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Global Education Conference 2012: Navigating the...

Global Education Conference 2012: Navigating the Site (by mmtmbit) @coolcatteacher: “ Global Education Conference starts Monday - get in there and start putting these on your schedule. Some great...
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Wear Red Day in a dress by Just Imagine

Wear Red Day in a dress by Just Imagine | Durff | Scoop.it
The Laurel Dark Red Medieval Dress includes the gown, leather belt, headpieces, and ballerina slippers. Remember to wear your group tag for a discount! Be memorable in this outfit. Hurry in to get yours now at Just Imagine http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Serena%20Imagine/245/214/22
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The Authenticity of Vulnerability

The Authenticity of Vulnerability | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 26 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter The greatest battles are often in the brain just behind a person’s eyes. For that is where we try to mask the emotions and the vulnerability we feel when we finally admit to ourselves that things aren’t OK. After reading the book, The Deeper Life , I was challenged by the author Daniel Henderson to write my personal theology statement. And one of my own goals is to “live transparently before the God who knows my every thought.” But people aren’t God. They don’t read minds. So, we have to COMMUNICATE . People Don’t Read Minds (And You Can’t Either) I opened up to someone today about something and they said, “I had no idea you ever needed anything. You seem like you have everything together all the time.” Well, I don’t. I’m hurting. I’m having a hard time in some areas in my life right now. There are things I can’t and won’t talk about on social media. But just because I don’t spill my guts to all those “friends” who really aren’t my friends, doesn’t mean that the hurt isn’t there. I bet you most of reading this post probably have problems you don’t share on social media either. Oh Lord, It’s Hard to Be Vulnerable But it is hard to be vulnerable. And truthfully, not everyone deserves to know your weaknesses. It takes time to establish trust. It takes time to find trustworthy people. But if you never open up and tell anyone that sometime is wrong, how are they supposed to know? If you act like you’re perfect all the time, who is going to trust you? If you don’t put yourself out there you won’t be hurt. You’ll never cry over the betrayal of a friend. You’ll never have your heart broken. But you’ll also never cry when a friend has their first granddaughter. You’ll never feel your heart swell with pride as someone overcomes a struggle you’ve helped them through. Vulnerability is hard and yet it is necessary to build trusting relationships. Are you willing to be vulnerable? Are you willing to admit that you’re not perfect? Do you need to have a conversation with someone and open up about something difficult you’re experiencing or a past mistake that might help a friend with a present problem? Perfect is a lie. The sooner you stop pretending, the sooner you can be refreshingly human and perhaps move to a deeper level of friendship and intimacy with some important people in your life. This post is day 26 of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.       The post The Authenticity of Vulnerability appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Capturing the Really Awful Thoughts (RATs) that Eat Away at Your Success

Capturing the Really Awful Thoughts (RATs) that Eat Away at Your Success | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 22 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter If you had a nasty rat in your house — would you feed it? Would you make a comfortable place for it to nest? Would you welcome it? Or would you TRAP IT and kill it and get it out? I hope you’d trap that Rat. Well, we all have RATs — “really awful thoughts” according to Tommy Newberry in his book The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life . Today let’s talk about dealing with those thoughts, those RATs that steal our joy. While most of us understand why we don’t want rats in our house, many of us let RATs run around in our minds. We feed these Really Awful Thoughts by thinking about them. We talk about them. We wake up in the night and relive them. Small things become so big! Big things become behemoths. 9 Sources of Really Awful Thoughts These are broken thought patterns, but don’t need to break us. The first step to catching a rat is to find out where it is! Nine RATs that attack most of us at and can steal our joy: Cynical Cyclers  – always seeing the worst. Always Amplifying  – using words like “always” to describe your problem. Feeling-Led Decision Makers  – facts and faith should drive your life, not feelings. Feelings can lead you astray, especially when you’re under a lot of pressure. Self-deceived Wishful Mind Readers (who can’t read minds at all) – people who think they can read other people’s minds. These people can’t but are convinced they know what others are thinking. This is so harmful and can feed a person’s paranoid feelings. “Drama Queen” Exaggerators – These people exaggerate and add a dramatic flair. Often, they feed gossip and are making non-existent issues into mountains with wagging tongues and hands on hips. The Paranoid Narcissist – These people think everyone is talking about them. Every look. Every word. Every sideways glance. They perceive that the whole universe not only revolves around them but has an opinion and is often out to get them. Their thinking is rarely straight. End of the World-ers – These people always think worst case scenario. What makes some of them so dangerous is not only that they think the worst will happen but some of them have a huge need to be right and so once they predict the end is near, they’ll do what they can to finish off something as quickly as possible – even when the good thing can indeed survive. Pity Party People – These people not only feel sorry for themselves but want everyone else to as well. They let their thoughts be influenced by every little negative circumstance. They load up these circumstances in a pity party backpack that they can unpack at any time with small things from years ago as easily rememberable as the thing that happened just today. Glory Days Worshippers – These people worship a past that never existed. Problems were worse and good times were better. None of it is true. So, instead of living today, they continue to experience a past that is an ever growing figment of their disillusioned imagination. All of us can fall into traps like these. That is why they are called Really Awful Thoughts or RATs. I recommend  The 4:8 Principle: The Secret to a Joy-Filled Life  as a great book to help get your thinking on track. Find the RATs and GET RID OF THEM! However, in today’s post as we consider excellence, I want you to ponder — Are you feeding the RATs? Are you nourishing those negative thoughts? Are there RATs you need to trap and replace with good things? You’d have to be sick to want to live in a rat-infested house or a RAT infested mind. This post is day 22 of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post Capturing the Really Awful Thoughts (RATs) that Eat Away at Your Success appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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No Storm, No Strength

No Storm, No Strength | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 20 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter The trees grew long and tall in the protected biodome. Scientists marveled at their beauty, rapid growth, and height. There was only one problem. The trees were weak. They were weak because there was no wind in the biodome. The biodome was protective, so no storm ever battered these trees. No Storm, No Strength Scientists discovered that trees without wind or weather had no strength. For in the wind and storm, trees develop deeper roots. As they are battered, the wood grows thicker. Much like us. While it would be nice to have no wind or storms in our lives, that is not life. Life is full of storms. Some of the strongest people I know have been blasted by the worst storms. Death. Illness. Betrayal. Hurt. Loneliness. Bullying. Unkindness. These things do not need to ruin us. They can drive us deep. In our family, when we are battered, we ask if we’re driving our lives with faith or feelings. Storms can hurt. We can wish they would be done. We can feel overwhelmed. But storms can drive us deep. In our family, as Christians, as we look at our lives through eyes of faith, we know that no tear is wasted and no pain is useless. Storms, oddly enough, can make us stronger when we go deep. Most excellent people weather epic storms. As part of our emphasis on excellence, ask yourself, when you’re battered by the storm – where do you draw your strength? Are you driven by feelings or faith? Do you go deep or do you fight the storm? This post is day 20 of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post No Storm, No Strength appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Dream Red by Just Imagine

Dream Red by Just Imagine | Durff | Scoop.it

Be stunning in Dream Red this Valentine's Day 

The Dream gown comes in 5 mesh sizes in a variety of colors. The top is adorned with sparkles and the outfit is completed by a clutch purse. https://marketplace.secondlife.com/p/DREAM-IN-RED-by-JI-add-to-Unpack/9391396 ;

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The Poverty of Overcommitment: You Have to Say No So You Can Say Yes Sometimes

The Poverty of Overcommitment: You Have to Say No So You Can Say Yes Sometimes | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 18 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter This past Monday, Kip and I sat down with my calendar. After we added up the time for commitments, we had a heart to heart about what I could do and was called to do versus what I wanted to do. As a result, I had to say “no” to three very important things to me. I had to disappoint some people who I care about. It was hard. But one thing those who seek excellence forget — saying yes to everything will impoverish you of your time. You’ll have no more time to give to important things because you never said “no.” You have to say no a lot if you want to be able to say yes sometimes. Life is full of choices. We have to make hard choices in order to focus on what is best. Learning to Say No Can Be Hard for Some People Many years ago, when Kip and I were first married, Kip realized that I had a huge problem. I like to please people. Too much sometimes, in fact. So, after I was overcommitted for one weekend yet again, we were on the couch talking and Kip said, “Vicki, I want you to practice something.” And I looked at him and said “what?” “I want you to look at me and tell me no ten times. I want you to practice saying no.” Well, at first, I admit, that it was hard. Of course, we were married because I’d said yes to him in the first place, so saying no to him was hard. After I was done, he said, “Now, how hard was that? To say no.” I admitted it was kind of hard. So, then, he said, “Now, go and start saying no sometimes or we’ll never see each other ever and that will be very bad. You have to remember that when you say yes all weekend to everyone else, that you will be saying no to me — and we’re married! So say yes to me on Saturdays and no to everyone else.” Since then, I’ve had to learn to say no to several things and people I cared about deeply. However, many times it was necessary so I could say yes to my family. Yes to my church. Yes to the deepest callings of my life and yearnings of my soul. Yes to the greatest accomplishments of my life so far. To be excellent you have to say no many times if you’ll have the time to say yes. How Do We Decide? Admittedly, there are those selfish souls who never say yes to anyone for anything. However, I’ve found that the most successful among us aren’t stingy with their time. In fact, they’re in huge demand because they are so excellent. So, they have to learn to be stingy with their yeses to the important things and generous with their no’s to non-priorities. Notice, I didn’t say “important people” or “big jobs.” Don’t mistakenly think that someone has to have a title or power to be worthy of your time. My assistant, Dr. Lisa Durff, knows that I want to read every single classroom teacher’s email that is sent to me. That is who I serve. At church and at school, I want to spend time with the children. I always have time for hugs from little kids and conversations with older ones. These are the gems that make life glisten that are often overlooked when my calendar is too full and the list is too long with things that really don’t need to be there. We can’t make more time. We can’t manage it. We can only use the scarce time we have in the best way possible. Today’s Time Challenge For today’s challenge. Ask yourself if you’re overcommitted. Is there anything you know you need to go say no to right now before you get into it too far? And if you’re a Christian, remember John 15:5   and make sure you’re called to something. The Poverty of Overcommitment by Vicki A. Davis Wouldn’t it be sad to see the life you could have had if you’d just learned to say “no”? Instead of galloping ahead, to say “whoa”? You’d have had more success if you’d had time to say “yes” to your greatest few deeds instead of a thousand minor needs. This post is day 18 of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post The Poverty of Overcommitment: You Have to Say No So You Can Say Yes Sometimes appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Cyber-Security Practice: Learn it in one week

Cyber-Security Practice: Learn it in one week | Durff | Scoop.it
. . Read, think, learn and share over Social Media… Security is everyone's responsibility! We are ALL responsible for the Internet's future! . ===> "Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only t...

 


Via Gust MEES
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todd harmsworth's curator insight, May 8, 2017 6:33 AM

security is everyones responsibility and when your in charge of a classroom full of adolescences they then become your responsibility. good to read and take notes from

todd harmsworth's curator insight, May 8, 2017 6:53 AM

security is everyones responsibility and when your in charge of a classroom full of adolescences they then become your responsibility. good to read and take notes from

Tiffany Wheatley's curator insight, May 9, 2017 5:01 AM
A critical part of our future career is being aware and informed about legal, safe and ethical protocols.
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Are you a Leaner or a Lifter?

Day 15 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter As my students and I were watching a John Maxwell video yesterday, he quoted this poem which hit me between the eyes. I’m asking myself: do I intentionally lift or do I lean. Now, admittedly, we all lean sometimes. That is the nature of being human. However, lifting, as Maxwell says, is intentional. You have to decide to lift up others. Which Are You? by Ella Wheeler Wilcox There are two kinds of people on earth today; Just two kinds of people, no more I say, Not the sinner and saint, for it’s well understood, That the good are half-bad and the bad half-good. Not the rich and the poor, for to rate a man’s wealth, You must first know the state of his conscience and health. Not the humble and proud, for in life’s little span, Who puts on vain airs, is not counted a man. Not the happy and sad, for the swift flying years Bring each man his laughter and each man his tears. No; the two kinds of people on earth I mean, Are the people who lift, and the people who lean. Wherever you go, you will find the earth’s masses, Are always divided in just these two classes. And oddly enough, you will find too, I wean, There’s only one lifter to twenty who lean. So, today, as we ponder excellence yet again, let’s ask ourselves: do we lift or do we lean? This post is day 15 of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post Are you a Leaner or a Lifter? appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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The Lie of Giving 110%

The Lie of Giving 110% | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 14 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter We cannot let how we feel determine how hard we work. Famed basketball coach John Wooden always taught his players that there’s no such thing as 110%. If they didn’t give 100% in practice, it could never be gotten back later with some superhuman effort. Therefore, a decision to do less than you can do is an irrevocable decision to settle for less than your best. You can’t get it back. This post is day 14 of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post The Lie of Giving 110% appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Idea-a-thon 2018 l Contest by Remote-Learner

Idea-a-thon 2018 l Contest by Remote-Learner | Durff | Scoop.it
Sparking Innovation At Remote-Learner we're big believers in the ripple effect. We see the power of technology and its potential to improve lives through learning. We celebrate collaboration and community, which is why we're proud to sponsor the inaugural Idea-A-Thon—a contest to spark innovation in online learning! A Contest for Big Thinkers and Innovators in Online Learning All great solutions start with an idea! For the Idea-A-Thon, we're looking for innovative ideas to improve eLearning at your school or workplace, your community, or out in the world. Think about online learning, how it's delivered, and how the experience can be improved for learners, instructors and/or administrators. The best ideas are ones that address a real problem. To enter the Idea-A-Thon, you will be asked to submit a brief abstract that includes the issue you have identified to address, a description of your solution, and an explanation of its value, along with any other materials that help you best illustrate the problem and how you intend to solve it. Creativity is encouraged, as entries are open format and can include video, slide deck presentations, PDFs etc.
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Recklessly Abandoned to Love

Recklessly Abandoned to Love | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 10 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter This reckless abandon of showing love to others can feel like you are not showing love to yourself sometimes. Yet it is part of reckless abandon to pour yourself out in love of others when you do not know how to go on. When you are tired. When you can go no more. “If love is who I am Then this is where I’ll stand Recklessly abandoned Never holding back I want to live like that I want to live like that Am I proof That You are who you say You are? That grace can really change our heart Do I live like Your love is true?” Live like that by Sidewalk Prophets Love Costs Something In times when I am exhausted (like now) I think of King David at the threshing floor where he was stopping to offer a sacrifice after the plague stopped and the owner offered to give him the property and David said “I will not offer that which costs me nothing”. And that seems to be what many want to do today. They want to serve others as long as they are not tired. They want to give money as long as they have enough. They want to show up if they have time on their schedule. STOP! True sacrificial love can cost us everything! I am not talking a lack of self- care or namby-pamby martyrdom— I am talking a conscious decision by healthy minded brave adults to give, show up, and do for others when all you want to do is lay on the couch and curl up under a blanket and hibernate for days. Our Love and Encouragement is Needed There are certainly times for retreat but not every time and every day. We have children and people who need encouragement. We need a world of brave people willing to be recklessly abandoned to being a pipe full of God’s love to a world that sees too much hurt and pain and wonders who is going to show up. I cannot do everything and I might not can do much but I can serve my small calling with faith. I can love kids and parents who wound me and be encouraging to others in my profession even when criticized. For if we are called, we are equipped. But if we are called, we cannot wait until it is convenient and when we feel like it to show up. I do not write as anyone who is good or perfect but as one who struggles every single day to show up when all I want to do is give up. Your Work Matters I write as one who hopes that this tiny insignificant blog post will remind you that no act of kindness is wasted and that your showing up, giving up, and bucking up MATTERS. Live your calling, my friends. Be recklessly abandoned to show love to others. Be encouraged that your actions of love Matter. As for me, I was recklessly loved first so it is a small thing to give the same reckless love to others. And if you knew the truth, you’d realize you are recklessly loved too. This post is day ten of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post Recklessly Abandoned to Love appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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The Process of Success

The Process of Success | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 8 Challenge of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter John Maxwell in his video series Today Matters says, “In life, we typically overestimate the event and underestimate the process.” This post is day eight of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The students didn’t understand this. To me, the famous Coach John Wooden expresses the meaning, “When opportunity knocks, it is too late to prepare.” So, when you’re standing on the free throw line with no time left on the clock and you can tie the game with one shot and win with two, it is too late to work on your free throw shots — you’re there. Champions are made during the preparation process. The true work happens not at the state or national game – although that is very hard – most of the work happens before. I once heard a man say, “I spent twenty years preparing to be an overnight success.” Sometimes when we see success in others it is easy to think that it was easy. Great deeds require great sacrifice. Everybody wants to ride in the parade, nobody wants to hit the weight room every morning at 5 am. Day 8 Excellence Challenge Think about the success you desire. Are you longing for the outcome or are you realizing that the process of success is what gets you there? What are you willing to do on a daily basis with no one noticing in order to achieve that success? The post The Process of Success appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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How to Keep Children Busy, Learning, and Inspired During (and Beyond) School Vacations with Jam.com

How to Keep Children Busy, Learning, and Inspired During (and Beyond) School Vacations with Jam.com | Durff | Scoop.it
A sponsored post From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter Jam.com is a website that will change your child’s life. Many of us who focus on enriching our child’s experience are always looking for things that will really spark his or her curiosity. The problem I’ve always had is that sometimes my children are interested in things that I don’t know how to help them do. They might be interested in making Minecraft videos or building whole new worlds with Legos. Maybe they want to draw — and you, as a parent, can barely draw a stick figure! So what can you do to encourage your child in these areas? This is particularly hard if they don’t have a teacher in their school with expertise in these areas or if they’re not able to take classes addressing their interests. Jam.com will solve this problem for you. Let’s take a look at what this site does. This is a sponsored post. Fun Online Classes for Kids Jam.com is a website offering classes on topics that kids age 7 through 16 are sure to love. The coursework includes assignments that they can post for other students to give them feedback. They’re also giving feedback on the things that other students have created and done. This model matches world-class teachers who are subject experts with kids who are passionate about those subjects. (Imagine a NatGeo star teaching cool science projects, for example, or a professional artist teaching drawing.) So, when you combine these world-class teachers with an exciting, engaging learning environment for kids, you have Jam.com. Jam cards are individual cards that students click through to promote learning. Cards can include videos, drawings, and more. As they engage with content and other “jammers,” they earn experience points which unlock future learning opportunities.   Give the Gift of Learning I’m writing about Jam.com during the holiday season because this is a great gift for your kids or grandkids this Christmas. It would also be an ideal tool for an afterschool enrichment program where students have a variety of choices to take classes that interest them. Some of the most popular courses include: Secrets of Drawing Drawing Bootcamp (for beginners) Build Anything With LEGO Invent Your Own Machines Start Your 14-Day FREE Trial at Jam.com Right now, Jam.com has a 14-day free trial. But in addition, they’re offering a discount to my readers and listeners. If you use the code COOLCAT50 , you can get $50 off the price of a course or a subscription that lets you have access to all of the courses at Jam.com.   When you sign up on Jam.com, your child uses their screen name, not their real name, to post their work and respond to others.   Engage and Interact When I signed up for Jam.com as a parent, I was excited to see all of the courses tailored to kids’ interests and passions. As a teacher, I was also excited by all of the interaction and engagement that’s going on in these courses. Now is a great time to introduce your child to this website and give them a chance to play and learn in a way that means something to them. Children get excited about learning when it is something that is of interest to them. Students interact with their teachers and other students on the cards that they post under their screen name.   So whether your child wants to draw, do science experiments, make Minecraft videos, or just about anything else, there’s probably a course at Jam.com that would excite them. Remember that you can also buy a family subscription to this service. Jam.com is a perfect gift for enrichment at home, for homeschoolers, or even for afterschool enrichment clubs. Sign up your free 14-day trial at Jam.com . Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored blog post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services that I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies that I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” The post How to Keep Children Busy, Learning, and Inspired During (and Beyond) School Vacations with Jam.com appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Take a Break and Be Interested in People

Take a Break and Be Interested in People | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 27 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter You don’t have to talk about work all the time. You don’t have to be intense every single moment. Sometimes, take the time to ask people about their weekend, their hobbies, and their families. It has taken time for me to learn this important point. But the bottom line is that we like to be around people we like. And people liking each other is all about having a relationship. And we need relationships to work together. John Maxwell says, “All things being equal, people will work with people they like. All things not being equal, people will still work with people they like.” Now, I’m not saying everyone will like you or me or that we should all worry terribly about being popular. However, being likable is important because if you’re unlikeable it is hard to accomplish what you’re put here to do. We tend to find interested people interesting. Want to have someone think you’re a fantastic conversationalist? Just ask them about their interests. Get them talking. At the end of the “conversation” – they’ll think you’re awesome. But here’s the thing. I love to hear people’s stories. People are fascinating and incredibly, I am always meeting the most remarkable people. When you’re genuinely interested in others, you’ll find that many people are fascinating. You may even learn some things about people you’ve known a long time that surprises you. So, your challenge for your next day at work? Sit down at lunch or break and ask questions. Be interested in other people and their lives. See what happens. You might just be pleasantly surprised. This post is day 27 of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post Take a Break and Be Interested in People appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Awards Ceremony with DJ Anke Zamani

Awards Ceremony with DJ Anke Zamani | Durff | Scoop.it
You are cordially invited to walk the red carpet to the awards ceremony held in honor of the winners of the competition 'The Argument' on Tuesday, January 30, 12:30pm SLT. See you there! http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Serena%20Imagine/191/25/21
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Find us on Flickr!

Find us on Flickr! | Durff | Scoop.it
Please come view the stunning photos that Vita has shared on Flickr. Click on the Follow button to keep abreast of items shared to the Flickr groups Wolves Lands & Serena Imagine Arts Center https://www.flickr.com/photos/153849716@N05 Just Imagine https://www.flickr.com/photos/149850473@N07
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Avoid Squeaky Wheel Syndrome

Avoid Squeaky Wheel Syndrome | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 21 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter As I learned in one business in particular when I was just out of college, squeaky wheel syndrome can infect an organization. So, we’ve all heard the saying, “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” This means that the person who fusses or argues or pitches a fit is often the one that gets what they’re asking to receive. And certainly, there’s something to be said for asking for what you need and being persistent. Agreed. But there’s a difference between persistence and bad behavior, rudeness, or tantrums. Pay Attention When we are leaders (or parents or teachers), we must be very careful. There are people, by nature, who ask for what they need but they do not yell. They do not scream. They do not stomp their feet. They do not behave badly. They don’t squeak. However, if these people who ask persistently without bad behavior exist in an environment that has “squeaky wheel syndrome,” they’ll be ignored. Because organizations infected with squeaky wheel syndrome respond quickly to bad behavior but to little else. Think about it. When a person who never squeaks asks for something, you really should listen. I know when a student who never asks for anything makes a request, I try to stop everything and handle it. Not because they are more important than other kids with issues, but because they have so few issues – this one must be important. And if I can handle it quickly, they’re less likely to have to squeak to get me to handle it. Then, consider this. Do you really want to reward bad behavior? Or do you want the kind of environment where people have civil conversations, listen to one another, and an open flow of communications? Or do you want to embolden those who behave badly? How people ask is important. How people work together is also important. The wheels of business, schools, and families need to turn so we have progress. But why do they have to squeak? Why can’t they just work liked well-oiled machines, cooperating and communicating? How Do You Respond to Squeaky Wheels? As we pursue excellence, consider how you respond to “squeaky wheels.” Do you excuse bad behavior? Do you encourage people to treat each other poorly or do you encourage civil discourse? Grease all the wheels. Encourage smooth cooperation. And sometimes wheels that only squeak and are dysfunctional might need to be replaced because some wheels will always squeak, no matter how much grease. This post is day 21 of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post Avoid Squeaky Wheel Syndrome appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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It is OK to be Childlike but not Childish

It is OK to be Childlike but not Childish | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 19 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter I looked across my classroom today with childlike wonder . My students were doing something difficult. But, they deftly added binary numbers with ease. Although the subject is advanced, they say it is “easy.” Their ability fills me with joy. A big part of that joy is my perspective —  stepping back in childlike wonder and seeing my students perform, know, and create. Teaching is so exciting when I look at my job in childlike wonder realizing that I’m part of that accomplishment. The age of our heart is young if a sunset can still take our breath away or a baby’s cry can make our eyes sparkle and arms reach. If we can lick an ice cream cone slowly in enjoyment or breathe deeply in the spring to smell the jasmine, then perhaps we still have childlike wonder. Childlike is awesome. Childlike is young. When someone has a childlike wonder about the world, they can still see things as if for the first time. Childlike excitement causes us to squeal in joy when we hook a fish or to take time to help a stray puppy find her owner. Childlike is fine. Childish is not. However, a deep chasm divides child-like and child-ish. A CEO can have childlike wonder as she speaks to her stockholders. “What joy! I get to do this!,” she thinks in wonder. Childish is when someone stomps out of a room when they don’t get their way. Or when someone cannot take criticism. A childish person is immature in their reactions to the world, especially adversity. Children and teenagers are pretty selfish. We expect that. But when a 45-year old is just as selfish as a 14-year old — that is sad. You’d like to think that over time people would appreciate others and want to serve them. And yet, immature, childish people of all ages are everywhere. And yet, people full of childlike wonder are everywhere as well. As we pursue excellence, consider the last time you felt childlike wonder. Have you taken the time to observe and notice the beauty of the world and others? And also consider if you’ve acted childish in some way recently. Have a conversation (like we did at the supper table tonight) with your family about the difference between childlike and childish and which belongs in the life of an excellent person. What do you think? This post is day 19 of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post It is OK to be Childlike but not Childish appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Setting Appropriate Expectations for Success

Setting Appropriate Expectations for Success | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 17 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter Some people don’t have realistic expectations for life. Kip sent me this joke today that fits what I’m talking about… Reaching the end of his job interview, the HR manager asks the fresh young engineer, “what starting salary are you looking for?” The recruit replies, “$125,000 and a full benefits package” The HR rep replies, “how about 5 weeks vacation, 15 paid holidays, full medical and dental, 50% match on retirement, and a company car.” The engineer says, “wow, are you kidding?” The HR rep says, “yeah, but you started it…” One advantage teens have when they work is understanding what things cost. However, I often think that many of us forget what things cost: Relationships take time to develop Schools take time to build a legacy It takes time to build a reputation A tree takes time to grow In today’s world of instant this and instant that, people want a “just add water” success formula. Guess what? It doesn’t exist. Success can take time – even if it looks fast, it typically takes time. Practice. Hard work. Sacrifice. Sometimes we expect things to be easy and they’re not. Decisions to Pursue Excellence Always Cost Something Even now. I’m exhausted. I had a tiring day at school and had gate duty tonight. I came home exhausted. Kip fired up an old movie and I’m ready to watch. However, I made a commitment to write once every day for 80 days and only to take off Sundays.  You might wonder why I’d do that – well, it was the result of praying, but honestly, I’ve been blogging so much about my podcast, that I had gotten out of the habit of just writing. And it seems to me that I can’t write about excellence to you if I’m not willing to consistently work at it myself. So, today’s challenge is this: Ask yourself what you’re taking time to build? Your health? What relationships? What dreams? You are what you do consistently over time. So, examine one area where you are eagerly pursuing success and look at the habits you’re doing to help build that success. And then, expect that those habits will cost you something and prepare to pay the price. Excellence has a price. Make sure the type of excellence you’re pursuing is worth it. And make sure that you expect that it won’t be easy. In fact, succeeding is often very hard. The post Setting Appropriate Expectations for Success appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Ali J the winner of 'The Argument' at Serena Imagine Arts Center 

Ali J the winner of 'The Argument' at Serena Imagine Arts Center  | Durff | Scoop.it
Alliah Jewell will exhibit her work at Serena Imagine Arts Center until the end of February. She is the winner of the competition 'The Argument' held at the end of 2017 at Serena Imagine Arts Center. http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Serena%20Imagine/135/130/21
 
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Some Practical Tips to Help You Differentiate Your Teaching Strategies

Some Practical Tips to Help You Differentiate Your Teaching Strategies | Durff | Scoop.it
Free resource of educational web tools, 21st century skills, tips and tutorials on how teachers and students integrate technology into education

Via Dr. Lisa Gonzales
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Dr. Lisa Gonzales's curator insight, January 15, 4:29 PM
Lots of great ways to differentiate instruction and engage students.
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How to Keep Disappointment from Derailing Our Dreams

How to Keep Disappointment from Derailing Our Dreams | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 13 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter Disappointment comes to us all. We believe in someone and are betrayed. Or we apply for a job and it doesn’t happen. Someone makes a promise and they break that promise. We try to achieve something – we fall short. It happens to everyone. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. whose birthday and legacy we celebrate today said, We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope. But how can we do this? Who Do You Feed? I think that we can prevent bitterness the same way we prevent scrub oaks from growing in the flower bed: we pull them up when they are small. However, we shouldn’t continue to revisit the hurt and focus and dwell on it. Instead, we must learn to redirect, forgive, and move on. Perhaps the best explanation can be found in an old tale from the Cherokee Indians, the Legend of Two Wolves , that goes like this, An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.” The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?” The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.” We cannot help being disappointed. Disappointment is a normal part of life. Inevitably it comes to us all. Decide What To Do with Your Disappointment However, when we’re disappointed, we can help what we do with it. Will we feed our anger? Do we feed our self-pity? Shall we feed our resentment? If we do, bitterness will grow. It has too. If you live long enough, you’ll meet someone consumed by their anger, self-pity, and resentment. They have fed all their disappointment to the angry wolf. He crowds out the good. But if you live long enough, you’ll also meet someone who should be angry but is not. Who should pity herself, but does not. Who should be resentful but is full of kindness and joy and peace. You can’t pick your pain. However, you can pick your wolf. Today, as you pursue excellence, think of your most recent pain. Are you processing that pain in healthy ways? Or are you revisiting it to feed your anger, self-pity, and resentment? The wolf you choose to feed makes all the difference in who you become. This post is day thirteen of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post How to Keep Disappointment from Derailing Our Dreams appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Take a Rest

Take a Rest | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 11 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter Sometimes you must rest to be your best. Get some. This post is day eleven of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. The post Take a Rest appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Setting Goals Helps You Get the Most Out of Activity Monitors (and Life)

Setting Goals Helps You Get the Most Out of Activity Monitors (and Life) | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 9 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter Some people think just being aware of something is enough to improve. They think that to say less profanity that they’ll just have someone put a penny in a jar when they say a curse word. Or, they’ll track their steps so they’ll notice them and work to take more steps and get more exercise. Monitoring without goal setting may actually hurt your performance. New research shows that just being aware of activity on your activity monitor does not improve your activity. This post is day nine of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. So, in this research — they find that if you want to have a benefit of increasing your steps, you have to set a goal for how many steps. In fact, if you DON’T set a goal, your activity may actually decrease. So, is it 5,000 steps a day or 10,000? How many? This fits with all of life. Setting a target makes a difference. For example, someone timing your run around the track may not make a difference unless you set as your goal to improve that time. We all need goals. We all need to know what success looks like. So, I challenge you today. If you have an activity monitor – what is your goal in steps or calories burned? Set it. And if you don’t have one, then set a physical goal of some kind — 20 minutes a day or 30 minutes a day or walk 2 miles a day. Some measurable goal. Because exercising “when I feel like it” won’t cut it and it won’t get you the results you’re looking to improve. Even more, if you don’t set your physical health as a priority, one day your body will make it a priority for you. So, today’s challenge – set physical goals. Track them. Even better, have an accountability partner. The post Setting Goals Helps You Get the Most Out of Activity Monitors (and Life) appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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Today’s Challenge: Focus on Where You Are

Today’s Challenge: Focus on Where You Are | Durff | Scoop.it
Day 4 of 80 Days of Excellence From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter I wish my phone had three “do not disturb” settings. One is the regular, turn everything off except those few important family members. From 8 pm to 7 am, that is on now. However, I think many of us have a problem focusing both at work and at home. So, I wish that I had a “work only” mode for my phone and that all social media would be blocked. Finally, I wish I had a “home only” mode for my phone so social media would get through but all texts and work apps would no longer be awake. The actress Carrie Fisher said, “What I always wanna tell young people now: Pay attention. This isn’t gonna happen again. Rather than try to understand it as it’s going along, have it go along for a while and then understand it.” Focus is something we all need. This post is day four of 80 days of excellence . I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series. I think many times I suffer from “creep.” Home life can creep into my daily work. But also, work can creep into my home life. So, instead of giving either place my entire attention, I give less than 100% sometimes. So, in a pursuit of greater excellence, I think it is healthy to focus on where we are at this moment. If what we’re doing right now is so important, it is important enough to give our entire attention. When I’m at work, I think it is ethical to focus on the students in front of me. My school is paying me and even more so, I’ve made my commitment to teach.  I’ve given my word that I’ll do a good job. How can I do a good job at something if my feet are up on my desk or if I’m mindlessly surfing social media. (This is why I use a scheduling tool, you might see me tweet during the day, but 99% of the time, I’ve scheduled it before the day ever began.) Parents can trust that when I’m at school, I’m not going to be on social media. I’m going to focus on their children, my students. But when I’m at home, I need to focus on my own children and husband and family. Additionally, of course, I also have the podcast and blog, and of course, this new 80 Days of Excellence endeavor of which I’m on day four with this post. Being where you are Yesterday after church, my son drove me home. He’s still got his learners but is just about time for his driver’s license test. You’d better believe that on a cold dark night, he had my 100% attention. But does he have my attention at the supper table? Does he have that same attention when he comes to my office with a question? He deserves my focus, but does he have it? Do you focus? So, today, on our fourth day of excellence together. I challenge all of us to focus. Focus on being where we are. At work, be totally at work. Focus completely on getting your job done. Be excellent and give it all you have. Stay away from social media unless you need it for your job. Leave social for home time. But when it is time to leave work, focus completely on your home. Socialize on social media if you like. But don’t check email for work. Be fully present at home. When you’re having dinner tonight, give your fellow diners your total attention. So, today, let’s focus on focus. Let’s be truly present where we are and tune out where we’re not. Distracted driving is dangerous but so is distracted living. Focus and pursue excellence today! The post Today’s Challenge: Focus on Where You Are appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!
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