Thoughtful Thursday: 6 Tips for a Great School Year

IMG_0519Happy Thursday, friends! It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since I’ve been a student, and since graduating from graduate school (the first time around), I’ve now spent those five years in between on the other side as a teacher. With every new school year there comes a similar level of anxiety and excitement about what it will bring, and in those moments, I can’t help but ask myself: Will I get through the curriculum? Will my students enjoy themselves and learn the material? Will I finally strike that work-life balance? And while I’m just a few short weeks away from returning to the classroom as a student, I find myself asking similar questions: Will I learn a lot? What kind of learner am I? Will I form meaningful relationships with my professors and peers? Do I remember how to study? Will I finally conquer procrastination and complete my assignments to the best of my ability? It’s so easy to get bogged down with feelings of doubt, fear, and anxiety. After all, change is never easy. Luckily, there are things we can do to help ease the transition. Here are a few tips I’ve shared with students in the past as a teacher and will now be reminding myself of as a student. Hopefully, they’ll help you, too!

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Thoughtful Thursday: Reclaiming My Time

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By now you’ve likely heard about Congresswoman Maxine Waters famously and appropriately interrupting Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin during last week’s House Financial Services Committee meeting. If you haven’t seen the video, I’ve linked it here, but essentially Maxine (we’re now on a first name basis) asks a very clear and direct question that Mnuchin “responds” to with a roundabout statement. In an attempt to redirect him and hold him accountable, Mnuchin’s vague non-answers are repeatedly met with “reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time, reclaiming my time…” As entertaining as this moment is, there’s honestly something much deeper and more meaningful at play. Here, Maxine not only informs us that her time is valuable and should not be wasted but also, and more importantly, reminds us of our own value and gives us permission to identify and remove the time-wasters within our own lives.

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Kermit Turns The Big Three!

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Dear friends,
It’s hard to believe I started Kermit Says… three years ago. It seems like just yesterday that I was delivering a speech to newly inducted members of the National Junior Beta Club, an academic honor society I was a part of many many moons ago. Besides my elementary Salutatorian and high school Vice-Presidential addresses, I can’t recall ever really speaking in front of a large group of people, but as a teacher, I knew I wanted this to be as interactive and engaging as possible. I wrote, scrapped, and revised multiple drafts until I was pleased with the final product, and when I stood before the crowd and shared my words of inspiration both congratulating the inductees and preparing them for what was to come, I must admit I wasn’t prepared for the positive feedback I received from parents, teachers, and–most importantly–students. I thought, “hmmm…maybe this could be something.” And here we are.

Kermit10 (2)There are tons of lifestyle, beauty, and fashion bloggers who’ve gained insane success so quickly, and when I look at their numbers and compare them to my own, it sometimes feels disheartening. But if I let the numbers dictate my drive or determine my success, then I’d have to admit that I am blogging for all the wrong reasons. Regardless of how many followers I have, I believe in Kermit Says… because it’s bigger than me. I just want to be, for you, who I needed when I was your age–an adult who listens and cares without judgment, one who gives you permission to be your true, authentic self…who just gets it.

Now three years later, Kermit Says… is on the verge of something epic and exciting. Unfortunately, I can’t share the details just yet, but you’ll be the first to know once everything is finalized. Three is my lucky number, and this third year of Kermit Says… I’m feeling beyond lucky and blessed, ya’ll, and it’s all thanks to each and every one of you! Kermit3 (1)Thank you for embarking on this wild and crazy journey with me. Thank you for sharing your ideas, for listening to me go on and on about my plans, for taking this as seriously as I do, for using your voices and sharing me with your friends, for liking and subscribing, and for believing in my dreams. You are what keeps me going. Thank you for making it all worth it! 

Love,

Kermit

P.S. After 186 posts, let’s take a trip down memory lane and read three of my favorites:

Dear Kermit: Chunky in Chicago

Kermit Says: Stop the Stigma

Motivational Monday: Practice Personal Patience 

Do you have any favorites? Comment below! 

Tuesday Tunesday: Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing

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Happy Tunesday, friends! Last night I finally had the chance to sit down and watch Universal Pictures’ animated hit, Sing, and I haven’t stopped singing and dancing since. In fact, I felt so many emotions while watching the movie and connecting with most of the characters, that that experience is what has inspired today’s post. Among all the characters Sing follows, there’s an optimistic koala bear with unstoppable dreams, a gorilla who longs for a different life than the one his father has forced upon him, a pig who’s bored of her domesticated life and yearns for more, and a shy elephant who’s introversion and self-doubt hinder her from achieving greatness. What’s beautiful about each of these narratives is that, in most cases, we are them and they are us. They are very real and the challenges and set-backs each character faced are challenges we experience daily in some form. So, whether these are adversities we encounter beyond our control or because we got in our own way, Sing challenges us to go after our dreams–both big and small, and believe in ourselves, and if we hit a few bumps along the way or fall flat on our faces, which we will, Sing reminds us to pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and keep going. Here are a few songs from the film that beautifully captures those sentiments. Take a listen:

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Motivational Monday: Roll Down Your Window

 

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I’m a huge entertainment buff. Actually, that’s probably an understatement. From movies to music, I pretty much love it all! This love runs so deep that my mom used to call me a walking TV Guide (which makes me sound so old and out of touch, haha). You see, before there was a “guide” option on Comcast or Direct TV remotes, you had to check the newspaper each night or closely watch the TV Guide channel without missing the one for which you were waiting. That was literally the worst because if you missed the channel you were looking for, you had to start from the top and wait for it to scroll by (first world problems, I know). In any case, I was so addicted to the screen, I could walk into a room and name the title, actors, and maybe provide a few facts. That was my thing. It still is.

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Kermit Says: Be Balanced

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Red, puffy eyes. Uncontrollable yawns. Broken alarm clocks. Sound familiar? It certainly does to me! We’re approaching the end of our first month of the school year, and I don’t know about you, but students (and faculty) are already pooped! #tgif

In just a few short weeks, I’ve heard a number of moans, groans, and petitions for required nap time, and so I find myself wondering from where such lethargy comes? In such a busy world as boarding school life is, students and faculty are required to juggle adequate sleep, work, sports, clubs, extracurricular activities, meetings, three healthy meals, class, and personal downtime. Are there even enough hours in each day to devote time and energy to every single commitment without forgetting what matters most: YOU? In the midst of reflecting on such feelings, a student recently approached me wondering the very same thing. With an air of curiosity, she asked me how I take time for myself?

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Kermit Says: Live

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I recently had the pleasure of serving as the dorm head for a high school reunion for the class of 1954. Upon hearing that this particular class would be celebrating their 60th high school reunion (*applause*), I just knew this would be a piece of cake because they’d be quiet, neat, and in bed by 8:00pm. Boy was I wrong! From the moment I met my residents, I knew my ageist perception of this group was so far from right. In fact, they are quite possibly the most lively and rambunctious group of people I’ve ever met! Here, I realized that Aaliyah (rest in paradise) was right when she sang age ain’t nothin’ but a number. Whether you’re 10 months, 20 years, or 100 years old, remember to live life without fear, without inhibitions, and with passion.

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