Sunday, March 30, 2014

I Don't do Yoga and I am not Getting a Massage: 10 Ways to be Happier at School

Stress. Pressure.  Anxiety.  No job is completely void of these feelings and teaching is no exception. People find all sorts of ways to relax on their own time, but can anything be done to prevent feeling overwhelmed? Here are some things teachers can do within the context of the school day to keep a positive attitude.

  • Eat lunch sitting down at a table with other people
  • Technology is your friend and should make things easier
  • Make it a point to laugh everyday
  • Stay current by reading about what is going on in education
  • Focus on what needs to be done now
  • Become comfortable with being uncomfortable
  • Think outside the four walls of your classroom
  • Observe and be observed by colleagues
  • Hold conversations with your students
  • End every day with a reminder of one thing that went really well

Monday, March 10, 2014

Look at me, I'm on the big screen!

I admit I am not a huge basketball fan but tonight I went to a Celtics game with my family and we had a wonderful time.  Sure, the Celtics don't have many wins this season; however we were happy to see a victory tonight.  It was the first time my sons, ages 14 and 10, attended an NBA game and for the most part they enjoyed the action and overall experience.   What struck me most interesting about the game was what happened every time play was interrupted by a time out, a foul, or the end of a quarter.  The camera scanned the crowd looking for fans to show on the big screen.  I am not sure who were funnier, the ones doing everything they could to get on, or the unsuspecting ones whose reactions played out for thousands to see in real time. Some danced and others looked away.  Most acted a little crazy (even me!) and some just smiled and waved.  It got me thinking about what happens when we put the spotlight on our students and their learning? How might they react?

How might students react when given the spotlight?What happens in your classroom and what it looked like on the big screen

Smile appreciatively 
(Shy wave)

Beg for the attention
(Hey cameraman, over here!)

Genuine surprise 
(Eyes popped open and hand over mouth)

Won’t even realize they are in the spotlight
(Just continuing to eat their nachos)

Bring out the best
(This young kid put on a dancing clinic, he was amazing!)

Bring out the worst
(Some big guy started to take off his shirt)

Become extremely uncomfortable
(Turning away and trying to get off the screen)

Get tired of being in the spotlight
(A nun was shown repeatedly, by about the fifth time during Bon Jovi’s Living on a Prayer, she just shooed the camera away)

Give the attention to someone else
(The two handed point to the person sitting right next to them)

Do whatever it takes to get even more attention
(These people just got louder and their actions more exaggerated)