Things I Will Never Do As a Mental Health Advocate
Mandy Froehlich | Divergent EDU
by Mandy Froehlich
1y ago
Since the day I started speaking openly about my own mental health issues roughly seven years ago, I have owned my issues and my healing. I have been clear about what I will do. I will be brutally honest. I will make naysayers uncomfortable. I will put myself into positions of vulnerability in order to model it for other people. Even when it hurts. Even when I lose people. Even when the cost to do so seems so much greater than the return. I’ll do it anyway. But, there are things I’ll won’t do as a mental health advocate. I’ll never claim to be completely healed and perfect. I have worked for y ..read more
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SEL Opportunities to Support Student Mental Health Post-Pandemic
Mandy Froehlich | Divergent EDU
by Mandy Froehlich
1y ago
I was recently asked why I have such a problem with the term “learning loss” (or any version of that term). It’s not that I don’t believe that there has been the potential that learning loss has happened. It’s not that I don’t believe that we need to address certain gaps. It’s that focusing on learning loss accomplishes only two tasks: To make hardworking educators feel like no matter what they did during the pandemic it wasn’t good enough. And there’s no space where I feel like perpetuating an idea like that is going to put people in the right mindset to return to school refreshed versus anx ..read more
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How Resilient Do We Want Districts To Be?
Mandy Froehlich | Divergent EDU
by Mandy Froehlich
1y ago
Resilience has become a buzzword throughout the pandemic. I’ve used it myself – admittedly we need to cultivate resilience in ourselves so when we are faced with adversity we are better able to work through the emotions that accompany hard things. But what about our school systems? Resilience is a good thing, right? Is it? Even though I’ve always had a separate definition for resilience as it relates to humans (read it here) resilience is typically defined as the ability to bounce back after an adversity or trauma. Organizational resilience is defined as, “the ability of an organization to ant ..read more
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Dear Mandy, How do I heal this summer?
Mandy Froehlich | Divergent EDU
by Mandy Froehlich
1y ago
Dear Friend, You have come such a long way over the last 18 months, it’s truly incredible. Have you celebrated that? When you reflect over the past year don’t forget to appreciate how much you grew. All factors considered, it may not feel like something to appreciate and maybe it’s not fair that you were put in that position, but celebrate anyway. What you’ve accomplished is nothing short of amazing. But that’s not what you’re asking me. And the question of how you heal really isn’t the right question. What you want to ask is, “How do I start to heal?” And that’s a loaded question, you see, be ..read more
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How Learning to Love Myself Impacts My Service to Others
Mandy Froehlich | Divergent EDU
by Mandy Froehlich
1y ago
Over the course of the Pandemic I’ve taken the opportunity to dive into reflection and learning more about emotions and how they control so much of what we do – everything from eating and sleeping to how we react in certain situations to certain people. I’ve really tried to get to the heart of what makes me tick. What the core emotion is that throws me into jealously mode when I feel like I’m working so hard and other people are more successful than I am. What ignites my overall frustration with some people when other people can do the same thing and I’m fine with it. Why I have such a difficu ..read more
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The Potential for Sensory Overload Post-Lockdown
Mandy Froehlich | Divergent EDU
by Mandy Froehlich
1y ago
I like warm hugs. There, I said it. I’ve never considered myself much of a hugger, but since the pandemic, I have developed a new appreciation for another human enveloping me in a tight squeeze. Arms compressing my shoulders, lovingly signifying all the moments since the last time I had seen that person, is nearly all I can think about now. And maybe this realization could only have come about by the Universe saying, “Hey, you wanna look at screens instead of paying attention to the people in front of you? Well, here you go. Look at those screens all the time, then. You’ll see – you’ll miss yo ..read more
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Three Strategies for Fighting Educator Self-Abuse
Mandy Froehlich | Divergent EDU
by Mandy Froehlich
2y ago
I’m not smart enough to keep up with new technology. I’m not cut out for this new way of teaching. I’m not good enough to be able to keep up with my own kids and my students. I’ve gained all this weight during the pandemic and I’m so fat. The teachers on social media are brilliant. I don’t have the ability to do the things they do. I’m just not good enough. I live with constant guilt that I can’t keep up. I’m not resilient enough, brilliant enough, or tech-savvy enough to do anything well. I suck. When I first discovered the concept of self-abuse, the physical, mental, spiritual, or emotional ..read more
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What did educators do pre-pandemic that’s helping them survive or thrive now?
Mandy Froehlich | Divergent EDU
by Mandy Froehlich
2y ago
One of the concepts I’ve been the most interested in since the pandemic started is why some educators are surviving or even thriving and why some are not. What has been the difference-maker? In my work I am so incredibly fortunate to work with districts coast-to-coast, so I’ve been able to touch base with some of these educators to have discussions about why they feel they’re doing well in spite of the difficult circumstances. This blog or these findings are not meant to make anyone struggling feel guilty. If you begin to feel that way please take a moment, a deep breath, and let it go. These ..read more
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The Work Lies I Tell Myself
Mandy Froehlich | Divergent EDU
by Mandy Froehlich
2y ago
My grandfather had been a postal worker for years. He didn’t dislike his job exactly – didn’t love it either. He definitely was not passionate about it. What he was passionate about was carving and drawing. I remember him sitting in his workshop for hours with his magnifying glasses on with his burner tool crafting a bird or fish statue out of what had just been a chunk of wood. He’d smooth them down or paint them. Sometimes leave them in their natural wood grain. It didn’t matter which way he decided to create, his carvings were absolutely beautiful. I would go to craft fairs or stores and se ..read more
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Tips for Navigating Hybrid Learning
Mandy Froehlich | Divergent EDU
by Mandy Froehlich
2y ago
I’ve spoken to many districts who are doing some sort of hybrid learning. I would also say that when I speak to people who are really struggling during pandemic learning, they are mostly working out of this model. Why? Because it really isn’t teaching one class…it’s like teaching two at the same time. Learning online and learning in a brick-and-mortar setting is not the same thing. Online learning was developed to be an alternative way for students to learn who struggled to function in a brick-and-mortar setting. It is intended to be a different model and really isn’t intended to be synchronou ..read more
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