World Kindness Day Giveaway #smallactbigimpact

I don’t know about you, but I think if ever there was a time for a little extra kindness, this is IT! Kindness boosts our connection to one another, helps soothe our anxiety, and brings about a sense of psychological safety. Let’s mobilize kindness and make a big impact, together, one small act at a time!

-Morgane Michael

This year, I’ve decided to do an open-ended Kindness Invitation, that can be adapted for use in the primary, middle-school, high-school, or even hybrid classes. Educators can choose a quick and easy approach, or opt for an in-depth kindness inquiry.

It’s going to be a 5-day event centred around #worldkindnessday, starting Friday, November 13th. Please follow me over on Instagram to join in the challenge and feel free to invite your friends!

How to Participate in the Challenge

  1. Follow me on Instagram! Morgane Michael @smallactbigimpact. If you don’t have social media, feel free to do your own challenges using the links in this blog post and share your activities with me via email.
  2. Invite your students to accept the invitation. They can use the Kindness Pledge and initiate as official Kindness Ninjas (from @joysofkinder) or they can simply join the challenge.
  3. Read the daily challenges to your students-comment, tag others to join, use the hashtag #smallactbigimpact and don’t forget to tag me in your comments/photos/examples (make sure your posts are public so I can see)!
  4. Participate in all 5 challenges (tagging me and linking the hashtag, too) and you’ll enter to win a prizes at the end of the challenge! I’ll choose a winner by the end of November.
  5. Spread the love and kindness to your school, workplace and community!

The 5 Day Challenge (a sneaky-peek for you planners out there;)

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

Allie Apels and the Kindness Ninjas

I recently had the amazing Allie Apels of @joysofkinder on my podcast to discuss the transformative power of her brainchild “Kindness Ninjas” Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program in her kindergarten class (#kindnessninjas).

Essentially, a few years ago, when Allie was faced with one of the most challenging groups of children she had ever taught, she and her teaching partner (yes, there were two teachers allocated to one class due to the high level of needs), came up with a brilliant way to encourage the development of a kind and supportive classroom. They introduced a kindness ambassador: the kindness ninja. Every day, leading up to Christmas break, Allie and her class would be greeted by the kindness ninja who would leave them notes and various random acts of kindness missions.

She explained that the experience was completely transformative. The class came together as a team and that year wound up becoming one of Allie’s favourite years as a teacher.

Kindness Ninjas Inquiry Workbook and Teacher Guide

The amazing Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt (author of Inquiry Mindset) and Allie Apels teamed together in the spring of 2020 to bring to life an amazing Kindness Ninjas Inquiry Handbook. The link to the booklet and teacher guide can be found here. This is a terrific accompaniment to this 5-Day World Kindness Day giveaway!

Here’s a look back to our 15-Day Kindness Challenge last fall, 2019. There are a ton a wonderful ideas there that you could incorporate into this 5-day invitation.

For extra links to some of the pre-recorded Kindness Ninjas videos for inspiration, HERE’s A DIRECT LINK TO THE YOUTUBE VIDEOS-in FRENCH & ENGLISH 

21-Day Kindness: The Physically-Distanced Edition

When Covid-19 first caused many of us around the world to go into lockdown and to run our classrooms from our couches, it occurred to me that the 21-Day Kindness Challenge would need a little Covid-friendly revamp. So…I created 21-Days of Kindness, choice-board-style.

There is an awesome list of challenges for kindness to others, kindness to the world, and kindness to self. Take a look, some of the ideas could work well for the 5-day invitation.

Ep. 89: How to be “Teacher of the Year” (With Kayla Dornfeld)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Kayla Dornfeld is the 2019 North Dakota Teacher of the Year, and Mrs. West Fargo International. Kayla is a two-time (2017 and 2018) Global Hundred honoree, recognizing her as 1 of the top 100 innovative educators in the world. The New York Times named her “one of the tech-savviest teachers in the United States”.

She has 13 years of teaching experience in second and third grade. Kayla holds her master’s degree in Elementary Education from the University of North Dakota. In September 2018, she received the University of North Dakota Sioux Award, the highest honor of achievement offered by her University.

Governor Doug Burgum has recognized Kayla for her contributions to education in North Dakota, and assigned her a chair on North Dakota’s Innovative Education Task Force. 

She has been recognized as both an “ISTE Influencer” and “HarperCollins Publishing Influencer”. Additionally, in March 2018, she was named 1 of just 30 “All-Star Digital Innovators” in the United States by PBS. Who’s Who in America has also awarded Kayla for her contributions to education by publishing her biography.

Kayla frequently travels around the United States and other countries as a featured and keynote speaker. She has delivered hundreds of keynotes, one of note being at Twitter Headquarters. On July 23, 2015 she delivered her first TEDx Talk, Reimagining Classrooms: Students as Leaders and Teachers as Learners

Her work with classroom redesign and flexible seating has become the standard worldwide. She is currently writing a book about classroom learning spaces and flexible seating, titled FlexED: Flexible Seating for Flexible Learners, set to release in 2020. She is also a co-author of the best-selling book Education Write Now, published in December 2017, and 10 Perspectives on Learning in Education, coming out in December 2019.

You can connect with Kayla on all social media platforms @topdogteaching, and her student led social media accounts @topdogkids.

 

21-Days of (Physically-Distanced) Kindness

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As we make preparations to move back into the classroom in British Columbia, tensions are high and people across sectors are scrambling to accommodate back-to-work orders in a physically-distanced, Covid-pandemic era.

I’ve been scouring the internet for ideas that will enable me to continue supporting my students’ online learning and Social Emotional Learning, while attempting to prepare to provide loving, caring, and educational in-person learning opportunities within the physical school building.

While I am still on the hunt for wonderful physically-distanced group games and community building activities, I know that creating an environment of kindness and empathy is essential to helping all of us feel psychologically safe at a time when so much feels uncertain.

When we are in stress, cortisol blocks our ability to connect meaningfully to one another. Our social connections have been proven to be central to our well-being as human being. One of the ways that we can counteract the negative effects of cortisol is to be kind! Oxytocin (the love hormone) is released when we’re kind to one another, which decreases our stress levels.

Co-regulation is our ability to convey calm emotions and state of mind just by modelling it. Because of the way that our brain architecture works, all of our emotions are contagious. Back in the caveman days, our mirror neutrons helped us to pick up on danger signals by interpreting the facial expressions, vocal tone, and body language of those around to determine whether we were in safety or danger.

In order to foster a calm, happy classroom environment, it will be helpful for educators to model that calm and joyful energy so that we can co-regulate with our colleagues, administrators, the parents, and, most importantly, our students.

I’ve created 21-Days of Physically-Distanced Kindness that I thought might be a helpful first step in creating a happier online or in-person classroom experience.

Here is the free google-doc for your use. Please feel free to use it, share it, and adapt it (just make a copy). It offers 7 ways to be kind to yourself, 7 ways to be kind to others, and 7 ways to be kind to the world.

Also, I’ve recorded a few Covid-specific episodes for your listening pleasure:

  1. Dr. Shimi Kang : Healthy Heartfelt Habits for the Covid Crisis
  2. Dr. Jody Carrington: Not Today Corrrrona! How to survive the pandemic while working from home, balancing kids, and trying not to lose your mind.
  3. Trevor Mackenzie: Distance Learning Through Inquiry
  4. What to do with a Problem: A reflection from me to you about how to lean into the tough emotions you might be feeling and to come out the other end without self-judgement.

 

Marble-Jar Trust (Brené Brown)

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Photo by Skitterphoto on Pexels.com

When starting up the year, I often refer to Dr. Brené Brown’s brilliant concept of the Marble Jar. Imagine that the trust in each of the relationships in your life is represented by a marble jar. At it’s core, Brené (yes, like most humans my age, I would like to imagine that we are on a first-name basis), explains that trust is built in the micro-moments, the seemingly insignificant moments of interaction. 

Relationships are build on trust. We can deposit marbles and build up our sense of trust or withdraw them and degrade that sense of trust through our interactions. When someone is able to make more deposits than withdrawals, generally, we trust them.

Trust can be deposited through:

  • asking for help,
  • receiving the generosity of others,
  • giving without recompense,
  • contributing constructive and helpful feedback,
  • designating and maintaining clear boundaries,
  • being capable and reliable,
  • owning your sh*t, being a vault,
  • choosing courage over comfort,
  • practicing non-judgement,
  • standing up for someone through integrity
  • and creating a generous narrative about others

She also makes a note about not confusing real trust for counterfeit trust. Real trust isn’t always easy to build. Integrity is a big part of creating a sense of trust. Being a chameleon, someone who changes depending on the surrounding political and social environment does not elicit a sense of trust from people. Gossiping is the worst kind of counterfeit trust, because as much as it hot-wires fake connection, it erodes the deep sense of trust within a relationship (and can often ripple outward to the climate at work or school).

#smallactbigimpact #kindsight101

 

 

Commit or Quit?

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There are four statements that super-entrepreneurs, Chase Jarvis and Chris Guillibeau suggest you should consider before you commit or quit a current endeavour. Quite often, we’re scared of quitting…of being branded as non-committal, of giving up before the getting is good.
It turns out that quitting is important. Our resources (time, money, attention) are often finite, so the more we engage with, the more fractured our capabilities become.
So, think about your current endeavour in relation to these 4 statements. It’s kind of like choose your own adventure…
You love it and it’s working.
  • Best case scenario…keep going!
You hate it and it’s working. 
  • This can be tricky. Ask yourself what can be changed about either your expectations or how you can bring more joy into your current endeavour. Even if something makes you a lot of money, it may not always make for a happy and fulfilled life.
You love it and it’s not working.
  • How can you find a way to serve the audience better or how can you reconcile what isn’t working with the fact that you love this endeavour as a hobby? Sometimes, it can be as easy as rebranding what we thought we were hoping to achieve. If it’s just a hobby…it really doesn’t owe you anything.
You hate it and it’s not working.
  • This seems pretty clear, right? Find something else ASAP and ditch the gig.

*”working” can mean making money, making impact, or enabling you to have more freedom

Ep. 90: The Dope Educator (With David Jay)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Featured on Access Hollywood | Instagram @thedopeeducator | I inspire | Educator | Speaker |

This teacher has found a way to get his fifth graders pumped up for learning: He challenges them to create their own handshakes.

David Jamison, a language arts teacher at Hickory Ridge Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee, memorized the individual greetings from each of the 75 students he teaches.

Classes are separated into groups of three and Jamison greets every student with their unique handshakes

“It increases that bond with the students,” he told “Good Morning America.” “When you have that kind of relationship with a kid, they don’t want to let you down because they know you love and care for them.”

Shelby County Schools shared a video of the handshakes on Twitter, where its been viewed 20,000 times.

“I was overwhelmed,” Jamison said of the viral attention. “That was the key to spread more positivity.”

Jamison, a father of one, said it’s his third year teaching and he’s done the handshakes each year.

It takes Jamison about a minute to do the handshakes with each group. It’s followed by “Do Now” classwork, where the kids get right to work practicing a lesson they learned the day prior.

The one with the most innovative handshake wins a prize from Jamison. This term’s winner will be announced next week, he said.

 

Follow him on Instagram at @thedopeeducator

 

 

Not Today Corrrrrrrona! (With Dr. Jody Carrington)

 

CarringtonJody_18_428-768x1152Dr. Jody Carrington (child psychologist and author of Kids These Days) talks to me about the Corona Virus pandemic and what we can do to get a grip during this uncertain rollercoaster ride.

Listen as she outlines how we can:

-navigate the topsy turvy disruption in routine and the world as we know it
-create the illusion of proximity through remote connection (since we’re all wired and hungry for it)
-overcome the overwhelm and bring ourselves back to joy
-rise above the “chippiness” in our relationships… “now is not the time for a divorce!”
-engage in self-compassion practices that help us to avoid comparison and self-judgement

We are all just walking each other home. As long as we’re ok, the kids will be ok.

Keep your eyes open for the educator follow up to Kids These Days this fall, as Dr. Jody Carrington teams up with the amazing Laurie McIntosh when they release their new book

OFFICIAL BIO

Over the past 15 years, Dr. Jody Carrington has assessed, treated, educated and empowered some of our most vulnerable and precious souls on the planet. She is a child psychologist by trade, but Jody rarely treats kids. The answer lies, she believes, in the people who hold them. Especially when kids have experienced trauma, that’s when they need big people the most. Some of her favourites include educators, parents, first responders, and foster parents. Jody has shifted the way they think and feel about the holy work that they do.

Before Jody started her own practice and speaking across the country, she worked at the Alberta Children’s Hospital on the inpatient and day treatment units where she held families with some of the difficult stories. They taught her the most important lesson: we are wired to do hard things. We can handle those hard things so much easier when we remember this: we are wired for connection.

This all started when Jody received her Bachelor of Arts with Distinction from the University of Alberta. She completed a year-long internship with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police during that time, and worked along side families struggling with chronic illness at the Ronald McDonald House. She received her Master’s degree in Psychology at the University of Regina and completed her PhD there as well, before completing her residency in Nova Scotia.

Her first book, Kids These Days: A Game Plan for (Re)Connecting with those we Teach, Lead & Love, came out in 2019 and sold 20,000 copies in just three months. It is now on Amazon’s Best Sellers List.

 

Healthy Heartfelt Habits for the Covid Crisis (With Dr.Shimi Kang)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Child psychologist, Dr. Shimi Kang (author of The Tech Solution and The Dolphin Parent) explains how to navigate this uncertain times during the Covid-19 pandemic.

We cover a lot of ground and here are a few ideas she shares with us:

-the three mindsets to avoid in order to ward off post-traumatic-stress disorder

– learning how to bring out contribution in those around you and how kindness is a psychological superfood

– the three things to keep in mind as you talk to kids about this pandemic

– how you can navigate the difficult feelings associated with grief

– how tech isn’t all bad: the three c’s of healthy tech that will alleviate the guilt you might feel as you rely on tech to work from home

Dr. Shimi Kang

Dr. Shimi Kang is an award-winning, Harvard-trained doctor, researcher, media expert, writer, and keynote speaker who specializes in how the mind works. She provides science-based solutions for innovation, leadership, wellness, and resilience. Her expertise lies in the neuroscience of mental health, addiction, motivation, relationships, and optimal performance. Dr. Kang has spent over 20 years researching, treating, and working with people from all walks of life.

Dr. Kang is the author of The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids (Penguin Random House 2014) and The Self Motivated Kid (Penguin Tarcher 2015). The Dolphin Parent is a #1 National Bestseller and The Self-Motivated Kid won the 2015 US News International Book Award in the Parenting and Family Category. Her books have been released in 12 countries around the world and her newest title, The Tech Solution, will be available in August 2020!

 

 

Yes or No? The Surprising No-Fail Decision Metric from Marie Forleo

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The amazing entrepreneur, podcast queen, and super-star self-development personality, Marie Forleo just came out with the terrific new book, Everything is Figure-outable. Back in the fall of 2019, she broke down the steps on getting your compass straight with Chase Jarvis on his podcast show:

  1. Ask yourself: “When I think about doing this project or saying yes to this opportunity, do I feel expansive or contracted?”
  2. Moving your body helps to get clear about your feelings too. There is infinite wisdom in your body and it will show you how you feel if you tune-in, so pay close attention. Go for a walk or a run and continue asking yourself until you get clear.
  3. If you feel deep down that the opportunity feels constricting… don’t do it. If the nervousness is still present, but you feel like the situation will feel like an expansion… go for it!
  4. Expansive is exciting. The contraction feels like a pit, the sinking feeling… trust the little voice.
Trust your innermost wisdom. You know in your heart what to do. No one knows what’s right for you more than you do. Don’t ask for advice. Listen to that intuition.
#smallactbigimpact #kindsight101 #intuition #fear #decisions #podcast #teachersofinstagram #education #business

 

Ep. 88: Girl in the Garage (With Sharon Hughes)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Sharon and I discuss how to overcome perfectionism, how to set realistic goals, how to overcome the tough stuff in your life, and how to support those going through difficult challenges.
Hope you enjoy!

What you believe about yourself dictates everything about your life; your success level, your perceived failures, and your quality of life.

Are you struggling with perfectionism, people pleasing, and believing you’re not enough? Do you feel like a failure despite your successes? Do you have a video playing over and over in your head of something that broke your heart? Are you living in shame of your shortcomings? Are you stuck in unhealthy relationships?

Do any of these sound familiar?

WHAT IF YOU COULD…

  • Let go of the past, so that you can heal and move forward?
  • Accept your uniqueness, so that you feel more confident?
  • Learn to make decisions based on your core values, so that you trust yourself?
  • Set healthy boundaries, so that you have relationships that feel good?
  • Forgive yourself for your past mistakes, so that you can love yourself?

HOW WE’LL WORK TOGETHER & COURSE DETAILS

 

In this 8 week course I’ll personally walk you through each step. This is a live, private coaching program.

  • Week 1 – We identify what’s got you stuck. We “clean out” your purse from the junk you’ve been holding onto. (the lies)
  • Week 2 – You decide who you’ll be when you let go of the past and create a new vision for yourself.
  • Week 3 – We talk about your thoughts, triggers and managing your emotions.
  • Week 4 – Define your values and deal breakers.
  • Week 5 – How to create confidence and feel good in your skin
  • Week 6 – How to practice self grace
  • Week 7 – We focus on your purpose and unique gifts
  • Week 8 – We put it all together and choose what you want in your purse!From the desk of Sharon Hughes’ :

“I understand first hand how hard it is to break unhealthy mindset patterns and to believe you deserve more.

I suffered through years of silence, hiding the shame of what I’d been through, until I realized I didn’t have to believe the lies anymore and that I deserved to be free, happy and loved.

Identity coaching is about helping you uncover what you believe about yourself and taking steps to stay in truth, while letting go of lies.

Some of the things I went through are; an abusive past that included physical/emotional abuse, abandonment, homelessness, parental abduction and date rape. Yeah, it’s a lot…but I made it through these dark times and so can you.”

I’m a certified Life Coach and certified in Critical Incident Stress Debriefing/Management.

You don’t have to struggle anymore, there’s help and there’s hope.