What I’m doing to care for myself. Join me!
As the year comes to a close and summer approaches, be sure to make time to care for yourself! What are your favorite things to do? Here are a few of my healing practices! Podcasts, belly breaths, and dancing oh my!
I just finished listening to Unlocking Us with Brene Brown, specifically her two part conversation with Susan Cain: Part One and Part Two can be found here. A beautiful conversation about honoring all of our emotions! Watch Susan Cain’s TedTalk here. I’m finding bittersweet to be the perfect emotion to explore as this school year comes to an end!
The close of each year brings a bittersweet feeling to most, but I see so many of us simply focusing on survival at this point. With that in mind, a closure to the end of this school year may be more important than ever as we aim to recall the joyful moments (they really were there!), learn from the struggles, and eventually create a plan to forge ahead in a healing and restorative way.
What I’m Reading!
Teens today are forty percent less empathetic than they were thirty years ago. Why is a lack of empathy—which goes hand-in-hand with the self-absorption epidemic Dr. Michele Borba calls the Selfie Syndrome—so dangerous? First, it hurts kids’ academic performance and leads to bullying behaviors. Also, it correlates with more cheating and less resilience. And once children grow up, a lack of empathy hampers their ability to collaborate, innovate, and problem-solve—all must-have skills for the global economy.
In UnSelfie Dr. Borba pinpoints the forces causing the empathy crisis and shares a revolutionary, researched-based, nine-step plan for reversing it.
The good news? Empathy is a trait that can be taught and nurtured. Dr. Borba offers a framework for parenting that yields the results we all want: successful, happy kids who also are kind, moral, courageous, and resilient. UnSelfie is a blueprint for parents and educators who want kids to shift their focus from I, me, and mine…to we, us, and ours.
In Teaching with Poverty in Mind: What Being Poor Does to Kids’ Brains and What Schools Can Do About It, veteran educator and brain expert Eric Jensen takes an unflinching look at how poverty hurts children, families, and communities across the United States and demonstrates how schools can improve the academic achievement and life readiness of economically disadvantaged students.
Jensen argues that although chronic exposure to poverty can result in detrimental changes to the brain, the brain’s very ability to adapt from experience means that poor children can also experience emotional, social, and academic success. A brain that is susceptible to adverse environmental effects is equally susceptible to the positive effects of rich, balanced learning environments and caring relationships that build students’ resilience, self-esteem, and character.
Drawing from research, experience, and real school success stories, Teaching with Poverty in Mind reveals what poverty is and how it affects students in school; what drives change both at the macro level (within schools and districts) and at the micro level (inside a student’s brain); effective strategies from those who have succeeded and ways to replicate those best practices at your own school; and how to engage the resources necessary to make change happen.
Try these great free resources to help reduce your and your students’ anxiety during testing time and beyond!
Mind Body Medicine Guided Practices (videos run from 3 – 20 minutes)
Series of videos by Dr. James Gordon, founder of The Center for Mind Body Medicine.
The video modules here directly address trauma- induced biological damage and its psychological consequences. The techniques you’ll learn are the antidotes to the fight- or- flight, stress, and freeze responses. They reestablish broken brain connections and promote the healthy integration of thoughts and feelings. They revive functions that have been compromised – memory, focus, self- awareness, judgment, emotional intelligence, and compassion. They will free you from the loop of hopeless, self- defeating thoughts that bind you to trauma.
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