Saturday, January 10, 2015

Simplistic View: Week 2

Deciding to choose one little word to guide your thinking for 52 weeks may seem like a "little" thing.
 Not so little.  Deciding to choose one little word to ground your thinking for 52 weeks and guide decision making.  A big thing.  After one week with the word SIMPLIFY, I can say that I chose the right word for me.

The reason for the word SIMPLIFY..."I need to focus on a more simplistic view of my week.  I feel that if I find my way out of clutter I will find simplicity.  By looking at my week in a more simplistic view, I know I will infuse more happiness and energy to get "unstuck" and to put my head down at night with a clear view of the next day that is focused and meaningful."

 Here we go...WEEK 2...

MIND: Declutter my thoughts at night. I realized this past week with all of the snow days that I have fallen into a habit that is bad for me.  It may not be for others, but I think it is part of the reason I would go to bed with a cluttered mind.  As I snuggle into bed, the last thing I do is check school email, personal email, and Facebook on my iPad one last time.  Then a few games of Jelly Splash. I have decided to declutter this routine.  I am going to go to bed and read.  I am going to check those things BEFORE going up for the night.  I am hoping that drifting off into another character's world may be just what I need to shift from the hectic day to peaceful sleep.  

BODY:  Continue to simplify my drinking.  I drank water all week.  I carried a water bottle with me all the time.  To quote my daughter " are not stopping at McDonald's?  This is shocking!" So our children do pay attention to our habits...hmmmm....

SCHOOL:  Three seconds.  I do literacy coaching for teachers and provide literacy support to students.  I am beginning a new cycle of students next week.  The one thing I want to work on...wait time.  I believe in accountable talk.  I read somewhere (can't remember right now)  that if a teacher waits three or more seconds after a student response before reacting, asking questions, or moving on that there would be evident changes in the use of language, thinking, and ownership of thinking.  So I want to focus this week on the three seconds AFTER a response is given.  This will give the students and myself more time to adjust or confirm thinking and hold all members of the group accountable and encourage engaged thinking.  Nothing new to the education world...just need to get back to basics., water, three seconds...simple enough!  

MIND: Declutter the recipes.  Check!  The snow days helped with this one. My recipes are decluttered...down to a binder (shocking!:) and my very first cookbook. Those two shelves use to be full of printed pieces of papers, recipes box, and several cookbooks I never looked at. In the binder...only recipes that we love and in the front to try! 

BODY: My drinking...only water the whole week! Carrying a water bottle with me wherever I go has been the key for me. Didn't drink half my weight (I would have floated away) but with water and healthy eating...down 2 pounds this week!

SCHOOL:  Head up!  I think my body language was the most improved with this.  Walking down the hall, head up, shoulders up, greeting others, AND stopping to acknowledge them.  It put a bounce in my step and hopefully in others' days too by acknowledging their importance.


  1. I commend your effort to simplify your waking days. I chuckle at the recipe books and can soo relate. Your water solution is a healthy turning point on a road filled with McDonald's-Diet-Coke "rewards" instead of McDonald's-Diet-Coke daily intake! The school simplify has me pausing a bit. You are a people-person and you hold your head up and smile without hesitation. I have never seen you without a smile or a willingness to help any colleague that appears at your door or stops you in the hall. Maybe your week #1 work-simplify was in recognizing the gift you already have? In terms of wait time - you are a master teacher and wait time, patience, fostering the love for learning is woven into your style seamlessly. Again, this new exercise could be a way for you to validate what you, my dear, already do so very well. So to truly "simplify" your work environment, is it recognizing the powerful positive gifts you already possess? (Caution: I could be the one thinking too deeply on this one.��) There is a book I have read several times in the past and it keeps popping into my head in terms of the word "simplify". "Peace Is Every Step" by Thich Nhat Hanh. Your post has ME thinking that today may be a great day to pick it up and get myself back on "the path to mindfulness in everyday life". Thanks for the inspiration!

    1. You are so kind :) Maybe I should change my word to "metacognition"...I want to be aware and keep to the basic principles in teaching without chasing noise. I want to continue to practice, be aware, and acknowledge these concepts without abandoning them to find new, shinier, and actually unpracticed ideas/worksheets/routines. There are so many things changing in education from laws to curriculum to assessments...want to find what I believe in my day. Thank you for reflecting with always do! Thanks for the with my "simple mind" focus of the week...just put it on my list of books to read next!

  2. Congrats on first week! I am borrowing the 3 second rule - great advice for me.