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

 

 

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

 

 

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

 

Am I a Storyteller?

It was in Grade Two when I first had the audacity to create an after-school writing club with a handful of friends.
Audacious, because my teacher believed that although I showed hints of “potential,” my story craft was evidently pretty weak.
Every week or so after the final bell rang, my little crew and I would race onto the bus, walk the 1/2 mile of gravel road to my front door, plunk ourselves down at my kitchen table, and we’d begin.
I think in hindsight that the others came for the snacks. I bumbled through that year with the unwavering belief that I was a storyteller.
Soon, with advent of a few strong personalities and notable events in my life, that belief transformed into doubt. I began curating my contributions and took on the role of observer.
The truth is that until recently, I’ve rushed to the punch-line, unable to own my slice of the limelight.
Not long after my children were born, I tuned back into the little whispers and the deep restlessness I felt.
I began writing.
It wasn’t “good” but it was my voice. Clarity and passions emerged… ideas… interests.
My joyful observation and curiosity then pushed me to start a podcast.
I am honoured to listen to the stories of countless people and delight in connecting them to my own, to the narrative of common humanity that runs through all of us.
Now, I have been delighting in creating workshops for educators around creating belonging, and I understand the engaging power of story.
I am have stepped back into the belief that I am a storyteller.
How about you?
I’d love to hear your story of how some of this content has changed your viewpoint.
#kindsight101 #smallactbigimpact #teachers

 

Listen ~ Silent

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Listening starts with silencing yourself, quieting the desire to respond,
and truly leaning-in with the intention of developing a deeper understanding.

It turns out WORDS and SWORD also share the same letters.
Think on that for a minute.

#smallactbigimpact #kindsight101 #beimpeccablewithyourword #wordsmatter #silent #listen #empathy #kindness #understanding

Ep. 85: Love is Medicine (With Monique Gray Smith)

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Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud Mom of fifteen year old twins. She is an award-winning, best-selling author and sought after consultant. Some of her books include: Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation, You Hold Me Up, What Fills My Heart with happiness, and Tilly and the Crazy Eights. Her books remind the reader of the power of the human spirit and that love is medicine. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience. We explore the concepts of

  • istening to your intuition,
  • being patient in allowing success to happen in a slow way,
  • the power of gratitude,
  • the gift of cookie people in our lives,
  • and how to give a heartfelt territorial acknowledgement that doesn’t just “tick the box.”
  • You can find Monique Gray Smith by typing her name in google.

Monique believes in the strength and resilience
of Indigenous peoples worldwide.

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Monique Gray Smith is a proud Mom of fifteen year old twins. She is an award-winning, best-selling author and sought after consultant. Monique’s first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature.

Since then, Monique has had 5 books come out, including Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation. Speaking our Truth has won numerous awards, is a a Canadian Best Seller and a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

It continues to be used across the country as a tool to educate the hearts and minds of both young and not so young readers. Monique’s latest release, Tilly and the Crazy Eights is an adult novel about an epic road trip that reminds the reader of the power of the human spirit and that love is medicine.

Monique is Cree, Lakota and Scottish and has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 28 years. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.

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

 

What If We Had User Manuals for People?

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Dr. Adam Grant suggests that we should all get clear on what makes us tick in order to play better with others. 

What if we issued user-manual that made it easier for people to work with us? It’s almost certain that conflicts and misunderstandings would decrease and productivity would increase.

That’s exactly what Dr. Adam Grant decided to do, after receiving some negative feedback from members of his team. He decided that it would be helpful for those around him to provide him with some specific feedback about his strengths and his blind spots.

It turns out that the user manual was a brilliant document that enabled people to interact with Grant in an effective, productive manner. Many people and companies have adopted this strategy in their businesses and organizations.

What if we took this approach with school? It’s possible we could do this with our colleagues, with our students, even with our administration to amplify connections.

Here’s how you can start.

Part I:

Here are the questions that Dr. Grant suggests you should reflect on the following three questions:  ask when creating your own personal User Manual:

  1. What are my strengths? How can someone bring these out in me?
  2. What are my weaknesses? What tends to bring those out?
  3. What are some of my “bright spots” (the spots that are strengths I might tend to see)?

Part II:

Think of 5-10 people who work, live, and play alongside you and ask them to answer some questions about you. These should be you genuinely like and trust. You could send out a google doc or a quick email to see what comes back.

  1. Reflected Best-Self: Ask 15-20 colleagues to contribute stories of times when you were at your best.
  2. Next, analyse the stories and find common themes. What activates my being at my best?
  3. Ask these colleagues to reflect on the following questions about you:
    1. What are my blind spots?
    2. Triggers that bring out the worst in me?
    3. What do you wish you knew about me when we first started working together?

Take all of this information and put it into a one-pager that highlights your strengths, stretches (with triggers), and ideal communication style.

 

Written by Morgane Michael #smallactbigimpact #kindsight101