What We Water Grows

There is a national shortage of educators. Now more than ever, we need to represent this profession in ways that are hope-giving. If we truly care about making our schools better places to learn, work, and grow, we must remember that every conversation, every post on social media, every moment is an opportunity to show people how amazing these jobs can be. These jobs are hard, yes, but they are deeply important. These jobs can be exhausting, yes, but they can also be really, really fun when we choose for them to be.

Asset-Based Experiences

Finally, we spend a lot of time starting with deficits in schools. We shoot ideas down because we can think of reasons why something won't work. We focus on learning deficits in classrooms and on state assessments. We talk a lot about what we aren't seeing. Our kids need to know how to read and think critically. I'm not arguing that. However, no one is inspired by a relentless focus on their deficits. I learned from my good friend, Dr. Tim Kubik, it can be more powerful to focus instead on what assets we do indeed have. The strengths and skills and special talents that students and teachers bring into schools every day are endless. If we were to spend more energy amplifying the good instead of diagnosing the not so good, I think the energy in our schools would change.

Taking Care of People

No gesture is too small. All gestures matter. If we all took the time to make those small gestures, our classrooms would change. Our schools would change. Our districts would change. Our communities would change. This is how we change the world. Through small caring on a daily basis. If we all do our part, the world will change.

Our Most Precious Resource

Listening is becoming more and more rare. True listening I should say -is becoming more and more rare. And yet, every person we come into contact with has something to teach us. We cannot learn from each other and appreciate each other if we aren't taking the time to listen to each other. When we slow down and listen, we can see hearts more clearly. There is good in everyone. Sometimes, it's just harder to find when things are tough. When the emotions are big and times are stressful, it's easy to miss the good that's there. Often, we all want what's best, we just have different opinions about what that looks like.

1% is BIG

What makes small moves impactful: Belief in yourself and what you're doing. Consistency. Reflection. If what you're doing isn't work well for you or others, change it. It's that simple.

Move & Do

There is no shortage of negativity out there. We don't need to add to it by letting ourselves spend too much time with our fear and worries.

Mesmerized by the Day-to-Day

If someone makes a small move that has an impact on you, tell them. If you see someone make a small move that has a positive impact on another person, tell them. Tell them with specificity and joy in your heart. That encouragement may be just what they need to keep making those small moves tomorrow. Too often, our small beautiful moves get swallowed up by loud problems. When you look at all of our work at one time, it's overwhelming and easy to see problems everywhere. When you train your mind to celebrate small moments, you see possibility. You find hope. It's not that we ignore our problems. We work on them, but we don't mentally live there.

In the Moment

So, this week my challenge for all of us is to first: cut ourselves some slack. A lot gets thrown our way and often it comes from people with positional authority. Then, let's ask ourselves, "Where can we be more intentional about giving our full attention to others this week?" In doing so, let's pay attention to how that makes us feel. How it makes the work feel. How it makes others feel.

Cultivating Strengths

As that young man so aptly stated, people want to be a part of something important. So, how can we foster that same sense of interdependence and interconnectedness in school? How might we create more opportunities for people to work hard in areas that amplify their strengths? What would happen if students were inspired to work hard at something they love during the school day?

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