[New Post] The Power of “Self-Talk”

 

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It was Sunday morning and my alarm for 4:45am was telling me it was time to get up.

“What am I doing?” I thought.

It was race day.  I had signed up for a 10 mile race a couple of months ago when the realities of the school year hadn’t sunk in yet.  Last week was probably one of the most challenging weeks I’ve experienced and I was drained.  The last thing I wanted to do was get up and run.

The negative self-talk started the minute I woke up and kept on happening all the way up to the 8am start of the race:

I don’t need to do this.

I don’t feel good.

The race fees are going to charity so I’m not wasting money.

It’s cold outside.

I owe it to myself to rest.

Negative self-talk is powerful.  I almost gave up.

In A Mindset for Learning, Mraz & Hertz refer to negative self-talk as the “Superhighway of Doom”.  Negative self-talk is developed over time starting when we are kids.  It’s partly a self-defense mechanism, but it eventually turns into a default response to unfamiliar situations when we need to be Discipline-Driven.

But we can overcome negative self-talk with enough focus and intentional positive self-talk.  It takes time.  It takes practice.  And it’s possible to deconstruct the “Superhighway to Doom”, even for adults.

Fast-forward to 9:30am and I am crossing the finish line because I chose to ignore my complaining, defending, and blaming and focus instead on my goal.

I ran my best long run ever, pacing myself to get fastest over the length of the race.  The best part was seeing my family at the finish line, which was such a complete surprise I got a little teary-eyed.

I share this story because it’s one more reminder that you are your own worst enemy. We all have negative self-talk moments each day.  We each face Events in our lives where negative self-talk because our Default-Driven Response.  We have to remember that we have power over this.  We have to intentionally practice each day to get better. And we have to remember that there are others who want to help us cross the finish line.

bigbadwolf2016

Have a GREAT week!

-Herb

Article Worth Reading – Gearing Up for MAKERSPACE!

Please take a moment to read this article related to the Maker Movement.  John Spencer’s story about himself as the quiet kid in class reflects so many of our kids (and is exactly who I was as a kid).  The second half of the article connected with me when I was thinking about the work we will do with kids in the future.  It is a fast read that is well worth your time!

The MakerSpace will be a touchstone for innovation that will support all of our students.  It is a reflection of the direction we are taking learning.

“The Future Belongs to the Makers”, by John Spencer — http://www.spencerauthor.com/2016/09/the-future-belongs-to-the-makers.html/

Upcoming Dates

September

26 – MakerSpace Grand Opening!

28 – Mumkin Pickup, 4-7PM

29 – Pastries with Parents

30 – Building Advisory Committee meeting, 8AM; Interims go home

October

1 – Community Cardboard Challenge, 9-Noon, Heritage MS

4 – BIT Meeting, 8AM

7 – Building Tour by Board of Education

17-20 — Fall Conference Week; Late Night is Weds, Oct 19.

21 – COI Day

24 – State of Schools (Darby), 6-9PM

25 – State of Schools (Davidson, 6-9PM

26 – State of Schools (Bradley), 6-9PM

Click here for the Elementary Assessment Calendar for 2016-2017.

IMPORTANT HCSD DATES

 

Board of Education Meeting – September 26, 7pm at Davidson High School

Community Information Meeting – September 27, 7:30pm at JW Reason Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 29, 7:30pm at Darby Creek Elementary

Community R Factor Training – October 2, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 4, 7:30 pm at Hoffman Trails Elementary

Community Information Meeting – 6, 7:30pm at Horizon Elementary

Community R Factor Training – October 9, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – October 10, 7pm at Bradley High School

Community Information Meeting – October 11, 7:30pm at Crossing Elementary

Community Information Meeting – 13, 7:30pm at Bradley High School

Community R Factor Training – October 16, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 18, 7:30pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – 20, 7:30pm at Davidson High School

Community R Factor Training – October 23, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – October 24, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 27, 7:30pm at Tharp

Community Information Meeting – November 7, 7:30pm at Station

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Fuel for the Journey

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Image from “Another Mother Runner”
This weekend, I used a product called GU Energy on my long run.  GU is designed to provide carbohydrates and other energy supplements during workouts.  Fitness experts recommend using supplements during aerobic exercises lasting longer than an hour — Our bodies only have enough fuel reserves for this amount of time.

If you’ve never had the pleasure of using GU, you aren’t missing out on much.  It looks like molasses and has the same texture and sort of tastes like the flavor listed on the package.  Strawberry banana was a real treat, let me tell you.

The bonus to taking GU was spending the next 5 miles of the run wondering how they made something that looked like molasses and felt like melted caramel in my mouth taste like a smoothie.

Having not used energy supplements on long runs before, I will say that I felt like I had more fuel in the tank an hour and a half into my run and I was thankful that I had the energy to make my goal.

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The school year is gearing up and we’ve just experienced our first full-moon-at-the-same-time-as-weather-system-change event, if you believe in that sort of thing having an effect on kids (I do).

So what are you planning to use to fuel yourself during your journey this school year? How will you stay motivated and stay focused on the work we need to do to support our students?

Try investing more in something you are already apart of like faith-based activities, exercise, or more pleasure reading.  Maybe take up something that is new to you.  I started doing more meditating (and by meditating, I really mean just clearing my mind in the quiet of the morning with a cup of coffee).

A book that has helped me be more productive, reduce my stress, and focus on what is important is Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown. I highly recommend the book as fuel for anyone’s journey.

Here’s to staying focused on the work that lies ahead!  Grab some fuel and let’s go!

Have a GREAT week!

-Herb

 

Tweets Worth Reading

 

 

 

Upcoming Dates

Weds, Sept 21  ADE Staff Meeting, 3:45PM — BREAKOUT EDU!  This should be fun…

Thurs., Sept. 22  School Picture Day

Thurs., Sept. 22  PTO Fall Tailgate, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. behind school

Fri, Sept 23   Gifted Referrals due

Sun., Sept. 25     R-Factor Training, 7:00 p.m. at Darby High School’s Performing Arts Center

Mon, Sept 26  MakerSpace Grand Opening!

Weds., Sept. 28   PTO Mumkin Pick-Up Day, starting at 4:00 p.m.

Thurs., Sept. 29   Pastries with a Parent, 8:15 – 9:00 a.m.; Levy Information Community Meeting, Darby Creek, 7PM

Fri., Sept. 30       Interims go home, as needed; BAC Meeting, 8AM

Sat., Oct. 1   Cardboard Challenge, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Heritage Middle School

Sun., Oct. 2   R-Factor Training, 7:00 p.m. at Darby High School’s Performing Arts Center

Mon., Oct. 10  PTO Meeting, 7:00 p.m. (childcare provided)

 

 

The Kind of Community We Build

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Most early childhood and elementary school teachers speak passionately about building community in the beginning of the year, but what kind of community we build is the bigger question.

-Mraz & Hertz, A Mindset For Learning (2015)

I continue to find A Mindset for Learning a thought-provoking and informative read.  The authors connect research-based information and ask their readers to think deeply by what it truly means to build a classroom community of resilient, joyful learners.

It’s no secret that the teacher is the number one driving force in the development of the classroom community.  Teachers set the tone through what they celebrate, what they ignore, their body language, and the words they choose when working with their learners.

So how are things going in your classroom community?  Before you answer, take a look at another quote from A Mindset for Learning and ask yourself if the statement a) reflects your belief about building a classroom community and b) reflects what is currently happening in your classroom community.

[A] child’s self-control, tenacity, and persistence are influenced first by their environment and the reliability and consistency of their caregivers. If we want to build a community of persistence, joy resilience, flexibility, and empathy, we must first be all of those things, and be reliable in those things.

As you reflect, also consider the fact that kids are extremely intuitive and tuned-in to their teachers.  They pick up on when we are energized and when we are flat.

In a 1993 study, researchers showed students, who did not know the teachers, 30-second silent video clips of 13 graduate teaching fellows while they were teaching and had the students rate the teachers on 13 variables like “accepting”, “active”, and “confident”.  The researchers then compared the ratings by the same students with the end of the semester course evaluations from the same students and found a 0.76 correlation (0.60 is considered “very strong”).  Amazing — Students can “slice” their perception of us in 30 seconds and just off of our body language.

This study underscores the importance of modeling the thinking, the behaviors, and the values we must reliably model if we are to instill the same within our students.

We are reaching the midway point of the first six weeks of school.  Take time now to reflect on the progress you have made with your students.  Reflect on how much of the community reflects your students interests and values vs. your own.  Where is the balance tipping? Towards you or towards your students?

Take into account the profound value and impact a sense of hope, belongingness, and engagement have our each of our students.

Have a GREAT week!

-Herb

Tweets Worth Reading

 

 

 

Upcoming Dates

September

12 – PTO Meeting, 7PM

14 – RTI Team Meeting, 3:40PM

21 – Safety Drill (Lockdown), 10:45; Spec Ed Team Meeting, 12:00

22 — School Picture Day!

24 – EdCamp Columbus at Gahanna-Lincoln HS

26 – MakerSpace Grand Opening!

29 – Pasteries with Parents, 8:15AM

30 – BAC meeting, 8AM

October

1 – Community Cardboard Challenge

7 – Building Tour by Board of Education

17-20 — Fall Conference Week; Late Night is Weds, Oct 19.

21 – COI Day

24 – State of Schools (Darby), 6-9PM

25 – State of Schools (Davidson, 6-9PM

26 – State of Schools (Bradley), 6-9PM

How To View a Day

How do you view the day that lies before you?  Do you see the celebrations, the growth and the joy of what’s to come? Have you already determined the challenges are almost impossible to overcome?

The self-talk we have before the day begins will manifest itself into the day we talk about later.  If we assume and expect “bad things” will happen, chances are we’ll be talking about our “bad day”.

I don’t believe for a minute that we can eliminate tough days from our lives; that’s just not a realistic expectation.  However, I do believe we have more control than we think over the way our days play out.

Like other staff members, I am currently reading “A Mindset for Learning: Teaching the Traits of Joyful, Independent Growth” by Kristine Mraz and Christine Hertz (2015), and this is one of the many points they make in the book.

I think this book is the perfect read for this year because it combines so many elements of our current work and focus are discussed by the authors in the context of teaching practices.  The authors are on a mission to connect growth mindset practices to learning practices but in a meaningful and transforming way.  Take a look at this from the authors:

We cannot let fear of benchmarks stand in the way of helping children find their value and their voice.  What does it matter if that same child does not believe she has power and agency? A child in passive receipt of learning will be in passive receipt of life. (p. xvi)

And their message is that it starts with us.  We set the tone that drives the behaviors that gets us the results we desire.  We have to see the possibilities of each day.  The change has to happen within us before it happens through us.

So as you start each day, imagine what you will celebrate.  Imagine the joy you will help create with kids.  Imagine the hope you will instill.  We can make a difference but it’s up to us to see it in our mind before we can see it with our eyes.

Have a GREAT week!

-Herb

 

Tweets Worth Reading

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Dates

September

6 – BIT Meeting, 8AM

7 – Curriculum Night, 6-7PM

8 – House Leader Meeting, 8AM at DCR

9 – Campus Project Q&A with Herb, 7:45 Media Center *Voluntary* – I will have coffee 🙂

12 – PTO Meeting, 7PM

22 — School Picture Day!

24 – EdCamp Columbus at Gahanna-Lincoln HS

 

October

1 – Community Cardboard Challenge

7 – Building Tour by Board of Education

17-20 — Fall Conference Week; Late Night is Weds, Oct 19.

21 – COI Day

24 – State of Schools (Darby), 6-9PM

25 – State of Schools (Davidson, 6-9PM

26 – State of Schools (Bradley), 6-9PM

 

Click here for the Elementary Assessment Calendar for 2016-2017.

IMPORTANT HCSD DATES

Community Information Meeting – September 6, 7:30pm at Scioto Darby Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 8, 7:30pm at Beacon Elementary

Community R Factor Training – September 11, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – September 13, 7pm at Ridgewood Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 15, 7:30pm at Britton Elementary

Board of Education Meeting – September 12, 7pm at Memorial Middle School

Community R Factor Training – September 18, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – September 20, 7:30pm at Norwich Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 22, 7:30pm at Brown Elementary

Community R Factor Training – September 25, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – September 26, 7pm at Davidson High School

Community Information Meeting – September 27, 7:30pm at JW Reason Elementary

Community Information Meeting – September 29, 7:30pm at Darby Creek Elementary

Community R Factor Training – October 2, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 4, 7:30 pm at Hoffman Trails Elementary

Community Information Meeting – 6, 7:30pm at Horizon Elementary

Community R Factor Training – October 9, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – October 10, 7pm at Bradley High School

Community Information Meeting – October 11, 7:30pm at Crossing Elementary

Community Information Meeting – 13, 7:30pm at Bradley High School

Community R Factor Training – October 16, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 18, 7:30pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – 20, 7:30pm at Davidson High School

Community R Factor Training – October 23, 7pm at Darby High School

Board of Education Meeting – October 24, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 27, 7:30pm at Tharp

Community Information Meeting – November 7, 7:30pm at Station