TEI Newsletter

February 12, 2016

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  • 60% complete with DTR observations
  • Communication to ensure 100% of TEI eligible teachers evaluated with TEI

Training & Calibration

  • Domain teams continue to review Wave 2 applications. Domain leads are consistently sticking to their application review schedules
  • Implemented the 2X2 reflection process with team

Distinguished Teacher Review

  • Video proposal plan draft in final draft review meeting scheduled 2/17 with BC & AL
  • Drafted high-level plan to seek feedback from School leadership on the 2016-17 DTR rubric


Click here to share resources or feedback on the Core Values

Each week, we will highlight a new core value or norm and list resources in hopes of fostering reflection and discussion. Below are some links to articles or videos suggested by team members that support our team values and norms.

Norm #3.2:

We are receptive to diverse perspectives.

Ariticles on Being Receptive to Diverse Perspectives:


February 14th: Valentine's Day

February 15th: President's Day

February 17th-19th: TEI Certification Training

February 22nd: TEI Recertification Training


  1. Milana - Leading Lifelong Learning with such a gentle focus.
  2. Dawn and Annie - Being able to provide professional commentary with a hint of humor. Great quality.
  3. Ashleigh - I LOVE the Dashboard! :-)
  4. TEI Team - I firmly believe that this might be the hardest working team in the state of Texas. Keep up the dedication team!


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The Health Beat

Are You Stressed Out?
Everyone talks about eliminating stress, and with good reason. How we react physically and emotionally to the events that place demands on us to adapt—whether it’s a broken washing machine or a pending work deadline—may pose certain health risks. One of the strongest links between stress and illness is heart disease.

"All of us are living with stress all of the time," says Lorne Zon, CEO of the Toronto-based Canadian Mental Health Association. That’s why the best way to manage stress is to be aware of the symptoms, and make sure we apply coping techniques (e.g., exercise, relaxation, fun) to manage the first signs. "If we aren’t aware of building stress, and many of us are not, a trigger may take us out of our comfort zone. Often, it’s the straw that broke the camel’s back," adds Zon. Take our quick quiz (frequently) to find out when you’re harboring hidden stress*, and apply our tips for keeping it in check.

Take the stress test and read more

How to Boost Your 'Happy Hormones'

Hormones and neurotransmitters moderate our feelings of well-being, and lifestyle factors affect them. Here are five of the main hormones and neurotransmitters, plus ways to boost them. However, if you feel consistently unhappy, see your doctor.

1. Dopamine

This neurotransmitter drives your brain’s reward system. If you are praised at work for doing a good job, you’ll get a delicious dopamine hit–resulting in feelings of well-being. It also drives pleasure-seeking behaviour. Boost it by setting realistic goals (e.g., tidying your desk or sticking to your workout schedule) and achieving them. And seek out pleasurable healthy activities that have a positive impact on your life.

2. Serotonin

This mood-boosting neurotransmitter was made famous by SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) antidepressants, which increase the brain’s serotonin levels. The most effective and natural way to boost serotonin is by exercising daily; that’s one reason a brisk walk does wonders for your mood.

3. Oxytocin

Both a neurotransmitter and a hormone, oxytocin is often called “the love hormone.” Researchers from Claremont University in California have done extensive research on its impact on women, linking oxytocin release to life satisfaction levels. It may play a greater role in women’s physiology and happiness compared to men’s. Spending time with loved ones and being kind to others stimulates oxytocin. Don’t you feel good just reading that? Stress blocks the release of oxy­tocin, so manage your stress, too.

4. Estrogen

It helps form serotonin and protects you from irrita­bility and anxiety, keeping your mood steady. Estrogen decreases with menopause, and lifestyle factors such as smoking and extreme exercise can also lower it. The estrogen/progesterone imbalance in perimenopause can also negatively affect mood. Stress management can balance them, since stress hormones, such as cortisol, interfere with the secretion, action and function of the two hormones.

5. Progesterone

This helps you to sleep well and prevents anxiety, irritability and mood swings. Levels drop as women enter perimenopause after age 35 or 40, and this can be accelerated by excess stress and unhealthy foods. Experts such as Dr. Sara Gottfried, author of The Hormone Cure, say taking care of yourself and eating right is your first defence for balancing hormones before trying hormone replacement therapy, including bioidentical progesterone and estrogen. Talk to your doctor to learn more.

DTR Observation Links:

Teacher Excellence Initiative

  • Defining Excellence: The vision for effective teaching and how it is evaluated
  • Supporting Excellence: Differentiate professional learning for teachers
  • Rewarding Excellence: Teachers are compensated based on their professional growth and impact on student learning