Tag: #TuesdayTalk

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.

You can find the work of Wally Bock at the following links or follow him at @WallyBock on Twitter. https://buff.ly/3Gy80Be https://www.threestarleadership.com/leadership/learning-from-the-dogs He leaves you with five points you can learn from dogs and understand about people. Doggie point 4 is my favorite. “Sometimes the dog barks because another dog barks. People are like that, too. Sometimes they act thoughtfully. Sometimes they just go along with everyone else.”

Animals are all unique in their forms of communication and ways of life. One thing we all have in common is our instinct. Animals use their instincts and senses to be alerted to danger. We do the same thing. Sometimes we make mistakes because we do not follow our instincts.

What if we relied on only our senses to help us determine decisions or understand? One of my favorite books is a pop-up book titled Six Blind Men and the Elephant by Wayne Kalama. The story is a beautiful way to introduce to staff, students, and families the importance of each voice. The six men wanted to learn about the elephant. They used other senses to feel the elephant and contributed their opinion. Every single opinion is correct, but not entirely. Understanding the importance of listening to all, we can “see” the entire picture to know all parts—a great lesson in collaboration.

In our many books, we will find fables, short stories, and many comparisons to help us understand the meaning of points authors, writers, and leaders are trying to make. Lessons are learned in many ways.

We could be like an Ostrich with our heads in the sand or stretch out our necks like the Giraffe to see further. Courage to face issues as leaders are in how we see ourselves.

22 Reasons to join Bethesolutiondaily.com in 2022

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Reasons to join

  1. Finding solutions for issues we face
  2. Connecting with others as we pose questions
  3. Gaining ideas for ways to engage others
  4. Discovering inspiration
  5. Motivation ideas
  6. Plans for implementation for improvements
  7. Techniques to use in problem-solving sessions
  8. Strategies to utilize to form a positive culture
  9. Communication skills, templates to use, and other tools
  10. Organizing to focus structured time
  11. Leadership concepts
  12. Qualities of leaders
  13. Questioning strategy and tips
  14. Social-Emotional learning information, skills, and activities
  15. Understanding issues facing education, how to find solutions
  16. Building relationships with families, students, and community
  17. Establishing professional learning and resources
  18. Resources, information to help with Poverty
  19. Providing guides, resources, research, and knowledge on issues facing education and society like Equity, social awareness, bullying, violence, emotions, and more
  20. What is our Why? How do we self-care? Do we reflect, renew and recharge?
  21. How to have Acceptance, forgiveness, and transformation?
  22. This cannot be the last reason because there are so many more opportunities to be part of the solution daily. So with this reason 22, join because “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.”

Compliance or Commitment Leadership

Two Rule School Coming Soon

Effective leadership is comprised of many elements, one is a strong sense of purpose. There are many rules and regulations in which we have to comply to meet the standards and requirements. However, do we want our staff and students to check the box of compliance in our purpose of teaching and learning? I think the solution to being a school of compliance and just getting by is to turn up the heat to move to commitment.

Every school works to complete each year a school improvement plan. this plan lays out strategies and goals to move the school, as well as the district forward in serving students and families. These plans are data-driven, input provided from staff, students, families, community members, and district leadership. The plans are submitted to the state for approval and then implemented at the building levels.

However, many of the plans are looked at as just as a compliance measure and not something that can provide any true guidance I have heard from so many. I feel my heartbreak and my stomach turns as I know it is true. I look back at my last year in an education setting and it was impossible to get my district leaders to sit down to work on these plans. So if I could not get them to do it, then good luck in getting the buildings to do it as well.

Students and staff need to see our commitment in our words and actions. Students need to see a purpose in the lessons they are being provided daily as, well as the progression of the learning journey. Staff needs to see the purpose in the work they are doing and the commitment we have to them to help achieve our purpose as a team.

Effective leadership is not doing, but guiding and managing all of the work that needs to be done to accomplish the goals we establish. Leaders in our schools need to empower our staff to do exactly what we are modeling. They are the ones who have the greatest impact daily on helping to facilitate and manage learning by empowering students to take ownership with a commitment to themselves. Students need to have a voice, make decisions, help design, and establish a strong commitment to accomplishing goals.

We are not just getting by with compliance, but committing to grow leaders in all capacities in learning, teaching, and community. We have strong voices, positive choices, better decisions, and are empowered to accomplish high standards with our commitment to selves and our community.

Schools will take a turn as we move from compliance to commitment as we pledge to be part of the solution daily. Our work will continue to expand as we empower all learners, engage active changes and embrace the philosophy of the Two Rule School. Everyone will feel safe and good in our learning environment.

Smart People-Make Mistakes

Making Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes! I think some individuals think they can’t make a mistake. Worse than thinking you can’t make a mistake is needing help and not asking for it. Think about mistakes, talk with others and discuss if it is easy to ask for help.

“Take the attitude of a student, never be too big to ask questions, never know too much to learn something new.”

Oh Mandino

As my title states, intelligent people or knowledgeable individuals will not ask for help when they need to ask. Not asking for help is a big mistake. They allow their clouded judgment to get in the way, or is it ego?

Thinking you may know more about everything than anyone else is not a good choice. Considering we know more is another mistake of closing the door to opportunities for learning and resources when you tune them out. Have you ever been in a professional development workshop and watched as others graded papers or did stuff on their phone?

Avoiding, hiding, and ignoring problems hoping they will go away is a huge mistake. These actions make concerns grow more extensive. We have to address issues and the people causing the problem.

Controlling Reactions

  • Ask for help when needed
  • Never allow yourself to think you know everything
  • Control reactions by learning to adapt
  • Avoiding, ignoring and hiding problems makes them grow. Instead, stand up to face and resolve.

Be aware of your thinking and your actions. Making mistakes happens to all of us. Let’s not make them a habit. We deal with invaluable children to lose sight of the significance of our work.

Nourishing Teaching and Learning-Today, Tomorrow and Always

The purpose of education seems to have different meanings when you ask other groups. If we look through the political accountability lens, the goal is to increase standards and raise requirements for test scores to reflect passing levels. Students may see education as just going to school, following the rules, and turning in their assignments. Families look at it as a way for their children to build a solid foundation to prepare for college and careers.

As we look at Teaching and Learning, we will discover more of how our teachers build lessons daily to empower students for today, tomorrow, and all of the days following. Many aspects of teaching and learning support all of the needs of learners.

Students begin learning the first day they enter a classroom. Each day they are present, they must know and take the learning with them. Students need to understand and value the teaching they are doing. This foundational learning from today carries to the skill building of tomorrow. This promotes the growth required to progress.

Each lesson taught must build on what students already know and guide them to the next level of learning. The purpose of this teaching is to help students feel the growth with their knowledge. To understand the engagement and ability in their influence around them as they continue to embrace learning. Our teachers and education system provide a precise direction grade level by grade level.

It is not just about building blocks for a foundation and following a blueprint of construction as we connect the levels of learning. As teachers, we nourish our students ultimately. The whole child is provided with needs to promote enrichment, physical wellness, promoting a moral compass, and overall conditions for well-being.

I hope as I lead others, they will always gain the knowledge and practice: “Education is something we do with children, not to them. We need to nourish our children with the gift of enriched education, physical wellness, promotion of a moral compass, and always engage in ways to think in the abstract while finding better ways to do things. Our job in education is not to teach children how to think, but to provide opportunities to think, ask questions and consider solutions.”~Yoho

Teaching Together

Teaching together in a school can be great, or it can be a very challenging situation. Teacher collaboration occurs when members of a learning community work together to increase student learning and achievement. What happens when you have a few who do not want to go along with the team? There could be a few staff members who do not believe the children you serve can learn or improve.

If our ultimate destination as educators is student achievement, think of teacher collaboration as the journey. Collaboration is not a task to complete then move on; it’s an ever-changing and ongoing process. As a positive team member, it is your responsibility to help overcome those barriers in the journey to prevent student achievement from happening. Toxic cultures and climates impact student learning when teachers are not teaching together.

“Students will learn more and be more successful in an environment where all educators believe they can learn at high levels, and those educators work together to convince the students that they can achieve lofty academic goals teachers set for them.”-Transforming School Culture (pg.25) by Anthony Muhammad

Building a collaborative culture and a strong collaboration takes commitment to develop over time. The benefits are clear from these practices and beliefs. Authentic, collaborative communities address common issues, shared goals, school-wide initiatives, deeper teacher learning, and results in student achievement.

Strategies to build teacher collaboration

  • Create shared vision and goals
  • Identify group norms
  • Build a sense of community
  • Effective communication
  • Professional learning

Working as a collaborative team with a common purpose supports all in the process. Choose to be the solution daily by designing climates and cultures for all learners.

Teaching Inspiration and Exhaustion

#Bethesolutiondaily

If you are in the teaching profession today, why? Why did you become a teacher? Most likely, you have a vision of individuals who inspired you to dive into this profession. It is the inspiration that often leads us into the lifelong career paths we find ourselves in today.

Jennifer Gonzalez at Cult of Pedagogy is one of the thought leaders I have followed for several years. I utilized her website/blogs as part of my new teacher mentoring program and, as a principal, sent her tips out in messages to staff.

The piece I am sharing today is comprehensive and follows my philosophy of being the solution daily. Often we identify problems, talk about them, stare at them, and they continue to thrive. Action steps involving change are the catalysts for actual solutions.

As a leader, I have never been offended by her posts. She is straightforward, has strong opinions, and you can judge for yourself if you want to view more. Please take a little time to read her post. It is powerful to me.

As a teacher who worked countless hours then as an administrator, clocking in, even more, I relate to the feeling of exhaustion! I did all my work before COVID, so I know I would not have survived. Blessings to all of our educators!

Tuesday Teaching

As students enter our classrooms, we hope they will be ready and engaged in learning. Academic success is the outcome we want for each student in our classroom, but we know it can not be just our want.

Students need to have a foundation of academic skills, a character of perseverance, and a sense of curiosity. As I make a statement like this, what do you do to spark curiosity in your classroom?

Did you know that research shows “brain chemistry” actually changes when we become curious? A change in our brains has an impact on how we learn and remember information. So we need to pay attention to research to provide the best learning environments.

Tip #1 for helping to build curiosity in the classroom is:

Let’s not start our lessons by telling everything! “Today we are going to learn how to make water!” or “Today we are going to combine some elements and see what happens!”

Making objectives like this helps to keep students curious about what will be happening. In your lesson plan, you have stated the goal: students will learn that hydrogen and oxygen make water, but if we tell them upfront, then the excitement is lost.

As teachers, we have difficulty in allowing students to struggle. Often we rush to provide the answers or solutions instead of giving time to work through them. To help stretch students and engage them more profoundly, we may want to facilitate more confusion opportunities. Why not ask questions with no clear answer. It is hard because we are trying to get all of our curricula taught, but for our students to stay engaged, we have to keep them curious.

Humans are naturally curious! However, curiosity is not a one size fits all glove. Allowing students choice in learning helps in keeping curiosity and engaging learning opportunities going. While we have students curious, we can teach those fundamental skills they may need to fill in gaps in their knowledge. Just like we try to get the kiddos to eat those veggies, we have to get creative in our approach.

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.

Hook, line and sinker

Do not spread false reports. Exodus 23:1

The coach spots a little boy in the stands with a glove waiting to catch a baseball. The coach decides he will toss a ball to the little boy. Then suddenly, a man swoops in and catches the ball. Cameras snap the picture; video cameras record the moment, and the story goes viral.

Everyone could not believe what this man did to get this ball. He took a baseball meant for a little ball for himself. The pictures and video were shared with comments about this man. How could he take this ball away from this little boy?

As these video clips were shared, no one ever thought to ensure all the information was factual. Everyone could see he jumped in front of the boy and caught the ball. Case closed!

Except viewers watching the clip and the live scene didn’t know the whole story. Earlier in the game, the man had helped the young boy snag a foul ball. They agreed to share any additional balls that would come their way. Unfortunately for the man, it took twenty-four hours before the actual story emerged. The media mob and citizens had already done their damage, demonizing an innocent man.

The world we live in today deals with fragments of information and twists it to meet the narrative they try to push. Facts seem to be few and far between as you try to listen to any media source. The baseball story is factual from 2018 a Chicago Cubs game. This is one example of thousands; I am sure of people who have been judged with fragments of information.

Hook, line, and sinker, we take fragments of information as the whole truth. The evidence is clear before us daily. We must do everything possible to confirm the truth before leveling accusations and going along with the beliefs. We need complete facts making sure not to participate in lies. We should be cautious whenever passions ignite and waves of judgment swell. We want to safeguard ourselves from “following the crowd in doing wrong” In this “gotcha” “cancel culture” time, we see more and more divisions than unity.

Please take the time to look at the bait on the “hook.” Is it fragments or complete? Use the “line” to trace the sources of the story and research the evidence. Is this a “sinker” to bring down someone or everyone? Don’t just swallow it hook, line and sinker! We have ways to help us rise above together, to overcome any hardships, and to float to the top! Be the solution daily in an ocean full of sinkers! Rise up!