laugh - Humor is good medicine. It helps you cope with stress, is one of the most desirable traits in a partner, and also increases perceptions of power and status. There are things you can do to bring more humor to the world with one caveat, be careful not to be offensive. Humor is one of the best shields against tough times and disappointment.
Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:
"Life has three rules: Paradox, Humor, and Change. Paradox: Life is a mystery; don't waste your time trying to figure it out. Humor: Keep a sense of humor, especially about yourself. It is a strength beyond all measure. Change: Know that nothing ever stays the same." -Dan Millman (Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives*)
- 🐕Dogs - Congratulations to Spike, a 23-year-old chihuahua from Ohio. He is officially the world's oldest living dog.
- 🚿 Shower Thought - There's a different version of you in the minds of everyone who knows you. [source]
- 🤓 Button - Human Kind Button* - I'm partial to both humans and kindness.