Sunday, November 6, 2016

Inspiration for a RECHARGE!

It’s November. The newness of the school year is wearing off, markers are drying out and summer PD seems decades ago. Daylight is getting shorter and darkness sets in sooner.  The first half of the school year is winding down, and it often seems that this is the time of year that educators start to feel the mid-year “blues”.   

It’s time to reset and recharge!  You deserve it!

I reached out to some of my role models and friends in education and asked them what they do to stay motivated through these times.  Hopefully you’ll find their advice as useful as I did!

Seek Out Positive People
When days seem tough, Jennifer Hogan (@Jennifer_Hogan) said she recharges by being around positive people. Jennifer will also seek out people who may need help and assist them.  Tia Holliman (@Ms_Holliman) agreed.  Being out of the office/classroom and around others simply keeps her grounded. Whether it’s visiting classrooms or chatting with colleagues, this time allows you to reset your mind frame.
Takeaway ~ Don’t give in to the negative feelings or surroundings.  
Seek out those who lift you up.  Better yet - lift others up!

Bobby Dodd (@bobby__dodd) shared that talking with family and like-minded friends who will provide helpful feedback and advice is important when going through times when you need to make decisions or have things on your mind. This post was actually inspired because of the people I know I can reach out to talk to during my “tough” days.  
Takeaway - Build your PLN with people like you; those who share your vision,
those who you respect and look up to, those who “have your back.”

Stay Focused On Your Goals  
Every one of us set goals whether they be personal or professional.  Jennifer Hogan stresses the importance of staying focused during these trying times.  Keep working towards the goal and don’t let setbacks derail you! At times we may have to reassess and reset goals, but never quit!  This Eric Thomas (@ericthomasbtc) clip was sent to me and helps me stay focused!  

Takeaway - Never lose sight of what’s important to you.  
Keep working towards your end goal.  Keep up the grind!

Celebrate Small Victories
Derek Oldfield (@Mr_Oldfield) feels that the best pick-me-up for him is when he is able to celebrate and acknowledge others.  Derek writes handwritten letters to staff members and students to let them know how much he appreciates them and what they are doing. Rikki McCormick Lowe (@DrRikki908) does the same with her staff!  She’ll send notes or surprise someone with candy just to let them know that she is thinking of them.  
Takeaway - Celebrate with your students and staff.  
Celebrate the small victories and show others you care and notice!

Be WITH Students
Why did you choose education as a career?  The students, right?  When times seem rough, get back to you “why” - engage with students.   Jacki Prati (@Jacki_prati) goes into her kindergarten and first grade classrooms when she needs a pick-me-up. “I just take in the magic that occurs in those rooms."  Tim McDermott (@Tim_McDermott1) agrees, being in classrooms is one of the things he enjoys most.  Whether it’s elementary or high school, or in between, being with students and talking with them is a true day brightener!
Takeaway - Take a few minutes each day to interact WITH students, not just TO them.
Go back to your “why” of becoming an educator.

Laughter is the best medicine!  We all know that - so find ways every day to connect with others; students, colleagues, your PLN, your family and LAUGH. Share a story or just reflect on the silliness of an event, but enjoy the time with others.  As Sean Gaillard (@smgaillard) said, “Laughter is the divine voice. It adds years to your life!”.  Jacki Prati loves laughing with her staff when things get too crazy!  Tia Holliman looks forward to times she can clear her mind, be around others and simply laugh!
Takeaway - Find joy in others - take time to laugh!  Live life to the fullest!

As educators it is important to stay up to date and in tune with what is going on in the field.  Both Bobby Dodd and Tim McDermott shared that they often turn to books, blogs, research and podcasts to help them reflect.  Many educators have links to wonderful blogs and podcasts through their personal sites.  Reading is a great way to grow as an educator so ask for a recommendation and be sure to share one when you can!
Takeaway - Stay current in the profession. Take time to read and reflect.

Take Time For Yourself
It’s true, we love what we do, that’s why we do it, but it important to have a personal and professional balance. Jon Harper (@jonharper70bd) stresses the importance of finding a passion and enjoying that fully - sometimes that even helps build relationships with students!  Jon also finds that it is important to keep a healthy family/work balance.  Sean Gaillard shares that his love of music keeps him going.  We all need an exit of release to be able to go to - so whether it's art, cooking, exercise or music, find something you enjoy and take some time for yourself.
Takeaway -  Educators shouldn’t feel guilty about disconnecting
and spending time with their loved ones.  We’re human too!

Almost every one of the educators I asked for input from for this blog stated the importance of self reflection!  Remember your “why” and reflect upon whether or not you're still striving and working towards this every day. Reflect on your daily/weekly practice.  What do you need to better yourself? How can you better grow your students and staff?  Be sure to highlight the positives in your journey during your reflection.  Celebrate small victories!  Encourage and motivate others - you've got this!!
Takeaway - Take the time to reflect on yourself and your practice.
Celebrate the positive and the good in your journey.

OVERALL TAKEAWAY - YOU deserve the best!  Take care of yourself.  

Follow these wonderful EduSUPERSTARS that gave their great advice and input!  
Bobby Dodd - @bobby__dodd
Sean Gaillard - @smgaillard
Jon Harper - @jonharper70bd
Jennifer Hogan - @jennifer_Hogan
Tia Holliman - @Ms_Holliman
Rikki McCormick Lowe - @DrRikki908
Tim McDermott - @Tim_McDermott1
Derek Oldfield - @Mr_Oldfield
Jacki Prati - @Jacki_prati

THANK YOU - I am beyond GRATEFUL for each of you!!!

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