Category: teaching audaciously

creativity

Top Careers To Consider If You’re Looking to Unleash Your Creativity

Posted on August 21, 2019 by

Photo by Rachael Gorjestani on Unsplash

When you are thinking of changing your career path, it is always important to spend some time thinking about your own personality. The way that you carry yourself and the way you behave day to day do make a huge difference to what kind of role you are likely to succeed in, and it is something you will want to think about carefully if you really want to end up with the right job for you.

If you consider yourself to be particularly headstrong and creative, the good news is that the world of business has countless roles available for you. Let’s look at some of the kinds of things you might consider doing if you have these particular qualities.

Design

Maybe you want to make more use of the creative side of your skills? In that case, you might well consider going into the world of design in order to be able to be creative in your daily role. In design, you can help to create products which are more likely to be appreciated and enjoyed by the customers, and you will find that this can be surprisingly rewarding as a business role. It might help if you have a qualification in design, but this is not always essential, and in fact, it is rarely as important as simply being able to design something well. If you go into design, you will be able to be creative and also enjoy the world of business as well.

Marketing

One of the most common and popular routes into the world of business for those with a creative bent is to get into marketing. Indeed, this is a great way to make use of your own creativity if you want to be in business, and it can be an easy one to get into as well. As long as you have a good basic understanding of what sells and how, and you are happy to apply your own creative ideas to that process, you should find that marketing affords you a fantastic chance to let those skills flourish in the workplace. If you are keen to bring your own creativity to the world of business, then marketing is a great route to go down.

Photography 

Anyone can claim to be a photographer these days. But it’s more than just being able to take snaps on your smartphone or knowing how to connect camera on Mac. A good photographer is a sought-after resource for businesses and brands, as these images portray them in the best light. Studying photography can help by leaps and bounds if you’re looking to start a career. However, there’s no denying many people who get into this field have a natural ability to capture the best shots. You can also explore the range of tutorials and advice on different photography skills. There is also lots to learn about editing your images too. 

These are just a few of the careers you can delve into if you have a creative streak. There are endless possibilities to showcase your unique personality and talents, so take a look at what’s out there! 

primark

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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calming

Three Calming Scenes To Evoke Relaxation

Posted on August 4, 2019 by

As teachers get ready for the school year, so many of us are working to incorporate SEL (social-emotional learning) into our classrooms. Calming images, scents, and practices help our kids feel comfortable and relaxed, making learning easier.

They say a picture tells a thousand words, but more than that a picture can evoke a spectrum of emotions. Over the years we have come to associate certain imagery with certain feelings, we have assigned symbolism to everyday things and events and these, in turn, spark feelings and associations whenever we see them. 

One area in which symbolism has always been particularly powerful is within nature. The moon, the stars, the mountains, the sea, sunrises, and sunsets have all borne symbolism for a long time, and although their exact meanings can vary from culture to culture the emotions they evoke often remain consistent throughout. 

Using symbolic scenery to evoke relaxation is not an uncommon occurrence, spas, doctors surgery’s, counselors offices and schools all use symbolic scenery to arouse certain feelings from their intended audiences, so why not use this same principle yourself?. 

To get you started let’s explore three calming scenes used to provoke a sense of relaxation.

The sea

Image credit: Pexels

During meditations and visualization exercises the action of picturing a beach is often used to evoke a feeling of relaxation. The calm, gentle, lapping of waves against the shore and the ebb and flow of the water as it flows in and out are all sounds that spark a sense of peace and tranquility. Seascape pictures also often incorporate a lot of the colour blue, which is associated with a feeling of being cool, quiet and composed. This powerful calming energy is not isolated to the sea but is often found in all depictions of water such as lakes, rivers and ponds. 

Mountains

Image credit: Pexels

Mountain scenery has long been associated with a sense of higher self, divinity,
and power. Their imposing size has made them a challenge that we humans have been driven to conquer and they have earned their place as a symbol of strength. The way their peaks rise and fall reminds us of a higher power and evokes feelings of achievement and success which is why mountains are often used to illustrate overcoming obstacles and the turbulent road to success. When paired with cool tones and water imagery mountain scenery can have a very powerful effect, being both empowering and calming.

Sunrise and sunset

Image credit: Pexels

Perhaps some of the most famous imagery associated with relaxation is that of the sunrise and sunset. The slow, gentle, rise and descent of the sun is a symbol of eternity, the constant circle of life and the beginning of new opportunities. The orange and red tones of the sunrise and sunset evoke feelings of warmth, comfort, and contentment. 

Placing evocative imagery around your home or workplace is a very clever way to spark emotion and channel your mood.  To bring the feelings of warmth and comfort into your home, office or environment you can find a variety of sunrise and sunset photos for sale online.

When paired with other symbolic imagery such as that of flying birds, the sea or mountains a sunset scene can awaken a multitude of emotions and can be tailored to suit the mood you want to reach. 

Are there other tips you can share about creating a calming atmosphere in your classroom? Please leave your ideas in the comments!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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taste of Twitter

A Taste of Twitter – Tweets To Think About: July 2019

Posted on July 19, 2019 by

I spend a great deal of time online – professionally more than personally. As my children grow up and away from home, it’s not my place to post photos of what’s going on in their life. The empty nest does that. It’s ok – just because I’m spending less time on the ‘social’ part of social networking doesn’t mean I’m not finding value in my interactions. I’ve created a spectacular PLN of thinkers, educators, creators, and do-ers online, specifically based on Twitter interactions.

I stay away from toxic Twitter accounts. I ‘THINK before I POST’. I try to share my joy in thinking deeply, loving fiercely and teaching audaciously and enjoy the interactions I have. I’ve tried to convince my non-Twitter educator friends and acquaintances to jump in, but many are afraid to, or reluctant to, or just haven’t seen the value of virtual collaboration – YET.

Wow – that decade went by FAST!!!

Ten years of tweets…so I decided to bring a taste of Twitter to YOU! Consider this like a sampler platter, or an appetizer. You’ll see through my lens, and hopefully, we’ll have a dialogue here (or online) and collaborate to share our loves for teaching, learning, writing, and parenting.

So let’s have some fun and share some joy – below I’m adding some of my most favorite, recent tweets to think about – I’d love to hear your voice, too!

On loving fiercely:

On teaching audaciously:

On thinking deeply:

A ‘Taste of Twitter’ Wrap up

I hope you enjoyed this quick “taste of Twitter” – please join me on Twitter @mamawolfeto2, or my second favorite social platform, Instagram @mamawolfeto2. If you’re already on Twitter, leave your handle in the comments so we can grow together. Let’s share some joy about thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously!

~Jennifer

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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WeVideo – Creating Audio and Video Projects on Chromebooks

Posted on June 23, 2019 by

WeVideo is one of my favorite EdTech tools – I’ve written about how I used WeVideo to record student podcasts with my 8th graders – you can read it on this post. Now, there’s a new WeVideo book called “WeVideo Every Day: 40 Strategies to Deepen Learning in Any Class” by Dr. Nathan D. Lang-Raad, and my podcasting lesson is featured!

WeVideo for podcasting

WeVideo makes podcasting super easy, especially with their new ‘audio only’ feature. I love that when students use WeVideo they are learning the technical skills applicable to any type of audio/video production and will transfer those skills as they move forward in their educational and work careers. Students feel empowered and important when they are learning about layering tracks, adjusting sound, transitions. They learn collaborative skills, creativity, and critical thinking to create an engaging project, and communication skills to transmit their message to listeners and viewers.

Kids have FUN making podcasts!

Ready-to-go lessons

One thing that really stands out in Dr. Lang-Raad’s new book is that he’s created 40 lessons that are ‘ready-to-go’. He’s got everything from easy beginning projects to green screening, newscasts, book reviews/reports, math explainers, and podcasting :). As I was reading through the projects, however, I realized that WeVideo can be used for so much more than just the obvious. For example, the Frayer Model. Instead of creating a one-dimensional view of a vocabulary word or concept, what if students were asked to create and record definitions, examples, non-examples, and facts or characteristics of a concept? How fun would it be to BECOME that concept and tell their story from the first-person point of view? I started thinking of all the EduProtocols I use, and am excited to layer in elements of audio and video with WeVideo next year!

Podcasting isn’t the only way I use WeVideo in my classroom. Another fun lesson with my AVID students was a problem/solution unit. I challenged them to dream up a product that solved a problem and create an infomercial video to ‘sell’ their idea. To make it a little more challenging, I used the card game “Mock-Ups” to require a particular audience, specific element, and a ‘twist’. You can see the entire assignment in my Create A Problem-Solving Product Infomercial HyperDoc. Feel free to make a copy and use it in your classroom; please, keep my name as the creator and add yours as the ‘adapter’.

Infomercial HyperDoc

Kids Take Action with WeVideo

I did switch to 7th grade ELA last year and decided to keep podcasting. The students LOVED it! As a performance assessment, students created a podcast centered on something they felt strongly that adults needed to listen to. It also had to be something that they could get other kids to take action on. Topics were climate issues, ocean pollution, the need for arts in education, gun control and safety, and how animals can be emotional support providers. I created a new HyperDoc to help take students from idea to research, planning and scripting and production with WeVideo. You can make a copy of the Kids Take Action HyperDoc here. But just know – there will be a lot of activity and FUN going on in your class. Just check out my video below!

I’d love to connect with you and share WeVideo lesson ideas. Please leave a comment or email me at mamawolfeto2@gmail.com and let’s CREATE!

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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Mental Health: Teaching Teens They Are Strong

Posted on May 27, 2019 by

 

This year has been hard, and I’m end-of-the-year-teacher-tired. I’m absolutely on my last nerve – not with my students, though. Actually, they’re the brightest part of my day. I soak in their smiles, their hugs, their laughter and desire to please. It’s about teaching teens about mental health.

I teach middle school. 7th – 8th – 9th grade. And they’re struggling.

Now, they’re not without their moments – especially the 8th graders. They’re the big questioners, the ones who wonder ‘why’ and ‘how come we have to do this’ and ‘ does this really matter’.

My 9th graders are just ready to move on. The run in the classroom completely oblivious to much besides themselves, their friends, and the latest ‘T”.

But my 7th graders….aah, they’re just special. This is my first year back in 7th grade since 2001, and I’m loving it. Every moment they try something new, agree to take a risk, jump into a discussion about a book or a topic or debate about global warming or plastics in the ocean or gun control or why animals should be rescued just makes me smile.

But they’re a whole lot of energy. Like herding puppies, in a way.

The hard parts of teaching mental health

This year there have been too many ‘not-so-happy’ times, too. I’ve seen more kids breaking down over struggles – not just with academics, but with relationships. Parents. Expectations. Friends.

My AVID 9 students learned about Mental Health issues and how to overcome the stigma associated with asking for support with this Mental Health hyperdoc lesson.  I wish I knew the original creator, so I could thank them for helping me help kids with mental health. Please make a copy and use it in your classroom, or with your own kids at home. It’s powerful.

I’ve had too many 12, 13, and 14 year-olds run through my door in tears about what happens ‘outside’. I’m finding myself giving lots of hugs, wiping gallons of tears and going through bottles of lavender oil (it reduces stress, you know!). Mostly, I’ve been reminding them that despite what’s happening, they are strong. Stronger than they know…stronger than whatever force is trying to tell them that they’re not.

It’s hard for kids to trust in that, you know? The world seems like a pretty frightening place right now. I’ve got kids who are worried about deportation. Divorce. Sex. Gender confusion. Homosexuality. Learning Disorders. Substance Abuse.

Oh yeah – and remember, they are 12-14 years old. And we have 1.5 counselors on our campus. And I’m tired. And I’m searching for messages to give them that will mean something, especially over the summer when they don’t have the stability of a safe place at school.

I found this.

Have you seen Amy Morin’s TEDx Talk?

 
 

18 THINGS MENTALLY STRONG PEOPLE DO

Amy says, “The only person you should compare yourself to is the person that you were yesterday.” I TRY to remind
my students of this, but it’s hard. They’re constantly checking grades and evaluating their success based on a percentage. And navigating teachers with assinine rules about ‘no test retakes’ and no ‘do-overs’ and all the things that work precisely against the type of growth mindset we know helps create strong mental health.
 
She reminds us that “unhealthy beliefs about the world come about because deep down, we want the world to be fair. We want to think that if we put in enough good deeds, enough good things will happen to us.” I have to remind kids that the world isn’t fair – that equality and equity aren’t the same things, and that in school, they often have little control of how their actions can make a difference because someone else is creating the rules. At 12, kids have a hard time believing this. Often, they aren’t cognitively developed enough to understand this, and even when we tell them to ‘work hard’ and ‘do your best’ it’s not always going to turn out the way they expect.
 
mental health

So what’s next?

 
Instead, I’m going to remind them of Amy’s definition of mental strength:
 
“Mental strength is a lot like physical strength. If you wanted to be physically strong, you’d need to go to the gym and lift weights. But if you really wanted to see results, you’d also have to give up eating junk food. Mental strength is the same. If you want to be mentally strong, you need good habits like practicing gratitude. But you also have to give up bad habits, like resenting somebody else’s success.No matter how often that happens, it will hold you back.” – AmyMorinLCSW.com

And I’m going to add her book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, to my classroom bookshelf.

Jennifer Wolfe

Jennifer Wolfe, a writer-teacher-mom, is dedicated to finding the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life by thinking deeply, loving fiercely, and teaching audaciously. Jennifer is a Google Certified Educator, Hyperdoc fanatic, and a voracious reader. Read her stories on her blog, mamawolfe, and grab free copies of her teaching and parenting resources.

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