Shout-out to all the administrative professionals!
Let’s face it - where would your school be without them?
Monday is National Zucchini Bread day. Maybe you can make a loaf to celebrate your favorite secretary on Wednesday.
QUOTE: "Apathy is the self-defense of the powerless." ~ Letty Cottin Pogrebin
Apathy literally means ‘without feeling’. That’s just not healthy since humans are emotional beings.
I’ve been receiving a lot of emails and comments recently about student apathy.
My initial thoughts: I saw a quote recently that apathy is a learned behavior. Is it? Could it be a natural result - the easy road - from too much or too little for too long? Feel free to email me your thoughts.
People care and work for what is meaningful to them. Is school one of these things?
Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Safety and security come from structure and real (as in non-digital, imho) relationships.
Helpers can’t help if their basic needs aren’t being met.
This week, try this: Start small. Instead of trying to create an end-of-the-year extravaganza, what about taking the time to circle the desks and have an open conversation about things like, “What are you afraid of?” “What brings you comfort?”
Today is Leg Day!
Mobility is key to a healthy life. Make sure you keep your legs - front, back, upper, lower - flexible and strong. Studies show that mobility prevents disability.
EDUCATOR RESOURCE: Student Engagement Strategies: Encouraging Behavioral, Emotional, and Cognitive Engagement in Your Course. Focusing on student engagement is one way to decrease apathy in the classroom. This article gives ideas plus 9 more free articles on the subject.
DAD JOKE: A limbo champion walks into a bar. They are disqualified.
Have a great week!
It's half-way thorugh April. That means it's OK to start imagining summer!
QUOTE: "To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you." ~ Lewis B. Smedes
While we tend to think of forgiveness as an act of grace toward the other person, it’s really for us.
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.
I saw a news clip of a woman who forgave her son’s murderer and offered him tenancy in her building. Here is a similar story.
While you don’t have to go to the same measures upon forgiveness, realize that the psychological and emotional burden is lifted from you. The other person could feel nothing, but you will definitely feel release.
This week, try this: Practice with small things. The next time someone says something that hurts your feelings/pride/ego, tell yourself what you need to to let that grudge go. Maybe it’s looking at it from their perspective, maybe it’s actually saying to yourself, “I will not let your words hurt me.”
Will you forgive me after this yoga sequence?
Unlike your hip joint, your shoulder joint is really just a bunch of bones meeting at one point to act as places for muscles to attach. This means there are all sorts of tendons and cartilage to get messed up. Take care of your shoulders!
EDUCATOR RESOURCE: Forgiveness with Ashley Monier and Abigail Haloftis on the Teachers’ Classroom podcast. These two students at Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville talked about what forgiveness is and isn’t and why RE-forgiveness is something we all need to practice.
DAD JOKE: I used to be addicted to the hokey-pokey. But then I turned myself around.
Have a great week!
It’s Cheese Fondue Day!
I can totally get behind a holiday dedicated to a socially acceptable way to eat warm melted cheese by the spoonful.
I promise to show a lot of grit by finishing off the whole pot (especially if it’s this recipe that I got from a friend who used to own a fondue restaurant in St. Louis).
Nothing brings out the grit in teachers like December and the last weeks of the school year.
Grit is the perseverance and passion for achieving long-term goals.
In my mind, there is a fine line between grit and perfectionism. It takes willpower and sacrifice to achieve goals. What happens when one becomes so focused on the product that the joy of the process is lost? What happens when the goal is met but the process has consumed so much of one’s life that one can’t let go? What happens when grit keeps one on a path of improvement to a point where there really aren’t anymore gains left to be made, and perhaps energy and skills learned could be better used elsewhere?
I would also argue that the biggest barrier to grit is distraction. It’s much easier to give our time and energy to a fleeting, meaningless distraction than it is to put the same energy and time into building something worthwhile.
This week, try this: Be intentional with your actions. You have a limited amount of time and energy. What will you bless with it?
It takes grit to keep doing abs.
You don’t realize how much your core supports pretty much every move you make until your abs are sore. While this short sequence shouldn’t get your abs to that point, it’s an exercise that will get your blood flowing and your focus on something different for about 5 and a half minutes.
Getting Real About Grit: 6 Things Every Teacher Needs to Know. I highly recommend you check out Angela Watson’s Truth for Teachers podcast wherever you get your podcasts. With the link above, you can either read the transcript on her blog or listen to the full episode. Even if you just listen to the first 7 or so minutes, it’s time well spent!
I own the world's worst thesaurus. Not only is it awful, it's awful.
Have a great week!
Not sure why there’s a whole month dedicated to celery…
Good thing it’s also National Gardening Month and National Decorating Month!
When was the last time you were really fired up about something? How productive were you?
Our brains are structured in such a way that we process information emotionally before our forebrain can apply any sort of logic. Therefore, everything has gone through an emotional filter before anything else. If we don’t know our emotions, know what they feel like in our bodies, and know how to process them, our productivity will tank.
One hack you can try involves the Zeigarnik Effect, which says that our brains latch on to incomplete tasks. While this may be a source of stress, it can also be a great way to make sure things get done. Just start them, and your brain will make sure you finish.
This week, try this: The next time something seems overwhelming, try starting with a super-small chunk. Maybe it’s just starting a document, getting ingredients out of the fridge, or grading that first paper in the stack.
New Video Series!
We’ve done breathwork and meditation. How about some Chair Yoga to finish out the year? Thanks to Moonbird Yoga in O’Fallon for letting me borrow their plant (as well as space and sound system). Almost all of their classes are both live and virtual. [I promise that next year, the square will not be in the middle of the screen - camera user error!].
SEL Side of Time Management Think Sheet Use this think sheet to understand how your emotions affect the way you manage your time. It’s one I’ve used in a couple of my online sessions.
Have a great week, everyone!
~Matt Weld, ROE 40 SEL Coach