I am a morning person! (In the evenings I work and play until I pass out – this way falling asleep is never a chore! ) I love to feel the crisp freshness that the morning brings and it is new! You never know what is in store for the day!
As a teacher, though, I have discovered that in order for me to have a successful day in class – I need the following:
- Exercise – some days I can only work in 5 minutes! So there are no excuses – while still in bed I stretch – Tara Stiles has yoga routines on youtube which are easy to move with, meditative and short – just a few minutes -I just love her! It is a great way to roll out of bed! As I get older it keeps my joints moving and helps with the stiffness I am experiencing.
- I also have a stationary bike and several years ago when I tore my meniscus in my knee, my physical therapist said that the stationary bike is the best exercise that I can do for life! Even though I am on my feet all day – I have a fitbit that logs, at the minimum 5 miles a day in the little classroom – I navigate the classroom constantly – but getting on the bike gets my heart rate up and is a different kind of exercise and it relieves stress if I do it in the evenings when I get home. Going for a walk outside is also different than the walking I do in the classroom.
- As I have gotten older and my back has a twinge in it from the baskets and bags that I carry to and from school everyday (which I am trying to eliminate-it is a bad habit). My son has created an exercise routine to help with that pain. It is a routine that he also added weights and it has been challenging – I love it! I admit though that I have slacked since school started and it consumes so much of my free time, but the aches in my body requires that I stick to my routine – its important to make time for yourself and I know we hear it all the time – but time gets away from us and the quality of our life is important or you get to the end and all we feel is tired. Make a list, what is important to your life? what makes you really happy?
- Meditation: There is a “Calm” app on my phone that provides 7 days free but I just play them over and over. Folks have different interpretations and ideas about this and for me, it is a moment of quiet time in your brain – it is deep breathing – breathing is so important – it helps with stress, it quiets your mind, it makes me feel “I can do this”. When you are done and open your eyes, your brain just feels different, just give it a try!
- Coffee: I need one cup of coffee every morning!
- Protein: Any kind of protein, its good for your brain – hard boiled egg, peanut butter – I eat Chobani Greek Yogurt it has 12 grams of protein in that tiny container and its sweet!
- Sleep: If I have adequate sleep I also perform better, my mood is more energetic and upbeat…
There you have it – Exercise, Meditation, Coffee, Protein and Sleep – they are necessary for having a great day! I love learning and because I am with children for the most of my waking hours… I love to listen to podcasts on my way into work: The Tim Ferris Show – he interviews so many interesting folks, Ted Talks Daily, Freakonomics and I also listen to Huffington Post round up on my Alexa in the morning and The New York Times Daily! In the evenings, I like to read – it also reduces your blood pressure! I am reading right now: Tim Ferris’ new book, Tribe of Mentors – it is like an encouraging pick me up! I have just started reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari – I have this curiosity about early man and am enjoying reading this book – I also have a fascination with Cave Art that I think is absolutely beautiful. Don’t forget to maintain those hobbies that you love so that you can continue being a well rounded person!! I am working on creating a balance in my life! If you don’t stop and pause for a second to evaluate where you are going you may miss a part of the ride you wanted to experience!!
I am looking at my snow days as free time! I spent a good portion of my winter break preparing for the first month of January – so this was an unexpected surprise and a sweet gift!
I work at a school that is categorized as “hard to staff” and I never dwell on it and every year, students and teachers always ask if I am staying. Of course I’m staying, where else will I go? I love my students and never want them to feel “less than,” or that feeling of “abandonment .” Some days though have been difficult ones. Last year I had four students attempt suicide… I was not prepared for this and for so many incidents. You know the students that are having a difficult time; they are disciplinary issues in your classroom, they are the frequent absences, they are the students who push your buttons and they are also the students who are confused, defiant and sad.
It is not easy to know how close a student is to exasperation. You cannot know what their home life is like or what struggles they are dealing with. In 90 minutes, we are trying to deliver content, information that students need to know. There are up to 30 students in your class, we try to maintain classroom management and we are busy and do not see the signs. Sometimes those signs are just not visible. Teaching takes an emotional toll on us as teachers because we care and because we have so many students that come through our doors. So many different lives. I always try to be kind – you may be the one person who extends that understanding or kindness. You just never know. I speak to each and everyone of my students during class, I check on their work, I call them by name, I make eye contact, I compliment and high five their effort and achievements and when they exit my class I tell them what a great job they did and high five them! It is these little gestures that help build a relationship with your students. Positivity is contagious and making people feel good is just a good habit. We cannot do everything – but we can try! Trying is practice and that is the only way we can improve ourselves and maybe influence our students. I didn’t mean to go this route when I started but it was on my mind and this is where it went 🙂 As teachers we are one of the most consistent relationships a student can have and we might be able to really be there to be supportive of them! (This is why I want my classroom to always be a calm place of learning and a safe place that is harmonious and interesting… 🙂 )
I just wanted other teachers to be aware that there are so many other things going on in our classrooms than just education and while students are in our classroom, we need to be aware and to be sensitive to their unspoken needs.
Best wishes, be
I’m excited for 2018! Every year my daughter and I make New Year’s Resolutions, except for last year… we didn’t think that it made a difference! It does make a difference! We write goals; personal, financial and far reaching! We hang them up on our closet wall behind our clothes and don’t look at them until the year is over – just because we get busy, we forget! At the end of the year when we take a look at them, we always manage to complete at least 80% of our goals! There are so many things I want to accomplish for 2018! Writing goals down, places them in your brain – you’ve given it thought and it is there working for you – even if you don’t realize it!
Taking stock of where I am has helped me become a better person. It also requires me to take a look at myself and be honest. Is this the direction I want to be going? How can I make my life easier or better? For a long time I free floated – meaning I just ended up wherever, I never wanted anything. I was a passive person making sure that the needs of my family were met. I learned that wanting is not a bad thing, its not selfish or a guilty notion. I learned that wanting means I could make plans, I could continue to work hard but with a purpose – goal making became an important part to improving myself. I learned too that by wanting I could make my life better. There is a good feeling, sense of accomplishment to do the things that we set out to do – no matter how small 🙂
Cheers to you and your New Years!