Starting Tomorrow

Starting tomorrow we begin a new chapter in learning and educating.  Now that Spring Break is over for those of us here on Southern Vancouver Island, we need to get back to school, during this global COVID-19 pandemic.  For the past two weeks there has been plenty of planning and talking about what school will look like and how we will deliver out-of-class instruction to our students as schools all over the world have been closed.  Following are some thoughts that have been occupying my mind.

Meeting the needs of our students

Teaching is not an easy job.  We know that.  We plan, prep and try to make our lessons engaging and exciting for students.  Now take all of that planning and deliver it via the app of your choice.  How will it go?  We won’t know until we push it out, until we interact with our students.  I don’t know about you but I am nervous for our teachers.  I am also nervous about being an educational leader during this time.  I want to be able to communicate to parents that we are, indeed, ready to educate their children to the best of our abilities. And I want parents to be able to trust the school system and the people in it.

School will not look like it normally does.  I read somewhere that you take what you would normally teach and cut that in half and then cut that in half again and that should be your expectation for how much students should be doing online at a given time.  And this doesn’t take into consideration all of the other variables at play for our students and their families.

I hope during these times everyone remembers to be kind…

Meeting the needs of our staff as we venture online

Supporting and leading during these unprecedented times will be a challenge in effective communication.  Upon reflection, I feel curious, excited and uneasy.  Part of me is very curious to see what we do and how it will all turn out.  A large part of me is excited because I know our teachers will hit the ground running when it comes to communicating with their students.  They will connect with their students in creative ways and will make each feel special.  Of that, I am sure.  I have witnessed professionalism every day as I have worked with these amazing educators!  I have watched teachers use their talents, strength and enthusiasm.  It is with this talent and enthusiasm that teachers will figure out how best to reach their students for instruction.  As leaders, we will need to be there for support and guidance.

Are you feeling vulnerable and anxious?

Are you a teacher who is prepping and planning for upcoming online instruction?  How is it going and how are you feeling?  What are you most excited about?  Nervous about?  Anxious about?  What can your school administration or district do to alleviate some of your anxiety and feelings of vulnerability?  How can you practice self care during times of unknowing?  So many questions.  Remember to reach out to your colleagues, administration and family members.  We are your loudest cheerleaders!  We will be here on the sidelines cheering for you and supporting you every step of the way.

Technology…will it be enough?

With all the talk of online teaching and learning, will the technology alleviate some of your anxiety or does it heighten it?  Are you comfortable delivering curriculum in this way?  The COVID-19 Pandemic has accelerated us forward to unknown places and spaces.  What things have you been doing to get ready for this unprecedented back to school?  Blog about it and post it for others to read.  I am sure they will appreciate your insight and learning.




Keeping Routines In Our Not So Routine World

Time.  There is so much of it these days.  We live in unprecedented times as social isolation is the new normal; at least only for the time being, I hope.  While we are busy engaging in social isolation, my mind has been thinking about keeping routines in our not so routine world.

Through this pandemic, we have been managing here in our household.  First of all, it has been our Spring Break during these last two weeks so we have had to adjust to not working.  With the COVID-19 pandemic rearing it’s ugly head, most events have been changed or cancelled.  Physio appointments have been cancelled, doctors appointments have been postponed or are going online, and even our daily walks are taking place knowing that we will give a wide berth to our fellow walkers and cyclists on the trails.  But, surprisingly, through all of this, we have managed to keep our routines.

Recently, I read the book Creatively Productive Essential Skills for Tackling Time Wasters, Clearing the Clutter, and Succeeding in School and Life! by Lisa Johnson.  In her book, Lisa shows the reader how to…

  • Devise individualized plans for personal and student organization
  • Manage time more effectively and get more done
  • Set and track goals–and avoid procrastination

One chapter of Lisa’s book is called Taming Time.  In it she explains why calendars, planners and bullet journals are so important in today’s world.  The chapter outlined Bullet Journaling Basics and got me thinking about my Journal Like a Pirate journal that I purchased when it was first released in December.  This journal, created by Dave Burgess Consulting Inc., is something that I wanted to try.

After finishing Lisa’s book, and feeling inspired, I continued with my research into creating and organizing my own bullet journal or a Bujo as it is called by serious bullet journalers.  My research brought me to a short video Minimal Bullet Journal Setup >>for Productivity +Mindfulness.  This video demonstrated very simple ideas about setting up your Bujo and I adapted some of the layouts for my own purposes.  Mainly, I wished to stay organized and wanted to add a couple of items to my day such as a Habit Tracker and a Gratitudes Page.  This journal, along with my planner, have helped our family stay on track and to keep routines in our not so routine world.

What have you been doing to keep up with your routines in our not so routine world?




…and it was beautiful

I live on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, close to Victoria.  Our weather is mild with lots of rain during the winter months.  This week we have experienced snow and when this happens, school is a very different place.  Both students and teachers are distracted in a good way, hoping for the elusive “Snow Day”.  On Monday, we even cancelled our weekly School Assembly to opt for playing outside for an extra 45 minutes after lunch.  Everyone was pretty happy and today we got our “Snow Day”.  Even our Superintendent, Scott Stinson, @10stinson enjoyed the day by creating a Snow Day, short film, entitled “Snow Dog”.  View it here.

Snow makes the world beautiful especially when it is an uncommon occurrence.  At our school we experienced our students being cooperative, being kind and just plain having fun!  Isn’t that a beautiful sight?

I am trying to develop a habit of writing in my journal and last night I was thinking about the snow and the sights at school and this is what I wrote…

…and it was beautiful

So much snow fell today, and it was beautiful.

So many students being kind to one another, and it was beautiful.

So much laughter in our staffroom today, and it was beautiful.

So many rosy cheeks and cheerful smiles, and they were beautiful.

So many snowflakes on eyelashes and mittens, and they were beautiful.

So many snow angels made today, and they were beautiful.

So much snow fell today, and it was beautiful.

Enjoy your winter days wherever you are.  I hope that you are able to see the beauty in all things!




Every Student Needs a “No Matter What” School!

I read this quote by an unknown author recently and it stuck in my head.

Every woman needs a “no matter what” friend

Someone they can call, no matter what
Someone they can vent to, no matter what
Someone she doesn’t have to explain herself to, no matter what

I have been thinking about how the quote has resonated with me and how it relates to the students who will enter or have entered our buildings for this new school year.

Every student needs a “no matter what” school

A community who will be kind to students, no matter what…
A community who makes students feel safe and comfortable in our classrooms, hallways and on our playgrounds no matter what…
A community who welcomes students with warm smiles and high fives, no matter what…
A community who echoes students names each day, no matter what…
A community who takes time to listen to students hopes and dreams, no matter what…
A community who builds students up when they feel like they can’t do it, no matter what…
A community who allows students to take center stage, no matter what…
A community whose classrooms celebrate mistakes as valued learning, no matter what…
A community who will focus first on building relationships with students, no matter what…
A community who will listen, no matter what…
A community who will be innovative and will strive to make school awesome, no matter what…

Imagine what our schools would look like, feel like and sound like if we all planned our year with a focus on what we are willing to do for students, no matter what!

I am sure that many of you could add to this list.  Think about it.  What is your school willing to do for students, no matter what?


I Have Shoes, I Can Run #RunLAP

On this day last year I was in the hospital recovering from surgery. Up to that point I had a 74 straight day record of walking or cycling to get back into shape.  I was pretty proud of myself as I was still experiencing many symptoms as a result of the concussion I had sustained from a fall at work.  I was also disappointed that my record would be broken as I had to have a recovery time from the surgery.  Fast forward a year later and 1KM may not sound like a long distance but for a first run in more than two years, it is a start.  It is one run done.  One goal started.  One day of many days ahead.  One day to a better me.

I just finished reading Run Like a Pirate written by the talented Adam Welcome.  To say that his book is motivational is an understatement.  His message push yourself to get more out of life rings loud and clear throughout the book.  If you haven’t read the book, you should!  Adam’s message: you CAN achieve your goals is told through the story of him running twelve marathons in twelve months.  Adam shares his mindset to dig deep and to accomplish those big dreams.

I had company on my first run.  My husband, Steve, runs the opposite way to me on the 1.1KM route that we take around our neighbourhood.  We always say something to one another at the halfway point as we run by each other.  Tonight he said “How are you feeling?”  I just breathed and ran past him.  He had the pleasure of taking our Labradoodle, Murphy, on her first run, too.  I had the pleasure of carrying my cycling flashlight as it gets dark early in August on Southern Vancouver Island.

As I was nearing the end of my run I was thinking about Adam’s book and his motto to smile.  I was just beginning to fall into the rhythm of my breathing and consciously smiled to see if it made a difference…I chuckled to myself, too.  As we walked back to the house on our cool down, I was thinking that I should blog about my first run and the influence Adam’s book has had on my thinking these last few days.  Near the end of his book there are Running Tips From Adam and Friends.  The big take away from the book for me would have to be…

Focus on the big picture rather than the endless details of equipment.
If you have shoes, you can run.
The little stuff is just the little stuff and can weigh you down.

For me this is a metaphor for life.  I have shoes, and I can run.  I continue to learn to focus on the big picture.  I am learning how to do that everyday and am working on the little stuff that does weigh me down.  Thank goodness the only thing weighing me down tonight was my cycling flashlight!  Thanks Adam, your advice is sound.  Happy Trails!!


Starbucks and School…Through the Lens of an Educator

Starbucks has coffee.  Starbucks has tea.  Starbucks has a wide variety of drinks.  Starbucks has servers who greet you warmly.  Starbucks has conversation.  Starbucks has music.  Starbucks has people.  And today, Starbucks has me.  I am sitting here working in this environment which is supposed to mimic the busy school environment to which I am gradually returning in September.

For those who may not know, I began a gradual return to work this past February.  In December 2017, I had a fall, at work, and sustained a pretty good concussion that has taken me out of commission for almost two years.  During the month of August I am continuing with the same gradual return to work schedule that was in place for me at the end of the school year. Retaining that same schedule will ensure that my brain and body are ready for the busy-ness of September in an elementary school of about 400 students and 56 staff members.

As I was thinking about a blog topic today, I began to wonder if Starbucks could truly challenge my brain and mimic a busy school environment.  As I settled in with my cup of tea, I opened my laptop to begin to write and my 10:00AM appointment showed up.  Yes, I was having a “coffee” date with a friend and she was right on time.  Just like at work, I am keeping to my schedule of appointments, and it never fails that just when you think you have a few moments to start something, your 10:00AM arrives right on time!  We chit chat and catch up on our summer holidays.  Some of the distractions I noticed were people walking by, music playing in the background and various conversations happening all around us.  For the most part, I was able to focus on what was being said even though the music and other conversations were quite loud.  Once our date ended, I decided to switch gears and try reading my book.  I was able to read a few chapters, but couldn’t help being distracted by the group behind me who were enthusiastically engaged in conversation.

So is a Starbucks coffee shop an appropriate place to mimic a school-like environment?  What are the particular Starbucks experiences, and how do they relate to the school environment as we know it?

Just as Starbucks has a wide variety of drink sizes such as Venti, Grande, Tall and Short, we teach a variety of students in our schools who come to us in all sizes and abilities.  Unlike Starbucks, though, we don’t get to pick and choose the students we have in our classes.  Each year, we are blessed to have a group of unique individuals who make our classes and schools awesome!  Just as Starbucks has music playing in the background, our schools are filled with the music of children’s voices, music and choir classes as well as the daily games played during recess times.  Unlike Starbucks where music is playing constantly in the background, there are pockets of time when our hallways and classrooms can be very quiet but, I hope, that is not what we strive for in our schools.  The constant buzz of student voices tells us that children are communicating with one another, children are collaborating and problem solving together.  Hopefully children are not simply sitting in desks and rows trying to focus while the teacher does all of the talking!

Starbucks has people coming and going throughout the day and there are natural rhythms that occur.  The constant morning drive-thru rush of people trying to get to work; oftentimes driving solo in their cars, minds wondering about their work day ahead.  We have these natural ebbs and flows in the school environment, too.  The busy-ness of morning drop off and the feeling of anticipation as students wait to greet their teachers.  This before school time for students is a time for reconnecting with friends and making plans for recess later that morning.  This before school time is a time for parents to drop off their kids, giving them their morning hugs and I love you assurances as they, too, get on with their day.  This before school time is the time when our teachers, too, are doing last minute prep, are anticipating and feeling the excitement of greeting and teaching a group of children they may call, my class, my crew, my 2nd graders!

Starbucks has servers who may greet you with a warm hello and smile, and if you are a regular, you may even be greeted by name as you pay for your morning coffee to get you through the congestion of traffic to your place of work.  Unlike Starbucks, we know the power of greeting each child with a smile, a high five, a hug and by learning their names as quickly as we can at the beginning of the school year.  Unlike Starbucks, we don’t simply send people on their way and move on to the next order.  We are lucky to have a group of students with us for six plus hours a day, to learn about their hopes and dreams and to comfort those who may not be lucky enough to start their days on such happy notes.

So, is Starbucks, as a coffee shop, able to mimic the school environment for me as I progress through my gradual return to work plan for August?  I believe, as I have written above, there are comparisons to be made and it is fun to look at Starbucks through the lens of an educator.  Overall, I found today’s session to have the potential. Starbucks is a place that will definitely stress my brain and an appropriate place to be to try to focus and to complete some work tasks.

What is your place to go to complete your writing and work tasks when you are not at work?  Is it a place in your home, your local coffee shop, or public library?  I would be interested to hear your thoughts.  Thanks for reading!

My School Bag

School bags are unique.  They come in different shapes, sizes, colors and materials.  Some you carry using handles and others using shoulder straps.  Maybe you are a backpack person or like the traditional leather briefcase.  Whatever you choose needs to work for you.  My first briefcase was a gift that was given to me by my mom when I first started teaching.  It was a soft, burgundy-coloured leather bag with a handle and shoulder strap.  I loved that bag!  I liked the way the bag looked, the smell of the leather and the comfort of wearing it on my shoulder.  The bag has been replaced a few times and the one I have now is not leather but it does the job!

Over the years, my school bag has served many purposes.  It has been a portable file cabinet, report card bag, laptop case and carry-all!  Maybe your school bag is your “tool box” or your “repertoire of resources” or your “tool chest”.  Whatever we choose to call it, I have found that there are some things that are always an essential part of the school bag.

The Essentials Of My School Bag…

Mobile Devices

Whether you use a laptop, Chromebook, iPad or some other mobile device, it seems we are all connected.  These are our modern day file cabinets, file folders, lesson plans or units and, for some of us, our journals.  Along with mobile devices come dongles.  You know the gadgets that allow your laptop to connect to Ethernet, the gadgets that allow your iPad or phone to connect to a projector if you happen to forget your Apple TV or Chromecast that day.  As leaders in our buildings, we are out and about in classrooms so mobile devices and wireless connectivity is a necessity.

Paper Journal

I like the physical act of writing so I carry in my bag a paper journal. I have always used one since becoming a vice principal and principal.  For me, this is where my daily to-do lists are laid out in an orderly fashion.  It is also where I keep notes about anything that happened during the day; students I have spoken to in the office, ideas that have sparked my interest in classrooms as well as things that need repairing throughout the school building.  It is the place where I write my thoughts about how the day has gone and what needs to be done tomorrow.  And it is always completed using a black, or preferably purple, uni-ball vision fine pen.

Day Planner

Just as I like a paper journal, I depend on my day planner to organize my appointments and meetings as well as important days.  I also keep these dates in my phone and on a large calendar in my office.  We all know our jobs can be quite busy so the more organized we are, the less we will forget to overlook.  Having the dates in three places happens to be a necessity for me.

Thank You Cards

I carry thank you cards in my school bag.  Thank you cards are my way of spreading kindness and showing appreciation to others for the contributions they are making to our school.  I have given cards with personalized messages after I have gone into classrooms or when I have read with students.  I have left cards in mailboxes, on staffroom tables and have hand delivered many over the years.

One year after reading Lead Like a Pirate, written by Shelley Burgess and Beth Houf I decided to create my own version of an Anchor of Appreciation. In their book they describe the Critical Components of Anchors of Appreciation.

  1. Share something the teacher did that you appreciated.  Pick something specific and label it.
  2. Tell them specifically why you appreciated it.
  3.  Link the “why” to best practices, school goal, and/or student learning.
  4.  Smile and use an enthusiastic tone, upbeat word choices, and positive body language.
  5. Say “Thank you!” Thanking people for the work they do is important, and we simply can’t do it often enough! (pps. 151-152 Lead Like a Pirate)

Number 5 is the model for the Anchors of Appreciation.  Shelley and Beth refer to the thanking people piece as “…dropping ANCHORS of Appreciation.”  They challenge each of us to, “Be intentional and take thirty minutes a day to just drop these anchors of appreciation throughout the school.”  This practice is powerful and models the act of kindness and appreciation; something we need to do more of each day in our schools.

This upcoming school year, I will once again, carry in my school bag anchors of appreciation.  They will be the new and improved 2019/2020 model.  I will take up the challenge to carve 30 minutes out of my day to spread kindness and appreciation to the awesome people with whom I am so fortunate to work.

Is there something special that you carry or consider essential to your day?  I would love to hear about the treasures that can be found in your school bag!




Make Learning Magical by Tisha Richmond…An Overview

I recently read Make Learning Magical by Tisha Richmond, a former culinary arts teacher and now district tech instructional specialist.  Her book is an inspirational look at how she transformed her classroom into a gamified environment which includes fun, laughter and a healthy dose of competition.  It is an experience that keeps students running into her class to eat it all up!

Make Learning MAGICAL…

Magical is an acronym which is all about:

Memorable beginnings that build excitement and relationships
Authenticity and Agency that empowers students
Gamified experiences to engage learning on a higher level
Innovation that makes learning exciting and relevant
Creation, collaboration, and curiosity to equip learners for real life
Authentic audiences to bring out your students’ best work
Legacy built through meaningful experiences

Memorable Beginnings (Excitement and Relationships)

Tisha is a great story teller and brings these stories into each of the elements of the acronym MAGICAL.  During the first part of the book she speaks about the magic of hospitality beginning with a warm welcome, an entertaining hook as well as passion and enthusiasm.  In creating a hospitable environment she brings in the elements of décor and the importance of colour and the effects colour has on students.  She touches on some of the specific elements that she has in her own classroom…a coffee bar, music, aroma and how she, the teacher, can make a huge impact on the students she teaches through simple things like greeting students and making everyone feel special and welcome.

I especially liked the “Favorite Things” activity explained in chapter 2.  Like Tisha, my favorite movie of all time is The Sound of Music.  As this is one of the first activities of the school year, it has an impact on the students in her classroom.  During this activity students are asked to write down three of their favorite things and discuss them with their neighbor.  Once that activity is complete, Tisha then shares with them her favorite things; her “passions” through the use of a slide show.  She then takes her cue from Dave Burgess’ book Teach Like a Pirate and has her class sculpt one of their favorite things from homemade playdough.  This example is a great way to start off the school year with a hook rather than with the typical “rules” and a course outline. And, of course, she includes a recipe to make your own playdough!

 Authenticity and Agency

Being authentic and getting to know those we serve is the idea behind this chapter.  Once we get to know our students, we begin to see the light that radiates from within them.  Finding their inner beauty and sharing it with others is the focus Tisha has for her students.

This part of the book also talks about the “Magic Attitude” which Tisha describes as more than just a habit.  She describes it as a mindset or an attitude of gratitude!  Gratitude is looked at in depth and #Gratitudesnaps are described as well as the cultivating of a culture of kindness.  You really get the sense that Tisha creates a classroom environment, where we share our fails, where students can shine and where students have agency over their work.

Gamified Experiences

Throughout this next chapter, Tisha talks about gamification deconstructed where one “takes the most motivational techniques of games and applies them to non-game settings like classrooms.” (M. Matera)  Once you have found a game or game category that appeals to you Tisha encourages you to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I enjoy about those games?
  • What can I learn from them?
  • What are the motivational aspects of the games that get people hooked and
    make us want to play again and again?

This how-to chapter is quite in depth and provides plenty of explanation as well as gamified examples Tisha has used in her classrooms.  It ends with the assurance that games and gamification go beyond just the playing of the games.  Challenge, collaboration, creativity as well as critical thinking are outlined in this chapter and bring a complexity to the game that goes much deeper than scores, badges, points and winners.


Tisha states that “thinking about things differently, shaking up the status quo, and devising new and better ways of teaching–is how we make learning magical.”  She says “to get there, we have to have the mindset of an innovator.”  She then talks about George Couros’ eight characteristics of an innovator’s mindset in terms of herself as an educator.  You can find the eight characteristics and much more in George’s book  The Innovator’s Mindset.

  1. Empathetic
  2. Problem Finders/Solvers
  3. Risk Takers
  4. Networked
  5. Observant
  6. Creators
  7. Resilient
  8. Reflective
Creativity, Collaboration, and Curiosity

Throughout this chapter Tisha provides examples of opportunities that her students have been engaged in to go above and beyond the classroom experience.  She elaborates on creativity through the following topics:

  • Bakery Missions
  • Video Creation
  • Stop-Motion Animation
  • Sketchnoting and Reflection

The point she is making in this chapter is importance for educators to model what it looks like to try new things.  Tisha says that students appreciate a teacher who is continuously trying new things; being creative in their teaching and learning.

Collaboration has always been a part of the culinary classes that Tisha has taught and the most important piece of this is to create powerful teams and building relationships.  This building of relationships allows the students to develop trust and because of this, they feel safe to take risks and the result is a deeper learning.

Tisha wants her students to become excited about the possibility to create something amazing in her classes.  She states that “When we tap into curiosity, we experience the sheer joy of discovery.  Creating an atmosphere of curiosity where students feel safe to explore and play is vital to building confidence and ownership of learning.  The magical classroom is one where students are safe, valued, immersed and empowered.  There is curiosity and wonder.  [A]ll it takes is a little mystery and wonder to take a lesson from ordinary to amazing.”  These are just a few of the quotes that spoke to me throughout this part of her book.

Authentic Audience

Through connections with community partners, Tisha creates relevancy for her students.  She states that “Creating learning experiences that are meaningful and relevant is essential for keeping the integrity of our programs.”

Tisha talks about how the power of reflection and that making time and building reflection into her class time has been one of the best decisions she has made as a teacher.  She highlights #Foodsnaps and Flipgrid as two platforms for reflection and leaves the reader with the question: How can you use reflection to enhance your students’ learning experiences?


We are making a difference and leaving a legacy with every interaction we have with students.  Tisha states that she will continue to shine her light bright because she is going to make an impact on students one way or another!  This chapter highlights examples and stories of ways you can leave a legacy and how these examples have the power to transform students’ lives.  The important question Tisha leaves us with is: What kind of a legacy will you leave?  She is a hard act to follow with her stories and examples, but her humbleness gives agency to every reader to…GO MAKE LEARNING MAGICAL!

Make Magic Happen…My Little Bit of Magic

Two years ago, I happened to write a blog post “Make Magic Happen.”  In it I have my own acronym for the word MAGIC.  If you are interested in reading it, please click on the link Make Magic Happen.

Beyond the Ripples…

Soon school will be over for another year.  The hall ways become still and the classrooms will rest.  Teachers and educational staff will take a much needed break after a year of learning, wonder and amazing adventures.

Our students aren’t always happy about having two months off…heck, some of us aren’t either; two full months of being away from the consistency of routines we all know and depend upon, 5 days per week.  How do we prepare ourselves and our students for summer holidays?  How do we prepare to walk beyond the ripples of school and into the ebb and flow of summer?

In this day of technology and lightening fast responses from our devices and social media, it appears, at times, too difficult to slow down.  What ever happened to stopping and smelling the roses or living out the words to the old Simon and Garfunkel tune “Slow down!  You move too fast.  You gotta make the morning last…”?  

Although we live in an age of speed, I believe there are things we can do to prepare ourselves and our students to walk beyond the ripples and enjoy a dip into the wonder of summer.

1. Disconnect or set your device to silent.  I did this over a year ago after sustaining a concussion and it lowered my anxiety a fair bit.  Encourage your students to disconnect, to take a break, to look up, to see the wonders around them.  It is amazing how much you miss when you are looking down and not up to the stars!

2. Get outside.  Whether you are a child or adult, being out in nature everyday has a positive effect on our well-being.  Go for a hike, spend time at the beach or walk the dog around the neighborhood.  The activity doesn’t matter, but getting out into nature does…and leave your phone at home!

3. Have an old fashioned play date or picnic.  Reach out to a friend you may not have connected with in a while.  Suggest a picnic in the park or near the local river.  Start a ripple effect with an old friend.  The feeling you get from a good conversation and connection is priceless.

4. Read a book…or two!

5. Plan random acts of kindness throughout the summer.  A good friend and I meet frequently for breakfast.  Our conversations ebb and flow between work as educators and life outside of school.  It is always a time that we both look forward to.  During our breakfasts, we always have the same awesome server…you know the one?  She brings you your coffee and tea, with milk, without having to ask and always accompanies it by wearing a big morning smile.  

Tomorrow we shall gift her with a Thank You card and some handmade dishcloths that I have knit.  We will also include a tip in the card as our way of saying thank you for your kindness.  We appreciate the effort you put into making our breakfasts enjoyable.  This small random act of kindness is simple but I am so excited about it happening…I hope the ripples of this small act spread throughout her day and into her weekend because she deserves it!

Whatever we do to encourage and prepare our students and staff to walk beyond the ripples will have a positive effect.  Hopefully it will be a summer of wonder, reconnecting with friends and memories of beautiful sunsets.  

Being Positively Positive

Choose Positive

As educational leaders we spend hours doing our best to develop positive cultures in our classrooms, hallways, playgrounds and throughout the larger school community.  Some days we may feel like we are spinning our wheels and that no matter what we do, the power of negativity brings us down.  What can we do when we feel the negativity creeping into our jobs?  We can choose to be positively positive.

Make the decision to be positive, every day and in every way.  What we say and do has an impact on those around us and being positive feels great.  “If you light a lamp for someone else, it will also brighten your path.” Buddha

As leaders, we are always “on”.  Every minute of everyday, we have little people looking to us for a smile, a high-five or a kind word, and it is our job to provide these things.  As leaders, we are also guiding, encouraging and empowering the adults around us to be the best they can be for all children…what better way to model this is by being positively positive.

How To Be Positively Positive?

1.  Be optimistic as you make your way to work.  Remember that being positive everyday is a journey…and not a destination.

2.  Smile and high-five each child you meet today, tomorrow and everyday.  This will not only brighten your day, it will brighten their day, too!

3.  Remember, you are in charge of how you feel and how you feel and act affects those around you.  Spreading positives will change the culture of your school…watch and see what happens!

4.  Write a note, send a compliment or say something positive to a colleague or member of your crew.  Your kind words and supportive actions may be just what was needed at that moment!

5.  Help children to see the “I Can” in their work, day and mindset.  Show children that being positive can change their lives.  Be Positively Positive!


Source: Michelle Schroeder-Gardner


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