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Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers

The podcast designed to speak encouragement and truth into the minds and hearts of educators, and get you informed and energized for the week ahead.
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Angela Watson's Truth for Teachers
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Now displaying: October, 2023
Oct 29, 2023

How long can you read a book without getting distracted? Do you swipe through TikToks or reels before they’re over because you’ve gotten impatient? Do you find it hard to just stream a TV show or movie without also looking at your phone or doing another activity at the same time?

Yep — the shortened attention span issue isn’t something unique to Gen Z.

It’s something that I think almost all of us in modern western culture have been impacted by…and there’s good reasons for that. In this episode, I’ll share:

  • Some of the reasons why it’s difficult for us to concentrate and think deeply
  • Why the ability to focus for extended periods will be like a superpower in the coming years
  • A 3 step process you can teach students for redirecting their attention when they notice their minds wandering
  • How to make intangible terms like “stay focused” easy for students to understand
  • The 5 step classroom practice you can use regularly to help students build capacity for concentration over time
  • The limits of the human ability to do focused work, and what valuable tasks students can do once they’ve maxed out concentration for the class period
  • Cal Newport’s research on how to alternate periods of deep work and shallow work
  • How–and why–to break the addiction to staying busy with low-level tasks and spend more time (on our own and with students) in deep work, focus, and concentration

Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.

Oct 15, 2023

Let’s try something new together! I started offering guided “mindful moments” on my new Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement podcast about once per week, interspersing them with the main content of uplifting and motivational messages.

I don’t plan on incorporating mindful moments here on the regular podcast, but I did want to introduce you to the concept so if you like this format, you know you can get more on the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast.

New & exclusive ad-free episodes drop daily from Mon-Fri (approx. 20 eps each month)! Each one is a 3-5 minute uplifting message and is ad-free. You subscribe through Spotify for $3.99/month, and can then listen wherever you get your podcasts, and cancel anytime.

If you’re already a subscriber of the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast and you enjoy the mindful moments, I thought it might be fun to do a longer one here to allow you to take the practice deeper.

So what exactly do I mean by “mindful moment”?

It’s simply an invitation to slow down and be fully present in the moment and in your body. You don’t have to close your eyes and you’re not expected to enter a meditative state. That’s especially true for the Daily Encouragement mindful moments since they’re so short. Some folks do them while sitting at their desks during a break, or while gazing out the window before or after school, or even in the car to help calm them while driving it.

It’s just a quick moment to get out of your own head and back into your body. It’s a chance to be fully present in the moment without our minds racing ahead to what we need to do next. The mindful moments are a break in which I guide you to reflect on gratitude, non-attachment, joy, or another concept that helps you return to a state of ease and flow. 

The mindful moments that I’m offering have their roots in secular Buddhism, which is a philosophy of life and not a religion or belief system. The mindful moments that I’m offering are not a religious practice, or even necessarily a spiritual practice. Certainly you could incorporate them into your understanding of those things, but this is really about practicing presence and being intentional about what you are focusing on. The mind is extremely powerful, and visualization is a really impactful way to help you feel more grounded, centered, and balanced.

If you’ve never done this before, thank you for being open and trying this out. See how you feel afterward — does your mind feel clearer? Has your heart rate slowed and nervous system downregulated? Is it easier to concentrate or get things done afterward? Just notice what — if any — impact you feel this first time. 

If you have a meditation or mindfulness practice already, welcome! I would love for this to be something we can do together. I hope you enjoy having a familiar and hopefully calming voice to guide you through something that’s maybe a little different than what you normally do in your practice.

For today’s episode, I thought I would focus on finding the calm amongst chaos, since this is a practice all of us need. I’ll be introducing music and nature sounds periodically throughout this time together to help create a sense of calm and relaxation.

Find a comfortable, quiet place, and listen in to join us! Subscribe to the Truth for Teachers Daily Encouragement Podcast to get new mindful moment episodes on a regular basis.

Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.

Oct 1, 2023

The expectation that students be fully engaged in learning tasks from the first minute of the class period until the last is known as “bell-to-bell instruction.”

It’s a widely-accepted practice in education, but does neuroscience actually support it?

Bell-to-bell instruction works from the premise that our class time with students is precious and limited, and therefore needs to be maximized. I think we can all agree on that: wasting students’ time and dragging out transitions isn’t beneficial.

But let’s dig deeper into what it means to “make the most of every moment” with students. What if the best way to maximize our instructional time is by NOT attempting to pack every single moment with more work?

The value of offering breaks and downtime to students is self-evident to most educators, and yet many schools and districts don’t permit it.

So, I’ve curated the brain research showing that breaks are absolutely essential for maximal learning and productivity.

I’ll share 6 big takeaways from the research around how the brain learns, and 6 practical ways to incorporate that research into your classroom. My hope is that this podcast/article can be shared to open up conversations about how our schools can better meet the needs of students.

Click here to read the transcript and participate in the discussion or, join our podcast Facebook group here to connect with other teachers and discuss the Truth for Teachers' podcast episodes.

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