Solitude

Laurence Sterne once said, “In solitude the mind gains strength and learns to lean upon itself.” As we think about our own teaching and/or learning experiences, how often do we establish a calm and peaceful learning environment?

Food for Thought:

  • Incorporate mindfulness breaks into a typical day
  • Provide opportunities for students to “be still and listen”
  • Provide for effective transition and/or movement breaks
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One Less Defeat

Maya Angelou once said, “We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”

Reading this reminds me of a recent situation that I encountered with students. Several of them were really struggling with a new skill. My philosophy has always been to push kids to excel by stretching their limits. This particular group of students does not respond to this. On this particular day, all of the inappropriate language and teacher bashing hit a critical point in which I was forced to make a decision: stay engaged with the group or leave them be. Ultimately, I chose to stay engaged and posed a challenge to them: offering them a choice to be creative in your insults, i.e. no swearing allowed. This indeed took them by surprise, as I opened an “outlet” for them. Immediately, we took a quick break and tackled the next work task without any fail.

Food for Thought:

Know your students

Anticipate difficult spots and plan accordingly

A New Attitude

Maya Angelou once said, “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.”

When reading this quote, I am often reminded of the many times, we sometimes feel powerless. I then take a step back and remember that we do have autonomy over most of what we are asked to do. Sometimes this requires changing our mindsets, even though it can be difficult.

Food for Thought:

Turn at least one negative into a positive

Advocate your students

Collaborate with colleagues on a regular basis

Share a “best practice” with a colleague

Lift Me Up

John Holmes once said, “There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” This make me stop and think about all the negativity we experience as teachers. What we must remember is to stop and think before acting. Will my reaction be in the best interest of my students?

Food for Thought:

Be still and listen

Be proactive instead of reactive

Be positive with a colleague and/or student that you have difficulty with

Eliphas Levi once said, “A good teacher must be able to put himself in the place of those who find learning hard.”

As the first six weeks of school comes to an end and one round of assessments under our belts, it is time to stop and think about what we are doing to meet the needs of ALL students, especially those who are clearly struggling. What plans are set in place for these students to succeed?

Food for Thought:

Targeted and Differentiated Instruction to address immediate gaps

Frequent communication with parents and families regarding progress

Accountability for every student

Motivation

Jim Rohn once said, “If someone is going down the wrong road, he doesn’t need motivation to speed him up. What he needs is an education to turn him around.”

Think about any students you feel might be headed down the wrong road. What educational opportunities are your providing in an effort to educate. What supports are you providing to turn these students around?