Equity & Access Newsletter

Secondary Edition

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MLK Day: Not Just a Day off

Lots of people look forward to having a three day weekend third Monday of January. You can take an extended trip to get out of town for a few days or stay home and relax. Kids are usually very excited because they get an extra day to sleep in and only a four day school week ahead.

One of the unfortunate things that has happened over time regarding MLK Day is that people don't understand why or reflect on why they are off that day...Just enjoy the day off! MLK spoke of the importance of service.

"Everybody can be great. Because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to

serve. You don’t have to make your subject and your verb agree to serve…. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul

generated by love."

Regardless of who you are or where you come from; we can all serve. When we choose to serve each other, we have a greater connection with each other.

I'm not saying that you can't sleep in or have an extended weekend getaway. How can we find ways to serve our community a little better than we already do or give to something greater than ourselves? The incredible thing about service is that you can do it whenever you like. In the video below MLK speaks about greatness and service. Ruby Bridges and Bernice King (Dr. King's daughter) share their perspectives of Dr. King's dream and how we can move it forward.

MLK Day of Service

  • Below check "Upcoming Events" about MLK Day activities.

What's In Your Toolbox?

Teacher Resilience and Self -Care

As the new year and semester begins, it's important to take care of yourself and to perform at your optimal level. You need to make sure you have the tools necessary to help you get through healthily and resiliently. Below are several simple tips to help you manage the daily stressors as an educator.

  • Ten deep slow breaths. Take one minute during lunch or a break to close your eyes and take ten deep breaths. Just one minute of mindful breathing can help ground you for the day.
  • Eat almonds or protein bar. Eat a handful of almonds or a protein bar mid-morning to help level your blood sugar.
  • Make yourself smile. Taking the time to smile releases endorphins. It's important to feel good about your day, and making yourself smile may also change your mood for the day. You may smile at others during your day which can make a difference to other staff, students, and parents.
  • Have a short interaction with someone you normally would not talk with. Find the time to increase your social circle by getting to know someone you typically would not be drawn to. Take five minutes everyday and get to know a fellow teacher, custodian, student, or secretary. This also helps to build community.
  • Take the time to notice and name three emotions each day. Below is a list of various emotions. Spend the time to increase your level of self - awareness. Then record the date and circle those three emotions. Don't spend time trying to analyze each emotion.
  • Name one thing you're grateful or thankful for. Take five minutes to reflect on one or several things you are grateful for. The act of writing down what you're thankful for can give you purpose and satisfaction about your work and personal well being.

These tips can become habit and can help with your level of stress and resilience. Find the time to take care of yourself so you can do a better job of helping others.

List of Core Emotions

Aguilar, Elena. “Simple Tips for Boosting Teacher Resilience.” Edutopia, George Lucas Educational Foundation, www.edutopia.org/article/simple-tips-boosting-teacher-resilience.

GLSEN Springfield Chapter: What's Coming Up

Most of you have heard me discuss the national GLSEN (gay, lesbian, straight, educational network) which has been providing educational resources and professional development to educators since 1990. Springfield, Missouri was approved to have a local chapter just this past summer. I am a member of this board and appreciate the opportunity to serve and to offer resources to educators, families and students to promote inclusive educational environments for all students.

Below is additional information if you want to learn more about GSLEN Springfield chapter and events.

GLSEN Springfield

PO Box 6004

Springfield, MO 65801

Phone: (417) 986-4368

Email: springfield@chapters.glsen.org

Facebook: www.facebook.com/GLSENspringfield

Twitter: @GLSENsgf


Upcoming Events

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If you've attended this event in the past, it's been free to all participants. This year in 2019 there is a $5 admission fee for adults and it's free entry for everyone 17 years of age or younger.

  • SPS Equity & Access will have a booth onsite - come say hello.
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MLK Day Events by the NAACP Springfield Chapter: Monday, January 21, 2019

· MLK March: 9:00 am, Mediacom Ice Park, 635 E. Trafficway

· Program Celebration: (immediately following the March). The Gillioz Theatre, 325 Park Central E.

NAACP Springfield Chapter website