Monday, December 10, 2018

COMPELLED: Week 14 - Loyalty


Welcome to week 14 of a 15-week series where I share quotes, examples, and/or stories about 15 of the characteristics that I believe are demonstrated by Compelled Educators everywhere. 

I hope you will share your favorite quote or story each week in the comments below. You can also leave a comment on the Compelled Educator Facebook page



I really like this definition of LOYALTY on Urban Dictionary: (Words in italics are added by me.)

1. Making something or someone a priority and doing so in small and discrete but meaningful ways.
     As educators, we should be working to build positive relationships with students and others. These relationships take time and consistent effort on our part. 

2. Staying true to someone or something even when other things call attention.
     Being an educator is the best and hardest job in the world. It's easy to get caught up in the busyness of our work, but loyal educators will keep the main thing the main thing. 

3. A way of showing support for a person or thing.
     While it's easy to show support for the easy-to-love, compelled educators find ways to support ALL students.


“If put to the pinch, an ounce of loyalty is worth a pound of cleverness.” 
– Elbert Hubbard


Billionaire Sam Zell values loyalty and asks these questions:
  • Do you stick with your friend, colleague, or partner when it’s not easy? 
  • Do you consider their circumstances as much as you consider your own?

How do the questions above translate to what we do as educators? We must be loyal to students' needs and circumstances, doing all that we can to support their work and dreams. Additionally, we must be loyal to ourselves, making sure that we are our best selves for others. 


“I don’t care a damn about men who are loyal to the people who pay them.” 
– Graham Greene


In what other ways do educators show loyalty?
What other questions would you add to Sam's that are listed above?


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Monday, December 3, 2018

COMPELLED: Week 13 - Enthusiasm


Welcome to week 13 of a 15-week series where I share quotes, examples, and/or stories about 15 of the characteristics that I believe are demonstrated by Compelled Educators everywhere. 

I hope you will share your favorite quote or story each week in the comments below. You can also leave a comment on the Compelled Educator Facebook page



Enthusiasm as an educator is passion that grows from deeply connecting with one’s work. Enthusiasm for a subject matter is not enough, and enthusiasm for students is not enough (in my opinion.) There must be enthusiasm for students, content, and for connecting the two through engaging lessons. 

There is much research that points to the positive effects of a teacher's enthusiasm, especially towards the intrinsic motivation of a student. A teacher's enthusiasm is contagious and social, and students are more likely to be curious and interested. 

Here are some reflective questions to ask yourself about enthusiasm:

  • How do people stay enthusiastic during adversity?
  • What behaviors must be modeled to demonstrate enthusiasm?
  • What do great leaders do to build enthusiasm?
  • What leadership mistakes dampen enthusiasm?
  • How does perfectionism impact enthusiasm?
  • The opposite of enthusiasm is _______. Why? 
  • How do you sustain enthusiasm?
  • How does being enthusiastic help you? Others?
  • What would you say to someone who thinks that being enthusiastic is just too much trouble?

Want to be more enthusiastic? Here are three ideas that are simple, but not necessarily easy. 

1. To become more enthusiastic, act more enthusiastic. This was the number one rule from former baseball player turned salesman, Frank Bettger. He wrote the book, How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling.

2. Avoid negative people and negative thoughts. Enthusiasm is contagious. A person's energy shows up before he even speaks. Curb negative thoughts by choosing not to dwell on things that can't be changed, and choose to forgive yourself when you make a mistake.

3. Take care of your physical health. This includes diet and exercise. Avoid too many sugary and fat-laden foods, and be sure to stay active. 

If you find these suggestions to be hard to do, enlist an accountability partner or coach to help you. Reach out to me on twitter, and/or share your journey with the hashtag #CompelledEd.


"Enthusiasm releases the drive to carry you over obstacles and adds significance to all you do."  
- Norman Vincent Peale



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Monday, November 26, 2018

COMPELLED: Week 12 - Gratitude

This post contains affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting TheCompelledEducator.com

In this 12th week of the 15-week series on characteristics of compelled educators, I'm excited to share one of my favorite authors and bloggers with you. Ann Voskamp was one of the first bloggers I followed. It's from her that I learned more about grace and gratitude. Her first book, One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are, shows us the power of gratitude, reflection, and pause. (Her book is much like her blog style... poetic and flowing... almost like free writing at times, and choppy in other places. It's not an "easy" read, but it's well worth the effort and pause and space it forces us to create when reading it.)

What if... you kept a running list of the things for which you are grateful? Would you have 1,000 by the end of the school year?

What if... we asked our students to collaborate each day and record things for which they are grateful. How many gifts would there be on the list by the end of the year? One thousand? More?


“Gratitude for the seemingly insignificant—a seed—this plants the giant miracle.” 
― Ann Voskamp

As educators, we not only understand the importance of practicing gratitude ourselves, but we also understand the importance of cultivating gratitude in our students. 

How can we cultivate an "attitude of gratitude" in ourselves and with our community of students?

Text    Ask students to send a Thank You Text to someone for whom they are grateful. (Educators: Get out those cell phones and model a positive use for digital devices!) 
#Gratefulstreak    For ____ number of days in a row, have students to answer the journal prompt, "What are you grateful for today?" Ask students to see how many days in a row they can keep their streak!  (Educators: When kids write, you write. Model persistence as well as gratitude.)
"Three Good Things"    Create a bulletin board titled "Three Good Things." Have students to write 3 things for which they are grateful on a sticky note and post on the bulletin board. (Educators: Be sure to include your 3 things on a sticky note right in the center so that students can find it easily!)
Write a Letter of Gratitude    Ask students to use letter writing skills to write a letter to someone for whom they have never adequately thanked. (Educators: Do this, too, and model gratitude for your students.)
Gratitude Walk   I recently read about Jon Gordon's Thank You Walks. This could be used in PE classes, during recess, or even encouraging older students to think of 3 things for which they are grateful during class change while they walk to their next classes. (Educators: Take a Gratitude Walk during your planning period, do a lap around the hallways before or after school, or try it at home.)

Gratitude-quote


Want to make gratitude a habit the easy way? 

Connect expressing your gratitude with another daily task, such as brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, or cooking/eating dinner. 

If it's hard for you to carve out quiet time for yourself during the day, start expressing gratitude OUT LOUD while you are doing something that you already do during your day. 

Say 3 things you're grateful for out loud while you're doing your daily sit-ups, while you're driving to work, or while you're making your bed (or any other daily task.) 

Do this for 21 days in a row, then let me know how it's going. (If you miss a day, start back over at Day 1.) 


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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Classroom Hack: Conversation Starters {Free Printables}



I love classroom hacks, especially when they have to do with building community in the classroom. 

Probably because I was so shy when I was a kid, I really love "Conversation Starters" because they provide prompts to students and give them something concrete to talk about. Making small talk was something that I struggled with as a kid. I would have SO appreciated if a teacher had used something like these to create community in our classrooms. 

The questions are also appropriate to be used at home. Dinnertime can be transformed into quality family time by building conversations around the prompts on the Conversation Starters. 

I originally created New Year's Conversation Starters, then a last week I shared the Gratitude Conversation Starters on Twitter. Chaunte Garett was excited about them, and she asked if I knew of any for Integrity. Since I wasn't aware of any, I decided to create some. 

Thinking ahead to upcoming holidays and seasons, I also created some "Joy Conversation Starters." 




If you are a classroom teacher, I highly recommend that you don't ask the questions on the slips of paper to the class as a whole and ask for students to respond to you.

Here are several ways I encourage you to use them: 

     -Have them in a basket and ask a student to draw a question for the class.  Then have students to turn and share their answer with a neighbor.

     -You, the teacher, draw a question from the basket and share the prompt with the class. Ask students to share their answers with two people near them. 

     -Make several copies of the prompts and have a couple of questions on each desk. If your students' desks are in pods or groups, have a few questions per group. Ask students to choose one conversation starter to answer with a group member. 

     -Use one starter per day as a journal writing prompt. At the end of the week, ask students to choose one from the week to share with a friend in the class.
     

What other ways would you use them? Please leave a comment below or reach out to me on Twitter. 


All of the Conversation Starters can be downloaded below 
by clicking on each picture.










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