Happy Post-Pandemic Star Wars Day: Boba Fett’s Take on Good Tribalism

Happy Star Wars Day! In episodes 3 and 4 of The Book of Boba Fett, the main character invites us to discern the difference between good and bad tribalism as he reflects on his reformation of character that came from being adopted by the Sandpeople: “It’s made me strong. You can only get so far without a tribe.”

Read to Flourish in Any Stage of Life

For the not-to-distant future, I anticipate packing up my books and relocating to a lower elevation with a bigger population here in Colorado, even though 34+ years of being connected to this small mountain community has been good in so many ways. Many changes are ahead for me. In light of my past, present, and future blessings that have come from reading all sorts of things, my website will be shifting in name and emphasis to “ReadtoFlourish.com.” I’ll still have an archive link for everything from TeachingArguments.com. Meanwhile, “Take up and read; Take up and read.”

Slowing Down for Happier Thanksgivings

Much of our misery comes from trying to get too much too quickly. The “too much” focus may relate to material items as well intangible qualities. Spiritual traditions, literary works, and life lessons all invite us to take heed of signs that tell us to slow down. Here are some thoughts about slowing down for happier thanksgivings throughout our lives.

Discerning Teacher Challenges: Demoralization versus Burnout

After musing last weekend about teacher burnout, Marin Luther’s spiritual reformation, and Dilbert, I’ve come to realize the importance of discerning demoralization from burnout. Doris A. Santoro’s “The problem with stories about teacher ‘burnout’” provides this helpful distinction: “Burnout suggests that a teacher has nothing more to give. However, teachers whom I would characterize as demoralized were most frustrated because they could not teach the way they believed was right.” As educators, we need to think more about this distinction and its relevance for current personal, professional, and public challenges.

Dilbert’s Vision for How Not to Handle Burnout! (Prelude to Reformational Teaching & Learning)

Over the past two decades, I’ve often been struck by how well Scott Adams’ satirical insights about the corporate world also reflect issues about human nature and relate disturbingly well to public education challenges.

Cynical Teachers Anonymous: A Pilgrim’s Regress

For some of us, maybe the deeper issue behind teacher depression, anxiety, and burnout has to do with drifting into cynicism as a worldview and lifestyle. In trying to deal with dread and anxiety about the upcoming school week, I find myself increasingly disappointed by self-care and support strategies that I’m encountering these days from well-meaning folks.

Do We Oversell SEL?

Yong Zhao’s “Another education war? The coming debates over social and emotional learning” is worth taking some time to read and reflect on. Zhao explores claims from champions and challengers of social emotional learning. For me, Zhao’s thoughtfully documented article basically shows that SEL has potential benefits when modestly and wisely used, but it can also distract educators from effective education by becoming a “nonacademic common core,” as one of his sources asserts. That sounds like just about every trend in education. I wanted to share more reflections on this important topic and its relevance to my current context, but I needed to wrap up my courses for an extremely short straight-block quarter, so that’s it for this short take.

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