For some odd reason, I feel the need to provide all you with a glimpse into my thought process for a moment. Warning, my mind is a scary place. Feel free to leave this entry and move onto something a little less bizarre and crazy. If you’re still reading this, you are a brave soul, and for that, I thank you.
What to name today’s entry? Hmmmmmm… I could continue with the title sequence that I began using two entries ago, but that feels stale and boring to me. Who really wants to read yet another article in a series of articles? Won’t that title turn away readers? Plus, how will my readers have any idea of what I am writing about it if I title the entry in such a banal manner? Won’t blog viewers simply skip right over my post because it sounds like a bad sequel? Then I got thinking about movie sequels. Most movie sequels are horrible. Case and point, Speed 2. We’re supposed to believe that Sandra Bullock is Keanu Reeves? Really? She looks nothing like him. You can’t switch actors in a movie series. That is a big no-no. Then there was Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd. Again with the new actors. Will Hollywood ever learn? I doubt it, as they keep making awful movies like Armageddon and Gods of Egypt. So, anyway, back to today’s title. If most movie sequels blow chunks, then why would I want to continue with that tradition in naming today’s entry? Well, hold on for a second. Let’s “stop, collaborate and listen, ice is back with my brand new invention.” I miss Robert Van Winkle. Remember when he tried to do that rock/rap crossover album? OMG, that was atrocious. What I am trying to say is, maybe I’m forgetting something. Perhaps there are great movie sequels or part threes that totally rock. Oh yes, indeed there are. Back to the Future III was by far the best movie in the entire series. It doesn’t get much better than the wild west, c’mon. Then there’s the Nightmare on Elm Street series. Several of the films in that series totally kicked the original’s butt. So, maybe this entry could totally rise to the occasion and lift my prior two entries up a bit. Yes, perhaps. But, what if today’s entry is a complete flop like Batman and Robin? I can’t afford to let a bad entry ruin sequels for me and blog readers everywhere. It’s just not fair. Oh this a real conundrum. What shall I do? Well, as I am a creature of routine, I feel obligated to continue my summer learning sequence. So that is what I will do. I don’t love the idea, but I’m also getting really hungry and I made a deal with myself that I won’t prepare dinner until after I finish writing today’s entry. So, part III it is.
While I’m sure you didn’t really need to know the thinking that I put into titling my blog entries, but perhaps it will help you better appreciate the finer things in life, like a beautiful sunrise or a tasty milkshake. Now, onto the real meat of today’s entry. Wow, I am getting really hungry. Some raw meat would be good right about now.
This past week, I began digging into my final professional development summer reading text, and I think I’m liking it. I mean, yeah, it’s super dense, as it is written by a science reporter; he really gets down to the nitty gritty of things, but there are a lot of great takeaways for me so far. The book is Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. The first few chapters read more like a neurology textbook, as he explains the inner workings of the brain and the value of being able to effectively harness the power of our emotions. There’s a lot there. I do like how he uses stories to begin new chapters or sections. He clearly knows how the brain works and remembers things. While I’m only on chapter five, I’m enjoying the way my brain is interpreting everything it’s reading. As I read, I’m always thinking, How can I use this in the classroom? So far, I’ve gotten two cool ideas.
- As I teach the students about the power of mindfulness and how it can help them gain control over their emotions and thinking, I want to share data on how IQ isn’t the sole predictor of success in life. I want my students to understand that “being smart” is really about knowing one’s self and understanding how to own and regulate your emotions, rather than how well you did on a recent math assessment. I’m hopeful that this information will empower my students to want to fully practice and apply the various mindfulness techniques they will learn throughout the school year.
- I also want my students to understand what happens in the body when you are experiencing particular emotions. I loved how the author detailed exactly what is going on physiologically when we become angry. I think that this information may help my students be more self-aware as they start to learn how to appropriately express their emotions.
Although I feel as though I am quite knowledgeable on the subject of Emotional Intelligence and place much emphasis on the importance of Social and Emotional Learning in the classroom as an educator, I am loving that there is still much I don’t know about the ins and outs behind this big topic of Emotional Intelligence. I am very much a student when it comes to fully understanding the power of our emotions, and it’s quite humbling. I do wish that the author didn’t go about writing this book in such an academic manner, as the writing style is somewhat dry and verbose. Perhaps he could create an edition for teachers that is written in a more fun-to-read manner. I don’t need a graphic novel, but maybe not harping on the same thing over and over again for pages, could make it a little easier to digest. At times I feel as though I’m reading a Stephen King novel. Despite the stuffy nature of the text, I’m still extracting much useful information from this fine novel written before many people were really talking about SEL or tweeting about mindfulness.
As I prepare my evening meal in a few brief moments, I will be sure to think about how my reptilian brain really just wants to eat, while my prefrontal cortex wants to analyze every move I make to be sure that it puts me in front of food sooner rather than later. Until part IV, over and out my amazing readers, if you’re still reading this that is.