Friday, October 23, 2015

Friday, October 9, 2015

Keep Climbing - Never Stop #KidsDeserveIt #PrincipalsInAction

When we stop moving forward, we become stagnant. When we stop climbing, we become restless. When we stop learning, we become outdated and stale. Never ever stop, kids deserve relevant. 

Our jobs are challenging, some days it feels like there are no wins, like it's all a bunch of missed field goals and overtime losses. Being a leader is exhausting. It's deflating at times. There are days I want to leave and not come back. 

I've never cried about work or about issues I'm dealing with as Principal, but I've cried for students who need more that I can give. I've cried with teachers who need my support. Just yesterday I was a little emotional because a staff member had such positive comments towards a parent that is working through some behaviors by their child. I gave her some personal kudos for the hard work and passion she brings everyday! It's so important and valuable to focus on the positive!

We must keep climbing for kids. Even when we want to leave our keys on the table and not return. 

We must never stop for kids, they deserve every ounce of energy, enthusiasm, passion, motivation, caring and creativity that we can muster.

Sometimes you just need to stop. Collect your thoughts. Regain perspective. It's so easy to focus on what is not going well, on what needs to change, on what could be done differently. 

Being a leader is similar to climbing a big mountain with an extremely heavy pack on - in the snow, during a storm, and you've run out of water. 

No matter how hard the challenge is, we must jump in, take that leap. Lace up those shoes, run faster and farther. Keep climbing, find a new route, push yourself.

Then, during the fray - while you're climbing - when you're jumping - as you're running - stop! Look around, take a seat, refocus your attention, analyze your output and where you're spending time and energy. 

Flip the switch and focus on your wins. The more you focus on positivity, the more wins will happen for you and your community. Enjoy the journey and that climb up your mountain. 

Please don't stop climbing. Please always jump in with both feet. Please get in the game and stay there until the fourth quarter. Never stop being awesome for kids, we mean more to them that we probably even realize. 

Kids need you. They want you. They deserve us to be suited up and ready to go. Now go!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Find Your Balance #tcrwp

This post is co-written with my good friend Chara Rodrigues who is an amazing Readers and Writers Workshop coach in the Bay Area. @CharaRodrigues1

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We love books. We love the story they tell. We love how they inspire us to be better for kids. We love talking about them with other educators to see their perspective which opens new doors for us.

We really love a book that makes us stop and think. Makes us examine who we are, take a step back, and then move forward with a different plan. ‘I Am Yoga’ written by Susan Verde and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds is that book.

It was no happenstance that I Am Yoga  appeared in my mailbox when it did.  It was a day when I needed a quiet reminder to “be still.”  It was a day when my kids needed a quiet reminder that it’s okay to “be slow”.  It was a day when I wish I could remind teachers to “make room in their minds to create and imagine.” This book speaks to a soul. Your soul, my soul, our souls.  It is a message that leaves a mark - one that lingers. One we need to return to, time and time again.

When I look back on my life, I find that most of the time, I was juggling.
NOT balancing.
Balls in the air.  
Dropping left and right.
Picking up dropped balls as I needed to get back in the game.  
It was okay, everyday was a new one and new balls would take precedence.  
But I never felt in control. I never felt I had a good handle on things.
Spinning. . .
Or shall I say juggling?

But balance - that is what I strive for.  That is what I want my children to strive for. It makes us better people.  Better citizens of the world.

One of my yoga teachers whispered in my ear one day, “Be the warrior, not the war!”  And that, my friends, is the true essence of balance.

We must find balance in our lives, all of us. At work, at home, with friends, with digital media, with social media - we’re better for kids when we’re balanced!

  • Take time each day to balance yourself.
  • Find that space where your mind can relax and balance comes back to your core.
  • Take several long and slow deep breaths. Clear your mind. Breathe in your intentions and exhale your stress.
  • Play calming music and close your eyes.
  • Our children can see our stress, they can sense our anxiety, they feed off our energy. Make that energy positive, calming, and focus on being present in their lives.
  • Read I Am Yoga and strike a tree pose like Susan below!

We feel I Am Yoga has a few different messages. What do you take from the story?

Do some yoga - Breath a little more deeply - Spend time outside in nature - Slow down - Enjoy the moment you’re currently in - Read books with kids - Have a conversation with someone - Enjoy!

Check out Susan's blog here!

Author Susan Verde striking a tree pose!
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