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T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #63
In today's newsletter:
- Emergency teaching licenses are at an all-time high.
- Tips from professional writers to help students improve student writing skills.
- Personal development and wellness resources, including decision-making skills, setting reading goals, and communication tips.
Have a great weekend😄!
Here are some articles that grabbed my attention.
- Emergency - The number of emergency teaching licenses issued in Wisconsin just reached an all-time high. The only two requirements needed to teach are a four-year bachelor’s degree and a hiring agreement with a school district. According to the Department of Public Instruction, it’s most likely due to decreasing salaries and benefits over the last few years. If this is happening in states across the country it could be a sign of trouble ahead. The students in our country have significant post-pandemic needs. This is when professional educators are needed, yet we will have less qualified teachers to meet their needs. Investment is needed to ensure teaching is elevated to an esteemed career. You get what you pay for.
- Go Pro - Want to help your students improve their writing skills? Look no further than the advice of professional writers. In a recent article from The New York Times, journalists shared their tried-and-true tips for making writing sparkle. One of the simplest? Reading work out loud. It also helps to incorporate more breaks and write "vomit drafts,". Check out these easy and effective tips for improving student writing.
- Bedtime - Sleep is one of the most important aspects of our well-being, and this is especially true for children. From the moment they are born, sleep affects their bodies and brains, impacting their growth, immune function, cognitive development, and mental health. Most kids don't get enough sleep and are sleep-deprived, which can lead to a host of problems in their daily lives. Getting too little sleep also causes problems with attention and memory.
- Brain Breaks - Brain breaks are important for students because they allow them to rest and recharge, increasing their focus and productivity when they return to work. They can also reduce stress and anxiety, as well as improve overall physical health through movement and exercise. By taking regular brain breaks, students can improve their academic performance and well-being. Building a brain break toolbox with tech and no tech options will put you in a position to have the most effective break when needed.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Choose Wisely - Making decisions is an everyday task that ranges from simple choices to life-changing events, and some can have significant consequences. You can learn to make smarter decisions by focusing on your objectives, deciding in advance, and getting opinions from experts and people with prior experience. You don’t have to learn lessons the hard way. Chances are someone else has had the same dilemma, and you can learn from their experience. It also helps to understand how emotions affect your choices. In each decision lies an opportunity. Here’s what the experts say about improving your decision-making skills.
- 20 Pages - Could you benefit from setting a reading goal? Reading increases your brain power and thinking skills. It can also fire up your creativity. Taking time to read may also help keep your stress at bay while slowing things down for a few minutes. Give it a try, commit to reading twenty pages a day, and see what happens.
- Express Yourself - Do you struggle with articulating your thoughts? These three rules can help. Rule one: Know your audience. This is where building relationships really helps. Rule two: Build your argument with evidence. Rule three: Keep it simple. By following these rules, you’ll improve your communication skills and better convey your ideas to others. It also helps to make important points at least three times. If you work with students, you know it can take many more times than that 😄.
This won’t be the first time I share something from the book "The Four Agreements" by Miguel Ruiz. I revisit these agreements often, especially throughout the school year.
"1. Be Impeccable With Your Word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.
2. Don't Take Anything Personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.
3. Don't Make Assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.
4. Always Do Your Best- Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret." — Miguel Ruiz (The Four Agreements*)
- Good Memories - There's a benefit in looking for silver linings.
- Great Pictures - These photos capture 50 historic moments in sports.
- Apple Watch - I don't know if it's my advancing age or increased mental load, but the reminders I set in my Apple Watch* have been helping me keep it together. I tell it what and when, and the reminders come at the right time.