Dear Together Friends, Fans, and Family,
I mean, does anyone else feel like they need to call this hotline right now? I certainly could use a positive pep talk from a kindergartener! With so many different domestic and international crises happening at once, my favorite quote was “Their [the students’] creativity and resourcefulness is something we need to emulate, because that level of joy and love and imagination is what’s going to save us in the end.” #togethertruth
In an attempt at some joy myself, every Sunday night since January, I have (somewhat) voluntarily found myself face down in a pool for a 90-minute endurance swim clinic. You see, somehow, I have managed to scrape my way through TEN open water triathlons without any formal swim training, weathering sea nettles, algae blooms, and crashing waves. Yet, I was always one of the slowest women out of the water. I finally decided to do something about this in 2022, and so this is how I find myself winded, humbled, and exhilarated every Sunday evening.
Having no formal swim technique training since getting tossed in the YMCA pool in Bangor, Maine at age 6, I find everything about the clinic fascinating, and the parts that have stuck with me most are. . . intentional rest, variance of speed, and to take help when you need it. You experienced swimmers know what I’m talking about. Our coach posts the torturous workouts, and there are phrases like, “steady,” “hard,” “easy,” “use your pull buoy and fins.” The entire swim forces you to moderate your tempo, your energy, and to rest.
Maybe the swim clinic rest periods are just 15 – 20 seconds between sets, but it is a reminder of what we can learn as we plan our weeks. When are your steady states? When are you all out pushing toward an important priority? Where is your rest built in your calendar? When do you plan to call for help (hello pull buoys!) Let me know here (with details and screenshots!), and I’d love to feature you in an upcoming blog or newsletter to share your best practices about intentional rest with others. PS I also swam 3300 yards last week (YES, THAT IS 1.8 MILES), and then was so hungry I scavenged the glove compartment of my car and found some year-old Kit-Kats and ate them in one gulp.
Over here in the Together-verse, we are eagerly looking into the spring and summer seasons. We are excited to offer a rare The Together Teacher open enrollment class on Tuesday, March 15, from 6:30 – 8:30 PM EDT, with a focus on rest and rejuvenation as we plan our weeks. This is a great option if a school wants to send just a few teachers ($45/teacher), or if a teacher wants to sign up individually. We will focus on building out a week that prioritizes rest, rejuvenation and staying focused on the right things. For those of you school leaders thinking about summer professional development – whether one of our classes or a keynote on teacher sustainability – let us know here.
Together Treasure Box (From the Blog!)
- Looking for a new secret weapon in the battle to stay organized? In a flurry of bringing order to chaos after the holidays, I got all the little bits and pieces organized. Check out this amazing answer to stray cords, Legos, and game pieces. Perfect Pouches!
- Together Triage when a Day (Week!) Goes off the Rails. The snow events in the mid-Atlantic kept me nimble this winter. Read here for my quick and dirty Together Triage methods of sorting by time, physical location and energy levels!
- It’s all about those priorities! Togetherness isn’t about “doing it all” – it’s about choosing what is worth doing! The Together Team found inspiration from a course participant who identified her priorities and then put those into action!
- Translating Togetherness: The Together School Nurse! Check out what Togetherness looks like for this school nurse who joined our Together Team Member course last year. (Note: Our Team Member class is appropriate for all kinds of roles – and we have one running in May.)
Top Together Tributes
- Top Approach to Classroom Culture: With so much that is hard and painful in the news these days, our students need joy, and we need joy! Read what this teacher does to bring joy to her classroom community. And if you are thinking bigger picture about the teaching profession, we loved these ideas from our friends at TNTP about addressing staffing challenges.
- Top Reason to Keep that Gratitude Flowing: If you need a positive boost right now (and who doesn’t), our friend Kelly at Little Bites Coaching is running an amazing Positive Feedback challenge! And if you are looking to help teenagers with gratitude, we loved the tips over here. As the mom of a few teens, I love the pre-bedtime pause.
- Top Strategy for Change that Sticks: Last week during a pre-class warm-up, I shocked the Together Team members on Zoom with me by revealing the pile of the clutter next to my desk. I was still recovering from hosting 9 kids at a Cousin Compound; what can I say?!? This blog post is reminding me it’s time to get that clutter cleared away to enhance productivity where I can!