In My Garden

Today started early for me when my husband looked out and saw that the “gang” of raccoons had turned my flowers upside down. I was so upset and then angry. I marched outside to begin the cleanup, and one of the “bandits” was under the mulberry tree. I turned on the house, and it scared him as he ran up the tree for safety. We do live by a county preserve, so having lots of wildlife on our property.

I can not let this be the mindset for the day. I finished the clean-up and began observing the growth of the flowers remaining in the landscaping around our home. We still live in the first home we purchased. It is our home. We have so many memories and comfort in this home.

So I snapped a few pictures of our flowers. It is enjoyable to stop and smell all flowers when you need to change your mindset!

Faithful Friday

Love is what we always need. When you are full of love, the world can not darken your day with troubles that come your way—facing fears, challenges, obstacles, and problems with the strength of the love you have for yourself and along with that for others. The love we strive to bring to the world in the work we do, the people we serve, and the faith we have that welcomes the joy of each day.

Love is patient, kind, and humble. It is when we approach our issues with a temperament in this manner that solutions are easy to find. Not every solution will solve all problems, but taking small acts each day brings forward steps closer to resolving issues that remain in the way of brightening a day.

Love what you do! Love who you serve! Love when difficulties come your way, as they bring opportunities to grow, overcome, and become more than you were yesterday! #Bethesolutiondaily in a world that loves to have you in it!

Work or Play?

Do you think there is a difference between work and play? Should there be a difference? What makes it different?

Work is where you are employed to complete a specific task or duty. Fun is referred to as recreation or activity for relaxation when work is completed. However, why can’t they be combined? Many years , I heard and learned about the Fish Philosophy. I wanted to know more about this new approach.

Fish Philosophy, modeled after the Pike Place Fish Market, is a business technique aimed at creating happy individuals in the workplace. John Christensen began this philosophy in 1998. The central four ideas are: “choose your attitude,” “play,” “make their day,” and the “present moment.”

I know many schools utilized the Fish theme and applied the philosophy to begin their school years, as well as many organizations. It was the new “shiny” object to help build up teams and help others feel happy at work.

I have all of the FISH books and loved the thought behind the philosophy. The fish market was a crazy place to find happiness, but they discovered the secret to working, playing, and having fun.

We gathered up the ideas and practices to put into place. We began to implement the practices, but we put something into practice, and things slip away a little at a time as our attention is taken to the new noise in the world. It is usually a loud, negative noise we need to address, and it drowns out all of the positive steps we have taken forward.

I can name several different motivational themes and ideas utilized over the past several decades to help us work better together, enjoy what we do, and have fun while we are doing it. The truth is, more and more demands are placed on those in education, criticism is loud, and the level of disrespect is at an all-time high, in my opinion.

I believe the hard-working teachers and those in education I know are drowned out by the noise of those who look at what they do as work only. Those who are working in the field of education and who love what they do are those who work and play. They know the responsibilities they have for those they serve, but they also see the fun they need to bring to what they do for all to enjoy the journey of learning.

What is your new philosophy?

Maybe you are not into FISH, so what do you have as a philosophy? I utilize many different tools to help maintain motivation, inspiration, encouragement, fun, and joy in our daily activities. It does not matter what job we have; our life is vital to those around us. We make a difference in the lives of others with the simple things we do each day without even knowing.

My philosophy, you know, is to Be the Solution Daily in a world that needs you. We can always choose to be part of the solution or the problem; it is our choice. I only have two rules to live by daily, and I have taught this for decades. Everyone who walks through our doors will feel good about being here, and everyone will feel safe. We will work together to make it happen. I will help guide you in seeing how.

Together we can!

How to feel Safe?

“I don’t want it to happen again,” said Miah Cerrillo—a 4th grader in one of two adjoining Robb Elementary School classrooms where 19 children and two teachers died. You can watch her testimony provided by C-Span and read an article at Education Week, including her recorded testimony.

When Miah is asked if she feels safe, you see her shaking her head no and saying no. She is not alone in this feeling of safety. It is felt by students everywhere. They may not have experienced the level of trauma Miah has, but they have experienced some form of trauma to challenge safety.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Safety is a basic need. Most of our decisions and actions are based on meeting our basic needs. The drive to meet safety is essential for all of us. We may not be in constant danger, but our need to feel safe conditions to be completed.

Think of all of the ways safety is used in your life. We purchase insurance; we have smoke detectors, safety guidelines, safety reports on the vehicles we are buying, lifeguards on duty, safety glass, and safety warnings, and my list of examples could continue as you add to this list as well. Safety is an essential basic need.

Why then are we struggling with safety? If we know how important security is to our basic growth needs, why are we taking it away from the children, families, staff, and communities we serve?

Are we allowing biased, money, politics, and selfish “so-called” power to get in the way of making important decisions to bring safety to the center of what needs to be done to help get our foundation back before it cracks completely?

Steps to take toward safety

  • In a recent post, I listed possible solutions to be taken.
  • Connected Communities is a significant step forward in helping to build safety. Safety for individuals involves every aspect of their life. Where they live, work, shop, and go to school. We need our communities now more than ever to help to strengthen our foundation before it cracks completely. In the ‘50s, ‘60s, and early ‘70s, you could find neighborhoods and communities working together to support each other’s needs.
  • A first step in helping to re-connect or connect neighborhoods and communities is creating a Connected Community Calendar. It is a fantastic way to communicate to everyone all of the offerings in the community families and friends can share. The offerings begin with placing all the school events first, then community events, and working together to coordinate to find ways to support each other. Keep costs free to low costs when possible. Invite your churches also to add activities. Add in as much as you can to support the needs of the community.
  • Step up, Speak up, and get involved. We do not need protests, shouting voices, or other things. We need individuals to help do the work consistently in our efforts to implement the solutions we know will bring safety to our communities one step at a time.

Please message me if you need help with Connected Community Calendar and hosting a meeting to begin these talks. I have done this with success as we started to do this in the last district I worked in and worked to help bring families together with the community. It can work with stability and consistency. Inviting all organizations, churches, and associations helps ensure you are working together to help each other. When everyone knows what others are doing, more days can be filled with something for someone to do. Keeping everyone actively involved is a great way to keep the community going.

Building solid relationships is essential to school safety. Everyone knowing each other in the community helps us see through different lenses to act on any signs we see. Being proactive is what we need, not reactive.

Wrapped in?

It is so exciting to receive a gift! The beautiful packages with the dazzling bows colors that sparkle and glitter make your eyes light up. You can’t wait to see inside! What could it be?

Have you ever judged a gift by the wrapping of the package? Does it matter what the present is wrapped in to make what is inside spectacular? How much do we judge by the looks of something before getting to know what is inside?

My mother-in-law lived with us for a short time, and it took me back to the days with my parents of watching daily the Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. These game shows are fun to watch, especially Let’s Make a Deal, when contestants are tricked into picking something without knowing what is on the inside.

How are you wrapped? Can people see who you are by how you are wrapped? I am not sure about this question. Does the responsibility rest with me or with others who view me? Do they need to like my wrapping before they know the inside?

How much of your inside is outside?

Does it take a long time to get to know who you are? If we were to meet today briefly in an elevator and I said hello, would that be the end of our conversations? When you are in a space with others, you do not know how long it takes to get to know yourself?

I think sometimes I say too much about myself! I can talk to people with ease and maybe talk too much. I love meeting other people and learning about who they are and what they do. It enriches my life in many ways. I do not hold anything back and freely talk about my life experiences, my values, and just what makes me.

My wrapping does not clearly define who I am and my complete story. There is so much more to know than the wrapping you see. So I hope we do not judge just on the wrapping but wait to see what is on the inside before deciding.

Making Monday Count

Each day is an integral part of our journey through life. Some days we may feel like we did not accomplish anything. Have you ever had the opportunity to reflect on the day’s interactions? Maybe you did not receive anything in the day, but what were you able to do for others you did not even know impacted their lives?

It happens! You can do a little thing without realizing it that makes a big difference in the life of another. It took me many years to discover this, and I still have to remind myself, but it is accurate. I had several people speak to me many years later to tell me of a time when I did something that changed their direction, and it meant a great deal to them. I take no credit for these events as I believe it is a “God thing” or a “God wink.”

Pause throughout the day to count your blessings, say hello to everyone, and compliment others for actions, words, and appearances. Don’t allow negative thoughts or emotions to go unchecked. When they begin, it is time to look for all of the positives around you and the people who can help lift you during times of need. Make the day worthwhile, cheerful, and helpful. Let others see you know your worth and theirs by investing in an intentional state of positive culture without any issues of negativity. Monday is counting on us to start right so that the other days will fall into place.

Solution Weekly- June 12-18, 2022

How to feel safe?

Feeling safe is the most critical need we have at this time in our schools and communities. I have worked hard to find the solutions to help to build safety in educational settings, with support for families and communities. We can work now to put into practice several things to help bring safety back to what we know is our priority in helping our children feel good and safe in their environments.

Work or Play?

Do you think there is a difference between work and play? Should there be a difference? What makes it different? My husband was always amazed at how I would jump up early and excited about going to work. I love getting up early and greeting the day, which is always full of opportunities. You need to love what you do!

Get to the point

Communication is an essential tool in your toolbox. If you struggle to communicate your point clearly to your audience in a timely fashion, they have moved on in the world of scrolling. Get to the point, your punch line or your hook for your readers in your first few words. If you do not capture the reader’s attention or interest, the point you want to make is lost on the pages it fills.

Raise the Bar

Do we need to raise the bar or lower it? How does this affect our standards? If you are working in a particular field or area and people are not reaching the current established levels set, what is the solution? Change the level, change the preparation, change the assessment or maintain the level? What is the solution?

Motivate, Inspire and Encourage

Every day is an opportunity to help someone. One small act of encouragement can change the direction of the day; a little motivation moves us forward, and when we can inspire, we open the doors to possibilities.

We have Father’s Day and Juneteenth coming up to celebrate. Each day we can find gratitude and ways to celebrate our lives. Choose to have gratitude daily.