Day 184 (of 185) some CBT reminders as summer looms

Day 184 (of 185) some CBT reminders as summer looms

It’s important to remember some of the key benefits to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. Some of the easiest are:

Listening to your body cues

Seeing the body cues of others

Coping Step Plan

In brief:
It’s important to listen to your body as it will let you know how you are feeling, even if your brain doesn’t want to acknowledge it. This can range from sweat (when not working out), to the need to go to the bathroom……even though you just went, to physical affects such as hand/leg cramps and beyond. Some of the main ones can be identified via a BC Friends for Life (a free cat program targeted at grade 4/5 students) Parents worksheet:

And the nice part is when you become aware of those cues, it becomes easier to “read” how others may be feeling. So that when someone yawns, it may not be because of boredom but a stressed reaction. Laughing at an accident because the body and brain doesn’t necessarily know how to react when it sees someone get hurt or be in stress. And when you can see how others are reacting, it becomes easier to be mindful in how you react and respond – giving time and slowing things down being particularly successful strategies. 

And then coming up with a Coping Step Plan – breaking something down into smaller parts so that each step is achievable in order to be successful. And it’s not the same for everyone – my daughters hate asking clerks/wait staff/etc for help (whether if it’s for a different sized dress or even ketchup for fries) while my “anxiety” son has no problems asking….
But it can be helpful to take small steps:

It’s important to be mindful that you can’t always be sure how others are feeling (Google “technolandy & fine fine fine” or: for more) but being mindful that sometimes you need to look mindfully in order to accurately sense what might be going on below the initial impression – especially at stressful times of year such as the end of a school year. 

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Day 183 (of 185) on graduations

Day 183 (of 185) on graduations
Is the ‘graduation’ of students from one site to another a celebration? For all? For some? 

I recall my own June Graduation from k-12 as “not a big deal” because I still had more years ahead of me at university – but for some of my peers, celebration was in order as they were the first to complete k-12 / it was a big deal worth celebrating…..

Yet ironically (perhaps) when students finish k-12, the ‘celebration’ seems to be more about the number of “years served” and being at “the end” than reflecting on what was Learned. Is it about ‘getting out’? Is it about how much growth has occurred? Successes along the way? Is it about finding ways to reward students – do the rewards/awards have criteria that has been clearly communicated (AFL) so the students know what they need to do?

With a shift away from letter grades……is “finals week” likewise facing a transition? Will students only attend until the last day if there are marks associated with them being there? Or are there “days away” to “prepare” for the year-end celebration events? Or are there ‘interesting learning opportunities’ that can keep students engaged even if their ‘final marks’ have already been sent to the office?

Traditional transitions are complex. They are meant as celebrations yet are symbolic of ending one thing (that is known) and going “somewhere else” (and oh, the places you’ll go…..sometimes can be scary). And how many “graduations” are right? Just grade 12? Kindergarten? At the end of grade 5, again at grade 8 or 9 (middle school) again between junior and senior secondaries? They can be sources of stress and anxiety – both about the event on its own let alone worries about if enough courses have been passed in order to walk across the stage. 

As my own children creep closer to graduation, the more I’ve been thinking about what their K-12 experience has been about….and what the status of a “traditional graduation process” should look like and ‘be about’ as schools and schooling continues to evolve!

As a conversation went recently: this is indeed a very exciting time to be in education! 

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Day 182 (of 185) gotta read to lead – inspired by #bcedchat

Day 182 (of 185) gotta read to lead – inspired by #bcedchat
Last nights #bcedchat (Sundays 7pm pst) had a focus on summer reading. And there are many choices – and many ways to do the reading. I’ve sorted some of the “favourites” or “eagerly anticipated” and “gotta reads” into the groupings of books and blogs (including tweeters in this group) because while books are inspiring and powerful tools, a blog can be both more current and timely and faster & cheaper to access!

I’m currently re-reading the works of @drtonywagner including Creating Innovators and Global Achievement Gap. And preparing to read non-educator books about Starbucks and Nike (#westcoastbias)
Some suggestions from our bcedchat on Sunday night (7pm if you want to join us!) 


Some of the key blogs that have been mentioned (and I look forward to reading) and there are many more!l that I also enjoy reading!! (And please suggest more!)
I’ll probably embarsssingly add more to this list as I go “how could I forget……” on a regular basis. 

But read, lead, and get ready to…..create!

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Day 181 (of 185) when the heat is on….

Day 181 (of 185) when the heat is on….

The end of June marks a lot of pressure – the end of school year causes stresses for tests, pressure on transitions at the ‘end’ of a year – or time at a school, getting final assessments/marks communicated to the right people, AND the arrival of literal hot weather. As such, at this time of year more so than ever:

Stay hydrated
Stay moving – even if it’s on the shoulders of the day to stay a little cool
Breathe. Slowly in like you are smelling a flower; out like you are blowing on a candle  but not blowing it out. 

Make plans – coping steps plans are great (and why Cognitive Behaviour Therapy is so important) by breaking things down into smaller steps to accomplish. 
Have some down time (consuming) by reading a book, listening to a movie or podcast, even use those “dreaded” screens – just not for too long 😜

Have some done time (creating) by doing some writing, sharing something on a social media platform, even use those “amazing” screens – to create via Minecraft or something new that only “kids” use

Be mindful that there is a reason for spinners, fidget cubes, stuffed animals, Pokémon cards, etc etc – they help distract a brain that may be being over-stimulated. 

Do something out of the ordinary (as a family ideally) like driving to Tappen for ice cream or to Burger55…..and talk about “family trivia” (or general trivia or alphabet games – animals that start with A)
Because summer is here. And that means we have come to ends – and endings are hard – stopping class communities. No more structure and routine. Entering a time of…..”freedom” (that somehow has more restrictions and ‘donts’ than it maybe should have – see free range kids)

Again – stay hydrated……..and wear sunscreen…..and be cool 😎 

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Day 180 (of 185) Summer of Badging?

Day 180 (of 185) Summer of Badging?

I don’t make my apple fandom much of a secret. From the time my dad brought home our first Apple II (and when the schools got the portable Apple IIc!) and then later the Macintosh (with its built-in handle at the top) I’ve been appreciative of how it helped me with my learning (my printing is very much an original font) and how I could organize my thinking about my learning…..with portability and hypercard! (precursor to both powerpoint/keynote and web building). I never understood the big tower connected to a big monitor with a bunch of wires in between. When a friend didn’t like her powerbook, I bought that as a replacement for my university Macintosh Classic. 

But – I also know that not all tools work for all people (otherwise Canadas Robertson screw would be universal )

So, when I was recently asked about some ‘next learning plans’ I have, I shared that I am looking at getting some certification via badges. 

The obvious first step is via Apple Educator opportunities: with the plan on continuing on to be an Apple Distinguished Educator

Also if great temptation has to better understand GAFE (google apps for education) with a start via to be a Google Certified Educator

And then I tease that though it makes me feel dirty 😜, I will be exploring how to be a Microsoft Innovative Educator via

I will be doing this both because I think it is important to have a familiarity with the key tools being used by Learners and by better knowing our Learners, I may be better able to share which tool may be the best ‘fit’ and also to continue to model that Learning never truly ends – not even in the summer!

Summer Of Learning coming soon!

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Day 179 (of 180) National Aboriginal Day

Day 179 (of 180) National Aboriginal Day

Indigenization. It was a term one of my mentors shared with me. Her challenge: don’t just have “a” day looking at First Nations…..every day should be aboriginal day – because we are all part of the same (larger) community but…..

There are many reasons why the Truth and Reconcilliation Commission was formed and made ‘recommendations’ (that line up well with the process of reciprocity) so that what “Canada” has done in its 150 years of being a nation is not just the “good/nice parts version”. 
There are tough themes that do not have simple answers or solutions but are part of #canada150:

Residential schools

Treatment of Metis




But better writers than I have commentaries and tough/challenging/uncomfortable shared to read:
Chris Wejr today:
Peter Wheeland fom last year:
And a variety of books to explore (beyond the Inconvenient Indian) include Fatty Legs, My name is Seepeetza, Indian Horse, As Long as the Rivers Flows, They called Me Number One , Not My Girl, I Am Not a Number. 

There’s a lot more to learn….and still new learnings each day to be better….to model what we say ….and hope…. it means to be Canadian. 

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Day 178 (of 185) scheduling play w thanks to @laurapaiement & @jordanwitzel 

Day 178 (of 185) scheduling play 

I’ve mentioned in the past that sometimes life goes so fast I’ve scheduled boredom breaks – because it isn’t often that I have. Irving to do/don’t know what to do. 

I even irritate my kids on the few times they’ve complained about being boooooorrrred by responding “you’re lucky. Stop bragging”. 

I like boredom time because it’s a chance for the brain to do some processing and catch up on synthesizing and connecting thoughts. I also appreciate the times to “play” no matter what the age. Especially in the summer when kids enter a time of lack-of-structure and sometimes don’t know what to do when it hasn’t been scheduled for them.  

So a couple of schedules to share. 

From our district healthy living coordinator @laurapaiement some options for summer fun as a “recipe”:

From our friends at ParticipAction some more ideas connected to #Canada150:
Although, fair warning that a former student/football player I worked with mixed up what one of the suggestions was…..
Always important to have fun!

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