Monday, March 11, 2019

It's Not Too Late

Not only is it crazy that March is upon us, it's an amazing opportunity for us take a selfie of where we are in our practice, our craft, our passion and WHY.
If you are a teacher, this is the time of year to really bring it. I posted a video yesterday on YouTube about some things to think about, but also wanted to stress a few thoughts more clearly.

We all know those students that by this time of year are really rocking it; mastered the standards, into the next grade concepts, thriving academically and socially. Well, what do we do with them now? Let's ask them! Yes, the students. Give them the power of voice, choice, drive and direction. These students need to feel like leaders. Keep them engaged by letting them sit in the driver's seat and take off!

There are so many cool things they could be doing right now: Ambassador of technology for the class or school, Class Blogger, FlipGrid Director, Code Master, Chess teacher, or whatever THEY believe they can do. Of course we want them to thrive, push the thinking, and stay motivated, but with only 2-3 months of school left, give them some room to really shoot for the moon!

What about the children that are still so far behind? How do we address his/her needs too? This, my friends is why we have colleagues! Reach out. What is your intervention plan? Are you integrating small group and/or 1:1 instruction daily? Are you sharing groups with your neighbor, or buddy teacher? Is your instruction intense, relevant and tailored to each child's gaps?

It's Not Too Late! We can still do this! Are you a bell to bell teacher? Or, do you let things all go on Fridays? Does each student get what they need and deserve? Have you done an interest inventory lately for each child? If not, you need to. Kids needs and interests change like ours do. Find a way to capture that firefly of a spark, so we don't lose them.

Think of it this way. If your own child was in a class, and was not being challenged, pushed, intervened, or loved; what would you do? Think about it. The child that throws the books, yells, has a hard time getting along with others. Call the Principal? Send them out? you talk to them. Call home. Visit them outside of the "School Zone?". Whatever it is, don't just bail on them now. They need you more than ever! This is your chosen passion my friends - show yourself and others that YOU are the most empathic, kind, loving and dedicated educator ever!

It's not too late - for you to focus on self care. Balance your life. Take 5 minutes at lunch for YOU. Close your eyes, breath and relax. You need to be a newly built locomotive ready to pull the load everyday, so, yes, I give you permission to focus on your OWN health too! Please. We need you!

It's not too late. That final bell of the year is still 8-12 weeks away. When it rings, will you shout to the heavens "YES!" "I did everything I could for every child!". Or, will you take the route of "Darn it, I shoulda, year I will?" No. You won't. Because you are an educator. You are a selfless servant focused on every, single child. Good, crazy, wild, mellow, troubled, kind, or unregulated. We love them all.

So, I ask you this my friends: "Is it too late?" Or are you willing to go out now and reach every student, teacher, staff member, and parent to find a unique way to truly "Bring it" for the end of the year?

#OneDropOfKindness #PushBoundEDU #CompelledEDU #TeachBetter

Monday, March 4, 2019

How You Doing?

Most of us remember Joey Tribbiani from the television show "Friends". Those that don't can just find the reruns on Netflix and will soon be able to relate to him with me. One of his most famous taglines was "How you doin?" in a very "I wanna pick you up" voice and tone to the ladies.
Well, although his technique was interesting, I like his line, because in today's schools, with what we have going on, I believe this isn't said enough.
"How are you?, How you doing? Are you alright? Can I help support you?" These are what we should be asking our students, teachers, admin, community members and anyone else we care about on a daily basis.
Our mental health, well-being, balance, and mindset are so critical in our ever-so important work. You hear all the time, "Yes, I do need to balance my time", and " I know, I work too much". But how often do we get eye to eye, check in, listen and really care about how someone is doing?
Educators not only work hard, but work long hours. We wear different hats. We attend meetings, events, PD, trainings and other time evaporators.
Needless to say, we all go home to our "other" lives, which, in some cases, can be even more of a stressor.
Time is something that we all manage quite differently as well. Some manage it well, others don't. BUT, the big but (not bootay), is that there is ALWAYS time (5 min here or there) for a quick breathing session, timeout, walk, close door and shut eyes, meditation, etc. You can't deny it. It is there. Look for it. Calendar it in. Make it happen. You deserve it (right Adam Welcome?).
Life is short. Balance is critical.
If someone cares enough to check in on you. Take it seriously enough to reflect and do a quick mind map of your physiology and frame of mind. It would be nice to have you around for longer, as you are vitally important to many people, animals and things.
I guarantee it.
So, "How you doing?"
Please take a moment to just ask.