Sleep!

Recently, I’ve been hearing more and more about the importance of sleep. I found a wonderful book recently released where the author said previous lines of thought were nutrition, exercise, and sleep were the three pillars of health. However, now the scientific community has a better understanding of sleep being the foundation of good health, with nutrition and exercise coming after that. Basically, if you aren’t sleeping well or getting enough sleep, nothing else really matters. Sleep matters to literally every cell in your body affecting every system.

 

With that knowledge, we have worked in my house to make sure everyone is getting enough sleep. Early bedtimes aren’t always fun (especially with the sun staying out longer), but it really is so important to kids and adults to make sure they are getting enough sleep. I have also talked with students about this, and explained that without enough sleep their ability to regulate emotions and handle stress will be greatly impaired. The next time you’re struggling to manage emotions, think about how much sleep you got the night before. It could very well be the problem!

Online Safety and Kindness

The focus of the classroom lessons this month has been online safety and kindness. I talked with classrooms about how we never really know who anyone is on the internet, and just because their profile picture is a kid, puppy, or Pokemon, that doesn’t mean they are a kid to trust. We also discussed being kind using technology, and what to do if you see cyberbullying.

I encouraged students over and over to talk with the adults at their house anytime they feel unsafe online. Ask your student how they can be safe online.

A Big THANK YOU!

Last week, I reached out to several businesses asking if they would be willing to make a donation to recognize school staff for the tremendous work they’ve done this year. Our staff have managed in-person learners, remote learners, students going between remote and in-person, mask breaks, social distancing, and did all this with a mask on!

Super Saver on South 56th Street came through! They donated 65 doughnuts and 35 bagels. The staff was THRILLED this morning with a surprise of a yummy start to their day. Thank you so much to Super Saver for this very generous donation!

Online Safety

Next month, I will be talking in my classroom lessons about on-line safety and kindness as part of the Nebraska State Standards. While this is a lesson that I really like to teach and talk with students about, the education can’t only be this one lesson a year.

Please be sure you are always monitoring what your student is doing with technology. We will be talking about even “safe” sites or apps can be dangerous if students share too much information or don’t know how to handle situations where they feel unsafe.

We also talk about how we don’t truly “know” people on the internet unless we’ve actually met them in person. Often, people (adults and children) will say, and even feel like, they “know” someone just because they see their YouTube videos every week, or their TikToks daily. That’s not truly “knowing” someone, and can open us up to say or do things we shouldn’t be saying or doing.

Getting Back on Track

Well we definitely had a bit of a shake up with the THREE snow days last week. As I go in and out of classrooms, I see teachers’ planners full of strike throughs and eraser marks. We are all readjusting and working to get back on track.

As we head into each new month, week, or even day, I think it is a great attitude to have of getting back on track. Sometimes kids and adults get down on themselves for a mistake or series of mistakes and begin to feel shameful of themselves as a person rather than temporary guilt for a decision they’ve made. So, if you haven’t quite done what you hoped or make a decision you wish you could take back, I offer you this challenge. From now on, you’re going to work to get back on track. What has happened, has happened, and we can use what we learned to move forward and make the best decisions possible moving ahead!

Gratitude!

Well hello 2021! I am so grateful 2020 has passed, and am hopeful for a better 2021. One thing that will be the focus of 3rd quarter groups will be gratitude. I feel like everywhere I look and listen (hello podcasts), gratitude is talked about as being so important. I found this article which I felt summarized it all well!

 

You may have heard the saying attitude of gratitude. It’s a great little rhyme to remind us that we live a life of gratitude – and practice it! When we practice gratitude on a regular basis, it not only impacts our mental and physical health, but those around you.

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation for what we have. At a time when many of us are struggling to adapt to a new normal, practicing gratitude is more important than ever.

Showing gratitude has the following mental health benefits:

  1. Expressing gratitude can improve your mood. People who regularly express gratitude for the positive things in their life are shown to be happier overall, leading to lower rates of stress and depression.
  2. Showing gratitude can make you more optimistic. Studies show that those who express gratitude regularly appear to have a more positive outlook on life.
  3. Sharing gratitude can improve social bonds. People have reported feeling more loved and more connected to others in their lives when they routinely practice gratitude or those around them practice gratitude.
  4. Practicing gratitude can improve your physical health. People who actively express gratitude tend to be more engaged in activities to take care of their physical health, like eating well and exercising. This leads to higher energy levels, better sleep and a stronger immune system, or the ability to fight off illness or infection.

How can your family practice gratitude? The first thing is to build gratitude into your daily schedule – and practice it! Here are a few ways you can practice gratitude to improve the overall well-being of your family and those around you.

  1. Start your day by writing down one thing that went well the previous day and why it went well. You can do this while eating breakfast or before you start on work or schoolwork. Writing it down is important because it is a record of what happened that you can refer back to. This allows you to reflect on your actions and continue growing.
  2. Most of us feel frustrated by something in a normal day. When you find yourself feeling upset or frustrated, hit the pause button and reset your thinking. Come up with something positive about the situation or think about something else entirely that you are thankful for.
  3. Go around the dinner table and have each person state something general they are thankful for, and something specific to that day that they are thankful for.
  4. Share your gratitude with others by writing a note to someone you are grateful for.

From https://www.nationwidechildrens.org/family-resources-education/700childrens/2020/05/gratitude#:~:text=Showing%20gratitude%20has%20the%20following,can%20make%20you%20more%20optimistic

 

One Month Left of 2020!

We’ve almost made it through 2020! There seem to be some signs that 2021 is bound to be better, and yet please continue to wear masks and take all precautions for your own safety and the safety of others.

Here at Everett, students are still doing a great job at being safe. We are encouraging students with incentives such as extra golden tickets if they are “caught” wearing their masks correctly!

Social Media – I Now Have Set Limits

Recently, I watched “Social Dilemma” on Netflix. It was alarming in many ways, and I now have limits on my phone for how much I consume daily. However, a protective feature for me and others my age is that we grew up without social media, and thus don’t have the same understanding of just how much of a role in can play in one’s life. I was SHOCKED to see the statistics about children and mental health in the documentary. Compared to the first decade of the 2000s, the rates for depression and anxiety have gone up over 150% in girls aged 10-14. While we might think about “teenagers” as those in middle and high school (and there are concerns there too), to see the role social media has played in younger children scared me! Please be sure you are setting limits for yourself as a good mental health step as well as a model for students. In addition, it helps to explain to students how detrimental social media can be and put limits in place.

Last Official Day of Summer!

It was crazy to see on the news this morning that today is the last official day of summer! It feels like summer ended months ago! I’m so proud of how our students have handled the move back to school. I rarely have to remind students to wear masks, and even though it seems like there is a new way of doing things every other day, students have shown amazing flexibility.

Thank you also to the families for helping students with the transitions. So many times, we’ve had to remember that nothing about this year is ideal, but we are doing the best we can.

As a reminder, conferences are coming up. Please be sure to check with your student’s teacher about when the conference is scheduled. These will all be virtual this year (again, not ideal, but it’s the best we can do for now).

Three Weeks In!

We have now completed three weeks of the 2020-2021 school year! I think exhausted is a great word to describe how everyone is feeling. Not only are we adjusting to the new school year, but also having to constantly adjust to make sure we’re all staying safe. New routines and procedures can take up a lot of our energy!

Please remember one change is students are not to arrive before 8:05. There is no adult supervision before that time, and thus we ask students not be dropped off. Also, students tend to not be great at physically distancing themselves from others, and for everyone’s safety it helps if we have as few students as possible waiting outside the doors.

I had predicted masks would be a big challenge this year, but I am thrilled to say I was wrong. Yes, occasionally a student is playing with his or her mask, or it slips under the nose and a reminder is needed. However, when given a reminder, students have been awesome about making the changes needed.

We will continue to work hard on making this the best, and safest, school year possible! Thank you so much for all your help and support!