What Does Starting a School Year Mean?

DISCLAIMER – the info and connections below?  100% inspired by the Woodbridge Student Services Team – and they ROCKED IT, let me tell you.  You will see.

Yes, it does not matter WHERE you are, because a 2017-2018 school year starts for THOUSANDS of people across the WORLD – but what does matter is the mind set that will lead you into that year, and what will be motivating for you to start based on what has happened to you in the past – to enhance this year.

Educator versus teacher, if you have read my past blogs, you would see I make a HUGE difference between the two, always have.  Today, thanks to an amazing presentation from a top-notch Special Education staff at Woodbridge School District, perhaps the leading Special Education group in the state, I realized, returning to the United States was a privilege with a crew as qualified, passionate, and intent in putting the student in the forefront, as they did today.  I wanted to share with you the aspects that brought to the table to show, that they were educators and not simply teachers, as we all can be.

ACES study – have you heard of this?  In my 18 years in the education field as an Screen Shot 2017-08-16 at 11.41.35 PMeducator, when something moves you – and when you think you have seen it all, and you see something, feel something that moves you – it is something that is worth the time.  In this case, ACES, Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey, I wish I heard about this like 10 years ago- it affects even educators. Simply FOUR of these ACES is shown to take 20- TWENTY years off your life based on the research – think about that.  

If you go to this site, sponsored by the site veto violence, and scroll down, manipulate the ACES slide bar and see what happens with ACES exist and how they affect your life – it will cause you to stop and seriously just what this means –

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YOU HAVE TO UNDERSTAND that the things in our lives can change the shape of our brains due to literally soaking our brains in fight or flight if it happens all the time, and events exist that do this – this is a HUGE HUGE factor in realizations of reaching students, and this happens – from what I found out, at a high economic level as well as a low one.  This was so powerful and helped show the effect of being an educator longevity-wise, not just for a year or so.  When you realize that adults and each of us have several of these ACES and how they can affect our lives, you want to be more empowered to insure your students are able to be protected and move past these ACES that might affect them. This video, by Nadine Burke Harris, – it is moving and defines what we should strive for as educators, and not just teachers. Amazing after 18 years of education I am hearing about this today – this is trauma in itself.

I loved one of the quotes made today – Education – “it is a burnout career.”  Living that through these years, I also realized, being aware of that – helped me counter the need on behalf of the students and try to find ways to ride the burnout aspects and make it above the burnout, that is a challenge as we all know the challenges that face all educators, let alone teachers. The reference of the film “Paper Tigers” (trailer HERE) intrigued me and have added this on my MUST SEE list.  

I LOVE the introduction of being a KEYMAKER – nothing really needs said here, you read it and let is roll over you.  LOVE THIS:

(and could be GREAT to do in a school):


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and adding to that, not forgetting what we need to do for OURSELVES during this school year as well as give to students, so we BOTH can be whole:

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and yet this video, when I thought I was capped out for the day – and had been filled t the brim, this turned the tables and let me see exactly how amazing a different perspective can be.  I was able, as an EDUCATOR, to see inside what Special Education could feel like as an adult, and it made me realize I had previously misjudged so much abut what I thought Special Education was – it changed me in 20 minutes, even after 18 years of being in education – that is powerful:  (and being in the 80’s was at first like waitttt…but when you see what the educators feel – the rest is history – 

How Difficult Can That Be- F.A.T. City Workshop

The introduction of Developmental Assets – it was a lifter to the aspects we can bring to counter the ACES aspects that face us, our students, families, and beyond. It helps define what we have the power to do, and how we can enable a success to the challenges that find themselves on our lists to do as educators.  

This was a GOOD day, a day I was given the gift of looking at what power we have when we are simply in the presence of individuals we can help have better lives, and that relies on us being educators and not just teachers.   Thank you Woodbridge Student Services Team, you changed many people’s lives in one day that can go on and change others for the remainder of the year.












About Harry Brake

Employee of Woodbridge High School, Library Media Specialist, Media crazy! :)
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