Dan Tricarico has been a high school English teacher for over thirty years. He’s also the author of The Zen Teacher: Creating Focus, Simplicity, and Tranquility in the Classroom (DBC, Inc. 2015) and Sanctuaries: Self-Care Secrets for Stressed Out Teachers (DBC, Inc. 2018). In his spare time, he enjoys writing fiction, listening to music (especially Roots Rock and The Blues), reading mystery novels, staring out of windows, and watching movies. One of his first loves is writing poetry, and he’s published many poems both in print and on-line.
Trenches story: his whole story. About 8 years ago, he was facing massive burnout. Had been in the CR for 25 yrs. Didn’t have the bandwidth to change the system so changed himself. Was a drama major, started blogging about it (called it The Zen Teacher), and that turned into a book. Now he’s doing workshop. Drama part- how did that tie into blogging. He’s always loved to write. It’s a way to clarify what you’re thinking. When he was blogging about strategies, talking w/ self, when he did this, it helped. When he tells his students “take what works and throw out the rest”.
How long have you been doing this? 8 years, definitely before pandemic. His school shut down 3/13/20 and stepped up by creating a pop-up FB group 3/14/20 The Zen Teacher pop-up sanctuary. He always was a relaxed teacher. Strategies took him to the next level.
How do you incorporate “zen” into your classroom? He learned mindfulness, meditation techniques in his drama studies. He recommends Dr. Christopher Willand, he took his mindfulness training program last yr. He has a book “Growing up mindful”. He has tools on how to use mindfulness with adults- Dan’s here to help teachers. He uses it to avoid burnout. Noticing things in day. Focusing on things he loves about his job. Doesn’t intentionally bring into CR. He acknowledges the conservative area & discomfort. He uses life approach, secular, it’s noticing what’s around you. He wrote for an article “Is teaching worth it”. It’s the education profession he wouldn’t recommend. Teaching part is great. Stress is the difference b/w what we’re doing and what we want to be doing. How can we adjust/make changes, put selves in a tank-filling position more often.
New book: Right Here and Now: The Mindful Teacher’s Guide to Finding Zen in their Pen. It’s about How to Teach Writing through the Lens of Mindfulness. (Came out late Oct.) Lessons he’s learned through teaching writing have filtered through the lens of mindfulness. Mindful writer. There’s stress and anxiety around writing, journaling. Blogging, journaling. A really good reason to write is to clarify your thoughts, philosophies. Even if you don’t share it with the world. It’s helpful to share w/ the world. It’s for teaching st’s not to be stressed w/ writing. There are poem excerpts from Dan’s writing journey as a teen. Book for anyone who is interested in writing.Good for anyone who wants to write.
Started podcast The Zen Professional Moment (on anchor) as well, is on episode #28. His podcast is like blogging. It’s how ppl are consuming content. He enjoys doing it. He interviews people. A few episodes are on his own. He took a podcast course, she said it’s important to do solos as well. Has a small but loyal following. He wants to broaden the audience to business & corporate ppl. Wants HR ppl, executives as guests. We have opportunities to learn so much.
Sign up for his newsletter, you’ll get an offer- a free, 14-page “7 Self-Care Secrets for Stressed Out Teachers” workbook for t’s to become Zen teachers. Online course- self-paced- Instant Zen zenprocourses.com $47. Highlights 5 S’s. Stillness, silence, space, subtraction and slowing down. We can choose to implement it on your own. Our culture doesn’t value them. You have to be intentional.
Out of everything? His sign-off for his podcast- You’re ok exactly how you are, you have more power than you can. You don’t have to have a Pinterest perfect CR. Start to look around and see what you can change. We make a ton of decisions per day. Click To Tweet
Where can ppl find you online? www.thezenteacher.com Twitter @thezenteacher IG @zenteacher TikTok @thezenprofessional firstname.lastname@example.org
View this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/3mMpRxbwwsw