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133. Finding Flow for Students and Teachers with Angela Watson

by Lindsay Lyons
September 19th 2023
00:38:38
Description
In today's episode with special guest and author/speaker Angela Watson, Lindsay discusses how to find flow for both st... More
I'm so excited for you to hear from Angela Watson today. I have been listening to Angela's podcast for years and now you get to hear from her on this show before I tell you all about her and you may already know all about her. We recorded this episode on June 6th and she shares many opportunities like her 40 hour teacher work week program. The cohort date for that is going to be different than what she shared given that we recorded in June and then this is airing in September. And you may be listening to this at any point in the future after September 2023. So she has regular openings of that. Just check her website, which we will link to in our blog post for this episode for the correct dates. Also, she shares a July 10th and 11th event which is free at the time of recording. Don't worry, you can still purchase access to it for $19 which again, we will link to in the blog post for this episode. Now let me tell you about Angela. Angela is a productivity and mindset specialist author and motivational speaker for educators she is a National Board certified teacher and has a degree in curriculum and instruction along with 11 years of classroom teaching experience and over a decade of experience as an instructional coach through her website, books, podcasts, courses, curriculum and professional development services.

Angela Watson has supported countless teachers in making teaching more effective, efficient and enjoyable. Let's get to this episode. I cannot wait for you to hear from Angela. I'm educational justice coach, Lindsay Lyons. And here on the time for teacher podcast, we learn how to inspire educational innovation for racial and gender justice design curricula, grounded in student voice and build capacity for shared leadership. I'm a former teacher leader turned instructional coach. I'm striving to live a life full of learning, running, baking, traveling and parenting because we can be rockstar educators and be full human beings if you're a principal assistant superintendent, curriculum director, instructional coach or teacher who enjoys nerd out about co creating curriculum with students. I made this show for you. Here we go. Angela Watson. Welcome to the time for teacher shift podcast. Thanks for having me, Lindsey. I am so excited for this conversation. I have been listening to your podcast for so long and that I'm so happy you're on this one. And I'm curious to know if people haven't been listening to your podcast, you know, what can, what can they know about you or what it's important for them to keep in mind for this conversation we're gonna have today.

Sure. So my background is um 11 years in the classroom and then I've spent over a decade doing instructional coaching. Um I have a podcast called Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers. I have a writers collective where I feature the voices of those who are currently k 12 teachers. Um I have the 40 hour teacher work week, which is our signature course and a bunch of curriculum resources as well. So um kind of all over the place, but everything is centered around teacher mindset, support, encouragement, productivity. I really gravitate to your 40 hour teacher work week because I just feel like without that ability to just like figure out what is most essential and how do you kind of do this in a productive, sustainable, like way that centers well being, then you're just like ready to quit. At least I was like you without that. Yeah, I think it's so important to ground the work in that. And so I love starting with the question of freedom dreaming. Doctor Bettina, love talks about this in, in a wonderful way. She talks about it as dreams, dreams grounded in the critique of injustice. And so I'm wondering what is that big dream when you think about freedom dreaming in that context for you.

And I specifically like thinking about it in curriculum instruction terms, but feel free to, to share it in any terms that you'd like. So my freedom dream is and I love that you just jump right in there with the big deep question. We're not gonna do any kind of small talk, any, we're gonna go right in there. What is my big freedom dream? Um Because I mean, these are the kinds of conversations that, that I like to have and I think if we're not focusing on the bigger vision and the bigger, why, then what is it all for? It's just a whole bunch of teaching ideas and nobody needs more ideas of things to just do. Um So my freedom dream is something that I feel like I'm still sort of articulating and I feel like it changes over time, which is probably true for a lot of people. But I envision a place where educators and students can co thrive together. I feel like a lot of times right now their needs are pitted against each other. Um You know, and we need to find the overlap between what's best for teachers and what's best for kids because I don't think they're at odds nearly as often as, as they're made out to be.

And I think there are a lot of things that are good for teachers and horrible, horrible for kids. And there are things that are um really good for kids, but they're completely burning teachers out. We're asking them to do way too much, but there are things that work for both. And so in, in, in my freedom dream for schooling. It would be a place where both teachers and kids can thrive and to feel accepted and like and supported in thriving. Exactly as they are so many times, I feel like students are pressured to be good at things that they're not necessarily interested in, not necessarily skilled in. Um And we focus so much on the weaknesses rather than how do we play up their strengths? How, how do we help them utilize their strengths? Um If they're really good in this one particular area, are we getting support to help them succeed in that area too? And not just focusing on all the things that they're not able to do. And I feel like the same could be true for teachers too because all teachers have many, many strengths.

Um but the skill set required for teaching effectively is so broad, it's not possible to be possible to be good at everything and teaching like you cannot be a subject area, expert, a developmental appropriateness, pedagogical kind of expert um explain things well, good at curriculum planning, good at parent communication, good at data entry, good at explaining yourself in IEP meetings. Uh Like there's just, there's so many different things you're gonna be better at some than others. And I would love to see schools be a place where we work as a community to have all the needs met. So instead of every individual having to be good at every single thing or let's be real to be ex excelling. You know, we have to have like 100% um achieving mastery in every single area. What if we thought about it as a community effort? So maybe I'm really good at preparing activities and you're really good at, um you know, the, the relationship piece with students and, you know, they feel like they can trust you and come to you, like, can we partner together instead of trying to be all things to all students, which is just a recipe for burnout.

Um I just think in so many ways, teachers are left alone to figure out all of the the solutions and they just don't have the support and resources for it. And I want to see a place where not only are those supports and resources offered, but also where kids feel like they can be whoever they are. And if they have trouble concentrating, there's nothing wrong with them. If it's difficult for them to get their work done on time, you know, we can provide supports for that and we can help them tap into their own motivation. And right now that's something that is again, just being thrown on the backs of teachers, like teachers are supposed to just figure it out and it's too much for one person. So in my freedom dream, it would be a community effort and we would look for needs to be met collectively rather than just individually. Oh, wow. I love that. That is so good. And I, I think about this too, I think it connects to kind of your, your work in the sense of like, I think there's often this mindset of teachers, right? That we have to take it all on. Like that's part of the job is we have to be perfect and we have to be all things to all students, like you said, like I, I think that is so ingrained in like even teacher school and just kind of like the way that we approach the the profession.

And so I'm wondering that takes a real mindset shift to go from. Here's what I think of teaching and here's what I think needs to be on my shoulders to this more beautiful, like strength based community, collective goal achieving thing that you're describing. How do you help folks to get from that one space of like not greatness to this other kind of freedom dream that you're describing. So, I mean, ii, I definitely refer people back to Doctor Betina Love. Um And, and, and talking about that, I think she does a, a really awesome job with it. Um You know, a part of liberation is being able to imagine something better. And if we can't imagine something better that we can never have it. And I think because there are so many limitations and systemic issues in education, it's easy for teachers to say, well, you know, this is, this is just never going to happen. It's completely unrealistic. Um And I think that stems from them being asked to do the impossible.

Right. If you're constantly being asked to do more than you actually can, then when someone's like, I know, let's have this collective vision and where we all support each other. You're like, yeah. Right. Like, you know, I can't even manage what I'm already doing much less that. But I think it's important not to lose that space for dreaming because um if we wait for someone else to have that vision, it's not necessarily going to be what we need because I don't think anyone knows your classroom as well as you as a teacher and no one knows your community, your school, your demographics, as much as you. Um And so I think we need teachers and parents and students and other stakeholders to all have a voice in this streaming and to be able to dream together without saying like we're gonna go implement this in this three step process tomorrow. I mean, the thing about freedom dreaming is that you can't systematize it, you cannot standardize it. You cannot look for this. Um You know, the a a consultant to just come in and make it happen for you overnight.

Like it's something that everyone has to be collectively invested in. It happens over time. It's shaped by the individuals there. What's gonna happen in one school is not gonna be what's happening in another. So I wanna say that I understand that dreaming of something better can feel unrealistic and it doesn't necessarily mean we're gonna go implement it right away. There is value in the vision, there's value in dreaming imagining um working towards something in your mind, even if the system isn't cooperating in terms of actually being able to implement it, it does have to be a collective effort, but it doesn't necessarily have to be a top down thing. I think that a small group of um teachers, particularly teachers can align with parents because a lot of times parents tend to have more influence on what's happening in the schools and teachers for better or for worse. Um If you can align with just even a handful of parents, we've seen, um you know how a handful of rowdy parents at a school board can push a whole agenda through. And I think that folks who are really thinking about what's best for, for teachers and kids need to be doing the same thing in the sense of recognizing the power of a minority that you don't have to um get everyone on board in order to create change.

You can find like minded folks um and band together and, and work to create change and look for things that you have in common with people who oppose it. So there may be certain issues that you're just never gonna all agree on. But, you know, maybe everyone agrees that kids need more recess time. So, you know, there's very few people I think in terms of like teachers or parents who would say I want less recess for kids. Like I think we've all kind of gotten to the point where we understand now, physical movement and, and creativity, fresh air, all these things are very important. So are the things that we can actually band together in and accomplish together and then you're more allies. It's much harder to dehumanize or demonize the quote, other side, people who don't share your values if you have accomplished something with them, if you've worked to get an extra recess break with um people who have different viewpoints than you, it's much harder than when we're talking about book banning to be like you're a monster who hates kids clearly, you're not because you just work with me to get more recess time. So are there ways that we can work towards things that we do have in common um to create uh a positive change?

And then can we just find this small cadre of like-minded folks to um to push the envelope a little bit uh towards the things that are maybe not everyone agrees on, but that something that could be maybe brought into existence because a lot of people are not freedom dreaming, they're not envisioning something better. Um They don't actually have a plan and I think that's something we've seen at these school board meetings too. They don't actually know what they want. They're just, you know, have vague fears around certain things that they think might be happening that they don't want, they don't have a clear vision one. It's like, ok, so what harm do you think is being caused? They, they're not telling you that and then when you say, ok, so what should we teach instead? They don't have a clear answer for that too. So if we can have clear answers, if we can be really clear, this is exactly what we want to do. This is why we want to do it. This is how it's going to affect kids. This is how it's gonna affect different demographics of kids. This is our goal. Um It's much harder to argue that down with like vague, you know, feeling oriented things.

Well, I'm just afraid somebody might feel bad if they hear this, they might feel bad about themselves. I think that we can come in with that, that freedom dream formulate into something that could actually be doable and articulate that plan. And I think when you have a clear plan like that, it's just much easier to get change accomplished. So none of this obviously is easy. None of this is overnight. None of this is vigil and I don't ever want to put more on the backs of teachers because I think those of us who are not in the classroom also need to be leading this kind of work or uh assisting, supplementing this kind of work, amplifying this kind of work because it can't be another thing just for teachers to do. But I do want teachers to feel like you don't have to wait for help to come from the outside that you have power, you have influence and you know what those students need better than anyone else because you're the only one who's in a, in a group with them parents know their individual Children. They don't know the whole class. They don't know what these other kids are going to. They don't know what their families are like. Their upbringings are like their, their personalities, their likes, their dislikes, the teacher knows that.

And so I think really drawing on those strains um we're creating change can make a big difference. Oh my gosh, I, I love this concept of it like, I mean, all the things, but one of the things I, I really gravitated to is the less likely to dehumanize people when you've accomplished something together. Like yes, to finding that common thing that you're like, yes, we love kids, we're doing this thing together. That is so not, not easy by any means, but just so doable. I think in some ways and some people I think are seeing like the entrenchment into like this group versus this group and not seeing the possible of like recess time here we go, everybody be able to get like that's so beautiful to be able to paint that possibility of like alliance and cooperation and community and that space to then ultimately not dehumanize someone. I just, that is brilliant. I just like echo that, that is great. And I think you're talking a lot about, you know, the, the individual teachers not needing to wait for, for folks on the, on the outside or um you know, also the, the, this idea that it's not a standardized process.

And I know you work with so many teachers and like you've said, you've done 40 hour teacher work week, you have some curriculum resources. I'm curious to know for a teacher who might be like, OK, so I have this kind of vague vision of what I want for my class or I know that I want students to feel like a sense of belonging or whatever it is. Are there are things around either pedagogy or assessment or like the, the content, like we're talking about book banning the things that we're teaching, the stories, we're teaching the histories or history or perspectives that is helpful for teachers to think about as like a starting point or in the work that you've done things that you've seen maybe in those areas teachers doing and, and getting a lot of traction around. That's an attraction. It's a great question and I'm trying to think of a way to answer that doesn't sound like I'm just repeating student choice student buy in. Um But that really is so much of it. Like the kids have to feel connected to the teacher, feel like they can be safe and feel vulnerable um in order to give that kind of input in, in and in order to get the kind of engagement that you want.

And so maybe the piece that I would say about that is um don't underestimate following your students lead because a lot of times they have even better ideas than we do. They see possibilities that we don't see and they can think of things that are going to engage their peers that we might not think about. So some of the most powerful, powerful things happening right now in schools, I think are very much student driven um and kids um really kind of leading the way for teachers. And it's, that's a tough thing to replicate because at the same time that this is happening, we also have this whole wave of apathy, right, where we have students who are disengaged, um They feel hopeless about the future. They um don't see the point of education, it's very difficult to get them to do anything. Um And so I think this is where the the collective really comes in and drawing on strengths together.

Not every kid is going to be an activist and um not every kid is going to be super engaged through every step of their school year. I mean, I've talked about how I was their school career. I was a terrible student, uh, completely disengaged and was just like a pain in the butt. Always, like talking when the teacher was talking. So if you had been my teacher, then you would have thinking she's hopeless. Like, what is she gonna, like, she's not doing anything with her life clearly. Like, II, I feel very certain that I had a number of teachers, particularly in high school who felt that way and look. So, you know, like sometimes when you have kids who are not really um engaged with what you're trying to get them to do, that doesn't mean that once they tap into their own inner motivation and they find their own thing and it may be long after they leave your class, they may not be in their twenties or even thirties um before they really kind of get themselves together. But that this is where I think the strength based thing is so important where you're looking at as Dr Byron mcclure says, what's, what's strong instead of what's wrong?

Um And thinking about um you know, what is the student bringing to the table and capitalizing on that? Affirming that noticing that as much as possible. I mean, just noticing, you know, like, hey, you II, I didn't know that you knew how to do that or um I think that's so cool the way that you were able to talk about this. I didn't even know that was an interest of yours. One little comment like that can make a huge difference, can change the trajectory of a kid's life. Just an adult noticing and affirming something about them. So I think that's one of the most powerful things that you can do. And once kids feel like they're really being seen by you, they, some of them, not all of course, will open up more and you'll see more and you'll be able to, to kind of follow their strains and then hopefully follow their lead and um they can lead each other as well. Again, it shouldn't all be on the teacher to try to figure out what needs to be done. If you have a handful of kids in the class, you know, who are really passionate about something and who are able to kind of take charge of it.

They can help bring their friends on board and their enthusiasm can be contagious. Yeah, I, that's, that's so great to think about that student voice perspective. And I, and I, I just think about so many answers where our friends and, and people, I was listening to a podcast the other day where someone was saying this like that one comment from a teacher absolutely does change the trajectory of their lives, right? Like it is, that's because we kind of think as teachers, right? We have 30 students in a class or whatever or in a high school level, right? We were teaching hundreds of students and those moments, we don't always remember each individual moment with each individual kid because we have so many. But as students ourselves, right? We often remember these like very salient moments as like a conversations with teachers that we had. And that's so important to remember. Thank you for reminding us of that. And I'm wondering what would you suggest in terms of action steps for someone who's like, ok, I would like to do the student voice thing. It feels a little overwhelming to have maybe 30 students in a room and they all have different things and I can start with the small comments, maybe of like the noticing. I love that as an action step. Is there something else that you would recommend like as a place to start that a teacher could do?

I think we often say things like choice boards, but it sounds like you're talking about something that's like even deeper, right? Like even even like more strength based and not just like which do now would you like to accomplish? Yeah. Yeah. And, and yes to choice boards and yes to everything there too. And I think that teaching kids to understand themselves is even more powerful than the teacher working to understand them because yeah, there, there's no way you're gonna get to know them all, particularly if you teach multiple classes. Um, it's just it's very difficult and, you know, I taught at the element entry level and even with, you know, just 20 some kids in the classroom, it was still hard because I had so much curriculum I had to quote cover, you know, there was so much we had to be doing all the time that, like, you know, we weren't just, like hanging out in the library corner, like reading books and, you know, talking all the time. Like I had to really be very intentional about it. So it's, it's difficult for the, for the teacher and maybe disempowering in some ways for the kids to rely on an adult telling them what is, what is special or what is good and particularly with younger kids, you'll find they can get very addicted to that and everything becomes like, look at me, look at me, look what I can do.

So the the counterbalance to that is to help them notice things about themselves and to understand what works best for them and what helps them thrive. So, one of the things I'm working on right now is called um finding Flow solutions. And it's about flow in the classroom, which is um Mihai Cheeks at Mihai's research. Uh He was a Hungarian American researcher who was talking about um you know, the state of flow where you just, you're so absorbed in a task um that you just lose track of all time. And I thought this is so much better of a goal for us in class than like being on task like, oh my gosh, like who wants to be told, get on task, you know, like get your work done, finish the assignment. Like being in a flow state is like, it's um it's one of the peak human experiences and the optimal way to experience a flow state is when you're being challenged. It's not when you know, if, if you're just scrolling through tiktok or playing a video game or watching Netflix, you can lose state of, you can lose track of time, but that's not really a state of flow because the state of flow is um when you are actively involved in it.

And so being in a challenging situation can really add to that and we're in challenging situations all the time in schools, we're always, you know, trying to get kids to stretch themselves and grow and to learn. And so it really is the optimal place to experiment with that. So I like the idea of helping kids figure out like what helps them find their flow, what things do we do in school that they find so engaging that they don't want to stop when they're done. And it might just be one thing particularly, you know, as, as kids get older and middle and high school. Um you know, it, it can be more challenging for them to think of stuff that they really enjoy. But certainly everybody I think has had an experience in school where like, oh man, we have to stop now and thinking about like, what was I doing at that time? Was I working alone or with other people? What subject was it? Was I concentrating very hard? Um Was I writing? Was I drawing? Was I doing something with my hands? Was I standing? Was I sitting like, really starting to notice what are those things? Because it's very individualized. It's not gonna be the same for every person and just teaching kids how their brains work, teaching kids.

Um you know how different energy levels happen at different times of day, how the amount of sleep that you get impacts your energy levels and your ability to focus how, what you eat impacts it. Um These are all like very empowering things just to expose kids to, I mean, you don't have to do, you know, you've got a lot of other things that you need to be teaching and again, it shouldn't all be on teachers have to do this, but I find it really helpful just to even mention it because I mean, Google exists like kids can go find more if you tell them that, you know, eating, you know, this, this sort of, you know, less processed foods, more vegetables, whatever can help you focus more or staying hydrated, really helps your brain function. And so it's really good to have a water bottle that's quick, you can just say that really quick and they can always go learn more if they want to like, it's, it's very easy for them to find more information. So, um you know, I don't think you have to be totally um immersed in all of the latest research and all of these things, but just sharing these kinds of things with kids and talking about um your own challenges with, with productivity.

How, you know, I was really tired this morning. I really did not want to come in and teach today. Here's what I did to get motivated or, you know, I really did not feel like reading grading those papers last night, but I knew I needed to get the feedback to you. So here's this little, you know, trick that I use, I use the P Medora method where I work for 20 minutes and then I take a break for five and maybe that's something that you might want to try when you have homework, you have it a try tonight like that sort of thing. So kind of presenting these things to kids is like, this is part of the human experience. This is not just you being immature, which is sometimes how I think we frame it for kids. Like you need to just like buckle down and get it done and like grow up, you know, like, you know, you can't get away with this in the real world, but in the real world. We do all still struggle with getting our work done. We do all still struggle with concentrating and focusing and it's not getting better uh with technology and just with the way the world is changing. So what if we approach it as an experiment is something that we're learning alongside our students and there's no judgment around it. It's, it's morally neutral, not being able to concentrate is not a fault isn't a bad thing.

It is a morally neutral thing and we don't need to load it down with all this baggage and guilt and shame and, you know, cajoling and nagging like it's just, it's a thing. We all experience times and we're just not motivated. So what can we actually do? What things actually work and, and building a toolbox of strategies that you can go to so that you have different options to choose from. You know, maybe this one thing works for a math assignment and this other thing works better after lunch when you're a little sleepy. And maybe this other thing works at night when you need to finish something up. So just teaching kids to notice their own, um, things that help them basically, rather than the teacher figuring it out for each student and telling every single student, um, just present different things to them and then help them apply it and then they can share it with you. They can say this really works for me. Or I didn't like that one at all. Please don't suggest that one to me again. And then, you know, um and, and you're not having to, to be like the apathetic student whisper, you know, and, and figure it all out on your own, let them experiment and let them tell you and then you can also share your same things with them so they can learn from your experience.

Yeah, I love this idea of flow. I I'm a huge fan of chicks in my high like working. So I think that's like brilliant to bring that in. And it also connects, I think to what you were talking about. Teachers and students both being able to co thrive. Like if we can have that for teachers that flow as well as the students. How cool. And I think I'm hearing in that like that space for reflection, like the noticing is important but as the teacher creating that space for yourself and for your students to actually do the noticing to share back with the teacher, like, what are you seeing? Oh my gosh, that would just be a game changer and like it would take 30 seconds right at the end of the day to ask that question and get that like noticing happening, which is just so cool. And so I'm I'm wondering in all of this and all of the work that you do in instructional coaching and all of the thinking about how we find that state of flow. What do you think is the biggest challenge for teachers in doing that work in, in trying to, to make all of this happen for themselves and for their students. Hi Lindsey. Just popping in here to tell you about today's episode resource to help you find the time and energy to implement some of these ideas we're discussing today, Angela is sharing her and her students wisdom with you during the 40 hour Teacher Workweek Online Summit.

Now we recorded this episode in advance of this. So it was free for live attendees, July 10th or 11th. But you can still access the recording for $19. We'll link to it in the blog post for this episode at Lindsay beth lions dot com slash blog slash 133. Back to the episode. Well, I could say finding time for it. Um That's pretty obvious. So I won't speak to that too much. Um I, I think another one that maybe is less obvious is feeling like how am I supposed to teach this to kids when I haven't mastered it myself? And I think, I mean, maybe this actually ties back to the time management piece. The reason we haven't managed figured out for ourselves is because we're exhausted and we're overwhelmed and we're trying to focus on too many different things. So we don't even have that reflection time for ourselves. So the more that I, yeah, actually now that I think this through, I think the two things could be sort of integrated. So if we have our own reflection time, which would be, you know, evenings, weekends breaks, summer, like, really taking that time to be, um, apart from school to not think about school and not do anything, uh, school related.

So that when you come back to thinking about it, you're fresh and then also taking some time, um, to really reflect on what's working, what's not, what do you need? Like, what do you actually need to thrive? What is actually missing for you right now? And how can you get more of it? Because sometimes it's not as big as what we think it would be, you know, like you think, oh, I need, like, I need a whole month just to catch up on everything. But the truth is like, if you just, like, had like an extra hour in the evenings that could make a big difference for you or if you just had time to do this one particular hobby or you just had time to exercise, it would change everything for you. So, really thinking, doing that reflection piece alone and thinking about what you, um, what you really need, I think is, is important and that can help give you back some of that time so that, um, you don't feel like that's such a barrier. Um, and then that will also address the, the part about feeling like you're not good enough at this to be teaching it to kids. I mean, my hope is that Finding Flow Solutions is a curriculum that makes it really easy because you don't have to master it ahead of time.

But as you're saying, it can be like super simple quick things. You don't actually have to have a whole curriculum for this. You can certainly just embed this into um your way of teaching and experiment alongside of students. So this is one of the areas where, you know, we always talk about, you know, God on the side instead of sage on the stage. And it's difficult to do that, particularly at the middle and high school level because you do know so much more about, you know, earth science or geometry or whatever it is that you're teaching than your students. So it's hard to be in a position of learner. But when it comes to productivity, that's something we're all still learning mindset is something we're all still learning and we're all still always learning about ourselves. I hope to be learning about myself till the day that I am not here anymore because I'm always changing and growing. And so no matter how much more you know about your subject area than your students, um how much older you are, than them, how much more experienced in life you are than them. You're still a learner in this area. And I think it can be really um really empowering for kids to see the teacher step into that role and say I don't have this mastered either.

I mess up with this all the time. I'm not quite where I wanna be with it and I'm still trying different things out modeling that for them rather than saying, ok, this is the standard that I expect, which is the way that I think school is done a lot of times like I expect you to always be on time. I expect you to always turn in everything on time. Ok, I'm late sometimes. Personally, I don't meet every deadline. Like, uh you know, I spaced on this podcast interview with you, we had to reschedule. So, you know, like stuff happens, we're, we're all human and that doesn't mean necessarily making excuses for it. But um if we are striving for always showing up perfectly, that's not gonna happen. So we need to have strategies for what to do. How can we be resilient in those situations where we weren't able to do everything that we wanted to do. And um modeling that for kids rather than trying to be the person who's already mastered it, I think helps them be more vulnerable.

And I think you also learn more too because you're learning alongside the students and, and getting ideas from them and they can get ideas from you. Absolutely. And I, and I'm just thinking about I, when I worked in this um international network school. We, we have this thing principal, I guess we called it uh one learning model for all. And it was, it was very much that the teachers are doing the same activities as the students. And the students can see that like, the students might pop into a PD or something or a teacher time after school and like, notice that we're doing the same like rose thorn or, you know, whatever it is and just be like, oh, that's really cool that we are learning alongside you. And we're literally doing that in our team time and our PD and our staff meetings. And I think that's such a great opportunity to do some of the things they're saying where we're experimenting alongside and like for leaders listening, you know, like that's such a cool thing I think to be able to do with your teachers. So it's not, I think it's very great to reflect outside of school. But also like, is that some, you know, is that an additional task that we need to put on teachers if we can embed it in the school day too, to just give teachers time to be able to think and reflect and do that thing? I think that would be so cool. And then the other thing I was thinking is you talk a lot about fewer things better.

And so like that piece too, like, do I need a month to catch up? Like, well, what can actually go and what can I actually just prioritize to be able to not actually have to do all of the things and like, what are the most essential? I think that is really helpful as teachers are kind of thinking about. Ok, like what do I literally do in terms of putting the stuff into practice? Um I just think you just bring so much wisdom in your podcast that if people aren't listening, you need to have the link to listen more. Thank you for that Lindsay and thanks for also bringing out the piece about how school leaders can embed this more and then you can have this collective reflection time together with other teachers that's so powerful. Yeah, I think there's so much leaders can do to, to really leverage this and like not standardized but like just make this a common practice, right? A community practice that's not just for students. Um II, I want to move to respect your time to, to kind of our closing questions here. What is something and this is just for fun. So it does not have to be education related. But what is something that you have been learning about lately? I know that you talked about like, you just want to constantly be learning about yourself and you're just kind of like this, always learning, what is something that you wanna share with folks that you have been learning lately?

Um OK, so this is totally random, but I've been reading um I've been learning more about the dust bowl and what happened in that era. Like, I, I get fixated on these like certain areas of like certain aspects of history. And I'm really always fascinated by daily life. Like, I don't want to know about the battles and the famous people. I want to know like what was actual daily life like then. And it has been so fascinating to see the parallels between um what happened then and, and what happens now about how, you know, when you try to force the land and the animals to exist in a way to serve you rather than working yourself into the environment. Um The catastrophe that that comes from it, the suffering that comes from it. It has been really, really interesting. So that's, that's totally random. But it, it's something that kind of helps me think um outside just our current moment in time and recognizing patterns between what's happened um in the past and making the parallels till today. Like, I feel like that always helps me think more deeply.

That is super insightful and I love the random ones. They are the best. So my final question to you is just where can listeners learn more about you? I think they're gonna listen to this and be like, yep, I'm on the podcast. I'm doing all the things I'm doing 42 hour teacher work week. Where can people get in touch. So the easiest way is just truth for teachers dot com. So from there, you can see a link to the 40 hour Teacher Work Week, which is opening to new members. Um, this summer. Um You'll find out about the 40 hour Teacher Work Week online summit, which I'm really excited about. That's July 10th and 11th where our members are sharing their best time saving ideas. Um, and it's totally free. So I'm, I'm really excited for you to watch. I've seen all of the presentations and they're phenomenal just to see like what they're doing in their classrooms, to streamline grading lesson planning, all that kind of stuff. So you can see links for that at truth for teachers dot com. Um as well as my other curriculum resources, the finding flow stuff that I mentioned and my social media handles. So I'm not super active on social media, but I do have a presence and I do like to, you know, DM with people and interact there.

So um feel free to, to reach out, be in touch. I would love to hear your ideas. And definitely, um if you, if you like Lindsey's podcast, you will love Truth for teachers too. I think so. I think we're very sympathetic in a lot of ways. Absolutely. I couldn't agree more. Oh, my gosh, Angela. Thank you so much for being on the podcast and sharing your wisdom with us. Thanks Lindsey. If you like this. Episode. I bet you'll be just as jazzed as I am at a coaching program for increasing student led discussions in your school, Shane Saer and Jamila Dugan. Talk about a pedagogy of student voice in their book Street data. They say students should be talking for 75% of class time. Do students in your school talk for 75% of each class period. I would love for you to walk into any classroom in your community and see this in action. You're smiling yourself as you listen right now. Grab 20 minutes on my calendar to brainstorm. How I can help you make this big dream of reality. I'll help you build a comprehensive plan from full day trainings and discussion protocols like circle and Z Socratic seminar to follow up classroom visits where I can plan witness and debrief discussion based lessons with your teachers. Sign up for a nerdy no strings attached to brainstorm. Call it Lindsay lions dot com slash contact. Until next time, leaders think big act brave and be your best self.

This podcast is a proud member of the Teach Better Podcast Network, better today, better tomorrow and the podcast to get you there, explore more podcasts at teach better dot com slash podcasts and we'll see you at the next episode.

133. Finding Flow for Students and Teachers with Angela Watson
133. Finding Flow for Students and Teachers with Angela Watson
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