Thursday, August 2, 2012

Can You Force Passion?

The month of July flew by WAY to fast and I find myself not only missing my kids, but also missing my treadmill.  Weird, huh?  I am by no means an exercise lover—in fact, I am the type that needs motivation to exercise.  Motivation such as a monster chasing me, or a chocolaty dessert to look forward to.  However, this summer I was determined to make time each day for a quick workout.  This meant devotion, I had to give up an afternoon snooze and my scrapbooking habits to actually do something that made me sweat.  Ick.

So as I sit in my office and diligently prepare for students and teachers, I find my mind wandering now and then to my newly admired treadmill…..and I find myself yearning to take a quick run.  Wow.  How did that happen?  Did I finally figure out a way to take something I despise and make it more of a passion?  Or did I just find my motivation?

As educators, we know passion is why we do what we do.  Who else (besides the average 7 year old) gets excited about school supply sales and new books?!  So in order to do our jobs well, do we need that passion every day?  Can we force passion within ourselves when there are areas we know need to be improved?  And how can we help others find their passion or rekindle a passion that was once there?

Saturday, July 28, 2012

It's About Time!

I could just kick myself.  Where have I been?  I’m not even close to being done reading ‘The 7 Habits of Effective People’ and I cannot believe that I did not pick up that book years ago.  As a parent and educator, Covey’s habits are irrefutable.  As I read through the first three habits, I started to wonder how many people could truly be impacted if they only had the knowledge and exposure to this perspective?!  What if everyone had a mission statement?

As the last few days of July wind down, I find myself reflecting on a personal mission statement as well as one for our family.  A sense of urgency runs through me as I read what Covey states, “. . .other people begin to sense that you’re not being driven by everything that happens to you.  You have a sense of mission about what you’re trying to do and you are excited about it.” 

What is your mission statement?  Can others sense you have a mission?  And have you taken the time to create a family mission statement?  If so, what are the key pieces you have found?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Dog Days

Dog lovers know that when the loss of a dog occurs, it's like losing a member of the family.  While I have had this experience as a child growing up, I never realized how much harder it is when you are the parent.  Today our loyal dog of 11+ years, Annie, went to the Rainbow Bridge.....a place where she can run and play and wait for us to meet her some day.

As I reflect on the impact she had on our lives, I think of the loyalty for which dogs are typically known.  It is a loyalty that has 'automatic-trust' built in.  A loyalty that is unquestioning, unshakeable.  When discipline is given to our dogs, they tend to love us more and depend on us more.  And when we spend time together, it is a bond like none other.  I recall the loyalty of our dog towards our growing children--from putting up with their toddler 'grabs' to protecting them as they run from the front to back yard on a windy spring day.  She had a job to do and she took it VERY seriously.

How do we foster loyalty in our school community?  How can we help others trust in our leadership and decisions to a level of being 'unshakeable?'  Are we showing others that we can be dependable? 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Up to Your Neck in......Oobleck?!

'You may be a mighty king, but you're sitting in oobleck up to your chin.'
Dr. Seuss sure knows how to paint a vivid picture in his classic Bartholomew and the Oobleck.  Not only do we know the 'stickiness' of the situation King of Didd was caught up in, many of us can relate to that feeling.  The overwhelming 'to do' list, the piles of paperwork that need to be filed and the calendar that keeps moving us forward, regardless of our pace.  When we are 'up to our chin' in our quandaries, we can become selfish in nature, feeling like we are all alone in our frustrations.  Nobody understands our stress!  Calgon, take me away!

Last week, thankfully, I was forgiven by a teacher that caught me in my own pile of oobleck.  A simple request was made and I felt I didn't have the time.  I responded hastily, selfishly, and then by the next morning, realized the selfishness of my choice.  I  had become the king stuck in oobleck.  And when we become the king stuck in oobleck, it affects more than just the person in the mirror......

  'And so is everyone else in your land.'

What else could I do?  I had to apologize, I had to reconsider the request.  After fulfilling the duty, I felt good about my decision to back up and do the right thing.  I realized that even though I felt stuck in the muck, I had to power to get myself out and to hopefully affect those around me in a more positive light.

What happens when you get stuck in the oobleck?  What thoughts do you have and how do you get yourself 'unstuck'?