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    The Proper Care and Feeding of Your Emotional Brain

    Every colleague I have talked to recently looks tired. Maybe it’s the weather? Maybe it’s the flu virus going around. These winter months can be tough. In fact, most of my conversations with teachers these days focus on their emotional states or moods. We talk less about instructional practice and more about resilience and well-being. A [...]
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    Why Self-Compassion Is More Important Than Self-Esteem

    “Being human is not about being any one particular way; it is about being as life creates you—with your own particular strengths and weaknesses, gifts and challenges, quirks and oddities.” —Kristin Neff    A few days ago I sat down for a coaching session with an anxious new teacher. As she discussed her initial teaching [...]
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    How to Leverage Your Stress for the Good

    “I’m so worried!” “Are you stressed out”? Posts by frightened and frazzled humans flood the internet these days. The current political climate certainly isn’t fostering a general state of calm. Is there anything new to say about stress—especially at this time? Well … yes, there is. A friend of mine recommended Stanford health psychologist [...]
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    Why Can’t We All Just Get Along? Four Factors to Consider

    I just finished reading a lean, practical, and user-friendly book to enhance my coaching, facilitation, and general “getting along”(?!) skills. In The Coaching Habit, Michael Bungay Stanier describes what he calls the “TERA quotient” for increasing people’s level of engagement with you at work. Drawing from neuroscience, he claims that there [...]
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    It’s Not as Bad as You Think: Three Strategies for Challenging Your Thoughts and Retraining Your Brain

    • This [event] shouldn’t have happened, and… • It’s terrible that it did, and… • I can barely handle it, and… • Somebody here needs to be called out or reprimanded because of it. Is it me? Is it you? What a screwed up world we live in that this should happen. Can you think of a time when one of these thoughts passed through your mind? [...]
  • Seven Strategies for Managing a “Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day”

    Marsha Linehan, the founder of dialectical behavior therapy, created an acronym to guide us through moments of distress—or “terrible, horrible, very bad” circumstances. The goal behind the acronym is to develop a skill set for tolerating events and challenging emotions when you cannot immediately change the fact that, for example ... your [...]
  • Positive Psychology in the Classroom: Five Ways to Create a Stronger Learning Community

      A pioneer of the positive psychology movement, Martin Seligman, claims: “Psychology should be just as concerned with building strength as with repairing damage.” Seligman’s words ring true for educational professionals. A warm, strengths-based approach, promoting high expectations in the classroom, is the antidote to negative [...]
  • Three quotes to remember when you struggle with … a person, a situation, or the world, in general

    Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom. —Victor Frankl Powerful, right? Although I sometimes have trouble accessing this elusive gap in time, I find this quote inspiring and motivating. It moves me to remember to [...]
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    Two Free Tools for Increasing Self-Awareness and Leveraging Your Strengths (Who am I? + What am I good at?)

    As a teacher educator, I have been preparing materials for a communication and conflict resolution workshop at the end of this month. My workshop curriculum has evolved over the years, and I am convinced that a primary focus on specific (and somewhat prescriptive) conflict resolution strategies isn’t always the best use of participants’ time. [...]
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    Your Desk Drawer: What’s in It for You?

    I’m having a little trouble getting adjusted to this new season (and school year). My summer was simply too glorious, and I still feel like hanging out at home with the novel I’m reading (Euphoria by Lily King), a blueberry scone, and a cup of chamomile tea. There are also a few television shows on my Netflix list that are calling out to me. [...]

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