Favourite Mantras for the Classroom

I was inspired to create this post after hearing an episode of Barbara Gruener’s Corner on Character  podcast episodes.

One of her guests talked about the power of mantras in helping to form a positive and encouraging classroom culture. I loved the idea. While I have strong values, I haven’t always articulated these into classroom mantras so that kids could hear how much I love, appreciate them, and how we can train our brains to overcome the tough stuff- the dips in life.

So, here are a few of my favourite mantras for the classroom. I hope you’ll share some of your own with me, too!

  • I am surrounded by greatness!
  • I am full of gratitude!
  • Don’t give up, don’t give in, there’s always an answer to everything.
  • There are no mistakes in art!
  • I loved you before you even showed up.
  • Listen to your heart; it will never let you down.
  • Kindness is better than getting your own way.
  • Fail gloriously!
  • Judge less, love more.
  • Do it and forget it.
  • It’s not what you do, it’s what you don’t do that counts.
  • You write the ending to your story.
  • There’s always something to be grateful for.
  • Start each day with a grateful heart.
  • If you can say it, you can write it.
  • You can do this!
  • I believe in you!
  • I am so proud of you!

What are some of your favourite mantras?

E 66 – Choose to Rise (With Janelle Morrison)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2We all have those moments, real life crashes that provide us with an opportunity to choose fear or choose to rise above the adversity and find a way to move forward. What does it take to be a real hero?

How can we learn to rise above our circumstances, teaching our students to do the same, while balancing an attitude of self-compassion and patience?

In this episode, I talk with Janelle Morrison, an ultra marathoner and educator who beat the odds recovering and racing again 2 years after a devastating crash landed her in the ICU in a coma with a broken bones throughout her body.

You’ll hear the surprising thing she learned about self-compassion and what it takes to be a true hero.

We talk perfectionism, heartbreak, and overcoming adversity and how we can help our students to become their best selves while holding onto a sense of unconditional acceptance of themselves no matter their situation. You can learn more about Janelle on janellemorrison.com.

Also, take some time to view the film documenting her recovery and journey.

Hope you enjoy.

– You’ll learn how to rebuild after a crash.
– Some practical ways that we can choose to rise.
– You’ll learn advice for setting powerful goals that strike a balance between being audacious, healthy and realistic.
– We talk about the power of hope and fear in propelling us forward.
-We talk about the three essential questions everyone needs to ask themselves during a crisis of identity.
-We explore the secret to stopping your own limiting thoughts and behaviour in order to realign yourself with your goals and vision.

The Power to Choose.

#choosetorise
[1]: http://www.janellemorrison.com
[2]: http://www.janellemorrison.com/documentary-film/

 

Shame vs. Humiliation vs. Guilt vs. Embarrassment (Brené Brown)

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Have you ever wondered what the difference between shame, guilt, humiliation, and embarrassment are?  Often we use these words interchangeably, but Dr. Brené Brown has so beautifully described the difference between the 4 terms:

  • Shame is “I am bad”  Shame is a focus on self. Imagine you’ve worked really hard to prepare a presentation with a coworker for an important staff meeting. One of your responsibilities was to prepare the powerpoint. You forget to save the file onto your computer and, as a result, your coworker is disappointed. If you feel shame, your immediate thought pattern is that you’re a bad person. “I’m the worst co-planner ever. I am such a loser for forgetting that powerpoint.”
  • Guilt = “I did something bad”  Guilt is a focus on behavior. If your self talk is : “ahh. I can’t believe I did that.  That was such a crappy thing to do,  I made such a poor choice not to back up my work!”  That’s guilt.

Our self-talk really matters and often frames the way we move through our relationships. Shame is highly correlated to aggression, addiction, depression, suicide, bullying, eating disorders, whereas guilt- the ability to separate who we are from our actions-without degrading our worth.

Guilt is inversely correlated to these same outcomes.  So, it’s much better for our mental health to focus on behaviour, even when we’re speaking in jest about ourselves.

  • Humiliation. With humiliation results in the same physiological response as shame except that you don’t believe you deserve the treatment:  sweaty palms, wish that the ground would swallow you up, wanting to make yourself small, nervous laughter… Dr. Brené Brown uses a school example:

A teacher is handing back papers and one of the students doesn’t have their name on the paper and the teacher calls the kid stupid:  If that child’s self-talk is “that is the meanest, most nasty teacher ever, I didn’t’ deserve that” What that child is likely experiencing is humiliation. As a parent or caregiver- I’m going to hear about that when the kid gets home- because they’re going to be angry and hurt and want to share it.  If the child’s self talk is immediately “ ugh. She’s right, I’m so stupid, why do keep forgetting to put my name on my paper, I’m so stupid,”  Thats shame.”

  • Embarrassment-it isn’t rooted in shame, is often funny and fleeting, and it doesn’t make you feel alone (it’s usually some universal human experience). Just think of that time that you put your sweater on backward and the tag was sticking out for the better part of an afternoon lunch with friends. Once you realize your mistake, it could leave you a little red-faced, but you know deep down that it’s human and that other people have done the same.

Shame is not funny.

Shame leaves one feeling alone and isolated.

E 64 – The Keys to Resilience (With Dr. Jacqueline McAdam)

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

How do we become resilient?

Why is it that people who have endured generations of hardship, famine, and war (in places like Kenya, Nairobi, and Rwanda) are more psychologically resilient than many individuals living in the developed world?

Join me as we uncover the secrets of resilience during this special conversation with Dr. Jacqueline McAdam.

Dr. McAdam is the founder of Resilient Generations, a social enterprise based in Canada with a specific focus on Africa which seeks to help unemployed youth in Africa, increase the diversification of the employment market for youth, and increase trade from Africa.

Dr. McAdam is a professor, coach, speaker in the area of developing resilience.

In this conversation, you’ll learn the three keys to resilient people as well as simple ways to build your resilience and that of your students.

You can find more information about Dr. McAdam and her work at Resilient Generations.

We also discuss:

– The difference between hope and despair
– Luck vs preparation
– How to foster psychological safety for our students
– The surprising nature of choice
– Resilience in the context of protective factors vs. risk factors
– The three P’s of resilience (Martin Seligman)
– Roots of Empathy
– The power of gratitude

Prepare to come away inspired!
https://resilientgenerations.ca/

 

 

Anxiety vs. Presence

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(Picture Courtesy of Amber Rae @heyamberrae on Instagram)

So, it’s that time of year, again.

Frenetic pace.

Anticipation of summer. Deadlines and due dates.

All pistons are firing.

The banality of lunch-making has reached epic proportions. I would rather barter 3 weeks of delivering our garbage to the curb, than pack another blessed lunch kit!

I don’t know about you, but I often feel restless about the change in routine. Transitions get me every time. They sneak up on me like a shadow in the sun. I forget how much I struggle, but lurking close behind is the restlessness of something not-quite-right.

My husband kindly reminds me that every year the transition from school-year to summertime shakes me up. I guess, like most educators, I’m a creature of habit.

So, I thought I’d share this graphic because it resonates with me.

Anxiety can often be derived from an obsessive focus on what’s next. Needing the certainty in an uncertain future.

The alternative?

Presence. It’s simple but not easy. When I feel a sense of restless discontent that I often associate with transitions, the best thing for me to do is to get still. Dialing back into the “now,” with a sense of observant presence is what can deliver us from anxiety and stress within the context of transitions.

So, whether you’re like me or not, I wish you a mindful June…a month when more than ever, you might just benefit from carving out some intention time dedicated to tuning back in YOU!

#kindsight101 #smallactbigimpact

E 63 – Inspiring a BE KIND Culture (With Roman Nowak)

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

Ever wonder what the key to engagement for your students can be?

How can connection be the key to achievement for our students?

How do we tear down the incorrect beliefs we have that other teachers are perfect?

Roman Nowak is a highschool teacher in Rockland, Ontario, Canada. A veritable kind of kindness, he hosted the #BEKINDedu chat on twitter with Eli Casaus and now hosts the #buildhope chat, has a blog, and makes kindness his mission.

You’ll learn some actionable ways to infuse kindness into your daily practice as a teacher and practical ways to build positive class culture.

You won’t want to miss this inspiring conversation with Roman Nowak.

You can find him at mrromannowak@wordpress.com
Books we talked about:

– Culturize (Jimmy Casas)
– Kids Deserve it (Adam Welcome)
– Teach Like a Pirate (Dave Burgess)

How to Build Trust in Hostile Environments

Building Trust in Hostile Environments

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Pexels.com

A friend of mine, who works in a factory-type workplace, took it upon herself to be a little innovative. She realized that the 2-component job she was doing was inefficient. Everytime she attached the fabric to the frame of a piece of furniture she was making, she was losing time picking up and putting down different tools. So, she decided to batch her work. She’d build 10 items, then switch tools and continue the second component of the job. She shaved minutes off the process and felt very successful. Except, a company like this values automation, rule-following, and process over innovation and creativity. The floor supervisor walked by her station and immediately lost his mind on her. What was she thinking going outside of the confines of the pre-determined process? He went straight to his supervisor, who then reprimanded my friend. Finally, after lunch, the issue was brought up once more in front of the other employees, stating weakly that they didn’t want to “single anybody out.” Right…My friend felt the eyes of her disapproving coworkers watching her throughout the meeting and felt flushed with shame.

When we think of the way we deal with students and the manner in which they often deviate from the processes we establish in our classrooms, how do we respond? Does that response contribute to or sabotage an environment of trust and creativity?

Dr. Darryl Stickel is a consultant who works with world-renowned organizations to develop trust. In fact, his favourite work is building trust in hostile environments.

He outlined some key rules that any leader can use to foster a sense of trust and three key qualities that foster trustworthiness.

Every leader has three levers at their disposal that enable trust within the organization. Here are the qualities and the questions you can ask to evaluate whether you are using these qualities as effectively as possible:

  1. Ability – Are you capable in your job? Do people trust in your abilities to get the job done?
  2. Benevolence – Do you have people’s best interests in mind and do they believe it? Do you think about the needs of the people you serve or do you think first of advancing your own mission and goals?
  3. Integrity – Does your behaviour reflect the values you hold dear? Are your actions consistent with your beliefs? Do you follow through on your promises?

Trust is the willingness to make yourself vulnerable to another party when you could choose to do otherwise and when you cannot be certain that they will act in your best interests.

People often base trust off of the balance between perceived uncertainty (How likely am I to be harmed?) and perceived vulnerability (How badly will it hurt?). If you can decrease the risk in both of these areas for the people you serve, the higher the trust will be in your organization, school, or classroom.

When I think about my friend, her trust in the organization for which she works is rock bottom. How can you increase the trust people have in you? Start asking some of those important questions.

 

E 62 How to Build Award Winning School Culture (With Hans Appel)

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

How do you build a culture at school that truly reflects values rooted in belonging, kindness, and celebrating the innovative capabilities and individualism of each student?

In this episode, we talk about going beyond the limits of the 21-century model of education to create school cultures that value the individual and celebrate kindness. You’ll learn specific strategies that can positively shift your school culture and actionable tips for encouraging excellence.

Hans Appel is a counselor at Enterprise Middle School in Washington State, which just recently won the 2018 Whole Child Award for Washington State, the 2018 Global Class Act Award for Kindness, and is now a finalist for the PBIS Film Festival for a video on their award winning culture. Hans is also a blogger, supervises a student-led podcast and loves all things kindness in creating positive school culture.

You’ll learn the three questions every staff should be asking themselves to align themselves to their culture.

You can find Hans on awardwinningculture.com or by seeking him out on social media.

How to Recalibrate After a Crash

 

How to Recalibrate After a Crash.

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Photo by nappy on Pexels.com

What do you do when you’ve hit rock bottom? Everyone goes through transformative, life-altering events that have the power to change the trajectory of your life forever. How you respond to the hardships is what determines your character. Whether you’ve suffered a loss, received a devastating diagnosis, experienced divorce, or gone through challenges that have pushed you to the brink of your sanity, we all need a roadmap to help us find our footing after a big crash.

I recently spoke to the amazing ultra-marathoner and pro-athlete, Janelle Morrison about her journey recovering from a car crash that left her body broken. By the way, she recovered to race again. She now has a newfound sense of self-compassion and a rejuvenated appreciation for life. She offered a simple approach that anyone can take when faced with difficult times and I wanted to share it with you.

Here are three questions to ask yourself that will transform your journey and help you to bounce forward, embracing the new you!

  1. What’s the opportunity within the challenge? Within every hardship is the opportunity for growth, self-learning, and transformation. The faster you are able to lean into the gifts of the experience, the less pain and resistance you’ll feel during the experience. Easy to say? Sure. Although it’s hard to practice this thinking, it truly is the key to freedom.
  2. So what, now what? What are you going to do now? What (micro) action can you take to propel yourself forward?
  3. Finally, ask yourself: Who am I? What do I need right now? You heart always knows. When you can quiet your thoughts and the “shoulds,” clarity comes more readily.

My hope is that you incorporate it within your work as an educator for your own benefit, but also for the benefit of your students.

 

 

E 59 – Trauma, Meat Trays, and Bottom Hands Only

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If you want to make a big impact on those around you, to truly make positive change in your school, workplace, and community, check out this game-changing episode with the one and only, Dr. Jody Carrington!

In this episode, we talk about trauma, ways to connect with the kids in our lives, and some of the ways we can take care of ourselves along the way.

Jody is a passionate believer in the power of the relationship with the people
we love, lead, and teach. Her favorite thing on the planet to do is to speak with
educators – they have the power to change the trajectory of a life every single day.
It is time, she believes, that we need to start focusing less on Kids These Days, and
more on those of you who hold them. The core of everything she speaks and writes
about comes down to this: We are wired to do hard things. We can do those hard
things so much easier when we remember this: We are wired for connection.

Jody Carrington is a clinical psychologist, mom, wife, author, minor hockey coach, and game changer. She grew up in rural Alberta and was inspired by a teacher, way back when, to pursue a career in psychology. She received her undergraduate degree (with distinction) from the University of Alberta, and her Masters Degree and PhD from the University of Regina, in Saskatchewan, Canada.
After completing her residency in Nova Scotia, Canada, she spent ten years working at the Alberta Children’ Hospital on the Mental Health In- and Day Treatment Units in Calgary. After having an (impressive) three babies in two years, she and her (lucky) husband Aaron moved to rural Alberta, where they currently live. There she runs a small private practice, is growing her business of changing the world, and raising her sweet babes.

You can find her on social media by searching Dr. Jody Carrington (and join her on Facebook/Instagram Live on Sundays at 8pm CST) or at www.drjodycarrington.com