Tag: #culture

Efficacy

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 https://positivepsychology.com/bandura-self-efficacy/ 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.

Tuesday tasks, to-do lists-Goals

During my career, I had many opportunities to learn from others and evaluate my daily efforts. It was the work with the Wallace Foundation that helped to point out to me how you can take control of the day or let the day control you.

It is great to have a to-do list of things you want to accomplish each day. However, if you are going through the day trying to check off the tasks on your list, what are you truly accomplishing?

As I entered the administrative world, I wanted feedback on my efforts. I designed an evaluation to give to staff to perform on me. This evaluation would guide me in my growth as a leader. I conducted the same review every year of my career to keep consistency. I found this to be helpful. When the Wallace Foundation came in to help, we began to track my daily calendar and how my time was utilized each day. This allowed me to identify areas to improve. Very eye-opening in how my days were spent.

In order to accomplish your tasks at the same time you are focused on overall growth for staff and students, you have to have a strong system built to support your goals. If you do not have a system in place, the checking off of a list may be accomplished with no depth to lead to growth.

Question everything!

One of the best tools to add to your system is reflection lined with questions! At the end of each day, take the time to reflect on what was accomplished. Ask these reflection questions so you can use this data to establish your goals for the next day:

  • What worked well today?
  • What is one thing we could focus on to improve?
  • How will I do things differently tomorrow?
  • What is one new thing tried today?
  • What was something I learned today?

These reflective questions will help guide you in preparing others in reflective practices, learning plans, and engaging conversations of enrichment. We will stay in place if we never stretch ourselves to reach the next level. Setting the bar to check off tasks, you will fail not to set goals, but in the system, you did not embrace. I know this is credible by the work of the Wallace Foundation and the SAM’s project. https://www.wallacefoundation.org/principal-story/pages/sam-project.aspx

Good intentions, inspiration, motivation, and to-do lists are great things to have as you move forward. I still do all of those things; it is just who I am. However, it is the focused foundation of a system to provide the gain of growth you need from staff and students to see the success you work so hard to achieve.

Reach out if you need help with this coming school year. There are plenty of resources you can utilize for free or you can purchase from others to help you continue to grow. Thank you for being the solution daily.

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.

Building Core Values

Organizations are made up of individuals. Individuals within every organization and workplace come with a set of values. However, as we join together to accomplish a mission, core values must become the foundation of the practices we use every day to perform our work and conduct ourselves.

We have lists of values and beliefs in our ever-changing world. There are a few core values that are constant and always remain. I believe this to be what keeps a democracy going and a society functioning. Looking around at the world in which we live, core values and beliefs have to remain.

Often when we think of core values for individuals, it is reflected in the character traits they display. We describe individuals using character trait descriptions like; loving, friendly, patient, and fair.

The importance of knowing what your core values are is essential. What is important to you? When an organization looks at its core values, it is critical to examine what core values describe your organization. As I began, you can list hundreds, but focusing on a few core values maintains a focus to ensure quality.

Creating core values for the organization should be unique, non-negotiable, and created together. One resource as an example is included in this link:

https://builtin.com/company-culture/company-core-values-examples

One issue I have seen in our community is a news station reporting on a traumatic event in the community. The news station reported in a biased way, according to the outcry in the community. Then advertisers with the news station responded with public statements and withdrawing their advertising. Understanding the role you play in your community is a crucial factor when making decisions that will directly impact them. I did not see the news segment or know much about the details of the incident, so I can only comment on reactions that have been shared. The news station has apologized for their actions, but I believe they continue to feel the pain of one decision.

Our society right now is in a fragile state. Knowing your core values and standing on them as a foundation is essential. If you have none, then you will fall for anything. We need strong advocates for the core values of the foundation built to stand on.

Make a list of the core values you have. Do they match what you are doing? How can you help improve the quality of value in what you do? Does your organization have a set of core values? Do you know them? Why/Why not?

Society works for all when we all work together with the core values we stand on Freedom, Integrity, Respect, Justice, Diversity, and Truth. There are depths to each of these words, and you could add more. As a nation, community, organization, and individuals, we need to look at core values. It is time to be the solution daily! Children depend on us to build a solid foundation to stand on, not one that can fall at any time.

Monday reminder-We are the World (Children)

The end of the school year came for many children across the country. Students were graduating and being promoted to the next grade level. My grandson was one of those who proudly completed his Kindergarten school year. He joined the big stage of his K-6 building to be presented with a medal and certificate for Citizenship.

My grandchildren received other academic accomplishments but have been consistent in demonstrating citizenship and a strong moral compass.

As we begin a Monday, pause and enjoy the efforts of this great school, fantastic teacher, and talented children. Our children are the world, and their compass is essential as they guide the future.

Click on this link to the article and video. You do not want to miss this video! https://www.wlky.com/article/watch-s-indiana-elementary-school-kids-adorably-sing-we-are-the-world/36523056

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.

Make the first move! It is Monday!

Do you hold yourself back? Are you afraid to try something, ask a question, or make a big move? Maybe you are thinking of a career change, and you are making lists of the reasons to say yes and no. Well, what is it? Make the first move on whatever you are thinking that is holding you back from a positive impact on your life.

I was telling my granddaughter about the first time I tried out from the high school dance team. I had made up the routine and worked with the group of girls trying out with me. After all, I had been dancing for years.

The day came for tryouts, and I had a couple of girls not sure of themselves. Being the person I am, I looked at them a couple of times to reassure them during tryouts. You guessed it; everyone made it but me.

It was a tough time for me but a great lesson as well. It helped me gain more strength, determination, and courage. I tried out again and made it the next three years. Was making the squad going to help me for my career path? It did! I learned a great deal about leadership, teamwork, and compassion. The most critical skills for me were courage, determination, and confidence.

Find common ground with your team and yourself. List any barriers standing in the way of moving forward to gain positive results. Tackle just one today. Get one off the list. When you can get a win the rest will begin to come into place!

Today I am going to address the labels I have placed on myself. These are coming off today as I focus on the rewrite of my book. I do believe I have words, thoughts and ideas to help others make tomorrow better than today!

Let’s be the solution daily for ourselves and others today!

Let’s Debate

Do we see debates over issues? A debate is a discussion of opposing sides of a specific topic, subject, or issue. An example would be a discussion of the pros and cons of reopening schools after Covid-19. I think I have seen some…. At least they resemble debates.

We most likely would see debates in our legislative branches of government. Have you witnessed debates? I have listened carefully since engaging in researching this topic. We are looking for specific elements in each person pleading their reasoning for their point.

I believe one of the critical skills and elements needed to help children succeed in the future is being able to have essential conversations to debate their points successfully.

The emphasis on teaching children how to protest is misdirected, in my opinion. A focus on how to convince others of the position they have by making points grounded in evidence of value is where the teaching should be focused. Critical thinking skills, knowledge, and strong communication skills will serve all of us in the future with positive outcomes.

Hugo Mercier, in the following TED-Ed clip, explains how an argument can be more convincing when it contains these elements:

  • A good knowledge of your audience you are speaking to.
  • What are the beliefs of the audience?
  • Who and what the audience trusts?
  • What are the values of the audience?

These elements seem like a simple recipe for success. Understanding the audience’s beliefs, trusted sources, and values of others are not always easy for us. As we face an issue, problem or challenge, we do not go first to what we have learned about our audience; instead, we go to our own.

A recipe for success in facing a problem in need of solutions is always to listen first. We hear with more than our ears. To meet issues with debate, reasoning, and convincing rebuttals, we need to embrace all views. Our minds must be open to debate to appreciate and comprehend points different than our set of facts. We have to accept others’ points made convincingly as right and concede when our points are proven wrong.

Every voice has the right to be heard. Actions speak louder than words is often a statement made in high-tempered issues. These actions in no way have ever meant to cause suffering on others, violence, or prevent others from the freedoms granted in this country. Actions moved by the words of others should be in having positive outcomes in the efforts of change. An example would be:

“Today, the sun begins to rise for a new day. It is a chance for each of us to show a new way. To bring to the surface more issues to praise. The life we live changes with every season. Unexpected issues, diseases, challenges, and problems come with no reason. It is our actions, words, and true messages we send out that conveys-The point we try to make.”~Brenda Yoho

Please watch the TED link shared. It is an excellent segment to view. You can find more features to consider as you lead changes and growth in your field. Today is a great day to learn, reflect and lead. Thank you for being part of the solution daily!

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!”