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Monday, February 19, 2018

What Do You Wear? A Bib or Apron



Day 43 of 80 Days of Excellence

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Garrett Grubbs, the Youth Minister at Sherwood Baptist Church, said something in a recent sermon that has me rethinking about almost everything in my life. Before you jump off the page, this quote has non-religious applications as well if you’ll read on for a moment.

Now, Pastor Garrett was talking about prayer when he said this, but it can apply to so many things. He said something like,

“You need to ask yourself if you’re wearing a bib or an apron when you pray.”

So, in other words, are you looking to get something (be fed and wear the bib) or to serve God (wear the apron.)

But this “big and apron” metaphor applies to everything. Let’s put this in another context.

Your Job. When you’re approaching your job, are you wearing a bib or an apron? Are you coming to your job for what you can get out of it? Money. Prestige. Power. Or are you looking at your job for what you can give to others? Service. Legacy. An example of excellence. Relating to and knowing others?

Relationships. When you’re approaching another person are you wearing a bib or an apron?

Now, let’s park here for a moment. Amazing people are everywhere. More than once I’ve been drawn into a conversation with a fascinating person at a conference or via email. And then, shortly, they’ll let it slip. They want something. Free promotion. Sharing on social media. For me to blog about them. These folks are wearing bibs.

And perhaps I’m wearing a bib too. However, to so quickly find out a person has an ulterior motive can be disheartening. If somebody puts on a bib too fast, it makes you wonder if the apron was just a charade.

Once I heard a person talk about relationships like a gas tank. You’re either filling the tank (wearing an apron) or causing the person to expend energy on you (bib.) If you use too much of their energy without putting anything back, people will eventually no longer want to be around you.

So, the bib and apron holds true here as well.

Social Media. I think social media is separate from relationships. We need to be the kind of people that make social media a better place. Some people wear bibs – they just want attention. They want likes. They want people to talk about their topic.

But you can wear an apron as well. You can go on social media and decide you want to offer genuine encouragement to five people tonight. You can decide you want to share something positive that will encourage others every single day.

You can use social media for what you get out of it (bib) or make the world a better place (apron.)

And so it goes on.

I agree with Garrett, though, the people who wear aprons as a habit tend to be the kinds of people who leave a legacy and make a difference in the world.

For when we serve others, we think less about ourselves and often live a happier, more exciting life. (And if you don’t believe me, listen to today’s show about Compassionate Achievers and the neuroscience behind compassion and empathy.)

This post is day 43 of 80 days of excellence. I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.

The post What Do You Wear? A Bib or Apron appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/wear-bib-apron/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

The Compassionate Achiever: Understanding Empathy and Compassion So We Don’t Burn Out



Chris Kukk on episode 256 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Dr. Chris Kukk, author of The Compassionate Achiever, combines neuroscience with social sciences to discuss why compassion helps us achieve more. He also shares the difference between empathy and compassion and why one of these is a recipe for burnout.

Listen Now

***

Enhanced Transcript

The Compassionate Achiever: Understanding Empathy and Compassion So We Don’t Burn Out

Link to show:
Date: February 19, 2018

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Chris Kukk @DrChrisKukk, author of the The Compassionate Achiever.

Now, Chris, you’ve really spent your life’s work combining neuroscience and social sciences. You even work with the Center for Compassion, Creativity, and Innovation.

How do these two combine? How do you combine neuroscience and social sciences?

Chris: That’s a great question.

It happens every day, Vicki.

I was really interested in how people — and why people — make the decisions that they make.

People who are Optimistic Literally See the World Differently than Pessimists

So for me, it’s not just the context that you’re in, but also what happens inside your brain that matters — what you’re thinking, what matters, what perspectives you’re coming with, what kind of neurotransmitter are floating around in some people’s brain?

For example, if you’re highly stressed, cortisol is going to frame whatever you see in the world. Therefore, that will decide or help you decide what actions you’re going to take.

But if you have dopamine flowing around — that high rewards neurotransmitter — you’re going to see the world a lot differently.

Some people used to call me the guy with the rose-colored glasses. My glass is always half-full. They’re like, “You’re so naive. You don’t see the world the way it really is.

Studies have shown now that people who are optimistic, who have that dopamine flowing through, actually have a wider peripheral vision than the people who are negative.

Vicki: Hmmmm.

Chris: So guess what? The people who have rose-colored glasses? You see more of the real world than the people who are negative and are down.

Science has show over and over again that what happens in our brain — you know, we see with our brain, we don’t see with our eyes — and so we really should know what’s going on inside the brain if we want to understand actions and decisions that are being made.

We don’t see with our eyes. We see with our brains.

Vicki: But you know, Chris, these are difficult things.

You’re talking about The Compassionate Achiever, so you obviously care about achievement. I have people in my life — I tend to be positive. My mom says I was a positive, happy baby.

And you know there are some people who — they’re kind of born, and they’re a little more negative. What’s the research by helping us change that? Can we?

Can we change people who are born with a negative outlook rather than a positive one?

Chris: Yes. There are many ways, Vicki, yes. The short answer is yes.

And compassion can be taught, over and over again.

And we talk about that in The Compassionate Achiever.

So even Charles Darwin said that we’re born with compassion. Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who is famous for the Social Contract, says that we were all born with natural compassion. But this is the trick, Vicki. Both of them say that we unlearn it through the way we structure society.

Just as an example — kids on playgrounds? When I was teaching overseas on a Fulbright in Estonia, I had 119 European students from all over the place, and I was explaining this theory called realism in international politics. Basically, if you push somebody down, you get to go on top. The world is a zero-sum game according to realism.

So I used the example of playing King of the Hill, that we play in the United States. I said, “You guys, when you play King of the Hill…”

The Games We Play Don’t Have to Be a “Zero Sum Game”

One young scholar… I’ll never forget her. She raised her ahd. She’s from Poland. She said, “Dr. Kukk, what’s KIng of the Hill?”

So I had to explain to a 119 European students that in the United States on the United states playgrounds, we actually have our kids play games called King of the Hill or Kill the Carrier.

That was shocking, and seeing their faces. They were like, “What?”

She raised her hand and said, “Thank you, Dr. Kukk.”

And I felt like, “Alright! I explained that really well!”

And then this is the kicker. My mouth then dropped.

She said, “That explains so much about the United States.”

Vicki: Oh!

Chris: Yeah, because they don’t play that there. Right?

And so this idea that Darwin and Rousseau say — that we were born with natural compassion and we unlearn it.

Unless, Vicki, you’re a psychopath. Psychopaths actually don’t have — and it’s actually been shown that — their brains are wired differently.

So we can teach that. And one of the ways we do it in the American school system is through social-emotional learning programs.

This is the other kicker! When you have social-emotional learning programs, and compassion is flowing through your school day and through your curriculum, you increase dopamine. Dopamine has been shown by neuroscience to be the “Post-It Note” for memory for all of us.

When you have more dopamine flowing through your classroom, you have better memory skills.

Dopamine improves learning and memory

Vicki: So, Chris… some people mis-define compassion.

You know, a student doesn’t have their work, or they don’t understand. “Oh, have compassion. Give them 100.” That’s not what you’re saying, right?

Chris: No.

What is Compassion?

Vicki: Can you define compassion for us?

Chris: Sure! Compassion has two parts.

One is this 360-degree holistic understanding of the problem or suffering of another. So the first part is basically understanding, but a holistic understanding.

The second part is then you have a commitment to take action to address that problem, to solve that suffering.

So, it’s this understanding and then action to take some kind of committed action to help solve that problem.

So, yeah, even my boys… I have 10, 12, and 14 year old boys.

And I discipline them, right?

And they’ll say to me, Vicki, “Aww, you’re supposed to be the compassion dude, right?”

Vicki: (laughs)

Chris: When I’m telling them they can’t (do something)

Vicki: (laughs)

Chris: So I tell them, “You guys are mixing and misunderstanding the difference between discipline and compassion. You can have compassionate discipline, yes.”

You can have compassionate discipline

Vicki: And that is so important to understand.

So, Chris, I know that you have a lot of research and information in your book. But give us an example of how schools can teach kids to have compassion.

Chris: Awww, there are so many fun ways. Let me give you an example.

This just came out in one of the schools there was this teacher that said a 7-year-old boy, “has not empathy, so he can’t have compassion.”

First off, empathy and compassion are not the same thing. You can have compassion without having empathy.

Empathy and compassion are not the same thing

I want to make sure that’s clear. We could have another whole show on the differences between empathy and compassion. But it’s clearly been shown in neuroscience that it’s different.

So I said, “If you don’t think he can have compassion — you know those pigeon books, the pigeon that rides the bus? Mo WIlliams drew the pigeon so that everyone could copy that pigeon. H said, “Ruin my copyright! Just take it.” He was on NPR, literally saying that.

I used that in classes. I said, “Draw a problem with the pigeon and the bus for that young man to try and solve. But leave the next slate blank.”

So we draw that one frame of a problem happening, and then ask him, “How would you draw the next frame?”

And he came up with two or three different solutions, compassionate solutions — not by talking, but by simply drawing it.

Then you can talk to those students about what they were drawing, about compassionate action.

So sometimes, our young students don’t have the words yet, to frame or to say what they want to say in terms of helping somebody. But trust me, they have it. They’re born with it. We just have to unleash it. One way we can do that is through comic drawing.

Vicki: So, Chris, why is it important for modern achievers to be compassionate? I mean, there’s research behind why compassion is needed, right? It’s not just a “nice to have”…

Chris: Right.

Vicki: … through character education. Aren’t there some real tangible benefits to being a compassionate person?

Tangible benefits to being a compassionate person

Chris: YES! Health!

There are so many.

If you look at one, just for your internal self, health. When you are having compassion, you are actually releasing a lot of endorphins. You’re releasing neurotransmitters, like dopamine (that reward level)and serotonin (that calming level).

You’re releasing and triggering a peptide hormone called oxytocin, which then releases all those great chemicals in your brain, lowers your blood pressure, reduces stress and chances for s heart attack. Those are just some of the health benefits.

But for team building, and for working with your colleagues and other teachers? It creates trust. It builds trust. When you have trust running through your team, you’re apt to do more. People are more apt to give more to each other.

The benefits are internal as well as external, and they go on and on.

There have been recent studies, and the Wall Street Journal just had this, in places in medical facilities where rudeness and incivility and the lack of compassion were high, there were more misdiagnoses. Wrong medications were given.

And when you increase compassion, the increase in health — less hospital time stays, people recuperating faster.

I mean, the benefits are all over the place, not just intellectually speaking. We have research, not just from the United States, but also places like Sweden, that show you that what happens when you have a compassionate classroom set up, what happens to those students in terms of their learning capabilities and abilities.

There are just so many wild benefits. You’re absolutely right, Vicki.

Vicki: So as we finish up… I have heard teachers or others say this before.

“Well, I have compassion all day long. I have compassion for everybody else. But nobody gives it to me.”

What’s your answer?

Prevent Burnout by Having Compassion, Not Empathy

Chris: They’re doing something other than compassion.

The reason I say that is that Dr. Tania Singer from Leipzig, Germany has shown us over and over. She was the first one in a September 2013 article. When we think in a compassionate way, we use the same neural circuits as love.

But when we think in an empathetic way, we use different neural circuits — the neural circuits of pain.

You get burned out. When you give compassion, compassion is given back to you over and over again. People come to you, even when you don’t even ask for help.

When you think in an empathetic way, you’re stepping into the shoes of another. A lot of people confuse empathy and compassion. They even confuse sympathy with compassion.

Sympathy’s not the same thing. That’ll burn you out. That’ll take you down.

But Vicki, when you’re in love? Like I’m going to be married to my wife this May for 30 years. When I give more love, I’m not burned out. I’m not feeling like I’m not getting love back. It comes back threefold, fourfold.

And compassion is that.

Vicki: So, I’m going to add on one more question even though we’re the 10-Minute Teacher. This is as much for me as for others.

When I do tests, I am off the chart empathetic. That’s me.

Chris: (laughs)

Vicki: And it can burn me out. I have to be careful, because I tend to feel the emotions of others.

Chris: Yes.

Vicki: Help me understand, in a healthy way, the difference between empathy and compassion.

Chris: And I’m glad you brought this up, because most teachers are attracted to that profession because they do have high levels of empathy. Same with nurses. Same with doctors.

Alright. So the basic difference. Think of empathy as having the same feeling as somebody else.

When someone else is down and depressed, you get down and depressed. Your brain doesn’t know the difference. That burns you out.

Having compassion. You’re feeling kindness toward somebody else. There’s a difference.

You can actually act to solve a problem without having to feel that problem. You can understand that suffering without having to feel that suffering.

So, it’s a lot like… for me, like a lifeguard. Before I was trained as a lifeguard, I thought, you go out there, right Vicki? You swim to them, and you save them, and you bring them back in.

But you’ve finally trained as a lifeguard, you don’t necessarily do that, because when someone’s drowning, they grab for you.

Empathy versus compassion: The lifeguard analogy

You know what you’re taught as a lifeguard in order to save them? You’re taught to take them down. Because they release you, they go back to the surface, and then you can go around and grab them — to then bring them in.

Vicki: Hmmmm.

Chris: Compassion takes that extra deliberate step of understanding, where empathy you’re just falling into the feeling. And you get lost. You can get stuck in that emotional quicksand.

Vicki: As we finish up, there’s a great old movie called Warm Springs. Kathy Bates is actually in it, and it’s about FDR. He’s feeling sorry for himself because he has polio. He doesn’t want to run for President because he said he was going to run for President when he could walk again. Obviously he couldn’t walk again. Kathy Bates in this scene says, “You are down in that hole. But I refuse to get down in that hole with you, but then I can’t pull you out.”

Chris: She’s avoiding empathy, and taking compassion.

Vicki: That’s right.

Chris: That’s right. You don’t get in the hole.

Oh, I love that! That’s a great line! (laughs)

Vicki: Oh, and I read it because I needed it!

You’ve helped me understand it, Chris.

So the book is The Compassionate Achiever by Chris Kukk.

Do check out the Shownotes. I’ve learned a lot! This is yet another example of how — when you share, when you blog, when you podcast — how it not only hopefully changes the listener, but it also changes the host, the person who’s involved.

So thank you, so much Chris, for helping me understand the difference between compassion and empathy. I think sometimes I get so empathetic, I become pathetic. (laughs)

Chris: (laughs)

Well, thank you for having me on. It’s an honor.

I’ve been following your work for quite a while, so this is an honor for me, Vicki.

Contact us about the show: http://ift.tt/1jailTy

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


Dr. Kukk is the HarperCollins author of The Compassionate Achiever, co-host of The Compassionate Achiever Podcast, founding Director of the Center for Compassion, Creativity and Innovation, Professor of Political Science/Social Science at Western Connecticut State University, a Fulbright Scholar, Director of the Kathwari Honors Program, founder of the University’s Debate Team, and member of Phi Beta Kappa.

He received his Ph.D. in political science from Boston College and his B.A. in political science from Boston University. He was also an international security fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. His research and publications combine neuroscience with the social sciences and focus on education issues, the political economy of natural resources, and the creation and sustainability of civil society.

Dr. Kukk was also a counter-intelligence agent for the United States Army, a research associate for Cambridge Energy Research Associates, and has provided the Associated Press, National Public Radio, The Economist magazine, NBC-TV, CableVision, and other media with analysis on a wide range of topics and issues. His forthcoming books are based on the idea of weaving values such as compassion into our learning, civic, and business communities.

Blog: http://chriskukk.com

Twitter: @DrChrisKukk

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post The Compassionate Achiever: Understanding Empathy and Compassion So We Don’t Burn Out appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e256/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Get Rid of Excuses and Get Ahead



Day 42 of 80 Days of Excellence

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

A fictional account of what happened in Daniel captured my interest tonight. Taken from the book Agents of Babylon by David Jeremiah, on page 169, the fictionalized Daniel talks about the peace in the districts he manages and says,

excuses

“Unrest always has an underlying — and often legitimate — cause… it serves us well as leaders to listen and learn. In most cases, a simple compromise can appease the people and protect our interests while costing us nothing. And when we work for an agreeable resolution, the people begin to trust us and become cooperative, which eliminates the need for force.”

How to Get Rid of Excuses with Other People

In the fictional example above, Daniel talks about listening. Well, after fifteen years of teaching, I typically know the excuses students make that keep them from learning. So, my strategy is hitting it head-on.

Today is a perfect example. Before I started teaching the hardest thing of the year in my advanced Computer Science class today, binary numbers, I got the excuses out of the way. Those excuses are typically:

  • This looks too hard
  • I can’t learn it
  • I won’t learn it
  • If I pretend to learn I can just not understand this and she’ll eventually move on without me having to learn it
  • I’m not going to pay attention and then blame it on her
  • It is going to take me too long to learn it and I’ll fail the first test so why try?
  • I’m going to make a joke out of it and try to get a laugh

How do I handle this?

Deal with excuses up front

Well, I give an excuse-killing speech that goes something like this,

“We’re going to learn the hardest thing of the year right now to get it out of the way. In all 15 years I’ve taught, every student has learned how to do binary numbers. All of them. And unless you think you might be the first, here’s how this works. I teach it until you know it. When the whole class is making A’s, then we move on.

Sometimes I’ve taught a class in 7 days with 4 or 5 tests. Other times it has taken me two weeks and the all time top record was 14 different quizzes or tests to get to where we knew it.

I’ve got four different ways to teach binary numbers. Eventually I’ll get to the way you learn. If I don’t we’ll spend one on one time making sure you get it. If you’re worried about all of these quizzes and tests, there’s no need. I do something called formative assessment.

This means, I’m quizzing you while knowledge is forming. So, I give lots of little quizzes so you can see how you’re doing. I don’t give a real quiz or test until all of you are answering the formative quizzes with over 80% right and I know you understand it.

Some of you will look at it and think it is too hard. But then, there are some of you who will learn it and it will be ridiculously easy. Don’t say anything to make the others feel bad – it looks really hard until the light bulb goes on and it is really easy.”

Now, yes, that takes a good five minutes and in reality, is a tad longer. However, since I’ve started setting their frame of mind for this, the kids will learn how to convert binary to decimal within 15 minutes of giving this speech – and that time includes a 5-minute movie.

No Excuses Can Mean Real Progress

You see, once they know that I accept no excuses and everyone will learn it and I will teach everyone, they’ll relax and learn it.

But here’s the cool thing, they not only finished in my class, but they went to math class and after they finished started working binary problems “for fun.” I praised the class for how quickly they all learned it as each person showed me their answer.

The first class took 5 problems before everyone got it right. My second class took 4 problems! The previous record was 8 problems!

Who You Excuse Says A Lot About You

I can tell a great teacher by who they blame.

A mediocre or average teacher will usually blame the students or parents or society. They’ll make excuses for themselves, however.

The greatest teachers are always striving to do better. They hold a very high standard for themselves first — but also a high one for their students.  These teachers focus on what they can control — themselves.

I like to stay away from the blame game.

As an aside, every sort of “blame” can be a problem if taken too far. (Who doesn’t know the person who is always saying “I’m sorry” when they haven’t done anything wrong! You can say, it is cold today and they’ll apologize!)

Accepting Responsibility

However, taking responsibility for what you can do is important.

Today’s challenge is to look at areas of your life and see who gets your excuses? Who gets most of your blame?

I have a sign Mom handed down to me in my classroom.

“No Whining”

If I find myself whining, then I do something about it. Either a swift self-kick in the pants or I face facts about a situation and do something to change it or move on.

I just loved how Daniel in the opening didn’t make excuses for poor governing. He showed mercy for his people. And he held the government officials responsible as well as himself.

Today’s Excellence Challenge

Think of the biggest struggle in your life.

Are you making excuses for yourself? Are you blaming others? If others are truly at fault, how will you respond?

 

The post Get Rid of Excuses and Get Ahead appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/get-rid-excuses-get-ahead/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Waste: Finding Balance in a Demanding World



Day 41 of 80 Days of Excellence

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

To complain without action or to pour yourself out without reservation: both of these habits are a waste. Not all bad things are worth belaboring. All good things are not you-things that you have to do. Sometimes a desert of exhaustion and despair is of our own making.

Right now, we have a long weekend off school. Part of what I’m doing is to rest and recover! Looking through old journal entries, I came across a poem I wrote on February 24, 2016 entitled “Waste” that spoke to me about the challenge we all face not to waste our lives complaining about what we can’t change or pouring ourselves into causes we’re not called to do.

Waste

There are those who will tell you every wrong.

Listen and they’ll sing their song.

“Woe is me. Poor me – sad me. Everything ill.

So, sit here and hear me complain and I will.”

Crystal spider webs can be woven to make a strong line,

So do grumblers who weave their own straight jacket one tiny complaint at a time.

 

Then there are those with no boundary

They’ll do their job and others’ without quandary.

But one day they wake up and have lost their art

No thanks. No joy. Just broken heart.

They pour out their pitcher until it dries up

And stare open mouthed at their empty cup.

 

Oh the happy soul who strikes the chord

Of harmonious balance, each day looking toward.

They don’t whine and complain nor everything touch,

Their life has purpose with some sense left to clutch.

Oh to balance life tween thick and thin, with joy left to put it all in

No binding vest or empty vase, just life to the full with nothing a waste.

By Vicki Davis

 

I hope you’re encouraged to find balance in your life as you seek to make things better and find your purpose. You’re called to something but not everything. You’re called somewhere but you can’t physically be everywhere.

Life is full of choices. The best among us make those choices.

  • They work where they can make a difference.
  • They refuse to complain pointlessly.
  • They steward their lives as the finite and precious resource that they are.

Nobody is making more time and nobody is making any more of you. You’ve got to make choices about the best way to spend you and your time and nobody can do that for you. But if you burn out and wear out and there’s no more of you, you can’t really do anyone any good, can you?

Today, examine your past week. Did you complain pointlessly at any time? Are you pouring your time and energy into too many things? Even worse, are you pouring them into things that aren’t really a calling for you anymore? Reflect and take action.

This post is day 41 of 80 days of excellence. I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.

The post Waste: Finding Balance in a Demanding World appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/waste-finding-balance-demanding-world/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

5 Ways to Stop Bullying in Every School



Rick Rando on episode 260 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

School culture and policies are part of what helps us combat bullying in schools. Rick Rando, school empowerment speaker, shares what schools can do to help stop bullying.

Check out Reinventing Writing, the book I authored that teaches about the nine collaborative writing tools, how to build writing communities, and tips and tricks for collaborative writing in Google Docs and more.

Listen Now

 

***

Enhanced Transcript

5 Ways to Stop Bullying in Every School

Link to show: www.coolcatteacher/e260
Date: February 16, 2018

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Rick Rando @RandoSpeaks. He travels the country, delivers keynotes, and has a message about anti-bullying. But today, we’re going to talk about five ways to stand against bullying in every school.

So Rick, what’s our first way?

Rick: Well, basically, it all comes down to culture.

Number one? Know your school’s anti-bullying culture and showcase it proudly.

Tip 1: Know your school’s anti-bullying culture and showcase it proudly.

I’m a big Disney fan. Roy Disney said it best, “It’s easy to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

I have a quick acronym for you. It’s BEEE.

  • Build
  • Establish
  • Execute
  • Enforce/Reinforce that culture.

What you have to do is figure out what your school is about, how you want to approach bullying, to find exactly what it is about bullying that you need to look for or identify, and then basically create a culture around not having that be present.

Essentially, this has to be exhibited from the top down. And I’ll do one step further. Once you create your anti-bullying culture — what it looks like, how to identify it –, then you can’t be afraid to revisit that culture, knowing that. Is this something that’s working? Is it not working? Be able to revisit that tool, basically, create it or implement it almost like a business.

In a business when they implement something, it’s create and then train their staff and implement a new idea, and then they have to assess if it’s working or not to retool and retrain.

Essentially, it’s all about creating an anti-bullying culture. That’s something that we forget to do. When I go into schools, it’s something that a lot of schools don’t have, frankly.

Vicki: Yes. I remember seeing two young men today, and they said, “Oh, we’re just playing and having fun.”

I said, “I don’t like how it looks. You just have not to do it, because I don’t like how it looks.”

That’s part of that culture of, “This is how we treat each other.”

OK, what’s our second, Rick?

Rick: Give everyone the resources to live and to thrive in the culture that you’ve actually just created.

Tip 2: Give everyone the resources to live and to thrive in the culture that you’ve actually just created.

Like I said, once you clearly defined what bullying actually is (because there’s a difference between bullying and name-calling, teasing — there’s definitely a little bit of difference there, so it’s important to establish exactly what it is) but then, go ahead and give your staff, your parents, your students, your administrators the tools that they need to go ahead and stamp it out, identify it, deal with it.

To give you an example, like staff… I went to one school once and they all had t-shirts on that said, “We are not a bully school!”

From verbal training to disciplinary procedures to positive reinforcement of an anti-bullying platform or message…

Parents: In Allegany County, Maryland have on their website information that you can access, but also submit and anonymous incidence report. What happens is they get a chance to — the school board can assess to see exactly what this is and where it’s happening and follow up with administrators and hopefully serve those needs in that particular school. Parents feel really connected, that they have a platform to reach out and know that the school and the school board is going to handle it.

Students: Posters, fliers, assemblies. I do assemblies. I just came from one this morning in schools, talking about anti-drug, anti-bullying. Again, it’s about creating that culture of, “We’re not going to stand for it.”

Staff: Having those messages from the guidance counselor — guidance talks and handouts.

Administrators: I think that too many times, administrators are hamstrung about what they can do and what they can’t do because they can’t share information due to confidentiality. Or a lot of times, they just don’t know where to turn.

Giving them the resources necessary to again, identify it, and also be able to thrive in that culture where it’s going to be a zero-tolerance. So you’ve got to give your staff and your people the opportunity to be able to have the resources to deal with it and thrive in that culture.

Vicki: Very true. What’s next?

Rick: The third one is empower your students to take a stand.

Tip 3: Empower your students to take a stand.

At my martial arts studio, we have a program called Common Sense Before Self Defense. We give an anti-bullying tip every single week, and it’s all using your mind or your brain to be able to diffuse a situation or outhink the bully.

We say, “Using your brain before causing pain.”

We say, “Find your voice. Find a trusted adult. Find the courage to tell a parent your guardian. Find your voice to stand up to a bully. Tell them how that makes you feel, that it’s not OK. Find a trusted adult to confide in at the school system or a babysitter or childcare provider. Also find the courage to tell mom and dad, because a lot of kids think it’s their fault, that they’re doing something wrong, that they have shoes on or they speak the wrong language or have the wrong skin color.

In more concrete terms of being able to handle bullies, when you empower your students to take a stand, you can teach them how to agree with a bully. “Yeah, I know these glasses maybe look a little odd. But, man, I can see crystal clear, and that’s why I get such good grades.” Or, “I know these shoes might look a little off, but man, I can run really fast.”

You know, being nice to the bully, walking away, using trickery. If you’re caught into a bathroom, and all of a sudden the bully comes in. You can suddenly start itching like you have poison ivy or something. “I wouldn’t touch me. I’m really contagious.”

Of course refusing to fight or calling for help — these are all concrete things that you can use to teach to empower your students and your kids to stand up to bullying.

Vicki: So important. OK, what’s our fourth?

Rick: Reinforce effort. Work at leadership success as often as humanly possible.

Tip 4: Reinforce effort. Work at leadership success.

So as a teacher, as an educator, we do what we call spotlighting or highlighting. When we see a positive behavior being done, we want to say, “Guys, did you see how Timmy lined up so fast and so quickly. He’s standing perfectly still, and this is what we want to see everybody do.”

What we’re looking for is once we’ve created this culture, this anti-bullying culture in your school system, saying we’re not going to be picked on, we’re not going to tolerate this behavior, we’re going to go ahead and showcase people that are actually modeling that culture, modeling that positive behavior.

Essentially, in business, we say, “Find somebody doing something right. We’re going to spotlight it. We’re going to highlight it.”

Everybody’s version of success could be different. Johnny with ADHD is having trouble concentrating, so when he does something in that realm, that one step further of concentration, we want to pat him on the back, and we want to spotlight him. Whereas Timmy who gets good grades all the time, and for him, it could be really going above and beyond on a project, where we want to highlight him and give him that high-five and that fistbump. Also just making sure that we’re catching kids doing something right in that positive behavior realm.

Vicki: Oh, and catching them doing something right is so important, because otherwise, people are always running because we’re never saying anything positive! (laughs)

OK, what’s our fifth?

Rick: Our fifth thing is probably the most important element as far as anybody that’s handling or being around children. It’s to be there for your students and families. Serve their needs each and every day.

Tip 5: Be there for your students and families. Serve their needs each and every day.

“Serve” is this catch phrase. It’s this buzzword now in the corporate world. It really comes down to being present, listening, paying attention, and being willing to go above and beyond — even when you don’t want to, even when it’s inconvenient, even when you feel like this kid doesn’t deserve it. OK, you’ve got to be there, and you’ve got to pay attention. You’re looking, and you’re noticing these small things, these small imperfections. How do we, as parents, know that our kid is being bullied anyway? We’re looking for different patterns of how they’re eating, or how they’re behaving. Maybe they’re short with us. We know when our kids are not feeling well because of the signs, the physiognomy that we use to study our child. Why can’t we do the same thing in a classroom? Why can’t we do the same thing in our class of 25 kids? We’ve got to know these kids. We’ve got to know that THEY know that they care about us and we care about them because we’re in that leadership position.

As a teacher — and I’ll just end with this — you have an unshakeable accountability to continue to be a positive example in our society, but the most awesome responsibility lies in the magnitude of our daily actions in the minds of our adolescents that we model and are around. They continuously look to us with wide eyes and open hearts to mimic our actions, repeat our words. Our ultimate role — of a teacher, of someone that influences children — is to be their superhero. Be present.

Vicki: Wow, Rick. I think we’ll end with that.

Educators, let’s take a stand against bullying. Let’s really be present for our kids.

 

Contact us about the show: http://ift.tt/1jailTy

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Rick Rando – Bio as submitted


Author, Consultant, 6th Degree Black Belt, and Keynote Empowerment Speaker, Master Rick Rando is regarded as a High-Octane Motivational Master. Focusing on instilling confidence and individuality, Master Rando has conducted thousands of presentations on empowerment and leadership in the business world and in academia. He owns one of the largest open-spaced martial arts studios in the country, teaching hundreds on children weekly.

Rando is a CEO (www.randospeaks.com), philanthropist, marathon runner, and most importantly husband to a beautiful wife and father of two wonderful children.

Blog: www.randospeaks.com

Twitter: @RandoSpeaks

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post 5 Ways to Stop Bullying in Every School appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e255/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The One String Masterpiece: What We Can Learn from Paganini’s One String



Day 40 of 80 Days of Excellence

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Paganini was there to play his great work “Napoleon.” His violin glistened. One string popped. He continued to play. Then, another one! Paganini played on. After his third string broke, he had one left. As he looked to his sold out but shocked audience in Italy,he held up his violin and yelled,

“Paganini and one string!”

And proceeded to wow them with the entire piece played on just one string. He received a standing ovation when he was done.

While it wowed his audience, no one redesigned the violin with one string. The violin is still a violin although Paganini could play a masterpiece on one string. That is because Paganini is a master. Everyone in the audience knew that one string was not dripping with talent. Nor was that one string possessed. That one string was played. Played by a master. And so it sung.

There are master teachers. They can teach with just their voice. Or a stick. Or a book. Or a computer. Hand them one string and they’ll make learning sing. These craftsman teachers — they teach. Anyplace. Anytime. With anything.

And yet, we worship the string.

Certainly, some strings are better than others. They are stronger. More resonant. Better tools. That is great. I’m all for great tools.

But we should not forget that the master is the one who plays the strings. People in the audience watching the teaching should know that one app or tool or feature is not dripping with talent. That one app is not possessed. That one tool was played. Played by a master. And so it taught.

There are people who buy and sell strings. They talk about the music played on the string as if the string is possessed. They hawk the masterpiece as if it lives in the string and can be played at will.

What our modern world does with tools would be like walking on stage after Paganini finished his piece and pushing him off the stage. Then, grabbing his one-stringed violin, the seller would hold it up high. He would start asking the audience to kneel to the one string. Or start selling one stringed violins. In homage to its greatness.

That string was just a string. The master had left the stage.

There is a method of the master. A way to play the string that produces great music.

Likewise, there’s a method of the master teacher, leader, master businessperson, master marketer, master parent, master speaker. Anything of worth can be mastered.

But often, many of us in search of excellence place too much emphasis on the tools and not on the craftsmanship of becoming a master of the craft.

As for me, I shall not worship the string. I shall learn from the masters.

Those who worship strings will find themselves in quiet company. Sitting around surrounded by tools, gadgets, and bills for downloaded apps. In boxes. Unused. Or broken. Misused. But not played for masterful accomplishment.

The advancement of any art form requires an honoring of the master craftsmen who know the trade.

Here’s to you master teachers or masters of any trade. Those of us who play the tune of learning know where the masterpiece really starts.

Honor your profession. Learn the craft from great craftsmen. Become a master. Play on.

This post is day 40 of 80 days of excellence. I’ve created an email list below for those of you want to be emailed the full posts written as part of this series.

The post The One String Masterpiece: What We Can Learn from Paganini’s One String appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/one-string-masterpiece-can-learn-paganinis-one-string/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.

School Counselors Helping More Women Go Into Computer Science: Tips and Advice to Find the Fit



Angela Cleveland on episode 254 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

From the Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis

Follow @coolcatteacher on Twitter

Guidance counselors are challenged to encourage students into exciting opportunities that fit their skills and abilities but also to be careful not to stereotype. Today, Angela Cleveland talks about the tips, resources, and ideas to help encourage young women to go into Computer Science.

women computer science

Listen Now

***

Enhanced Transcript

School Counselors Helping More Women Go Into Computer Science

Link to show: www.coolcatteacher.com/e246

Date: February 5, 2018

Vicki: Today we’re talking with Angela Cleveland @AngCleveland. She is the 2017 New Jersey State School Counselor of the Year.

But now, she’s working with school counselors across the United States, helping them help girls go into IT.

She’s co-founder of Reigning It (www.reigningit.com).

So, Angela, how do we help counselors advise women or young girls to take a look at IT and computer science?

angela cleveland women computer science

Angela: First of all, thanks so much for having me on your show. I’m a big fan, so I appreciate this opportunity.

In terms of young women, school counselors and really all educators can help young women and really all of our students learn more about computer science and technology by thinking about how it intersects with every area of interest.

So it can mean just taking a look around at our world and thinking, “Hmmm, this is something interesting. How was this created? Someone had to invent this app that’s on my phone, or this way of solving a certain problem. How did that process take place?”

Really, thinking about how computer science affects every area of interest, whether it’s art or history or fashion or sports. It’s there somewhere. When we start to see that intersection as educators, we can have those conversations with our students.

Thinking about how computer science affects every area of interest

Vicki: What are some things that counselors do right, that actually work with helping girls? We’re not talking about encouraging a girl who may not be a good fit for that. But we are talking about having an open mind, right?

Angela: Right.

An open mind is really key. Sometimes we have to check our own bias about who we think is right for computer science.

In our society, there may be a certain perception that it’s maybe someone who is very quiet, who likes to work alone, and maybe a male, or maybe someone who’s very good at math or science. A lot of those, if not all of those, are really myths about who is right for computer science.

Today, people are working in groups. There’s a concept called Pair Programming, where students work together on a coding activity. Computer science is about problem-solving.

Computer science is about problem-solving

The biggest predictor of who’s going to be successful in computer science is someone who likes to solve problems. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have a strong math or science background, but that you have an inquisitive and curious mind.

So if you have a student who likes to solve puzzles, or they like doing Sudoku, that’s somebody who would be great for computer science!

All of our students have this great ability to pick up on what may be some problems in our society. Talking to student about, “How would you fix that? Especially using technology, how could you address that problem?’

So that’s really important.

For school counselors, what’s key is that school counselors have the ability to look at the demographics of a school, to look at where students are going in terms of course placement.

They can look at, “Is there a gender gap in our computer science class?”

Or, “We’re running this after-school club, and we’re noticing that all the same types of students are gravitating toward this club.”

So school counselors have this ability to look at the system as a whole and to support students.

School counselors have this ability to look at the system as a whole

One of the most effective things that school counselors can do is to encourage young women to explore a club or a computer science class with a friend. Just having someone else in there who is like them, who they feel comfortable with, is really important. We find that there’s a lot of success with just having a friend in the class with you.

Vicki: So you’ve already named one mistake, which is stereotyping.

Angela: (agrees)

Vicki: Don’t think that they just have to be a loner, or that sort of thing.

Are there any other common mistakes that you think end up not helping young girls the way we should?

Angela: Right. Sometimes it has to do with the environment that students are going into in terms of the classroom, the actual setting itself.

School counselors — we’ve talked to them across the country — go into a computer science class and look around. You can get a sense, just from the posters that are on the wall, “Is this an inclusive environment? Is there a fair representation of all people?”

If you’re a young woman going into a computer science class, and you look around and you see posters with Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, you start to maybe get an idea that, “Hmmm. This is a field for white males.”

It would be as simple as just having more representation in the classroom that shows women that there are people who are doing this job, and they’re in this industry, and they’re just like you. They have a background similar to yours.

Display more representation of women and people of diversity

Vicki: That’s so important, to show girls and give them models.

In my classroom, we talk of course about Augusta Ada Byron Lovelace, who was the world’s first programmer.

Angela: (laughs) Yes!

Vicki: Just realizing how many women (and people of) of diversity are really part of the computer science revolution.

So what are some of the resources that counselors can access that will help them in this area? Some counselors I know feel awkward talking about computer science because they’re not really very technical themselves.

What are some resources for counselors and other educators?

Angela: Absolutely. That’s a great question. I get asked that quite frequently.

I’m going to share with you one of my favorite resources. It’s completely free and very accessible.

It’s a magazine called “Careers With Code.” (https://careerswithcode.com)

If you go to their website in the Shownotes, you can download a magazine that they have. It’s totally free to download. You can also order some copies of it. What’s great about this magazine is they lead with this concept called CS, which stands for computer science, plus X.
And X is any area of interest.

They have really fun personality quizzes in there, and they talk about how — whatever you’re interested in — if you’re interested in pop culture and you like to keep up with the Kardashians — there is a career in computer science for you.

They really demystify what computer science is, how it affects all of these different areas of interest, how it’s changing the world.

Then, there are extension activities. You can go onto the Careers With Code YouTube channel, and you can see more interviews with the people who are featured.

It’s a really great resource, and I think especially for counselors to see that there are different pathways to computer science.

It’s not so linear (pun intended) where people start at a young age, coding in their basement.

Oftentimes with young women, they come into computer science because there’s something they’re interested in, there’s a problem they want to solve, and technology provides a pathway for them to solve that problem.

Vicki: So Angela, as we were recording this recently, you were at Georgia Tech working with about 70 counselors in this area.

What are counselors saying about the conversations they’re having with kids — particularly girls — about this topic?

What are counselors saying about this topic?

Angela: Right. When we meet with school counselors, one of the things that we share out is the data regarding Bachelor’s degrees that are being conferred in this country, and the number of jobs that are available.

This is something that really resonates with school counselors because we’re very much focused on graduating students to go into post-secondary education, the military, or the world of work, and to have sustainable careers.

When we look at the data, we have the majority of degrees being conferred in the social sciences, but there aren’t enough jobs in this country for someone who just has a degree in the social sciences.

The reverse is happening in computer science. Sometimes when we’re talking about STEM, we’re looking at science, technology, engineering, and math.

But really, the jobs that are coming up in the STEM fields are in the computing industry. There are so many jobs available, and not enough people with those backgrounds.

So when we talk to school counselors about — ultimately, as I said, our job is to graduate students to have sustainable careers and to be happy and to have rewarding careers — the way for them to do that is to think about how — whatever their area of interest is — how it’s being transformed by technology. That will prepare them to enter a major or to enter a workforce.

Vicki: Wow. Are counselors feeling overwhelmed by all of this change?

Angela: You know, I think it’s something that really resonates with what school counselors believe in.

It’s really tied to our ethical code as school counselors.

We’re kind of a very unique profession, where not only are we addressing change with individual students, supporting that individual child, but we’re also — as school counselors, part of our responsibility which many people don’t know about is looking at a system (whether it’s our educational system in our district or looking bigger picture) and making sure that we are providing optimal learning environments and equitable access to all of our students.

This is at the heart of what school counselors do.

Looking at the big picture is at the heart of what school counselors do

When they see that there’s a way for them to achieve this goal and support their students, it actually feels very accessible to them.

It takes a problem that feels very big, and it provides the pathway for them to support students with something as simple as, “Hey, here’s a computer science class. Why don’t you and a friend sign up together, and I’ll make sure you’re in this class.”

Vicki: Well, school counselors and everyone listening, the counseling job is such an important job.

There are also many times that teachers of high school kids find ourselves wearing a little bit of a counselor’s hat, maybe not quite as much, but kids will come to us.

I think that we’ve heard some very important concepts to encourage all of our students to take a look at STEM jobs and IT jobs, and to kind of have an open mind about things because we do want our students to be successful and lead successful lives.

Part of that equation is not only building relationships and living healthy lives, but also finding a career that they love — a successful career for them.

So take a look at these resources. I’m particularly interested in the “Careers With Code” magazine. I’ll be sharing that with my students.

Thank you so much, Angela!

Angela: Thank you so much for having me!

 

Contact us about the show: http://www.coolcatteacher.com/contact/ 

Transcribed by Kymberli Mulford kymberlimulford@gmail.com

Bio as submitted


Angela Cleveland, M.S.Ed., M.Ed., MA [www.AngelaCleveland.com] advocates for equity and access to STEM opportunities, she consults for the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT)’s [ncwit.org] Counselors for Computing [ncwit.org/c4c] division, PBS’s SciGirls, [http://ift.tt/1UQ5Hh6] and Accepted to School. [http://ift.tt/1UQ5Hh6]

Angela has 15 years of experience as a professional school counselor and is a Google Certified Educator. She is an executive board member and webmaster for the New Jersey School Counselor Association (NJSCA). [njsca.org] Angela co-founded ReigningIt, [www.reigningit.com] a non-profit dedicated to creating a STEM dialogue inclusive of every woman.

Angela is a technology contributor to national publications, such as Edutopia, [http://ift.tt/2BtWAjA] she presents on a national level about computer science and the school counseling profession, and she is an adjunct professor at Caldwell University. [www.caldwell.edu]

Angela’s advocacy has earned her recognition, most recently the “2017 NJ State School Counselor of the Year” award and was featured in Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls blog. [http://ift.tt/2o2mzH8]

In her free time, Angela enjoys writing and is the author of several therapeutic children’s books. [http://ift.tt/2sw02Hp] Learn more about her: www.angelacleveland.com. [www.angelacleveland.com]

Blog: www.AngelaCleveland.com

Twitter: @AngCleveland

Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored podcast episode.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to include a reference to their product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” This company has no impact on the editorial content of the show.

The post School Counselors Helping More Women Go Into Computer Science: Tips and Advice to Find the Fit appeared first on Cool Cat Teacher Blog by Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher helping educators be excellent every day. Meow!



From http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e254/
via Vicki Davis at coolcatteacher.com. Please also check out my show for busy teachers, Every Classroom Matters and my Free teaching tutorials on YouTube.
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