What's a good habit that you're proud of? What's a bad one that you want to change?
thought it would be interesting to hear some of your guys' habits in day to day life.
feel free to answer only one of the questions if you feel uncomfortable or anything :)
these are mine:
the good habit is definitely walking for 20 minutes every day.
and the bad one is not sleeping enough.
Good habit: nine months ago I made it a point to drastically change how and what I ate. This past week I hit 60 pounds lost! I've still got a ways to go until I'm where I want to be, but at this point I could never go back to how I was eating before. I feel so, SO much better than I have in a long time.
Bad habit: complaining, especially at work. I'm pretty disillusioned with my job at the moment, and I let that come through in my interactions with others sometimes, which isn't fair to them. I need to dial back the cynicism, especially because I don't think a career change is in the cards for me.
Congratulations on the weight loss!
You say a career change isn't a viable option - what's your job and any honor-stuff (don't know the term, like GCSEs, A-levels and stuff. I hope you understand.) you have?
Thanks! I'm not ready to celebrate yet, but I'm on track to meet my goal by the end of January. Even then, I'm probably going to give myself an extra month just because I know the holidays are going to be tough.
As for my career, I'm a public school teacher in the United States, and I've got all the necessary professional stuff that goes along with that (i.e. state credential, Master's degree). I don't think a career change is in the cards because I still genuinely like teaching and working with kids, I just hate the current climate of education. We all do. Seemingly every day we have conversations about how hopefully "the pendulum will swing back the other way" or "we'll get out of this phase we're in." I don't see it ending anytime soon, but something will have to give soon. It's an outright toxic field right now.
Best of luck!
I don't know much about the US, as I'm in the UK. Education here seems to be good (at least, where I've been. There are places that seem to go to extremes.) and I can't exactly call the environment toxic, or maybe it is and I don't notice it (being a student myself.) How is it toxic, and in which ways?
So, the United States has gone through a huge "accountability" phase in education. The national conversation about it for decades now has been that we are systematically failing to properly educate students and that we are falling behind on the global stage when it comes to student performance.
At large, the solution to this was to implement widespread standardized testing so that students can be evaluated on their performance. That alone tends to be bugbear that most people decry, but it's really only one part of a pretty substantial shift that has pushed more and more accountability tactics on teachers, which has, in my opinion, polluted the whole educational environment. Test scores, grades, evaluations, pedagogy, curriculum, even the way we use the (very little) independent time we have during the day is scrutinized and micromanaged. We are put under a very large, very immovable thumb, and told that the squeeze is only going to get worse unless our students simply learn everything. Which is, of course, an impossible task.
I actually wrote at length about a piece of it in one of my first posts on Tildes if you'd like a longer breakdown.
Now, a lot of this is my adult perspective, and we actually do a lot to hide these pressures from students. In fact, that's what I meant when I first posted that my complaining isn't fair, as I'll often leave a meeting in a terrible mood (because it was about more accountability nonsense) and then have to walk in two minutes later to teach a room full of kids. It's not fair for me to burden them with my frustration, especially because it's not directed at them.
Unfortunately, even students are aware--to some extent. Even if they don't have the big picture, many of them do know they have a strong dislike for school. To be honest, if I were a student right now, I wouldn't like it either (and I LOVED school! It's why I wanted to be a teacher!). Everything has gotten much more stressful and accelerated. When I was in school, we had 7 minute passing periods. I used that time to chat with friends or just take a mental break. Now, because there can be more "time on learning," those have been removed. Every school I have worked at has reduced passing periods to a mere 2 minutes, making some students frantic on a daily basis that they are going to be late (especially if they have a long walk). Also we are supposed to have an activity ready for the moment students enter the room and we are supposed to teach until the very last second (this is called "bell-to-bell rigor"). There is zero time during the day for a student to turn their brain off.
That's taxing enough for everybody, but it's particularly bad for poor-performing students. Part of the accountability climate is also that a lagging student has to receive tons of interventions in order to catch them up. Unfortunately, because the day is already so jam-packed, there isn't any time we can spare. So, when do we find time to help them? When the student would normally be doing something fun with their friends like playing in band, taking a programming class, or going to phys ed.
The students most likely to dislike school (the poorest performing) also have the least access to the things that make school fun or interesting (non-academics). You're bad at math? Well guess what? Now you get to do TWO hours of math instead of one each day! And you don't get to sing in the choir. And all of your peers know you're in that class.
It's pretty transparent how this can be detrimental, and I've witnessed plenty of students spiral down and out because of it. It does a lot of damage to self-image, as well as creating a lot of burnout. They feel the squeeze of that thumb just the same as we do. And the worst part is that accountability culture calls this "success." That's what I mean when I say it's "toxic." The very principles designed to help students are harming them outright.
I've had issues with burnout as a student - but it's always been due to my own fault. Many lessons are quite relaxed, and there are a variety of clubs. There's also the 5 minute time period in between lessons to travel - I would dread to think about crossing 3 or 4 streets in just 2 minutes. Have you tried briefing this up to the headmaster or the school governors ?
It's unfortunately, well above the level of one individual. I've worked in several different schools, in different states even, and the problems have been the same. I have friends in family who also went into teaching and our experiences are parallel. The issue is a national one.
Is the administration a part of the problem? You mention meetings that seem to exacerbate the problem. Why aren't teachers the ones in positions of power to make a difference?
I'd say they're equally underneath the problem. Their hands are tied just as much as ours are. I think their quality varies based on how they approach the accountability restrictions. I've heard horror stories from coworkers about administrators who are ruthless about results. I once toured a school and spoke to a principal who was proud of her cutthroat approach to staff management. Most teachers left the school within two years. Many didn't make it through their first one.
On the other hand, I've also worked with administrators who insulate their teachers from those pressures with the understanding that the added stress of having necks on the chopping block doesn't do anyone any favors. The administration at my current school is a good example of this, but they can only go so far. After all, their jobs and efficacy are viewed through accountability measures as well.
As for why we're not in power, well, that's a much bigger question, and one I don't feel like I have a solid answer to.
Two minutes break is really harsh. We have 10 minutes regular break between lessons (which last 45 minutes), after 2nd lesson is 20 minute break and once a day there is 40 minute lunch break (assuming there are lessons after lunch). We start at 8 and have about 6 or 7 lessons a day.
Anyway, how's the learning mentaility? Do the students see the school as an obstacle or useful thing that went a bit wrong way? I'm really interested in this, especially after I've seen so many of those school movies from usa, which describes school as an obstacle before nonstop partying :) I wouldn't give the movies that big weight, but I've seen it this way in every movie, it was never described otherwise.
It would be interesting to compare it to education system of other countries.
Those breaks sound luxurious! When I first started teaching we had 5 minutes between blocks. I used the downtime between classes to "reset" my classroom and make sure it was orderly for the next class. I would also use it to have short check-ins with students, often about non-academic things, which did wonders to build relationships with them. Now I'm as frantic as the students are with only 2 minutes to transition. And forget about the relationship-building.
Regarding high school parties: that's definitely a movie trope. I can't say they don't happen, but they're pretty far from the norm. As for how students feel about school, it's hard to give any one answer that's going to capture everything since every student is different. I can say that I've witnessed many students check out of their education pretty early on, usually in middle school. By high school this distance calcifies into a powerful, pervasive apathy.
I would definitely love to hear how education looks in other countries from anyone else who has experience, and thanks for sharing yours! I've had to sit through far too many comparisons of results (i.e. test scores) between the US and other countries and not nearly enough that focus on methods and ideologies.
Many years ago, I vowed to never do two things:
I can tell, this made a lot of difference in my state of mind.
Good: I get up early to work, I am in my home office by 7-730am.
Bad: I don't always start work until 8-830am sometimes longer. Unless I'm tasked with something I'm really engaged in I tend to browse my social media sites for the first hour while I drink coffee.
A bad (and arguably good) habit of mine is procrastination. I procrastinate to the last minute consistently, however it makes me stressed, which makes me work harder. That's bad though for when I have exams, as I just skip doing any revision, which impacts my grades poorly.
I can't really think of a particularly good one apart from the expected stuff, like brushing teeth etc. I dunno.
brushing your teeth is always good!
reminds me of that one guy in my school that didn't brush his teeth until he was like 5, and all of his teeth had cavities in them. honestly, it's totally his parents' fault!
I'd say you have the good habit of comedy ;)
true that :P
Good: Probably taking care of my hair since it's one of my favorite parts of myself.
Bad: I still bite my nails out of anxiety sometimes. I've gotten a lot better about it and have been doing it way less, but it's still a thing. I've never been one of those people who bite their nails down to nubs or where it's painful, but yeah.
I fairly recently managed to kick the nail biting habit: started trying to learn classical guitar and for what ever reason I paid more attention to my fingers and nails. It helped me kind of become aware of when I was biting and the consequences of having uneven or too-short nails for the plucking, and fingering the fretboard. IDK why but it kind of faded with that.
Hair is probably something I need to pay attention to, mine is pretty close to straw. It's really rough, and get's horribly poufy, so it's always in a bun. It's only really nice when it's half dry and gets kind of curly, then it just goes full 70s puffiness when it dries. I've mostly just given up with it.
You could look up the Curly Girl/Guy Method to learn about products and techniques that would give you healthier hair. Don't give up! There are lots of YouTube videos, a subreddit, websites etc. on it.
Have you tried washing your hair shampoo every third or fourth day, followed by argan oil after each wash? To tame the frizzies, just use conditioner every second or third day. A lot of folks with curly hair do this to keep non-frizzly with good body.
Thanks, also thanks to @Dovey for the advice. I will have a look at getting some more appropriate shampoo and conditioner, I've noticed that it's best a day or two after a shampoo wash. Probably its getting too dried up from the shampoo. Never tried oil, but having googled that 'curly guy/girl method' and from your comment it seems like a good idea.
It might also be worth digging into /r/curlyhair. Best of luck with this!
My brother got a really nasty infection a few weeks ago because of biting his nails. His finger swelled up really bad and he had to take antibiotics.
Good: I am starting to take professional life more seriously and am currently attempting to get a better job that will advance my career.
Bad: As what I mentioned above is not going as well as I would like I am getting more depressed and drinking far more than usual. Need to change this soon.
It's great that you identified the problem and is planning to take steps to solve it.
Good: Adherence to the golden rule. I always do my best to treat everyone the way I would like to be treated.
Bad: Screen addiction. Really trying to cut down the amount of time I spend staring at screens and on social media. But it is extremely difficult, and going to get even harder now that summer is over.
Rumination is something I've been struggling with for a while now, but have only recently recognized as destructive behaviour. Taking the time to consider my thoughts and feelings has really grounded me and made me a more mature, considerate person... But it also caused me to develop a pervasive paranoia, as I believed every question needed a satisfying answer no matter how trivial it was. Fighting these invasive thoughts really makes me anxious, but I value the introspection aspect too much to drop it completely.
Basically, I kept thinking my rumination was the same as introspection and eventually put too much faith into the process. Now that I know the issue, I'm basically going through an identity crisis trying to figure out what should happen next.
Good: Reading in the bus/tram. Not using my smart phone.
Good: I'm very polite and I treat everyone nicely, even when I'm annoyed, angry etc. I have great self-control, and I never shout at anyone - even when they "deserve". It's not like I hold everything in, neither: I address the matter in a calm and sensible manner. This usually works very well.
Bad: I like to sleep late, and when I'm excited about something I don't sleep at all. I can stay 48h in the computer learning something about Emacs, Elisp or programming related stuff. And then I crash hard, which is actually quite dangerous for someone with bipolar disorder.
Good: I only drink water and don't eat candy. My diet isn't that healthy, stemming from being pretty stubborn against new foods as a child and not really having gotten over it, but I don't drink any calories so at least I'm not fat.
Bad: I procrastinate too much, typically stay up too late, and don't study enough.
Good: I've decluttered and detoxified my online life. I deleted all social media accounts and haven't been on reddit for over 2 months. (Joining here was a search for something that I think social media/reddit used to be but isn't anymore - hard to define but I I found reddit was just "scroll/snigger/like/scroll/snigger/like" on endless repeat, and social media was just a bunch of people sitting around looking for some trivial outrage to gorge themselves on)
Bad: I'm in a rut with my work life at the minute. It doesn't interest me but it pays well. I can't muster the motivation to fix it though - and that's what bothers me.
Bad habit: consuming wayyyy too much sugar
Good habit: having my weight under control despite the above
Good Habit: I exercise every day after work, and have kept up with this routine consistently for several months now. I just do bodyweight fitness at home, but it's better than the nothing I was doing before.
Bad Habit: I'm pretty cynical about work and tend to get stuck in the "none of this really matters anyway" mindset, which can be kind of toxic. I don't think it's noticeable or anything, but lately it's really hard to feel motivated or genuinely put 100% effort into anything.