Setting Up for Success

Happy Tuesday ATC Family!

I hope this email finds you well. Truly! That is not a greeting I use flippantly but a genuine practice I do to remind myself to consider the wellness of the people in community with me.

As we move into September and the newness of this school year ebbs away, the full weight of the work in front of us can start to settle in. As a coaching team, we want you to remember that this is not work you have to do in isolation. You have your ATC coach working with you regularly, your local cohort who will be meeting together this week for our first round of regional workshops, and the extended ATC Family who will all be together September 14 for All Corps Saturday.

Even with these built in structures for support, however, it is important to have your own personal plans and wellness and, by correlation, teacher effectiveness. I often tell people, when it seems like there is nothing else we can do to see a specific change with our kids, sometimes the one that needs to change is the educator themselves.

For those in schools implementing a conscious discipline curriculum, are you entering the classroom each day in your “Executive State” ready to teach, to approach challenges with reason, and to learn alongside students? Or are you entering in your own Emotional or Survival State, with a set narrative of the agency or capacity you do have to meet the classroom goals and objectives for the day?

A tool that is consistently useful for me in gauging my own wellness and emotional resilience at any moment is the “Take Apart That Thought” sequence provided by Elena Aguilar in The Onward Workbook: Daily Activities to Cultivate Your Emotional Resilience and Thrive (get a copy here).

I generally only need to take apart two or three thoughts from my day to see trends that tell me where and how I need to show up differently. I can then implement the action steps necessary, whether that is scheduling a therapy session or just going to bed earlier, to see that change in myself.

Here is how you “Take Apart That Thought” as outlined in the workbook:

  1. Name the thought: (Example: Students in my 4th period have no respect for me)
  2. Ask yourself: is this thought true? If you think it is true, how do you know?
  3. Is there any other way to see the thought (or situation)?
  4. How does this belief make you feel? What story lines do you attach to this thought?
  5. What would things be like if you didn’t hold this belief?
  6. What’s a different belief you could substitute for this thought when it arises?

This week, we want to challenge you to use the “Take Apart That Thought” protocol yourself and maybe even create a modified version for students having a tough time in your classroom. You can find other resources on how to care for your own wellness and that of students in the blast below!