Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Positive Strategies to Avoid Stress, Anxiety, and Burnout

Editor's Note: This blog post, co-authored by Marcus Conyers and Donna Wilson, originally appeared on Edutopia.

Teaching is important and rewarding work, but it can also be extremely stressful. Excessive stress may lead to burnout, which is characterized by exhaustion, anxiety, and feelings of being overwhelmed and isolated. Other common symptoms of burnout are a loss of creativity, good humor, patience, and enthusiasm for life all of which are crucial attributes for effective teaching.

Fortunately, the human brain has tremendous capacity to change and grow. We can train our malleable, dynamic brains specifically, the left prefrontal cortex, which figures prominently in emotional outlook to become happier and more optimistic through deliberate practice.


5 Positive Strategies

Research suggests that happy people are more likely to have positive relationships with family, friends, and colleagues; to perform better on the job; and even to enjoy greater physical health than those with negative outlooks.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Don’t Lose Sleep over Daylight Savings Time

by Guest Blogger Donna Wilson

In most of the country, Sunday marks an annual ritual: setting our clocks ahead for the start of Daylight Saving Time (DST). When we “spring forward,” many of us lose an hour of sleep. However, we shouldn’t be so quick to give up that 60 extra minutes of snooze time—on the first day of DST or on any other day.

If you don’t think that one hour of sleep deprivation is a big deal, consider this: Experts have identified the Monday after DST as a vulnerable time for traffic accidents. This tie between adequate sleep and overall alertness underscores just how important sleep is to proper functioning in general.

As we report in our book, Thinking for Results: Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement By As Much as 30 Percent, lack of sleep has a significant impact on cognitive processes. Most adults require a minimum of 7.5 hours of sleep per night, while children and teenagers need even more.