Hey there colleague,
Here's what I've got for your consideration as we head into the weekend.
- In case you missed it, on Wednesday I published “Why Is This So Hard? On Workload, Pressure, and the Ways through the Woods.” The piece is an attempt at articulating what's been going on in a lot of us since school started. I explain how simultaneous increases in workload and pressure are basically the perfect duo for spawning unexpected conversations about early retirement and career switching. I also suggest practical next steps for those who, like Dawn, “don't want to go out like this.”
- Speaking of Dawn, she and other colleagues from around the world have made the comments on Wednesday's post a worthy read in their own right. Lots of earnest, thoughtful professionals writing in with great honesty and clarity. After reading these, I felt the “in this together” vibe that so many marketers (and too few politicians and talking heads) have been trying to attach their brands to for the past few months. Highly encouraging. Read them.
- “Things That Help: Venting in a Vacuum.” This post is the first in a small series I'll run of things that have helped people to reduce pressure or reduce workload. It made me smile to write it, and it is very brief. I've pasted below for your convenience.
- “Things That Help: Go Home Early One Day to ‘Work from Home,' but Instead of Working Climb Into Your Bed and Pull the Covers Up to Your Chin and Sleep Like a Child.” Because sometimes, all you really need is a title.
- I can't believe I'm writing this, but I've been posting to Twitter. I never understood the medium until a month or two ago when writing longer posts became a big burden. I purely use Twitter to generate thinking in one of two ways:
- Right after teaching for the day, I search my mind for a short insight that could fit in a tweet or two.
- Prior to leaving for the day, I capture unfinished thinking that I'm sure I'll lose track of. As a rule, I don't use Twitter at home at all (literally can't access it from my devices), and I don't check my stream or whatever it's called. Why? Because I don't want to become addicted to it at home and because normally when I check the random stream, I become pretty hopeless about the future of education. When I do read on Twitter, it's because I've searched for someone specific (e.g., Jim Burke, Matthew Kay) and want to see how and what they're doing and thinking. Anyway, if that kind of writing from me sounds interesting to you, check it out.
I hope I've made good on my mission to reduce our stress and improve our effectiveness in these two recent contributions to the audio world.
- “How to Humanize Your Classroom So Kids are Known, Valued, Respected, and Safe” on the Truth for Teachers podcast with Angela Watson. Angela is deep waters and this was a good time. We recorded it in August before I had started school, but I think it still works. My favorite discovery in the conversation with Angela was the phrase “partnering with reality.” That's important.
- “Time management for Teachers” on the On the Right Road radio program with Paula Phillips. I didn't know Paula before this but, boy, am I glad to now. You know how people can sometimes see sound and hear color? Synesthesia I think it's called? Talking with Paula kind of forces you to see bright skies and peaceful pastures. What an earnest and friendly spirit. We really focused on content in These 6 Things, so if you enjoyed that book, you'll appreciate the episode for that reason, too. This was my first time being live on the radio, I think, so my children listened along… for about two minutes, and then they said it got boring. (Hahaha. I love my children.)
Here's a spot I've been leading PD that you can access for free, no matter what you teach:
- World Language Teachers Summit: This one is 100% asynchronous. I recorded a twenty-minute segment for them on student motivation in the world language setting, and you can access that as soon as you register. Register here.