Showing posts from October, 2017

Lessons From a Swan

It’s hard to believe that October’s amber-toned days are almost gone. Well, at least in some ways, perhaps. Hopefully, we’re keeping an eye on ourselves and restocking our reserves as we make our way through the year’s business. Otherwise, we could be eyeing the calendar skeptically instead of surprisingly. October’s Dear Teachers essays celebrated our people- everyone who helps us along the way. November’s focus? One of the key reasons why we need those people: our inevitable struggles. This beautiful image of Marlene’s really spoke to me. She captured both power and clean balance. As I was sitting with this photo, I happened to watch a show where the main characters were swimmers- their practices were integral to the show’s message. The cool underwater camera angles mirrored this shot to such an extent, I had to write about it. I saw a message for us all. Yes, we can’t eliminate drag completely. However, some of our struggles are self-induced and these can be well withi

Collaborate and Grow

It’s a soggy morning filled with drips and plops and heavy skies. The remaining leaves, in vibrant hues, are shining valiantly beneath leaden clouds. We’re not quite to the time of year when the trees look as they do in this gorgeous shot, but we’re getting there. Last week I wrote about the essay that’s attached to this photo in Dear Teachers . In October’s theme of people, we sometimes need to sit and listen to ourselves- alone. Other times, we need the help of others. My twitter feed was filled this week with this blog titled This is what teachers need: Smiles and Love by Chris Dyson , a head teacher in a primary school in the UK, posted on Viv Grant’s leadership coaching site, . I liked how he gave examples of what he has done to reduce teacher stress. And why: “Stress = worry. Worry = anxiety. Anxiety = no risks. No risks = boring lessons. Boring lessons = lack of inspiration. Lack of inspiration = a negative experience for the s

Comfort from Solitude

October’s essays all deal with people and how we influence each other. First, ourselves. Week 5 reminded us of all the work we do to prepare our lives, with reminders that things might not go according to our ideals. Week 8 challenges us to really walk our talk, whatever that might be, and encourage the same for others. Let's celebrate our diversity instead of freaking out over whether we're filling some image of "perfection" or not. The photo's quote is pulled from that essay and the image is an early one that inspired me to start writing it. Then, widening circles of influence spreading outward away from us: family, friends, coworkers, students, administrations, local communities, state, national and worldwide. Week 7 asks us to remember our flight crews. Rely on them. Grow them to support you even more. Until now, I’ve skipped over Week 6. We need Week 6 when we find ourselves struggling with the results we’re experiencing in Weeks 5, 7 and 8. Time

October Optimism

As we go through our days encouraging others, let's remember the same goes for us. We work. We try. Sometimes we "fail". There's always a harvest, though. We can always achieve something if we keep going back into the field to harvest. I'm still preparing.... I wrote this one when there was a ton of chaos in my life. I was trying to console myself as much as others. I had a vision that wasn't fitting with the reality before me or the future that I could take if I dared. I’ve discovered recently that my reaction is probably a result of my turbulent nature. I wrote about it today on my blog and titled it Owning Our Turbulence . By owning who we really are, we can build on it from there. The UK organization @HealthyTeacherToolkit, is focusing on optimism for the month of October. Here’ a link to their starter blog #OptimismOctoberHT . I loved the graphic they used so I’ve shared it as well. We can gain optimism by thinking about our inner gifts