Butterflies mean more

The beauty of nature is impressive to me, and I enjoy it all the time we can appreciate it all. We just had the opportunity to spend nine days with my sister-in-law and her husband in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Each day from our balcony, we saw dolphins jumping, swimming, and diving. In addition, we saw groups of stingrays, pelicans, seagulls, and cranes. Then one evening, we found a baby bat. On our fishing trip, we saw a sea turtle, more dolphins and moon jellyfish, so many little lizards and crabs in the sand. The funniest thing was we had butterflies everywhere we went.

I captured this picture while we were enjoying an outside snack break at a beautiful little cafe’.

We went to dinner and asked a young lady to take our photo. She was so lovely and thoughtful. She shared with us she traveled here often for a vacation. She asked if we liked to read? Everyone looked at me. “Yes, I love it!”

She asked, “Do you know the author Andy Andrews? He is my favorite. He lives somewhere here in Orange Beach.”

I remember reading some of his work, and it hit me, The Butterfly Effect! I enjoyed this book. It is a quick read with a significant impact.

In 1963, Edward Lorenz made a presentation to the New York Academy of Sciences and was literally laughed out of the room. His theory, called the butterfly effect, stated that a butterfly could flap its wings and set air molecules in motion that, in turn, would move other air molecules—which would then move additional air molecules—even- tually becoming able to influence weather patterns on the other side of the planet. “Butterfly effect” theory says that one small change can influence a big change later. The theory leads you to believe we are all connected, and anything is possible.

As we ended the day, my brother-in-law said it was supposed to happen that we met this young lady to remind me about the book. To remember everything we do matters and makes a difference.

How true it is to know everything we do matters! Even if the “Butterfly Effect” can or cannot be scientifically proven, we do know by our choices and actions, change happens. We can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

What can you do today, tomorrow, or the next to have an effect on the lives of others?

Have you ever……

When you are trying to entertain during a long drive on vacation, when there is not a lot to see, you play games. Often we play: I spy with my little eye, something green. Then others take turns guessing what you see.

It is fun to learn about others when you play games. So asking the question, “Have you ever?” So my question today is, have you ever seen a sunrise like this? If you have, where did you see it? This is Gulf Shores, Alabama.

September 2021

Have you ever…….what? We had to travel today to leave our sunsets behind, but we will be home in time to see the sunset at home.

What is your Intention?

One of Merriam-Webster’s definitions for the word “intention” is “a determination to act in a certain way.” As we look at words and their meanings, we often find ourselves thinking of additional ones.

When you think of intention, what do you think of? I think of commitment. We take time to establish goals, make plans, and aim to accomplish. As we look at other words, how do they impact our intention?

We can start with good intentions, but without actions, we will fall short of our intention. Are you intentional with your actions to focus on what is essential?

Unpacking the bags to Leadership

The Lead Change Group has many opportunities to gain insight from many thought leaders. Look to leaders in all areas, not in just your area. Business, Education, Non-Profit, and leaders in all organizations can offer strategies, tips, and solutions. Use the link below to view my article and then explore more at the site.

Unpacking the Bags to Leadership

Do we have the courage?

As we face our days ahead, do you think about protection? The protection for self, others, and organization. Do you think about risk? Are you willing to take risks, support risks, and encourage risk?

Leaders must be willing to ask questions, challenge assumptions, and share dissenting views, even at the risk of disrupting a collegial atmosphere or displaying their lack of knowledge on a complex topic. It is critical to creating a safe environment to avoid “groupthink” and give permission for disagreement and constructive dissent as part of a healthy risk culture.

Helping yourself, colleagues, and the organization grows, we need to ask questions, have honest discussions, and take risks. Do we have the courage to work this way?

The foundation of what we believe is who we are. Stand firmly on the foundation of your core values, beliefs, and standards. How will you help build courage in others and yourself?

Make Monday Meaningful

Each day we set out to accomplish all of the things on our to-do list, lesson plan, or get the items on the grocery list still sitting at home. Life happens, and we make the most of every situation, just like Mahatma Gandhi in this story:

Gandhi went to board a train one busy day. The train began to move, and he made a jump for it. As he jumped, one of his sandals fell off and landed on the platform. He had no time to get off to retrieve the sandal. Looking down at his one sandal, he made a snap decision. He took his one sandal off and threw it. It landed right next to the other one.

The people on the train looked at him strangely. One individual asked, “Why did you through your sandal?”

Gandhi’s answer, “One sandal wouldn’t do me any good, but two sandals would undoubtedly help someone else.”

There is no one I can reference for this story, but you can find it summarized in many places with the same primary components. The meaningful message in this story is to choose what to focus on and what to leave behind. The sandals had served their purpose for Gandhi but left with one; the purpose was gone. Providing the opportunity for them to help someone else was the best solution.

In our busy days, it is easy to be distracted and to focus on things that we may need to let go of. Take a look at the time of your day. How much do you have to accomplish the tasks you have marked essential? What prevents you from achieving this? Is it emails? Social media? Student behavior? Other interruptions?

Reflection Time

  • Take a good look at your time on task. This gives you a real opportunity to review the quality of time you are spending on the job you want to achieve.
  • -My example of this would be an administrator wanting to get into a block of classrooms to provide feedback on instructional time used for a particular standard in the data report. Specific targets to help teaching and learning.
  • -My example of this would be a teacher wanting to check students for understanding new concepts by being distracted by student behaviors.

Connect with your colleagues and discuss areas you feel are distracting and taking your focus away. Do they have similar issues, what solutions and strategies do they have?

Let’s keep this conversation going as we continue to keep our focus on what matters most. “Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of the things which matter least.”-Johann Wolfgang con Goethe

How do you name what you teach?

The pandemic brought attention to education. Education should always have our attention and focus. It is the key to the success of our society as our next generation learns, creates, and discovers.

Critical Race Theory was/is a big topic for discussion on what was being taught. What other programs, curriculums are being taught in schools that are designed or disguised by the name. Many question Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). What is behind this name? What are children being taught and learning?

One of the very first things I learned as an administrator was the importance of respecting parents and families. Parents trust and share their children with us. Under no circumstances should we ever try to tell them how to parent. Our role is to provide a support system, resources, and quality education.

Parents look at programs and curriculums that sound like or look like they are invading parenting. It is a partnership together in helping children grow. It is my belief as well that the community be part of this partnership in providing the supports to fill in gaps and to enrich where possible.

When you are preparing to add a new program or curriculum to your school, what steps do you take?

Do you Consider?

  • Thoughts and Opinions of parents, families, and guardians?
  • Teachers and Support Staff?
  • Students?
  • What data?
  • How is it named?
  • Community support?
  • How does it connect to mission, vision, and goals?

My husband is a straightforward kind of guy! He says, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it is still a pig.” So in my understanding, do not try to dress up your programs with fancy names, but state what they are. Provide all of the information needed to understand what is being taught with no room for questions.

What would you like?

If you could design the curriculum for the schools what would you include? Please share your thoughts! What would you like to see schools teach?

Students “Don’t Care,” Do they?

Have you heard this, thought this, or said this? As you glance in a classroom, talk to students or staff, you get an idea of this statement.

Sometimes we are quick to place a label on something without further examining the roots to discover a solution. Engagement is our go-to word. Students are not engaged in learning, so they do not care. Whoa, stop! This is a snap judgment call without really diving in to look at solutions.

I have included a link below to a great article from EL Magazine. It is a quick read packed with great insight on how to look at barriers students may have as they face learning.

Standing in front of the class and giving information in hopes students will receive it with learning, as a result, is not a reasonable expectation. Then to think they can take this information and apply it. Well…

Students are not always interested in what we want them to do in the classroom or to learn. This does not mean they do not care. We have not uncovered how to motivate them with their interests, ways of learning, removed barriers or found the right strategies.

Students need clear feedback, a success that is important to them and to know peers are not judging them. Helping students reach their full potential can be accomplished.

http://bit.ly/2WbJ2pK

#ConversationsForChange

Let’s start a conversation today about the world of work. This past week I had the pleasure of speaking with a community service group regarding their human resources and programs. I am new to their organization and wanted to gain more insight than project any thoughts.

I told them after listening to their difficulty in finding individuals to fill openings that I understood. I had observed so many help wanted; we are hiring and sign-on bonuses offered. I was amazed. A local fast food place was offering a $1,000 sign-on bonus. What is happening in the work world?

As we watched the news, we saw a report that a school district had the National Guard come in to help drive school buses to get children to school. What? The National Guard is having to help get our children to school? What is happening?

Reflect on your current work. How has it changed, remained the same, or is it now out of business? What is the #FutureofWork?

Our society has been through many things over the years, and these past years have been harsh. The rapid changes being thrown out are difficult to deal with at times. One thing I do know is we need to have work to keep us moving forward. If you can join many of us in helping to figure out what our world needs to look like, let’s start with this question:

“What’s the one thing you’d change about the world of work?”

My response to this question would be:

When you hold a job or position, no matter what it is, make sure you are the best. Lead always with a purpose, service, and understanding of what you do changes the life of another.

How can I make a statement like this? I have held many levels of jobs and kinds. It is what you put into the work that you will get out, besides the paycheck.

I see many people talking about their change would be working from home. I believe we need human, face-to-face, real-time together to free ourselves from this disconnected, connected world.

One thing I would change is working to serve a purpose to improve all lives positively as we honor our core foundations of values. #FutureofWork #Bethesolutiondaily

Please share your thoughts and include #FutureofWork #ConversationsForChange so others can see your contribution and thoughts. Let’s get these ideas going and conversations flowing!