Isolation, on-line learning, on-line teaching, and the complete upside-downing of recognizable life has created stress and emotional strain for parents, teachers, and children alike. This week, I spoke with Lisa Dewey Wells, an educator and parenting coach and an educational consultant, about the complexity of all of this and how we can start with simple approaches to countering the effects of the past year.
By "simple," I don't mean "easy." A multi-pronged threat (in this case, all the things I referenced in the opening above) necessarily poses a complex problem. But that doesn't mean we can't face the complexity armed with individual, targeted responses.
Lisa works with teams and individuals to break down how to build community and support well-being. In our discussion, she emphasizes that in order to support community, we have to support ourselves. That work-life balance thing? Not a thing. As Lisa says, "It's a juggle, a dance," and "As soon as we let go of thinking things need to be even, we have space to take care of ourselves."
In our chat, Lisa talks about building on your professional experiences to find your joys and strengths, allowing yourself to exit soul-crushing situations, and opening yourself up to new opportunities.
Lisa's #WIPMondays action step:
Many of us are always taking care of others. When we take care of ourselves, we're better able to take care of all the rest. Lisa's action step is the first step in taking care of your nervous system: make a small promise today to do something intentional for yourself. It doesn't have to be something grand. It just has to be intentional. What will bring you joy? How can you use your strengths?
Write it down. And keep your promise! If you need to tell yourself that you're doing this to support others, that's fine, because it's true.
What we're reading:
We've got a good batch of books this week! Lisa is reading Sanjay Gupta's Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age. Gupta brings valuable insight and guidance in his book about brain health. Lisa's audiobook pick is Bravey by Olympic runner Alexi Pappas. She's also reading the complex and well-written My Year Abroad by Chang-Rae Lee (not pictured). I just finished Memorial Drive, a memoir by Pulitzer Prize-winner Natasha Trethewey. My book club is reading this powerful and poetic memoir of pain, loss, and grief amidst racism and domestic abuse. I know we will have a deep discussion.
Watch our chat below!
Lisa Dewey Wells is an education and parenting coach and an educational consultant. You can learn more at www.lisadeweywells.com. Lisa's current publishing project is a book on responsive classrooms for K-2 educators. Learn more about responsive classrooms at https://www.responsiveclassroom.org/ .