slice of life · temptations

Temptations

What temptations would you be better off removing from your life?


This was a recent question from the Thought Questions website. It is a great one for me because temptations sometimes stand in the way of realizing some of my goals.

Although getting rid of some temptations (candy and gum come to mind) would make my life better, there is one that stands out for me right now: being connected for way too many hours of the day. There are so many things happening online that I want to be a part of and they seem to be multiplying all the time. Twitter chats, new apps, online book clubs, Facebook updates, Voxer groups and on and on and on. And, I want to be a part of all of it. So, I sign up or subscribe to all of them and then wonder why I can’t keep up with everything. Well, duh! 

OK. So, I’ll say it again: being connected 24/7 is my greatest temptation and removing it from my life completely would be disastrous as I learn so much from my virtual contacts. These social media connections are important to my engagement and growth as an educator. My dilemma, and probably everyone else’s as well, is that being connected 24/7 is easy to do; my iPhone is always close by. However, it’s not necessary to be connected 24/7, as tempting as that is, to get the benefit of what social media has to offer. Shutting down once in a while and powering off has helped me get clarity and allowed me to focus on the moment. When I do this and then return to social media later on, like an addict needing a fix, I find that I didn’t miss anything that couldn’t wait. There were no earth shattering updates on Facebook. I didn’t miss any emails offering me a book deal. Nothing was so important that it couldn’t wait. In fact, quickly realize that not every new gadget or digital initiative out there is worth my time. It all comes down to purpose. What is my purpose? What do I want to achieve? It’s always about, so what?

The so what or my purpose for engaging with social media is to learn from others and to give back a little. And, my current purpose for disengaging on a regular basis is to focus on my doctorate. 

Now, recognizing this temptation and wanting to tame it is a good thing, but I’ve been there, done that. I’m ready to try something new by taking concrete action that works for me. So, I’ve tried disconnecting on Saturdays, like Angela Watson and that has worked on occasion…when I remembered to do it! Recently, I’ve been enthralled (tempted by?) the practice of turning off my device for 2 1/2 hours a night, like the new Canadian Minister of the Environment and Climate Change. That seems doable and healthy…for me, which is a start. However if I want to use this down time to hang out with my family as well, then this wouldn’t be enough; everyone at home would need to power off at the same time. This may pose a challenge for some of us at home, but it’s worth a try.

So, I plan to set my phone down when I get home for at least 2 1/2 hours to do something else. That something else will probably be a combination of hanging out with my husband and son and spending focused time on my doctorate work. I’ll write a blog post about how it’s going in a few weeks.

What’s your greatest temptation? Are you willing to admit to it and tame your temptation? Leave a comment below and let’s have a conversation.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers Tuesday Slice of Life

crown day · parliamentary procedure · slice of life

Queen for the Year

One of my 7th grade students loaned me a crown shortly after the Christmas break. I’m supposed to wear it for the rest of this school year. You see, I’ve been proclaimed the queen of our class by my students. I’ve promised to be the best teacher I can be and to take their needs and interests to heart. I had to kneel down to take this oath.

Shortly thereafter, my students decided that they would like to wear the crown on their birthdays.Then, one student put forth a motion about what they named “Crown Day” and the rest of the class took turns amending the motion. Several revisions and lots of conversations later, my class drafted and voted on our first class law. This process took place during our social studies class and in between a fire drill.

It was a great experience in parliamentary procedure.
Here’s our class resolution.

Crown Day!
On people’s birthdays they will be allowed to wear the crown during class time. If their 
birthdays are during a holiday, then Mrs. Elisa, our class monarch, must decide whether they
 get to wear the crown on the first day back from break or on the last day of school before
 break. Also, if your birthday takes place during summer, then you may celebrate it with the
 crown during class on a day of your choice, but you only have one day. In addition, if you’re
 sick on your birthday you may have the crown the day you get back. If two people are
 supposed to have the crown on the same day, then those two people must decide who gets the
 crown that day; the other person will get it the next day. Last, if you lose the crown, you must
 repay the owner of the crown five dollars. If you damage it, you must pay for fixing the
 damage.
                 Signed by the student who proposed the motion.

             Approved on Thursday, January 08, 2015

I am really hoping that someone else chooses to put forth a motion, soon.
Democracy in action.
That’s what it’s all about.

Cross posted to Two Writing Teachers, A Slice of Life

bullying · slice of life

Bullying

Disclaimer: I apologize to those of you who may think this is not a typical Slice of Life posting, but I’ve been thinking a lot about bullying lately and I’ve got to write this down.

Source: http://bit.ly/1cmUJd5

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t experienced or witnessed bullying at some point during their lifetime.

And, when I talk about bullying, I don’t mean casual teasing or bothering. I am referring to systematic, ongoing actions perpetrated on another person by someone who has authority or power over that person. For example, high status students bullying lower status students, or administrators bullying teachers. There are other instances but I’m limiting my sphere to schools because there is always bullying going on in schools and we often look the other way rather than dealing with it for what it is: someone wielding their power over another person. When we stand by and don’t do anything, then we are complicit and guilty as charged.

Can you tell I’m upset?

Bullying that lasts from one school year to the next calls for extreme actions, especially in light of this article that appeared in my inbox today: Harm can continue even after bullying stops.

So, now that I’ve posed the problem, I am looking for solutions. I am interested in reading responses to the following questions: how do you address bullying at your school sites? What programs do you have in place to prevent and address bullying when it happens? What consequences are there for bullying behavior at your school?

Thank for all and any responses.

Source: http://bit.ly/1h2FSnQ

Cross-posted to Two Writing Teachers Slice of Life Tuesday