Episode 53: Morning Momentum: Start Strong, Finish Stronger!

back to school brain breaks podcast Sep 03, 2023
morning routine

Wahoooo! Yay for new beginnings!

I am SO excited to share this with you! It has been several months in the making!

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Click here for Episode 18 on Back to School Brain Breaks
Click here to learn about Statues
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Welcome to Teaching la vida loca, a podcast for World Language Teachers seeking inspiration, unapologetic authenticity, and guidance in centering joy, and facilitating language acquisition for the people who matter most our students. I'm your host Annabelle. Most people call me la maestra loca, and I'm an educator just like you and inspiring teachers is what I do. Hi there, welcome to episode 53 of teaching la vida loca. to look at I am so grad. What the heck is that? It's grad, what is that? I can tell you what it is. It is grateful and glad. I am so grateful and simultaneously so glad that you are here. I am not grad. Actually I am. Let's just make that a new word. Okay, next time you see me? If you see me in real life, just be like, oh my gosh, I'm so glad to see you. Grateful and glad, new word. Yay for new words. But seriously, I'm so glad you're here for my 53rd podcast, super excited. I wanted to record this podcast on Monday, and then again on Tuesday and then on Wednesday. But here's my reality right now. Are you ready for it? No, I can tell you already. You're not ready for this. Our house has been flooding. I'm so excited because it's been raining in Louisiana. And we've had serious fires and there's been a burn ban. And I feel very grateful for the rain. But simultaneously. We bought a new house in June, end of June. And it appears that the person who did the inspection on the house or the like you know where they come and they tell you everything that's wrong with it, completely missed that the entire front of the house is rotting and decayed. And we had three fully flooded rooms the other day when it rained hard. Simultaneously my car is flooding, like it's raining on the inside of my car. So that's fun. And it brings a whole new meaning to the words. When it rains, it pours because it's literally pouring in our life right now to be clear. But, you know, I'm trying to remember to handle things that I have control over and to let go the things that I don't and take it day by day. Because there's enough going on without worrying about flooding and rainwater seeping through the walls and up through the floorboards. So fun. Oh, my goodness. Okay. Let's get to it.

Brain Breaks 

 I want to tell you; I think I'm going to start with this first. It's been a while since I've done a brain break. I'm not going to put the music in there because it's late. And I want to record this and get it out to you. But since it's been a while since I've done a brain break on the podcast, I want to talk to you about the brain breaks I've been doing for back to school. I'll link to a podcast episode I put out last year, it's Episode 18, which is like really humbling and wonderful to know that I've managed to put out that many episodes since last fall. Episode 18 aired last fall. And I'd shared my top five favorite brain breaks for back to school. So, I'll link to that. But the brain breaks those kids have been really excited about doing at the beginning of the school year have been statues, which I'll link to the blog on statues. It was not one of the five in the blog. But kids have been really excited about it.

Brain Break Fun 

Basically. I tell kids that they stand around the room, you pick one or two kids to stand outside there. The night guards, think Night at the Museum. If you've ever seen that movie, the kids that were outside come into the class and they look for statues that are moving. I always say that a unicorn peed on them, obviously to make it more fun. They then try and move but without being caught by the night card. They must move every five to 10 seconds. But they cannot move when they're being watched. Because obviously they're out. One new thing that I added this year because it's felt important in elementary is if they get out, they have to sit down and count to 10 and then they can get back in again. Now keeping in mind Brain Breaks last 60 seconds at the most. So, they're just like counting to 10 in their head. You know some of them count like this 1234... and I did I don't care. It's a brain break. And then they get back in the game. And the goal is to like have lots of movement and joy but then the night guards are trying to catch them. Does this work with high school? Yeah, Fadi, my friend just shared a video of him playing with his high school students in Chicago, in his Arabic classes. So, I love that. Another brain break that they have been crazy for at the start of the year, which was also not on my back-to-school Brain Breaks list, podcast that I did last year is quick feet, which is all linked to the blog that I did on that, and a YouTube video for you. But basically, it's a phenomenal brain break, very high energy, incredibly competitive, perfect for elementary, middle or high school, your students will be crazy for this. And they will ask for it every single day if you try it. But it's perfect for the beginning of the year. Because if you're a person who does a lot of TPR, at the beginning of the year, I'm telling you, it's the best brain break. All you need is some paper plates or paper cups or something to go in between kids, you line them up on either side of that object. And then you call out all your TPR commands, for example, like walk, run, dance, turn around, grab, touch, dance, go, whatever your TPR commands are in the target language. And then when you say the object's name like plate, in my case, I put paper plates down, they try and grab the paper plate with their foot before the other person does and slide it towards them. It's highly competitive, super engaging. I'll definitely link to the video so you can see how it's done in a blog, but my students are obsessed. And since I focus my first four weeks on straight TPR, that's what we do every day. Even today, we did a reading activity. And they all had a full page of Spanish, but it was all a story based on Iron Man and to challah, which is Black Panthers name. And it was a story that was all written with the high frequency TPR words. So even the stories that we're reading are based around TPR right now. Even then, like the brain breaks we're doing are linked to the vocabulary that we're doing so that it feels super fun. But like it's still like getting all that vocab stuck in their brains, which is awesome. So, I just wanted to share that since I've been so focused on brain breaks in these podcasts and give you some ideas for start to the year. Those were two ideas. But if you want five more great brain breaks for the start of the year that I have been using, like the name game, and don't flinch, then check out that podcast, podcast number 18. And it'll be a huge hit with your kids.

My Shift 

On to what I wanted to talk to you about in this podcast. If you follow me on social. If you've been following me on Instagram, then you've seen that in the last six months, there's been a big shift in my appearance. Especially my face. You have seen people have commented on this more than you could imagine. My skin looks better. I have fewer dark circles under my eyes. I am more joyful. People have commented that like they see my joy coming back. Obviously, I feel like I've always center joy. But apparently, in the last couple of years I've looked more and more stressed I guess or been perceived as more as more and more stressed, which is not a lie. I work as a full-time teacher like you and I also run a job. A side business side hustle. I have la Familia, loca PLC, I do this podcast, I do blogs. I have my website. I coach one on one. I have a lot of things going on, right?

My Support 

So, it's definitely been more stressful in the last couple of years. A lot of it has been to pay off debt, lawyer fees from custody court that we've gotten back and forth to over the years. But I also don't want Paul working a second job. I don't want either of us like in a restaurant or in a bar in our evenings. Like if I can coach teachers as my side job and get joy out of it then yay, right. But in the last six months, people have been really noticing a shift and I've even had people say like, are you cutting back on your business? Are you doing less like are you resting more? You look great. You seem like more balanced and less like high strung and the answer is yes to all of that. But no to cutting back on my business. In fact, I'm doing more than ever right now in my business and in the last six to eight weeks, I've been doing a lot of it without my very close. Partner in crime. Who's Viviana Tracy, I've been leaning very heavily on my friend Nicole Fitting and Tiffany Gibby for their help and support. Because Viviana has been on vacation. So, I've been doing more than ever, but I'm in a better mental and emotional place, and physical place than I've ever been in my entire life. And the reason for that as my morning routine. And why I started talking about Instagram is if you've been following me, then you've seen that many mornings I'm sharing with you, especially in the last few months, a snippet of my morning routine. Whether it be my gratitude journal, or the journals that I keep for my kids, or my workout routine, or my affirmation cards, or my tea ritual, or my sunrise staring ritual, whatever it is like I've been sharing snippets of it. All those words sound still so freaking weird coming out of my mouth. I I need you to understand, I have been a night owl. My entire life. I still am y'all I'm recording this episode it is 10:30pm I am a night owl. I will say normally, ever since implementing a morning routine. I've been in bed by 1030. That's literally the first time in my life. I have forever gone to bed at foo at the earliest 1230 midnight. But on average 1:30 or 2am. Because I feel like well, how does anybody with a side hustle accomplish anything? If they're not staying up late? And doing all the things that they need to accomplish? Like, what do you mean, go into bed early like Are you out of your mind? And when I started my morning routine, I was still staying up late. But it was a physically impossible to be honest. After two weeks, I could not keep my eyes open past 9pm. And I found myself crawling into bed shortly after putting my children to bed. And I was horrified and terrified that I wouldn't be able to keep up with all the things that I feel I need to do. Now I know I don't need to do this podcast. I know that this is something that you enjoy, that you come to to seek guidance and inspiration and motivation and energy, whatever you're here for. I know that that is something that you appreciate. You've told me time and time again, you appreciate it. Even if you haven't told me, I know that you're here listening on your drive or while you garden, while you cook, while you work out. I know you're here looking for that. And I know that you totally understand you probably don't even realize when I don't post an episode, right? But it's something that I want to do, and I hold myself to a high standard to get it done. I was so fearful I would lose all of it. I was so scared I wouldn't be able to keep up with all my responsibilities within la Familia loca PLC, the coaching, the guidance, the like prepping, the hiring the guest speakers of the month, whatever it is, I was so scared, I wouldn't be able to blog anymore or to write the weekly emails that I write to my email list. And suddenly, as soon as I started going to bed on time, and I really started building the habit of my morning routine and adding in all the pieces that I wanted to make it complete and whole. Oh, my goodness gracious. I had no idea how much more productive, more positive, and more emotionally and mentally capable to like, truly tackle the challenges of the day-to-day things that come up in your classroom, with admin with students, whatever, with my own kids. I had no idea how desperately I needed a morning routine and needed sleep. And the sleep didn't come until I was implementing this morning routine with consistency. enough to whereby the time it got to 10 o'clock, I was like, oh my god, I literally can't do anything else. I need sleep, I need to go to bed. Because I'm so tired from getting up so early this morning. And then came other pieces, like suddenly, I'm noticing physically how much better I am feeling, how much more water I am drinking, how I'm actually snacking before my lunch. I've never eaten breakfast in my life. Until I started really implementing a morning routine. I started getting compliments on my arms and how it looks like my arms aren't getting toned. I've always been a person with a high metabolism. So, I haven't, like had huge weight gains in my life. But like, I've lost 25 pounds in the last six months. And it's from like consistently doing a 13-minute workout. Let me just repeat that again, a 13-minute workout in the morning. And I started with an eight-minute workout, and I built up to 13. And this morning, I did a 24-minute workout, and it kicked my butt. But, oh my God did it feel good. I am a better mom than I've ever been in my entire mom life. I'm more present with my kids than I have ever been. When there is a classroom conflict or a student who is so irregulated that they are literally throwing themselves against a wall. I have the peace of mind and the calm, the reserves to be able to handle that with a mentality that I've never even experienced before. In all my years of living. I attribute it and give gratitude for all of it to my morning routine. It is 100% my morning routine. There are I think oh let me count it right now. 1234567 I have it on my wall, so I don't forget any parts of it. I have 12 pieces to my morning routine now. I started with six and I built up to 12 but I have 12 pieces of my morning routine. And let me let me be clear on something else. I am a person who has set between six and 12 alarms my entire life. I snooze I'm a habitual snoozer, right? And I've always got out of bed between eight and 15 minutes before I need to leave. Now any person who has ever shared a room with me at a conference can attest to this. And I've had people like not even believe it until they've seen it in real life. Grant Pallone J, I remember the first time that we roomed together at an Airbnb. It was like a group of us and I came down stairs looking like hell because somebody woke me up about 15 minutes before we needed to leave. They were all drinking coffee. They were already, I looked I was in my jammies. I looked pissed. I was so mad. I was so mad that they woke me up. And literally 30 minutes later, I walked downstairs with my dress on, with my converse, with my little glass as my makeup done, my hair done everything ready to go; still mad as hell that they woke me up two minutes, three minutes earlier than I needed to be woken up. But I've always been able to function in that way. And I thought I was thriving. Unlike Hello, I'm running a full-time business. And I'm a full-time teacher. I have a successful podcast, I blog, and email lists like I'm putting out courses, I have a membership.

The Results 

I had no idea how much healthier mentally, physically, emotionally, I could be with more rest and a consistent morning routine that has become a habit. My morning routine has given me the ability to cope with challenging situations mentally and emotionally in my classroom day to day. My morning routine has given me more productivity than I could have ever experienced before that I didn't even think possible. It's given me more time to myself than I I'd never even understood that I needed as a teacher mom or a teacher stepmom. It's given me a foundation of gratitude every day. It's given me the ability to start each and every day with intention and purpose and positivity. It's given me gratitude in a way that I've never experienced before. And also physical health that I had no idea I was even lacking. All of this is to say that I'm super excited.

Join Me!

I have started a new program and it's something that I've never even done before. It's called The Rise and Shine collective. It's an accountability group, I did my first ever accountability group with a coach. I am, my newest coach is called the tough love coach. Alyssa I've talked. Alyssa is my coach that I've talked about a lot before. My new coach is Alexis. And I love her so much. And the tough love coach did an accountability group around like social media and screen use. And it was so empowering because it was just an accountability group in Voxer. And that's how I'm running the rise and shine collective. It was an accountability group where we had to share it each day that we were doing the thing that we signed up for. So, I started the rise and shine collective because I was like, this has been literally life changing for me, my morning routine. And I am so passionate about sharing with teachers what is working for me in my classroom. This is the single most transformative thing that I have done for myself in my entire teaching career. So why would I not share about it? Is it within my normal, like wheelhouse of sharing of brain breaks, of classroom jobs of like, acquisition driven instruction? No. But is it transformative and completely mind blowing important to share with other educators? Yes. So, I decided to do it in the form of an accountability group. The Rise and Shine Collective is a morning routine accountability group for more productive and balanced, balanced days. So, if you're seeking to supercharge your days, with like this idea of productivity and balance and purpose and positivity, it could be that the one thing that you need is the accountability around it, like a group that you can go to and share the six pieces that you manage to accomplish today, have your morning routine, the two pieces that you're starting with your morning routine. And then two days later, the next piece that you're adding on, the 10 minutes that you committed to, to doing this morning, to center yourself in gratitude, and meditation, whatever it is the accountability to go and share in a Voxer group with other people who are doing the same thing and who want the same accountability that can be transformational and truly life changing. It has changed my life.

Let’s Work Together

Honestly, six months ago, my mental and emotional capacity to tackle challenges with students and like changes in my everyday classroom changed completely because I started implementing a morning routine. If you don't have any idea what Voxer is, is basically think about like a walkie talkie. But as an app, it allows you to like send messages in a group or send voice messages, send quick videos and photos. And that's the idea behind this group. It is not focused on classroom strategies. It's literally focused on a morning routine accountability, a group to hold you accountable to implementing changes and creating habits in your life that change you and transform your days toward a more positive, productive, and balanced, consistent routine. If that makes sense. I'm going to start it in 18 days, well, I guess it'd be 19 days from when you're listening to 18,19. I don't know when you're listening to this. The group is going to start on the 18th of September. I have two different tiers. There's a VIP tier, and also just the collective tier, the collective tier, it's $29 for the accountability group, there'll be like weekly challenges to have different things you can implement. I'll be sharing different things about my morning routine that I do. Different things that you can do to center and ground yourself in gratitude that you can help to do to focus your day and become more productive with your day. Obviously, there'll be the accountability of the group and the definite growth and then the VIP option will come with two group coaching sessions around morning routines to navigate the challenges your noticing, seek extra clarity and support. And they'll will also come with a bonus workshop with the morning routine experts in my opinion, Andrea, Andrea is positively dot win big on Instagram. And I've learned so much about morning routine and managing energy from her. And she's gonna give us a workshop on managing your energy that will completely transform the way that you look and approach self-care and have you thinking about it in a totally different way. So, if you're interested in this, you just need to follow the link in the show notes. I'm super, super excited to start this and if you can also follow the tiny URL tinyurl.com/rise and shine loca tinyurl.com/rise and shine loca. And I don't want you to like Rise and shine crazy. But like, that's the tiny URL that was available. So, check it out, I would love to have you join us. If you are a familiar loca member, make sure you check your email for a discount code, Familia loca members get 20% off. So, I want to make sure that you notice that code in your inbox before you join. But I would love to have you and I would love for you to experience the same joy, the same centering energy, the same productivity, and the same feeling of like mental emotional balance that I have in the last six months. I appreciate if you're one of the people that has reached out and said, oh my gosh, you look so much better. You look so joyful, you sound more yourself, your skin looks healthier than it has ever looked. I have noticed that you have been losing weight. Like all whatever you have said to me. I appreciate you. More than anything. I feel more grounded and centered than I've ever felt and more rested and ready to take on whatever comes my way because of it. Thank you for listening to this podcast. I would love to support you in the Rise and shine collective. I hope to see you there if you're looking for that extra support, maybe even in the VIP, and I look forward to supporting you in the next podcast. Until then, I'll be teaching la vida loca and I am sure you will be too. Take your teacher bye bye.

Thank you! 

Hey there teacher if you know somebody who would greatly benefit from a morning routine or who you think you would love to do this challenge with to have the accountability with send them this episode and maybe together you can join the rise and shine collective. I would love to have you check out the link in the bio and send this to somebody who you think could really benefit from having a consistent morning routine. I love you and I'm so grateful for you. Thanks so much.

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