Thursday, August 21, 2014

Magazine: The Newest Ed Trek

Here are our new offerings in Ed Trek Magazine. There are lots of brand new articles here for your perusal. 

Some of the topics covered are:

  • Getting to Know Middle Schoolers
  • Listening to students
  • Classroom Management
And more...

Every Thursday, we will post one of our Flipboard magazines here. Ed Trek contains education specific content.

Food and Fitness has to do with exercise and nutrition. All of the content there is collected with the classroom teacher in mind.

Mark It is a marketing magazine. I read these articles mainly because they give me ideas on finding more people to share with and help. I have also found an uncanny overlap with teaching priciples.

Oh is for fun. I collect articles that make me say, "Oh." Oh has over 200 subscribers now! (I keep it clean.)

Please share this with your Twitter followers and Facebook friends, especially your teacher friends.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Focus: The ONE Goal for Week 1 of School

My One Goal = Listening to Students

I meet my new students on Monday. And I have one goal. If I can accomplish this for every student who shows up on Monday, I will. If not on Monday, then by the end of the week.  

My goal is this: I want to connect with every single student who walks through my door as an individual. I want them to go away thinking, "That man cares about me. That man is going to listen to me. That man is going to respect me. That man is going to teach me. That man is going expect great things of me."

If my students don't think those things on Monday, I will try again on Tuesday and on Wednesday and so on.

And those things will be true of me, whether they think them or not at first. I will care about them. I will listen to them. I will respect them. I will teach them. I will expect them to learn great things.

I really believe that the listening piece is the key to all of it. 

I think that listening is the key to all human relationships.  

Seriously. This is how I know that I am loved.  Someone takes the time to listen to me. This is how I show love; I listen. 

If I won't listen to you I am saying that you are not important to me.
If I listen, I am saying that you are a big deal to me.

It is when my head gets flooded with stuff that I don't listen well. The blinking lights of life crowd in. I think I need to attend to a dozen different things all at once. This is what it feels like to be a teacher.

But I contend that I don't need to try to keep track of a dozen things at once. If I plan correctly, most things should be in place. 

If things like email (or whatever) start demanding my attention while I'm working at listening to a child, a child I need to form a bond with and work with for the next ten months, I need to put the child first. Other things can wait.

My priority, week one of school, is to listen more than is comfortable for me to my new students, to give that all I've got. I want to over-deliver on this.  

To do this, some other things may need to go on the back burner. Some of the blinking lights in my life may have to wait.

Once the student knows that I will listen to them, then the other blinking lights can be attended to.

This is key to having a great year with kids.

And by the way, this contact needs to be established with every transfer student all year long. They need to be treated like human beings not a seat occupier.

Will I attend to the rules and procedures and content during week one? Of course. These come in the planning. Everything gets planned out. 

But THE MOST IMPORTANT thing will be to listen. 

To be successful, we need to focus on just one thing at a time. This is the focus.

"I'm here. You are welcome here. And I am listening to you."

I'd love to hear what you think about this on Twitter or Facebook. I'm @artfling on Twitter and you can like the Stress Relief 4 Teachers site on Facebook. Or join our newsletter and have more back and forth on stress relieving topics.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Focus: Teachers Just Want to Have Fun

View my Flipboard Magazine.

I love curating. I can stay up til the wee hours of the morning reading and clicking away to my heart's delight. 

I'm not sure how it happened, but I regularly work on five different Flipboard magazines. 


Thursday is magazine day. For the past two Thursdays I have shared Fitness and Education magazines. Today I share Oh.

It's true - teachers need to focus, really put all other things aside and drill down to one thing, one problem to solve. At. A. Time.

That kind of brain work is both exhilarating and exhausting. Then, we need to have fun. Our brains need diversions. Our brains need fun.

Oh is an expression of that for me. I get to pull together articles that amuse and interest me greatly and share them.

Oh has almost 200 readers which tickles me pink.  I hope for it to grow to 2000 and beyond.

I work to keep it classroom friendly. My own children read it. If you see anything on it that isn't, please let me know. I have no control over the links from the articles to other items.

Enjoy it. 

Have Fun

If you are enjoying the content on this blog, please subscribe to our Keep it Cool newsletter. 

And have fun. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Podcast: You Need to Get Close - Managing the Classroom

So how exactly do you manage twenty-eight 11 year olds all at the same time? Today I share the secret that changed my classroom and brought calm to my teaching overnight.

Not only that, the first time I used it, was right smack dab in the middle of the school year. And it still worked.

Try it and tell me what you think. 

Listen to the podcast: Then, email me at 

If you are enjoying this content, subscribe to the Keep it Cool newsletter.  

Keep Your Students Close

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Fitness: You Can't Give Up generated Image

One thing on my mind... 

Exercising Around Injury

Last week I injured myself, so this is on my mind. And to be honest, I have let injuries derail my hard work in the past, but not this time.

Here's what happened: I was walking around in a weedy area and didn't see a cement block. I backed into it. My feet were scooped up into the air like I had been tossed by a Judo grand master. I grounded out on my back, the small of my back. 

I seriously did not know if I would be able to get up. The signals racing on the nerve freeway around my body said, "Don't get up." But I hit system override, and got up anyway. Slowly. It hurt to walk.

After a few steps I realized that I did not have a serious injury, just a good bit of pain. Each day it feels a little better since.

But what about my workouts?

I took a day off.

And when I got back to it, I did nothing directly involving my lower back. Each movement was proceeded with careful priming, one rep to see if I was going to be able to continue. 

I discovered that I could easily do pull ups and dips, but I had to be careful to not drop down from the bar on either exercise. 

I didn't do leg raises or squats.

And for a reminder: my main strength workout is built around squats, pull ups, push ups/dips, and leg lifts. I do others, but these are the must do. If you want to begin a body weight strength workout, look into making these the foundation of your workout program. They come up over and over again in the literature.

I then waited several days and was able to add the other exercises back in to the routine. 

Enough about me. I'm really trying to make this point. I don't feel like I have the luxury to let an injury sideline my improvement. 

Everyone gets injured eventually. 

When you get injured, see what you can do. Don't push. Just see what works, and go at it, easy. At the next opportunity, go a little harder. Listen to your body.

When you do what you can, it helps you stay motivated, and it feels great to keep progressing even though you are hurt.

The attitude has to be this: I'm not going to quit. 

You're not going to quit either.

Then this attitude spreads to all of your life. 

You're not going to quit on that difficult student.  You are going to help that grumpy colleague. You are going to go home and listen to your spouse even though you don't feel like it. You are going to keep exercising.

And you will feel less stress, because you will be proving to yourself that you can do it.

Now, I just want to be clear; if you are laid up in a hospital with broken bones, I'm not talking to you. The professionals who help you will let you know what to do. But I will say this: they will want to get you moving as soon as possible too, right? 

It's back to these rules: 1) never miss a Monday, 2) never miss three days in a row, 3) workout at least three days a week, and 4) never give up. Even if you broke one of those rules. Don't give up.

Keep at it.

Never give up.

You got this. 

You. Got. This.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Focus: You'll Love this Ed Mag

View my Flipboard Magazine.

What to know about Ed Trek...
  • Over 250 excellent articles about teaching
  • Currated by Art Lieberman of Stress Relief 4 Teachers
  • You can subscribe for free
Click on the picture above to read Ed Trek.

And by the way, if you enjoy our content, subscribe to our free Keep it Cool Newsletter on the upper right hand side of this page.