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Summer Plans

I recently read an article in Education Week, 3 Things You Can Do This Summer to Be a Better Teacher in the Fall.  (You must log in to access article, however you can access three articles each month without a paid subscription.)  In this article, Elizabeth Stein writes, “There are three universal things that all educators can do to be a better teacher in the fall.”  In this article, She first discusses practicing mindfulness. 

“When a person is mindful, he or she is present in the moment, fully aware, and accepting of his thoughts, surroundings, and situation as a part of the natural process of experiencing life.  Mindful people are observant and responsive—not reactive. Instead of judging people or situations, they accept them. This state of awareness holds special value for teachers. It keeps us taking care of ourselves despite our busy schedules and long list of responsibilities.”

Practicing mindfulness is new to me.  However I understand the value of this practice, especially as an educator, as mindfulness helps one focus on acceptance of both self and others.

The second suggestion is for teachers to read, reflect, and plan.  “Kick back and read for a balance of personal and professional reasons. Some reading should be for pleasure. Other reading should have a direct impact on your professional goals for the upcoming year. Make sure to connect how these readings will apply to your vision.”

I am currently reading Teaching to Strengths (Zacarian, Alvarez-Ortiz & Haynes) and preparing for a book club I will facilitate beginning next month.  This book will guide myself and the book club members to understand students who have experienced trauma, violence, or chronic stress.

Finally, Ms. Stein encourages teachers to connect, collaborate, listen, and share.  “Effective teaching is a social, collaborative, teamwork-focused process. Summer is the perfect time to create or expand your professional learning network (PLN). Connecting with colleagues from your school, district, and community is powerful.”

I am able to connect with many educators through the LINCS Communities of Practice.  If you are not currently a member of a group, please consider joining! In Delaware, we also use Schoology as a means of sharing information.  I am also attend several professional development opportunities this summer.  These face-to-face events provide in person opportunities to connect, collaborate, listen, and share.

So, colleagues, do you any of you practice mindfulness?  If so, how do you feel this practice adds value to you as a teacher?  What are you reading?  What suggestions do you have for others?  How do you connect with other educators – LINCS, Twitter, FaceBook?

Please share your thoughts!

Jeri

 

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