Wellbeing in Leadership: Practical Ways to Keep Your Cup Full So You Can Give to Others | The Better Mindset Podcast | Episode Four

There’s nothing more important for schools in this season than looking after the well-being of their teachers and students. Beth Reading, from ‘My Pilates Time,’ joins us in this episode to chat about her journey as a teacher to wellness. Rachel tells us about Nearpod, an online teaching tool that opens new worlds and opportunities for guided or independent learning, and Mark shares a new reading method he’s discovered that helps us store and treasure the things we learn in what we read.

Here are the links or resources that we’ve mentioned today:

1. Alex and Books
2. Tiago Forte
3. My Pilates Time – Access to hundreds of ‘On Demand’ Pilates classes you can do from home, healthy recipes and access to live online classes each week. Use the coupon code for the discounted price of $12usd per month (no lock in contracts, cancel anytime)  Coupon code: specialpricem 

We post every week and would love to have you keep up with us. If you know someone who would get value from these episodes, hit the share button and let them know. Lastly, if you have questions or anything to share with us, email us at team@usingtechnologybetter.com or follow us on Instagram at @usingtechnologybetter or on youtube.com/@utb

We’d love to hear from you! See you next week.


4:10 – Three easy steps to make your book more readable
16:00 – The benefits of Pilates for mental health
22:11 – Finding something that you really enjoy
26:45 – What are some of the things that teachers can do during a school day to improve the way they feel?
34:00 – Get to know Nearpod

Podcast Transcript Podcast Below

Mark Herring: 0:00

I’ve been kind of reading and came across an interesting approach to reading and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s from a guy called Thiago forte. And he interviewed someone. His name is Alex Wachowski. And I hope I got that right. But if you want to look up his approach to reading, and it’s all based on this whole concept that our brains are made for having ideas they’re not made for keeping them Welcome to The Better Mindset episode four. I’m Mark. And I’m Bex, and this podcast is a series of conversations that seek to help you be better leaders, teachers and to be better at using your technology for education. On today’s episode, we’ll talk about a whole new strategy for reading books and making what you read valuable for a lifetime. We’ll be chatting with Beth reading one of the founders and directors of UTB and tight and basically talking about how to take better care of ourselves as our best assets. And Rachel shares a new tool that can level up the interactivity of your lessons, let’s get into it. Or Beck’s for making waves today, I’ve got a little bit of an interesting one. I know that for a lot of teachers, you know, it’s the summertime and there are lots of things that you’re doing to relax and unwind. And one of the things that I’ve always enjoyed over the years during the Christmas break is seeing teachers posting on Twitter, their summer reading stack. Have you ever seen those posts before? I don’t know if they’re on Instagram, because that’s where you might say,

Bex Rose: 1:30

Yes, I normally screenshot them. So I’ve got some ideas.

Mark Herring: 1:34

Yeah, so so often with a lot of teachers, whether you’re a classroom teacher, or a leader in a school, often you’ve got a series of books that maybe people have given you, or you have, you know, like mine, my bookshelf behind me, has got probably about three books that I’ve been waiting to get to you know this because I know that I’ve got this time. So I’ve been kind of reading and came across an interesting approach to reading, and I thought I’d share it with you. It’s from a guy called Thiago forte. And he interviewed someone, his name is Alex Wachowski. And I hope I got that right. But if you want to look up his approach to reading, it’s called a it’s got a website, or website and a YouTube link called Alex and books. And it’s all based on this whole concept that our brains are made for having ideas they’re not made for keeping them. So the problem that this approach solves is you know how to, like, you’ll get a book. So I’ve got an example of here, this one here, Mike gave me this book a little while ago, I’ll show you something. And so, for those of you who are listening, this is the 12-week year. So this was a book that I read this year, I really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. But after a while, you get a book, if you read it, you get some good things out of it, and you might highlight a few things. Maybe you take a note somewhere and a push, but then it goes back on the shelf. And then a lot of it you forget, so our brains aren’t made to retain all that information. So what these guys describe so Thiago forte interviews, Alex. And what he’s explaining is this whole new approach to taking notes, so that you retain that information, you can go back to it, and you can get it whenever you need it. And it’s based on the second brain idea. So you, because our brains aren’t designed to hold the information, we have to have that somewhere else. And we and it’s all about the productivity systems and the way that we get into it. Now the second brain idea is something I’d love to unpack on another making waves, maybe just maybe touch on that. But I want to show you their idea. So this book that I got I got from Mike, so he read it first. And I was really surprised the first time I got it, he said to her, I hope you don’t mind, but I’ve written all the way through it. And I was like, what that who does that who buys a cover book and then write it. But if you’re watching this on YouTube or on a social, like you can see there the notes that Mike’s taken, I found that really interesting. This is the first time that I’ve ever seen somebody go to task on a book, sometimes, you know, university, you might scribble on some printed pages or something like that. But that was the first time I’ve ever seen it. But what Alex is Alex, and boxes approach does is it collates all of those highlights in a really easy way for you to be able to go back to them and find them. So there’s a few things that they described. So number one, I’m going to show you a couple of examples. And I’ve just started this approach. So this is what the working genius book. Sounds like there’s a dog in the background that wants to come in and have a listen. Sorry. Oh, that’s cool. Yeah, maybe they’re going to read a book. So there’s three, three steps, I’ll just give you three easy steps will link the podcast interview on on to your Forte’s website or on his YouTube channel, in the show notes if you want to go into it and see a deeper and much better example than what I’ve started with. But the first thing to do is to go through the book and just highlight as you go. So let’s say you found something and you think well that’s that’s a really important note. I want to save that for later. So what they suggest you do is you underline it, highlight it with a highlight pin and then put a star on the margin. Then secondly, the next thing you do is you record where that highlight was with a quick little note on the inside cover. And what they show is that on the inside cover, you’ve got these two kind of first pages that are all completely blank. So you see, I’ve started to collect some highlights. So you just put a title at the top call it highlights on the first inside cover page. And then you just put like, whatever chapter it’s in, and then write a brief summary of what that highlights about. Now, the reason you do that is, let’s say in the future, you’re you’re doing something for school, or you’re preparing some presentation. And you think, oh, there was a really great quote about such and such a note in that book, you know, so you go and grab the book off the shelf, you go to the front, what was that quote? Oh, it was on page seven, you can flip to page seven, and you’ll see the highlight straightaway. Pretty cool.

Bex Rose: 5:37

Very, very cold. And I think there’s the other thing about when you’re writing stuff down, your brain remembers it even more Is it?

Mark Herring: 5:46

There’s some, there is some research behind that. But yeah, and I guess that’s kind of like an offshoot. But the this approach, what I think it does, and the way they explain it is that it allows you the ability to be able to skim through, you know, so if I’m doing a presentation or workshop on the working genius with with with a school somewhere, then I can just go back to this and just skim through and really get some gems, you know, like I can see are the three stages of work. That’s right, this is going to be a really important point. And I can see it’s on page, chapter six, page 61. And I can turn straight to it and I can get the diagram or whatever it is, what I need a good way of condensing that and distilling it down

Bex Rose: 6:23

to such a great idea and so timely, because that is that book right there is on my to read list next week when I can have some time. And so I’m really excited. And I’m going to do that. Because exactly right. You always go Oh, that’s right, there was that great quote, and you flip through the book. And so having it at your fingertips like this such a great idea. I love it.

Mark Herring: 6:45

Yeah. And so apparently over time, what you do is you build a bit of a bank of all of these different distilled summaries in your books, and you can go back to at any particular time. So in a couple of years, you can go back, grab that book, what was that thing, you know, just read through it, you might want to read through it and maybe just jump through all the highlights, but it’s just a way of sort of refreshing it and then keeping a bit of a distillery, I guess, of all the little gems that you collect over time, there’s one, there’s one more step that they they that they talked about that I thought would be quite handy to share on share with people. The last thing that once you’ve finished the book is to go to the very back of the page and do a couple of things. So on the second to last clear back page, you’ve got this just write down a quick reflection of all the main summary notes. And then you can link them back to some pages if you want to. But they just talk about what Alex talks about the ability to summarize everything into a few key points. And that allows you to go back to a book in the future and just open it up and say what was that book about? Again, you know, what were the key points, and it just refreshes and remind you. And then the last thing is, is write down your key takeaway. So what are the things that I’m going to do? What are my main action points, and that’s a way of taking those gems distilling them down, but then applying them to your life in a meaningful way. Because there’s so many books that we read over the years. And obviously, I’m talking about nonfiction books. Well, I guess fictional as well might give you some life lessons. Or maybe that’s not the kind of podcasts books, but there might be, you want to have some application of what you’re you’re reading, right. So you want to have it impacting you and changing you and, and that sort of thing. And I think the other spin off from that approach, too, is not just having a place that you can go back to, but you’ve also got a whole lot of little gems that you can share in conversation and you can bring up with your staff or, you know, things that you can implement in your regular coffee time. My wife’s always, especially me about all the little facts and things like that, that I bring data, you remember that stuff? And I’m not I don’t know, just sticks

Bex Rose: 8:44

You’d be great on a quiz night I reckon, Mark. But um, but I think that having a couple of key takeaways that you’re going to apply is such a good strategy, because sometimes you read these books and you’re like, Oh, I’m going to change my life. And then you read? Oh, yeah, cool. And then you’re like, Oh, that was a bit hard. It’s kind of like what we’ve talked about before, like a big goal, breaking it down into tiny habits is such an applicable way of looking at as well. So being able to pull out just a couple of things that you might want to change. So you can actually make it a habit in your life. It’s like when you go to conferences, and you go to all these different things. And you’re like, I’m going to do this and this and this in my classroom, but actually just really breaking it down into a couple of things that you’re going to do or that’s when you’re going actually to see some change happening. So yeah, what a great idea and so timely while we’re reading and this time, thanks, Mark.

Mark Herring: 9:33

No worries. And one last little jam, I just have to squeeze this into the last thing that they describe as being really valuable. Alex talks about putting a start date when you start reading the book and then an end date. So just at the bottom of the left hand corner or somewhere, just the date that you started reading the book and then the date that you ended, and he said that that’s a nice way for him to be able to have a look at the book. He can see the period of his life with that book was read, and sometimes you can do a little bit of a back casting or a back roughly friction on the impact that it made for you at that particular time. And things just kind of start to make sense. So yeah, so it’s a nice little, I think, an intentional way to read a book. And so hopefully, it inspires some of us to get into those books that we’ve got, grab a pen, make sure that you’re writing all over it, you know, and get the most out of what we’re reading.

Bex Rose: 10:19

Awesome, thanks.

Mark Herring: 10:24

Well, my guest on the show today is Beth, it’s awesome to have Beth, you are the co-founder or co-founder along with Mike, he started the company more than ten years ago. And we’re excited to find out about some things that we can do as teachers and as leaders in the school where we can try and, you know, not just survive the term that’s coming up this year but really do this the thriving part of what we’re doing. So excited to hear from you. We’d love to love to start with, you know, some history or your background context. And because I know that you’re working as a Pilates, social media influence, instructor facilitator, that’s your role. And you also work with Mike directing the company. But I know that you’ve got a teaching background, I’d love to start with it and hear about how you got involved in that part of your life.

Beth Reading: 11:10

So it’s great to be here and have a chat to you. I started up in education, and I was teaching primary school, so five year olds to 12 year olds, and absolutely loved it. Actually, the last seven years of my teaching career, I was a music teacher. So my classroom was a very busy place. And loud, I’d often go to bed at night with caution ringing in my head. But it was. And I loved that. And I loved it. Because that when there’s children came into my classroom, it was sort of like a treat for them through the day, you know, something they could look forward to dance and sing and create. Yeah, so it was a great time. And then I sort of got to a point to be honest with you. The music was a bit much for me, like the noise and also the pressure of concerts and productions, it was sort of a bit of an intense year there. So I just thought I would have a bit of a career change. And I started to enjoy some Pilates myself a couple of times a week. And then, I did my teacher training, for Pilates. So that’s how I sort of got into that. And, yeah, I’ve been teaching Pilates now for eight years. And I really feel like the work being a teacher has really directed the way I teach my Pilates classes. It’s given me such a I don’t know what to say advantage. But you know, like a heads up on how to read a room when people come in. I teach online, and you can still do that online, like notice the mood, and who’s there, adjust your lesson plan, and really help people along.

Mark Herring: 13:10

Yeah, that’s awesome. And I think for a lot of people who are teachers, you know, there’s lots of different avenues that you can take your teaching in, aren’t there, especially these days where you’ve got like a worldwide audience and that sort of thing. Yeah, that’s cool. What we’d really love to get from you today is a few kind of tips and tricks of things that we can do as teachers thinking about the year ahead and going into another year because I know that a lot of the teachers that we worked with last year backs, you know, we’d be talking to them, and they’re just they just hang in there till by the end of the year, you know, they’re exhausted. It was, it was kind of the first year of normal being back after COVID. Again, I think a lot of people really struggled to keep on top of their own health and that kind of thing. So like it be really interesting to hear from you with your experience. What was it like for you in the classroom as a teacher? What sort of things did you find helped or didn’t help as you were going into a new year to stay on top of that kind of battery? Personal battery that you have when you’re rolling?

Beth Reading: 14:10

Yeah, well, it’s actually quite interesting to look back at that time. Now. You know, now that I’m in the health world, you know, I look back and I can see what I was doing, trying to keep myself going. And I can see that some of the mistakes that I made, you know, like, my children were young then too, so there’s a lot going on. I’m trying to care for everybody, my family, the kids, my students, you know, my career is a lot going on, and it is a hard balance. And I want it to do well. So I did try a lot of different things, and I went hard at it, you know, like following a diet plan where you had to weigh all the food, and there’s just you’re just adding a lot more pressure to yourself, and I wasn’t really into exercise before, you know. But when I was doing that teaching, I noticed myself feeling tired. And I thought, you read all the things you should exercise. So I tried running. And so I would, after school, I do the kids organize them in there after school activities, get the dealer on. And then I’m like, Kenny, I got to do my run. And I hated it. absolutely hated it. And I know I’m talking to two runners here, but

Bex Rose: 15:28

you don’t know how to deal with all the kids at night. It says a lot, that’s a lot empathy to the run.

Beth Reading: 15:36

Really, really tried so hard to do what I thought would be the right thing, I should do it. And I would run it hurt my body, I hated it. And I couldn’t succeed in keeping it up. And then by the time the term started a couple of weeks in definitely could not keep it up. So I felt what’s wrong with me, I see these other people going to the gym, and they’re doing all this, and I couldn’t do it. So basically, I just thought, I’ll give up on that. And I’ll, I’ll go to a Pilates class. And what I found when I did that, is it was so good for my stress levels, because it was so relaxing. It was I just zoned into myself, I could almost like have all the distractions or the To Do Lists kind of left me and I could move and meditate. And I honestly didn’t think it was doing my body any good. But it was definitely good for my mental health. But it wasn’t until about 10 Like one term into the you know, I booked him for one class a week for a term, finished term one. And I started to notice my, my body changed. And it was absolutely so surprising to me because I thought that I had to do something hard for it to be good. The case the gentle movements were targeted. And I started to notice my body tone up. And I never had muscle tone before we ever had muscles. So it was surprising. And yeah, and my body didn’t ache. So you know, after having the kids, I would have just a backache. And I thought that was normal. But most most people had that. And it went away. You know, I didn’t I’m sitting here now go Oh, my back.

Bex Rose: 17:26

And that actually resonates so much like yeah, that’s such a yeah, that Pilates. Yeah.

Beth Reading: 17:35

The second term, I did Pilates, so I thought this is great. Like, it’s it’s helping me be a better person because I was better at home. Because I was calmer. I was better at school because I could go into the classroom with that energy. And I felt happier within myself. So I’d come into the classroom happy and you know what that does to a classroom. When you when you’re there, and you’re happy to be there makes all the difference to the way the day unfolds? Oh, 100%

Mark Herring: 18:07

Yeah, I think it’s something that I realized when I was in the classroom, I think early on, I started teaching your three and fours and you know how they sort of grade five and six, I think in American terms, that there’s so much like sponges, so they just basically kind of set to the temperature that I bring to the room. And I realized that when I was having a really good happy day, and I was kind of pumped and excited, enthusiastic, the class rose to that. But I remember there are a couple of days where I would be down or you know, negative or something was happening in my personal life where I just didn’t have the energy or the enthusiasm, they really like really made a huge impact and so that that’s a huge takeaway for us, you know, when we’re walking into those situations to think about where we’re at both mentally and physically, you know, in the things that we can do to help so that was that’s really interesting to me that the Pilates actually helped with the mental health not just the physical part of it as well.

Beth Reading: 18:57

It definitely. And I do feel like it sometimes we can think that we have to meditate every day to get the benefits but I just starting adding small habits. And you know, you can get that centering feeling or that refocus of your mental clarity within just 15 minutes of Pilates 15 or 20 minutes. And you know my business at the moment I have a an online Pilates business where people can log in and just do a 20 minute class. And so finding something like that can be achievable because you can do that before you get going in the day. And it’s just a really nice way to sort of ground yourself. Okay, you know, I feel good about who I am what I’m doing, and then take that with you through the day and it’s a really nice way to end the day as well because it’s it’s not too strenuous, but it’s a nice way to kind of stretch out sort of close off the day and then sleep well. Move on.

Mark Herring: 20:01

Can you explain the difference between Pilates and sort of like regular, like a HIIT session or because I’ve never done Pilates? Pilates newbie, if I was gonna jump in and do it, what’s the difference between that and then sort of like the general exercise, hit session, that kind of thing?

Beth Reading: 20:17

Well, I guess every Pilates Pilates teacher has their own flavor. And I think, first of all, one of the main things, if you’re looking to add in some stress relief, and some movement, which we know is good for our health, the main thing is to find something that you enjoy. So like, you know, like I said, at the beginning, running wasn’t for me, but it might be for someone else. Laurie’s was for me, and it was finding the right teacher as well, someone who, who I could connect with. But basically, the movement of Pilates is movement through the spine. So really making sure that our mobility is maintained. And it’s targeted exercise, so we don’t jump around. But we can lay on our side on it back. And in a way, some of the positions are similar to yoga positions. With my classes, I use weights as well, because I like feeling like you’ve got a little bit of resistance. And we know that maintaining our muscle tone is is really important. As we get older, our muscle tone naturally gets weaker. So we need to work on it. Using a bit of weight can help maintain our bone strength, helps with our metabolism keeps our metabolism working well. And it’s also been proven maintaining muscle tone actually can help with that mental side of things as well. Yeah,

Mark Herring: 21:41

I was listening to somebody describing muscle tone as being like the foundational building blocks of health. You know, like the importance of protein and building muscle and street, especially as you kind of get beyond 40. There’s the steroid or some crazy thing that people over 40 lose about 10% of the muscle mass every year in an incremental stages if you don’t look after it and keep an eye on it. And if it’s as important as you’re saying, I mean, that’s a important thing to, you know,

Bex Rose: 22:11

to, since I’m so far away from it. So yeah, I just really just want to say I really like the way that you see it, you know, like it’s not instantaneous, you know, and this is something about we were talking about the other day, you know, like forming that tiny habit is something that you enjoy something that you know, you can fit in in your week that it’s not going to be something that’s, you know, the running after all that that you said, putting a run and at the end of the day to like that’s not going to be sustainable, right, you just can’t keep going like that. But being able to do it once a week that was achievable, manageable, you probably look forward to it. So it became a habit and look what it’s done. Now it’s created, it’s created a really incredible life changing thing he really hasn’t. The 1% better every day is something that I know Mike talks about as well. And that applies to this as well. So you know, go to one class, that’s not going to change you straight away, but doing it 1%. So finding something I think the key takeaways for the from for me were that you finding something that you really enjoy, keep chipping away at it. And and the difference will come from there. Just like the habits we’ve talked about before we

Mark Herring: 23:20

Beth, why do you think a lot of teachers don’t find something like whether they’ve tried something is the fact that they’ve tried running and they hate it like you didn’t don’t find that other thing? Like you did? Or are there other factors, because we’re not when we go into schools, and we’re working with schools, obviously, there are a lot of people who, for a variety of different reasons, whether it’s time or whatever, they just don’t, you can tell they’re just not happy physically, they don’t, they don’t look healthy. You know, like, I’m interested to find out what you will hear what you think, are the reasons why we don’t look after ourselves as well as we should.

Beth Reading: 23:54

I think, you know, I’ve, I’ve taught a lot of a lot of people and I’ve actually taught a lot of teachers actually to, and the thing I hear a lot is they’ve had a bad experience, you know, maybe they’ve gone to the gym, and there’s been a big class, and they’re trying really hard. But maybe the class wasn’t at the correct level for them. So they’ve ended up injury. And that can put someone back and make them feel nervous about trying something new. And I also think people can feel nervous about trying something new because what if they can’t do it? And, you know, when I went into my first class, I had never done Pilates before and I was super nervous. I actually walked into the class, looked around, went and then I realized, oh gosh, everyone’s got shoes off and I had shoes on. So it’s all these things you don’t you’re trying to think oh gosh, that’s I take my shoes off, come in, sat down on the mat, thinking I was at the back of the room and then the teacher comes right stands in front of me and I was like South Korean remember that when I teach because I know what it’s like it, it can feel like, you know, and it’s kind of vulnerable because it’s your body as well. But yeah, I, I think just don’t try and do like something really extreme would be my advice. So don’t, don’t join up for a gym program if you’ve never been before, and you need to commit to five days a week and hard classes, you don’t have to start like that. And like I said, when I started with gentle classes, I didn’t think it would do anything, but it really did. So yeah, just starting with something manageable. And adding those habits in. So just 120 minute session a week that you could log on, do it online, do it at home, practice at home, on your own, see how you feel, notice how it feels tuned in. And then once you’ve got that tuning into our body, then that helps me make a good choice about what I’m going to eat the next morning for breakfast, because you’ve zoned in. Yeah, I think when out when we feel well physically, and we’ve got clarity of mind, then life is better. And that’s where we can feel like our well being is whole and good. Because then we can work on our relationships that easier. But I do I see lots of women in pain. I teach women mostly sorry. But I teach lots of people who are in pain and just seeing how an achy body can really affect your life, or if your digestion is not good, or headaches. And there are things we can do to improve our health, not just through exercise, but through what we eat as well.

Mark Herring: 26:46

Yeah, that and I think all of those different things combined. It’s one of those, everybody knows this, like we should exercise we should eat? Well, you know, and I think for a lot of teachers going into a new year, we have kind of a sense that we want to do things differently, you know, this is a whole new year, we can turn the page, you know, and start again, what are some of the things that that teachers could do during a school term and during just a regular school day to kind of improve the way they feel by the end of it, obviously, doing a Pilates course in the morning or evening or going for a run or something? But is there anything during the actual day once we get to school and then between we leave to school? What are some of the things that we could do there?

Beth Reading: 27:24

Well, thinking back to my own teaching my own life in the classroom, I remember my top drawer was always full of muesli bars. And looking back now I was thinking this a healthy choice, you know, I’ll just eat my lunch label on running to the next class. But looking back now that was like, I wouldn’t probably do that now because that’s such a high sugar hit. So, you know, I wouldn’t expect that thing again, you don’t have to overhaul your whole diet, but maybe just one day a week he you could think of grabbing something different. You know, like, small tub of natural yogurt, or a handful of raw nuts, or a little even a square of dark chocolate. Hummus is really good. So I’ve sort of Tadmor to try to be something that’s more nutritious, like nutrient dense and with some good quality fat.

Mark Herring: 28:21

Yeah. So you mean starting the day with like a huge canovee is not a great way to start a school day. Because Because I I’ve seen so many teachers do that. And I’m not judging but like, it’s no wonder you know, for a lot of people they kind of wonder why they crash around about 12 or one o’clock you know, like because those cans are massive. So

Bex Rose: 28:45

I think there’s also the problem like that, like when you go to the staff room and they put on a morning tea and it’s all high sugar foods like I was always the one that brought the fruit platter are brought they’re different. So that there was that option as well. But that’s a whole other podcast conversation about nutrition 100% Yeah,

Mark Herring: 29:05

teachers teach the dangers of peer pressure. But I reckon the staffroom Friday afternoon or Friday morning tea is probably the I always found in the classroom. And I’ll have people that you know, I used to teach with they’ll laugh about me, but I used to sit there I got really good at just not eating everything, but I just felt terrible because it’s like, eating pies and cakes and pastries. Yeah, but the pressure to eat, you know, like that’s it’s a social connection. It’s like a little bit of social lubricant, isn’t it’s like drinking when you’re out? You know, in the evening when you were younger, or for most of us, it was when we were young. What do you do in that situation? Is it just a case of, like, I’m going to make sure I’m going to bring some characteristics and some dirt like, you know.

Beth Reading: 29:45

I guess I could see what you say. And it is it is really hard. Mm. Yeah, I think you know, like I said, not to try and change everything all at once, but I was just thinking about it. You know, like maybe changing one thing, you know, if you’re used to grabbing a coffee in the morning, so to start the day and a piece of toast, maybe just one morning a week, he could try something a bit more nutritious. And it could just mean like on a Sunday night making a big frittata with all the leftover veggies like tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, just throw it all in cheese in bake it. And then you’ve got that there for a couple of mornings through the week and just start pay attention to how you feel. Yeah, afterwards

Mark Herring: 30:31

that we were talking about that on a previous episode weren’t, we’ve talked about, you know, one of the things that I tried to do is notice how I feel after doing something that I know is going to be good for me, and then focusing on that feeling. So the next time I come to that, like my motivation is like, I don’t really feel like going for a run. I don’t really feel like making that nutritious lunch, but I remembered how I felt after I did it. So that’s kind of what drives me. Like, do you think that might help people make better choices throughout the day? When they’re at school?

Beth Reading: 31:00

Yeah, definitely. And also talking to yourself, you know, having those conversations in your head and being expecting that the conversations are going to come up in your head, if it’s just me, but you know, you say to yourself, and something that an opposition is going to come up and just have a have an answer or pre prepared ready to go of, I am going to eat that that salad I made for lunch, because I know it’s going to get me through the afternoon. And so, pre-practice that conversation, so it’s ready. Because you know that when you get to lunch, and the sausage rolls are in the staff room, you might, you know, say, Oh, it’ll be fine. But then you know that that’s going to come up in your head, and you’re ready for it. You prep them.

Mark Herring: 31:46

Yeah. 100%. Do you think like one of the reasons why maybe sometimes teachers don’t look after ourselves as much as well as we should? Do you think sometimes it’s because we’re often putting other people or other things first before ourselves. Like, we’re always, you know, like, we’re putting our classroom, you know, in terms of planning and assessment all the time, like a lot of people will say, I don’t have time for a Pilates class, or I don’t have time for a run. I don’t have time to make that frittata because I’ve got I’m putting my family first. But it’s about kind of reorganizing those priorities and realizing that when we put ourselves in our priority, then the classroom and our family and our partners actually get the best of us, don’t they like it’s a whole different way of looking at it.

Beth Reading: 32:26

Yeah, it is. And it is a bit of a hard switch to make. Because you know, I’ve been there where you do you put yourself at the end of the list. But like I said, it wasn’t until I booked in that cloud Pilates class that things started to shift because I saw the change in my life. When I saw that, then then it was just like the proof.

Mark Herring: 32:47

Fantastic. Well, this is a challenge for everybody. I think it’s a challenge for all of us to think of one thing that we’re going to do this year, you know, not sitting, you talked about not setting a goal super high, like done making it achievable, just making one little step. You know, and so for a lot of people listening, Pilates might be the thing that does pique their interest? How would people get involved? Here’s a chance to do a little bit of a plug for My Pilates Time. Do you want to tell us how people can connect? And just have a go at one of those little classes that you’re talking about?

Beth Reading: 33:13

Well, my website is mypilatestime.com. So if you go over there, you can download a series of five classes for free and give it a go. And I’ll just pop in the show notes a coupon code. So if you did want to keep it going with regular Pilates classes, you could use that coupon code to get a really nice discount because I have a soft, very soft spot for teachers.

Mark Herring: 33:37

That’s awesome. Thanks, thanks. So great to talk about that. And I have lots of food for thought, literally and figuratively, you know, things that we can kind of go into the new year and make a new start something so appreciate your time. Thanks so much. Well, it’s good to have Rachel on the call. We’ve got our one of our trainers in new the New Zealand team. And you’re going to share a little tool here. And this is Nearpod, isn’t it? This is something that I’m not very familiar with. I don’t know about you, but I’m really keen to find out more about it.

Rachel Lelieveld: 34:07

Yeah, well, this is a tool that I used when I was a teacher. I started using it during COVID times or the lockdowns and then actually brought it into my classroom and shared a lot with my colleagues at my old school. So this is Nearpod. Nearpod is an interactive kind of lesson platform where you can put some things in like gamification, you can have interactive videos. And then you also get to see how your students are going with their lessons as well or within like a live setting or it could be also student lead participation kind of thing as well. So when you log in, I have just got the free version at the moment, which does give you that is one of those painful things that only gives you a little bit of storage, which is just a little bit of a pain. but it still gives you enough storage to have about two or three lessons within that within your dashboard. If you do get the premium version, you can have as many lessons as you’d like. And you can also put them into folders just like what I’ve got up the top, which is really cool. We have a look on the left hand side these reports. So you can do all the lessons that you either create or from the Nearpod library, you can do them in person, or you can allow students to do it from home, whether it’s like a home learning activity, I prefer to say home learning rather than homework, because homework just doesn’t sit well with students. So you can either do it that way. And then you also get to see the reports whether it’s student led, or live participation as well. So it does give you some really cool reports. Now on my screen, I do have a couple of my favorite ones. And that is because they are VR, and the VR ones actually takes you to a whole other place, I’ve got to take a trip to France, it’s got a whole heap of lessons, like different slides and trade activities, which is all about France, and you get to see a little bit of France, it’s like taking a trip there just from sitting in your classroom. There is also another cool one, which is the crazy house one which is just like a panorama of a crazy house students can move around and kind of check it out. And then there’s a really neat writing activity afterwards, which I’ve used a lot, I’ve used both of these lessons a lot with my students, and just the fact that some of these students had never been overseas, we’ve never seen such things before, that is such a cool way to kind of hook them in to the lesson. And then from there, you can extend it in any way that you want to. And it doesn’t need to be using the interactive slides, it could be something else that you’ve added on from there.

Bex Rose: 36:43

I love opportunities to use a platform to inspire curriculum areas like what you’re talking about with literacy or inquiry based things like going to France. authentic learning that is a shared experience for the whole class, you know, like it means it’s equity there, there’s the kids are able to all see the crazy house and all have their own interpretations. And how awesome to see all the different interpretations of a similar idea. So cool. When you’ve

Mark Herring: 37:14

got students saying, Are you we weren’t there last month. You the students sitting next to them, like what we went down the road.

Rachel Lelieveld: 37:28

Because the students can share the experiences. And then you can kind of talk about maybe those photos were really taken, taken. When you create a lesson. It doesn’t just have the VR, I think that’s probably my favorite part, though, is that there’s actually a lot of different activities that you can involve the students. And so there’s videos and you can add some questions afterwards. There’s different quizzes, and these, each of these options have got pre made things in there. So you don’t have to spend time to make it there might be a resource here that you can use already. These Airdroid activities, students can respond with drawing or even images, the game which is time to climb so you can have some questions maybe at the end of the lesson, and get them engaged more through a game.

Mark Herring: 38:13

So can you I was waiting for a pause there. But that’s obviously how many features and different things that you can add. Can you explain what it looks like to be able to run the lesson like what it looks like how it works from a student perspective, what the teacher does. So obviously, you’re what you’re showing on the screen there for those who are listening as all of these different elements that you can create, in the lesson sort of sequence or learning journey. What does that look like when the teachers running this in the classroom

Rachel Lelieveld: 38:40

Cool. So it depends how you want to run it, you can run it as a whole class or you could even do it within small groups, it’s up to you. The one that is used a lot is a live participation, which is where you are standing up in the front or in front of your small group or your whole class. And they’re doing it with you. And you can kind of pause on each little slide. Or if you want to you can do it as student paced. And the cool thing is, is that you can actually flip between life dissipation and student pace, if you’re kind of at a point where like, the students are good to go. Let’s get them finishing this off by themselves. There’s a few activities that they can do alone or with a partner, just like a student paced, and then from there it goes. So if I go on to, if you click on to live participation, it’ll give a link all the students will come up to Nearpod and kind of put in the code, just kind of like and things like that,

Mark Herring: 39:32

like, what’s the PDF as well. So that’s a way that you so they go to a website link and then they get a code to join your lesson.

Rachel Lelieveld: 39:40

Or you can share their classroom and things like that as well or via whatever platform that you use. Click on to preview. It does give you a bit of a preview and most of the Nearpod resources have got what the teacher needs to do beforehand to prepare for the lesson. It’s got all your learning intentions as well. And then you can also just kind of click through and decide if it is for your students or I know so many teachers who are making their own ones as well. So this one has got the directions, it’s got a bit of pattern of discussion, if you want to, you can make that a collaborative board, and they can kind of write their ideas on there. This one’s more to be done in front of the students and kind of with the live participation. Now, you’ve got to make sure this is one of the pain points that I found at some schools, some of the security is not allowing them to jump into the VR. So you do need to make sure that that is tested first. Otherwise, your whole lease and kind of goes out the window. But again, if your school doesn’t allow that there’s so many other ways that you can interact with the students and make it really interactive for them.

Mark Herring: 40:47

So cool. So that would this, this is one of those tools that you can plug into whatever platform you’re using. So whether you’re a you know, on an Apple, Microsoft or Google platform, this is a third party tool that you can introduce and to guide students through self paced, you can do it at the teachers pace, you can do small groups, large groups is just it’s one of those really flexible tools. Isn’t that so powerful to use?

Rachel Lelieveld: 41:11

Definitely. I’ve done it with 60 students at once when I was modeling it. So you can have up to I want to say about 60 students on a free on the free version. Otherwise, it’s kind of the limit is endless when you do have the premium version as well. Yeah,

Bex Rose: 41:29

yeah, based on the age range. So do you think what your levels all the way through,

Rachel Lelieveld: 41:34

it depends how great your students are with the device, I would probably save you three up. That’s where I started with it, with using these lessons with it, but they do have lessons for students who are younger. So when you go on to the Nearpod library, you can click on to the grades, and there is a lot of lessons and it starts from kindergarten, and goes all the way up to high education. It really depends how your students are using devices, how are they how are they using that? So

Mark Herring: 42:04

but if you’re at the junior end, you know, kindergarten and first, second, third grade, if the teacher was just managing that process on a large screen or on a large iPad with a small group, it would just be teacher leave, right? So the students would be participating. So yes, yeah. I mean, it’s no wonder that this is something that covers all age groups.

Rachel Lelieveld: 42:21

And I think the cool thing is that there’s a lot of publishers, so I know that they connect with common sense education, which is huge for digital technology teachers. There’s lots of different people that they do connect with. And actually make things you’ve got National Geographic, the net geo Keds yet, it’s endless. And you can check that out and the publishers underneath and the pod library

Mark Herring: 42:45

for now. Thanks, thanks for sharing ratio. So if you’re a teacher on your summer break, like we’ve been talking about, you know, this is a really good chance to be able to have a little bit of an explore and have a look at Nearpod, maybe get ahead of things, maybe prepare some lessons that you can share with some of your colleagues, and they can offer you a coffee further down the track a little bit later. Well, that’s the end of Episode Four that came fast again, because what are some reflections you’ve got? Oh, gosh,

Bex Rose: 43:16

how awesome was beer, her calming presence is contagious. And she’s really inspired me to change up my exercise regime. I’m absolutely heading up her website over the holidays. Our righteous Nearpod ideas were awesome. What a great tool to explore over the break to help you with your challenge of changing it up and 2023. And, Mike, we need to wrap this up, because I’m excited to dash away and get cracking on my working genius book. And we’ll do some don’t take me as you suggested and making waves. It’s such a great idea. I’m excited.

Mark Herring: 43:48

Super cool. Yeah, it’s a nice little tip. So if you’re after some of the links and resources, they’ve been a few that have come up today, we’ll put those in the show notes for you. And do make sure that you subscribe. We talked about this every week. But we’d love to post every week this year, moving forward and we’d love to have you keep up with us. If you know someone who gets some value from some of the episodes or if there’s anything that resonated, make sure you hit the share button and let them know. Lastly, if you’ve got questions or anything to share with us, email us at team at using technology better.com We’d love to hear from you guys. See you all next week.

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