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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, using an Answer Garden , "What would make your space one that makes you happy?" and I received some great responses:

Later in the session, we did a Padlet to share and brainstorm ideas for self-care and wellness for ourselves in the classroom.  I loved all the ideas shared, and it was fantastic to see what people are doing to take care of themselves.  Erica B. said that she likes to fiddle, "I try to find time to at least play one song a day.  If I can play more and practice for half an hour or more - great - but trying to play every day is really important to break up my day!  It's even better when my 5 year old will dance or play along!"

Melinda Holy takes care of herself, and others, "I read by myself, I do yoga, I take time to have fun with my children rather than always being the disciplinarian. I talk with others about their struggles and help others as much as I can. I try to brighten someone else's days through kindness when I am having a rough day. "

There were so many other great shares from cuddling up in bed for 20 minutes alone when you get home from work, snuggling with puppies, spontaneous travel and baking and crafting.  We determined in this session that if we don't take care of ourselves, we won't be in a good space to take care of students.  

The final half hour of our 90-minute session was spent painting.  I brought small canvasses for everyone to paint a reminder that they could keep in their classrooms to look at to remember to stay focussed on themselves and self-care.  Everyone was so relaxed and zen during this time.  I really enjoyed that as a presenter, I could go around, chat and get to know some people.  I think I would definitely keep this as part of this session.



At the end of the Napa Summit, so many people expressed how they appreciated the stress-free environment we tried to create as presenters.  I loved it.  I always enjoy connecting with other educators, but being able to talk about wellness and share my BeWellEDU.com blog with them was a definite highlight.  

Take care of yourself.
#BeWellEDU

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This is my beautiful daughter, Ava.  She is on the verge of so many changes in her life - she turns 13 in April, and she is in her first year of junior high.  She makes me happy.  She also inspired this post.  Recently, she was texting with a boy and she showed me the texts, at one point she asked him, "What makes you happy?"  He responded by saying that nobody had ever asked him that.  I felt both proud, and sad.  We all should have someone ask us that and mean it.  I was proud that she was truly interested in the answer, and she made him feel good and likely put a smile on his face.  He went on to respond with a list of things, and then asked her for her list.  What a great little conversation for two 12 year olds. 

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