It’s Time for the 2017 Heartfelt Quotation Series from PeachQuotes Studio™

 

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Based on feedback from teachers, we are excited to bring back the popular Valentine’s Day Series by   innovative PeachQuotes Studio™ in a fresh, new way. This series of quotations was designed to showcase what teachers often feel and want to share at this “heartfelt” time of year.

Welcome to the 2017 Heartfelt Quotation Series by PeachQuotes Studio™. In anticipation of Valentine’s Day, this array of elegantly designed quotes features seven pairs of motivational quotations to inspire teachers and help teachers contemplate the always-timely question: “What do you love about teaching?” By pairing two teacher-favorite quotations together, teachers may choose, compare, contrast, and otherwise infuse these powerful and classic messages into the school day in new ways.

This 2017 Valentine’s Day Quotation Series kicks off with the wise words of two incredible teachers and thought leaders: Eleanor Roosevelt and Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart.”

—Eleanor Roosevelt

We hopeEleanor Roosevelt’s words may help you teach and inspire your kids about how to handle and face difficult situations. As a teacher, you’re often in situations that demand both a cool head and warm heart. How do you blend these two different characteristics to guide your kids? Check out today’s quotations to spark your own ideas!

 

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“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

In light of Dr. King’s recent birthday, his choice to settle on love bridges from Black History Month towards Valentine’s Day. Love works EVERY day. We hope you’ll become inspired by Dr. King, one of the most inspirational and quotable leaders of all time. There are many ways teachers use love with students in active and energetic classrooms all over the country. We hope you enjoy sharing these quotes as you work with and teach your kids.

As you begin to plan for the month of February, why not start to make a plan with your kids. The Organizer Notepad, This Week at School is great for recording during and after school activities in one place. Check out the entire line of Executive Functioning tools on Teacher Peach’s Amazon Shop. These tools are a great way to get your February planning started.

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In a month focused around love, February reminds us all that it’s important not to forget the broken hearts and boo boos, too. Why not take a peek at the convenient and handy Boo Boo Bag that’s on sale in the Teacher Peach Amazon Shop as well!

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By sharing these inspiring quotes with your kids to kick off the month of February, this Heartfelt Quotation Series can bring an even bigger loving mentality into your classroom and your lessons. Writing down and talking about different experiences may help students use their heart as well as their mind when faced with similar experiences in everyday life.

What are some of your favorite quotes that revolve around Valentine’s Day? Introducing them to your kids may open the conversation even more. Share your favorites here, too! We’d love to discover more about what makes your heart sing!

It’s Time to Revisit YOUR Dreamy Resolutions

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For many, it feels like the new year started months ago and it’s been barely a month! As this first month quickly comes to a close it’s an ideal time to take a breath and reflect on the new goals you set just a few weeks ago.

Consider these questions as you revisit your resolutions:

  • What is your main goal for the year?
  • Did you opt to work on one resolution at a time? How’s that going?
  • Are you jumping right in to tackle a group of goals all at once?
  • Are any resolutions feeling too difficult?
  • Is each resolution specific enough?
  • Are you making too many resolutions?
  • How might you take each resolution apart and break it down into mini-resolutions?

No matter the approach you choose, one month into any new year-long plan is a terrific time to fine-tune your game plan to help you achieve the most success. With some actual experience trying to achieve your goals, you may see them very differently than when you first established them. It’s so easy to be over-exuberant and set too many goals at the start of a year. Some of the goals we’d LIKE to achieve are not necessarily goals that really resonate. With a month of trying under your belt, you might achieve more success by confirming the goals about which you intend to be resolute.

A Resolution Cross-Check Process

When setting goals at the start of a year, it’ easy to just make a list without categorizing goals in any way. For many people, this works well. If you’d like to “balance” your resolutions list a bit further, look at each resolution and categorize according to the three filters below.

Then, assess if you are attempting too many changes in any one category. That’s the key—even when a resolution is not about starting or stopping a behavior and revolves around continuing something you are already doing—it still requires bandwidth and effort! Set yourself up for greater success by cross checking your resolutions against these filters:

  • Things you plan to START doing. (Do you want to start jogging, getting more sleep, start eating less junk food, or start volunteering to help others? These are START goals.)
  • Things you plan to STOP doing. (Do you want to stop running late, stop eating dessert, stop procrastinating or seeing the world through negative glasses? These are STOP goals.)
  • Things you plan to KEEP doing. (It’s easy to overlook this type of goal. We tend to forget that some things we’ve already incorporated into our routines that ARE just plain working! These may include past goals you’ve mastered or great habits you jut do naturally like always walking two miles when you take the dog out. It’s easy to forget to give yourself credit for these accomplishments.)

Blue-Sky Resolutions

In addition to my own “maintain a healthy lifestyle” resolution that means I will:

  • STOP keeping clothes I won’t wear again, and someone else might much more often,
  • KEEP up my walking plan and gluten-free diet,
  • START, once again, to work on getting more sleep. (Yup. That was one resolution from 2016 that I didn’t fully achieve. I suppose I could have pre-populated that cell for 2017; I knew I blew that one.)

Every year, I try to accomplish or work toward completing one really BIG blue-sky resolution, too. This year is no different. I’ve noticed a lot of people segment this goal from their other goals for that very reason—it feels BIG, really big. It may be a goal related to your family, your work, or your interests. For some people, a BIG blue-sky resolution is often connected to all of the BIG and important aspects of your life. These goals don’t stop, start, or keep going—instead, they are OVER-ARCHING.

My 2017 BIG Blue-Sky Resolution

As an example of what I mean, my BIG blue-sky resolution for 2017 springs from my 2016 goal, which was to help teachers help themselves and their students.

In order to take this resolution to the next level in 2017, I plan to focus on the challenge under the challenge, something I discovered in 2016—helping kids discover their confidence and creativity. This is a huge undertaking, one that our products help to support, as does our company’s donation of 10% of the profits from every product we sell. Teachers do tell us that our classroom products really do make a difference to kids and families and that matters most to me.

One Product That Made a Difference

Several years ago at a conference, I gave a teacher two free samples of our “You made a great choice!” card. I urged her to just try it in her classroom. All I asked of her in return was to tell me how she used them and how she thought they made a difference to “her” kids. I didn’t hear from her for a long time. I’d forgot I had even given the cards out.

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One day, many months later, I received an amazing note from that teacher. With her note in front of me, I immediately remembered giving her the cards and the words I exchanged with her. In her note, written in incredible penmanship I might add, she explained how she let her bag of collected conference materials hang on the back of her desk chair for quite some time. Finally, one quiet morning before class, she decided to go through the bag’s contents. She was taking the “You made a great choice!” cards I’d given to her out of the bag when she was interrupted. She evidently put the cards down on the corner of her desk where they stayed for the remainder of the week.

As a result, the cards were within her reach when she noticed one student out of the corner of her eye the following Monday. This particular child struggled with reading. He was beginning to decode more complex words with much less help. Progress! The child was extremely shy so she wanted to tell him how pleased she was but in a quiet way. She spotted the card and, then and there, she thoughtfully wrote and gave him this card, reminding him to take the time to decode, and that she noticed his efforts to do this in small group.

She went on to say that the little boy had move to live in another city with his relatives. She didn’t know his family had been living in a local shelter. When he came to say goodbye, she told him to always remember that he is a good reader and to stop and take each word apart, just as they’d been doing. He shyly responded, “Like you said in the card?”

She didn’t recall right away what he was talking about. But the boy reminded her about the “great choice” card she had given him months before. As he was walking out of her classroom, he turned. He told her he kept the card and his grandmother’s broken watch in a box that was always wrapped up securely in his sweatshirt. He told her he looked at the card every day before school, that no one had ever given him anything like that before, and he was going to keep it with him forever.

She apologized to us that she’d not written to tell us this sooner, but wanted to make sure we knew the card certainly helped one little boy.

As for the other copy of the card I had given her? She used it to write her note to me. Needless to say, I then sent her several sets for her desk drawer. This is the kind of story that helps us figure out how to help teachers reach their students.

As the year continues, and you continue to check in on how your resolutions are coming along, think about the kinds of resolutions your students may have made to themselves. When you notice a good choice or even a small step in the right direction, think about how you can make it into a positive change. Handing out a “You made a great choice” card can help just like it did for that boy. The cards can easily be purchased at our Amazon Shop along with many other motiving cards.

My BIG blue-sky resolution for 2017 is to help raise confident kids. Part of achieving this goal is helping teachers to positively impact more students—some the most important people—our kids! Let us know about your BIG blue-sky resolutions. If there’s a Teacher Peach product that particularly helps you achieve your goals, we hope you’ll share that too! For a quick look at many different Teacher Peach products, just click on this link to our Amazon page. Many products are Amazon Prime, too.

 

Opposite Day Stretches Problem Solving Skills!

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January 25th is almost here—the day that up means down and happy means sad. That’s right Opposite Day is upon us! Up/down. Left/right. Open/closed. Yes/no. What are you planning to do with your kids to celebrate this day?

When brainstorming new ideas, an often-used technique is that of reversing your thinking, imagining that the “exact opposite” outcome is desired, the exact opposite problem is in your lap—what would you do? Opposite Day is a day dedicated to flipping the coin, to looking exactly where you wouldn’t, and for having some creative fun with your kids.

There’s a skill-sharpening benefit to this fun, too. By encouraging kids to “go opposite” they’ll get some practice expanding their problem-solving skills. To help Opposite Day to be “the opposite of those demanding lesson plan days,” Teacher Peach did a bit of detective work to find some quick activities and worksheets to help you incorporate Opposite Day into the lessons you’ve already built. Check these out—or don’t, as we say in the land of oppo-speak!

Why not observe Opposite Day at home and at school with these ideas? If you’re eager to do a fun activity with your children at home or you want to incorporate an up-side-down adventure or two in your classroom, check out these options. Teacher Peach recognizes this day as an amazing opportunity to engage with kids and to spark creativity, so we did some quick digging to share just a few activities to celebrate this fun light-hearted day (with a hidden problem-solving benefit for everyone)!

Check Out These Free Printables

To save you even more time, Teacher Peach’s team of creatives started this FREE printables search for you, too. With just a few clicks, you’ll find worksheets and flashcards that might be perfect for your Opposite Day plans. These work well at the breakfast table too, even before the school day begins. (How’s that for an opposite approach?) The links below are a collection of printable worksheets and flashcards to get you started.

Lesson Starters and Idea Sites

Scholastic and PBS have some great resources to help you weave Opposite Day into a lesson plan. If the idea feels above or below the ages of your kids, many of these are easy to adapt. If you want to link the activity to the content of your lesson, in many cases you’ll spot an easy way to accomplish that, too. Activities include learning and incorporating words like reverse, backwards and opposite into any questions you’re planning to pose using games to show movement, and so much more! What is the opposite of raising your hand in your classroom? What if today you allowed your class NOT to be a device-free zone? Some of the ideas on these sites might inspire you to “go opposite” in many different ways.

Have an awesome Opposite Day or should we say an everything-but-awesome day to stay in keeping with Opposite Day’s theme? If you’ve never posted a comment on our site, why not do “just the opposite on Opposite Day” and let us know what you and your kids discovered as part of this mind-stretching strategy? We’ll be eager to hear from you, as always—and there’s no opposite in that!

Use Creativity in a “Timely” Way

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Whenever I see a quotation with the word creativity in it’s construction, it is like a magnet to me. I am “a creative.” Period. I use my creative gifts to make things—that help other people solve problems, help people learn and grow, and generally figure things out. I work with teachers, kids, businesses, and entrepreneurs—and I love it. As a creative stuff-maker, this quotation resonates with me in a very deep way.

When I look at the image we paired with this powerful quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as we pause on Monday to honor his memory and work, I am immediately transported back to Columbus Day, 2015. The weather in Washington, DC, was breathtakingly perfect that day. I know this because I was there on a tour of the best and finest DC had to offer in terms of museums and monuments, an M&M Tour that burned calories instead of adding them.

Just before midday when the sun was high in the vibrant blue sky, my little group walked along a pale granite wall—the Inscription Wall. We had arrived at the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial. While I’d visited other memorials at various times, this was my first exposure to this particular memorial.

The granite stretched on. At perfectly orchestrated increments, exquisitely carved, perfectly proportioned capital letters formed excerpts from Dr. King’s many speeches. Some I knew; others new. All were thought provoking and powerful in their clarity and simplicity.

How often have we been taught that it is harder to express thought with fewer words than many? Every excerpt was a stunning example of Dr. King’s effective distillation of complexity that goes beyond any words.

Then I saw it—the towering memorial edifice itself, the Stone of Hope. Truly larger than life was the white stone sculpture in the image of Dr. King himself. With his armed folded and expression thoughtful, the impact was indescribable. This strategically placed work in massive stone, over 28 feet tall, was magnetic. The enormity of the issues, the struggles and the pain of so many, and the certainty of Dr. King’s convictions were perfectly distilled in this single sculpture of a single man. Justice, democracy, hope, and love, key messages of Dr. King’s, were each underscored for me everywhere I turned. I was riveted.

Since that day, I read every Dr. King quotation I find. When I later discovered the quotation by Dr. King that opens this blog post, I saved it immediately. I often think that we are trained from our earliest report cards to “use time and materials wisely.” This is, of course true—AND so is the creative use of time, even f it was not a report-card-worthy trait when I was getting my manila report cards. Yes, we all must use time creatively. By applying some creative problem solving to time crunches and tough time choices, we truly can get more of the right work done.

Creative Choice Combinations

As we move through this first month of January, time still feels like an easy companion, not yet fighting us with the urgency to choose. It still seems there’ll be plenty of time to do it all because the year is so new. We’re not yet behind and are perhaps still sticking to our resolutions (though that’s a different post for me in terms of my diet!).

As Dr. King articulated, in order to achieve all that we decide we must, we must creatively use our time. While there is a limit to the time we have, creatively using the time we do have expands our ability to choose wisely. Creativity of choice can serve to offset the urgency that “urges” us to try to do it all. Maybe the carpool line can be a perfectly quiet place to consider an issue on your to-think-about-it list. Perhaps those bleachers at the ice rink might provide a few moments to think through the best approach to sending a note home about a particular student. By thinking about certain challenges and to-do items in different environments, you might even make a more creative connection. As you watch that young goalie deflect the puck, does it spark you to recognize that the student you want to help is a master deflector in other ways, ways that you can now suddenly unlock? Had you not opted for creativity in choices, you may not make such a connection.

More Quotations About Time

As you move through the second half of January, you’ll undoubtedly need to make your own choices about how to wisely, creatively, and efficiently use your teaching time. In honor of Black History Month, we’re including a worksheet of this quotation by Dr. King.

We’ve also included two more worksheets with a “timely” quotation from Maya Angelou and Nelson Mandela, respectively, so you can “ch-use” with your kids in mind. These quotes and worksheets are great at home and at school. Try them as dinner table placemats, refrigerator reminders, and classroom curiosity sparks. Pop one up on the door as your brood heads out for the day. Those few little seconds that the ready ones stand there waiting for the stragglers could be just long enough for them to catch a glimmer of the power of creativity.

 

We look forward to hearing how you opt to use these PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheets in your classroom and family room. We so hope you’ll take a sliver of time to share your creatively chosen teachable moments. We know you have them!

Check out the creative product mix of Teacher Peach products on Amazon, too. (Most are Prime eligible!) Just search Teacher Peach Products on Amazon or check out our favorite teacher tote, and get creative time-saving tools and classroom products Visit teacherpeach.com to learn more about what makes us tick!

Big Dreams Bring Bigger Realities

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“I have a dream.”

“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas.”

“Dream a little dream with me.”

“Dream on.”

“In your dreams.”

“Follow your dreams.”

As all of these familiar sayings underscore, we think about what we strive for—a lot. We “dream” so much in fact, that beyond the powerful and enduring impact of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s riveting “I have a dream.” belief, many of the above phrases have worked their way into overly familiar clichés. Yet, the mere possibility that they have become clichés also underscores relevance of dreams in our society; a cliché tends to mean the message or meaning matters enough that SO many people use it that it soon falls into the overused, cliché category. If we were studying market demographics, this would seem a good thing. Because we are working to help raise confident kids, IT IS A GREAT THING.

For kids, for teachers, and for every single one of us, having big dreams can make a big difference in what we strive for and ultimately accomplish. Dreams do count and are effective tools to help us believe enough in our own abilities to accomplish even more. Dreams help us reach for bigger, better results and spark us to believe we can—and will—achieve them.

Often, big doers start off as big dreamers. Not only do kids benefit from learning about the big dreams and big results of powerful leaders, we all benefit from understanding how our own dreams help build up and raise our confidence to help us achieve bigger results. Teachers, who have the opportunity to impact many kids at one time, have the chance to can deliver this message lesson through both instruction and example.

Three DREAM-Y Quotes to Share

At this time of year our PeachQuotes Studio™ gets many requests to share our series of “Dreams and More” Quotations. So, here they are, for today we’ve curated three different—and “DREAM-y” quotations that fit well with January objectives. These quotations are primed and ready to incorporate into your lessons as you wrap up this quarter and launch into third quarter of the school year. The colorful downloads, like the one at the end of this post, also make inspiring and motivating reminders as screen savers, door décor, and more.

As part of the ongoing curriculum, for many teachers, January lesson plans tend to use the following three topics as a content base for instruction across many subject areas: Black History Month, Martin Luther King’s birthday, and goal setting for the new calendar year. To help make it easy to incorporate inspiring dream-building messages into your plans for the month, below you’ll find a curated quotation worksheet for each of these trending topics.

As we all know from personal experience, in both directions, dreams are quite powerful. Big dreams can bring bigger realities. Fear of dreaming big can, on the other hand, significantly limit actual results. As you plan and move through your classroom agendas in the coming weeks, take a look at and consider infusing one or more of these DREAM-y quotation worksheets. Teachers tell us that these quote worksheets are ideal ways to start off the day, for morning meetings, advisories, and early finishers throughout the school day.

Black History Month PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet

Not only do Oprah Winfrey’s words offer encouragement, they resonate in a common-sense manner as this example illustrates. Oprah Winfrey inspires and motivates people in many walks of life. Many say it is because she possesses an ability to reach and relate to a universal audience. Oprah dreams BIG and achieves BIG!

“The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.”

—Oprah Winfrey

In this quotation, Oprah distilled a complex idea into a simple and understandable turn of phrase. Isn’t that exactly what teachers strive for when teaching students to capture the main idea, determine cause and effect, or dig into the text for evidence to support a point of view? Try this quotation worksheet as an example or discussion starter. It’s an effective lesson addition: you’ll make a connection to a strong writing example, can connect to a lesson on Black History Month, building dreams, setting goals, and sticking to resolutions all along the way.

Martin Luther King’s Birthday PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a dream. On August 28, 1963, Dr. King spoke these powerful words:

“I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

—Martin Luther King, Jr.

We selected this familiar quotation because many teachers tell us they use this quotation in a whole host of different ways during January—and beyond. The worksheet layout is designed encourage students to go back into the text and deconstruct the quotation. Just write a quick direction and include a few of your own writing prompts—and go!

Goal Setting PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet

Though Winter Break may seem long past, we are just past a dozen days of 2017. For many, the second quarter of the school year is quickly coming to a close. Students scramble to complete (or even find!) those missing assignments to close out the quarter while teachers read writing journals and other long-term assignments to wrap up the grading period.

This transition time can present an excellent opportunity to invite kids to set goals for the balance of the school year, especially if you’re about to begin a new grading period. Reflecting on the first half of the year and setting goals for the second half can be a powerful activity to help your students make even greater progress—and recognize with confidence the progress they’ve made so far.

Kids (and adults!) often confuse a set of goals with a to-do list. It can help students to begin with their dreams and break down those big ideas into measurable goals for the balance of the school year.

It’s helpful to prompt kids with questions like,

  • “How far do you think you’ll get on that by the end of third quarter?”
  • “Are you sure you can’t push it just a little bit farther? What about adding just one more chapter?”
  • “What specific things will you need to do to get closer to your goal (of an A, of finishing your homework on time, or of not forgetting things for class)?”

We selected this quote about dreams by Walt Disney for the third PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet in this blog post for three reasons.

  1. Most kids know the name Disney, so you won’t need to spend time explaining what this author did.
  2. Walt Disney set many goals and had many big dreams, examples of which are likely evident to your students from sweatshirts, TV shows, and top songs.
  3. This particular belief of his was a simple, albeit enormous, one that will be easy for kids to commit to memory and draw on always.

“If you can dream it, you can do it.”

—Walt Disney

In addition to the PeachQuotes Studio™ Worksheet for this quotation, we are also sharing this colorful freebie poster for your classroom or for you to post with assignments.

Why not print out the color poster a few times and post one on the door, another by the sink, and a third near the technology cart? After a few days, ask your kids if they noticed the quotation, what they think it means, and why they think you hung it up around the classroom. Then, you might opt to use the worksheet to pose a question or two to help your students either reflect on past work, set goals for third quarter, or both. Getting practice is more important than the question itself for many kids.

Let us know below how you achieve your big dreams and how you infuse dreams into your curriculum. Check us out at teacherpeach.com to learn more about our product and take a look at Teacher Peach’s “Dream Big Pencil” on Amazon, too! It’s a BIG pencil to underscore BIG dreams. Send a message that you want your kids to dream their biggest dreams!

 

365 Slices of YOUR Pie!

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New Year’s Resolutions You CAN Achieve!

As you’ve probably discovered just this briefly into 2017, many New Year’s resolutions are great only in theory. Often made with the fresh determination that comes with the start of a new calendar year, we resolve to BE and DO better in specific areas of life that matter to us. We often reflect on our big priorities and set lofty goals about which we plan to be resolute. Yet, after just months or weeks, and for some resolutions, even after only a few days, we abandon many of these meaningful resolutions (often for something as simple as a slice of pie). The year is just days old and already some resolutions have already been broken. Why?

RESOLUTIONS ARE BIG DEALS!

It’s not in the timing of the resolutions that often sets us up for resolution failure. Nor does it stem from the resolutions themselves. Most resolutions are quite worthy of achieving. Take a look at this list, culled from various top resolutions lists. As you’ll quickly see, though, each of these top 12 resolutions is REALLY BIG.

  1. Enjoy life to the fullest.
  2. Lose weight and get fit through a healthier lifestyle.
  3. Spend more time with family and friends.
  4. Save more money, spend less money.
  5. Pay down or get out of debt.
  6. Quit smoking, drinking, or other bad habits.
  7. Learn something new and different.
  8. Travel to new and exciting places.
  9. Be less stressed.
  10. Volunteer.
  11. Get organized.
  12. Meet soul mate and fall in love.

Are any of these resolutions on your list? Resolutions by their very nature are big undertakings. As a result, resolutions can be tough to parse into simple actionable items. To be achieved, even big resolutions need to be integrated into whatever you need to get done next Thursday, as it were.

Just how does your to-do list for the coming week incorporate a potential desire to enjoy life to the fullest while spending more time with family and friends, learning something new in an exotic new place where you can lose weight, pay down your debt, reduce your stress and volunteer, all while being totally organized? With resolutions of this scale, of course many of us will abandon ship. As these top 12 resolutions show, it’s easy to make grand resolutions. As our track records show, it’s just as easy to consistently fall short of implementing them.

Two Reasons Why Resolutions Erode

Two factors enter into resolution erosion. First, we tend to set ourselves up with too many different big resolutions at once. In recent blog posts, we shared strategies to tackle one resolution at a time, working to master one resolution before moving onto the next. Even if your resolutions are pint-sized compared to these MEGAlutions, trying to accomplish multiple resolutions at once can be too much for lots of us.

The second reason resolutions erode so quickly is not about WHEN we decide to work on them, simultaneously or sequentially. It’s also not about WHAT the resolutions themselves may be about; if it matters to you, it is a worthwhile resolution. The second reason resolutions erode is because of HOW we tackle them.

Would you ever attempt to eat an entire 10-pound salami in one bite? Hardly. Big goals need to be parsed into smaller, doable steps. By slicing big resolutions into smaller pieces, many of us will do a better job of integrating big goals into day-to-day life. Even smaller slices need to be actionable. For example, if you want to live a healthier life in 2016, many smaller actionable steps need to be part of this resolution, from cleaning out your pantry to replacing your running shoes.

365 Slices Mean 365 Fresh Starts

While I’m as likely to partake of that extra slice of pie as the next person, check out this different kind of slice. I use an approach to resolutions that I refer to as My 365 Slices. Each of the 365 days of this coming year becomes a clean slate for me. Even when the day’s actions are a total bust when compared to longer-term goals, to quote Scarlett O’Hara with this approach, “Tomorrow is another day.”

It’s helpful when the everyday actions and choices that fill our to-do lists align directly to the big priorities and resolutions that matter most. Connecting the dots between the resolution (WHAT) and its implementation (HOW) helps you to achieve more. When you take even one action each day that brings you closer to the resolution you’re focusing on, you make actionable progress.

Each day, work to include even just one action that aligns to one of your big priorities for the year. For example, getting to the school concert for your children, no matter what is going on at work that day is an example of connecting dots on a resolution of Family First. Think of each day as a sort of Etch-a-Sketch, with the chance to erase the day that’s over and begin with a clean slate the next day. Each day is a new opportunity to get closer to and make progress on your big goals.

My Personal High Five Strives!

I distill my resolutions into five main categories. I strive to hit at least one thing for one of my High Five each day. It doesn’t always work, but with My 365 Slices, I get a new do-over each day!

  1. My Family
  2. Protecting and Preserving Good Health
  3. My Mission of Helping Our World Raise Confident Kids
  4. My Businesses, and
  5. Building a Bigger Future.

Each day I make my to-do list. Much is tied directly to daily activities and ongoing projects and commitments, but by being mindful of my bigger resolutions, I often slip in an extra walk, plan ahead to get to the school event, or simply plan a free night to be open to whatever family situation might be happening. When people approach me about ways that Teacher Peach might want to engage, I always align my answers to how well each request fulfills our objective and core focus of finding ways our little company, through our world with teachers, families, and communities, can help our big, amazing world raise confident kids. The request either fits this mission or it doesn’t. By knowing my priorities, I can easily respond.

I typically have more to do than is feasible to complete in one day. Comparing the items on my list to my five categories helps me make better choices. When I take the extra few seconds to connect the dots between my to-dos and my big resolutions, I prioritize more effectively.

This method also helps me reflect back on a weekly basis. When I notice days slipping by without checking a “connect-the-dots” box that links a daily action to a bigger resolution, it’s a wake-up call.

As you jump back into your first days of school after Winter Break, try using this PDF—created by the Teacher Peach designers at the PeachQuotes Studio—for your to-do list, even for a few days. See what you notice and of course, let us know. I hope this form works for you, too. Feel free to modify this form, share it, and experiment with other ways to connect-the-dots between your big resolutions and your day-to-day activities and must-do tasks. And remember, each new day is a fresh start!

National Trivia Day: There’s Nothing Trivial in Teaching Kids!

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Today is National Trivia Day. When we here at Teacher Peach researched topics about trivia related to teachers, it was just as we suspected, trivia about teachers and education is anything but trivial! There’s nothing trivial about being a teacher—especially a teacher who is returning to school for the first day after Winter Break.

Jump into today’s objectives just as you would on any other school Monday. Many teachers have shared a version of this sage advice with us:

So don’t shy away from that math lesson; jump right in. Start that new nonfiction text today or kick off the day with a complex info-graphic. Whatever tasks you choose to teach today will serve you well. Everyone will benefit—including you.

One interesting data point we discovered about teachers was part of a survey conducted by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. According to this survey, a teacher gets an average of 23 minutes of “free time” in a given day between lunch time, a prep period, and changing classes, etc.

FIVE FUN FACTOIDS ABOUT TEACHERS

If you can spare a minute or two of your 23 minutes today, rejuvenate yourself with these five fun factoids about teachers. To honor teachers and National Trivia Day, given how hectic today’s re-entry is likely to be, we selected five quick and interesting tidbits about teachers to inspire you to tackle your day with a bit of extra energy.

  1. You and 2,999,999 Others! Did you know that there are about 3 million teachers across the country? Yes, that’s 2,999,999 other teachers, your peers, who are likely striving to achieve their educational goals just like you are today. How’s that for national empathy?
  1. Take an Oath! According to whitehouse.gov, former president, Lyndon Baines Johnson, was a public speaking teacher before entering politics! Standing in front of his classroom was likely great preparation for those presidential debates, campaign trails, and press conferences.
  2. Every Breath You Take Can you guess from the title of this paragraph which famous artist taught English, music, and soccer at St. Catherine’s Covenant School before embarking on his well-known career? Yes, it was Sting!
  3. Bridge Over Mathematical Waters This “funky” half of a famous folk duo taught math (not art!) in Connecticut before his singing career took off. That’s right; it was Art Garfunkel.
  4. Little School on the Prairie To help her family, this famous author got her first official teaching job in a famous one-room country schoolhouse when she was just 15 years old. Laura Ingalls Wilder really did write from experience!

Have a Great Day! We hope you liked these five fun factoids and that your first day back will be a great experience for you and your students. Even if you do not become a famous musician, a prolific author, or President of the United States, you and 2,999,999 others already hold one of the more important jobs of all—teaching tomorrow’s leaders. For that, we say thank you.

Once you’re back into your school routine, we will share an interesting post about a new and effective way to craft your 2017 resolutions so keep an eye peeled for that later this week. Until then, we hope you’ll share your first-day-back experiences here. We’d like to know how your first days back after Winter Break are progressing. We may not know the specifics of your particular days at your particular school and in your particular classroom, but we do know this much: there’s nothing trivial about it!

Factoid Sources: 

Free Time: http://www.scholastic.com/primarysources/pdfs/Gates2012_full.pdf (page 12) 1:http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=28%20 https://nces.ed.gov/ccd/quickfacts.asp#f3 2: https://www.whitehouse.gov/1600/presidents/lyndonbjohnson%20 3: http://mentalfloss.com/article/22669/15-famous-people-who-used-teach https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sting_(musician)#cite_ref-nickname_14-0  4: http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Art_Garfunkel.aspx 5: http://www.biography.com/people/laura-ingalls-wilder-9531246#teaching-career  http://www.famousauthors.org/laura-ingalls-wilder