As a coach, I try to help people remember the ways they can take care of themselves. Hopefully, this will remind me! Several years ago I had mini 15 minute initial meetings with everyone in my school and asked them what was most important to them at that moment and how did they treat themselves. They were good questions to ask.
My self care looks like this:
I fast and exercise every day. I start my day with the morning routine that fuels and fulfills me. I learn something every day.
How do you take care of yourself? I would love to know.
This school year feels like it is everyone’s first year teaching no matter what year you are on.
A friend recommended a book by Debbie Ford called The Right Questions. There is power to questions. The first one in the book is: Will this choice propel me toward an inspiring future or will it keep me stuck in the past?
As I was making notes on these first two weeks of the new school year this question was floating around in my head.
After 7 years as a coach, I went back to the classroom. As I have written before, there is a list of reasons for this movement. It is a step of learning and experience. I believe it is an important step for me necessary for an inspired future and what I want to do next.
How does this change serve me? One of the ways is to experience teaching again in a day to day way. Kindergarten is the year where the I am required to think about the simplest explanations for the most complex ideas. In kindergarten there is potential for stories in everything. Five year olds make connections and say things that are unusual and is one of my favorite parts of the job.
When I teach, I make micro-movements in instruction based on the students actions. I am taking this year to analyze how I do this in real time. This year I have the advantage of recording my meetings with students so I can go back again if there are important breakthroughs that happen in class.
There has been two weeks of this school year so far and all prep. Breaking down what I have done with my time is important for my own learning.
-There has been lots of professional development and meetings (all virtual). Some meetings have been done well, and others not so much. I am always analyzing how people conduct their trainings so I can learn what to do and what not to do in my own.
-Everything is new for everyone. The overwhelm hit us all at different times. There were moments that people felt like there were too many changes. This happened for first year teachers and the 30 year veterans. We all feel like we learn and then stumble around in the dark and find our way again. My team is wonderful and we help each other. The strengths we have become everyone’s because of the sharing. We teach each other. I have not had a true team in a long time.
-Contact with parents is always a tricky area for me but a requirement. We are must use Class DOJO and SEESAW here at the beginning. Parents are familiar with DOJO we were told. I have issue with starting with too many things and then changing.
In the Spring, I had success with text messages for contact with parents so I did the same this fall.
I sent this message to my parents this week:
Hello! This is Mrs. Breitweiser (child)’s Kindergarten teacher. I just wanted to reach out and say hello.
Material pick up starts tomorrow.
We will have a combinationof live and recorded teaching in 2 sessions. 8-11 and 12-3. Please let me know which (child) prefers.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Follow up texts required answered questions. I also sent this message:
What is something you would like me to know about (child)? Something that is her/his favorite? Or a special story?
I use the child’s name as much as possible. I send audio messages talking to the student and short video messages as well.
-Virtual open house was successful. We had two 30 minute Zoom meetings and I had over half my students show up. There were smiling faces and cats on the screen. The virtual tour of the classroom and my live explanation of the learning kits were a hit. I introduced myself with a list of favorites that I told the students they would answer starting next week. I showed pictures of my family. Whatever we show our students is what they think we value so those first impressions are important.
It was important to me to tell the parents my past teaching experience. I want to assure them I am qualified to teach their child so they feel as secure as possible.
In the virtual tour I showed all the places where I have the student’s names. I want them to know that it is their classroom even when we are far away.
-Having to be in the building has helped with focus for the start of school. I had some frustration with this requirement especially on the days I spent most of the time in a chair in a meeting in front of my computer. Another focus that is a positive is that it is easier to fast while at school. There is no food there and it requires effort to get in the car and leave if I am stressed.
Do I feel prepped enough? I think so. If something goes wrong then I will pivot and we will use it as a learning experience.
I will make a list of things to remember before Tuesday at 8am.
There is a list of things I want to make sure to remember. If I don’t? I will write it down for the next meeting. This is the same practice whether I am in real life teaching or virtual.
We will see how it goes! I know for certain my choice propels me to the future I create.
I am having black coffee today as usual. What would you like today? I think we should take a walk after we have a cup or two. The weather has been less humid here this week.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am in a course hosted by Caroline Donahue called “Write Free”. It is about coming back to your creativity and getting through blocks. She uses the Mighty Network which works well for this project in my opinion. There is a great community and the content has been stellar in week one. I was able to persuade three writing friends to join so that has been a fun thing to share as well.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I hosted Workshop Wednesday this past week. I prefer interactive classes and it was small enough in order for lots of conversation. The conversation centered around personality types and communication. Many people shared and we laughed a lot.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you my kids tease me about doing Zoom calls in the closet. When I have to record anything audio or video it is a good spot with less noise. For workshops I go in there as well of course. A few people made comments afterwards about me teaching from the closet. Sounds like a title of a podcast. The new life we live!!
Do you need a refill? I always drink the first cup so fast!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you my Back to Zero plan is still on track with fasting, hydration, and exercise. I ran/walked every day this past week. There were lots of interactions with animals this week. There are horses I pet on my way every day. There is also an attack mama turkey.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I learned about DMO this past Monday. It stands for Daily Method of Operation. It is the 3-5 things that if you do them means a successful day to you. I made a Keep note and have done my three every day. It is a nice tracking piece for me until it becomes engrained.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I had a wonderful conversation with a friend on Tuesday and it lit my brain on fire. She made a comment to me that brought me back to what is, not what my perspective is. I have been thinking more and more about going back to coaching. I enjoy it so much. The Workshop Wednesday allowed me to use some of these skills as well as some other conversations this week. The lists have begun in the notebook!
If we were having coffee, I would tell you I am following the Ninja Writers BYOB (Blog Your Own Book) program this month. Last month was planning and this month is writing. I like the format that Shaunta talks about for articles and so far the community has been wonderful as well.
I would love to hear what delighted you this week!
Fourteen days ago I made the decision to take back my health. I know how to take care of myself. Many times we know what to do, we just choose to not do it. There are short term and long term consequences to this thinking.
Now taking back my health is a true statement, but a consequence of this idea is also weight loss and that is on purpose. This is the heaviest I have been in years. As someone who prides herself on her appearance, looking in the mirror 15 days ago was a hard pill to swallow. I have allowed myself to emotionally eat. I have allowed myself to think, “Just one more piece won’t hurt.” Let me tell you – it hurts.
One decision I made was to drink at least 64 oz of ice water a day. We are White Sox fans and have souvenir glasses so that makes it easy to measure. Two of those babies filled up do the trick. Once I made the decision, it was easy. My brain knows when I make a decision that is what we are doing. The weather here has been hot so drinking the water has been simple. I also choose water over any other drink.
I also decided to go back to intermittent fasting. This works for me. I know it because I ate this way before I knew it had a name. I am going to play with the different types of timing schedules. I typically do the Warrior schedule which is 20 hours of fasting with a 4 hour eating window. I am intrigued by the 24 hours of fasting 2 days a week. The last 2 days I have waited for the 24 hour mark since I last ate and have noticed significant body changes. I am uncertain if it is due to the 24 hours or just that I have been fasting for 2 weeks!
I have weight to lose from the stress of the last couple of years , major transitions, and the coronavirus sheltering.
I am moving everyday as part of this plan. I run and walk. I have affirmations I write for myself everyday. I went through Tony Robbins’ The Body You Deserve Workbook. I also have habit stacked push ups and movements from Chalene Johnson’s workouts. I do these several times a day.
I was too embarrassed to weigh myself. I have a number from the health check as part of the requirements for my new teaching job. I have pants that didn’t fit two weeks ago.
I am making progress and am happy. It is working. I feel better and have more energy. Soon I will be back to the size I am supposed to be and all those pants in the closet will fit again.
It’s not easy, but I know I will never go back to where I was.