Category: Social Emotional

#SELDAY March 11, 2022

This week we celebrate School Social Workers and recognize Social Emotional Learning Day on March 11th! The theme for National School Social Workers week March 6-12 is “Time to Shine!” Our School Social Workers do amazing things to support our children, families, and staff! They genuinely shine all of the time!

Join the SEL Day for 2022 and share how to support social-emotional learning. We need to build relationships and share positive ways to appreciate everyone. We are blessed when we recognize the strengths of others and share our talents. Together so much can be learned, communicated, achieved, and created.

Measuring Meaningfulness

I constantly measure the meaningfulness of the messages I send, the information I share, and how I impact those who choose to read my posts. I intend to always help with driving solution-focused thinking and increasing the positives we share in day-to-day interactions.

One thing missing is an opportunity for others to share what they would like me to focus on to help them in what they are doing. I want to pause and organize this blog to work for those who need it to work for them. My idea is to dedicate each day to a particular topic. Examples could be: Monday: Motivation, Inspiration, Meetings Tuesday: Teaching, Thoughts, Talking Points, Communication Wednesday: Wisdom, Wit, Things to Ponder Thursday: Takeaways, Things to Share, Activities for team building Friday: Facts, Factors, Leadership Saturday: Solutions, Strategies, Plans. Sunday: Spiritual, Social-Emotional, Mental Health

Maybe you don’t want to read something daily. What if you wanted something in one post? If this is your desire, what day would you choose to receive it, and what do you need the content to include?

Be the solution daily is for you. I want to thank all of my followers and those who have invested their time. Starting today, I will take a two-week break while I gather information on the direction of this blog.

Keep being the solution daily for all as we serve others in making the world better one day at a time.

Acceptance

“Life is not always what one wants it to be. A turn right instead of the left can make a difference on the path you choose. It is when you decide to make the best of it, as it is, even when the choices are not what you want to hear. Instead, you take each day as a gift to unwrap and to make it happy as you share with others.”

The pictures tell a story in your mind right away. You have a vision without any words of red lights, blue lights, sirens sounding, voices yelling orders, people gathering, and silence in the ears of a man who comes to the site looking for his family he just left ten minutes ago.

Have you had to accept a decision, a change or an individual as a leader? The scene from our car crash can be the same kind of sounds and feelings inside you when faced with trying to accept change. Emotions drive our reactions.

It is emotional when you have to face acceptance of decisions you have no control over. It is our choice to have the mindset of learning acceptance. Change happens often! Things can happen that will transform who you are and have an impact on your life. The problem is that we need to cultivate the ability to accept whatever comes and embrace it truly. If we can begin now, it will help us as we continue to grow. Change can often impact our lives in ways to help us as we affect the lives of others.

My accident closed one door I did not want to close but opened others I enjoy as I explore. What change are you resistant to? If it is a change that questions your values, patriotism, beliefs, or morals, then this is not a change you need to accept. Acceptance is a big word to discuss as many changes are happening each day.

I have accepted my changes from the accident. Although, I will admit I have good days and days when I am angry that I am not the person I was. We are not perfect. I can think of many incidents in my life when I was asked to accept something I did not want to at all. Change comes with many lessons we can learn. What change do you face?

F is for family

The school year has ended in many schools, but my daughter has a few more days left with her students. Each year she has a theme and spends a great deal of time investing in designing meaningful lessons that reach beyond her classroom.

Today was one of her letter days. Each letter represents a particular word and lesson. The children always look forward to these days. One of my favorites is P is for pancakes. They enjoy reading, measuring, mixing, and cooking up their pancakes.

She is a special needs teacher who sees the strengths in every child. Her school is located in a low economic setting. Many children she has had over the years have experienced some form of trauma. One of the most critical aspects of the job she believes is to provide positive supports, establish trusting relationships, and help children grow.

As I have watched her teach for years now, heard people describe her as an excellent teacher, and read notes from students and parents, the most crucial thing I see her do is to include everyone like family. There has never been a time in her life when anyone has ever been left out, felt different, or thought they were not welcome. Our family has always been this way, and she is teaching this to others.

Today was picture perfect with matching clothing for the entire classroom as they celebrated family day. The girls even got a little extra attention with painted nails (toes) at lunchtime. They gathered around to take family photos of their excellent school year.

This is the teaching children need in the classrooms across our country. Enjoy, respect, include and celebrate each other as a family. We are all in this world together to make it the best we can and these kids are on their way to brighter days. R is not about race but for respect. Respect for individuals and to appreciate each individual. C is not for critical but for courage. Courage to stand up for what you believe and to help another in need.

I know there is one classroom where children are happy each day. They know the adults at the school love them. The children work together to learn it is okay to be different, look different, and be unique. Every individual has great things to offer us.

I am beyond proud of her and what she does each day for children. She does the same as the mother of three exceptional children. I pray daily she can continue and other excellent teachers continue to provide for the children they serve. Lifting people is the solution and helping them to continue to grow.

Do you have a Scary Words Box?

As a teacher, I had a word wall. It was always fun to add words to our wall. We enjoyed adding the words and randomly selecting a word to use for the day.

Entering into the administrative world, I did not want to leave the teaching fun behind. I added a word of the week in our main hallway. Kids could add sentences to include the word of the week, provide a definition of the word or use it in a joke. I would give prizes to those who participated.

While sitting in the doctor’s office, I heard for the second day in a row one of my scary words. That is when I thought everyone needs a scary words box.

Let’s think about all of the things we have all been through and how things can pop up by surprise, and boom, fear sets in. If we can allow individuals to pick a scary word or words and place it in a box, we can begin to help them deal with issues together. My first thoughts are of children. It is difficult to talk about scary stuff, but if we have a platform making it safe to do so, then the sharing can begin, along with solutions.

My name is Brenda, and my scary word is cancer. I can write this on a piece of paper. The teacher can give me a chance to share, place it in the box to share later, or put it in the box to be read out loud with no name. Then we can all talk about it together.

You can do this with adults as well. It provides a way to help others safely address issues. Sometimes the scary words need professionals to help, and we need to build up relationships to help everyone understand if the words shared could harm you or someone else, we need to ask for help.

Help your children and staff address issues they are facing. It begins with opportunities to share, trust, listen and find solutions together. Some of the issues we face will need professional help, but it is the comfort we find in being heard and supported.

Words have power. We should always be careful in how we use them. It is also a great reminder to remember; power is given. Give power to your belief in healing, positive thoughts, and in the support you have. As an educator, I worked to help children overcome and prevent bullying. If we pause to look honestly at things clearly, our children are facing bullying on a larger scale today.

Be the solution daily; we need you!

Why? This is a question I ask daily

I keep myself sheltered as much as possible from daily negativity. It is never good for anyone’s health to keep negative influences in your life daily. However, it would help if you kept yourself informed of current events to support others and yourself.

Statistics of the number of violent incidents, shootings, and crimes are on the rise. It is a regular news item that people become used to, I think; why?

“Deadliest weekend of the year in Chicago: 12 killed, 42 wounded in shootings”-Sun-Times, Chicago. May 24, 2021

“6-Year-Old Costa Mesa Boy Dies In Road Rage Shooting On 55 Freeway In City Of Orange” -CBSLN May 21,2021

“4-Year-Old Boy Found Dead on Dallas Street Was Sleeping When He Was Stolen Out of His Crib, Affidavit Says”-Inside Edition May 19,2021

I took just a few headlines from the news that stopped me. I froze when reported. No words could come to add anything to these incidents.

My solution for these continued acts of violence on our communities across our nation is this:

  • Start with the question, why? It is not because we have guns. Discuss why someone would want to cause harm or kill another person.
  • Why are people angry? In your discussions, ask this question. Think about how we got to the point of so much anger. It is not because of races, places, spaces or faces. It is about human relations! When we teach division, we get division. We have worked hard on bringing people together, and now we are pushing them apart.
  • Where do people belong in your community? Do you know the people in your neighborhood? What do they need to lift themselves up? We do not need to be enablers but teachers. “If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed himfor a lifetime.”
  • In the home is where we can help. Families today have a great deal on their plates. Find ways not to judge, not to be enabling but supportive. Discover what is needed a help them establish these needs.

Action Steps

  • Mental health services available in the community: make these part of your organization’s space, promote a partnership, place positive messages that it is okay!
  • Stop dividing people! No more talk about race, gender, or who you are as an individual to divide us. We will not keep making individuals feel like there is something wrong with them based on their skin color, gender, or who they are. It is the content of their character that defines them. The story written on their heart they portray to the world is “who they are.” I will not spend my life being a color but an individual focused on solutions for all human races.
  • “Won’t you be my neighbor” comes from a time when TV provided children with a daily dose of how to deal with society changes? Currently, there are not many opportunities for children to receive this messaging. As a community, establish a community group. Work as a group to determine needs. What can you do together to support each other?
  • As an organization, establish a community group. Invite businesses, community organizations, police departments, schools, and neighborhood groups together.
  • Generate a list of community needs.
  • Establish committees
  • Action plans/timelines
  • Necessary to keep this statement fresh in front of all members: Families love their children and are doing a great job with all they have to care for them. It is up to us to help lift them up to continue to serve with more. We are not enablers but providers of additional tools.

I am happy to help anyone with tackling this with your organization or school. We all have to make this a priority in order to move forward together in healing a nation from a pandemic with aftershocks. Be the solution daily for a brighter tomorrow.

Life is short….but the week seems long

As the sun rises and shines brightly to wake us to a new day or as we reach to hit the snooze button on the alarm clock, it is Monday! A workweek begins as the weekend is behind us now!

Where does the time go? Just like that, Friday turns to Monday. We get 168 hours every week. For most of us, we spend 40 hours of that time at work. So what do we do with the rest of the time? How much is spent watching TV? How much time do you spend on your phone, computer, or any other devices?

Take a look this week at the time you spend on activities. How do you want to improve? Make this Monday a day where you decide to invest your time wisely. You can track your screen time, maintain a calendar to highlight how you are spending time. Do you want to have more personal contact with others? Make a goal and track it.

Time is a gift with no return. Once the minute has passed, we can not get it back. No one can give you more time, but people can share time. Could you make the most of the time we have? It seems we are creating problems with no solutions, fighting about so much, and forgetting about gratitude. We have so much we can do with our time. Being the solution daily with a positive focus of hope, love, and gratitude seems to work the best for me.

Fundamental Friday

In our lives we have fundamental things, activities and principles that are important to us. We can believe strongly in some as an essential part of who we are or part of our purpose of being.

People seeking meaning beyond themselves seem to be happier, healthier, and live longer. I have no data to confirm that statement, only my observations. I like to think of myself in the category of seeking meaning beyond myself and in service to others. I am happy; I have had some health issues, but I am in remission, which has been a big positive. I have also had some near misses to death resulting in living longer. According to my formula, it works!

The fundamental definition is – serving as a basis supporting existence or determining essential structure or function. Looking at the four pillars of the fundamental parts to our life is : Happiness, Self-Care, Relationships and Health

Take out a calculator and do this quick math calculation. This is “life math.” -Guide to Unlocking the Power of Purpose by Richard Leider

  • Multiply your age x365__________.
  • Then, subtract that number from 30,000, an average life expectancy.
  • Divide that number by 365_______
  • Now you are clear that you have _____more years to live. What will you do?

I know you have heard me say before, but I will repeat it: “Every day is a gift full of opportunities to unwrap.” I repeat phrases and words a great deal. I believe it is important in order to help reinforce the ideas to those you are serving, coaching and modeling for each day. My staff called them “Yohoisims.”

  • “Make it a great day or not the choice is yours to make”
  • “It is what it is, so it will be”
  • “We don’t know what we don’t know, do we”
  • “You have one foot on the outside and mine on your backside if you do not make some positive changes.”
  • “Do you know why you are tired? You bark all day.”
  • Many others to share but enough of the Yoho for today.

Look at your four fundamental areas and decide what improvements you can make. The following years of your life should fundamentally be full of “FUN” “DAily”/ “MENTAL” “Learning”/ “Yourself”-focusing on happiness, self-care, relationships, and health.

Saturday SMILE

“Each day is a gift we unwrap. As you open your eyes to greet the day, find a way to set your mind to make it the best in every way. No matter the forecast outside, our hearts will bring a smile from inside to outside to brighten the day. If not you, then who will start to make this positive change today!”

It’s Time for the Truth!

It is time for the truth! To achieve, find joy, and conquer your dreams, is up to…..you! The power has always been with you! We can chase all of the shiny things, try all of the new features out there and surround ourselves with the very best of everything, but it comes down to you.

Jordan is here to see you Mrs. Yoho. “Please send her in.”

“Jordan, how are you doing today?”

“Not very good. I am still not happy about moving; my friends are here, and I don’t know what I will be able to do.”

“You know Jordan, I have had to move a few times, and I know it can feel scary. However, I think you are missing out on the truth hidden in this adventure.”

“What adventure? Moving? What truth are you talking about?”

“Well, it took me a few times of moving and also a few hard lessons in life, but I would like to save you by sharing the truth hidden in plain sight. The truth is, you have the power to overcome any situation you encounter. All you need to do is believe in yourself.”

“Mrs. Yoho, you sound a little crazy right now.”

“I know it is hard to grasp, but stay with me on this as I explain. Understanding yourself is your advantage. No one knows you better than you! This gives you the benefit of knowing all of your likes, dislikes, things that make you smile or sad, and what you want to accomplish.”

“I can continue with so much more, but I think you understand the point I am making. You can run away or move away from things, but never yourself. You are with you forever! So you have the power to make it the best!”

“Mrs. Yoho, I do not see anything good about me.”

“Jordan, that is because you are not looking at the truth. I always talk about solutions. You are trying to look through the lenses of everyone else or what you think they see. If you look at everything with a focus on truth and solutions, you will continue to grow to become what you know you can.”

“Do not let the voices of others direct your path. Make sure to make the choices for yourself and always reflect to see if you are achieving what you believe. The truth is inside you! You will achieve so much!”

The path before you is amazing! Believe in yourself! The truth is within you! Sometimes we are hit hard, and our path forward pushes us back. In those times, it is the core of who we are that lifts us to overcome to continue and with determination to see ourselves in the truth of what we can do!