If you are reading this post, it means that you didn’t let my cheesy headline deter you. I realize that it could have—I mean, how lame does the phrase “happy habits” sound? But I’m hoping you’ll soon understand that cultivating happy habits can actually be a very useful and powerful practice.
To give some background: as part of my training program in counseling, I participate in various field placements that give me the opportunity to conduct therapy in a variety of settings with a diverse set of clients. Currently, I am working with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. As part of my experience with the VA, I’ve helped lead a group that provides an introduction to mindfulness. Our group provides the group members—veterans who have often experienced trauma and are now dealing with subsequent anxiety and depression—with tangible things they can do to achieve improvements in their lives. One thing we encourage is the mindfulness practice of developing happy habits.
So what are these habits? Happiness researchers such as Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, have found that certain routine practices have been shown to literally improve one’s level of happiness in a rather short amount of time. Achor suggests a set of five simple things you can do every day that will make you significantly, noticeably, measurably happier:
A new trend is emerging in the Teach For America corps, one that capitalizes on our energy, our willingness to learn, and our drive to do whatever it takes to help our students succeed: the adoption of technology tools in daily instruction. As Teach For America’s Director of Educational Technology, I talk with corps members daily, and their stories of technology use and its outcomes are remarkable. I want to share these stories, because one teacher’s work could benefit corps members nationwide.
I think it’s time we all connect.
Stephanie Linka (Baltimore ’12) encouraged 20 other teachers to adopt Kaymbu—an i-Pad-based teacher documentation system that captures student development through pictures and video and ultimately strengthens the relationship between home and school—and get free iPads after signing up for Imagine K12’s beta-testers program, which allows teachers to give valuable feedback to EdTech startups. It’s one of her top two favorite tools, along with Edmodo, which she considers to be the “gateway drug” of EdTech products. “This tool has allowed learning and engagement to go beyond our four walls and to students’ homes, to the point where parents have come to me emotional about having seen their child read for the first time on a Kaymbu video,” Linka said.