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📣📣 Resource Alert!!

Browsing Twitter today, and I came across a tweet by @VirtualGiff.  Jen Giffen is known for her repertoire of awesome educational technology resources, and today she shared a resource created by @meagan_e_kelly.  Meagan's website, i-heart-edu.com has some great resources that she creates and shares, but the resource I came across today is one that will aide our students with mindfulness.

Meagan is a classroom teacher 🍎 and she has created a set of calendars using Google Slides.  She has a weekly academic calendar to track assignments and projects, she created a monthly academic calendar, and a weekly project planning calendar (designed for goal setting), but her mindfulness calendar is the one that drew me in!

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With this calendar, students are given suggestions for mindfulness, such as going for a walk, giving people compliments, going to bed early and even using no tech for a day!  I love all of Meagan's suggestions, and students have them listed in the first slide so they…
Recent posts

We Need to Talk

I had quite a serious talk with my daughter this weekend about mental health.  The topic of suicide was broached, and she was curious.  Reflecting on it now, I am so happy that I was able to have such an open conversation with my thirteen year old.  Mental health is a topic that we don't talk enough about - and when I say "we", I mean society.

Unfortunately, I have known people who decided to end their life in this tragic way because they were struggling so hard with their mental health, that it seemed like the only way out.  We, who are left here on this earth  are left with an abundance of questions when we try to make sense of it all.  Questions and "if only" statements - and I am pondering whether the biggest "if only" is something that we can change, and hopefully save lives by doing so.

"If only we talked about it."

So often when we hear about someone being depressed, or that they took their own life because of depression, and our react…

It's Okay To Treat Yourself!

I challenge you, during this wretched time of year for teachers, to do something good for yourself.

Between the stacks of marking, the report card comments, the prepping of final exams, wrapping up year end awards and parties, planning graduations of all kinds, and just, in general, being a teacher in May and June, I challenge you to treat yourself and be good to yourself...you deserve it!

Let's take a look at what that can look like.  I offer to you my list of ways I have treated myself over the years in order to maintain some sanity in the last few weeks of school.

1. Spa it up! 
Run a bubble bath one night with some nice salts, bubbles or anything of the like.  Remember to lock that door so as to not be disturbed, and be sure to light some candles and put on your favourite playlist and RELAX.

2. Cook your favourite meal.
Have you had a craving for that one savoury meal that just puts a smile on your face?  Stop by the grocery store on your way home tonight (leave the marking), an…

My Self-Care Strategies

Lately, the topic of wellness has been a prevalent one among myself and several of my colleagues and peers.  This world in which we live can deal us incredible highs, and what may sometimes seem like insurmountable lows.  With so many strings pulling at us each day and multiple stressors and factors that play a role in our lives daily - sometimes we just need help, and that is OKAY.

Recently, several people I know have been struggling to find their happy place, myself included.  I don't know if it is the weather here in western Canada (we have had a ton of snow fall recently, along with low temps), or if it seems like the perfect storm of personal and professional matters, but the question, "What do you do for self-care?" seems to have come up a lot lately.  I have been thinking about what I like to do for self-care, and what I could do more of in times when I am feeling like I could use a little more of it.  This is what I came up with:

1. Unpack your feelings.
Sometimes t…

Unlocking Teacher Wellness Through Awareness, Agency and Connection

I have to be honest, the thoughts of wellness at work haven’t always been at the forefront of my mind.  
I actually remember being a young teacher who took tremendous pride in arriving at work so early that
I needed to disarm the alarm and leaving only when the night caretakers were finishing their duties.  I
remember looking back at it and thinking of this work ethic as (a) a necessity (b) an acceptable level of
dedication (c) a badge of honour. I suppose in some respects, I was right on both fronts. I needed to work
the long hours to hone my craft and be best prepared for my students and I am certain my colleagues and
principals took note of my endless burning of the midnight oils.  However, as ‘right’ as I was, I had obviously
overlooked a concerning blindspot, emotional wellness.
Things started to change for me when I stepped into a school leadership role.  All of a sudden, I was faced
with difficult professional conversations on topics revolving around ‘workload,’ ‘stress’ and ‘w…

We Are Longing for Stories

Last night I was watching the Oscars with my family - a tradition we have.  We like to fill in our own ballots and then wager a bet on who will have the most correct winners on their ballot. 

As I watched Rami Malek win for Bohemian Rhapsody - a movie I truly enjoyed - I was fascinated with his acceptance speech, and something in it struck me.  He said:

"I think about what it would have been like to tell little bubba Rami that one day this might happen to him and I think his curly-haired little mind would be blown," he said. "He was struggling with his identity, trying to figure himself out. And I think to anyone struggling with theirs, and trying to discover their voice: Listen, we made a film about a gay man, an immigrant, who lived his life just unapologetically himself. The fact that I'm celebrating him and this story with you tonight is proof that we're longing for stories like this." When he said, "we're longing for stories like this", I r…

Napa for Wellness

Recently I was lucky to attend, and present at the EdTechTeam Napa Summit.  This year's Napa Summit was surrounded around wellness, as well as educational technology for the classroom.  It was such a different vibe, and the reception from people who attended was a positive one.So many participants commented on the wellness piece, saying that they enjoyed having it as a focus because so many educators don't necessarily prioritize it. 

My sessions were focussed on the teacher and the student.  In each of my sessions, I had a diffuser running with essential oils to create a relaxing, calm atmosphere.  I also had lights dimmed in the room.  So many people commented on the environment - so that meant we were off to a good start when it came to talking "wellness".  In my first session, we talked about self-care for teachers.  The discussion was fantastic, as it revolved around what we can do to make our space, our routine and our priorities "well".  I asked, usin…