Smart Teacher Tip: Give Away Everything You Know, and More Will Come Back to You.

ideas good news

Despite a decade of experience in the classroom, I still consider myself a new teacher in a lot of ways. First and foremost, I am a lifelong learner who tries to keep life interesting and relevant in the classroom. I don’t want to keep doing the same old things in the same old way just because that’s the way I’ve always done it.

I try to start each year with what worked from the previous year and change-up what didn’t work as well. Everything is up for grabs. I review policies, processes, procedures and lesson plans. I’m always on the search for ways to make my life at school and home more efficient and productive.

Of course I ask the teachers I know in real life about their classrooms and my on site teacher friends are a great resource for ideas especially when helping my tougher behavior kids. They are a living history of the previous year and they have experience with each family. Asking previous teachers for ideas has been beyond helpful.

But what about learning about new things that no one else in your area is doing? Like student blogging or integrating technology into the classroom? What about ideas for lessons you’ve never done before? Where do you go to find ideas?

A few years ago I joined Twitter and started dropping in on Wednesday evenings New Teacher chat and started following teachers from around the country. What I’ve discovered is that generous, smart, efficient, teacher leaders live all over the country and willingly share their ideas (for free!) online through their blogs, podcasts and tweets. I feel like I’ve discovered a hidden treasure!

Not only do I get new ideas from these resources, I’ve been able to share my ideas and lo and behold, the more ideas I share, the more ideas come to me. Creativity and generosity begets creativity and generosity!

So, where do you get your brilliant teachery ideas? How do you keep your teaching fresh and creative? Who is in your professional learning community? What new resources can you share here?

Image source

Attitude of Gratitude

On Tuesday It’s All Yoga posted on Facebook:

For the month of November, we’re launching an Attitude of Gratitude campaign. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, you’re invited to dedicate one Facebook update per week to write what you’re thankful for.

We’ll go first: “We’re thankful for the beautiful ginkgo trees in front of the studio whose butterfly leaves will turn their signature golden yellow in just a couple of weeks. (It’s All Yoga Attitude of Gratitude)”

What do you say, will you join us in cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude? Be sure to tag It’s All Yoga in your posts so we can “hear” you. :)


Well, I misread that as sharing what you are thankful for EVERY DAY. I guess the Twitter #30DaysofThankfulness hashtag seeped into my brain and now I’m in.

Ever since reading Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project {3 times!} I’ve kept a one sentence journal. While I don’t write in it every day, when I do go back and reread it I am once again filled with gratitude.


At the end of the month I think I’ll compile my list and publish as one post. For now, I’m posting daily on Twitter and on Facebook.

Want to join me? Just post to Facebook or Twitter and be sure to tag me.

Happy November!

Community – A Twitter Love Letter

Prompt: Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?




Dear Twitter, 

I know we met in 2009, but it wasn’t really until 2010 that we solidified our relationship. I used to be a little embarrassed how much I loved reading tweets and finding out how people spend their time. I think it is because I was still trying to figure you out. 

I just didn’t get how useful people on Twitter can be. Questions about WordPress, online polls, browsers or blogging with kids? Ask and multiple answers come quickly. 

Need help planning a yoga class? All you have to do is ask. 

Want to trade stories about rock shows and cute rock stars? Twitter is the place to do it. 

Thanks for the great year! 


PS – In 2011, I’d like to meet more teachers committed to self-care and time-wasting practices like yoga, reading for pleasure and goofing off on social media.
Do you know any? 


Where are your people? Who do you want to connect with next year?

Author: Cali Harris

A Peek Behind the Computer Screen

Lucky me got to spend Friday evening with Just A Titch and Blogasana – two of my favorite Sacramento bloggers.

After teaching YogaNap at It’s All Yoga and then falling into a post-teaching-blissed-out-Yin-state facilitated by the lovely Michelle, we hopped into my trusty blue Prius and made our way over to Amy’s newish Sacramento digs {it really is that cute}.

We drank wine from Michelle’s Wine of the Month Club {who knew?}, ate tasty snacks and the laughing began.

First up, reminiscing about Double Rainbows and their ah-maz-ing-ness.

Then we talked about our favorite blogs:

Havi Brooks – Fluent Self

My favorite post from the week – Let’s Try Something Different Today

Gwen Bell – Big Love In A Small World

Kyla Roma – Daydreams from a Handmade Prairie Life

Danielle LaPorte White Hot Truth

Gretchen Rubin – Happiness Project


I borrowed this book from Amy and tried not to peek at it while we were talking.

Dear readers, please know you’ll never have to read about what I ate for lunch. Unless of course, it’s sharing a recipe.

We discovered our mutual love for the images on We Heart It and joked about how I could get my readers to click the links in my posts.

Look forward to an upcoming photo of a gun pointed to a lovely 20-something half-dressed woman’s head. Please note she will have an exposed breast and bloody nose, holding a lit cigarette.

At least it will if we find it on We Heart It.

I kid, of course.


{thank you in advance}.

Twitter talk ensued.

I confessed to learning about Twitter from Rhett Miller.

They both laughed at my superfandom.

We talked about how we love Twitter because we like to know what people are actually doing during their day, how there is a fine line between witty and too witty, and all the people we love to follow {personal faves: @naomidunford, @yisforyogini, @sophieandlili, @bowsandsparrows, @4thgrdteach and of course @rhettmiller }

Did I mention the laughing?

And there it is… a peek behind the computer screen.

Teacher Keeps Going Back to “School”

Do you ever find yourself really excited about something new? Do you find yourself sleeping less and yet functioning just fine because you are hyper-focused on your new thing?

That’s me.

A lot of the time.

I find something I’m interested in and I dive in head first.

I try to find out as much as I can about whatever I’m interested in as quickly as possible.

All that being said, I’ve got lots of projects I’m working on – both on and off-line that are taking up loads of time.

In a good way.

Here are some of the highlights of studio projects I’m working on that are taking place in real life in the near future:

Swap-Asana! A women’s clothing swap being held at It’s All Yoga – 21st and X in Midtown Sacramento – April 24th. 

o.m.g! I went to my first swap this weekend and let’s just say this may be one of the most exciting events EVER. I’ll dedicate a whole post to it later.

Yoga Nap + Milk and Cookies! A free yoga class in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week – May 1st.

Book Worms!LovingKindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness – May 23rd.

If you live in Sacramento and any of those strike your fancy, come join me!

What in-real-life projects are you working on? What’s keeping you busy these days? How are you spending your time?


The other projects I’m working on are more behind the scenes type of things.

Some highlights:

Reading some of Seth Godin’s marketing books.

Tribes is totally speaking to my inner cheerleader right now.

The Unconventional Guide to the Web – Using Social Media As A Force for Good with Gwen Bell and Chris Guillebeau. So much good stuff to take in and use.

Making some connections with more yogis through  Twitter  and Facebook.

Through all of this,  learning social media is about having a conversation. – which sounds a lot like teaching….

How do you use social media to help your projects reach your right people? How do you connect and converse with the people who would love your product, project or service if they just knew about it?


Yoga+Music(notquite)365 (day95)

Today’s yoga brought to me by ME at It’s All Yoga in Sacramento. I’m subbing for Michelle tonight.

Today’s music is Consolers of the Lonely by The Raconteurs.

If you love guitar-based music, you also may want to check out the documentary on the electric guitar called It Might Get LOUD – featuring Jack White (The White Stripes and The Raconteurs), The Edge (U2) and Jimmy Paige (Led Zeppelin).


Yoga Teaching Update:

FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online

I’m sub-teaching TODAY– for Michelle at 5:45. Level 1-2, so every body is welcome.

Free class for School Teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week – May 1st. Yoga Nap+Milk and Cookies.

The In Case You Missed It Edition! Volume 2

I’ve recently discovered the wonderful world of blogs, Twitter and the idea of creating community online. I am aware I am late to the party, however it’s better to be late than never arrive.

Who knew the Internet was full of such wonderful, caring, compassionate people?

Occasionally, I’ll post my favorite posts from other people here.

The In Case You Missed It Edition!

Impermanence — My father has Alzheimer’s disease.  Last night, during a family conference call, we decided it is time to move him into the dementia unit of the retirement community where my parents live…..

Bob has a way of cutting right to the important parts. See if you can read this without feeling deeply.

Good Enough is the New Perfect is the title of the upcoming book by my Twitter friends @holleeinbalance and @beckyinbalance. Their  blog is a treasure box full of gems about issues around work and family. A must read! Plus Hollee is a fellow yogi!

This week’s guest post is by a woman who has 30 HOURS of LEISURE time a WEEK. If that doesn’t grab your attention, I don’t know what will. It sure got mine.

Social Change Through Simple Living pretty much sums it up, doesn’t it? That’s what @RowdyKittens is all about. Tammy S is a former Sacramentan, now Portlander (hello, opposite of me!) explores the notion of living a fuller, richer life with less stuff. I think she may be on to something.

The Beet Goes On is my friend V3’s chronicling of her life in NYC. Filled with food photos that make you want to bite your monitor. This girl rocks.

Last but not least, the woman with so many ideas I want to steal.

Office Hours at Gwen Bell, Big Love in a Small World. – LOVE HER.  I wish I was in Boulder. I just may have to copy this. Who wants to meet for office hours?

If you have a favorite blog that you’d want everyone to read if you were in charge of the universe, please let me know about it here. Leave me a comment about your favorites and maybe I’ll start reading them too.


Yoga+Music(notquite)365 (day94)

Today’s yoga brought to you by Michelle at It’s All Yoga in Sacramento.

Today’s music is Away We Go Movie Soundtrack. I’ve been loving the movie soundtracks recently, even those movies that didn’t make me love them. Go figure.


Yoga Teaching Update:

FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online

I’m sub-teaching 4/5/10 – for Michelle at 5:45. Level 1-2, so every body is welcome.

Free class for School Teachers in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week – May 1st. Yoga Nap+Milk and Cookies.

Yoga+Music365 (day25) – Carried to Dust by Calexico

Three people in as many days have asked me where I find cool stuff on the internet.

My answer: Twitter

Don’t knock it until you try it.

That’s all I’m saying.

Today’s yoga brought to you by the home practice in Sacramento.

Today’s music – Carried to Dust by Calexico

Don’t forget FREE Fridays at 4:30 with the new It’s All Yoga teachers (21st and X in Sacramento) – you’ve got to sign up online

NEW!!!! Mondays at 5:45 in February I’ll be teaching a Level 1/2 at It’s All Yoga – come join me.