Kermit Says: Refuel Your (Metaphorical) Tank

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Every Sunday night, my high school principal sends a beautifully crafted email of encouragement and wisdom to the faculty. Of course there’s pertinent information as well, mostly updates and important dates to remember, but at the heart of her messages are words of inspiration—and this week’s was no different. Just three days ago, I received an email that reminded my colleagues and me of the importance of self-care. We’re one week shy of midterms (insane!!!), and finally halfway through the longest term of the school year. Faculty members have been trucking away like trains on a track, turning our wheels faster and faster, not breaking, not stopping, and not resting since we started orientation and planning week in August. We’re exhausted, sleep-deprived, dehydrated, famished, and probably a hop, skip, and a jump away from falling ill or quitting (whichever comes first, right?). We’re turning into zombies and pod-people—tiny shells of our previous existence. Okay, okay…maybe I’m being a bit dramatic here, but when we stop and take a moment to breathe and reflect deeply, we can start to see and feel what we’ve often been ignoring. And as I sit and consider my own thoughts and feelings, I can’t help but think about yours: how do the students feel?

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Kermit Says: This Is The Start of Something New

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Kermit Says… is back, and we missed you all terribly! My team and I hope you had a fantastic summer and we’d love to hear all about it, so feel free to reminisce about your favorite parts and send them in so we can live vicariously through you!

Now, whether you returned to school nearly a month ago or, you’re like me, and it’s only been one week, summer vacation is o.v.e.r and a new school year has officially begun. I know, I know, no more days where you’re late-to-go-to-bed-and-late-to-rise. No more afternoons at the beach. No more ice cream until your brain freezes—well, maybe not that last one. The end of summer vacation means the end of a lot of fun things, but if we remain positive and optimistic, then this new academic year could mean the start of something new (yes, that was a High School Musical reference).

All jokes aside, a new school year provides another chance to be your best self. Heck, it’s a chance to reinvent yourself altogether. A new school year is like the first snow—completely untouched, fresh, new, pure, and ready for you to do with it what you will. You can either watch it from a distance and let it ruin your moment or you can make a plan of attack and (literally) dive in. How will you approach this new school year? What goals do you want to achieve? Where would you like to see yourself by the end of the quarter, semester, or year? Comment below or send an email to contactkermitsays@gmail.com.

Let’s make this new school year BETTER than the last!

Kermit Says: Keep Calm and Pass Your Exams

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Well, friends! It’s the day most students both anticipate and dread. The day they look forward to with both excitement and anxiety. Today kicks off finals week, three days of final exams, projects, presentations, and papers that stand between you and freedom. Three days that stand between you and graduation. Three days that stand between you and summer break. Just thinking about summer vacation brings a single tear of joy to my eye. So what can you do to perform at your optimum level and excel in your classes? Take a look back at my post before winter break, Rock Yo’ Finals!

Remember, the best way to prepare for what can be a pretty stressful week is to approach it with a peaceful mind, calm spirit, and confident demeanor. You can do this! I believe in you, so believe in yourself.

Need relaxation tips? Check out this awesome Buzzfeed video that provides some calming tricks.

Good luck with finals and have an AWESOME summer! You earned it 🙂

Fearless Part IV: Handling Rejection (College Apps Edition)

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So, you got that thin envelope, huh? Or maybe you received a pretty standard and stale email? A quick scan of the note goes directly to “sorry,” “unfortunately” or “regret” or other similar synonyms. You toss it in the trash and try to throw your feelings out along with it. Rejection feels like betrayal. This institution you’ve placed so much faith in, this institution you’ve dreamed of, this institution you’ve loved for so long doesn’t feel the same way. It’s an unrequited love, and you now feel like the scorned lover. Whatever do you do? Just keep swimming! 

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Fearless Part III: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions (College Apps Edition)

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Kermit Says… is back, and with lots to share! Apologies for my absence, but these last few weeks have been quite a whirlwind filled with non-stop travel for job interviews. With every application, resume, cover letter, educational philosophy, recommendation letter, phone interview, and on-campus interview, I can’t help but see parallels between my current experience and my students’ as it relates to their college application process. Just as I had to keep up with my teaching load and prepare for day-long interviews with demo lessons, my students have also had to balance school work and college apps with sports practice and extracurricular activities. It’s exhausting and draining, but boy does it pay off in the end! My hope is that I will receive offers from the amazing schools to which I’ve applied, and I can’t help but hope the same for all students. There’s nothing like seeing your hard work pay off. So, once those acceptances start pouring in, how do you make a decision?

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Kermit Says: Rock Yo’ Finals

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Between grappling with current events, completing your commitments, and spending quality time with your friends and family, it’s quite possible that finals week has snuck up on you! Where has the time gone? Wasn’t yesterday September? Didn’t 500 bright and eager students descend onto campus–both anxious and excited to start the new school year? I guess not…

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Fearless Part I: Focus On The Do’s (College Apps Edition)

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Just a few weeks ago, hundreds–if not thousands–of eager and anxious students submitted their polished personal essays, stellar common applications, ambitious resumes, and glowing letters of recommendation. As sweat dripped down their foreheads, their shaking fingers inched the mouse closer and closer to the submit button. And with a deep sigh of relief and silent prayers of favor and acceptance, they followed through and surrendered because whatever happened next was beyond their control. Sound familiar? It might if you applied to college ED (early decision) or EA (early action), but for the thousands more who are still enduring the pressure and stress of the application process, Kermit Says… will be offering tips to help you get through this (somewhat) daunting experience. In this edition of the Fearless series, here are some Do’s to remember when embarking on the college application process. Good luck!

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Dear Kermit: Todd in Thailand

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Dear Kermit,

Currently, I am living half way across the globe from you are; however, I am in need of an advice. A couple years back I was attending a prestigious preparatory boarding school in the New England area, and as it turns out I made some bad choices that I was not able to fix. I did not think of the consequences before I chose to commit those mistakes  and now I have to live with it. My parents thought it would be best for me to return home and continue my studies here. Eventhough I am doing a lot better now academically, I still feel like I don’t have my parent’s full trust. My dad really want me to transfer back to an American university after my freshman year here in Thailand, but my mom does not believe that she can send me abroad again because she’s afraid I would make the same mistake. I know that there are a lot of temptations when it comes to college life, but I just want both my parents to fully support me and believe that I can, once again, live on my own. How do I make them believe that I am a changed person, that I can resist the temptations before me? Thank you and I really do miss you Ms. K.

Todd in Thailand

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Kermit Says: Forget the Grade

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As a teacher, I face a lot of obstacles that get in the way of productive and positive classroom experiences, one of which is grades. I often have students asking for additional opportunities to improve their grades, not their skills. Or students who bypass marginal comments and flip to the back to see their grade. And in rare cases, students who try to negotiate their grade in an effort to change it. While I would never prevent a student from doing better in class, I’m concerned that, more often than not, a student’s focus and motivation to improve is misplaced.

When did the importance of grades outweigh the importance of learning and growing?

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Dear Kermit: Conflicted in Connecticut

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Dear Kermit,

It’s a classic conflict. You find yourself in a place you love; a place that has embraced you and made you feel at home. The people you have met quickly found places in your heart and become family. This place is truly special and you know it, and you could stay in this place forever and be happy, but there’s something within you that wants more. In my case, it’s about college. I chose my current school because I knew it was full of incredible people, and I knew I would feel incredibly comfortable on campus. I sacrificed the field I was interested in studying in order to have an easier transition and because I was scared of string [sic] from what i [sic] knew, but now that I am here, I realize that I have an internal dilemma I am dealing with. Do I want to be comfortable and happy now, or do I want to transfer and study what I actually want to study.

I guess the umbrella question I’m asking is: how do you decide whether to stay comfortable or move on and strive higher. And how do [sic] deal with cutting ties with all you loved about where you were?

Signed,

Conflicted in Connecticut

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