Keeping Educators in a Positive Frame of Mind

Amazingly, at Keeler School we are almost done being back into school for 5 weeks now, as we are on a modified calandar. I am going to cheat a bit today, and share some ideas that came from an article in Educational Leadership from June 2013 called “Seven Super Strategies for Success Over Stress” by Jack Singer. The Headings are his, the blurbs are mine. The Link to the article is below:
http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/jun13/vol70/num09/Seven-Super-Strategies-for-Success-Over-Stress.aspx

How do we help ourselves to be successful and happy, when we work at an extremely challenging place with some wonderfully challenging students? Here are some ideas on how to set ourselves up in a positive frame of mind.

1. Take charge of your internal dialogue…

Our mind and perspective controls everything we do. No, that one student is not out to drive you crazy… Honest! Our work is to figure out the WHY behind the behaviors and help them to build on their strengths. By looking at students and other people as having strengths, we are already choosing to look at things in a positive light. Our self talk will determine how we react in those difficult moments… Tell yourself that “You can do it!” (and imagine me saying that to you in a crazy voice…)

2. Develop psychological hardiness…

We know resilience is something we try to help our students develop, but we need to make sure we help ourselves as well. Singer identifies three areas, commitment, control, and challenge.

Commitment is about making goals and looking at why we are educators in the big picture. I know we have all chosen to do this work because we know we can be “that” teacher who helps out “that” student…

Control is that piece that we need to maintain when things get a little bit crazy! Even at their craziest, we control how we react…

Challenge involves looking at opportunities rather than obstacles. I think we all love our work because there is no binder we can pull off the bookshelf that will tell us how to support the growth of a child with difficulties. Looking at things as positive challenges versus negative will assist us in going on the right track.

3.Practice your breathing…

Really, it does work! Take time to breath…

4. Release endorphins into your body…

Part of being healthy at school means being healthy outside of school. I love reading and painting and biking and being with my family. Even laughing helps you to release endorphins. Guess that gives me leave to continue being silly around here the odd time…

5. Random acts of kindness…

I have been striving to do a random act of kindness each day. Today , Due to the help of the CLVC, I was able to help a student who had his bike stolen yesterday. Pretty nice feeling when you’re able to accomplish something big like that, but even giving a big smile to a student might be just what they and what you need as well…

6. Identify why you are grateful…

With my kids at night we have been identifying one thing that makes you feel grateful. We have been doing it for about four weeks and it is amazing how much it has improved all of our outlooks. In the article, Singer suggests developing a gratefulness diary. I don’t know if that would work for me, but identifying why I am grateful definitely does…

7. Spend the bulk of your time with positive people…

I love this one! The staff at our school are so phenomenally positive, that even when I’m having the worst day I know that someone is there to inspire hope, trust, and optimism. If asked how he was doing, the ex-principal who was at Keeler school when I did my student teaching here always replied “Fantastic!”

Work hard, learn tons!
D

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9 Responses to Keeping Educators in a Positive Frame of Mind

  1. Lisa Bartel says:

    Bartel did class reviews with grade 3 and 6 and worked with classroom teachers around providing positive supports for our kiddos. Great afternoon!

  2. Polok & Lunnin says:

    The Grade Five Team spent time organizing our literacy centers, which will take place as we work with guided reading groups. We also discussed our Weather Unit in Science, with a focus on the elements of weather. In the end, students will work in expert groups to create a weather instrument (weather vane, barometer). They will then join their weather forecasting team, and teach them about their instrument. Together they will collect weather data over a period of time, and present their findings in a forecast.

  3. Grade 3 says:

    The Grade 3 team looked at our diverse group of learners, and how to best meet each of their needs in math. We have been working with skip counting both in class and with Debra (our Artist in Residence) using a variety of strategies. We’ve divided them into separate groups to work on the skills that they need to further develop in order to become successful in math.

  4. ttalexander@cbe.ab.ca says:

    The Grade four team worked on a purposeful investigative learning initiative for the Science topic of “Waste in our World”. In our inquiry work with our learning team we hope to involve the entire Keeler community in an activity that will be spearheaded by the Grade 4 Green Team.

  5. Grade Two says:

    This week the grade two team investigated different ways to incorporate learning about science into literacy centers and read a louds. We examined different texts and novels that could be linked to the grade 2 science curriculum and discussed possible further connection to social studies and the work we are doing around the Olympics. The grade 2 team found different books and websites that could be utilized to investigate the study of the Olympic games. Students will utilize the knowledge and researched gained through these resources to develop year long goals. They will learn about different athletes and examine the characteristics of Canadian Olympian. We discussed and brainstormed manners in which we could connect, our study around the Olympics to literacy centers. We will continue to develop different centers and share our resources and feedback to develop a strong interconnected literacy program for the grade 2’s this year.

  6. Derek spent a bunch of time working with the Classroom Champions program and getting ready for our awesome assembly tomorrow with some extremely high caliber athletes! Can’t wait for tomorrow afternoon!

  7. Sonya, Brianne and Lisa says:

    The Grade 6/L&L team got a SURPRISINGLY large amount of planning done today! We are starting a project on Sky Science with the Grade 6 students and they are going to work in 9 Planet groups to make an AMAZING end product, a book for our library. We put the INCREDIBLE students into the 9 planetary groups, adjusting for student preferences and learning needs. We had spent time with the students in three smaller groups earlier in the week talking about what criteria the students felt would be appropriate for the different aspects of the project; research, group work, illustrations, final presentations and the end product. Results from the three groups were very similar, which shows how comfortable they were thinking about self-assessment. SUPER big thanks to their previous teachers, it is obvious from the students’ insight and ideas that extensive time has been spent on this in the past. You are all FANTASTIC! It made it simple to combine everything into the criteria for the research part of the project, which we will present to them on the next day to guide their research. Also, we discussed the overuse of certain “juicy” words in non-fiction writing.

  8. Lisa T., Tsay, Arruda, MacKenzie says:

    The Grade One team explored iWeb and started to set up class websites. We are hoping to have them up and running for Conferences next week to show parents.
    We also met with Mike to work on patterning activities using Lego, starting with creating simple patterns and taking pictures of them for visual journals. The next step will be having the students create a Lego structure (bedroom, classroom, etc.) using patterns.

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