Earlychildhood NEWS is the online resource for teachers and parents of young children, infants to age 8. You will find articles about developmentally appropriate practice, child health, safety and behavior as well as links to teacher resources and networking opportunities.
This is hard to research, but a tentative conclusion would be to praise the character revealed rather than the actions. I think it is important to know the child and situations, but it makes a certain amount of sense.
Schools are highly stressful places to work. I don't think that will change in the foreseeable future. It may get worse. A challenge is schools are managed rather than led. There is a need for both in integrated ways, but as long as we see management as the way the risk is we treat people like objects.
Kindness Is Something Students Learn By Feeling It by Lisa Currie, Ripple Kindness Project Most people have heard the phrase ‘random acts of kindness’, which refers to a selfless act of giving resulting in the happiness...
Rather than picking their victims indiscriminately, bullies go about selecting their targets tactfully, as is observed in many cyber bullying stories (Find out how bullies go about choosing their targets and how the selection varies in the offline...
We treat bullying as if it is a childhood phenomenon, which it is, but it is also happening amongst adults. Adult-on-adult bullying in the workplace is common in education. It sends a message to children that bullying is OK. Bullies, at all ages, pick on those who are not able to fight back and defend themselves.
The organization I worked for had a new vision statement which they claimed came from public consultation, but who was consulted was never clear. The dreams referred to are the dreams of the few and repeated as such.
A teacher in Massachusetts who has spent more than a quarter century in the classroom is drawing attention after she quit her job over her growing frustration with the school system’s emphasis on standardized testing.
Because of “so many things that pulled me away from the classroom and fractured my time with the children,” kindergarten teacher Susan Sluyter quit last month.
“It takes the joy out of learning for the children," she told TODAY. "It takes the joy out of teaching.”
Many things potentially take the joy out of teaching. One that is rarely ever pointed out is the lack of voice for classroom teachers. It is a sad day when the way voice is heard is when teachers quit.
Happiness: everyone wants it, yet relatively few seem to get enough of it, especially those in their early forties. (I'm no psychologist, but that's probably about when many of us start thinking, "Wait; is this all there is?")
Good news and bad news: unfortunately, approximately 50 percent of your happiness, your "happiness set-point," is determined by personality traits that are largely hereditary. Half of how happy you feel is basically outside your control.
But, that means 50 percent of your level of happiness is totally within your control: relationships, health, career, etc. So even if you're genetically disposed to be somewhat gloomy, you can still do things to make yourself a lot happier.
1. Make good friends.
It's easy to focus on building a professional network of partners, customers, employees, connections, etc, because there is (hopefully) a payoff.
But there's a definite payoff to making real (not just professional or social media) friends. Increasing your number of friends correlates to higher subjective well being; doubling your number of friends is like increasing your income by 50 percent in terms of how happy you feel.
And if that's not enough, people who don't have strong social relationships are 50 percent less likely to survive at any given time than those who do. (That's a scary thought for loners like me.)
Make friends outside of work. Make friends at work. Make friends everywhere.
Make real friends. You'll live a longer, happier life.
2. Actively express thankfulness.
According to one study, couples that expressed gratitude in their interactions with each other resulted in increases in relationship connection and satisfaction the next day--both for the person expressing thankfulness and (no big surprise) for the person receiving it. (In fact, the authors of the study said gratitude was like a "booster shot" for relationships.)
Of course the same is true at work. Express gratitude for employee's hard work and you both feel better about yourselves.
Another easy method is to write down a few things you are grateful for every night. One study showed people who wrote down 5 things they were thankful for once a week were 25 percent happier after ten weeks; in effect they dramatically increased their happiness set-point.
Happy people focus on what they have, not on what they don't have. It's motivating to want more in your career, relationships, bank account, etc. but thinking about what you already have, and expressing gratitude for it, will make you a lot happier.
And will remind you that even if you still have huge dreams you have already accomplished a lot--and should feel genuinely proud.
3. Actively pursue your goals.
Goals you don't pursue aren't goals, they're dreams, and dreams only make you happy when you're dreaming.
Pursuing goals, though, does make you happy. According to David Niven, author of 100 Simple Secrets of the Best Half of Life, "People who could identify a goal they were pursuing (my italics) were 19% more likely to feel satisfied with their lives and 26 percent more likely to feel positive about themselves."
So be grateful for what you have... then actively try to achieve more. If you're pursuing a huge goal, make sure that every time you take a small step closer to achieving it you pat yourself on the back.
But don't compare where you are now to where you someday hope to be. Compare where you are now to where you were a few days ago. Then you'll get dozens of bite-sized chunks of fulfillment--and a never-ending supply of things to be thankful for.
4. Do what you excel at as often as you can.
You know the old cliché regarding the starving yet happy artist? Turns out it's true: artists are considerably more satisfied with their work than non-artists--even though the pay tends to be considerably lower than in other skilled fields.
Why? I'm no researcher, but clearly the more you enjoy what you do and the more fulfilled you feel by what you do the happier you will be.
In The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Anchor says that when volunteers picked, "...one of their signature strengths and used it in a new way each day for a week, they became significantly happier and less depressed."
Of course it's unreasonable to think you can chuck it all and simply do what you love. But you can find ways to do more of what you excel at. Delegate. Outsource. Start to shift the products and services you provide into areas that allow you to bring more of your strengths to bear. If you're a great trainer, find ways to train more people. If you're a great salesperson, find ways to streamline your admin tasks and get in front of more customers.
Everyone has at least a few things they do incredibly well. Find ways to do those things more often. You'll be a lot happier.
And probably a lot more successful.
While giving is usually considered to be unselfish, giving can also be more beneficial for the giver than the receiver. Providing social support may be more beneficial than receiving it.
Intuitively I think we all knew that because it feels awesome to help someone who needs it. Not only is helping those in need fulfilling, it's also a reminder of how comparatively fortunate we are--which is a nice reminder of how thankful we should be for what we already have.
Plus, receiving is something you cannot control. If you need help--or simply want help--you can't make others help you. But you can always control whether you offer and provide help.
And that means you can always control, at least to a degree, how happy you are--because giving makes you happier.
6. Don't single-mindedly chase "stuff."
Money is important. Money does a lot of things. (One of the most important is to create choices.)
But after a certain point, money doesn't make people happier. After about $75,000 a year, money doesn't buy more (or less) happiness. "Beyond $75,000... higher income is neither the road to experience happiness nor the road to relief of unhappiness or stress," say the authors of that study.
"Perhaps $75,000 is the threshold beyond which further increases in income no longer improve individuals' ability to do what matters most to their emotional well-being, such as spending time with people they like, avoiding pain and disease, and enjoying leisure."
And if you don't buy that, here's another take: "The materialistic drive and satisfaction with life are negatively related." Or, in layman's terms, "Chasing possessions tends to make you less happy."
Think of it as the bigger house syndrome. You want a bigger house. You need a bigger house. (Not really, but it sure feels like you do.) So you buy it. Life is good... until a couple months later when your bigger house is now just your house.
New always becomes the new normal.
"Things" only provide momentary bursts of happiness. To be happier, don't chase as many things. Chase a few experiences instead.
7. Live the life you want to live.
Bonnie Ware worked in palliative care, spending time with patients who had only a few months to live. Their most common regret was, "I wish I'd had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me."
What other people think--especially people you don't even know--doesn't matter. What other people want you to do doesn't mater.
Your hopes, your dreams, your goals... live your life your way. Surround yourself with people who support and care not for the "you" they want you to be but for the real you.
Make choices that are right for you. Say things you really want to say to the people who most need to hear them. Express your feelings. Stop and smell a few roses. Make friends, and stay in touch with them.
And most of all, realize that happiness is a choice. 50 percent of how happy you are lies within your control, so start doing more things that will make you happier.
“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Some
Culture eats strategy for breakfast, technology for lunch, and products for dinner, and soon thereafter everything else too.Why? Because company culture, a concept pioneered by Edgar Schein, is the operationalizing of an organization’s values. Culture guides employee decisions about both technical business decisions and how they interact with others. Good culture creates an internal coherence in actions taken by a very diverse group of employees.
I liked the cartoon. Having said that, we each bring our cultures, yes plural, with us and add them to the mix at our workplaces. I am making that argument as it applies to teaching. Teachers and students are not acultural and apolitical. Rather, they are continuously making sense of teaching and possible learning through cultural lenses which act as personal curricula.
The challenges faced in education are that we use modernist, linear models described in post-modernist, non-liner, complex language. The two are likely incompatible. We need to re imagine what teaching and learning are. That will be scary for those who talk about the other as being afraid of change. The real change is to something that does not even look like what we talk about and collapsing the hierarchy with its external experts, consultants, bureaucrats, technocrats, etc. who have not been in classrooms for a long time and some never wanted to be there. Their dream job was to be a principal and manager.
This was the mantra repeated by educators throughout my youth. None of them added "be happy" to the success equation.
But a growing body of research in positive psychology and neuroscience is demonstrating that happiness is the secret ingredient to success. It turns out, our brains are more engaged, creative, productive, and resilient when in a positive state.
All this unhappiness comes with a high price tag to businesses, costing more than $550 billion a year in lost productivity. In his book, Donovan identifies 60 simple steps individuals can take to improve their happiness and get back on the path to success. Here are six of the top things happy workers do:
Happiness is something incredibly important in daily lives. Challenges are opportunities which invite us to ask questions and explore them. Too often, I experienced that schools were places where the opposite was the case. One administrator wrote a blog where he insisted staff should just trust him because they should. It seemed like trust did not have to be earned. When challenges arise, and they do, working with others to figure them out is a happy place.
Teachers need personal relationships with their students. This is not a cure all, but can help. When students know adults are on their side and are approachable it can make a difference. Another key point is that schools cannot be sites of adult-on-adult bullying which they often are.
This isn't about not holding myself accountable for my actions; it's about no longer reflexively blurting out an apology I don't really owe. It's about changing my default setting from unnecessary guilt....
Most bullies have excellent self-esteem is an interesting comment. I experienced schools as breeding grounds for bullying. I suspect most people do not think they are bullying others, but paying a little attention to what is said, how it is said, and the consequences is quite revealing. Something as subtle as being told teacher opinions are valued and then not listening is important. This is coming from those in the managerial roles.
It does make a person happier. We look back on those things that we gifted without any expectation of return and that is the return. Teaching is such a moral purpose when done from a place of altruism.
There are some interesting points i.e. 70% of Americans hate their work. I suspect this is similar in Canada. A key is to find a Job with a capital J and stop doing someone else's work. As much as I love teaching and being in the classroom, I had to leave. I was not working from the script closest to my heart, but being told to operate from a bureaucratic and technocratic scripture with no input from me.