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.
Judge less, love more.
Do it and forget it.
It’s not what you do, it’s what you don’t do that counts.
We 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.
Picture for a moment, your ideal student. As Dan and Chip Health counsel us to do in their ground-breaking book The Power of Moments, fill in the following sentence with what makes sense to you:
Three-to -Five years from now, my students still know_____, are still able to do _____, or will continue to find value in _________.
Great teachers or mentors manage to maintain high expectations for their students, expressing the knowledge they have that their students will be capable of meeting those high expectations, and that if failure should come knocking, that they will be there to support the recovery.
When we are able to stand alongside a student with our unwavering belief in them, great things can happen. Students can develop an enhanced self-insight and self-worth that will serve them forever.
“I expect you to do X and I believe you have the power, intelligence, and ability to do so. I will be here alongside you should you need my guidance or support. I believe in you more than you know!”
What do you want your students to come away from your class knowing or being able to do? How might this apply to your role as the parent of your children?
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 email@example.com
Books we talked about:
– Culturize (Jimmy Casas)
– Kids Deserve it (Adam Welcome)
– Teach Like a Pirate (Dave Burgess)
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:
Ability – Are you capable in your job? Do people trust in your abilities to get the job done?
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
So what, now what? What are you going to do now? What (micro) action can you take to propel yourself forward?
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.
What do business and generosity have in common? How does someone grappling with their own mortality bounce forward stronger than ever, with a newfound understanding of what matters in life? How do we teach what truly matters to our own children through our honest modelling?
In this very special episode, you’ll meet Ruban Rebalkin, a loving father, husband and the Owner and operator of Tumblebums (a local toddler playcentre business that saved my sanity on numerous occasions when my two were little.
I invited Ruban onto KindSight 101 because his story of resilience, courage, and faith is inspiring to anyone-parents, teachers, humans alike. He overcame some of the most challenging circumstances when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer with a baby daughter, bounced forward, and continues on to pay-it-forward to the community through the work that he does serving families. He provides hope for those going through dark times and does it with grace and humour. This story has the power to shift a person’s perspective on what matters in life and the importance of generosity in creating community. You can learn more about Ruban by searching Tumblebums online. Hope you enjoy our conversation!
I’ve often wondered what the difference is between those who are able to bounce forward from adversity versus those who get bogged down by their challenges. I recently stumbled upon the work of Martin Seligman, the “grandfather” of positive psychology. He states that there are three keys to resilience (that can be taught) that contribute to a more positive outlook on life.
Personalization “It’s all my fault” – Someone who encounters difficult times may tell themselves the story that they are to blame for the hardships they endure. Resilient individuals tend to recognize that challenges are part of life and not their fault. Do you often find that you blame yourself for the hard knocks? What if you depersonalized your struggle?
Permanence “I will always feel this way. Things will never change”- Despair is the belief that things will always be the way they are. Hope is the belief that there will be a better tomorrow. When you believe that your circumstances can change, you develop a more resilient mindset. Tell yourself: “This is temporary. This will not last forever. I can get through this tough period.”
Pervasiveness “Bad luck always happens to me” – Pervasiveness in the context of resilience is the belief that bad luck will permeate every corner of your life and that you are predestined to be a victim to it. What if you challenged the notion that challenges permeate every aspect of your existence by seeking out the good. Gratitude practice is a great way to counter the negative effects of adversity. What’s good right now?
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!
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