Workout to Get Paid More

If you think I’m pulling your leg, you’re mistaken. The evidence has stacked up over the past five years and I’m officially pulling it all together for readers so that they can see, very clearly, how exercise impacts earnings. So go on, read some, sweat some, make more money…and consider thanking me with a pair of Jimmy Choos. ;)

Be it formal exercise or mere play – movement matters!

Evidence that Exercise Impacts the Brain

We all know that exercise impacts the body, but we typically think of the benefits in terms of muscular strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and/or weight loss. But, exercise has major implications for the organ that makes us human: the brain. Just 30 minutes of exercise can pump a lot of extra blood to your brain, impacting your ability to problem solve and make decisions. In fact, exercise can even increase the size of your hippocampus, i.e. the memory center of the brain! Incredible, right?

According to Active, the extra oxygen, glucose and hormonal changes which accompany bouts of regular exercise may even lead to permanent structural changes in the brain. Here is more compelling evidence that Active has collected: Read more on Maggie Winzeler’s blog, Wellnesswinz

Guest Author

Maggie Winzeler

Maggie Winzeler

B.S.Ed. '08 Kines

Finding Ourselves in the Story of Race

An update on the Curry Common Read, “Waking Up White”

Late last summer we shared information about our Curry Common Read for 2015-16, Waking Up White (and finding myself in the story of race), by Debby Irving (2014). We hoped the book would help open a dialog throughout the Curry School of Education about racism, equity, whiteness, and privilege.

So far, it’s fair to say the results have exceeded our expectations! We have had seven book discussion sessions attended by students, faculty, staff, and alumni. These discussions have included honest conversations about race, inclusion, and exclusion; participants have shared how the book opened their eyes to issues they hadn’t ever thought about.

As an extension of the book discussions, borrowing from something we saw on Debby Irving’s website, a few members of the Curry Diversity Action Team created a “Curry Diversity Challenge.” The challenge required Curry community members to complete three activities in each of four categories: Read, Watch/Listen, Do/Act, and Communicate.

What we particularly liked, but what made this challenge significant, was the requirement to take action rather than simply read or watch.  We’re so pleased to report that 25 people completed the challenge, and we plan on providing a second opportunity this spring. Here are a few comments shared by participants:

  • “This challenge has been very enlightening and I found myself ‘waking up’ through the many examples and stories, becoming more and more aware of this issue of diversity. This was a very rewarding challenge and I have recommended it to many of my fellow students.”
  • “It helped to connect the dots from me to society and its oppression of many classes of people. I have read other books on black identity formation and attended numerous diversity workshops but my perspective had always been on the challenges of ‘others.’”
  • “Having the entire Curry community come together to work on this issue makes teaching concepts such as diversity, equity, bias and privilege easier, because the topic becomes ‘normalized’’; e.g., it is expected that we as a community discuss these issues openly and provide safety and support.”

We couldn’t be more pleased with the reception the challenge received, and we’re excited to continue forward with this important work.

Next up is a visit from the author, Debby Irving on January 27

In the morning Debby will facilitate a workshop for Curry faculty and doctoral students focusing on teaching and diversity.

From 1:30 – 2:30pm, there is an opportunity to meet Debby and have your book signed (Bavaro Hall Atrium).

At 4:30pm Debby will speak to the larger community as part of the MLK Celebration. The title of her talk is, “I’m a Good Person – Isn’t that Enough?” This talk will take place in Bavaro Hall Room 106 (Holloway), and is open to the public.

We hope you can join us!

Guest Author

Diane Whaley and Antoinette Thomas

Diane Whaley and Antoinette Thomas

Chair-elect and Chair of the Curry Diversity Action Team

How to Get Your Child to Listen

effective-commands-1080x675Young children need opportunities to be autonomous and to be in control of their own thoughts and bodies. However, there are times when we need our little ones to do what we say​. Have you repeated yourself over and over to a toddler and wondered how to get your child to listen?

Most of us have repeated ourselves trying to get a toddler to do what we want, and those repeated requests and​ ​the​ ​non-compliance cause frustration that can quickly turn​ ​into raised voices and negative emotions…no fun for parents or toddlers.

Here are a few simple techniques that will increase the likelihood your child will comply ​​when you need them to:

First, give your child many opportunities for choice throughout the day.​ ​[You can refer to the previous article on Choice for ideas]. If they have opportunities for choice, they are more likely to listen when choice is not an option.

​Try to limit the number of requests your child must comply with.

When choice is not an option, your child will be more likely to comply when your instructions are simple, clear and provide positive directions. ​These are effective commands.​

Read the rest of this post over at the Please and Carrots blog.

Guest Author

Amanda Williford

Amanda Williford

Research Assistant Professor, Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning

Teaching English Together

I couldn’t help myself. When I found out I had lost the position at Trinity Episcopal School in Richmond to a Hanover teacher named Rebekah O’Dell, I googled her. I learned that she had won an R.E.B. for Teaching Excellence and Beginner Teacher of the Year award in Hanover. I was jealous, but I understood why she had been hired.

Then in a series of serendipitous events, I was hired to fill another position that had just opened at Trinity. Two open English teacher positions at an independent school where teacher turnover was typically low – surely this was fate.

Fast forward a few summer months, and Rebekah and I were in contact. We agreed to meet at Starbucks on a blazing August morning to plan for the year ahead. We would both be teaching ninth-grade English.

At Starbucks  with Rebekah, her one-year-old daughter and a cup of Cheerios in tow,  we discovered that we had both attended the Curry School of Education. Two years apart, we had never crossed paths. But talking to her felt comfortable, felt Curry, and reminded me of my beloved methods classes with Professor Margo Figgins. Read more…

Guest Author

Allison Marchetti2

Allison Marchetti

M.T. ’08 English Ed

A Hands-On Learning Experience in Brazil

This past summer, newly armed with my Social Foundations M.Ed., I arrived in Porto Velho, Brazil, with 12 Brazilian high schoolers waiting to greet me. We had been video chatting and Facebooking for eight weeks with plenty of awkward moments of miscommunication. I knew their favorite foods, and they had seen my home on a video tour. But we didn’t really know each other yet, and as I stood at the baggage claim searching for my oversized luggage, I realized I was nervous.

I was in Brazil thanks to the Conexão Mundo program, run by Denver-based nonprofit U.S.-Brazil Connect, The organization aims to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Brazil through a variety of education programs. In Conexão Mundo, U.S. “coaches” work with Brazilian teenagers to develop their leadership, English language, and cross-cultural skills. This happens through a mix of online distance learning and an intensive four-week program in Brazil. At the end of the program, five percent of the Brazilian students embark on a two-week cultural immersion trip to the United States.

This program was an exciting chance for me to return to a place I loved and gain experience in youth development. At my regular day job, I teach English to adults. As I went through the training for coaches, I realized just how little I knew about working with 14 to 18-year-olds, especially in an unfamiliar cultural context! All of my anxieties hit simultaneously in that humid airport. Outside the doors, I saw the students holding handmade welcome signs and chanting my name. I knew they had high expectations of me – but was I up to the task? Read more…

Guest Author

Kirsten Wittkowski

Kirsten Wittkowski

M.Ed. '15 Soc Fdns