Monday, July 6, 2015

UnShakeAble-Book Study Ch. 1

Unshakeable is the new book by Angela Watson, to be released this winter!
I came across this book on Instagram. I'm a visual person, so Instagram is the perfect social media outlet for someone like me. Blogging takes more time (sorry) and sometimes I just don't have the energy to reflect and write. Angela Watson from The Cornerstone for Teachers  is the author. Every summer I try to read at least 1 professional book, to get me going and get excited about the next school year. Summer of 2015 it's UnShakeAble
A few friends and I will be sharing with you what we learn from this book, over the next 20 posts. 
My self, Cassie from Adventures in Teaching, Sandy from ELA Everyday, Chrissy from First Grade Found Me and Brittany from Sassy and Sweet in Second (formerly Fabulously in First) will be taking turns sharing what we learned from each of the 20 chapters.

Title: UnShakeAble {20 ways to enjoy teaching every matther what} 
Chapter 1: Share your authentic self to bring passion and energy to your teaching
Energy, as I mentioned earlier is one of my biggest challenges, as a wife, mother of 2, full time teacher and all that goes along with it.
Here are 10 things we can try and do to help us get our passion and energy back into our lives.

 A college professor once said to us, Do you want to be the sage on the stage? or the guide on the side? It's hard to be "on" at all times. Sometimes, we need to act a certain way in the classroom. For example, when something out of the ordinary happens, we need to remain calm even though we may not want to on the inside. But the first step in being authentic and passionate, is to allow your true personality into your teaching.

When you are "into" "passionate" "engaged" in your teaching because it interests you, your students will feel the same. Kids want to see who you are, what you like and dislike. "Let them see the real you, and watch as they are drawn in and make connections in new ways."

I chose an owl for the graphic above for a reason. A few years ago, I decided to go with an owl theme. Well, let me tell you, I have more owls than I can count! Why? I let a part of my personality into my theme, owls on the door, owls hanging from the ceiling, owls on folders, owls to go home. I wasn't just Mrs. Berggren, Jessica was in the room as well.  In this section she also talks about having fun and joking around with your students in the midst of teaching them.

This can be done my making connections with your life and curriculum. Be on the look out for stories you can bring back to your classroom, anecdotes about things you experience and tie them in to what you are teaching.

Everyone is different, so while owls may work for me, they may not work for you. One teacher may be more animated, another more reserved. The whole point is to be you. Angela says to think back to a lesson that you really enjoyed teaching, one in which you were totally immersed in the content and fully present with your kids. That's what passionate teaching looks like for you.

Don't neglect yourself, if you do that, it will drain you. Make time for things that interest you and are passionate on a personal level. When you bring that back to your classroom, you will be able to relate to your students in a different way. "If you want to be a passionate teacher with Unshakeable enthusiasm, you have to develop that trait in your whole self."

Number 7 and Number 6 are closely related.
What is your passion at home?  I've been thinking about this, like what is my passion? I have my kids activities that keep me busy, but that is for my kids, not me. I enjoy reading, going on "jogs", being crafty, coloring (adult coloring books are new to me and I love them) and even a little decorating when the mood strikes. What do you do outside of school?

This right here is my biggest struggle. I feel like I'm always running in a million directions, trying to get my own kids out the door and ready for school is just the start. Mental energy is very valuable. I'm aware of it, and according to this section of the book, awareness, is the point!

Angela asks this question: If you have an important task to do, which would you rather have, a lot of energy but just a little time? Or a lot of time but just a little energy?
If you said energy, then we are on the same page. Make an effort to do something after school that re-energizes you, so you are ready for the next day.

Do you know anyone like this? I might know a few, How do they do it? you may ask yourself. According to Angela, they have more energy, which makes them more efficient, and able to get more accomplished in the same amount of time. They also make time for those things that will replenish their energy levels. They prioritize sleep, eating well, exercising, and spending time with people they care about and doing fun and restful things for themselves. They might not do that every day, but they structure their lives so that the things that are important to them are given top priority.

Click here to print out our Unshakeable Bookmark, so you can follow along with us.
In the next post:
Chapter 2: Allocate your time and energy wisely through productive routines


  1. I love your post! All of those are so critical for us to enjoy what we do.
    First Grade Found Me

  2. #9 speaks to me. Going for a run after a long day of teaching always revs me back up :)
    Barbara Leyne Designs

  3. These were wonderful reminders of how to reconnect to my core of loving learning, teaching, and my students.


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