Secondary Coaching Connection

February 2019!

LOVE Is In the Air - Are You Taking Time to Love Yourself??

The cold and long stretch without a break can have us feeling down about our work and day-to-day, and remaining positive can be challenging at times. Below are some ideas from a recent article that are wonderful reminders to help us care for ourselves.

How to Handle the Parts of Your Job You Don’t Enjoy

In this Harvard Business Review article, Ayelet Fishbach (University of Chicago) says that effective self-motivation “is one of the main things that distinguishes high-achieving professionals from everyone else.” But sometimes, in the words of Baron Munchausen, motivating yourself can feel like pulling yourself out of a swamp by your own hair. Individuals differ on what works for them, but after twenty years of research on motivation, Fishbach and her colleagues suggest four strategies that are effective for almost everyone:

Focus on details. General goals – “doing my best” – or goals with extrinsic rewards or consequences, are much less effective than a goal that is measurable and contains its own reward – attending a yoga class or a phone-free Saturday. When immersed in a challenging activity, think about elements that you do find enjoyable, or think expansively about how finishing it will show colleagues your skills and grit. Finally, advises Fishbach, “offset drudgery with activities that you find rewarding – for instance, listen to music while tackling that big backlog of e-mail in your in-box, or do boring chores with friends, family, or your favorite colleague.”

Identify effective rewards. It’s nice to treat yourself to something after completing a difficult task, but this can undermine performance if the treat is poorly chosen – for example, indulging in pizza after losing weight. Negative “rewards” can work: studies have found that a consequence for not accomplishing a goal – for example, having to pay $1.40 for each day you don’t walk 10,000 steps – is more effective than receiving $1.40 a day for doing it.

Deal with the pesky slump. There’s a tendency to slack off or cut corners in the middle of an extended task. To counteract this, Fishbach suggests creating “short middles” – breaking the goal into smaller subgoals so there’s less chance of losing energy and momentum. Another idea is taking stock of what’s been accomplished up to the midpoint of the project and then focusing on what remains to be done.

Harness the influence of others. It’s helpful to talk with high-performing colleagues about their specific strategies (versus passively observing them, which can be demotivating). “Interestingly,” adds Fishbach, “giving advice rather than asking for it may be an even more effective way to overcome motivational deficits, because it boosts confidence and thereby spurs action.” A final strategy when slogging through a challenging period is thinking about those whose approval you most cherish: close friends, family, mentors. “Thinking of those people and our desire to succeed on their behalf,” says Fishbach, “can help provide the powerful intrinsic incentives we need to reach our goals.”

“How to Keep Working When You’re Just Not Feeling It” by Ayelet Fishbach in Harvard Business Review, November-December 2018 (Vol. 96, #6, p. 138-141),; Fishbach can be reached at

TDE and EFolio

It's February This means that you should.....

  • Be on the look out for second observation sign-ups
  • Take a moment to review your past observations and walk-through feedback to complete your Peer Feedback section of your TDE EFolio
  • Ensure that you have made plans with colleagues for two peer observations
  • Please reference the TDE/QComp checklist
  • Continue using data from your CFAs to plan for students' intervention or enrichment within your PLCs

We are here to support you!

Elida Kane - Director of Secondary Teaching & Learning

Lana Rains - Secondary Math and Literacy Specialist

Alesia Arlandson - ELA & Electives

Jennifer Burke - World Languages, Soc. Studies, PE & Health

Dan Kulseth - Math, Science & STEM

Carrie Popp - SpEd, Speech, Psychs, ELL, ECFE & Early Childhoot

Doug Stanton - Nurses, SOS & SpEd Leads, TOSAs and TDE/QComp Coordinator

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