Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Lessons beyond the Boston Marathon...Mr. Rogers' Words of Wisdom

I have been mesmerized by the stories about the Boston Marathon bombing. And as a result, who is being quoted on how to help children, Mister Fred Rogers. I love Mister Rogers!! I remember when my daughter was young and watching the operas, the plays, the stories, with her. In fact, in 2003, I bought my principals his book, The World According to Mister Rogers, Important Things to Remember. The book had various quotes and stories by Mister Rogers that I think are inspiring for educational leaders to think about as they lead their teachers and students.

"Some days, doing the 'best we can' may still fall short of what we would like to be able to do, but life isn't perfect--on any front-- and doing what we can with what we have is the most we should expect of ourselves or anyone else."

"I'm proud of you for the times you came in second, third, or fourth, but what you did was the best you had ever done."

A few years later, I bought his second book for my adult children, Life's Journeys According to Mister Rogers, Things to Remember Along the Way. Quotes that make us think!!

"It's really easy to fall into the trap of believing that what we DO is more important that what we ARE. Of course, it's the opposite that's true: What we ARE ultimately determines what we DO!"

What great advice from a wise man! What a great way to comfort our children....and ourselves. I think the news has done a great job of highlighting the heroes and the helpers, focusing on those attending to the hurt, carrying people away from dangers, people hugging another person in distress...helping others!

As educators we will be faced with questions and comments from the elementary, middle and high school students about this event. How do we begin to explain this event.....share what Mister Rogers has to say about scary events.

Thanks Mister Rogers for reminding us "You Are Special."

Monday, April 8, 2013

What Do I Want to Happen in My Life? Vision Board or ACTION board?

You have been looking for a teaching job now for a year (or maybe longer?). You are frustrated, disillusioned, disappointed and are starting to wonder if you should continue to pursue your dream, your goal of being a teacher.
As you have been job searching, what has your process been? How have you approached the search? Do you have a weekly plan or monthly plan for applying and communicating with school districts?

I recently have met a new friend, Carol, who has been diagnosed with Stage IV lymphoma and began her treatment last week. While I have only known her about a month, Carol is very headstrong, has a good sense of humor, seems to be a fighter and trying to be optimistic about her prognosis. Carol recently told me about a session that she was going to attend on developing a vision board.

According to Christine Kane (christiinekane.com),
“A vision board (also called a Treasure Map or a Visual Explorer or Creativity Collage) is typically a poster board on which you paste or collage images that you’ve torn out from various magazines. The idea behind this is that when you surround yourself with images of who you want to become, what you want to have, where you want to live, or where you want to vacation, your life changes to match those images and those desires.”

I started to think that this process would be good for aspiring teachers to go through, so I did some research and found an article, “Throw Away Your Vision Board,” by Neil Farber. M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Farber suggests that just visualizing what you want does not necessarily materialize, however this process might help one organize and more clearly delineate your goals.

Dr. Farber suggests instead, develop an ACTION board. An ACTION board helps you transform you dreams into reality. Think about it, dream about it but then MAKE IT HAPPEN.

Try some of these descriptors to use for your ACTION:

1. What is your ultimate goal? Clarify where you are going. What do you want?
2. Prioritize: what is your top priority? Look at what you need to do and simply prioritize what it is you need
to take action on.
3. Put together a schedule or plan. Simplify what you need to be doing: daily, weekly and monthly.
4. What do you need to get to your ultimate goal? What help do you need, who can help you, what do you need to
learn, what do you need to work on? Break things down in what you need to do in order to get to where you
need to go.
5. Get support: who can help you with this? Network with a variety of people who can support you and keep you
on track. Having someone hold you accountable is a good thing.

Some quotes to think about:

"Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it." - Zig Ziglar
“I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.” – Leonardo da Vinci
“Vision without action is a dream. Action without vision is simply passing the time. Action with Vision is making a positive difference.” - Joel Barker

Check out the APP store to see if you can find something to get started on! You don't need to use this process for pursuing a teaching position, think about how it applies to any goals in your life. You might be retiring from teaching and trying to figure out the next steps. MAKE IT HAPPEN!!!