Hey ATC Fam!
To continue the Halloween theme of this month, I’ve shared some nuggets of wisdom that I’ve collected over the years. I hope at least ONE of them means something to you!
First, some tricks!
1. ACTIVELY GIVE ATTENTION TO THE POSITIVE.
“Energy flows where attention goes” so, if we pay more attention to the stuff we do want, we will get more of it because we have made up our minds to seek it out. This can look how you want it to. Here are some possible ideas that might move you:
- TELL one person that you appreciate their efforts. Take 1-3 minutes to let someone know that their action made a difference in your life with a simple Thank-You card. This means A LOT to people and such small effort goes a long way.
- Keep a gratitude journal and jot down 3 simple things you appreciate from the day before you go to sleep.
- Practice affirmations in the mirror before starting your day/something challenging — even if you don’t fully believe it yet, you’ll get there! One I picked up from Gina Rodriguez’s Golden Globes acceptance speech that I LOVE is: “Today is going to be a good day. I can and and I will”
2. B.R.E.A.T.H.E. CENTER YOURSELF IN YOUR INTENTION.
Prioritize what/who centers you. My first few years, I was becoming familiar with the newfound exhaustion and responsibility of teaching and I didn’t trust my instincts about doing things that would remind me of who I was as a person and where I wanted to go. Calling family/friends was something that brought me back to my sense of self while entering this new stage of life, 2,000 miles from home. Some ideas:
- Spend your first 2 minutes (that’s it!) out of bed meditating in a special place
- Call 1 family member/close friend per week on your drive home
- Practice breathing exercises when you get stressed, anxious, overwhelmed
- Try your next meeting or thought break outside
3. STAY INSPIRED AND FILL YOUR CUP.
Surround yourself with people (or resources) who are better than you or push you to become a higher version of yourself. Let those ideas expand your imagination and what you deem possible. “You cannot be what you cannot see.” – Check out this speech by the bawse-lady herself, Shonda Rhimes in her Television Hall of Fame Acceptance Speech (2017) to see how that has inspired her to create shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and Executive Produce How to Get Away with Murder.
Career-Sense Cup-Filling Ideas:
- Find educators you vibe with and find a way to tag along with them
- Research your dream school that is doing the things YOU want to. Don’t know? At least start taking note on what you don’t like
- Helpful sites:
- Cultofpedagogy.com – this site is full of teacher nuggets in the form of articles, podcasts, step-by-step suggestions for implementing new strategies in every subject level. The first real teacher site that kept me afloat.
- Tolerance.org – great for ALL teachers aiming to manifest inclusive, safe and connected classrooms. Solid place to go if there’s a difficult conversation regarding a facet of identity you want to navigate with kids
- Zinnproject.org – particularly GREAT for history teachers who want to teach history from the people’s perspective
Creative Sense Cup-Filling Ideas:
- Express yourself!
- Dress up for Halloween! Show some spirit, step out of your comfort zone. Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Do what YOU know moves you/ is fun for you. For me, sometimes that means wearing sweatpants, a red lip, and heels in the house while I work – without the intention of it being for anyone else’s joy but mine!
- Go OUTSIDE!
- DANCE – put on some music you love and just move
- Create ART – paint, doodle, write something, play a song on your instrument, cook up something delicious for you and/or others
Then, some treats!
1. Are you or your student in need of sounds (that aren’t distracting) to keep you focused?
Sometimes music is TOO good – to the point where it distracts students from doing critical thinking. Sometimes silence is not the answer we’re looking for either. This Noisli site allows you experiment with sounds from nature (rain, thunder, the forest, wind, etc.) to inspire your mood.
2. Tired of spending time reformatting articles online or wasting ink/paper space with those ads when you want to print?
Let me bless your soul with something → Printfriendly.com. Simply paste the url of the page you’d like to print for students. Then, you can click on any ads or sections you don’t need printed.
3. Is positive feedback for students something you value, but can’t quite get in the habit of?
Think about implementing a Shout Out Board in your class. I used my shout out board (a medium-sized dry-erase board) to give students a visual trigger and nugget of encouragement when their actions and behaviors aligned with or exceeded my expectations. I would simply outline the purpose for the board with students when I first introduced it. I would be sure to award this for truly noteworthy moments for students who are moving the class forward with thought-provoking ideas, comments, or questions. For students practicing positive habits for their success (following directions the first time, responding to a situation maturely, etc), I would simply write the student ’s name on the board and the action I was pulling attention to would often spread like wildfire.
Attack this week with an indestructible bubble of conviction about your work. Tomorrow is a new day and I bet you there is at least ONE student who is looking forward to seeing your face. Allow yourself to embrace the beauty in this career. YOU CAN DO THIS.