Thursday thought….

A family vacation to Florida inspired my thoughts of ways to add positive messages today! A little play on the words, but a clear message.

I used to send out different kinds of motivational, inspirational, and spiritual messages to others. I have always believed in helping to provide others with positivity.

Keeping a positive attitude is one of the most important things you can do to lead a happy life and succeed. When you have a positive attitude, it is easier to face problems. Dealing with personal and professional obstacles is more manageable when your mindset is positive.

If you want to keep a positive attitude, there are several strategies you may want to implement.

  • Recognize the good things in your life
  • Set goals each day, push yourself to reach them
  • Utilize positive words to describe yourself and life
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Try meditating daily
  • Be realistic by not expecting results immediately
  • Contribute to happiness to all around
  • Forgive others, self and anything that contributes to holding you back
  • I get to do this is the focused mindset for positivity
  • Practice dealing with rejection

In your absence….

What happens when the leader is gone? Do you lead so that it does not matter if you are present or not, the work is completed? My sister told me a story about how the staff was happy when their boss left for a few weeks on medical leave. The feel of the building changed, everyone was more content, and the work was done better.

What kind of environment, culture, and procedures are in place? Is it possible to work with leaders who help to make others better?

Collective student efficacy

In my previous post, I spoke about efficacy. I believe this is an essential part of the development of beliefs. Understanding collaboration with others supports learning from each other and building on strengths. Supporting the growth of efficacy in these manners helps to stimulate learning growth by all. The new book:

Collective Student Efficacy Developing Independent and Inter-Dependent Learners

Arm students with the confidence they need to pursue ambitious goals—together.

Collective student efficacy— students’ beliefs that by working with other people, they will learn more—can be a powerful accelerator of student learning and a precursor to future employment success.

Harnessing twenty-five years of VISIBLE LEARNING® research, Collective Student Efficacy: Developing Independent and Inter-Dependent Learners illuminates the power of collective efficacy and identifies the many ways teachers can activate collective efficacy with their students. More than cooperative and collaborative learning, collective efficacy requires the refinement of both individual and collective tasks that build on each other over time. This innovative book details how knowledge, skills, and dispositions entangle to create collective and individual beliefs, and leads educators to mobilize collective efficacy in the classroom. It includes:

The vital components and evidence-based success criteria necessary for students’ collective efficacy. The “I” and “We” skills that need to be developed to ensure students have the skills and confidence to contribute to group success. The nature of learning design, lesson planning, and classroom structures that ensure opportunities for all students to engage in collective efficacy. The necessity for constructive alignment between learning intentions, tasks, success criteria, and assessments”Learning from a Distance” actions to facilitate building skills in remote learning environments
The time is now to prepare students to meet the demands of the future. Through collective student efficacy, students will learn to become actionable agents of learning and change.

This information comes from the Corwin website, where you can purchase the book to learn more. Building efficacy is essential at all levels.

Consider your goals and needs of your organization to plan appropriately.


Efficacy is a word we hear a great deal. Do we understand what it means in its various uses? Efficacy is the ability to perform a task to an expected degree or satisfaction; being successful in producing an intended result or effectiveness.

Providing ourselves with a basic understanding of the definition helps guide us when efficacy is used with other words like: Self-efficacy, Teacher-efficacy or Collective-efficacy. Each of these areas of use is important to the overall growth desired.

Self-efficacy is the most critical piece in my professional opinion to completing the puzzle for completion of success. Self-efficacy is the foundation for motivation, well-being, and overall accomplishment. It is a feeling of self-worth. As individuals develop efficacy, they are influenced by four areas, according to Professor Albert Bandura.

Professor Albert Bandura in this article provides information to help with understanding his theory.

Four Areas

  • Mastering Experiences
  • Vicarious Experiences
  • Verbal Persuasion
  • Emotional and Physiological States

Action Steps

  • Make a list of experiences with direct impact mastered by overcoming an obstacle, controlling an environment, or from resilience. Great to do with staff.
  • Provide examples of people similar who have achieved. If they can, we can. Local individuals are great to use as examples.
  • Establish a system of support (SOS). Individuals who are able to influence others with words to strengthen others on the team. Parents, leaders, co-workers, coaches and others are great resources.
  • Mindsets are critical. This is an important piece to help prevent triggers that could interrupt you or take away your confidence. Make the king of mindsets part of your plan.

Behavior- Everyone has it

What is behavior? It is what we see. Behavior is observable. It is the way an individual acts in response to a situation. Behavior is the way one conducts oneself.

There are many ways we talk about behavior. “That girl is spoiled; she will not eat hamburgers cooked anywhere except from McDonald’s.” I can hear my Uncle Bobby say those words. As a child I admit I was a very picky eater! I still am picky, but not like I was. My dad would drive all the way into town to get something for me to eat when we went to visit.

I reflect on my childhood, as I am sure you do as well. We do not all have the same experiences, but we learn many of our behaviors and character traits. I am thankful for gaining my service to others from my parents. It is the joy of giving, seeing others succeed, and placing the needs of others first.

When we think of behaviors needed for success, look at those individuals you believe are successful in what they do. When you do this you need to define success.

I believe leaders need to have these 12 character and behavior traits to support success for themselves and those they lead:

1. Inspiring others

2. Thinking strategically daily and long term

3. Leading change and transition

4. Learning from experiences

5. Navigating ambiguity with a growth mindset

6. Demonstrating courage and grit

7. Competency in Positivity

8. Integrity and trustworthy

9. Displaying creativity

10. Building relationships (staff, students, families, community, leaders, stakeholders )

11. Recognizing the potential in self and others

12. Communicating effectively (written and oral) timely manner with consistency to all.

One of the issues most new teachers have trouble with is classroom management. Even some seasoned teachers can find difficulties with managing behaviors. There are many roots to behaviors. It takes a little digging to discover the causes, but once we identify and understand, we can support by using techniques. Follow the Action Steps to guide you through the behavior identification. Strategies can be applied once we have identified the behavior.

Action Steps

  • Identify the behavior
  • Understand the behavior
  • Identify the causes, needs, techniques and supports
  • Avoid “being part of the problem”


  • Routines. Set clear routines for everything you would like students to do in your classroom.
  • Silent signals. (Red, Yellow, Green cards on desk)
  • Proximity.
  • Quiet Corrections.
  • Give students a task.
  • Take a break.
  • Positive phrasing. (I like how, You did a great job doing-)
  • State the behavior you want to see.
  • Offer choices.
  • Address the child first, not the behavior
  • Stay calm
  • Build relationships
  • Help children feel safe and trusting
  • Let children reach out for help without judging

Many things we can do to help understand all behaviors in our world. Take time to build a safe place where you can discover how to learn, work and grow together in success today. Thank you for being the solution daily.


Leaders work hard to encourage others. Who encourages the leaders? Seeking and investing in ways to help keep our leaders strong and inspired supports the entire organization.

What do you need to hear to be encouraged? Who helps you? Let’s share to help keep each other encouraged. I can share one thing that keeps me encouraged, seeing things that I had a small part in starting many years ago still being done. An example is a bumper sticker to honor a student in a school. It makes you smile thinking about all of the kids who have shared this little but memorable message.

Continue being the solution daily and noticing those little things that make a big difference to others. Seek out ways to find encouragement because you need it just like everyone else.

Internships, Partnerships and Experiences

The world changes daily, as we know from experience. It can catch us unprepared for the unexpected or resilient in the face of despair. In our life journey, we have many occasions to help us grow or to push us down. It is the opportunities we embrace that can move us forward to gain success.

During your life, have you had others who have guided or helped you? Most likely, if you are like most of us, the answer is yes! Many individuals cross our paths in life at just the right time to decide to take a chance, pass it up, or investigate more by asking questions.

In my career, I have been blessed with lots of guidance and support. I still seek and receive it! However, I have also been able to provide it, create opportunities for others to experience internships, and work with communities to create more opportunities for others.

The article I have included is about how high school and college can work together to reach students who did not recognize all of the choices they had to match the skills they could enhance.

Speaking with a former boss, we talked about pushing students into curriculum content they were not ready to receive, causing them to feel even more frustration and failure. It is time to stretch our thinking with decisive meaning into meeting children where they are, build a solid foundation and place emphasis on student needs. It is great to write it, say it, but let’s do it every day for the rest of the child’s academic year each year!

Can you build some internships, partnerships or connect with the community projects? Experience helps children learn about other careers, jobs, trades, and businesses they may want to create. Technology is a massive industry. A great way to keep relevance in the classroom is by utilizing technology. We experienced this need during the global pandemic.

Looking at ways we can continue to be the solution daily, helping children build a strong foundation as they grow. The article below provides a look at a way to support students from school, college, careers and community.

Word walls-new words,language

We have power in our words! Language is beautiful, meaningful, and complete. Teaching vocabulary, in my professional opinion, is essential. My journey through life provided me with love for words as they make their way to blank pages revealing stories of truth, history, love, and worlds unknown.

“Today, we will be reading nursery rhymes by Mother Goose,” said the teacher. All of the children were excited as they called out names of poems. As I looked around at all of them, I wondered if they could see me.

“I know you are all excited. I am sure your parents read you these at home, maybe at bedtime.”

I looked around as kids shouted out yes. I realized I was maybe the only one that did not know Mother Goose. I was feeling nervous. My parents don’t read to me.

As a young child, I found myself unsure about reading, language, and school in general. My parents were older, and they had moved her from their home in Kentucky. They were from large farming families and did not receive formal education.

Teaching vocabulary and helping students increase their knowledge of words is a deep dive. We are going to dip our toes in first to get started. Giving students a vocabulary list with definitions to write is not the way.

The first step to helping children with vocabulary is to use it! Talk it, explain it, provide examples and keep adding to it. We do not talk enough with children. The keyword with! The next step is to see things from students’ perspectives. How do students see the words?

  • I have never seen this word before
  • I heard this word before but did not know what it means
  • If I see it in text, the content helps me understand it

Reading, reading, and more reading will help increase vocabulary. As we look at ways to continue to support growth, vocabulary is necessary for academic success.

Read to your children, no matter what age. Let children read to you! Challenge yourself to learn a new word each week. So fun to enjoy the beautiful words to create masterpieces large and small. Our children need these experiences.

Understanding language and being able to communicate effectively provides the tools needed in being the solution daily.

While you were working-

I get behind if you can believe that, on my emails and things I want to do. I miss webinars, chats, and podcasts. Thankful for the recordings so I can catch up eventually. This is the plan anyway! But I love getting this message While you were working (WYWW). I love the variety in the messages, exciting topics, and the things that make you think. In this posting, there is an article about performance pay. I found it so interesting.

As I drove to a medical appointment today, I noticed almost every business had “we are hiring signs” posted. During the global pandemic, many people lost jobs, local businesses closed, and companies shut their doors. However, today many places are looking for people to work. Are you working? Retired? Maybe you are thinking about a career change. No matter where you are, this resource serves you in the place you are. It is free!

The article about performance pay made me think about how employers use incentives to have people join their work teams. They have sign-on bonuses and other things to spark an interest. What do you look for when seeking a place to work? Please share your thoughts and experiences.

Root Causes

We can only achieve the outcomes we desire if the priorities we identify address the root of the problems preventing growth. This can only happen if the right priorities are addressed. Gather information, analyze and move past just identification.

In education, I know we often stop at just symptoms. In other organizations and companies, I believe this happens well. Recently, our government uses the words “root causes” to prolong action steps to address critical issues. When you can visibly see problems address solutions to solve immediately, and then continue to look at the root causes.

When we work on our improvement plans, strategic plans, and vision for the future, it is critical to address root problems. Root causes connect the foundation of the trunk to your vision. Then you can branch out into action steps as you grow to develop the leaves of success. Nurturing this growth with targeted action steps in your plan will help you spring forward as you bloom and not fall.