Main Idea: Self-awareness is the key to everything.
I’ve had several conversations this year with other people in the SEL space, and the one thing we all come to by the end of the chat is that self-awareness is the key to everything. As in - truly - the world would be a different place if every person took even 10 seconds each day to think about what they’re thinking about.
The Illinois SEL Standards and the CASEL Wheel are both built on the foundation of Self-Awareness.
A Harvard Business Review article summed up some research:
This week, try this: As you look to become more self-aware, shift your questioning from WHY to WHAT. Rather than, “Why am I so miserable at school?” try, “What can I do to make my day more enjoyable?” According the article, “‘What’ questions help us stay objective, future-focused, and empowered to act on our new insights.”
Quote of the Week: "I think self-awareness is probably the most important thing towards being a champion." (Billie Jean King)
Educator Resource: The Salesman [Greg Warren Standup Comedy Routine] - This family-friendly comedy special is by St. Louis native Greg Warren. It actually has nothing to do with SEL or education other than if you were part of our SEL Summer Summit in 2022 or will be attending in 2023, he’s part of our final celebration. Well, I guess laughing is definitely SEL-related! :)
Dad Joke: What did the sushi roll say to the bee? Wasabi
This is the last installment for the 22-23 school year. I'll see you back here (or in your inbox) in September!
~Matt Weld, ROE #40 SEL Coach
Main Idea: Joy comes from within. Shifting your mindset is key to finding (and keeping) joy.
Those of you who know my wife, Martha, will probably agree that she is the most positive person you’ve ever met.
She would never cause anyone pain, is always looking to help other people be their best, and is positive 99.9% of the time (y’all wouldn’t believe me if I said 100%).
Where does all this positivity come from? It’s just there. She doesn’t read self-help books to learn what to say. She somehow just knows that the secret to personal peace is internal joy.
Jon Gordon talks about bringing your own positivity in The Energy Bus.
Simon Sinek has heartwarming and motivational conversations on A Bit of Optimism.
But each one will tell you that ultimately, the joy comes from within. At last summer’s SEL Summit, we gave out a tumbler that had the phrase, “Happiness is an inside job” emblazoned on the side. (It was the most popular)
This week, try this: As your inner reserves are wearing down, remember what good things happened. As you look at your calendar in the morning, take a minute and bring to mind each person you’ll be interacting with that day. Then consider how much each of those people enhance your life.
Quote: "Nothing can bring you peace but yourself." (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Educator Resource: Determine the Size of the Problem - Last week, I had the pleasure of working with a first grade class on ‘Big Deal / Little Deal’ where I used the visual of a traffic light (even though they don’t have one in their town!) to illustrate the size of a problem, and (probably more importantly) discuss what appropriate responses to each size would be. The link above has an elementary lesson and a secondary lesson, because I know of adults who will respond to little problems with big actions.
Dad Joke: I paid $1 for a hair piece today. It was a small price toupee.
The joke is especially funny to my since I'm bald!
Main Idea: It's human nature to compare ourselves to the people around us.
How many saying are there about comparison? “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence,” or “Keeping up with the Joneses.”
Back when the human brain evolved, we had a small group of up to 80 people to compare ourselves with. This comparison kept us all together.
Now we have the ability to compare ourselves to anyone in the world with access to the Internet.
I’ve noticed that I tend to play the comparison game harder when I’m weaker: physically tired, emotionally exhausted, or in pain.
I also am on my phone more often when I’m tired (or as my Grandma used to say, “I’m tired, worn out, broken down, and undone”). And thus the downward spiral into self-pity, feelings of unworthiness, and search for like-minded connection and a community intensifies (and can lead to unhealthy relationships).
Remember three things:
This week, try this: Ask yourself these two questions: 1) Who is your go-to person when things are tough? 2) For whom are you the go-to person when things are tough? People who can answer the first question are happier than those who can’t. People who can also answer the second question are even happier. The government of Bhutan actually uses these two questions to measure their Gross Domestic Happiness
Quote of the Week: "We struggle with insecurity because we compare our behind-the-scenes to everyone else's highlight reel.
Educator Resource: Self-Esteem Worksheets - This treasure trove of resources is intended for therapists, but there are some things here that I could see using in the classroom. If nothing else, they are a good idea generator/starting point for creating your own stuff, too.
Dad Joke: Did you know that 10+10 and 11+11 are the same? 10+10=20; 11+11=22.
Now’s the time when the self-care practice you’ve been cultivating will really show its benefits. Don’t have one yet? It’s never too late to start.
SEL Coach Matt Weld creates and delivers in-person and online SEL-related content.