Proven ways to be more patient with yourself (and others) starting now

Getting to the “Other Side” of Your Frustration

Have you ever been in the midst of a particularly stressful moment (Computer not cooperating? Flat tire? Holiday shopping at the mall, on a weekend?) and someone took the time to help you calm down and solve a problem? It can truly feel like that person was sent down, from the heavens, to guide you safely to the “other side” of your panic and frustration.

Though the ability to be patient is a highly valued attribute in others, patience and mindfulness remain elusive skills for most of us who have jobs, families…lives here on planet Earth. Frustration, and the anger that can follow, is a fact of life for every human being. This does NOT mean we’re bad or flawed people⸺it means we have work, families, important stuff to do! We have a lot on our plates, and we tend to prioritize others ahead of ourselves, especially during the holidays, so it’s no wonder we don’t have much time to devote to becoming more patient.

But health experts and research have confirmed that being more patient can significantly benefit our individual health and wellbeing. Practicing patience can also improve our work and communities; it impacts everything we touch and every part of our lives.

Not long after tackling a particularly stressful session of holiday shopping this year, I was lucky enough to chat with Dr. Bernard Golden, author of the book Overcoming Destructive Anger: Strategies That Work, about how impatience can harm us, and how we can better manage it without becoming overwhelmed by the process.

“Patience is key to resilience and a major component of emotional and physical well-being,” Golden notes. “It entails developing skills in self-soothing and calming when facing situations that frustrate us. Whether based on realistic or unrealistic expectations, impatience can lead to feelings such as anxiety and anger and the physiological responses that accompany them. These may include increased levels of cortisol, norepinephrine, and adrenaline. Unfortunately, elevated levels of cortisol contribute to a suppressed immune system and increased blood pressure and blood glucose levels.”

The good news, Golden says, is that we can develop new habits to increase our patience. Some of the strategies he recommends center around breathing (which we just happen to be old pros at!).

“Such practices offer a constructive way of dealing with daily challenges, whether standing in line at the supermarket, inching along on a congested highway, waiting for lab results regarding a medical test, or waiting for a response to a text,” he suggests.

The following are several practices that Golden recommends to help cultivate patience:

 

  1. Engage in deep breathing. For 3-4 breaths, focus attention on slowly and deeply inhaling and exhaling. Spend ⅓ of the time focused on inhaling and ⅔’s time on exhaling. This has been found to be the most effective pattern to promote physical calmness. However, it is just the first step.

  2. Then relax your breathing, noticing the air entering and leaving your nostrils, or the rise and fall of your chest. This is the focus of attention in many forms of mindfulness meditation.

  3. Practice body relaxation exercises that might include a body scan and progressive relaxation. These practices increase body awareness and serve as rehearsal for evoking calmness when you experience the first signs of impatience.

  4. Distinguish between realistic and unrealistic expectations. Most importantly, recognize when some of your expectations may be based on your emotional brain in the form of hopes and wishes. For example, you may know that traffic is congested during the rush hour, yet still expect the roads to be clear.

  5. Focus attention on observing through all of your senses, when caught up in the throes of impatience. Focusing on observing competes with thinking. It forces us to be in the moment rather than think about what we believe “should” be happening. Notice the sights around you, the people, objects, colors, and shape and composition of objects. Listen to sounds, feel your feet against the ground, your hands on the steering wheel, or your butt on a seat. Feel the air against your face and hands, and notice whether it is cold or warm.

  6. Golden has coined the acronym BEAR as a way of responding to frustration:

 

B – Breathe deeply

 

E – Evoke physical calmness based on practicing body relaxation exercises

 

A – Arouse compassionate internal dialog, i.e. “This is difficult.” “This is what it feels like to feel impatience.” “This is just a feeling and–like all feelings–is temporary and will pass.” Or “I know this is hard and I’m here to help you sit through it.”

 

R – Reflect on expectations and identify those that are more realistic with regard to the present situation.

 

Since most of us are well aware of the toll stress and frustration take on our bodies, but don’t have much in the way of extra time to meditate or attend a yoga class, I asked another wellness expert if there are additional steps we can take, as part of our existing daily routines, to help stop frustration in its tracks.

Randi Ragan, a nationally recognized holistic wellbeing expert and author of A Year Of Living Mindfully: Seasonal Practices to Nourish Body, Mind and Spirit, recommends these gentle and simple yoga poses that can be done pretty much anywhere (including during a break at work), to help promote patience and quickly decrease stress levels.

HANGING FORWARD/ROLL DOWNS

This pose infuses the brain with fresh blood and oxygen which calms down irritability, anger, and frustration.

  1. Start seated or standing (if possible) and bend forward from the waist.

  2. The head and neck should dangle loosely toward the floor, with arms loosely relaxed as well

  3. Feet planted flat and firmly

  4. Take 5 – 10 deep breaths before rolling up very slowly

  5. Keep eyes closed for a few breaths to re-balance your body in space (and to avoid dizziness)

  6. Roll downs can be done up to 8 cycles

SEATED TWIST

This pose activates the spine, and the spinal fluid, with oxygen and fresh blood, which, in turn calms the brain and settles the nervous system. When the nervous system is settled and oxygenated, then our emotions follow suit. Our brain clears of agitation and we are more likely to focus on peace and calm which manifest in patience.

  1. Face forward in the chair with feet flat on the floor.

  2. Reach around to the right and grab the back of the chair with one or both hands

  3. Close eyes and breath 5 deep breaths

  4. Release on an exhale and turn to the left

  5. Repeat reaching to the right and the left 2 or 3 times

  6. This exercise can be done a few times a day when you need to refresh and clear the mind

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eSTAR named a “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Product” by District Administration readers

ESPED's eSTAR named a “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Product” by District Administration readers

Nominations from top K12 leaders led to the selection of products that enhance learning across the country

 

[Andover, MA] — December 1, 2016 — eSTAR has been recognized for making a positive difference in education by K12 leaders who named it to District Administration magazine’s “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products for 2016.”

 

The winners were compiled from 1,500-plus nominations from the magazine’s readers over the past year. The Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products has been announced online and in the December 2016 issue of District Administration.

 

The District Administration Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products awards program informs superintendents and other senior school district leaders about products their colleagues around the country are using to help their districts excel in a variety of areas, such as technology, sustainability and curriculum instruction.

 

“Learning about all the products being used to help districts succeed is inspiring,” says JD Solomon, District Administration’s editorial director. “Our winners cover a wide spectrum. All of our 2016 honorees should be very proud of this achievement.”

 

“We are extremely proud that eSTAR has been selected as a District Administration Readers’ Choice Top 100 Product for another year,” said George Dhionis, Founder and CEO of ESPED. “We developed and maintain eSTAR to be a comprehensive and user-friendly solution for K12 administrators; our team is thrilled to know that District Administration readers continue to find it a valuable resource.”

 

About District Administration

District Administration provides K12 leaders with critical news and information for school district management, through its monthly magazine, website, e-newsletters and the District Administration Leadership Institute Superintendent Summits. For more information, visit www.DistrictAdministration.com.

 

Contact:

 

Ray Bendici

Special Projects Editor

District Administration magazine

rbendici@promediagrp.com

 

Keesa Sung

Director of Marketing

ESPED

800-365-0114

ksung@esped.com

 

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How to get organized without disrupting your life: tips from best-selling author Lee Silber

The Organization Situation

 

The extra work and delays that result from disorganization often cause stress for even the most detail-oriented individuals or teams. If we all had a nickel for every time we thought, “this could’ve been avoided if I had just been more organized” we would all be able to afford to hire personal assistants! If you are familiar with this feeling of frustration, you may also be familiar with the thought that usually accompanies it, “…but when would I have had the time to organize all of this?”

The good news is, we heard a rumor that there are quick and easy methods of organization that take almost no time at all but can go a long way in saving time, money, and sanity.

To boost individual and team powers of organization and (perhaps most importantly) decrease stress, we asked organization guru Lee Silber, author of the best-selling book Organizing from the Right Side of the Brain, for some tips, tricks, and best practices for keeping things in order without completely overhauling our natural thought processes and workflows.

“You can learn how to organize from others, and you can use tips and techniques from books and magazine articles, but—ultimately—you have to organize the way you think, work, and live for it to stick,” Silber advises. “For instance, maybe when you walk into the house, you like to drop everything on the counter: keys, purse, sunglasses, and your phone. But you read somewhere that everything should have a place and be put in that place, so you feel like a failure because you didn’t put everything away. The truth is, the (right) place for your stuff is where you want to put it naturally. So, put a bowl or basket there as a catch-all. If we have to change who we are to get or stay organized, chances are it won’t stick. If we work within our natural tendencies, there’s a better chance we’ll stick with (our efforts of organization). Notice how you like to store your stuff and improve upon that rather than trying to do a radical makeover.”

Silber suggests that the same go with the flow approach can be applied to office organization.  While digital resources and paperless filing can do a lot to streamline work life, we will likely encounter some of the same organizational challenges as with conventional paper systems. Silber recommends organizing your computer around the way you work. “Everything about using it should be easy,” he advises.

Digital organization tips from Lee Silber

  • Plans change, so a digital version you can adjust is a must!

  • A Projects-in-Process folder is perfect for the things you want easy access to, until they are completed and can be archived.

  • What is the first thing that pops into your mind about a file? That is how to title and tag it.

  • Every time I open a (digital) file drawer, I do a little deleting of dated files. It is better than wasting a day on it.

Silber emphasizes that the key to being more organized is finding smart shortcuts that supplement our current workflows and processes. “The easier something is to do, the more likely we’ll do it. If we make something hard to put away, we probably won’t put it in its proper place.”

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National Bullying Prevention Month: A conversation that should last all year

Prevent bullying

October is National Bullying Prevention Month in the U.S. but we think this important issue should be highlighted throughout the year. Here are five ideas from www.stopbullying.gov that school staff, parents, and other adults can use to help prevent bullying.

1.       Include text that addresses violent behavior in your school mission statement.

2.       Make sure your school code of conduct is detailed and outlines the positive behaviors expected of your community. Make sure that it is visible to everyone.

3.       Create and distribute a student bill of rights that includes positive things that children can expect while at school. If it is short, it may be easier to remember.

4.       Establish an easy-to-use reporting system that can help show negative behavioral issues and emerging patterns over time. Ensure reports are private so staff and students feel safe when reporting incidents.

5.       Considering giving an annual “state of the school” speech that reminds your community of school policy on bullying and other harmful behaviors.

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Supreme Court to weigh in on sensitive education issue

The Supreme Court of the United States announced Thursday that it will decide the minimum actions that public schools must take to help learning-disabled students. The court, which formally starts its new term on October 3rd, has committed to hearing an appeal from the parents of an autistic child in Colorado.

The federal government recommended that Supreme Court justices hear the case to resolve a circuit split and to provide a consistent level of service to students with disabilities attending public schools, who are protected under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1990.

The dispute initiated when the Colorado couple moved their son to private school for fifth grade after a very challenging fourth grade year spent in a public school. They requested reimbursement for the cost of the private education, believing that reimbursement was warranted under federal law, which states that learning-disabled children can attend private schools at taxpayer expense if public schools cannot provide what the law refers to as a free, appropriate public education.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit, in Denver, heard the case last year and rejected the reimbursement, stating that the public school the child had previously attended had met its obligations under IDEA in providing the child with an appropriate public education.

This case will present the Supreme Court with the complex task of determining whether school districts receiving federal funding must provide a more substantial and specific educational benefit to a child with an individualized education plan (IEP) than what the law currently delineates.

 

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eStar Back to School 2016 Roundup

It’s official—back to school season is in full swing! Now that many teachers and students have returned to the classroom, there are some exciting initiatives in the works that are poised to enhance school experience across the US.

 

Massachusetts Schools Prioritize Nutrition

Massachusetts schools continue to participate in the Smarter Lunchrooms Movement, a research-based program designed by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service to support the Child Nutrition Programs. Members of the USDA’s Team Nutrition initiative work to create and help schools implement best practices to aid students in making healthier nutritional choices every day. In addition to funding state agencies in offering students nutritious and low-cost meals, Team Nutrition also provided training to the staff of 51 Commonwealth schools preparing for the 2016-2017 academic year. Schools across the state benefited from professional assistance from three Smarter Lunchrooms coaches this year. Coaches helped schools create practical nutrition plans, establish feasible goals, and identify helpful resources. A suite of educational materials, including infographics and a Tool Kit for back-to-school events, are available on the Team Nutrition website.

http://blogs.usda.gov/2016/09/08/massachusetts-smarter-lunchrooms-movement/

 

Illinois Gives Boost to Agriculture Education

A bill prioritizing agricultural education in Illinois was signed into law on August 16th. State Senator Scott Bennett, a sponsor of the legislation, hopes it will give a needed boost to agribusiness in Illinois by designating agriculture education as a subject area currently experiencing staff shortages; this official acknowledgement will make scholarships available for those who want to pursue agriculture education as a career. The new law will also provide a grant to fund up to 50 percent of the personal services costs for an agriculture education instructor. The new law will take effect in January 2017.

http://www.wandtv.com/story/32775780/new-law-prioritizes-agriculture-education-in-illinois-schools

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocTypeID=SB&DocNum=2975&GAID=13&SessionID=88&LegID=96302

 

Texas Legislature Study Addresses Pre-K Classroom Size

Following the passage of House Bill (HB) 4 in 2015, which authorized funding for the HB 4 High-Quality Prekindergarten Grant program, a 2016 study was conducted to explore the connection between class size, student-to-teacher ratio, and quality of learning experience for children preparing for kindergarten. The study, conducted by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) and the Department of Family and Protective Services, showed that both class size and student-to-teacher ratio tend to impact classroom effectiveness. Based on these findings, the TEA is recommending that prekindergarten classrooms in the state not exceed 22 pupils each, and that the student-to-teacher ratio not exceed 11:1 for classes that have between 16 and 22 students. For a class of 15 or fewer students, a maximum student-to-teacher ratio of 15:1 is now recommended.

http://tea.texas.gov/Reports_and_Data/Program_Evaluations/Research_Reports/Program_Evaluation___Research_Reports/

 

The award-winning eSTAR™ delivers information management solutions for K-12 school districts. ESPED’s cloud based applications for multi-authored student documents and expertly engineered analytical tools are affording teachers valuable time with their students and paving the road for data driven decisions in schools across the nation.

 

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eSTAR™ Named “Reader’s Choice Top 100 Product” by District Administration Magazine

Press Release
eSTAR
Named “Reader’s Choice Top 100 Product” by District Administration Magazine

K12 leaders highlight products that enhance learning in another record-breaking year for nominations

Andover – December 1, 2013 — eSTAR™ has been recognized for making a positive difference in education by K12 leaders who named it to District Administration magazine’s “Readers’ Choice Top 100 Product for 2013.”

The winners, selected by District Administration’s editors from a record 1,800-plus nominations, were products that received the highest number of nominations and best descriptions from K12 leaders. The Readers’ Choice Top 100 has been announced online and in the December issue of District Administration.

In recognizing the most innovative products, the annual District Administration Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products award informs superintendents and other senior school district leaders about products their colleagues around the country are using to help their districts excel.

“The fact that we had a record number of readers participating in this recognition program is a testament to the interest that K12 leaders have in products for improving educational outcomes and operational efficiencies,” says JD Solomon, District Administration’s editorial director.  “All of the honorees in our Top 100 program should be very proud of their achievement.”

About District Administration
District Administration provides K12 leaders with critical news and information for school district management, through its monthly magazine, website, e-newsletters and the District Administration Leadership Institute Superintendent Summits. For more information, visit www.DistrictAdministration.com.

Contact:

JD Solomon
Editorial Director
District Administration magazine
jdsolomon@promediagrp.com

Keesa Sung
Sales & Marketing Director
eSped.com, Inc.
ksung@esped.com

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The Texas Computer Cooperative (TCC) selects eSPED for their Special Population Student Information Management Solution!

The Texas Computer Cooperative (TCC), providers of TxEIS and iTCCS K-12 Administrative Software, selects eSPED for their Special Population Student Information Management Solution — eSTAR™.

eSPED, a provider of special population student information management solutions, has been awarded the contract to supply Web-based special population document management services for TCC products.

eSTAR™—eSPED’s cloud-based applications for multi-authored student documents and expertly engineered analytical tools provides teachers access to accurate student information, a common platform for collaboration with colleagues, efficiency, and valuable time with their students. eSPED is a leader in document compliance and is paving the road for data driven decisions in schools across the nation.

The seamless, bi-directional connection between TxEIS, iTCCS and eSTAR™ enables school administrators simplified management and immediate access to special population student information. With this partnership, the TCC is able to provide schools working with eSPED access to eSTAR™ through its TxEIS and iTCCS student information systems. According to George Dhionis, President and Founder of eSPED, “We are extremely pleased to be awarded this contract and look forward to supporting the efforts of the TCC, specifically their student information systems, TxEIS and iTCCS. This joint effort and integration affords districts a tried and true solution and provides for immediate data streaming of student information.” The eSTAR™ suite is comprised of special population student data management modules including: RTI, FIE, ARD, IEP, ELL, Medicaid and more, which allows schools to electronically manage, track, and archive student data, while keeping up-to-date with Federal and State compliance requirements. The eSTAR™ suite delivers compliance verification, state-reporting validation, and report filtering for data-driven decisions with highly secure end-to-end application access.

“The TCC is pleased to form this partnership with eSPED. We know the eSTAR™ suite will enhance the TCC software offerings by including a best of breed product at a cost effective price. This partnership will also allow for a more seamless integration between TxEIS or iTCCS and the eSTAR™ product,” said Beverly Meyer, Associate Director of IT at ESC-20.

Go to www.esped.com to learn more about eSTAR™.
Go to www.txeis.net to learn more about TxEIS.

 

For Immediate Release
October 21, 2013
Contact: Keesa Sung
ksung@esped.com
978-701-6905

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Sing a Happy Tune!

When I think of collaboration, I immediately think of memorable vocal artists coming together and giving fans something to remember.  I am sure some of your favorites are coming to mind, maybe Tony Bennett and Stevie Wonder – ”For Once In My Life” ; Maroon 5 and Rhianna  – “ If I Never See Your Face Again; Elton John and Leon Russell– “If It Wasn’t for Bad”  or perhaps, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat –”Lucky”.  You might even be humming that favorite song right now.  For me, well, I bet you can guess what comes to my mind, just take into account that I have one teen and two tween daughters –  for those of you who thought Taylor Swift you are right!   The Taylor Swift collaboration with Ed Sheeran – “Everything Has Changed” plays over and over in my mind thanks to my loving daughters!  A successful collaborative effort after all is hard to ignore.

We are betting our partner districts will feel the same way about our collaboration with Pearson and their student information management system, PowerSchool.  The union may not have a catchy tune, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on one!  The point is this partnership will have an immeasurable impact on real-time, data- driven decisions for children.  This union will make real-time data the norm and immediately available to all necessary educators.  It will seamlessly integrate two amazing products.   It will make you sing your favorite song!

Read on for the full press release.

Pearson Collaborates with eSPED Special Population Student Information Management Solutions

eSPED, a provider of special population student information management solutions, has joined the Independent Software Vendor (ISV) program of Pearson’s K-12 Technology group.

eSTAR—eSPED’s cloud-based applications for multi-authored student documents and expertly engineered analytical tools provides teachers access to accurate student information, a common platform for collaboration with colleagues, efficiency, and valuable time with their students. eSPED is a leader in document compliance and is paving the road for data driven decisions in schools across the nation.

The seamless connection between PowerSchool and eSTAR enables school administrators simplified management and immediate access to special population student information. With this partnership, Pearson is able to provide schools working with eSPED access to eSTAR through its PowerSchool student information system. According to George Dhionis, President and Founder of eSPED, “We are extremely pleased to be working in partnership with Pearson, specifically their student information system, PowerSchool. This joint effort and integration affords districts two state of the art applications and provides immediate data streaming of student information.”

The eSTAR suite, comprised of special population student data management modules; including, RTI, IEP, ELL, Medicaid and more, allows schools to electronically manage, track, and archive student data, while keeping up-to-date with federal and state compliance requirements. The eSTAR suite delivers compliance verification, state-reporting validation, report filtering for data-driven decisions with highly secure end-to-end application access.

“It’s exciting to see Pearson and eSPED working together to improve education through technology,” said Luyen Chou, Chief Product Officer of Pearson. “Together, our solutions provide administrators and educators the means to make real-time, data-driven decisions and create opportunities for personalized learning based on individual needs.”

Further information about Pearson’s PowerSchool is available at pearsonschoolsystems.com. Go to esped.com to learn more about eSTAR.

 

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Welcome and Season’s Greetings!

We are very excited to show you our new look and updated site, it is important to note we are still the same company, ESPED!  If you currently subscribe to our award-winning solution, eStar Series™ you will see similar buttons and links for signing in and reaching out for support.  We hope you find comfort in the same verbiage and button locations!  We have included Event and Training calendars to keep all of our readers in the loop.  With this addition, we hope to make registration for WebEx trainings more streamlined; more on this at a later date.

The process of revising our Web Site has been fun, exciting and challenging.  We’ve had many discussions with our clients, web designers, engineers and marketing professionals on the look and feel, content and function.  We are happy to unveil a concise, attractive and comprehensive site.  Send us an email and tell us how you like it, we always love to hear from you!

Somewhere it is snowing and children are relishing in the glistening white flakes.  Some may even be catching them on their tongues.  This poem by Ogden Nash sums up this time of year for my colleagues and me; after-all, Andover, Massachusetts is just south of some of the best skiing in New England.

Smooth clean and frost white

The world looks good enough to bite.

That’s the season to be young,

Catching snowflakes on your tongue.

 

From all of us at ESPED, wishes for a safe, healthy and happy season and thank you for all you do everyday for the children of our great Nation.

 

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