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What's your "gap plan"?

Brene Brown introduces the "family gap plan" in the fourth episode of her podcast, Unlocking Us. This came about when she and her husband would argue when she would return home from traveling. It seemed like the minute she walked in, her husband would expect her to be ready for him to "tap out," where she could take over where he had been supporting the family. While she was away from home, this didn't mean that she was full of energy and at 100% the minute she walked in the door. She had been working too and was exhausted.

So, over time they began to name where they were at as people and as a family: I'm at 10%. I'm at 30%. They knew they needed a plan for when collectively she and her husband were not at 100%, but they needed to be for their family.

Beyond our personal lives, the idea of a "gap plan" got me thinking about our classrooms and schools. What happens when we are not at 100% or we know that our classrooms or students are not able …

Filling the Hole in Our Heart

I am taking advantage of this time at home to clean my garage and revisit the notebooks that I have kept for years as a teacher. I stumbled upon this piece from a notebook I kept in 2013, the first summer I spent with the Eastern Michigan Writing Project.
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For the past four weeks, I have had the opportunity to vent, share, and collaborate with a group of like-minded people. We all had different reasons for getting together and different outcomes, but for me, a sense of community really developed.

It isn't often that I feel as if I have a group of people who "get me." But now I know that I do. Maintaining this network of friends is so important to me. It really helped me feel safe in this time of educational insanity.

And it has also brought about a renewed sense of purpose. I often tell my students not to put themselves in situations where they give away their power and let others make decisions for them. And while education is under siege, I want to fight against tha…

"You Don't Talk to Me Anymore"

The other day, a student stopped me in the hallway and said that to me.

"You don't talk to me anymore."
And, well, he was sort of right. 
I had talked to him a lot at the beginning of the year. It wasn't all bad, but it was intentional. I believe in the power of mentoring and relationships with students, and I think that strong relationships can also lead to academic gains and improved behavior. So, he was right; I did talk to him a lot more at the beginning of the year. 
He said it and was smiling. I'm taking it as a nice way of him asking for me to spend time with him, without actually asking me. I think he also scored a few bonus points in front of his friends. Naturally, he was laughing as he eventually walked away. 
In the moment though, I admitted he was right. And I reassured him that it was a "good thing," but I've also stopped and thought about my role as an assistant principal. I don't just want to talk to students when they are "i…