Today I was focusing on making sure I get a restful sleep. I added drops of lavender, clary sage, and cedarwood to my diffuser, and I turned it on 30 minutes before I went to bed. I then rolled an essential oil blend all over my face and hopefully the scents will help me fall asleep (besides the oils softening my skin).
Hopefully, the relaxing sounds and wonderful scents will create a wonderful environment which will help me fall asleep. I will let you know tomorrow how well I slept tonight.
I am excited that tomorrow I will try to create my facial oil, and will even try to create an essential oil bracelet. I can't wait!
Tell me anything which helps you fall asleep. I am always looking for ways to fall asleep quickly.
“Sleep is the best meditation.” Dalai Lama
Today I finally had all my 5th graders start their Weebly blogs! They were so very excited. I am sure they are home now designing their blogs. How powerful it is to give children a voice.
As you know my mission is to create a radical change in education. I hope students will be excited about taking on a passion project and documenting their journey. I believe all schools should be giving students time for genius hour. Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. Genius Hour simply allows teachers to provide students a choice in what they learn and how they learn it during a set period of time within a school day or week. Some teachers allot one class period or one hour per week. Others aim for the 80/20 rule, in which 80 percent of the time is traditional standards-based teaching and learning and 20 percent is student directed.
Wouldn't it be exciting if you were given time to pursue your interests? I know I would have loved to have been given a choice. I am hoping that by doing this with my students, I can inspire other teachers in my district to give it a try. School should be about creating curious lifelong learners.
If you were a kid today, what topics would you love to investigate?
I love the 8 Pillars of Life described by Sheri and Nancy. Today I want to focus on the Creativity & Innovation pillar. I love the way Sheri and Nancy describes it. "Put your hands in the clay. Shape today, and invent what happens next. Believe in the abundance that will follow when you do work that you love, with people you love. Honor your inspiration. The Story: My Creative Spirit Soars."
I think it is so very important that we all focus on Radical self-care involving the pillar mentioned above. It makes it so much more exciting when not focusing on "work," but on creating and innovating. Today, my friend, Mary, reminded me of focusing on our essential oil and beauty product business. We are busy creating beauty products using natural products. We are working on creating shampoos, facial oils, facial creams, lip balms, and hopefully we can create jewelry to add essential oil drops so that we can feel better throughout the day as we breathe in the wonderful aroma.
“But unless we are creators we are not fully alive. What do I mean by creators? Not only artists, whose acts of creation are the obvious ones of working with paint of clay or words. Creativity is a way of living life, no matter our vocation or how we earn our living. Creativity is not limited to the arts, or having some kind of important career.”
I love how the quote states creativity is a way of living life! That really is what I am trying to focus on this year. I want to be fully alive.
It is sad that in many jobs today there are people who are taking away or making it difficult to be creative. This is what is happening to many teachers today. Someone else is dictating what we can and cannot do in the classroom. I miss the years in which people trusted us to make learning fun. I hope changes will be taking place in education soon.
Here is a great article explaining what is happening in schools today:
How Schools are Killing Creativity
So what is your opinion on creativity and innovation?
Today I was listening to a few podcasts discussing having a morning ritual. The following is a powerful quote to make me start planning my mornings:
“How you start your day is how you live your day. How you live your day is how you live your life.”
I am going to start working on healthy habitual behaviors for the morning. I will try different simple things I can do every morning which can help me have a wonderful start to my day.
Tomorrow I will just start with two habits. I will start by having a tall glass of water and by practicing gratitude. I will try adding other habits until I can find something that works for me.
My ideal morning would be for me to do a few yoga moves, doing a bit of mantra meditation, making a green smoothie, and maybe finding time to read an inspirational article. I will work on trying many different habits until I find something that makes me feel great the rest of the day.
What is your morning ritual?
Today I was out searching for rice brand oil so that I can work on creating a facial oil with natural products. I went to about 5 different places, and I couldn't find it so I decided to order it on Amazon. It should arrive in a couple of days. I will update you on this amazing anti-aging facial oil I will be creating. I can't wait!
I listened to a few podcast episodes about daily routines and about creating essential oil blends. I made an essential oil roller blend for my skin based on the recipe mentioned in one of the episodes, and I absolutely love it! I just put it on now before going to bed, and it has a lovely sweet smell. Hopefully it will help me fall asleep tonight.
Today I also went to the gym with my husband and daughter. It was a great day, mainly focusing on radical self-care. I love the opportunities for personal growth and development by listening to a variety of podcasts discussing the many ways to focus on taking care of yourself.
Do you listen to any podcasts? If you do, which ones do you enjoy?
Today is Sunday, a day to relax and take it easy. Well, I tried relaxing, but I had a few loads of laundry to do and had to finish my lesson plans. I did find time for an hour walk and time to sit at Starbucks to enjoy my latte.
I bought a gratitude journal at TJ Maxx. I hope I can find time to make it a ritual of writing down what I am grateful for on a daily basis. I like that it has an area to think about how I will take care of myself by eating healthy and exercising. I think the journal has enough pages for about 2 months which gives me enough time to see if this helps me have an inspired life.
I am still working on a morning ritual which can help get my day off to a great start. Geez, I didn't know there was so much to think about when choosing radical self-care. Well I have 359 days ahead of me to figure this all out.
Do you have a morning ritual? If you do, what is your morning ritual?
I enjoyed learning about the 8 pillars of happiness, the 8 cornerstones of a happy life. I first heard about The Pillar Life back in June from Sheri Salata and Nancy Hala, Chief Visionaries of The Pillar Life, and co-hosts of their popular podcast, The Sheri + Nancy Show.
The following pillars will be my focus to create a radical shift in my life:
Health + Wellness
Spirituality + Happiness
Creativity + Innovation
Adventure + Discovery
Sanctuary + Beauty
Money + Abundance
I am quite interested on focusing on the pillar, Sanctuary and Beauty. Sheri and Nancy state, "build yourself a nurturing respite from the world. Cultivate a seeker's eye for loveliness. Feel dazzling inside and out. Feather your nest just so. Practice beauty." I can't wait to work on my story: "I Am Beautifully at Home."
This weekend I am focusing on creating handmade DIY natural beauty products. I will be using essentials oils as a specific tool to enhance my experience and honor my body, mind, and spirit. I will be using essentials oils to snap me back to the path I want to walk.
What area in your life will you be focusing on during 2019?
Yay! It is finally Friday. It was a short work week, but there was quite a bit of work we had to do. I guess you can say that is the life of a teacher.
So how did I manifest my 2019 word of the year (RADICAL) today?
I focused on helping my students decide how they want to make a difference in their community and/or world. I asked them to think about their strengths and weaknesses. I then had them think on choosing a word of the year which takes them out of their comfort zone. They had to find ways to apply that word to their life (their learning, friendships, home, and health). I had the students research different words online and once they chose the word, find a powerful quote with the word.
My goal is for next week to help each student create their own blog and start by explaining their word of the year as their first blog post. This school year my students will learn about creating a business and selling physical products.
Tomorrow and Sunday, I will try to focus on radical self-care. Make sure to come back to read about ways to focus on taking care of yourself.
How do you take care of yourself?
Today I helped my 4th and 5th grade students come up with their One Little Word for 2019. I love activities which involve them deeply reflecting on how they can become better people and even help out others such as people in their community.
I did my best to explain why I chose my word, Radical. I told them about some of my strong beliefs about education and how I am blogging daily about my One Little Word for 2019. I also told them I will help each of them create their own blog. It is so very important to let children know that they have a voice. They can do powerful things at such a young age that can have a positive influence in their lives.
A few staff members told me they enjoyed the podcast episodes I mentioned yesterday (check out my blog post from yesterday). Hopefully listening to the episodes can help them create change in their classrooms. Unfortunately I think some are quite busy with work that they will not be able to listen to the episodes.
If you chose a word or goals for 2019, how is everything going? Let me know below.
Today I went back to work! Man, was I exhausted. I need to get back into my routine of waking up at 5am!
On my 45 minute drive to work I listened to a few great podcast episodes. Actually, I wanted to listen to the episodes a second time. I highly recommend that every educator, parent, and anyone interested on the topic of public education listen to the 3 episodes. I will provide the links below.
So how did I manifest my 2019 word of the year (RADICAL) today?
I strongly feel that we need radical changes in our educational system. Of course, with time it is slowly getting better, but I would like to see the change happening a bit more rapidly. I agree with Uriah Young, a 6th grade language arts teacher, when she stated "complacency is a teacher’s worst enemy; it is a silent, gradual infection causing careers and students to suffer." I would love to see more teachers speak up about what is wrong in education today. I suppose many teachers feel they need to keep hush-hush because they do not want to get in trouble.
We need to stop mainly "collecting dots" as stated by Seth Godin. "More facts, more tests, more need for data, even when we have no clue (and no practice) in doing anything with it." What we need to focus on as parents and educators is on the ability to "connect the dots...solving the problem that hasn't been solved before, seeing the pattern before it is made obvious." If you would like more information about collecting the dots vs. connecting the dots, make sure to listen to the first 2 podcast episodes I mentioned above.
So to help make other people aware of the serious problem, I decided to send individual text message to 30 educators in my school district. I sent them the link to hear the episode "Stop Stealing Dreams." I want to begin a conversation by answering this essential question: What is school for? I agree with Seth that we can only begin to address the problems in education after we answer this question. Hopefully many of my teacher friends will listen to the podcast episode and begin this important discussion. I will definitely keep you updated on our conversations.
In the meantime, what do you think is the purpose of school? Let me know in the comments section below.
Hi there! My name is Alicia Vilas, and I’m the NJ Hudson County Teacher of the Year 2020-21. My mission is to cultivate young changemakers and innovators. I love to connect on Instagram (@alicia.vilas) and twitter (@alicia_vilas).