Smart People-Make Mistakes

Making Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes! I think some individuals think they can’t make a mistake. Worse than thinking you can’t make a mistake is needing help and not asking for it. Think about mistakes, talk with others and discuss if it is easy to ask for help.

“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.”

Oh Mandino

As my title states, intelligent people or knowledgeable individuals will not ask for help when they need to ask. Not asking for help is a big mistake. They allow their clouded judgment to get in the way, or is it ego?

Thinking you may know more about everything than anyone else is not a good choice. Considering we know more is another mistake of closing the door to opportunities for learning and resources when you tune them out. Have you ever been in a professional development workshop and watched as others graded papers or did stuff on their phone?

Avoiding, hiding, and ignoring problems hoping they will go away is a huge mistake. These actions make concerns grow more extensive. We have to address issues and the people causing the problem.

Controlling Reactions

  • Ask for help when needed
  • Never allow yourself to think you know everything
  • Control reactions by learning to adapt
  • Avoiding, ignoring and hiding problems makes them grow. Instead, stand up to face and resolve.

Be aware of your thinking and your actions. Making mistakes happens to all of us. Let’s not make them a habit. We deal with invaluable children to lose sight of the significance of our work.

Make Mentoring a Mission that matters!

One of the needs every individual has is to feel validated. As educators, we set it as a priority to establish positive relationships with co-workers, students, and families. However, we do not spend enough time helping each other learn how to accomplish them. One way is mentoring!

Why not start a mentoring program at your school? Teachers mentor other teachers, staff members mentor students, students mentor students, parents help to mentor other mentors. When mentoring becomes the norm, you can begin to see a more helpful and welcoming environment. The wonderful thing about mentoring is the benefit both receive!

In that list of mentors, I left out the most crucial role that needs a mentor the most, the principal. Often we forget to feed our leaders with rich development and dedicated support to help the schools the most. Is there a fear of having a mentor or coach? Is this a signal the leadership is not strong? I sure hope not.

Mentors are “trusted” wise individuals who offer advice, suggestions, ideas, teach, and model. Sooner or later in our lives, we all need inspiration, direction, and instruction as we face many different things. Even mentors and coaches need to have someone to help them too. We can prepare, be informed, and try to keep up with everything, but if we try that approach, burnout is what we will have.

Modeling for others is the best way to get mentoring started. Provide information about your mentoring experience and see if anyone is interested in participating. Mentors are the best cheerleaders for those they are mentoring. They are also the ones that will provide a reality check—in addition, stretching you to reach beyond your comfort zone to achieve goals.

Rules to Mentoring

  • Help establish goals
  • Be an active listener
  • Ask questions to stretch thinking
  • Facilitate Problem Solving with an open-minded approach
  • Be consistent with offering time
  • Confidentiality and trustworthy
  • Keep the focus on the individual and not you
  • Honest feedback

Expectations from Receiving Mentoring

  • Help with goal setting
  • Identifying strengths and weaknesses
  • Providing new ways to look at situations
  • Learning new skills
  • Gathering tools, strategies, and resources
  • Networking with others to build professional connections
  • Confidence, Inspiration, Motivation

Every mentoring relationship is different. How you set up your work together is how the outcomes will be developed. At the first meeting together, you can establish the goals you want from the mentoring process.

Solutions Weekly November 28- December 4, 2021

November 28- December 4, 2021

Make Mentoring a Mission that matters!

One of the needs every individual has is to feel validated. As educators, we set it as a priority to establish positive relationships with co-workers, students, and families. However, we do not spend enough time helping each other learn how to accomplish them. One way is mentoring!

Smart People-Make Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes! I think some individuals think they can’t make a mistake. Worse than thinking you can’t make a mistake is needing help and not asking for it. Think about mistakes, talk with others and discuss if it is easy to ask for help.

Culture Shock

Source – Sverre Lysgaard, 1955

“Culture shock is the feeling of disorientation experienced by someone when they are suddenly subjected to an unfamiliar culture and way of life. It can be caused by a range of things, both big and small, such as unfamiliar greetings and hand gestures, strange food, and difficult language barriers.

This unfamiliarity can lead to symptoms such as confusion, anxiety, frustration, loneliness, and homesickness. It can even lead to physical symptoms such as insomnia as a result of time zone changes, or colds and stomach bugs due to unfamiliar foods and bacteria.”

Can we find connections of culture shock with students returning to school with the global pandemic continuing? Don’t forget our educators too!

Leading through Culture

We hear many terms floating around and being fired at us from cancel culture, toxic culture to positive culture. There are social cultures and many more cultures to explore. As leaders, we mainly look at our organizational culture and how everyone involved with it feels, the beliefs they hold, values, and assumptions that provide the identity and set the standards of behavior.

Going along with the culture is the climate of the organization. The climate describes the shared perceptions of those individuals involved with the organization. How can we lead through an established culture?

Inspire & Ignite

We all need a little inspiration, feel-good stories, and fires to ignite our energy to finish this year strong!

To sum it Up + to equal= growth

How old are you?

One of the subjects I have always hated is math. However, we use math all of the time in everything we do. If you look at the graph above, what information does it give you? What kind of data do you have? What do you do with your data? Let’s sum up data!

In every aspect of improvement, we find strategies in learning or tips to use and approaches to development. Math is utilized in numbering the steps to take, calculating performance, analyzing graphs, and so much more. Mathematics supports collecting data as we review, add, subtract, divide until we discover the growth in summing up our success. Formulas are developed to calculate the measurements to close gaps, support growth, and help to identify areas to focus on.

Numbers and percentages are essential keys in helping us unlock the doors to knowledge. If we pose the questions we need to answer; the answers often include a mathematical equation. Let’s try by asking some critical questions. If you do not know the right questions to ask, then getting the correct answers will not solve the issues you face.

*Currently, we have 75 staff members working for our team. How many have received the Covid-19 vaccination? Then this leaves the remaining staff unvaccinated and will not continue to work due to the mandates.

Your data will not speak if you do not ask the right questions to analyze. The question I just posed was a question in my subcommittee of a board I sit on. I have changed the numbers, but the question is genuine. We needed to know how many employees would not be working if the mandate did away with the option of testing each week. Just like other organizations, businesses, and schools, we are already short staff. If the number of people currently not vaccinated did not return to work, we would face closing programming possibly.

The point in gathering data is to do something with it! Action steps need to be formed to solve an issue, and it is utilized to guide solutions. To find the answer to our question asked, we take the current number of employees (75) subtract from this number (15), indicating the number of unvaccinated staff. Our work is not done yet. Then we dig deeper by breaking it down to departments, programs and look at the percentages of those being served who are affected by the reduction of staff. As you continue to focus and narrow to target your solution, action steps are developed.

Ask the right Questions

  • What do you need to know?
  • How will you ask the question?
  • Who is involved?
  • What data needs to be collected?
  • How will it be collected?
  • Most importantly, how will you disseminate findings?

Answers = Solutions

  • The right questions result in correct answers, =solutions
  • Collecting the correct data, narrowing to a targeted area, making action steps= solutions
  • Action steps, accountability, and continued evalution=solutions

To sum it up for us, add to your practice asking the right questions! Subtract from your formula anything that is not providing you with information not needed. Multiply your efforts in narrowing your focus to get the targeted results you desire. Divide the responsibility in working to solve the issues you face. Following these guidelines will equal positive impact and outcomes as we take action!


Dumbo is my favorite Elephant

I am sure all of us have seen, read, or heard of Dumbo. His famous big ears gave us all the thought that elephants could surely hear with them and not use them to fly!

Stanford University research associate Caitlyn O’Connell did not discover flying elephants but how they hear. While observing elephants, she found how they would detect distant noise and vocalizations; they’d freeze and lean forward and put weight on their front legs. Sometimes they would all raise their front foot. Do elephants hear with their feet? What?

Winter Olympics coming soon

The Olympics are so exciting for not just the country athletes but for all of us who are cheering for them. Our niece qualified to run in the Olympic trials, and it was so exciting to make it that far! Did you know you have a 1 in 662,000 chance of winning an Olympic medal than picking the correct numbers in the Mega Millions lottery? Your odds of winning the lottery are one in 302.6 million, according to Forbes. I don’t know about you, but I have got to get to training!

Let’s be friends

Facebook is going through a rebranding. So I think they are “unfriending” themselves? The platform is known for its likes, follows, and all of that kind of stuff. However, did you know the verb “unfriend” is 350 years older than the platform where it is used.

The word unfriend was first used in the 1200s to describe someone who was no longer a friend. By the 17th century, “unfriend” had become a verb essentially the same thing it does today, minus the internet. To friend or unfriend is the question with a click of the button.

Who knew?

With a last name like Yoho, what is the first thing you think of? A pirate of course! My husband and his father were both in the United States Navy, but now I have a chance to test the waters myself if I want. Who knew this was even possible.

If you’re an undergraduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, you can become a pirate. Though the university doesn’t offer a full major in piracy, if you pass courses in sailing, fencing, pistols, and archery, you can receive a certificate asserting your status as a scourge of the high seas. While the status was unofficial for nearly as long as the school has offered all the classes, MIT made it official in 2012, providing documentation to aspiring Anne Bonnys and Edward Teaches. I guess it is Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum, a pirates life for me!

Leadership-Are you Authentic?

Ask a team of administrators what kind of leader they are, you will receive various answers. However, in all leadership styles, there are qualities shared. You will always find similarities between the different approaches to leadership.

A new style is an Authentic Leader. However, it isn’t new. We discuss authenticity as being an important characteristic and skill for all leaders. People do not want to follow someone who is not authentic in their efforts. Leaders demonstrate through their actions, speech, and communication the values and behaviors they expect from their team.

I have been in education for decades and have heard “Walk the Walk, Talk the Talk.” It was explained to me to mean if you are talking a bunch of stuff to do and expecting others to do it, but you are not doing it, then you are not Walking the Talking. I am not clear on where this originated, but if you have heard it, maybe you know; if you have not heard it, then it started here. Do what you say. There are no ifs and buts about it.

Have you heard, “Do as I say, not as I do.” I believe this one is confusing on rules and expectations. This statement indicates the leader is modeling the opposite of what you should do.

Actions speak louder than words. If you are providing expectations for staff and others to follow, then model. If you are not able to do this, then you are not authentic in your leadership.

Enhance your skills

  • Define clearly your core values and beliefs
  • Reflect, Review and Become Self-Aware
  • Identify, Engage and Empower your leadership team
  • Inspire, Improve and Support others
  • Find Balance and Motivation
  • Get connected by being personal-not too personal(boundaries)
  • Stay centered-Focus on your why

Wednesday Wisdom-November 24,2021

It is incredible the many things, ideas, and possibilities you can discover when you begin to allow yourself to explore with no plan or purpose. Some days, I like to let my mind take a stroll through the beautiful world full of exciting amazement you can find.

One of my favorite things to do is to provide pictures with no words to allow others to describe what it means, is saying, the story it is telling or the feelings it is expressing.

Sometimes it is great to have a picture with words to begin a conversation. Today it seems like the colors of people seem to be talked about a great deal. I have fought for decades to battle against utilizing race, gender, or the way we look to determine who we are as an individual. Using the picture below helps to bring out other aspects of color. It no longer is just the surface but the depth it contains. A white peach, a chocolate chip, a strawberry, and the list can go on.

Giving our minds time to stretch is excellent for our muscles and overall well-being. You may have heard our brain is a muscle, but it is an organ weighing on average around 3 pounds by adulthood. It controls our muscles as well as many other aspects of our life. Physical activity, mental games, good sleep, and healthy eating habits all contribute to brain health.

Always take the time to learn more about taking care of your mind, body, and spirit to be the best you can be. There is only one of you! I am happy our paths crossed today.

Nourishing Teaching and Learning-Today, Tomorrow and Always

The purpose of education seems to have different meanings when you ask other groups. If we look through the political accountability lens, the goal is to increase standards and raise requirements for test scores to reflect passing levels. Students may see education as just going to school, following the rules, and turning in their assignments. Families look at it as a way for their children to build a solid foundation to prepare for college and careers.

As we look at Teaching and Learning, we will discover more of how our teachers build lessons daily to empower students for today, tomorrow, and all of the days following. Many aspects of teaching and learning support all of the needs of learners.

Students begin learning the first day they enter a classroom. Each day they are present, they must know and take the learning with them. Students need to understand and value the teaching they are doing. This foundational learning from today carries to the skill building of tomorrow. This promotes the growth required to progress.

Each lesson taught must build on what students already know and guide them to the next level of learning. The purpose of this teaching is to help students feel the growth with their knowledge. To understand the engagement and ability in their influence around them as they continue to embrace learning. Our teachers and education system provide a precise direction grade level by grade level.

It is not just about building blocks for a foundation and following a blueprint of construction as we connect the levels of learning. As teachers, we nourish our students ultimately. The whole child is provided with needs to promote enrichment, physical wellness, promoting a moral compass, and overall conditions for well-being.

I hope as I lead others, they will always gain the knowledge and practice: “Education is something we do with children, not to them. We need to nourish our children with the gift of enriched education, physical wellness, promotion of a moral compass, and always engage in ways to think in the abstract while finding better ways to do things. Our job in education is not to teach children how to think, but to provide opportunities to think, ask questions and consider solutions.”~Yoho

Making Space to keep tension from destroying morale

Find a place, the time, a system, a technique, or your way to make space for dealing with the tension you face. Each day in school, some level of stress is confronted by someone. Where there is tension, you will find morale going down. As we all faced the challenges of COVID and the changes which went along with this pandemic, stress followed.

Developing how we respond to tension, stress, and anxiety will help keep morale on production levels. When individuals face pressure, the results are the same with stories of frustration, hopelessness, anger, conflicts, and a breakdown in cooperation can occur when tension is high. We can work on finding solutions to guide us in addressing stress.

Steps and Solutions

The first step in any situation is to always pause with focus. Give your attention to the individual experiencing the tension. If you do not, they may believe you are not taking the situation seriously.

Second, actively listening to the individual or individuals can set the tone to calming. If you interrupt or argue in this process, individuals believe you are not hearing them but trying to impose your desires on them. Just listening, paying attention to feelings and concerns helps to validate them. As you participate in this process, acknowledge and recognize the work, effort, and commitment of those you are listening to boost morale. Listen to hear and learn to help find solutions.

The best way to help individuals know you are listening and you hear them is to paraphrase the conversation. Let them know you understand their need and concern.

After focusing, actively listening, repeating to them what you heard and understood, it is time to offer possible solutions. Always be prepared for other ideas and solutions to the situation. A great statement posted by a teacher on Twitter said, “Principals, if you ask me if I am okay and I tell you why I am not okay. Please do not respond with, “I am sorry to hear that.” Be ready to help find solutions! It is not the time to place blame or criticize.

One additional step in reducing tension, stress, anxiety, and deflation in morale is the use of humor. Relationships and connections should be permanently established. Go See the Principal by Gerry Brooks is an excellent book with examples of how educators can connect daily. Humor diffuses tension, provides opportunities to “cool down” when tempers rise to allow for rational responses instead of impulsive reactions.

Time for laughter

If your work environment does not include laughter, please be the one to add it. Help others bring more each day. Classrooms need it as well. Our basic needs in life are necessary to be met, and laughter is one needed by all.