This is very true:
To change the world.
To change the world.
As educators, we need to fill ourselves up with positive thoughts, so we can pass that on and pay that forward to our students. It is essential.
When students are discouraged and disheartened, they do not learn at their full potential. One of the sometimes daunting but always awe-inspiring aspects of being an educator, is that what you do every day matters. In the life of a child. And that’s a crazy, hard, challenging, but yet oh-so-rewarding responsibility, right?? Because every time you fill a child’s bucket, so to speak, with a positive thought, or an affirmation, that he or she can figure that challenge out, will make sense of that problem, and can and will make it to the finish line, you are propelling them forward. Yep. What you do. What you say…
You. Change. The. Trajectory. Of. A. Child’s. Life. One word for that: Wow.
So to all you amazing educators out there, please take a moment, and remember…
that quite simply & in so many amazing, wonderful, complicated ways…
Thank you for that.
Zen: To be at Peace.
10 to Zen. What can you Let Go Of to find your Zen? Here are 10 suggestions from Buddha Heart. For best results, please repeat #10 multiple times a day. Add a dose of sunshine and smiles and you just might mix up the recipe for a Peaceful Life.
I’m not a practitioner of Zen, but this list resonated with me, and I found myself reflecting on its lessons:
#10 is easy for me. I have kids and they keep me laughing. #6…well, that is a work in progress. I tend to think I come from a long line of worriers, and that I’m moving in the right direction on that one. The worry monster still creeps in from time to time.
Let’s be honest, #1 is challenging in a world of social media and facebook posts. We know who traveled to what tropical paradise as it happens, and it usually happens when we are at home with a pile of dirty laundry. It’s the new normal. Shrug that off. Let go of comparing.
My personal recipe: I aim to live by all of these, and I assure you I don’t always succeed. I probably fail multiple times a day, in fact. But I am really guided by #2 & #3. Those lessons have led me to my own little slice of Zen, on those days when I do find it. In my life, each day is a fresh start for being at peace. Sometimes, what I need to be happy with is a peaceful afternoon, a peaceful hour, or a peaceful moment. Just one little moment in those 24 hours when I exhale, look around, and say:
“Life is Beautiful.”
That’s my Zen. Being aware of the good stuff. A smile from my daughter. A hug from my son. The sunshine on my patio. Simplicity. Harmony. Nature. Letting Go.
How about you, do any of these resonate with you, challenge you, or help you stay sane? Let me know, I’d love to hear your personal recipe for living a peaceful life.
October is Bullying Prevention Month.
“Nobody likes you. You can’t play on this court. Not at this lunch table. You talk funny. You’re not one of us. Too short. Too tall. Too fat. Too dumb. Too smart.” Hurtful words that cut deep. And in the rapid-fire age of social media that our kids live in, these words become wounds that spread quickly.
We must all work to prevent bullying–in our classrooms, our communities, and our homes. October is Bullying Prevention Month. No, it’s not fun, it doesn’t have a catchy ring to it, and sometimes, adults are actually afraid to talk about the issue. But, it’s our job. We need to stand up, be role models and work for change.
STAND UP. Be the Change and Stop the Bullying: We all need to be a part of the solution. Do your part. Stand up and speak up when someone is being a bully—whether it’s an adult, or a child. I found out that my child was teased at school recently, and I can tell you, it wasn’t a good feeling. Luckily, she told me about it, and I was there to make sure something was done. But lots of kids are silent, ashamed, or don’t know who to turn to. Be a Hero. Be a role model. Don’t shrug and say “kids will be kids.”
Let’s give our kids some tools to talk about bullying, to prevent bullying, and to come to us if & when they have a problem. The best way to make sure that happens is to remain open, caring and truly engaged.
Connect. Create a Culture of Respect: James Dillon, a retired elementary school principal who now speaks at workshops on this issue, recently told education website Edutopia that: “Little things can make a big difference. Simple and genuine gestures, such as regularly greeting students, talking to students, and addressing students by name, help to make students feel connected.”
When students are connected to a school, a classroom, or even the community, they are less likely to engage in bullying behaviors. When children know educators and adults genuinely care about them, they are more likely to report bullying at the early stages and get the help they need.
Care. Participate in the Movement: This infographic gives a snapshot of ways you can reflect on and participate in the anti-bullying campaign, this month and beyond. There are facebook pages, an anti-bullying pledge, and even a text-based game. It can be as simple as having a “Unity” day on campus, where students are encouraged to wear orange, the color that symbolizes taking a stand against bullying.
Let’s make schools safe and inviting for all students. All students deserve that.
Want more resources? Here’s a link to the article from Edutopia called “5 Tips for Bullying Prevention” with different ideas for principals, teachers and parents. And here’s a lesson I’ve posted before, from Squarehead Teachers, which even the youngest children will understand and be strengthened by. The National Bullying Prevention Center has teacher toolkits, resources, and a listing of events designed to raise awareness and get everyone involved to…
Help Stop Bullying: Stand Up. Connect. Care.
A Letter to Commissioner King and the New York State Education Department:
I have played your game for the past two years. As an educator, I have created my teaching portfolio with enough evidence so I can prove that I am doing my job over the course of the school year. I am testing my students on material that they haven't yet learned in September, and then re-testing them midway through the year, and then again at the end of the year to track and show their growth.
I am so #Happy. To celebrate, I’m having a party…
Ok, it’s a virtual party but consider yourself invited. This milestone is a big one: over 1000 of you have stopped by College Ready, making it the “Little Blog that Could.”
THANK YOU! I am so thrilled with the support that you have given me over the past 2.5 months. I wish I had something profound and meaningful to say to mark this occasion. Instead, I’ll just say THANK YOU. For reading, for visiting, for “liking,” for following, for sharing, for commenting and again, for reading what I had to say. I hope that something in what I call my “Ed Soup” has been useful in your professional or personal life, or just to warm your soul.
I also want to thank all of you for inspiring me. The blogging community is sassy, smart, and full of ideas that launch conversations. And so many of you do it so well! While making it look easy. Anyone who writes knows that push and pull of fear, and risk, the anticipation of audience reaction. And the writer’s block, and the deadlines that you missed hours before the clock read 2 am. Far from easy, but you all write on.
WRITING ADVICE: At my last milestone (500 visitors on 9/30), I posted some writing advice from Hemingway. I’ll continue that tradition with one of his better-known quotes on the writing process:
Here’s what Philip Roth said of the writing process: “You build a book out of sentences. And the sentences are built up out of details. So you’re working brick by brick. And the bricks are heavy.”
As I continue this journey, I look forward to working & writing alongside so many inspirational colleagues, who happen to be damn fine writers, creative thinkers and bleeding edge thought leaders. I am so lucky to know you all, whether F2F, or just here… In the Soup.
GOING FORWARD: College Ready Coach is a resource for parents and students who are navigating the college admissions process. We work together to evaluate what the student needs to be prepared. Academic coaches serve as mentors, and have been found to be the key ingredient in a successful college “launch.”
MY PART: In addition to working with a small number of clients each semester, College Ready Coach–hey, that’s me :)–commits to mentoring one student from a traditionally under-served population each semester, free of charge. We simply have to provide educational equality to students, and this is one small way for me to give back and “walk the walk.” Please do contact with me if you wish to nominate a highly-motivated high school student for this mentoring opportunity.
AND THEN, THERE’S YOU: You can be part of the journey by following the blog here, or liking the College Ready facebook page, and learning more about helping your students or your own children be “college ready.”
Together, let’s turn the crazy maze of college admissions into a road map to success.