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The Difference in Difference Makers

There is a definitive, undeniable truth to the statement, "We all just want the same things." It is true that each person I have ever met wants to be heard, understood, appreciated for who they are, and respected. It is also true that "we all" do not share the same belief systems, traditions, core values, and goals. The cultural system we grew up in, established and intricately wove our core beliefs, traditions, values and goals within our character. We are who we are because of our experiences and backgrounds. I have never met a person who didn't want to make a difference. We are passionate people and want to see a change in the things that matter to us.

Today we advocate for our voice to be heard...for our students' voice to be heard. We instill in our children that they can make a difference. But...are we showing them how? Are we teaching them, better yet, are we modeling for them how to do a positive way? Are we helping them to understand that…
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Do You Know Me?

We are by nature compiled of little mannerisms, habits, obsessions, and characteristics. They make us who we are. They are formed by our experiences, sensories, emotions, and thoughts. These little nuances determine our behaviors, our focus, our likes and dislikes, and the challenges that we will carry and have to overcome. They are tiny parts of us but knowing these pieces are HUGE in helping the people around us communicate with us. 

I have an enormous sensory issue. I hate touching paper, wearing jeans, and loud noises. Certain textures of clothing and food make me cringe and want to run away screaming! Some of these sensory issues could easily control me...if I gave them permission to do so. As a child they totally did. I would wear dirty clothes straight out of the hamper rather than wear something I knew would make me uncomfortable. I couldn't turn the pages in my book because of the feeling I got when the paper rubbed together. I had issues with writing because of obsession…

Not My Problem

I watched the events unfold. I should have seen it coming. I knew the signs, the triggers, and yet it still took me by surprise. The stomping feet, screaming, throwing, and refusal. There it was...AGAIN. I had watched this same event take place over and over again. It was like living in Groundhog's Day. Each day I looked for ways to change the events, the triggers, hoping the story would somehow change. Sometimes it did, but it was a gradual change. The kind of change where you have to stand perfectly still and quiet for it to be noticeable. The little changes eventually added up to big changes so that by the end of the year they were obvious. It was a triumphant feeling of victory. It was a victory that I knew came with a lot of heartache, defeat, melt-downs, and sweat...lots of sweat and tears!

Extreme behavior is unpredictable, tiresome, and overwhelming. It can make you feel like you are jumping hurdles with every step you take. The events you watch unfold every day are exhaus…

One Voice

It starts with one voice. Every conversation, every call to action, every change in policy, every change in mindset...they all started with one voice. One person who stood up and said, "I have something to add to the conversation."

I was thinking about this as I thought about my students, both present and past. This morning I heard a pastor make a pretty powerful statement. He was referring to our perspective of ourselves in God's eyes in comparison to how we really feel about ourselves. He said we should remind ourselves of this statement...

"I am who YOU say I am."

How powerful is that?  If our students made that statement what words of ours would they hear in their hearts and minds?

One voice can change everything. As I thought about this I was reminded of some of my #EduHeroes who started with one small voice, but made a huge impact in education.

@smgaillard Sean Gaillard started with a simple idea. Let's #CelebrateMonday and lose the Garfield attitude! H…

Embrace It One Word for 2018. This process has helped me focus on my goals in the past and I look forward to the journey of my One Word again. This might be the easiest One Word I have ever chosen. It came to me after thoughtful prayer and consideration. I wanted a word that would move me into action. Something I could carry with me that would inspire my journey, but also lift me up when I enter the valleys that inevitably come.

Embrace means to accept or support willingly and enthusiastically. This is easy to do when it involves the happy things in our lives like promotions, accomplishments, family, but can be much more difficult when we travel through the valleys in our life. When this word first entered my heart I thought for a moment about what it meant to me. I immediately thought of my oldest daughter, who is a senior in high school. I want to embrace every moment of this next semester with her because I know it will fly by. I want to create a balance in my work life that allo…

The Gift of Behavior

If a picture is worth a thousand words then what's the value of an action? How do we quantify that? Have you ever sat and just people watched? It's something my dad loves to do. He gets a kick out of watching people hurry about and interact with each other. I have often caught myself sitting and observing the people around me. I find myself wondering what they're thinking. What is going on inside their head that has caused the particular expression being displayed on their face at that moment. It intrigues me. It all serves as communication. Every facial expression, movement, word, or disengagement communicates something. But what if words can't be found? What if the way someone chooses to communicate makes it difficult for anyone to see, hear, or try to understand them and in fact causes the exact opposite...causes people to stop listening, engaging them, or trying to understand them? This is what is happening in classrooms across the country. I know it is not is…

Schoolhouse Goals

We all have goals. I have personal goals and I have schoolhouse goals. Goals drive us, motivate us, and keep us moving forward. We model goal setting for our students and therefore it's important to share some of our goals with them. They need to see us working towards them. Better yet, they need to see us go through the struggle, the ups and downs of trying to reach our goals.

Goals are like the light at the end of a tunnel that you can see clearly during parts of the journey and not at all at other times. I have to remind myself that a goal is a challenge, an end result that will make me, my kids, or my schoolhouse better. The struggle that we go through to reach our goals is empowering and builds character. It fosters a growth mindset and instills a determination in our hearts. I want my students to know that through hard work they can accomplish their goals, modify them, and set new goals.

My schoolhouse goals are both simple and complicated. Simple in the idea that they are g…