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T.G.I.F. Teacher Newsletter #62
Highlights from my week include watching students figure out how to code their Spheros, listening in on students discussing what they learned about World War I, and kicking off student preparation for their end-of-the-year portfolio presentations. It's getting busy and it's all downhill from here.
Happy Friday - Have a great weekend😄!
Here are some things I thought were worth sharing.
Things that grabbed my attention.
- Leaders - When it comes to learning in school who is doing the most work, the students or the teachers? Who should be doing the most work? The more students own the learning process the more they will learn. There needs to be a balance with adequate support offered in the early stages of learning, and then over time, the students should take a more active role. This takes a little more time, and it’s messy. It’s also worth it.
- Calm - There are times when noise is a good thing in a classroom. It can be a sign of engagement. Sometimes it can be hard calm things down. There are many students that need a quiet classroom to work because they may become easily distracted or overwhelmed by noise. Quiet can help them focus and concentrate, leading to better retention and understanding of the material. Some students may have sensory processing issues that make it difficult to filter out the noise and other stimuli, making a quiet environment necessary for their success. Establishing routines, teaching expectations, and classroom design are all variables that can be adjusted to create the desired noise level in your classroom.
- Resources - Open Education Week is in March. It’s intended to highlight open educational resources. These are educator-created resources and materials that are free for any educator to use. You can explore the OER Commons to see what is available. Try using the search feature to narrow down to specific topics and grade levels. Open Educational Resources help ensure everyone has access to quality resources.
Personal Development and Wellness Resources
- Kindness - It’s the best medicine when you're feeling down or alone. Some of the science-backed benefits of being kind include increased happiness, reduced stress, and improved physical health. Incorporating acts of kindness on a consistent daily basis appears to have taken a back seat to narcissism and cynicism these days. Investigate these historical meditations on kindness.
- Write it Down - The mental load of life can be daunting. Free up some brain bandwidth by unloading some of what’s on your mind onto one of these note-taking apps. Digital note-taking offers a way to search your notes and add photos. You can even take a picture of your paper notes and archive them for later use.
- Focus - Be smart about what you choose to learn. It's important to focus on stable knowledge. Things that are evergreen. Pursuing knowledge that has lasting value is beneficial for personal and professional growth in the long term.
Here is a quote I’ve been revisiting this week:
The kinder and the more thoughtful a person is, the more kindness he can find in other people. Kindness enriches our life; with kindness mysterious things become clear, difficult things become easy, and dull things become cheerful. - Leo Tolstoy
- 📔 Notion - This past week I've been exploring how to use Notion as a knowledge and life organizational tool. Here's what I've been learning so far.
- 🤣 Great Sitcoms - Here's a list of the 100 greatest sitcoms of all time.
- 🗞 Good News - The global level of happiness has stayed pretty consistent over the last three years. Finland wins "The Happiest Country" award for the sixth year in a row. The United States is 15th on the list.