Value Mind Map – Community – May 11th – 17th

I struggled at maintaining this map over the course of the week.  I usually like to think about community because my job is to help improve it.  But, I had a rough week teaching.  My expectations got the better of me.  The thought, “It’s too late,” keeps popping into my mind.  I don’t act to fix my classroom management problems.

Anyway, below is my mind map from the last week.

community mindmap

You will see some positives.  For example, I participated in Abbie’s mother’s day celebrations and wishing people good morning.  I normally don’t wish others good morning, so that was a win.  I shouldn’t say that.  I wish some good morning, but this time I went out of my way to do it.  Hooray!

Next week, I plan on focusing on my value of Mindfulness.

Sudlow Beautification!

Last Saturday, we spent time making our school more beautiful.  A big thanks to Kelly for setting this up, her husband for being a mulch-master, Abbie for helping me plant daylilies, Claire the super student, and Claire’s mom for bringing her daughter and spreading some mulch.

Below is a picture of the sign with the daylilies planted around it.

Sudlow Beautification

Imagine if everyone spent some time helping to make their community beautiful.  Even if it is picking up an extra piece of trash on the walk to and from a car…  That thought makes me smile 🙂

Value Mind Map – Learning – April 20th – 26th

Learning is great!  Abbie chose for us to focus on our value of Learning this week.  Below is the mind map I created to help me keep track.Learning mind map

Looks like I need a better camera!  That picture is hard to read.  But here are the key ideas I took away each day this past week.

The endless library thought experiment caused me to realize the difficulty in unlimited choices.  Our lives are sometimes too open and we become stagnant instead of taking action.  Creating a sense of limited resources will improve our productivity.

I was meditating and realized that doing is required.  Specifically, I was thinking about how fast paced society is and how we rarely take time to appreciate it.  I had an urge to get up and go tell people to slow down.  However, this would cause me to become fast paced and not act how I believe we should live, which in this case was slowing down and appreciating what I did have.

We should all take a vow to do the important tasks first thing in the morning.  If we put them off, then they suddenly become something to do later.

We must play within our values.  I sprayed some water in my students’ face when they wouldn’t be quiet today.  I did it with a smile on my face.  Guess what happened?  Students began doing it to one another.  I wouldn’t like that either.  My “play” was disrespectful.  We must keep our values in mind for all our actions.

I often become lethargic when thinking about work.  I want to do anything but it.  I realized I am missing having a purpose in my educating students.  Sounds awful, doesn’t it?  In anything we do, I think it is best we have some sort of purpose to fuel us.

Oddly, I often find myself ruminating over my work.  This is draining.  I realized I need downtime to help keep myself energized for my important, yet challenging, tasks.

Lastly, I learned about physical computer manipulations.  I watched a TED talk about a using physical objects to work with computers.  For example, he showed how we could have 3 different objects representing Fire, Ambulance, and Police units and physically place them on a map.  Also, there is a way to learn about protein structures by having the objects respond when moved (i.e. feeling the way proteins are folded).

Overall, it was a great week.  And I am glad I had this moment to reflect upon my learning again.

See the Good, Feel Important

Teaching is a lonely profession.  This is an odd phrase because teachers are with students all day.  But, people can feel lonely even in a crowd.  The feeling of loneliness comes from feeling a lack of importance in life.  How can teachers be lacking a feeling of importance?  We shape the minds of the young and this is a very important undertaking.  However, the day-to-day battles are intense.  The students can be vicious.

Constant negative feedback is tough to swallow.  I had students not trying after discussing biking, which I thought would be applicable to their lives.  I had a student tell me she doesn’t do work in my class because it is boring.  Today we were building an environment out of Legos and other pieces to understand watersheds and pollution.  I had a student write “Mr. Hingstrum is a bitch” on the desk after I took her book away because she wasn’t doing her assignment.  These constant negative actions cause me to feel unimportant, and thus, lonely.

Changing our mindset in order to see the good we did is hard in these situations.  I had excellent visuals for gears for the students to see.  I tried to make the problem applicable to their life.  I gathered the resources for the students to be able to build the environment.  I did have some students interested and trying.  I was important to some!

We all must note when we feel stress or anger begin to rise. More importantly, we must use it as a trigger to begin looking for the good around us.  This will help steer us toward a positive mood, which in turn will help the environment around us.

What are some good things you did today?

The Purpose of Education

Educators must supply new experiences of suffering for their students.  The purpose of education is to learn how to overcome new obstacles.  Amazingly simple.  This may be why teaching has been so difficult for me.  I never want to harm anyone.  I want to help.  But, I’ve come to realize teaching includes both aspects.  More specifically, teaching in public schools does.  I must plan to deliver the new problem for the students to practice solving and help the students solve it.

I had this same thought before.  In my past, I called the problems “puzzles.”  This felt more positive.  But, I think if students understood that the purpose of school was to help them understand how to reduce suffering, then more students would want to be there.  Who doesn’t want to know how to reduce their suffering?

In case you are wondering, I believe science is the best way to reduce suffering.  Make your life into an experiment.  You’ll learn so much!