Wrestling with Me, My Feelings, and Self Doubt

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4 For U

For the past 2 months, I have been sending out a weekly bulletin called 4 For U. It consists of resources that I find provide me with Social and Emotional Support. My hope is that they are to do the same for you.

Each bulletin contains 1 blog piece, 1 podcast, 1 short video and 1 quote.

The bulletin is always less than 100 words so it can be read quickly. I always provide links to the blog, podcast and the video. If this bulletin is something that you would like to have delivered to your inbox each week, just sign up via the link at the bottom of this piece.

Below is this week’s 4 For U. I hope you find value in at least 1 of the resources.

 

Blog/Article  

 

Understanding The Introverts Around You

 

Podcast   

 

Tyra Banks: How to Create New Opportunities

 

Video

 

Chimamanda Adichie The danger of a single story 3 min cut

 

Quote       

I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship.

Louisa May Alcott

Sign Up here

 

4 For U

For the past 2 months, I have been sending out a weekly bulletin called 4 For U. It consists of resources that I find provide me with Social and Emotional Support. My hope is that they are to do the same for you.

Each bulletin contains 1 blog piece, 1 podcast, 1 short video and 1 quote.

The bulletin is always less than 100 words so it can be read quickly. I always provide links to the blog, podcast and the video. If this bulletin is something that you would like to have delivered to your inbox each week, just sign up via the link at the bottom of this piece.

Below is this week’s 4 For U. I hope you find value in at least 1 of the resources.

 

Blog/Article  

 

The Importance of Rest, Relaxation, and Rejuvenation for Long-Term Growth

 

Podcast   

 

Secrets to Increasing Confidence

 

Video

 

Success

 

        Quote       

Let me listen to me and not to them.

Gertrude Stein

 

Sign Up here

4 For U

For the past month, I have been sending out a weekly bulletin called 4 For U. It consists of resources that I find provide me with Social and Emotional Support. My hope is that they are to do the same for you.

Each bulletin contains 1 blog piece, 1 podcast, 1 short video and 1 quote.

The bulletin is always less than 100 words so it can be read quickly. I always provide links to the blog, podcast and the video. If this bulletin is something that you would like to have delivered to your inbox each week, just sign up via the link at the bottom of this piece.

Below is this week’s 4 For U. I hope you find value in at least 1 of the resources.

 

Blog/Article

“A Year In Measure”

 

Podcast

I Loved Teaching, but I Let Others Define Success for Me

 

Video

“You Don’t Have To Be A Perfect Teacher”

 

Quote

“You are so brave and quiet I forget you are suffering”

— Ernest Hemingway

 

Sign Up here

 

By The End Of The Day

The sooner we begin sharing our imperfections with the people we love and the people we serve, the sooner they will stop expecting to perfect.

The day begins with me pouring out my heart and soul.

Well, maybe that was a bit extreme. Okay, I would start off by sharing some of my biggest screw-ups. I’ve done this so often now you’d think it would be easy. And while it does get easier, it is never easy. But it matters, and after a while, my hope is that you would begin to understand feel why.

Who am I though? I am just one person you probably know little to nothing about. So, I would share stories of other educators who have screwed up as well. And by screwed up, I don’t mean little mistakes. No, I am referring to mistakes that knocked them down hard. Hard enough to make them wonder if they’d ever get back up.

But they do. They did.

Not only do they get back up — they stepped forward.

Hopefully, by this point, you would begin to see, if you didn’t already, just how powerful being vulnerable can be. You would then be given time to reflect with the person sitting next to you. Nothing too personal yet. Just a brief opportunity to talk about what you just heard.

At this point, I think you’d be ready for the next step.

You would be given a half hour to recall a few of the biggest mistakes you’ve made during your career. Maybe you would create a bullet list. Or, maybe you write nothing because the mistake you made is so vivid in your mind that you are able to recall every detail like it happened yesterday.

Either way, whatever you decide, when the half hour is over you are ready. Ready to share. But don’t worry. We start small because being vulnerable is never easy.

So, you and someone with whom you already trust, go off to yourselves. Maybe it’s a different room. Maybe it’s in the hallway. Maybe you go for a walk outside. Regardless of where you choose, what matters most is that you and your colleague can share your mistakes with each other privately.

This may take anywhere from a half hour to an hour. And now it is time for lunch. You have accomplished much and the best is yet to come. While the afternoon may take a lot out of you, by the time we are finished, your staff/team/division will be closer than you ever could have imagined.

When you return from lunch you notice that the chairs are arranged in a circle. You think you know why and it worries you just a bit. Once we are all seated, I begin by sharing a big mistake. One that is quite embarrassing, but one that maybe you’ve made before too.

You have a pretty good idea what is coming next. I ask for volunteers. Little eye-contact is made and the room is uncomfortable. But then someone breaks the ice. Maybe it is the leader of the group or maybe it is someone that you’d never expect.

They begin slowly. And you hang on their every word. As they share, you start to see them in an entirely different light. You feel as if you know them just a little bit better. You two are not so different after all. When she is done sharing you feel the urge to go next. As do many of your colleagues.

Momentum is building. Everyone wants to share. They feel comfortable because they now know that they are not alone. The afternoon goes quickly. The circle is now tighter and stronger. You realize that these are people you can trust. People with whom you share something in common.

 

If we’re vulnerable together, we’re going to get close. We’re going to trust each other, we’re going to cooperate, we’re going to have cohesion. It’s the way we’re built.

Dan Coyle (excerpt from WorkLife hosted by Adam Grant)

 

This is a day you will not soon forget. All this time you thought that trust came before vulnerability. Today, you learned otherwise.

You reflect on the day. While you are emotionally drained, you feel energized and hopeful for what the future holds. These are people with whom you can move mountains. These are your people. This is your circle.

 

∞ If the day I described above sounds like something you or your organization would be interested in — email me at jonharper70@gmail.com — vox me at jharper3658 — or call me at 410-829-7243. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

4 For U

For the past month, I have been sending out a weekly bulletin called 4 For U. It consists of resources that I find provide me with Social and Emotional Support. My hope is that they are to do the same for you.

Each bulletin contains 1 blog piece, 1 podcast, 1 short video and 1 quote.

The bulletin is always less than 100 words so it can be read quickly. I always provide links to the blog, podcast and the video. If this bulletin is something that you would like to have delivered to your inbox each week, just sign up via the link at the bottom of this piece.

Below is this week’s 4 For U. I hope you find value in at least 1 of the resources.

 

Blog/Article  

Principal Hotline: Is Work-Life Balance Even Possible?

 

Podcast   

“How to make a (realistic) plan for summer that will leave you feeling rejuvenated”

 

Video

“5 Minutes For the Next 50 Years Of Your Life”

 

        Quote       

 

Be not afraid of going slowly. Be only afraid of standing still.

Chinese Proverb

 

Sign Up here

We Need Them

In the wake of yet another tragedy, educators will be spending time in the coming week trying to help students cope/manage/understand (don’t know if there is a correct verb) all that has taken place. Not a day goes by in which I am not in awe of educators’ ability to provide comfort and support to children when they need it the most. It’s what they do. While they probably knew that a portion of their days would be spent helping meet their students’ social and emotional needs, I can’t imagine educators were expecting to have so many needs of their own.

But they do.

We do.

Yes, there are supports in place to help us cope with our social and emotional needs. Awareness of our needs is gradually increasing. Yet, I can’t help but think that is an untapped resource that we are neglecting.

Our students.

You read that correctly.

I believe that our students can help us if we just let them in.

 

They Are With Us Every Day

Think about it. We spend between one and seven hours with our students each day. While I am aware of the fact that we are the ones that are supposed to be taking care of them, I believe that they have the potential to help us. They notice things that we don’t. They can tell when we are upset or stressed. I know we are supposed to leave our issues at the door. But let’s be real. That’s impossible.

If we are having a rough day, why not reach out to them. I am not implying that we lie back on the sofa and empty our souls. What I am saying is that it is okay to let our students know when we are not ourselves. I have found that oftentimes they will empathize with us. They can surprise us if we let them.

 

All grown-ups were once children … but only few of them remember it.

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

 

We aren’t that different

The students that we spend our days with, whether they be 7 or 17, need to know that we are struggling too. Not that this will make them feel better. But what it will do is let them know that they are not alone. That we often deal with the same type of sh%$& that they do. We experience self-doubt. We get nervous. We have anxiety.

By opening up to our students, it gives them the courage to do the same. With us. With each other. With their friends. It seems as if every week we hear of someone who is struggling or worse, has taken their life. And yet we had no idea. We can’t let this continue.

 

Why do they treat us like children? they said & I said why do you treat them like adults?
& their eyes opened wide & they began to laugh & talk all at once & suddenly everything looked possible again.

― Brian Andreas, Trusting Soul

 

better Together

We need each other. Our days are spent trying to find ways to help our students and our nights are spent trying to find ways to put ourselves back together. It is time we start opening up to our students — letting them in.

What we are going to find is that once we realize that we need them as much as they need us, we can start to heal and grow and rise together. The children that we spend our days with are amazing. And so are we. But we are also tired. Just like them. Let’s be tired together so that we can then get stronger together.

I think it’s worth a shot.

 

There are things that you have to do, not that you want to do, and those things even though you still have to do them, and they might not be great, they are better because you are doing them together.

Mary Marantz

 

 

 

• “4 Four U” is a Social & Emotional Support bulletin that I send out once a week. It is less than 50 words. It will have links to 1 blog/article, 1 podcast episode, 1 short video and 1 quote. Click the image below if this sounds like something you think has the potential to make your day a little better.