Show students you care.

How do teachers compete with smartphones?

They don’t.

There is no doubt that smartphones have changed the way we live and learn. Which is why teachers must continue doing what they do best – connect with students.

Because no matter what happens on the small screen, technology will always be a poor substitute for human connection.

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So instead of complaining about students being glued to their smartphone, teachers must consider why students do it in the first place.

1. Consider the underlying cause.

Educators (including myself) must take a step back and reframe the smartphone problem.

Student distractibility existed long before smartphones.

We “doodled”. They “text”.

Lack of attention is the common denominator.

Smartphones in the classroom are a signal that students need to be re-directed back to the learning activity.

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2. Rethink how you teach.

First, explore you engage students, capture their attention, and sustain curiosity with instant gratification just one click away.

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Next, consider how you spark student interest and arouse curiosity, week after week, semester after semester.

3. Model what you expect.

a) Motivate students by being motivated!

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b) Engage students by being engaged, passionate, and excited by the topics you teach.  Enthusiasm is contagious!

c) Connect with students by being genuinely interested in who they are, how they learn, and why they are here.

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d) Grab attention by being attentive to the unique needs of each student, and responsive to the distinct personality of each class.

e) Stimulate curiosity by being curious about how students think.

4. Show them you care.

In order to move students from the instant gratification of smartphones to meaningful interactions in school (and in life), we must show them how much we truly care.

How? We are present in our own classrooms.

We are mindful.

We are in tune with each student and teaching moment.

We connect.

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This picture was taken at a CSI student leadership event at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario. Student motivation and attention is always my first priority. Only then can the learning begin!

Students first. Every chance I get.

Follow your feelings.

Instead of focusing on what you want TO DO today, try focusing on how you want TO FEEL.💫

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How do you want to feel today?

What could you do today to augment how you want to feel? Which action or behaviour supports your chosen, most desired emotion? For example:

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Desired Feeling ⇔ Supporting Behaviour

Strong ⇔ Move your body.

Valuable ⇔ Help someone.

Lighthearted ⇔ See a funny movie.

Joyful ⇔ Go dancing with friends.

Free ⇔ Unshackle from daily regimes & routines.

Inspired ⇔ Spend time with youth.

Peaceful ⇔ Look up at the stars.

Empowered ⇔ Write.

Is Happiness a Choice?

Have you ever wondered why some people remain upbeat and positive despite the chaos that surrounds them while others are utterly miserable even in good times?  What explains the difference between these two groups of individuals?

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Why do some of us see the glass as 1/2 full while others see the glass as completely empty? Are happy people just lucky people born happy? And unhappy people born miserable?  Or is happiness a choice we make day by day, moment to moment?

My webcast explores the psychology and science of happiness from three unique perspectives: 1) the developmental origins of happiness, 2) how individual differences in personality affect happiness, and 3) the paradoxical relationship between traumatic life experiences and happiness (posttraumatic growth).

Happiness Talk

The happiest people don’t necessarily have the best of everything but they make the most of everything. Sam Cawthorne

Shine your light.

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I used to think about life purpose as some great big grand scheme for life, something we spend our whole life chasing after. Daunting for sure. At times overwhelming.

Then one day I realized that life purpose was a series of small, fleeting events, rather than one great big span of life. Bite size in fact. It’s the one thing we love doing, time and time again. Over and over. Day by day. It’s the one thing we love sharing. Moment to moment. Breath by breath.

What make’s your heart sing?

For me it’s making the person right in front of me (no matter who they are) feel like the most important person in the world. Engaging fully, completely, in every conversation I have. No matter how long. No matter how short.

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I love making someone’s day brighter.

Whether it be lifting the spirits of my psychology students. Encouraging the barista at Starbucks. Smiling at runners on the trail. Sending my mom an uplifting email. Opening the door for someone at the college. Listening intently to my husband at the end of a long day. (Hint: No cell phone in hand.)

(Bite size) Mission for this Moment.

My hope for today is to make you feel like the centre of my universe. One smile at a time. One conversation at time. If only for a moment. (Sometimes for a lifetime.) Because you matter. More than you’ll ever know.

What lights your way?

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Choose Peace.

So much happens in the course of a day that is beyond our control. There are 100 ways to respond. And only 1 way that feels right.

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Overslept. Choose peace.

Ran out of coffee. Choose peace.

 Stuck in traffic. Just breathe.

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Missed a deadline. Choose peace.

Technology overload. Connect with nature.

Nonstop meetings. Choose peace.

Bossy coworker. Stand your sacred ground.

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Argument with spouse. Choose peace.

Messy house (again). Take a break.

Children acting up. Choose peace.

Difficulty relaxing at night. Look up. 

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Related Video: Eckhart Tolle's Inner Peace Exercise

Gratitude multiples our treasures.

Such is life.

Life is full of highs and lows. Wins and losses.  Joys and sorrows.  Celebrations and defeats. Too much and too little.

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Make the shift.

Nothing shifts us from scarcity to abundance more quickly than a sudden moment of appreciation and gratitude.

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Multiply your treasures.

Take a moment (this moment) to look up and breathe in all that you are grateful for. Right here. Right now.

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Bless what is.

Be it the fresh air that you breathe. The clean water that you drink. The sunshine over your left shoulder. Your child playing nearby. The captivating twinkle in your friend’s eye..

Just what the doctor ordered.

More Fun. More Love. Better Health.

I love this commercial!

It’s a great reminder that getting healthy can be so much fun.

“Families who dance together stay healthy together.”

Joy inspires me to stand up, shake it off, and bust a move. 🎉💃

What about you?

What motivates you to follow a healthy lifestyle?