It’s that time of year when our homes are adorned which Christmas accessories. I finished up the last of the decorations by placing the wooden snowman sign above the fireplace. I stepped back and looked at his advice. Being a leader of our future teachers, who are also future leaders, I thought to myself…Huh! That’s great advice for all of us educators trying to make a positive difference in this world.
Below…leadership advice from a snowman. 😉
🌞 DON’T GET TOO MUCH SUN 🌞
I know…getting too much sun sounds fabulous about this time of year in the Midwest. The long, dark, cold days of winter are upon us. However, too much sun can be agonizing. I know we’ve all felt the pain of a sunburn.
Too much of anything usually doesn’t end well.
Ponder these thoughts for a moment: A little management is a good thing. Too much micromanagement is detrimental to the team. A little confidence is a good thing. Too much confidence and arrogance rears its ugly head.
So, can educators be too nice? Too self-confident? Too open? Too ________ (you fill in the blank)? Yes, yes we can according to Riggio (2013). His solution for ‘too much?’
Balance. Balance matters and balance is a virtue. Now to plan for that balance.
🔵 Be Well-Rounded 🔵
Being well-rounded means we are well-planned for proper balance. We show interest and ability in many areas. And isn’t that the main job description of educators? Many talents? Many abilities?
Then with all our abilities, how do we find that well-planned proper balance?
*We become well-rounded in our craft by continuing to take classes and attend conferences. We never stop learning.
*We build positive relationships with those we work with and we show up for them.
*We do the same for those we love, including ourselves. We schedule family time and ‘me’ time. We find balance between work and home.
*We care for people. All people. PERIOD.
*We allow ourselves to take an occasional social media sabbatical. Put down our phones. Cheerfully walk away from it.
*We take care of our emotional, spiritual, mental, and physical selves. Eating well is a good place to start.
🥕 EVERYONE NOSE CARROTS ARE GOOD FOR YOU 🥕
Carrots are a crunchy, tasty, nutritious health food. They help lower cholesterol, improve eye health, reduce the risk of cancer, and can feed the friendly bacteria in our guts which may lead to decreased risk of disease (Healthline, 2019).
I am all in on that! I think we need to consume way more carrots.
Educators, we must take care of our health. If we aren’t healthy, we are useless to those we lead. Eating nutritious foods is one way we can take care of us. A wellness plan that has survived the test of time is the Mediterranean Diet.
The pyramid below gives an overview of those foods and beverages that are considered good for us. Please, always seek advice from your medical doctor before starting any nutrition program. Keep your cool as you begin this wellness journey. Bon appétit.
❄ STAY COOL ❄
I recently read a blog post by Principal Kafele asking what we would say if a former student returned and told us we had let him/her down when in our classroom. Yikes. My response to his question,
“…I’d be asking forgiveness from many students. I meant well at the time. Thought I was doing what was right at the time. We live and learn. I still reflect on my practices…33 years later.”
Uffdah…makes me remember I lost my cool a few too many times. We all do. With our staff, with our students, with our own children, and yes, sometimes even with our grandkids.
I remember being on the phone, and my 2 year old grandson at that time was being disruptive which caused me to become slightly irritated. I pitched him my most threatening “teacher look.” The “look” was so intense he actually ducked when he saw it coming. 😲 Sorry about that, Warren!
Years ago, I yelled so loudly at a student in the hallway it caused other teachers to step out of their classrooms to make sure we were all okay. Sorry about that, Greg!
So, what are some ways we can stay cool? I googled it and here are several suggestions.
*Avoid what pushes your buttons
*Take a few deep breaths
*Count to 10
*Remove yourself from the situation if possible
*Think before you speak
*Stop taking issues personally
*Find out the why behind the behavior
*Say you are sorry
*Remember we are human, and
*Take a walk. Preferably outdoors.
🏕 Spend time Outdoors 🏕
There’s just something about being outdoors that gives energy to the soul. The fresh air, the sunshine, the scenery, the breeze on our faces…such tranquility. The outdoors elevates our mood. Not only is being outside good for our mental health, it’s awesome for our physical health as well.
I take a Vitamin D all year round. I take a higher dose in the winter. Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to many illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, depression, and weight gain. Any chance I get, summer or winter, I am outside for a walk to soak in all that delicious Vitamin D.
Outdoor exercise will help lower blood pressure. And after a hectic day at school, which can raise the blood pressure, a walk or jog outdoors is a beautiful way to find some peace. We must schedule this into our calendars, just like we would a meeting. Then…let’s not be late for this appointment!
Being outdoors aids with sleep. If you are an insomniac like me, we know how frustrating it is not being able to fall asleep. If being outdoors is going to assist me with my sleep, I’m heading out the door right now. 👋
It is sure to boost my joy!
😃 Be a Jolly, Happy Soul 😃
Jolly = cheerful. Happy = content. Joy = great pleasure. Those are my kind of people. I want to hang out with jolly, happy, joyful souls. Surround yourself with them!
Some of the most jolly, happy, joyful souls on this planet are children. They find pleasure in tasks we adults find mundane. The other day, my grandson was out shoveling snow off of the driveway and he was having the time of his life.
Children wake up ready to play. Well, after a few snuggles first. How do we wake up? Shuffling our feet trying to get to the coffee pot as quickly as we can? Or do we rise and shine and have some pep in our step?
I know some of you night owls are giving me the ‘teacher look’ right now. 🤷 I truly believe we adults need to start having a childlike attitude. I believe we would have more fun. Let’s learn to play again. Share a smile, a wave, a high five, a hug. Play games, create with Play-Doh®, build with Legos® or Snap Circuits®, shoot some pool, go swimming, paint, color, draw, build an indoor putt putt golf course, and/or build a snowman.
Being a jolly, happy soul reminds me of a book I read years ago called Fish! Philosophy. This philosophy is modeled after the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle, WA. It is a technique which is aimed at creating happy individuals in the workplace. The four practices of the Fish! Philosophy are:
1). Be there – be emotionally present for people.
2). Play – tap into your natural way of being creative, enthusiastic, and having fun! Play is the spirit that drives the curious mind.
3). Make their day – find simple ways to serve or delight people in a meaningful and memorable way.
4). Choose your attitude – take responsibility for what life throws at you. Your choices affect others.
There you have it, folks. Dynamic leadership advice from a snowman. Actually, it’s fabulous LIFE advice, don’t you think? Don’t get too much sun, be well-rounded, everyone ‘nose’ carrots are good for you, stay cool, spend time outdoors, and be a jolly, happy soul. Hugs from us to you. 🤗
Stay Calm and Lead Like a Snowman!
Profs Dr. Wendy. & Dr. V.