2minutes

Two-minute(ish) Challenge

Jen Robinson Education, Elementary, Life in the Classroom, Teacher Leadership

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We have all seen the challenges posted on social media or overheard a colleague who is on a 30-day challenge. Maybe they are changing what they eat for 30 days or doing the 30-day push-up challenge. Either way you know what I mean. I know you have thought about it or even completed one or two of these challenges. Here are a few other versions you might be familiar with, “A two-minute challenge is a problem that arises at work that requires you to respond, usually in two minutes or less.” Or a two-minute challenge may be an exercise. You can do it at work, at home, in the airport – absolutely anywhere you are!

Now that I have your attention, you might be wondering what is this two-minute (ish) challenge all about? Really, it is pretty simple. Find a piece of paper and something to write with, tablet or computer, next find a timer, anyone will do. When you are ready, set the timer and make a list of all the things you are thinking of right now, might be school related or life related. Ready, go.

Write for one minute.

Here is my list…

Interviews

Portfolios

Evaluations

Report cards

Retention

SAT meetings

IEP meetings

504 meetings

Staff morale

End of year

Next year 2017-2018

Summer

Family

Now take one more minute and add those things that wake you up at night to the list…

Leadership Day

Invitations

Promotion ceremonies

Staff retention

New staff

6th grade scholars

Observations

Opportunities for teacher growth

Doing right by our scholars

Conflicts or concerns with or between staff

What does your list look like? How does it feel to put these things onto paper and acknowledge them? For me it feels good to have a set time to write and then stop, but now what? If you are anything like me the last quarter or any quarter of the school year is hectic and can become very overwhelming. Writing these thoughts down does not make them go away or magically fix them. So, here is where the two-minute (ish) part of the challenge comes into play. I invite you to take two more minutes and add a commitment or possible solution to each item or as many items as you can in that time. I am going to cut and paste my list and add solutions or thoughts in italics…

Ready two-minutes, go!

Interviews schedule and reach out to candidates making personal connection

Portfolios – reflect on process for 2017-2018 year to change

Evaluations – schedule a head of time beginning over summer

Report cards – teachers

Retention – reflect on process for 2017-2018 year to change

SAT meetings

IEP meetings

504 meetings – reschedule so they are not the first or last months of school

Staff morale – staff survey, incorporate more team activities

End of year – breathe

Next year 2017-2018 – keep notebook for next year and write down thoughts

Summer – begin with end in mind & plan

Family – schedule family time/ balance

Leadership Day

Invitations

Promotion ceremonies

Staff retention

New staff

6th grade scholars

Observations

Opportunities for teacher growth

Doing right by our scholars

Conflicts or concerns with or between staff

ESSA

Title II

So how do you feel, now? I feel a little less anxious and have been able to sort my ideas into lists that are applicable right now and those that can wait until later. I am wondering if this is something I can do more frequently when I feel anxiety increasing throughout the week. What do you think, was this challenge helpful?

 

Jen Robinson

Maricopa, Arizona

Hello, my name is Jen Robinson. I have been in education for over 20 years. I began teaching in Buffalo, NY in 1992, as a pre-school special education teacher. My experience ranges from primary grades through high school. My husband and I moved to Arizona in 2001, where we were fortunate enough to teach at the same school. In 2004, I achieved National Board Certification and currently support candidates. In 2011 I completed my Ed.D. in Leadership and Innovation. My dissertation research focused on supporting National Board candidates through their certification process. During the 2012-2013 school year, I completed my National Board renewal process. It was humbling and very powerful to step back into a classroom. I am currently an elementary principal. I am excited and hopeful for the new school year. I also serve on the Arizona Teacher Solutions Team where we are solutions focused in an effort to transform and elevate the teaching profession.

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  • kbuffett

    This was a great post, Jen! I think that putting all of the things you’re preoccupied with on paper is a great way to clear your mind and alleviate some of the stress you may be feeling.

    I think the two minute challenge is reminiscent of the to-do list because it feels good to know what needs to be done. The great thing about this challenge, though, is that it goes beyond the to-do list and provides the opportunity to come up with and write down solutions to those items.

    I think I will be doing this challenge very soon. :)

  • Christine Porter Marsh

    Thank you for the reminder. I do something like what you describe when I get particularly overwhelmed or stressed out, but I need to do it before I get to that point.

  • Treva Jenkins

    I love this Jen!! For me, this will be so helpful as I tend to become overwhelm very easily with all the cares of this world. This will help me “chunk” my life into more manageable pieces and the biggest part of it is the adding of solutions! Without that piece, there is no action or movement forward, only a longer more stressful list next time. I will definitely share this strategy with my peers and beginning teachers. Awesome! Thank you for giving me another tool in my toolkit :)
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ddfc7aeee487f780257a81fd7433851550d52420d6865906ef045278cf435ec0.png

  • Lisa Moberg

    Great idea!! It helps decrease procrastination, stress, and anxiety. I love that staff morale is a priority for you, awesome!!