All posts by Daniel Kerr

Dan Kerr is now Lower School Director at the American School of Paris. He previously served as Intermediate Division Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and prior to that was the Middle School Principal at SCIS in Shanghai, China. Dan has also worked at JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia and he began his International career in Abu Dhabi. Dan is thrilled to be joining the ASP family and will be accompanied by his wife, Jocelyn, who will be working as a counselor, and his two children, Max and Gabby. 

Heroes Down the Home Stretch

So here we are, finally staring down the last few weeks of school, and as I think back over the last ten months or so, the only thought that I can come up with is, wow, that was quite a year. I guess what I really want to share this week with all of you is a heartfelt thank you, and a joyous congratulations, for your Herculean and heroic efforts throughout arguably the most difficult year of our professional lives. It really has been a year like we’ve never seen before, and a year that we never could have imagined, and yet together we somehow found a way to navigate through it successfully, and keep our students happy, engaged, and learning…a Herculean and heroic effort indeed. 

The last ten months have certainly taken their toll on all of us that’s for sure, as our levels of anxiety have been constantly on high since day one. We never knew when a covid cluster would hit, or if one of us would get sick, and we learned some hard lessons around what it really means to be resilient and adaptable. When I stop and look back over it all, much of it seems like a blur honestly, and I’m left feeling a little dizzy and overwhelmed, but you know what, I feel a lot grateful and proud as well…we all should. We took on so much this year as a faculty, even with the pandemic playing havoc at times, and we should all take a few moments this week to celebrate all that we’ve accomplished as a community. It’s really impressive actually how we’ve managed to keep committed to our goals as a school, and to use the lessons that we’ve learned to become better educators, better leaders, and in many ways, better people.

Besides saying a huge thank you for all that you’ve given to our kids and to each other throughout this craziest of years, I also want to implore all of us to finish strong, and to find just a little bit more strength to get through that final sprint. The last few weeks of a school year can be tough as you know, even in the best of times, as fatigue begins to set in, and as the onslaught of emotions that comes along with saying goodbye to students and colleagues and friends inevitably starts to knock us off balance. With all of that fatigue and emotion dragging us down we still have to be at our best with all that is still left to do…we need to find a way to finish strong, as hard as that may be. 

As tired as we all are, and as eager as we all are to get to the summer, the next three weeks will give us a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all that has gone well in spite of it all. All of the personal and professional learning that we have obtained, all of the growth that we see with our students, all of the silver linings that have come out of this most unusual of school years, and all of the ways that we can take what we’ve learned this year and use them to make next year incredible, as we rise up better and stronger than ever. 

Thank you again to all of you, for your strength, resiliency, and unwavering commitment in the face of adversity…you truly are heroes…heroes down the home stretch. We’re almost there so let’s lean on each other and finish strong. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

If you have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are society’s superheroes. 

-Guy Kawasaki

Inspiring Videos – 

Sign Wars

A Second Chance

10 Things That Made Us Smile

Related Articles – 

Teachers are the Heroes We Need

10 Reasons

Finish the Year Strong

Changing Roles

What Are We Learning?

Unpacking Our Trauma, Celebrating Our Growth

So last week I had a long, and as it turns out, a much needed conversation with a great friend and colleague of mine. We talked about the past year and a half, and how incredibly hard it has been for everyone, and for our world, and you know what, that conversation for me was cathartic. At one point he used the word “trauma” to describe some of his low points since the pandemic began, and for many people that is exactly what the last 18 months or so have been…traumatic.

Trauma as we all know, is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, and it can cause feelings of helplessness, loneliness and isolation. It can diminish a person’s sense of self, and it impacts a person’s ability to feel a full range of emotions and experiences. Well, what people have gone through lately certainly fits this definition, and I think the first step toward healing is for all of us to find space to unpack and talk about how we have been affected and changed since this all began. 

To be honest, I’m not very good at opening up about my darker feelings, and I’m outwardly as happy and optimistic as anyone that you’ll ever meet, so the conversation with my friend was a little uncomfortable at first. As it went on however, it started to feel good to say out loud how I was feeling, and to verbally articulate how much I’m struggling with the way the world is these days. It can be overwhelming if you stop and think about all of it, which is why it is so easy not to, so many of us keep focused on the silver linings and little joys and gratitudes as a nice defense mechanism…I’m really good at that by the way, but I’m not sure it’s all that healthy as a solitary and full-time approach. 

Saying that this past year has been hard is a colossal understatement, as people have lost jobs and loved ones, been sick (in some cases more than once), been locked down and isolated away and in most cases deprived of many things that make them happy. We haven’t been able to hug or touch or even see people’s faces, we haven’t been able to travel, many of us haven’t seen family for almost two years, and every day is an uncertainty. The level of stress and the type of stress that people are experiencing is unprecedented and people are afraid. 

For educators specifically, we are struggling to be our best professional selves in this new normal, and we are all desperate for the things that we took for granted, like a face to face happy hour, or a sit down lunch with a friend, or a simple conversation with a student without a mask on. We’re all so tired of it and we all just want to take off our masks and smile and share a hug with someone…anyone. For our students, it’s also been really difficult. Many of the best parts about school are gone for them, and for seniors, it’s happened at the absolute worst time. For the kids who find their identity through sport or theater or social connections it has been devastating. So, let’s talk about it…we need to.

Before the end of the year, as we carve out time to meet and reflect about the year in teams and as a larger division and school, we will have an opportunity to share how we’re feeling, and how we’ve been affected, and by sharing we can find strength in our collective trauma. Like I said, sharing and listening and empathizing can be a cathartic experience, and I think it’s essential that we do this first, before we have the important conversations about how much we’ve grown, and how much we’ve learned, and about all of the good things, the silver linings, that will eventually come out of this. 

In a strange way that conversation with my friend buoyed me a little and I felt lighter and ready to return to my smiley and optimistic self…I think that talking about the hard parts of your year will help you too. Anyway, the end of the school year is in sight so hang in there and lean on each other for support. Together we will unpack our trauma and then celebrate our growth, which will in both instances make us a little bit better and a little bit stronger. Have a wonderful short week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. Oh yeah, Happy Mother’s Day for all you incredible mothers out there!

Quote of the Week…

Listen. People start to heal the moment they feel heard.

-Cheryl Richardson

Inspiring Videos – (Mother’s Day Themed)

Bucket List Journey

I’ll Love You Forever

For When It’s Time

Dear Mom

3 Secrets of Resilient People

Related Articles – 

Staying Positive in Difficult Times

Positive Thinking

Talk About It

Coronavirus and Well Being

Coping With Stress

Knowing What You Don’t Know

So I’ve read a number of great books so far this year, and one of them has resonated so profoundly with me that I feel compelled to talk about it this week in the hopes that you decide to pick it up for yourselves…you won’t be disappointed. The book is called, Think Again, written by an organizational psychologist, speaker and writer named Adam Grant, and in my opinion, it might just be the most important book that you read all year. 

This book is the perfect book for all of us right now, because we live in a world where it is so easy to be blinded and blanketed by our own confirmation and implicit biases. Our social media platforms love to feed us what we want to hear and see, and that coupled with the entrenched belief that we know what we know, means we don’t always show up with an open mind when confronted with a difference of opinion. In fact, we are often so convinced that we are right in our views and opinions that we preach and prosecute without listening or questioning or considering at all…and that can be a dangerous roadblock in the search for truth, fact and common ground.

This book implores us to constantly think like a scientist, so we refuse to let our ideas become ideologies, and so we are daring enough to disagree with our own arguments. Grant says that, “thinking like a scientist involves more than just reacting with an open mind, it means being actively open minded. It requires searching for reasons why we might be wrong, and not for reasons why we might be right, and actively revising our views based on what we learn”. 

This book is a necessary reminder that it is essential that we all learn how to unlearn, and how to re-think, and to think again…rethinking is a skillset and a mindset, and something that I would argue we can all get better at. Grant talks about how our ways of thinking can often weigh us down, and we don’t bother to question them until it’s too late. Further to this, he discusses why it’s so hard for us to re-think…because it’s scary. Questioning ourselves not only makes the world more unpredictable, it also requires that the facts that we once thought were true may have changed, and what we once thought was right may now be wrong. 

Grant says that, “reconsidering something that we believe in deeply can threaten our identities, making it feel like we are losing a part of ourselves”, and “when a core belief of ours is questioned, we tend to shut down rather than open up”. I know that I am and have been guilty of this at times in my life, and reading this book it gave me the push that I needed to get in the habit of re-evaluating, reflecting, opening up, and really listening to the other side of an argument, especially when I know the other person is “wrong”. 

Anyway, do yourself a favor…no, do the world a favor and read this book. It’s a fantastic mix of rich storytelling and current research, and it will open up your mind to your own confirmation biases, as well as to the implicit biases that have sneakily become a part of who you are…like I said, you won’t be disappointed. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

The Curse of knowledge is that it closes our minds to what we don’t know. 

– Adam Grant

Related Articles –

Do You Know What You Don’t Know?

Languishing

Persuading the Unpersuadable

Reasoning With Unreasonable People

Even Over Zoom

Inspiring Videos – 

High School Baseball

Daddy’s Girl

The Reverse Selfie 

366 Nights

A Made-Up Word

Adam Grant – Think Again

Armchair Expert Podcast – Adam Grant Returns (Think Again)

Digging Deep

So just last week as I was greeting the kids off of the buses, a student who was new to the school at the beginning of this year said to me, “Mr. Kerr, it always looks like you are smiling under your mask but I’ve never actually seen your face”. So I stepped back several feet, far away from anyone around me, and pulled my mask off to the side for a quick second to give him a huge smile that stretched from ear to ear. He said, “yup, just like I imagined”, and then off he went with his friends to the playground. You would think that a moment like that would bring me loads of joy, and it did make me smile inside a little bit but honestly, as I was walking into the school after the final bus had arrived I was hit with a pretty deep sense of sadness, and then it really hit me…I am so done with this pandemic. 

It’s been over a year now since the world first locked down and it’s getting old and tiring. I know that everyone is feeling it too, and even though the vaccines are starting to roll out at a greater rate, and we have our sights set on possible summer travel, the next stretch coming up is going to require us to dig a little deeper, and to rely on each other even more as we struggle through the third wave. 

We have done so incredibly well as a school to keep our students on campus for the majority of the year, and we are all very good now at staying vigilant with our protocols and restrictions. We have all learned some valuable lessons about resiliency in the face of adversity over the past 15 months, and we have managed to find ways to stay upbeat, energetic and hopeful as the virus hangs on by it’s fangs. The saving grace, for me anyway, is the fact that spring has sprung and the sunny, warmer weather and the gift of these longer, lighter days have given me the boost that I needed to take on this next stretch. 

Over the next few weeks, as we speed toward the upcoming holiday, use the warmth of the sun, and the warmth of each other to find that extra gear, and dig deep for our kids and community. Here is a beautiful poem that celebrates the gift of spring, and over the next three weeks find joy and energy and love in the natural world around us. Have a wonderful week in the sun everyone, and remember to be great for our kids and good to each other…we got this!

“Flower God, God of the Spring…”

Flower god, god of the spring, beautiful, bountiful,

Cold-dyed shield in the sky, lover of versicles,

Here I wander in April

Cold, grey-headed; and still to my

Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer,

Spring, song-leader in woods, chorally resonant;

Spring, flower-planter in meadows,

Child-conductor in willowy

Fields deep dotted with bloom, daisies and crocuses:

Here that child from his heart drinks of eternity:

O child, happy are children!

She still smiles on their innocence,

She, dear mother in God, fostering violets,

Fills earth full of her scents, voices and violins:

Thus one cunning in music

Wakes old chords in the memory:

Thus fair earth in the Spring leads her performances.

One more touch of the bow, smell of the virginal

Green – one more, and my bosom

Feels new life with an ecstasy.

Quote of the Week…

Some of life’s best lessons are learned at the hardest times 

Inspiring videos – 

Fairytale Ending

Mom’s Final Trip

Sadness into Smiles (A good one to reshare)

The inspirational Dick Hoyt

Surfing in Ice Cold Water – Related TED Talk

Related Articles – 

Pandemic Tips

When Times Get Tough

7 Strategies

Keeping Your Stability

Mentally Strong

The Voice Inside Your Head

So I just recently finished reading a fascinating new book by Ethan Kross titled, Chatter. It’s all about that little voice that we have inside our heads, and the power that it has, when not harnessed properly, to lead us down a rabbit hole of negative self talk and endless rumination. This little voice can easily affect our moods, and if we don’t get control over it, this inner chatter can even negatively affect our physical health, as well the relationships that we have with others. 

Reading it was timely for me, as I’ve noticed lately that probably due to the circumstances that we’re all in, and the year that we’ve all just had, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to keep my inner chatter harnessed and happy. This book was a perfect reconnect for me on how to focus on the positive, keep my perspective in check, and to watch how my words and actions affect the moods and daly experiences of the people that I regularly interact with.

Kross shares stories, research, anecdotes and tools around how to keep your inner voice positively framed, and your negative inner chatter at bay. What struck me the most however, was the incredible impact that the voice inside your head can have on your physical health, and how easily it can take over every aspect of your life. 

Kross sums it up nicely by sharing that, “managing our inner voice has the potential to not only help us become more clear headed, but to strengthen the relationships that we share with our friends and loved ones. It can help us offer better support to the people that we care about and it will insulate us against burnout at work. In short, changing the conversations that we have with ourselves has the potential to change our lives”.

I’m not sure about you but my inner chatter is constant throughout the day, and by paying more attention to it over the past couple of weeks I’ve been able to purposely frame my thoughts and experiences in a more positive light. Take this week to notice the inner conversations and monologue that you are having with yourself, and watch how these conversations are affecting your mood and relationships. 

I highly recommend this book, and if nothing else, use this post to think about how your inner chatter is impacting not only your own daily experiences, but the experiences of the people around you. It’s very easy for negative thoughts and self talk to spill into your conversations with others, so be mindful of this, and find ways to keep focused on the positive, as hard as that can be at times. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

The key to beating chatter isn’t to stop talking to yourself. The challenge is to figure out how to do so more effectively – Ethan Kross

Related Articles – 

Your Mind’s Inner Chatter

Your Inner voice relationship

The Power of Positive Thinking

How To Stop Negative Chatter

Self Talk

TED Talk – Improve Positive Thinking

TED Talk – Live for Your Eulogy

Inspiring Videos – 

Ice Rink Memories

Returning the Favor

Love in the Time of Coronavirus

What to Read in 2021

So it’s that time of the year again when I get to order books for my birthday, which is my favorite gift ever because it keeps on giving for months and months and months. The deal is that I have to finish reading all of last year’s books before I get to order new ones, and this year I actually finished a while ago due to the lockdowns and quarantines that we all went through. 

As usual, I’m encouraging you all to take a few minutes this week to look through these titles, and to order one (or five) that resonate with you…or, do your own research and share those titles with me so I can add them to this list. The suggestions below revolve around the themes of education, leadership, creativity, innovation and culture building, with an overarching focus on becoming a better person and educator for our world. 

Anyway, happy reading in 2021…a good book can be transformative in so many ways, so please make the time, I promise you it will be time well spent. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.

Quote of the Week…

There is no friend as loyal as a book

-Ernest Hemingway

Think Again – Adam Grant

Change – Damon Centola

Professional Troublemaker – Luvvie Ajayi Jones

Chatter – Ethan Kross

Bravey – Alexi Pappas

The Lonely Century – Noreena Hertz

The Sum of Us – Heather McGhee

Work – James Suzman

The Data Detective – Tim Harford

Beginners – Tom Vanderbilt

How Innovation Works – Matt Ridley

The EQ Deficiency – Brittney Savarda

Post Corona – Scott Galloway

Unleashed – Frances Frei

A Lingering Hug

So if you know me really well, or even if you know me just a little bit, you know that I’m a hugger, and the most difficult thing about this pandemic for me is that I can’t hug anyone! Yes, it’s difficult wearing a mask, and I’m not loving the lockdown or the many Covid restrictions that have been in place for almost a year either, but the thing that’s really getting old is not being able to greet, or thank, or congratulate, or console anyone with a lingering hug. Thank goodness I have my wife and my kids to hug, although it’s at the point now that when my kids see me coming they run the other way because they know that the dozen or so stored up hugs from my day at work are heading straight for them. 

I guess I never thought about how important hugs are in my life, and how much they positively affect my mood, well being and happiness. It shouldn’t be that surprising however, as there is loads of research around how hugging can help to reduce stress and improve a person’s physical and mental health. So without hugs, I’ve been looking for other ways to connect and communicate, and to show someone that I love or care for them, and for the most part it’s going okay, although the elbow bump isn’t giving me what I need. 

As a matter of fact, I received a great book the other day as a birthday gift from my amazing wife, called While We Can’t Hug, and I ended up reading it to almost every kid and teacher in the Lower School. Reading it to kids was therapeutic for me, as I quickly found out that most of the kids and adults are suffering just like I am, and in desperate need of a little bit more human contact. Part of me thinks that the whole world is suffering due to the lack of hugs being shared, and even though I don’t have any scientific data to support this, I also believe that this has contributed to the troubling state of the world that we live in these days. 

Human contact and human connection is a basic need, and without it we are starting to see the negative effects. Like the rest of you, I’m absolutely ready for this pandemic to end, and to get back to a world where I don’t have to “air-hug” the people that mean so much to me…or simple acquaintances for that matter. In the meantime, find ways to show people that you love them in other ways, and get your hugs where you can. Speaking of that, it’s time to go chase my kids around the house to get my quota for the day…they can’t get away from me! Have a wonderful week everyone, and remember to be great for our kids and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

I have learned that there is more power in a good strong hug than in a thousand meaningful words – Ann Hood

Inspiring Videos –

Pizza Delivery Man 

The Healing Power of Hugs

Fun Science

Goodbye Hug

Why Do We Hug

Related Articles –

The Power of Hugs

The Benefits of Hugging

A Simple Hug

National Hug Day

Heartfelt Hugs

Book Recommendations – 

The Hug

While We Can’t Hug

A Thread of Silver

So I was walking home from the store the other day through some back alley sidestreets when I stumbled upon a dried up and sad looking Christmas tree lying right in the middle of the lane. It had been blown there by the wind I guess, or maybe just carelessly dumped there by someone who wanted to get rid of it. It had lost most of its needles and a few of the branches were snapped and barely hanging on, and I felt kind of depressed honestly when I bent down to pick it up. Just as I was dragging it to the side of the curb though, I spotted a single piece of tinsel clinging to one of the branches…a little thread of silver that flashed and sparkled and danced in the air, and you know what, it made me smile.

As I continued on my way back home I couldn’t help but think about that withered up tree, and how it relates to the year that we all just went through. 2020 was so incredibly difficult in so many ways, and all that the world wanted to do when January 1st rolled around was to throw the year out in the trash and to move on, and so did I. But what that little tree got me thinking about over the last week or so was that as difficult as last year was, there was a little thread of silver that came out of 2020, and that thread of silver is the promise of change. 

As much as 2020 brought disillusion and disruption to our world and to our lives, I believe that 2021 will bring action and accountability, which will ultimately change so much of our world for the better. I believe that 2020 will serve as a wake up call, which will bring about, at the very least, social and environmental change that will end up strengthening the fabric of the global community. 

On a smaller scale, I also believe that the events of last year will mobilize us as a school community to become stronger, and better, and in many ways it already has. We’ve committed to some transformative initiatives that were bolstered by last year’s events, and which have given us a renewed sense of purpose. Like our JEDI (Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) work, our peer on peer safeguarding work, our focus on assessment, and so much more. I know it’s easy to simply throw away 2020 and to not look back, and to be thankful that it’s finally over. People want to set their sights firmly on the hope for a brighter 2021, and I get it. 

For so many people in the world, 2020 was a disastrous year, and now it’s a collective loud scream of good riddance. That said, I do believe that just like the sad little tree that I found when I was walking home, if you look carefully enough at that terrible year that has just passed, you might just find a small thread of silver that you can take with you into 2021. A little thread of silver that will give you some hope, and hopefully call you to action, because action is what 2021 desperately needs. Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our kids and good to each other. 

Quote of the Week…

If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change

– Wayne Dyer

Inspiring Videos – 

Gloria’s Gladiators

Man With Dementia 

Fairy Garden

TED Talk – Overcoming Challenges

TED Talk – 3 Secrets of Resilient People

Related Websites and Articles – 

Center for Optimism 

Finding the Silver Linings

Challenging Times

Staying Positive 

Positive Thinking

Hope springs eternal

So I was having a conversation with a friend of mine the other day about how difficult this past year has been, and he spoke to me about how nervous he is for the upcoming winter months that lie ahead. Just as we were finishing our chat I mentioned to him that deep down I was tremendously hopeful for the changes that 2021 will bring to our world, and he kind of smirked and said that he loved my sense of optimism. It is true that I am an eternal optimist, probably to a fault, but his comment got me thinking about the idea of hope, and how in my opinion being hopeful is actually very different than simply being optimistic.

The conversation reminded me of a wonderful book that I read a long time ago by Jerome Groopman called the, The Anatomy of Hope, where in one of the chapters he beautifully defines and separates out the meaning of these two words. He writes that, “Hope is one of our central emotions, but we are often at a loss when asked to define it. Many of us confuse hope with optimism, a prevailing attitude that things will turn out for the best. But hope differs from optimism. Hope does not arise from being told to think positively, or from hearing an overly rosy forecast. Hope, unlike optimism, is rooted in unalloyed reality. Although there is no uniform definition of hope, I found one that seemed to capture what my patients had taught me. Hope is the elevating feeling we experience when we see—in the mind’s eye—a path to a better future. Hope acknowledges the significant obstacles and deep pitfalls along that path. True hope has no room for delusion.” 

So when I said that I am tremendously hopeful for the changes that 2021 will bring for our world, I said it with the acute awareness that there are some very difficult months that lie ahead, and with the understanding that there are significant challenges and obstacles that we will still have to overcome…yet I remain hopeful, and in my mind’s eye I do see a path to a better future. A little boy said to me on Friday that he can’t wait for things to return to normal, and I know what he meant, but in many ways I don’t want things to return to normal at all. Of course I can’t wait for many of the normal things to return, like hugging for example (I do miss hugging people), but my hope lies in a new normal, a normal that includes a world that is more inclusive and just and kind, a world that is more environmentally friendly, a world that uses the lessons that we’ve learned over the past several months to create a better future for our children, and of course, as an educator, world that finally moves on from it’s outdated and traditional approach to education. I hope for a world that stops taking our earth for granted, and a world that embraces our collective humanity, and a world that is united and connected and a little bit more enlightened…here’s hoping. 

Anyway, it is true that I see the world through rose colored glasses, and ultimately that helps me get through some difficult times, but at the heart of it all, it’s deeper than that…it really is about hope, and seeing that path to a better future. Just imagine the beautiful world that will emerge from this crazy 2020..I can’t wait to see what 2021 will bring. Hang in there everyone, only a week and a half left until the holiday, so remember to be great for our students and good to each other. Enjoy this little poem by John Keats and remain hopeful, because hope springs eternal indeed. 

John Keats, ‘To Hope’.

When by my solitary hearth I sit,

When no fair dreams before my ‘mind’s eye’ flit,

And the bare heath of life presents no bloom;

Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,

And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head …

Quote of the Week…

Hope springs eternal in the human breast – Alexander Pope

Inspiring Videos-

Female Toy Soldiers

Give With All Your Heart

Inner Child

Classic and Beautiful 

The Greatest Gift

Holiday Commercial – Sweet

Related Articles – 

The Power of Hope

Live It Forward

Why Hope Matters

TED – How to be More Hopeful

Whatever Brings You Joy

So last week I overheard two friends of mine having a spirited debate over when the correct time was to get out the holiday decorations and to put up their tree. One friend firmly believes that as soon as Halloween is over it’s time to start singing the carols, and the other one absolutely believes that you have to wait until December before the lights can go up. Well, in normal years I tend to agree with my December friend but this year, with all that’s going on, and with all of the craziness that 2020 has sent our way, I say put up that tree today! As far as I’m concerned, the winning argument is, “whatever brings you a little bit of joy in your life”, and if hanging the decorations up and playing Jingle Bells full blast puts a smile on your face then what are you waiting for?

With a month left before the holiday break, and with the lockdown still in effect, it is absolutely essential that we all find joy and happiness everywhere and anywhere that we can, and we need to prioritize taking care of ourselves and each other as we speed toward 2021. It’s also important to find ways to be thankful for the things that we have in our lives that do bring us joy, and with American Thanksgiving coming up this week it is the perfect time to reflect on all that we have to be grateful for. Even though I’m not American, I’m absolutely going to use that day to celebrate my friends and my family, and to be grateful for all of the gifts that life brings to me every day when I open my eyes. I’ll keep this post a little shorter than usual this week, as I have the sudden urge to go wake up my kids to Frosty the Snowman playing loudly on Spotify, and I might even dig out the decorations from the garage if I can convince my wife. 

Anyway, I want to leave you with this beautiful quote from Marelisa Fabrega, who reminds us all to be grateful for the little joys in our lives, and to try and bring a sense of gratitude to our everyday experiences. She says, “Gratitude should not just be a reaction to getting what you want, but an all the time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good, even in unpleasant situations. Start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful.”

Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other…and whatever brings you a little bit of joy in your life, particularly in the world these days…then go and do it! 

Quote of the Week…

Rules for happiness: Something to do, someone to love, something to hope for

-Immanuel Kant

Inspiring Videos – 

An Attitude of Gratitude

Inner Child

The Show Must Go On

Interesting TED Talk – 

Helping Others Makes Us Happier

Related Articles – 

What it Means to Seize the Day

Giving Thanks Can Make You Happier

Use the Good Stuff