Forest Walking

Forest walking is  a concept that was introduced to me in a research form from Jonathan Fields in his Good Life Project work.

As a new part of my job this year I am running a lunch “detention” that encompasses meditation, walking mediation, yoga, and calming exercises depending on the student. I have had students for 3 out of 4 days since we started school.

It has been amazing the change in attitude of these students from the beginning of the hour to the end with a simple walk in the wooded grounds. The canopy of trees along wood chipped trails is the environment we spend the bulk of our hour in. The conversation flows easier, the breathing is easier, and the self reflection flows. The conversation ranges from why they got in trouble,  to what they want to be when they grow up,  to what they could have done differently. The smiles have been abundant and some laughter has even broken through.

I feel like I have already cultivated better and stronger relationships with students compared to last year. I am hoping to interject some writing into the time. Book talks have already taken place which makes my heart happy. I am excited to see how this time evolves over the school year.

 

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Five on Friday!

Five Favorite Podcasts right now:

  1. Reading Glasses
  2. Professional Book Nerds
  3. The Librarian is In
  4. Better Leaders Better Schools
  5. From the Front Porch

 

Five Podcasts I Always Listen to No Matter What:

  1. What Should I Read Next
  2. The Simple Show
  3. All The Books
  4. Book Riot Podcast
  5. Well Read (on hiatus right now though)

 

Anne Bogel is AMAZING!

Anne Bogel is an amazing woman and I have been a fan for years.

When her new blog post on Modern Mrs Darcy is posted, I read that first.

When her summer reading guide is released I am there!

When her online book club started I was in the first group.

When her podcast comes out every Tuesday I am downloading and listening to it immediately.

When she recommends books I am searching on Amazon where ever I am!

Soooooo….

When I found out she was writing a book I was thrilled!

 

Then I was accepted to become part of the launch team and was able to read the book early which is equivalent to enjoying the whole bakery with sprinkles not just one cupcake.

As someone who loves personality tests this book talks about several measures with real stories and applications. All of us want to know more about ourselves and how and why we react to situations and people. I know that discovering I was an introvert several years ago was mind blowing for me. 

As a teacher coach,  I plan to use personality tests as part of my trainings this year so the insight from Anne’s book will be helpful. I am beginning my Workshop Wednesdays next week, and personality and collaboration is the topic.

Although I was familiar with most of the measures explained in the book, the real life explanations from Anne added to my understanding. I even learned about a couple new measures!!

I am the type of reader that is: THE INSIDER. I want to know all the books that are coming out and what the buzz is about them. I also pay attention to Man Booker Prize and National Book Award lists. I want to know which authors are from the Iowa Writers Workshop. I pay attention to the critics from the New York Times Book Review but I still make my own decisions about what I want to read…and what I chose to recommend.

This book is a great read full of useful information. If you want to know more about yourself and the people around you pre-order the book by clicking on readingpeoplebook.com. The release date is September 19, 2017.

Check out Anne’s blog too! http://www.modernmrsdarcy.com

#readingpeoplebook

Morning Routines

I have been listening to the audiobook Deep Work by Cal Newport. This book has been on my radar multiple times over the past several years, but it has never stuck with me in a meaningful way until now. Books have their way of coming into my life when I most need them. I feel like now is the time for this book to work its magic. I have checked it out of the library and skimmed it more than once, but listening to it seems to resonate better at this time in my life.

Writing rituals and routines are always something in my reading and thinking wheelhouse and a morning routine is part of the strategies talked about in Deep Work.  Two years ago I found the website My Morning Routine which is a site which interviews different people and asks them a series of questions about the success of morning routines. The basic question is, “What is your morning routine?” and “How long have you stuck with the routine?” There is research that links the idea of a solid routine to successful life. Tim Ferris has talked about this concept in his books and his podcast. With so much research I feel this is the time to intentionally create a routine and stick to it to better use my time.

My plan is to carve out time at the beginning of my work day to be able to establish a quality routine that involves some deep work. I am the type of person that needs to be able to have the daily time to focus my attention to deep work rather than shallow work. Some people can carve out a whole day once a week or certain times a month but I do not believe this practice would be effective for my learning style. I have allowed myself to become distracted more lately and need to train my brain to GO DEEP and am hoping this book and some of the strategies will help me be more successful.

I have experimented with different pieces of morning routines for as long as I can remember including exercise, meditation, reading, morning pages, etc. I will experiment with the new routine for 2 weeks and then modify if needed. I used to run every morning which allowed me to think and process the day but my new schedule and life do not allow for this anymore.

New Morning Routine:

  1. Set intention for the day
    1. I have been saying an intention to myself for years. It is how I remind myself what I am working on personally and professionally. It simply starts with “It is my intention….” Currently the words intentional, inspire, and create are contained within my intention.
  2. Check calendar for the day (which was set before leaving work the day before)
  3. Add any activity or meetings for the day.
  4. Write a few notes for what I intend to write for the day and block time in the day for when I will write.
  5. Read and annotate professional book including the connections I need to make to bring pertinent information to the teachers I work with..
  6. Get more coffee.
  7. Start the day with “Here we GO!”

Wish me luck!

 

 

Yes and No

I have been contemplating what I am saying “YES” to in my life and “NO!” This idea has been inspired by Tsh Oxenreider from The Simple Show and her amazing podcast series. She rereads the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown every year which is a title I have also read.

Things I have been saying NO to lately:

+ Feeling bad about truly putting my family first

+ Apologizing for statements about what I believe in

+Toxic people

 

Things I have been saying YES to:

+Family

+Honoring my knowledge, experience, and expertise in the field of education

+New learning and not knowing everything!

+Spending time with people I want to and that are enriching to my life

+Word Connect on my phone

+What really matters

+Reading

+Writing

+Being bored and thinking

 

What are you saying yes and no to in your life?

 

Happy New Year!

Today was the first day back for the new school year. I always think of the first day of school as the new year rather than January 1st. It is a new beginning and a fresh start. January 1st is the time for me to revisit the goals and aspirations I set in August.

The events and situations that I find myself in this year are dramatically different than last. Last year I was new to the corporation and knew no one. This year I had many familiar faces to greet me at the district meeting. Last year no one knew who I was when I walked in the building. This year I have already had meetings with my teachers to discuss the students and curriculum and more are scheduled for tomorrow and the rest of this week! The year is off to a booming start and I prefer it that way! As Thomas the Tank Engine would say: I felt like a very useful engine today.

I have many goals starting my 22nd year of education. Some are small like my own dress code for work to big frameworks I want to implement with my Workshop Wednesdays this year. I want to help my teachers with teaching reading to our middle school students. I want to focus on relationships with teachers and students. I want to write and read more personally and professionally. Rest assured, all these goals are written in a measurable way in my little black book I carry around with me everywhere!

The words I decided in January for 2017 were CREATE and INSPIRE. This is the time of year for me to check in with those words and continue the goals.

One of the best things about today was the laughter! I am blessed to work with some amazing people and I was reminded of that fact many times over today.

It is going to be a great year!