Mental health, Mindset, Stress / Anxiety

Traumatic Wisdom: How To Use Setbacks As Fuel to Your Fire

We are all one.

Although we are all one, it doesn’t mean we’re all the same.

As we grow up, it becomes apparent that we all come from different walks of life.

We have different life experiences.

Some very privileged experiences – Some of us were born with opportunities others could never have dreamed of.

Some very disadvantaged experiences – Some of us have been carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders since day 1.


Some of this heavy weight becomes trauma. Trauma that’s become embedded in us. 

These life experiences – whether advantaged, disadvantaged or somewhere in between – shape us. They change us and mold us into the beings that we are today. 

Sometimes these life events set us back. 

Sometimes they hold us back.

Sometimes they become the reason for not living up to our full potential. 

But what we don’t always know – and what I wish someone would have told ME when I was growing up – is that these events, these struggles, these traumas…

… Don’t HAVE to hold us back. 

Yes, these experiences shape us, a part of them is ingrained in us forever. 

And yes, they have a drastic impact on who we are and the people we become. 

BUT –

They do not limit you. 

Or limit the person you can become.

Traumatic Wisdom

I was first introduced to this term by Dr. Gabor Mate, a renowned speaker, and bestselling author who specializes in addiction, stress, trauma and childhood development.

“Trauma cannot always be conquered, fixed, or resolved, but it can be heard, held and loved.”

Dr. Gabor Mate

Dr. Gabor Mate opened my eyes. He reminded me that we cannot change or always resolve our traumas. But we can choose to understand them and use them as fuel towards a better future for ourselves.

His words helped me in my own personal life, but also helped me in my work with my students – many of which came from traumatic backgrounds that I never dreamed of imaginable. 

I could help my students make sense of their traumas. 

To help them understand all of us carry trauma – although it may look different. 

That trauma comes in different forms and manifests differently for everyone.

And to remind them (and myself)…

That they have the power to change their course

That they don’t have to remain a victim of their circumstances.

The Power of Choice

The thing is, we always have a choice.

We have a choice in perspective.

A choice in how we see our circumstances.

A choice to use our circumstances and life experiences as setbacks or opportunities.

Choice is the most powerful thing in the world. And can be used in the most powerful of ways

As long as we can be conscious of the fact that we ALWAYS have a choice.

We can ALWAYS alter our course.

And with that, I’ll leave you with one final quote:

“I am not a product of my circumstances, I am a product of my decisions.”

– Stephen R. Covey

With love,

Miss T.

Health / Wellness, Mental health, self care, Stress / Anxiety

No Medication Necessary: How to Boost Your Immune System’s Functioning by 50% With This 1 Simple Addition To Your Day

We tend to look to external things to help us care for our health.

We take vitamins.

And lift heavy weights.

We ingest medications…

But we don’t often consider what we can do internally.

What if I told you that YOU have more power than you think?

What if I told you that you can care for your well-being and improve your immune functioning by simplythinkingthoughts?


Specifically, thoughts of Gratitude.

Huh? Gratitude?

Yes, Gratitude!

Let Me Explain…

Gratitude is a strong emotion that brings you into the present.

The opposite emotion is stress, which tends to leave you worrying about things that happened in the past or will happen in the future.

When you are stressed, your body is wasting energy on this stress. Your body is working so hard to combat stress that it leaves no energy left for our immune system. Immune functioning goes down.

Instead of stressing, spending more time each day in gratitude, will help the energy in your body restore. And your immune functioning is greatly improved. It’s receiving more energy.

Gratitude also aids in the production of Immunoglobulin-A (IGA) in our bodies.

What is IGA?

It is an antibody blood protein that helps to fight off sickness!

Boom!

Gratitude for the win!

Dr. Joe Dispenza, neurologist (who also happened to heal his spine with the power of gratitude) has this to say about the power of Gratitude:

“10 minutes of gratitude a day, 3 times a day, strengthens the immune system by 50%. The body begins to produce a chemical called Immunoglobulin A (IGA) – your body’s primary defense against bacteria and virus. It’s your Body’s natural flu shot.”

-Dr. Joe Dispenza

Did you hear that?!

Gratitude Strengthens Your Immune System By 50%!

You have preventative medicine right within you.

Internally…

We must not ignore the power of our thoughts when it comes to our health.

Stress and other dangerous emotions weaken our immune system and can lead to sickness.

But Gratitude…

Gratitude has the power to reverse it…

And YOU hold that power.

So… what will you choose to do with it?

With love,

Miss T.

Education, Health / Wellness, Mental health, Mindfulness, Mindset, Stress / Anxiety

Kids Keeping You On Your Toes? How to Find Mindful Moments In You Day Even If You Just Don’t Have The Time

“If only I had more time…”

“My schedule is packed…”

“My plate is just too full…”

These are some of the things I hear often when people answer the question:

“Have you practiced mindfulness with your kids today?”

Whether you’re a parent or a teacher… I get you…

Time is a hot commodity that we are always running out of.

Your hands really are full – You’re busy wearing ALL the hats, and doing ALL the things.

BUT, I want to share a secret with you…

You DO Have Time for Mindfulness!

Listen,

When we hear the word mindfulness, we assume we need to carve out a large chunk of time in our days to focus on a single mindfulness practice – like meditation.

This is not the case!

Mindfulness can be weaved in throughout our days, ALL day!

Mindfulness Isn’t Just a Practice…. It’s a State of Being!

We can practice mindfulness when:

  • We are eating our food mindfully
  • We are actively listening and engaged in a thoughtful conversation
  • We are going for a walk and paying attention to our surroundings

The point of mindfulness is to focus our attention on ONE thing – to minimize distractions.

You Don’t Need To “Schedule” Time for Mindfulness.

While you sure can, it is not a necessity! It’s not even a requirement!

It might be helpful at first to write down reminders or come up with a written plan of how YOU want to add mindfulness to your kids (and your) lives.

(Because lets be real here for a moment, if you’re expecting your kids to be more mindful, then you sure as hell be too! Role modelling for the WIN!)

Either way…

You don’t need to add anything or change your schedule around.

You just have to change HOW you view the things that you currently do.

Open Your Eyes to The Possibility of Mindful Moments.

All you need is a minute.

Can you pause more throughout your day to get a quick deep belly breath in with your kids?

Can you use all 5 of your senses to enjoy your meal with your family at the dinner table instead of scarfing it down mindlessly in front of the TV?

Can you put away your phone when talking to your children? Be fully present for them?

YES, YOU CAN!

Mindfulness is a Necessity.

The world is busy and so full of distractions. Anxiety and depression are on the rise – they were well before COVID hit our world. Now, they are increasing at an alarming rate.

Kids (and adults too) are struggling more than ever to cope with stress and manage their ever-changing emotions.

Mindfulness is The Answer.

Living more mindful lives is what will save us.

With mindfulness, our kids will live long and healthy lives. They will more effectively manage their emotions and cope with the uncertainty in the world.

Because we know, uncertainty isn’t going away anytime soon.

We can’t control everything going on around us.

BUT, we can control our response…

We can control our internal states.

I Love the World and It’s Future Generations.

(And I know you do too.)

I envision a peaceful, mindful world – with less people worrying over uncontrollable’s, more people coping and understanding the value of their emotions.

I envision our kids leading their kids. Helping them to live mindfully, and lead healthy, full lives.

Do you see it too?

With love,

Miss T.

Health / Wellness, Mental health, Mindset, self care, Stress / Anxiety

Meaning Making Machines: Do You Filter The Stories Your Brain Tells You?

Do you notice that your brain comes up with stories?

You’re having lunch with a friend and theres a couple at another table getting into a heated conversation. You can’t actually hear what they are saying but… their faces and body language says it all.

Your mind automatically fills in the blanks.

It begins coming up with stories about what the couple could be arguing about.

“Maybe she caught him checking out the waitress…”

“Or maybe she spent a little too much of their money on those heels..”

No matter how ridiculous or unlikely the story we come up with is, our minds are willing to create it.

Our Brains Are Meaning Making Machines!

Our brains are designed to close loops. It fills in the gaps of missing information as if it is fact.

They label a story as either positive or negative.

But, do you notice….

Our brains lean towards labelling the negative, more catastrophic side of things?

Our Brains Are Designed to Help Us Survive, NOT Thrive…

The brains key function is to keep us safe and out of danger.

This kept us safe when days were simpler….

“Oh snap, that lion is approaching me with hunger in his eyes, I must escape…”

These days, it has definite downsides….

Debilitating, even.

I watched a video recently by Alex Hormozi who perfectly explains the downsides of labelling situations as positive or negative – especially when it comes to our Mental Health…

We See Experiences As Two Opposing Sides of a Spectrum

We label moments in time as either:

  • Good or Bad
  • Happy or Sad
  • Relaxed or Stressed

The problem is, when an experience isn’t ideal, our brains label it as a “negative experience.”

It kicks into survival mode. It tells us that this negative experience is “bad or wrong.”

It wants us to escape it – often by taking medication, or finishing off that 6-pack in the fridge…

The thing is….

These “negative experiences” aren’t bad at all….

They’re What Makes Us Human!

It is okay – in fact – normal to experience both highs and lows.

It’s part of the human experience.

It is a blessing to feel so many emotions – We need not condemn ourselves when we are feeling low.

So, Is Being Human The Problem?

Not at all!

Feeling a range of emotions – ups and downs – is human nature.

Just like it’s our brains nature to help us survive – even if that means telling us irrational explanations to an experience.

It’s up to us to decipher if the labelling going on in our brains is rational or not.

(Hint: most times… its not)

Man’s Search For Meaning

Alex Hormozi ended off his video by sharing a little piece of advice from this book by Viktor E. Frankl…

Viktor E. Frankl – for those who do not know – was a Holocaust survivor. He survived the Auschwitz Concentration Camps in Nazi Germany. His family did not…

In his book, he shares his experiences as a prisoner and the revelation he received about life and suffering.

Viktor’s message is simply this:

“Between our circumstances and our responses, there is always CHOICE.
Suffering is OPTIONAL.”

This is coming from a man who has been through the worst of the worst.

Even he can find meaning in suffering.

The key is not eliminating emotional distress or negative experiences, but accepting it as a part of being human.

And being able to find meaning in the madness.

With love,

Miss T.


If You’re Interested In The Alex Hormozi Video I Was Referring To In This Post,

You Can Check Out The Video Below!

Health / Wellness, Mental health, Mindfulness, Mindset, Stress / Anxiety

How To Protect Yourself From The World’s DEADLIEST Disease: Fear

Fear – What is its purpose?

Experiencing fear is part of being human. It was built into our operating system to keep us safe.

When our lives are threatened, our stress response triggers us into ‘fight or flight’ mode to quickly expel the danger from our presence.

These short-bursts of fear are essential for our survival.

But, What Happens When our Fear is Constant?

While short bursts of fear are meant to keep us safe, living in fear does the opposite…

When our sympathetic nervous system (‘fight or flight’) is triggered for long periods of time, we feel its detrimental affects.

Our bodies are not meant to sustain this mode for long.

Our bodies CANNOT sustain this mode for long.

So, what actually happens to us as a result?

Fear Reduces Our Body’s Ability To Function

In ‘fight or flight’ mode, our body suspends energy that is needed for other parts of the body. It directs all energy towards the perceived threat.

When the threat disappears, our body returns to normal, sharing the energy among the body’s systems.

But when the threat does not disappear…

When we are always fearful of something….

Our stress response hoards that energy.

It leaves nothing for the rest of the body to function properly.

Our Immune System Takes a Hit.

Our immune system doesn’t receive any energy to produce the cells it needs to keep our bodies safe.

Our ability to fight off diseases and infection is reduced significantly!

We become prone to illness.

The Whole World is Living in Fear…

And while there is lots to be afraid of, accepting a life of stress is not serving anyone. It does not serve YOU!

People are afraid because they want to stay safe.

But fear is what is preventing safety…

So… What Can We Do to Keep Our Fears at Bay?

Here are a few tips to get you started!

Tip #1: Turn off the News!
Although the news is supposed to keep us “informed,” it also sends constant messages of worry and fear into our brains. The news turns fear into a part of our subconscious.

I promise, it will not kill you to turn off the news every now and then… in face, it might SAVE you!

Tip #2: Social Media Detox!
I get it, social media is another way we stay “informed,” but constant scrolling on social media is another way of penetrating more fearful news into our brain and subconscious.

It also promotes comparison. We compare ourselves to others. We get depressed over all that we lack. But, we see only the “best” of peoples lives on social media – not necessarily their REAL life…

Tip #3: Get Outside in Nature!
Reconnect with the real world! Being in nature, we get out of our own heads and away from our fears. Nature takes us to the present moment.

Nature also triggers the parasympathetic response, which is the opposite as our stress response! This allows our body and minds to rest, relax, and restore energy.

Ahhh! Just what we need!

Living in Fear is Not Keeping Anyone Safe.

Get out of your head and into the present moment

Let the present moment lead you to wellness

With love,

Miss T.

compassion, Health / Wellness, Mental health, Mindfulness, Mindset, self care, Stress / Anxiety

Teens Have It Rough: Help Your Teenager Navigate Tough Waters With This All-In-One Gratitude Journal!

Teenagers Sure do Have it Rough…

For them, life is a balancing act.

  • Balancing stress from all the social pressures…
  • Struggling with confidence and self-acceptance…
  • Questioning their place in this world…

They have to deal with all this (and more) with an under-developed brain.

Their brains are STILL a work in progress…

I look at that list (even with my developed adult brain) and know I’d be struggling balancing all of that too…

So What Can We Do?

How can we help them navigate through this tricky spot in life?

I asked myself these very same questions at the beginning of this school year…

Because this School Year, I Found Myself Neck-Deep in the Middle of Grade 9 Classroom Waters…

This classroom was filled with some complex kids with complex needs…

I wanted to help them…

The way I wish someone helped me back then…

They desperately needed certain skills…

Skills that would help them THRIVE, instead of just SURVIVE…

This is why, after much thought and a lot of field research (testing the waters of my Grade 9 classroom), I came up with a way to help my students build an essential skillset!

A skillset that would help them, not only, navigate the rough waters of Junior High, but also prepare them for life (and develop their brains along the way)!

Introducing…
The Kids Yoga Stories Gratitude Journal for Teens!!

Okay, but what makes this Gratitude Journal so special?

How is a gratitude journal supposed to help our struggling Teens…?

Well, THIS journal is MORE than just any old Gratitude Journal…

In fact, it helps Teens develop qualities and skills like:

  • Emotional Regulation and Stress Management
  • Confidence and Self-Esteem
  • Empathy and Compassion for Themselves and Others
  • Positive Self-Talk and and Self-Acceptance
  • Forgiveness and Perspective Shifting
  • And of course, Expressing Gratitude and Feelings of Appreciation

How Does One Journal Do All of This?

It provides regulation strategies, like Breath of the Month and Mindful Colouring, to manage stress and anxiety – tools that Teens can use for life!

(I don’t care who you are, you can’t tell me Teens are “too cool for school” to colour… My field research says otherwise! :P)

The Weekly Positive Affirmations promote positive self-talk, self-acceptance, boosts confidence and reminds Teens to show themselves compassion. We are all just human, after all.

The Gratitude Questions and Challenges are thought provoking and help shift perspective in Teens. They begin to understand their place in the world and have appreciation for whats going on around them.

This Interactive Journal provides a creative outlet for Teens to get thoughts and worries out of their heads. Getting things out on paper gives Teens the chance to reflect on experiences and even learn from them.

Plus, we already know that when our Mental Health improves, so does our overall health! This translates to other parts of our lives.

And Teens will benefit for years to come!

But Why?

Why Did I Decide To Create A Journal For Teens Unlike Any Other?

Well, I’d like to ask you this…

Do YOU remember what it was like being a Teenager?

I sure do…

And when I met my Grade 9 students on that very first day, I saw myself in all of them.

All of my insecurities…

All of my worries…

All of my struggles trying to fit into the world…

I Barely Got By My Teen Years

I wasn’t about to let that happen to these kids.

So…

I asked myself,

“How would I have helped MYSELF back in my Teen years?”

“What supports did I desperately need?”

DIY: Gratitude Notebooks

A few students and I put together personal notebooks filled with gratitude, breathing and calming strategies, affirmations, and other random thoughts!

The note books were amazing, but they just weren’t quite enough

They weren’t as organized as I would have liked.

They weren’t as appealing to the Teenager who is concerned about appearance.

So….

I took all of these lessons I learned from my Gratitude Notebooks,

All of the lessons from my Teenage students,

And all of the lessons from reflecting on my Teen years,

And turned them into the beautiful…

Kids Yoga Stories Gratitude Journal for Teens!

“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are…”

The Kids Yoga Stories Gratitude Journal for Teens helps teens develop the courage to be who they really are.

So they can be who they are really meant to be…

With Love & Gratitude,

Miss T.


If You are Interested in Helping Your Teen Navigate Tough Waters…

Check out the Kids Yoga Stories Gratitude Journal for Teens!

Twelve weeks of Gratitude Journal Prompts, Reflection Questions, Breathing Exercises, Positive Affirmations, and more!

This Journal Also Includes:

  • A NEW Gratitude Question EVERY DAY
  • Weekly Mandala Colouring Pages (That Double as Positive Affirmations)
  • Inspirational Quotes for Each Day of Prompts

Here Are What Some Teens Had To Say About The
Kids Yoga Stories Gratitude Journal:

“I would buy 8 copies of this journal if I could…”

-Grade 9 Student

“Can you let me know when this journal comes out so I can get my parents to buy it?”

-Grade 7 Student
Education, Kids, Mental health, Mindfulness, Stress / Anxiety

The Hard Truth you Need to Know about Teaching: How to Create More Time

“I just don’t have the time…”

“How am I supposed to squeeze anything else into my day…?”

Things I hear in Education..

And I get it, Teachers have a lot on their overflowing plates.

They are more than just Teachers – they feed kids when they’re hungry and console them when they’re hurt.

Days become overwhelmed with to-do’s and then suddenly… its JUNE! And we’re cutting it close on deadlines.

But if we invest a little extra time, into the RIGHT things, it is possible to get some teaching time back!

Let’s take a quick peek into our classrooms…

Teacher’s at the front, attempting to get through her math lesson.

Attempting… because we know her lesson is not going according to plan.

We have Johnny in the front, raising his hand every 2 minutes to interject with a concern. Bianca is noisily tapping on her desk, frustrated because she just doesn’t get math. Will snapped his pencil and is this close to flipping his desk if he has to painstakingly sit through another minute of this class…

Classrooms are overrun with interruptions.

Sometimes, as Educators, we feel so short on time, that we push through our lessons and don’t necessarily deal with the underlying issue…

The Disregulation…

The stress, the frustrations and the anger…

And the truth is… Kids aren’t learning if they are not REGULATED.

To understand that, we need to know how our brains work.

When information enters our brain, either from something external (like a lesson) or from our internal emotions (fear, anger), this information travels from the bottom up.

  1. The Brain Stem, into

  2. Our Limbic System (Emotional brain), and then

  3. The NeoCortex (Thinking brain)


But… when students are disregulated, then information cant travel past our brain stem, our primitive brain…

Think of it as electricity flowing in a circuit. If our regulation “switch” is turned off… no electricity is getting to the “light bulb” part of the brain.

The upper parts of their brains aren’t on.

They can’t use their emotional brain to relate to your lesson… And they most definitely can’t use their thinking brain!

So, what’s the point in stressfully pushing through a lesson if our students wont remember or relate to it…?

We Need Regulation!

And how do we do that?

By taking a little bit of time to mindfully teach regulation strategies!

When our kids become disregulated, but are PREPARED in handing it. We can redirect back to our lesson quicker.

The interruptions become minimal…

And we have a more effective lesson…

All because we invested a little bit of time turning our students brains on.


Here Are Some Easy-Peasy Strategies To Get You Started:

#1: Deep Belly Breathing (and more breathing exercises)

#2: Journalling or Creating Art

#3: Gong for a Walk (even better if it’s outdoors!)

Wishing you the best of luck!
(I just know you can do it!)

With love,

Miss T.

Education, Health / Wellness, Kids, Mental health, Mindfulness, Stress / Anxiety

Education Problems 101: How To Practice Mindfulness When You Just Don’t Have The Space

I get it…

Space is limited!

We don’t all have cozy corners, or carpet spaces in our classrooms… Some of us don’t even have classrooms!

This was my challenge too…

As an Educational Assistant, I didn’t have my own classroom. No place to practice Mindfulness with my students. No place to put my Mindfulness “tools”.

But, I Had A Dream…

I wanted to teach students Mindfulness techniques and get my message out to the school.

I felt it was too important of a dream to just forget about because I was lacking one crucial aspect…

So, how did I overcome this challenge?

How did I bring Mindfulness to my students WITHOUT the space to do so?

I Got Creative…

Accepting that there was a challenge was Step #1!

CHOOSING to find an alternative and face it head on was Step #2!

We don’t often get past Step #1 – Our subconscious holds onto the message that there isn’t always a way around a problem.

BUT…

There is ALWAYS another way! There is ALWAYS an alternative!

All you have to do is a little creative thinking…

For me, this meant introducing…

The Mindfulness Bin!

The Mindfulness Bin was a lightweight bin that held all my Mindfulness tools.

Because I couldn’t hold Mindfulness in one classroom, this bin needed to go ANYWHERE I needed to go.

Sometimes Mindfulness Club took place in the music room, or outdoors. Sometimes it was help in the gym, or in a spare classroom.

Students LOVED to be “Mindfulness Bin Leaders” – They took such pride in hauling our little bin around.

The Mindfulness Tools that you’d be likely to find in my Mindfulness Bin were:

  • Sit Spots
  • Breathing Activities Book
    (Breathe Like a Bear by Kira Willey)
  • Mandala Colouring Pages
  • Pencil Crayons
  • Breathing Stars
  • Talking Stick
  • Sand Timer
  • Activity Cards (Breath Work/Yoga Cards)
  • Self Check-In Cards & Erasable Markers

Maybe that sounds like a lot to you… But all these items were small and easy to carry.

I’d sometimes switch them out for a little variety.

I NEVER Felt Limited with The Mindfulness Bin!

Although it was small, it sure was mighty!

It had all the tools we needed to get the job done.

My students saw the bin as this magical component to Mindfulness Club…

Remember Mary Poppins?

And the never-ending magical tote bag she would pull unlimited items out of?

Yeah…?

Well, that’s how I felt every time I had The Mindfulness Bin with me!

“What will Miss T. pull out next?!”

No Space, No Problem!

Don’t get discouraged if you have a space-limiting challenge in front of you.

Get creative: Think outside-of-the-box!

There is always a way. Always a solution.

I hope my Mindfulness Bin story will inspire you to take creative action on your next big challenge.

I know you can do it…

With love,

Miss T.

Health / Wellness, Mental health, Stress / Anxiety

The #1 Secret to Living a Healthy, Full Life!

What is The Secret to Living a Healthy Life?

Growing up, I was told if you stay active and eat nutritious foods then you’ll have no problem living to 100!!

I’m sure you’ve heard something along these lines too.

Nutrition and physically activity are the keys to a healthy life…

We hear a lot about the impact our diet and movement can have on our well-being, but we often neglect one of the most important components to our wellness…

Let’s chat about Mental Health!

Where does it fit in this wellness puzzle?

Mental well-being is a tough topic to talk about. Mostly due to lack of awareness.

But now, our world has become filled with anxiety, depression, phobias and a plethora of other mental illnesses.

With mental illness on the rise, we have no choice but to shine a spotlight on Mental Health.

We have to acknowledge it.

And I’m sure glad we are, because it is the real ‘kicker’ when it comes to maintaining our health and wellbeing.

Dr. Gabor Mate, physician and author who specializes in childhood development and trauma, reported about a study of smokers in one of his books.

The smokers were separated into 2 groups:

  • Smokers who were more emotionally stable
  • Smokers who were emotionally repressed and had significant stress

… And the findings were shocking!

Although we KNOW the impact smoking has on our health, there were significant differences between the health of the two groups.

The emotionally stable smokers lived longer, healthier lives- not necessarily guaranteeing lung cancer and other diseases.

The emotionally repressed smokers were 5x more likely to develop these diseases!

Smoking alone does not cause lung cancer…

Smoking + Poor Mental Health does!

Woahhh…

This doesn’t mean I’m telling you to take up smoking..

I’m telling you this to remind you how powerful our mindset can be. Our thoughts and emotions have the power to override unhealthy habits – like smoking!

This is why it is so important not to disregard our good ol’ friend ‘Mental Health’ when it comes to our well-being.

Our thoughts can make us sick, but they can also make us well.

Adding in positive mental health practices to our lives is just as essential (if not, more essential) for our overall wellness than physical activity and nutrition alone!

Mental Health is the missing piece to our wellness puzzle.

Now that you know…

…How will you chose to use your thoughts?

… For health? Or for illness?

No one can make the choice but you!

With love,

Miss T.

Education, Kids, Mindset, Stress / Anxiety

Teenagers: Treacherous Tiny Humans… But, Are They Actually?

“I will NEVER work with teenagers. You wont ever find me working in a Junior High School…”

– Young Miss T.

Said a young, naive Miss T.

But, Why?

Do you remember the kind of terror – I mean, kid, you were as a teen?

I never wanted to deal with treacherous teens, like myself.

I told myself, there was just no way…

… Until This Year Happened…

My little Elementary school closed down, and in its place, a Grade 4-9 school was built.

On one hand, I didn’t want to leave my students who would transfer to this new school.

But on the other hand, I remembered the promise I made to myself in my early days of Education.

The promise I made to never work with teenagers.

Why would I want to put myself through that…?

I don’t know what I was thinking when I said YES to the position at this new school….

I don’t know what I was thinking when I said YES when they asked if I’d work with a Grade 9 classroom….

But I did anyways.

I Was Paralyzed With Fear Back In September.

Surrounded by “kids” taller than I was.

Surrounded by cliques of teens.

How was I supposed to look confident? Unafraid?

When deep down, I felt like I was thrown back in junior high trying to prove myself to all these “cool” teens. Trying to “fit in”. To be “accepted” as one of their own.

I remember asking other staff members for advice.

“They’re Just Big Kids” – They’d All Say.

It took me a while to realize this was true.

It took me a while to look past their height and intimidating demeanour.

What it took, was me coming back to the school after my leave of absence…

I mustered up the courage to seek out my Grade 9’s again – worrying, yet again, if they’d be angry with me for leaving.

I worried that the kids I was scared of all along, would really give me something to be afraid of…

“Look! It’s Miss T!” – Someone Shouted.

I took one step through the door, and immediately was pummelled by student hugs!

Hugs so tight that it took me back to my Elementary school days…

These hugs felt exactly like my Grade 1’s and 2’s hugs did.

Except, this time, when I looked down, there weren’t tiny humans hanging on tightly to my legs…

Instead, there were beautiful tiny souls disguised as teenagers.

I learned a beautiful lesson that day…

Do not be fooled: Teenagers really are just big kids after all…


Thank you to the teenagers who changed my life and my perception…

I am grateful for all you taught me!
(Yes, I’m looking at you – My Homeroom 9-1‘s)


With love,

Miss T.