Turning to the Habits of Mind in a Time of Crisis

By Bena Kallick and Allison Zmuda

As we continue to scroll through our social media feeds and hear from you via email and video conferences, what is so heartwarming to see is how the dispositions have become a touchstone as we navigate personal and professional challenges. We always suggest that the habits are “what you do when you don’t know what to do.” We are learning in real time what that means.

We know that as we move through this crisis, our attitude about it is essential for our own well being as well as that of others. This newsletter focuses on all of the dispositions that help us to manage ourselves in daily struggles, those that lead to possibilities and those that help us find sunshine in the moment. We share some examples of practice that leave us responding with wonderment and awe!

In this newsletter you will find:

  • Bena and Allison share system-wide, school, and teacher communications that clarify direction, help manage impulsivity, and provide opportunities to think and share interdependently.
  • We welcome Aixa Perez-Prado’s first blog post as she shares insights gleaned from years of experience as a home-schooling mom.
  • We also welcome Tyler Muth’s reflection on how Habits of Mind proved invaluable as he and his school are navigating the development of a distance learning plan.
  • Regular blogger Aaron Roberts pens a thank you note to teachers as they are making deliberate uses of dispositions to design remote learning plans in Mason City Schools.
  • ArtBena, and Allison talk through how metacognition is key to self management in a time of crisis.
  • Eduplanet21 is offering free access to online learning with Allison and Bena on Personalized Learning and Art and Bena on Habits of Mind. It is a great opportunity to introduce this thinking to teachers and start a powerful chat. 
  • Terry Thoren from WondergroveMedia is offering a three month free trial of the entire Habits of Mind Animations library for all teachers, parents and students. When you use the 16 Habits of Mind Instructional Animations you also receive OVER 350 printable extension lessons focusing on language arts, math, active learning, and even fun to read comic books! Check it out —

Hoping that you are safe, healthy, with loved ones, and finding a way to make this as positive as you find your way to imagine. Please reach out to share questions, fresh thinking and ideas that are inspired by your reading and viewing by responding to this email!

All the best,
Bena and Allison

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If you are already using Habits of Mind as part of your daily practice and are committed to nurturing the growth of the dispositions in others, you can pursue becoming an individual practitioner certified by the Institute for Habits of Mind (IHOM).

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