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Beacon of gratitude

Several months ago, Chris and I were in discussion about a gratitude chat to highlight the good we spread, cultivate, and relish around us. A time to reflect upon the topic of gratitude in the form of a twitter chat. Something I really glean information from is twitter chats.

Therefore, #gratefuledu was born and is a bi-monthly chat that highlights gratitude through the good, the tough, and how we can still see gratitude in the midst of any point in our lives. Something that blesses me is the power of this chat and how I am encouraged by others every other week. It’s real talk, building up others as we go, reflecting on our current practices, and is something that I hope to continue.

Something that hits home is kindness through gratitude. It doesn’t have to be much. Just a simple gesture or kind word can make someone’s day. When you are intentional with your actions and words, people notice. It can be a simple gesture or a little thing to you that can make someone’s day better. The beacon of gratitude shines.

Kindness matters. A smile, a laugh, holding a door for someone whose hands are full, a bottle of water, a piece of chocolate, and simple words of encouragement all go a long way

People notice the gratitude and kindness when you make an effort. You can make someone’s day by your one action. That’s pretty powerful.

This past Sunday, many of the members that joined the #gratefuledu chat really touched by heart and made me smile as we shared ways to refill the gratitude cup. Y’all, May is tough for so many. With deadlines, paperwork, spring fever brewing, and more, it’s a good time to reflect on the beacon of gratitude. Gratitude, in itself, is the readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. Gratitude is a CHOICE and we CHOOSE to show appreciation for all. It’s something that can make the world go around and can make the stress of everything diminish.

No act of kindess, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

For me, random acts of kindness through gratitude is my jam. Noticing what others do and appreciating what they give forth matters. Having someone’s day change by one handwritten note or kind comment matters. Putting forth intention to make someone’s day matters. Giving someone a pat on the back and spreading gratitude through kindness matters.

Whatever your gift may be in gratitude, I challenge you to be a beacon of gratitude and go forth to spread kindness through intentional acts to support one another each and every day. Your one act matters!

Gratitude
Photo used with permission by Akilah Ellison

 

 

 

 

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Even on the toughest of days

It’s May! Teachers and students are feeling the warmer weather, the sunshine outside, and know the year is winding down. The testing season is among so many states, anxiety is through the roof for students and staff, and the end stretch is near. Changes in schedules and routines can throw the most regimented and scheduled student off. It’s that time of the year.Wherever you go, leave footprints of love, for those who have lost their way.

Even on the toughest of days, I try to remember that I am a constant for so many. I may be stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed but my students depend on me! I have to remain level headed even when they can’t. It’s easier said than done, I get it. However, think of entering a classroom or arena and having all eyes on you. It happens every day. Our students notice our every move and feed off our energy. What you can control will impact your students.

YOU are the constant for so many of your students. YOU make a difference every single day! Even on thee toughest of days, YOUR students depend on you and your ability to have their back and have them rise to the occasion every day! I know you are tired and stressed. But now is the time to be the constant for your students.

The final race is on! You are their constant. Own it and show it day in and out!

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Perspective through a different lens

Today I had the opportunity to attend attend two sessions about trauma responsiveness and behavior by Juliana Nichols-Hazlett. Hazlett is a doctoral student, former administrator and special education teacher, and consultant who is focusing on ensuring that teachers are equipped and empowered to meet the social-emotional needs of their students. I could honestly listen to her all day and got so much out of the her two sessions. Reflecting on what impacted me the most and will make its way into my classroom on Monday morning.

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Ross Greene believes kids do well if they can and that reigns true for people too. People do well if they can and Hazlett notes when people know better, they do better. It’s basic brain architecture really.  Basic brain architecture prove that experiences shape the brain and interactions with adults and through experiences build the brain’s foundation. Something I found very interesting is that the part of the brain that isn’t being used prunes and makes room for new learning and experiences over time.

Educators are seeing trauma in students today. In fact, two out of three students are impacted by trauma. Trauma in our lives changes our body and brain architecture. Educators must remember that it is vital to focus on what happened with/to them versus what’s wrong with them. Every single person manages trauma differently. As educators, it is our job to respond through a relationship that is rooted in regulated and reflective practices.

Many depend on us to be the constant. Until we (adults) recognize the social emotional learning ourselves, we can’t just focus on our students. Hazlett notes a disregulated adult is toxic. If we can’t be rooted in relationships, we aren’t able to meet the deeper needs of the student. Our role as responsive educators isn’t about our title, it’s about the relationship. The way we respond to either reinforces the trauma or repairs the trauma. Building the relationship and truly moving from trauma informed to trauma responsiveness stems to what are we doing and how we are responding to those with trauma.

The way that educators respond to trauma matters. We are wired for connections as humans. It’s how our brain works. Moving from trauma informed to trauma responsiveness takes time and equates to having the knowledge and utilizing it with intent to make a change. It’s a slow process, of course. However, it is my responsibility as an adult and educator, to calm the chaos and not join in. We have an opportunity each day to make an impact and build up a relationship over time. Trauma looks different in everyone but the way you respond and build a relationship with someone truly makes a difference. Be willing to try a new lens, way, approach, or response to make an impact. It matters. Text placeholder.png