As we enter Thanksgiving week, I am reminded of the many reasons why I am grateful to be working in the Mendon-Upton Regional School District. In our classrooms our students benefit from caring teachers and staff who go above and beyond to not only meet the needs of all of our learners, but to inspire them, encourage them, love them, and create engaging environments for growth. In our schools, I've witnessed our community gather around colleagues in times of need, celebrate successes with joyful support, and have fun alongside our students. Thank you for all that you do and please take some much-needed rest and relaxation over the Thanksgiving Break.
Twitter Challenge: #Portrait of a Learner #MURSDInspires #SkillfulCollaborator
Articles/Blogs from Twitter
Self-Care Practice: Gratitude
With Thanksgiving season upon us, our self-care practice this week to work on is gratitude. Gratitude allows us to find the good in our lives. Research indicates that gratitude practices boost emotional well-being as well as physical health. Here are a few examples of how you can express gratitude:
1. Send a text message to someone thanking them for brightening your day.
2. Keep a gratitude journal and write down 3-5 things you are thankful for. Do this a few times a week.
3. Create a gratitude jar where your family adds in gratitude notes. Read through the notes when the jar is full.
4. Capture the ordinary moments in your life that you can feel gratitude for. You do not always have to focus on extraordinary events that occur.
5. Run errands with gratitude. Thank those who help you along the way at stores.
6. Write a personalized thank you note to someone who helped you in some way.
7. Give a colleague a high-five or fist-bump for a job well done.
8. Write a kind review for a business or product that you enjoyed and appreciated.
9. Post on social media something you are #grateful for.
10. Do random acts of kindness.
"Try to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud."--Maya Angelou
Upcoming district events/meetings
Portrait of a Learner Twitter Challenge
For November, we launched our Portrait of a Learner Twitter Challenge and are focused on highlighting our Skillful Collaborators. Here are my favorite posts this past week. Each month we will choose one Portrait of a Learner competency and highlight through Twitter what that competency looks like in our classrooms and schools. If you post with the hashtags #MURSDInspires #PortraitofaLearner with your picture and/or description of the Portrait of a Learner in action, you will be entered into a raffle to win some fun prizes! Our Twitter Challenge POL competency for November will be: #Skillful Collaborator
Articles/Blogs/Resource from Twitter
1. Sit comfortably. You don't have to twist yourself into a cross-legged position-unless you want to, of course. you can just sit in a chair. (You can also stand up or lie down, although the latter can sometimes result in an unintentional nap.) Whatever your position, you should keep your spine straight, but don't strain.
2. Feel your breath. Pick a spot: nose, belly, or chest. Really try to feel the in-breath and then the out-breath.
3. This one is the key: Every time you get lost in thought--which you will, thousands of times--gently return to the breath. I cannot stress strongly enough that forgiving yoursel fnad starting over is the whole game. As my friend and meditation teacher Sharon Salzbert has written, "Beginning again and again is the actual practice, not a problem to overcome so that one day we can come to the 'real' meditation".
Upcoming District Meetings/Events
Portrait of a learner
For November, we launched our Portrait of a Learner Twitter Challenge and are focused on highlighting our Skillful Collaborators. Here are my favorite posts so far! Keep them coming! Each month we will choose one Portrait of a Learner competency and highlight through Twitter what that competency looks like in our classrooms and schools. If you post with the hashtags #MURSDInspires #PortraitofaLearner with your picture and/or description of the Portrait of a Learner in action, you will be entered into a raffle to win some fun prizes! Our Twitter Challenge POL competency for November will be: #Skillful Collaborator
The Masscue Grant application is open. If you have an idea for infusing technology purposefully into the classroom, then this is the grant for you! Check out the following information: https://www.masscue.org/committee/grants-committee/ and if you are interested in submitting a grant, please let Dave Quinn and Maureen Cohen know.
Articles/Blogs from Twitter
Chapter 4: Build Community. "We are social beings, and we need each other to thrive. A strong, healthy community can bolster us through challenging moments and bring joy to our lives. When we build community, we can build empathy for each other; and building empathy for each other helps us build community." p. 95, Onward.
One way to build community is to participate in expansive listening where you help build connections through listening. You can use this skill with your colleagues, students, and with parents. With parent-teacher conferences coming up soon, it is worth checking out the list. On page 107 is the full list, but a few are as follows to try out:
Inspiration on Veteran's Day:
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." John F. Kennedy
Upcoming District Meetings/Events
We were invited to join in on an online collaborative session on how to build your SEL Toolkit with Self-Awareness. Jen Cutler, SEL Director for Ashland Public Schools will be co-leading the conversation with Paul Vieira, Assistant Superintendent of Ashland Public Schools. The topic of merging SEL strategies into our curriculum and instruction is part of our strategic goals this year, so we hope you can join in.
Liz Garden, principal of Mayo Elementary School in the Wachusett Regional School District will be our first guest for the Inspired Learning Conversation. Liz is known for her passion for reading and sharing that enthusiasm with students and staff alike. She'll share practical and creative strategies she's implemented to foster a community of joyful readers. In addition, we'll explore her strategies for building and enhancing school culture when administrators transition to a new school or district. We'll also dive into Mayo's new UDL initiative which has quickly yielding Inspired Learning opportunities for students and staff alike. We'll touch upon these topics and your questions as we kick off year three of the Inspired Learning Project.
You can join us live at 3:30 PM ET by clicking here. We'll also post the video and a recap on the blog following the conversation next week.
The #InspiredLearning Author Series is pleased to welcome @biblioracle next Tuesday @ 4:00 PM ET. We'll discuss his book "Why They Can't Write" and practical strategies to develop the writer in all of us. Join us live here: https://youtube.com/user/QuinnMURSD/live
Portrait of a learner Twitter Challenge
Beginning November 1, we are launching a Portrait of a Learner Twitter Challenge. Each month we will choose one Portrait of a Learner competency and highlight through Twitter what that competency looks like in our classrooms and schools. If you post with the hashtags #MURSDInspires #PortraitofaLearner with your picture and/or description of the Portrait of a Learner in action, you will be entered into a raffle to win some fun prizes! Our Twitter Challenge POL competency for November will be: Skillful Collaborator
Onward Book study
It's not too late to join in on our monthly bookstudy of Onward in Google Classroom. With the start of November feel free to join in on the conversation. The Google Classroom class code is: 7munhxf if you'd like to join in.
Articles and Blogs from Twitter
Try the Miracle Morning Routine: SAVERS
1. Silence--Meditation or sitting in silence helps to calm the anxious mind
2. Affirmations--Write and say an affirmation related to what you want to accomplish and how you will accomplish it.
3. Visualization--Picture your ideal day or your affirmations coming through
4. Exercise--Even 10 minutes every day gets the blood flowing.
5. Reading--Minimally read 10 minutes each morning
6. Scribing--Write anything and get thoughts out of your head. Set goals. Write about daily gratitude.
Inspiration: “Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don't.”--Steve Maraboli.
Upcoming District Events/Meetings