Be Well and Healthy – For Teachers

be well and healthy

I received some good feedback from the last post about being kind to yourself. One aspect that people focused on was the physical health part. I ask every guest I have about things that they do to keep the well and healthy and I have noticed some trends.

Physical Health

I have noticed that many people I have spoken with struggle with finding time and motivation to be physically active. Some strategies they use are having a dog that needs to get out and getting a group together to engage in physical activity together.

Another way people engage in physical activity is by using technology. George Couros recommended the app Aaptiv that he uses. Dr. Suzanne Squires uses the app 7 Minute Workout by Wahoo. Although he didn’t mention it in the interview, Dr. Dean Krielaars spoke about his use of Garmin watches (specifically the Fenix 5X) to track physical movement. When I spoke with Andrew Milne from #slowchathealth we pretty much stayed on this topic and how it relates to students and teachers then entire conversation.

Personally, I am find using apps and programs effective in keeping me motivated and expanding my bank of workouts. Some of the physical activity apps I use are:

Mental Health

Anther aspect the people often talk about is their mental health. Again there have been many different strategies shared with me by my guests. A few ensure that they have time with their family everyday with technology. Other meditate or practice mindfulness. Still others make sure they have a social visit or gathering each week.

I am very conscious of family time without tech and feel like this has a strong impact on the relationships I have with family. I also use the app Headspace. It is one of the few apps that I subscribe to yearly. I feel like when I go a while without using it, I am easily distracted and excitable.

Take Care of Yourself

I think taking care of ourselves as educators is really important. Our students depend on us and if we are not there, the relations isn’t either. It is also important to remember that we treat other as we treat ourselves, so take care of yourself. You are worth it.

Want to listen to some of the interviews I have done with others about education and teaching? Visit the Intersection Education website for all episodes. You can also subscribe on the device of your choice here.

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Be Kind to Yourself

be kind to yourself

We treat others as we treat ourselves.

I have seen this over and over again as a truth.

You are beating yourself up about something you did? Others feel it.

You are down today? Others will know.

They know because it changes how you treat them.

This becomes particularly important when you work with kids as they don’t necessarily understand why you are treating them less well.

What do we do? Well, don’t beat yourself up more… Be kind to yourself. Take care of yourself. Do one small thing that makes you feel good about yourself.

This might mean buying yourself something nice, but I have found that this is not always the best approach. Instead, make a decision or do something that make you proud to be you. Make a positive choice that reflects the person you want to be or person you aspire to be.

What might this look like?

  • Getting in some fitness.
  • Practicing mindfulness.
  • Putting down your phone and taking time to talk to an important person in your life.
  • Not buying something that don’t need.
  • Creating something to share with others.

Be kind to yourself, because we treat others as we treat ourselves.

The Importance of Technology

the importance of technology is not the thing, but what it helps us do. (1)

If you are like me, you can sometimes get caught up in a debate with others around what is the “best” tech tool. Depending on the person and the setting, these conversations can go on for a long time. I was engaged in a similar conversation the other day and stopped myself. What I has suddenly remembered is that the tool really doesn’t matter, what is important is what the tool helps us or students do.

At times in education, we forget the the things we do support the development of our students. Whether is be technology, strategies, relationships, extra-curricular involvement, or food programs these things exist in school for the purpose of the betterment of the student so that they can be come well-rounded adults who have knowledge and skills. How we get there can matter, but usually the small differences don’t… Like whether you are writing an essay on a PC or a Mac.

Let’s take that example to show you what I mean. Whether you are writing an essay on a PC, a Mac, or a Chromebook is unimportant. Why? Because chances are these pieces of technology will be obsolete in the next few years. The programs will look radically different to that point that the particular knowledge of that system is useless. On the other hand, the act of writing and the being able to clearly communicate our thoughts in the written form, that will endure. This is why the tech is less important than what is can help us experience.

If we take this a step further, what might be powerful for developing the skill of writing is leveraging a system that allows for more meaningful feedback, that allows a student to track their progress in a piece of writing over time and to share this writing with others so that they can contribute to a larger debate. These are all system neutral, meaning we can do them on almost all platforms.

In short, I think we need to focus more on what a piece of technology contributes to the overall skill development and the student/teacher experience, and less on the brand name on the side.

Sharing Learning for Better Schools

sharing learning for better schools

I am convinced that if we share more of the good things that are happening in our schools and the learning that we believe will make our schools better, that others can learn from us. When the people I follow have made themselves vulnerable by sharing the professional development that they have been engaging in, when they share the “ah-ha” moment that they think will make their school a better place for learning, when they share the article that has made them think, I am grateful and I learn too.

This is why I have ventured down the path of sharing my learning and seeking out new learning with others through a podcast over the past 6 months. I have been fortunate and privileged to speak with some amazing educators and non-educators who have shared insights into how we might make teaching and learning better for all.

I call this project Intersection Education and will get into why I called it this in another post. For now, please check it out. Listen, visit the website I have created for the episodes and let me know what you think by sending me a message on Twitter.

The more we share, the better we will all get at meeting the complex needs of our students.

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