Solution Weekly January 16-22, 2022

January 16-22,2022

Celebrate

We can find something to celebrate every day! The solution to the problem of negative effects is positive actions! If you want to turn problem frowns into solution smiles, find things to celebrate! My husband, Zeke, celebrates his birthday this week. He thinks we should celebrate every day, so we will! Why not! To prepare for the week of celebrations, you will be glad to know that today January 16, 2022, is National Nothing Day! So celebrate today by doing absolutely nothing to rest up for the rest of the celebrations this week!

Animals teach us well

My daughter has always loved animals and rescued so many in need. She has carried this love into her adult life, passing it on to her children and probably to the children she teaches. At her home, you will find a variety of animals and, most importantly, love. One of my author friends highlighted lessons learned from dogs, and I have a few to share about other animals. Learning happens when we open our hearts, minds, and eyes to see through a different lens or way.

More need for two!

One of my amazing author friends, speaker, Thought Leader, Julie Winkle Giulioni, shares the importance of two words. The simplicity of two reaches out more than just in rules. When we look at our issues or problems in life, solutions at the surface level may be a quick fix, but an in-depth review and enhanced, detailed information provide systemic results. Learn more about how you can engage in conversations to spark curiosity, innovation, and….if you pause to ask, ‘say more.’

Plan, Plan and Put it on the shelf

For many decades I have been involved with implementing a strategic plan, creating a plan, asking if we have a plan, writing a plan, and then watching plans sit on a shelf. My author friend and leader, Dr. Bill Donahue, knows precisely what it means to conduct and implement the strategic plan. He shares in his recent post in Lead Change Carnival; Beyond Strategic Planning exactly what questions we should ask when planning.

Dream, Believe, Achieve, Dare-Do

There are many great men and women in our history we can celebrate, learn from, respect and model our actions. Also in our history are individuals or groups that made horrible mistakes, took steps, believed in things, and did things they achieved we do not find acceptable. We learned from those as well. It is important to talk about all of them and build from the learning we discover, not divide, hide or devalue anyone as we move forward. We can explore those leaders who have etched meaning, purpose, and value on our hearts as leaders.

What made your list of leadership qualities to have in 2022?

Being a leader in 2022 is the same, different, or we don’t know? Do the qualities and skills need to be the same? What are your thoughts? Do we need different leadership qualities? What is the most important quality for a leader? Why?

I believe a job title does not define leadership. Leadership is part of our lives at different stages and areas. We provide opportunities for children to explore, experience, and engage in leadership. We have many lists of characteristics and qualities created over many decades to identify excellent leaders. Has leadership changed? Do the qualities change? How can we help children grow to become great leaders?

We need your help! Tell us what qualities do great leaders need.

Crazy idea or genius

Simplify everything! Is it a crazy idea or genius? What do you think? A book titled Work Smarter Not Harder by Jack Collis and Michael Leboeuf helps reveal strategies to support achieving more in less time and effort. What are other ways we can simplify our lives?

The phrase originated in the 1930s by Allen F. Morgenstern. As an industrial engineer, he created a work simplification program to increase productivity using less effort. Working smarter, not more complicated, means having a clear strategy. Workers need to prioritize the most critical activities, so each day ends productively. If workers can feel satisfied rather than overwhelmed, overcommitted, frustrated, and overworked, then they will be happier with the work they do.

Over the decades, you will find generated lists on maximizing your work efforts to increase your productivity and help reduce the stress levels that go along with the workloads we carry. In all of this research and efforts to maximize output to minimize negative input, why have we not thought about looking at simplicity in more areas?

The concept is spot on when thinking of your workload. However, I wanted to think of how to help others think through their days better too! My student’s ages ranged from three years of age to 12 years old. How can I simplify life for all of them but maintain an orderly environment? Two Rules is that simple! I did not want to spend all of my time saying: Don’t run, Keep your hands to yourself, Stop screaming, No throwing, and the list goes on, as you know! When you are able to talk with students about the Two Rules and work on how they are applied to daily life. They can work on self-regulation at a young age and continue this practice for life.

Everyone will feel good. Everyone will feel safe. You can choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution; the choice is yours to make. However, when you are part of the problem, you will have to face the solution for your actions as a reminder of the importance of the Two Rules.

I hope you want to learn more about Two Rules and will be excited to read more! Thank you for being the solution daily in a world in need!

What are we building?

We know when we open the classroom door or the zoom classroom meeting, we are building…but what are we building? Incorporating civic engagement into classrooms will enhance the academic content we teach and provide students with leadership opportunities. Every lesson and classroom activity has the potential to be leadership lessons. Are we building learners, thinkers, creators, leaders or….?

Education provides opportunities to engage students in lessons with multiple purposes with creativity, focus and expectation. The concept is to introduce issues within the community and neighborhood. How can students apply learning to resolve issues facing them directly? This can seem like at add-on to our curriculum, but it is not. It is just part of what we include it what we do in engaging our students in actively application of what they learn to how they live. We do not teach students what to think, but in how to apply what they learn.

Education is something we do with children not to them. The children we serve every day have the potential to provide the world with more kindness, additional advancements, intriguing inventions and better environments than they found. Without the right skills, resources and encouragement students will lose their passion before reaching their full potential. It is up to educators to create the environments for the creative process students can build their skills in project-based, hands-on active learning.

Building the future

Today we lay the foundational blocks which our children continue to build on as they grow in the skill areas of their focus. It presents them with information about current events, civic engagement, development of responsibility, and leadership. Students need to have educational experiences to enhance their mindsets in continued growth, a solid personal identity to engage in lifelong learning, and civic-mindedness to be involved in making what I believe they can and will do….. Make the world a better place because they can!

Fill in the blank-with wisdom

Wednesday offers time to think of wisdom we can share. What things do you think about?

To be a good leader, you need to____________________.

If there is one thing to remember, it is_________________.

Children need to______________.

Today is the best time to________________.

What fill-in-the-blank could you create to help generate thoughts and conversation? I know as teachers, we have asked students to complete fill-in-the-blank questions and consider them to be recall information on tests. What if we present them in different ways to spark conversations and discuss them in different ways?

I am a big fan of student-led conferencing, which I have stated before in other posts. I also believe in strong partnerships with families and communities. The more we can invest in the quality of services and support for our children, the more robust the foundation will be as they grow.

Are we asking families any fill-in-the-blank questions that could generate quality conversations to build on? We ask students- What do they want to be when they grow up? Why not ask parents- What would you want your child to be when they grow up? I know when I have asked this question of students, I will get responses of professional football or basketball player. I had a parent tell me the same thing about their child. (I have to say to you, I do not recruit for professional teams, but I did not see the talent.) You do not want to shatter dreams or discourage hope for others. After all, I wanted to be a Rockett when I was younger, taking dance lessons. My dream was shattered when I found out they had a height requirement; it had nothing to do with talent. This is my story so that I can tell it this way.

Dreams are wonderful to have! I have pointed out in other posts the need for children to have life experiences, have opportunities to explore outside their comfort zones, and learn about things they do not know on a day-to-day basis. The influences in a child’s life help them discover more about what they are interested in, passionate about, and areas of strength. If they only experience what is around them, they are limited to what they think, know, and understand. The same goes for their family. This is why it is essential to expand what we do to embrace school, home, and community working together.

Tell your story

Our school has a strong partnership with___________________? This helps all students _________________? We love __________________about our school. If we all_____________together_________________will happen.

It can’t be

Do you ever find yourself questioning? How could this happen? I do not understand. What I am seeing, hearing, it can’t be…… There are many things we are experiencing right now we cannot understand, but let’s work on breaking down how we handle situations or information we think it can’t be!

Fear is our most powerful emotion. Fear causes psychological changes, which result in behavioral responses. We have heard of fight or flight responding to situations we want to escape, like threatening conditions or danger. Our fear can produce additional anxiety, and conditional fear as society or the environment influences our feelings towards something. We have seen fear used to control others for decades.

What have you experienced in life, and fear took over your thinking? My example would be receiving a phone call from my doctor to deliver my biopsy results. I have had several biopsies done before, so I had no fear of the phone call. Then he began to deliver the news I was not prepared to hear. I am thankful my husband was with me to listen to what I said; it can’t be.

It is….

When we understand the fear we have is something we need to face, we have several choices to make in how to respond to overcome fear. We also must make sure the fear we have is genuine. In a society full of ways to reach out to us 24/7, understanding all facts is our best defense and offense.

  • Identify reliable sources to gather information
  • Take time to calm, reflect and regain stability before moving forward
  • Facing the fears you have is always a great way to overcome
  • Organize a support system; you need help from others
  • Talk about it with trusted support members
  • Get plenty of sleep, nutrition, and exercise
  • Connect for spiritual guidance
  • Journal writing

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt

I understand how……

I understand how it can’t be, but it is, and the way we can handle all situations we face. It is acceptable to experience temporary fear in situations, and in some cases, our fears are prompted by social pressure. I have heard the coined phrases of “groupthink” and influences from social media. It is in how our mindsets focus on handling the information we see, hear and understand.

My mindset is focused on solutions and always wanting to “fix” everything in life. However, the “fix” everything is not always possible. The solution often lies in how we react, respond and responsibly handle the situations we face. Cancer humbles everyone. Covid-19 seems to bring an array of responses from individuals. Combine both, and you may receive a reaction of panic. However, the response from me was, “It can’t be.” This prompted my thoughts on how we react to situations we do not expect.

Steps to take

  • Acceptance- One of the first things we need to understand is there will always be things we can control and something we cannot. We need to accept what we can do in our situations.
  • Educate- Gather all of the information about the situation.
  • Determine Goals- Set goals to achieve “wins” in the situation. A complete win over the problem may not be possible, but little success can be achieved.
  • Lessons- Understand in life, we experience different hardships at times. Knowing in each experience, we have opportunities to gain knowledge to share with others.
  • Positive Growth Mindset- Maintaining a positive mindset and surrounding yourself with positivity will keep growing as part of your life.

Be part of the solution by being a “Thought Leader.” Think your thoughts, be in charge of your destination with the choices you make and the reactions you have to situations beyond your control. Faith, hope, and pray as you practice self-care to keep you ready for all of life’s it can’t be!