Do you have anything argyle? I think I have some socks somewhere… National Argyle Day is celebrated annually on January 8 to encourage us to express our love for the pattern derived from the tartan of Clan Campbell, of Argyll in western Scotland. Scottish Highlanders have worn the pattern design in kilts, plaids, and patterned socks since the 17th century. One of the reasons they became so popular was when Prince Edward, who would later become the Duke of Windsor, started wearing it to go golfing. He wore argyle jerseys, long socks, and trousers.
Big Idea: The more I learn about what it means to be a human, the more I arrive at the conclusion that our identity is at the center of everything.
Psychologists define identity as, “the memories, experiences, relationships, and values that create one’s sense of self.”
Understanding yourself (your identity) is where self-awareness comes in - the center of SEL and also self-care.
It’s my opinion that anything that is anchored to WHAT we are (career, hobby, role, etc.) is setting one up for failure. For example, if you are defined by your job as an educator, what happens when you retire or can’t teach anymore? People experience great loss because part of their identity is gone.
However, if we ground ourselves in WHO we are - perhaps someone who likes to help others or make connections with other people - then even if we can’t teach anymore, we can still find ways to help or connect.
This also goes for New Year’s Resolutions. In his book, Atomic Habits, James Clear points out that one of the most effective ways of changing behavior is to connect the desired behavior to your identity. Rather than, “I want to lose 50 pounds” try “I want to be a healthy person.”
This week, try this: A simple way to figure out what you prioritize in your identity is to listen to how you introduce yourself. You could also write a 150-word biography, and see what you keep in there and what you decide isn’t worth mentioning is the limited space.
Quote: "What you are can go up in flames, but who you are has been forged in fire." (Matt Weld, aka me!)
Educator Resource: Angst - Angst is a film-based program designed to raise awareness around anxiety. The film includes interviews with kids, teens, educators, experts, parents and a very special interview with Michael Phelps. Our goal specifically is to help people identify and understand the symptoms of anxiety and encourage them to reach out for help. Angst screens in schools, corporations, communities and theaters around the world. The film and corresponding materials provide tools, resources and above all, hope. Watch the TRAILER or access the FULL VIDEO (plus accompanying materials). The full video is 43 minutes, designed for a class period.
Dad Joke: I just burned 2,000 calories. That's the last time I leave brownies in the oven while I nap!
SEL Coach Matt Weld creates and delivers in-person and online SEL-related content.