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Take Care of Yourself; Take Care of your Students

posted May 13, 2018, 12:14 AM by HSD Principal
In the best of circumstances, being a teacher can be an emotionally draining occupation at times. Add in support raising, distance from family, and cultural stress, and teaching here can require even more emotional energy. In this Cult of Pedagogy article, Jennifer Gonzalez summarizes lessons from Elena Aguilar's book Onward: Cultivating Emotional Resilience in Educators.

Here are her 12 insights, corresponding to the annual cycle of the school year and beginning in May:
    • Celebrate and Appreciate (as we wrap up the year in May)
    • Know Yourself
    • Understand Emotions
    • Tell Empowering Stories (as everyone returns in August)
    • Build Community
    • Be Here Now
    • Take Care of Yourself
    • Focus on the Bright Spots (as you finish the semester in December)
    • Cultivate Compassion
    • Be a Learner
    • Play and Create (to get through the long month of March)
    • Ride the Waves of Change (as April brings many changes of plans for the coming year)

There are times to try new things in the classroom, but also times to rely on strategies that have been proven effective. Mike Schmoker argues in this commentary on why he's against innovation in the classroom that it's always better to focus on research-based and established practices when looking to improve student learning. Some things that Schmoker counts as meeting those conditions:
    • teachers constantly monitoring student learning and giving effective and timely feedback
    • increased time spent on reading, writing, and public speaking in subject area courses
    • a solidly coherent curriculum that maps out when and where students will encounter the subject benchmarks and how they will be assessed