Catholic School Matters

April 9, 2017

The Impact of Stress & Anxiety

As the school year races to a conclusion, it seems our work crescendos. Often, it seems the attitude is to “hang on till June.” The challenge for school leaders is to manage the stress so that we have the ability to make sound decisions. So let’s try to carve out some time to examine stress and its impact on our professional practice.

· This blog was inspired by Harvard Business Review’s Pressure Doesn’t Have to Turn into Stress. Another HBR offering is Stress Isn't a Threat, It's a Signal to Change

· Joe Baker offers great advice to leaders on How Good Leaders Mange Anxiety

· Justin Baeder of the Principal Center writes The Price of Leadership: Managing the Stress of Leadership

· Entrepreneur offers advice on Your Anxiety Contributes to Your Bad Decisions

· Edutopia offers a great article on Positive Strategies to Avoid Stress, Burnout, and Anxiety

· Edutopia also offers 4 Powerful Mindsets for Turning Stress into a Powerful Force

· Vox offers advice on time management in How to be Less Busy

· Jennifer Gonzalez (“Cult of Pedagogy” blog) offers 5 Things to Do When Feeling Overwhelmed

· INC offers 14 Ways to Become Stress-free in 5 minutes

· Boys Town Training offers 7 Stress Prevention Tips for Teachers

· Great video from TED-ed on How Stress Affects Your Brain

· Kelly McGonigal’s TED talk How to Make Stress Your Friend

I know it seems ironical to ask busy, stressed people to take time out of their busy lives to read about stress and anxiety. But if you don’t try to shape your reality, your reality will shape you. Take care of yourself during these stressful times.

Dr. Tim Uhl, Superintendent

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"Catholic School Matters" Podcast

This week, I have two great Chicago podcasts for your listening pleasure! Tomorrow, Episode #41 is an interview with Superintendent Dr. Jim Rigg of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Rigg is focused on school vitality and has a unique perspective on using data to understanding school trends such as school strength and market potential.

On Thursday, Episode #42 is an interview with Fr. Steve Katsouros, SJ, the first president of Arrupe College, an innovative junior college model designed to serve an underserved population. A Catholic junior college? Listen to find out.

Last week, there were two great episodes. Episode #39 is an interview with Superintendent Kathy Mears of the Archdiocese of Boston. Mears is a dynamic leader who shares the bright spots in her schools, demonstrating leadership and vision.

On Thursday, Episode #40 aired. It is a special episode on inclusion in Catholic schools. Three guests shared their unique perspective. This hourlong episode features the president of a Catholic school designed for special needs students, the principal of an elementary school which has embraced an inclusion model, and a parent/advocate for inclusion in all Catholic schools

Here is the link to the podcast on iTunes. Please subscribe to the podcast so new episodes will automatically download. The show is also available on Stitcher and Google Play. If you don't have accounts with any of those content providers, here is the link to my basic page with the podcasts.

Last week, Dr. Uhl blogged about:

  • TUESDAY: Kathy Mears podcast
  • WEDNESDAY: Book Blog: Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
  • FRIDAY: Inclusion in Catholic Schools

This week, Dr. Uhl will blog about:

  • TUESDAY: Dr. Jim Rigg's podcast
  • WEDNESDAY: Book Blog: Weathering the Storm: Moving Catholic Schools Forward by DeFiore, Convey, & Schuttloffel
  • FRIDAY: Fr. Katsouros's podcast

You can find and subscribe to the blog at

The Week Ahead

Monday: Great Falls regional administrator meetings

Tuesday: Missoula regional administrator meetings

Wed: Billings regional administrator meetings

Thurs: office (Helena)

Fri: office (Helena)

Next week: 865 driving miles

Last week: 175 driving miles; 5,944 air miles

2016-17: 28,145 driving miles; 29,340 air miles

What I'm Reading 2016-17

  1. Traction by Gino Wickman (underway)
  2. How Google Works by Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg
  3. How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking by Jordan Ellenberg
  4. No One Way to School: Pluralism and American Public Education by Ashley Rogers Berner
  5. Back Blast by Mark Greaney
  6. Architects of Catholic Culture by Timothy Cook
  7. Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of an American Town by Brian Alexander
  8. Beyond Reform: Systemic Shifts Toward Personalized Learning by Lindsay Unified School District
  9. Spillover by David Quammen
  10. Thank You For Being Late: An Optimist's Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations by Thomas L. Friedman
  11. The Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
  12. Weathering the Storm: Moving Catholic Schools Forward by DeFiore, Convey, & Schuttloffel
  13. Missoula by Jon Krakauer
  14. Redeeming Administration by Ann Garrido
  15. Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be by Frank Bruni
  16. Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
  17. Stall Points by Matthew S. Olson & Derek van Bever
  18. Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
  19. Why Don't Kids Like School? by Daniel Willingham
  20. Tom Clancy: Commander in Chief by Mark Greaney
  21. Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis by Robert Putnam
  22. The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu
  23. Reading with the daughter: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (7 books)
  24. The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni
  25. The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey
  26. Born to Run by Bruce Springsteen
  27. The Purple Goldfish by Stan Phelps
  28. The Song of the Dodo by David Quammen
  29. Learned Optimism by Martin Seligman
  30. Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption Cragun & Sweetman
  31. Cultures Built to Last: Systemic PLCs at Work by Fullan and DuFour
  32. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown
  33. Finding Our Way: Leadership for an Uncertain Time by Margaret J. Wheatley
  34. The Orange Frog by Shawn Achor

For Principals & Teachers

  1. We know how three principal openings: St. Joseph's (Missoula), Great Falls Central Catholic HS, and St. Paul Mission Grade School (Hays).
  2. NCEA has a great list of upcoming webinars. It also has compiled a list of great summer 2017 professional development opportunities.
  3. The Archdiocese of Seattle has a great MAP testing resource for planning how to interpret scores, which reports to look at, etc.
  4. The Justice for Immigration project of the USCCB offers resources for undocumented immigrants.
  5. Montana's DEQ has provided a great resource on lead in drinking water in schools.
  6. Are you ready for ESSA? Here is a link to a massive amount of new documents. ESSA has not been repealed and it's time to get ready! Here's more guidance from the USCCB.
  7. We have secured funding for all of our teachers to spend the night in Butte so that we can hold the Fall Professional Conference in one place! The Sophia Institute will be offering catechetical professional development on Thursday, Oct 19th and then we'll kick off the conference that night with Jonathan Doyle. We'll have Mass together on Friday morning and then will hear from Jonathan again and then we'll have breakout sessions.
  8. On the Horizon:
  • Regional administrator meetings: April 10 (GFCCHS), 11 (Missoula Loyola Sacred Heart), 12 (Billings Central Admin offices). All meetings 10-2. Please RSVP for hospitality purposes to the host principal. Here is the slide show that I will build
  • June 14: administrator meeting (Helena) 10-3


How stress affects your brain - Madhumita Murgia