____ Days Until School

In my neck of the woods there is about a month until teachers and students return to the traditional classroom. One month. 30 days on the shot clock.

What will you do with these next 30 days? How will you prepare YOU?

Here are the three things I plan to do.

The beginning of the school year is not the time to prepare. In between classroom set up, syllabus printing, roster reorganization, team meetings and other PD, all I have time for is coffee.

One month before school starts I am still relaxed enough to really think about who I am, what I accomplished last year, who I want to be and what I want to accomplish this year.

To do this, I ask myself focus forward questions. These are questions that help me think about the future. So, I might ask, “Am I purposefully pursuing my passion? How will I continue my pursuit this year?”

I reflect for a few minutes, but the majority of my time is spent thinking about next steps.

Next steps, for me, always involve finding inspiration and encouragement.

Reading books, taking walks, watching movies, talking with friends, taking an art class or a dance class. I can gather inspiration from most places when I am open to receiving it.

Over the years I have found that living an inspired life in the best lesson I can teach my students.

From the inspiration I gather, I can begin to create my first Power Up space. This is a place where I can continue to be inspired throughout the school year.

For tips on how to create your own Power Up space, check out this blog post.

The last thing I do 30 days before the school year is …. pick my poison.

Stay with me. I promise it makes sense.

One of my favorite movies is The Princess Bride. In that movie there is a battle of wits; the old poison in the cup schtick. The challenger actually places poison in both cups. So, how does he escape death? He deliberately chose this poison and then injested small amounts of it each day. This built up an immunity in his body.

What does this have to do with the 30 day prep for school? Well, there is always something that we dislike doing, but we know it will make us stronger. This is the poison.

Poison – anything done or consumed in excess.

So, during my 30 day prep time I choose something that I don’t particularly like doing, but I know it will make me a better person. I do this thing in small doses.

For example, I love a clean, organized house, but with 4 young kids, cleaning is not a task I enjoy. In order to have what I want, I put myself on a small dose cleaning schedule.

  • Mondays – strip all the beds, remake them, and wash all the dirty sheets.
  • Tuesday – Clean the bathrooms
  • Wednesday – Wash kids’ clothes

In this way, I am not overwhelmed trying to clean everything at once.

Well, that’s all folks!

Cheers to the 30 day prep!


6 Steps – Processing the Points of Impact

Impact: the strong effect or influence that something has on a situation or person

16As educators we are always being asked about the impact we are making in our schools and with our students. This is an important question because we have such a significant impact on both the school environment and the student experience. Regularly reflecting on ways that students are negatively and positively impacted by our attitudes, our words, and our interactions is important in creating a successful and thriving school environment.

If we could pause here for just a moment… I want to ask about you, the educator. How are you doing today? How are you feeling? How have your students’ attitudes, words, and interactions impacted you?

It is equally as important to check on how teachers are doing, as it is to check in about the students. Not only do teachers need to check in, but we need to make sure we are taking the time to process.

Today we are going to discuss why we should process and how to process.

Process: To deal with something according to a particular set of actions.

Here are some helpful steps for processing the points of impact along your teaching journey:

  1. Acknowledge the feeling.
  2. Acknowledge the trigger.
  3. Lean into the feeling and learn from it.
  4. Ask yourself questions – do you like this feeling? Is it negatively or positively impacting your person?
  5. Decide on appropriate responses – counseling, journaling, exercise.
  6. Release the feeling, retain the lesson.

As teachers we are emotionally connected to our students and the school environment. Throughout the school year there are things that happen to our students impacting their behavior and academic performance. These things also impact us as teachers.

There are both positive and negative points of impact. Look at the chart below. How do these events make you feel?

Positive Negative
College acceptance Illness
Sports achievement Death
New student Bullying
Acceptance to a performing arts or specialty school Fight

17Download the FREE Healthy Processing Packet and begin processing the points of impact you encounter year after year, day after day, class period after class period.

**Here is a teaser** Write down one significant point of impact. Next to it, write a corresponding feeling. Don’t think about it. Don’t try to be politically correct. How does the event make you feel?

Cheers! You have already begun healthy processing.

Is this the first time you have stopped to process?

If not, think about how you typically process these most significant points of impact.

If this is the first time, reflect on why you have not stopped to do this sooner.

In “Understanding Emotions and How to Process Them“, Dr. Gregg Henriques discusses the importance of awareness and attunement. To be aware is to recognize the existence of the feelings. What feelings are produced as a result of events happening in the school as a whole AND those produced by students’ attitudes, behavior, and interactions?

18Attunement describes a person’s awareness and receptivity level in conjunction with the reaction to awareness. So, now that you are aware of the feelings produced by various impacts, what is your response? Do you shove the feelings away? Do you discuss the feelings? Journal? Counseling? Talk to a teacher friend?

Your reaction can be the beginning of a healthy processing journey, or the beginning of an unhealthy compacting journey.

Download the FREE Healthy Processing Packet to begin your journey. We will dive a bit deeper in the next post.

FREE Resource Cover

Cheers to being our best selves!


Looking for a deep dive into purposeful reflection for both teachers and students? Check out the Intentional Teaching Series.