When sitting and listening, brain activity mirrors sleeping

When sitting and listening, brain activity mirrors sleeping

I heard something interesting the other day…

When sitting and listening, our brains are about as active as when we are sleeping.

Besides that, children are not taught nor are they wired to sit and listen anymore.

I am fortunate to visit classrooms every day where teachers are asking deep thinking questions and empowering student passions. Students are talking to each other, brainstorming, dreaming, exploring curiosities, getting to know each others’ interests. Teachers are talking to the students, but most of the time it is to ask questions, to elaborate on student thinking, or to encourage them.

When sitting and listening, our brains are about as active as when we are sleeping.

We have to ask ourselves, are we in the business of providing brain rest time, or are we in the business of empowering students to learn, think, and explore their own curiosities?

The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity.     -Ellen Parr

Image source: HERE

“Change your life one 5-second decision at a time.” -Mel Robbins

“Change your life one 5-second decision at a time.” -Mel Robbins

We cannot control our feelings.

We do control what we think and what we do, and our feelings follow along.

Want to feel better? Take a walk, clean the kitchen, work toward a goal, listen to a kindergartener’s story.

Learning Dr. William Glasser’s Choice Theory taught me this early in my career and early in my marriage–it saved my marriage and my career. Before I understood how to change how I feel, I felt out of control. I felt angry and didn’t know how to change that feeling. I would feel stressed even though my problems were so minimal compared to others’. I distinctly remember one time in my early twenties being so angry that I threw a coffee cup into the sink and broke it. Woah mama, get a grip.

I don’t have to stay angry, or mad, or stressed, or sad. Those feelings will still rise up, like a little bolt of electricity running through my body. When those negative feelings happen, now I quickly coach myself to think logically and take some type of action to help me feel better.

The beauty is that if I am in control of me, I am able to help others in the way I want to. And, like you, I want to give everything I have to the people I love and work with.

Today I listened to Mel Robbins talk with Louis Howes about her book The 5 Second Rule and I LOVED what I heard–not just because Mel is a fellow West Michigan gal either!  Mel takes what I learned through Choice Theory to the next level. She shared Damasio’s work, which reveals that 95% of our decisions are based on our feelings. We don’t make decisions based on logic or on our goals. We decide based on how we feel, and Mel says this robs us of joy and opportunity. Do you feel like having that hard conversation? No. Do you feel like taking that run? Nope. Do you feel like cleaning your closet out? Na.

She gives us a tool, the 5-second rule, to help us take action when we don’t feel like it. When you have the urge to do something you should do, rather than dismissing that urge, count backwards from 5 and then do it. You start the action necessary to move toward doing the right thing as soon as you start counting.

I should work out. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Blast off the couch.

I should talk through that mistake with my colleague. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Go for it.

I should read to my son even though I am so tired. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Be the mom you want to be.

Change your life one 5-second decision at a time.

-Mel Robbins


Image credit: HERE

Press the ‘Reset’ Button to Bring Back the Joy

Press the ‘Reset’ Button to Bring Back the Joy

Are you feeling the joy?

This time of year sometimes patience wears thin, and we feel like students have forgotten expectations even though it is March. For teachers, the creative juices might have dried up a bit. We could all use some of the energy we had in September. You are not alone, this happens across the state, country, world.

So, what to do? Think about how you could press the reset button to refresh and re-energize yourself and your class. Here are some ideas:

  • Do relationship-building activities every day for a few weeks. Fifteen minutes of fun could go a long way.
  • Remind students of expectations in an empowering way. Have them reteach each other with quick presentations on the expectations that need revisiting. Don’t forget to have them explain the ‘why’ behind the rule.
  • Look at your lesson plans for the day and make sure there are things you are looking forward to in there. Students can read us like a book–if we are stressed and not having fun, they will mirror us.
  • Focus on how far students have come rather than the problems that pop up. Share the joys with you colleagues. They could use the lift!
  • When problems do pop up, talk over solutions with your principal or a teammate. You are not alone!

There is so much to celebrate every day. We have to dig through the other stuff to find it sometimes, but it is always there, just waiting for us to rediscover it.

How will you ‘reset’ and find the joy again?