The Chalk Full of Life Podcast™ with Kelli Wise: transparent talk and tools for living your best tea-logo

The Chalk Full of Life Podcast™ with Kelli Wise: transparent talk and tools for living your best tea

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064 – Permission to Take a Break (Bye for Now)

Taking a break can be HARD. Especially when you love what you do. Whether it’s taking a sick day or a mental health day. A maternity leave or a sabbatical. Or committing to not bringing work home in the evenings or on the weekends. Taking a break sounds awesome. But it’s not always as easy as it sounds. I’m about to take a Big Break right now. And it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I’ve been experiencing a rollercoaster of mixed emotions. And it’s requiring me to manage my...


063 – Overcoming the Challenges of a Teacher Marriage

My husband and I have been through some HARD times. We’re talking rollercoaster moments, for sure. But over the last 16+ years, we’ve learned A LOT. Especially in the past few years. Here are 3 of the best lessons we’ve learned. RELATIONSHIP LESSON #1: We don’t make each other happy. What the other person says or does is never the source of our happiness. Our happiness comes directly from our individual thoughts. So... the more we manage our own minds, the happier we are. Individually. And...


062 – You’re Either Winning or Losing in Your Teacher Life

My oldest son likes to invent and design his own board games. I love seeing his 10 year old brain bursting at the seams with creativity and enthusiasm. And I think his love of board games is rubbing off on me... Because I had a MAJOR light bulb moment the other day about a board game. The Ultimate Board Game. It felt like an epiphany. So simple. But so powerful and true. This is what I realized. Life is like a board game. There are rules for how the game works. And so often, like outraged...


061 – Professional Development vs. Personal Development for Teachers: Which One Matters More?

Which one matters more? … Professional Development? … Or Personal Development? Which would you say? Obviously, the goals of these two different types of PD are different. The goal of your teacher PD is to improve your efficacy in your work as a teacher... While the goal of Personal Development is to improve allll the areas of your life. So take a quick sec to reflect on this. Which one do you give more focus and attention right now? And... is that how you want it to be? I’m not asking in...


060 – The Biggest Mistake Teachers Are Making Today Without Realizing It

You know Bob Ross, right? The painter with the amazing hair and the put-you-to-sleep soothing voice. Yeah, I actually have a friend (and a husband) who both listen to his videos sometimes when they’re trying to fall asleep. True story. I mean, how can you not love this guy? I’m mesmerized by how effortlessly he paints. And I love his nonchalant take on imperfections. If you make a mistake in your painting... No problem! “It’s a happy accident!” Bob chuckles. According to him, it’s a perfect...


059 – More Than A Score: Stop Stressing About State Tests & Teacher Evaluations

Are you ready for a sing-a-long? I think you know this one… It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeeear... With the kids filling in bubbles... And everyone telling you, “State testing is here!” It’s the most wonderful time of the yeeear! Or maybe we should replace the word “wonderful” with “stressful?”Not because it’s particularly stressful to hand out all the No. 2 pencils… And walk 79 laps around your classroom while the bubbles are being filled in... But because you’re left wondering if...


058 – The #1 Teacher Skill That Can Change Your Life

If you listen to The Chalk Full Of Life podcast on the regular, you might find this as funny/enlightening as I do. At LEAST once a month... When I find myself in some sort of tailspin or end-of-the-world drama… My dear ‘ol hubby likes to tell me:“I know a really good podcast episode I think you should listen to.” And, of course, he’s referring to my OWN podcast. “Haha, you’re so funny,” I tell him. I love/hate it when he points me back to my own words because… He’s totally right. I need the...


057 – The Whole Story (Kelli’s Husband Weighs In On Her Journey Toward Lasting Change for Herself & Teachers Everywhere)

Do you ever wonder how your significant other would tell the story of your teacher life? Like, if your partner was on the Ellen Show and she asked what it’s like to be married to (or date) a teacher... What do you think your main squeeze would say? Well, I don’t think I ever fully pondered that question until this week. Why? Because I handed the mic over to my husband this week on the podcast! I told him he could share whatever he thought would be helpful for our Chalk Full of Lifers… So...


056 – Taking the Drama Out of Your Teacher Life

Ok, I’ll admit it. I love me some Bachelor. (Even though it’s been a couple seasons since I’ve watched.) The drama gets me every time. Don’t get me wrong... I’m not a fan of drama in my owwwn life. But there’s this “I-just-can’t-turn-my-head-away-from-the-train-wreck” feeling that comes over me when it comes to watching reality tv. Know what I’m sayin? Drama’s fun when it’s on tv. Or in a movie. But Not-So-Much when it’s in your house. Or in your hallway at school. It’s exhausting. Can I get...


055 – #TeacherLife Permission Slip 01: Do Less

You don’t need a permission slip. But I’m going to give you one anyway. And more importantly… I’d like you to consider giving one to yourself. Why? Because... Teachers are really good at giving evvverything to evvveryone else. But how good are you at giving yourself what you really need? We get so caught up in going, going, going… Giving, giving, giving... And doing, doing, doing… That we keep thinking we need to Do MORE. And Be MORE. But I think what we reeeally need most often is to… Do...


054 – “Pretty” Thoughts That Are Like Poison to Your Teacher Soul

When I was a kid, I loved choreographing dance and rollerblade routines that my friends and I performed for sold-out (parental) audiences in my driveway. I also loved directing, performing in, and filming my own spin-offs of fairy tales. (Yeah, my mom has the embarrassing video footage to prove it.) One of my Academy Award Winning silliest performances was Little Red Riding Hood. We had my dog, Greta, play the part of the wolf. She was pretty convincing. I swear you couldn’t tell the...


053 – When You’re Feeling Frustrated at School, at Home, or with Yourself (A Fresh Perspective for Teachers)

Some days I roll out of bed, get dressed, and feel like a million bucks. Other days, I curse my skinny jeans for being too skinny. 👖 And I question whether it was them or me that changed size since the last load of laundry. 🤷‍♀️ Ever feel this way? #FrustrationStation Whether we’re frustrated with something going on at school, something at home, or something about ourselves… Our culture has a tendency to look at frustration as a negative thing. After all, frustration doesn’t feel good! 😖...


052 – My 3 Most Devastating #TiredTeacher Wake-Up Calls

We’re about to go waaay beyond lighthearted jokes about being #TeacherTired. Are you ready? This week’s episode is pretty heavy. And raw. It’s not the topic I planned to share with you. But when you have a light bulb lightning-bolt-striking-your-head-and-heart moment, you’ve gotta just go with it, you know? Let me cut straight to the chase. A few days ago, I was listening to a podcast (not CFOL!)... And I got one of those knock-the-wind-out-of-you feelings of conviction. It completely...


051 – #TeacherTruth: Failing Forward is the Secret to Getting What You Want Personally and Professionally (Part 2)

I totally bombed my first teaching job interview. And that was just the first of maaany more #TeacherFails to come. For starters... There was that time I showed up at the wrong building for an important meeting. 🏫 That time one of my students said I should be on an episode of “What Not To Wear.” 👗 That time my grade level partner told me I was “hard to work with.” 🙄 That time my car ran out of gas on the way to school, and I had to walk the rest of the way in heels. 👠 And that time I...


050 – #TeacherTruth: Failing Forward is the Secret to Getting What You Want Personally and Professionally (Part 1)

Do you remember your first interview for a teaching job? I remember mine… and it was AWFUL. I remember being stunned when I saw the huge boardroom table filled with about 15 administrators… all staring… at ME. And that’s about all I remember. Because I think I went into shock. 😵 LOL. And then I started rambling off all sorts of nonsense as they continued to stare. Continued to fire questions at me. And continued to circle low numbers on their scoring sheets. So needless to say, it wasn’t a...


049 – Better Nutrition & Exercise Habits in Your Crazy Busy Teacher Life (Part 2)

When you’re working toward new nutrition or exercise goals in your teacher life… Do you ever wish you could get a little turbo boost to get to the finish line? When that initial honeymoon phase wears off, things can get T O U G H. You keep trying to pack the healthy lunches. And you muster up all your willpower to turn on those exercise videos. But in the back of your head, you keep wondering… “Is this even working?” “Is all this effort really worth it?” “Can I keep this up?” “Do I even WANT...


048 – Better Nutrition & Exercise Habits in Your Crazy Busy Teacher Life (Part 1 – Featuring Brian Wise)

How do you feel about cold turkey? No, no, silly… not the kind you have for leftovers after the holidays. I mean going Cold Turkey on harmful habits. Like when I used to say, “Yeah. I’m gonna stop drinking soda every day in the new year.” And then *poof*... I thought if I just said it, I’d be able to instantly make it happen with sheer willpower. And what about "All or Nothing" ideals? I used to think, “If I’m gonna exercise, it’s gotta be for at leeeeast 30 minutes for it to make a...


047 – Your Best Year Yet (Part 2 – Looking Ahead)

I have a gift for you today, my teacher friend! Wanna guess what it is?? I’ll give you a couple hints. Hint #1 -- Marty McFly Hint #2 -- Your Best Year Yet Give up?? Ok, ok! ** Cue the Confetti Drop. ** We’re going Back to the Future together… To reverse engineer your BEST year yet in 2019. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to rent the DeLorean. But I DO have something even better for you. Something that doesn’t require time travelling. It’s my 5-step process for setting the Right goals for your...


046 – Your Best Year Yet (Part 1 – Looking Back)

Did you know that only 8% of people achieve their personal goals each year? These were the findings of a recent study by the University of Scranton. And Michael Scott may or may not have been one of the 8%. (Ok… I couldn’t help myself. I mean, you can’t NOT throw a little Dunder Mifflin humor into any mention of Scranton, PA.) But seriously... Why do 92% of people fail with their goals in life? Well, I haven’t conducted a scientific study on it. But after having taught 11 years in the...


045 – The Magic of Regifting the Good Stuff in Your Teacher Life

Have you ever seen the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine finds out that the label maker she gave somebody got regifted to Jerry? It’s a classic. That episode, in all its glory, actually popularized the concept of “regifting.” And I’ve gotta admit that thoughts of regifting got popularized in my own teacher brain when I somehow managed to receive more mugs, bottles of lotion, and candles than one human could ever put to good use. While I definitely believe “it’s the thought that counts”... I...