Monday, January 9, 2017

Remaining True to Your Purpose.....

It is usually about this time in the school year that I start to question if I am doing enough. Have I spread the message of change and positive intentions to as many people as I can? Have I supported all of my colleagues enough? Have I made things better for our students? 

Today's blog post is a compilation of posts from throughout the school year. These are the messages that I want to ensure people are hearing with the hope that ACTION will ensue. 

As always the students and their success MUST be at the core of what guides and influences all of our decisions and actions.  The Justin Bieber song "Children" has been my theme song for the school year. Please take a moment to watch this video and listen to the lyrics.

Are you willing to do be that visionary making the changes needed for our students? Whether we want to see a physical, mental or systemic change... it takes time. Most of us, myself included, can be impatient waiting for the transformation to take place. However, if we want the transformation to be lasting and with positive results we must be patient, persevere, and continue to make strides towards that goal.

If we see something about ourselves, our classroom, or our school that we don't like we need to face it. We need to take a good look at what it is we are challenged with. We must determine what we could do differently to potentially bring about the change we want. Keeping in mind that the genesis of the change we desire must be rooted in positivity. Once you are committed to the transformation you must begin to adjust your habits you have become accustomed to. We all know Albert Einstein's famous quote, "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Who's got the HEART? 

YOU can make a DIFFERENCE! 

Think about how your are working to create systems at your school that will develop a Culture of Universal Achievement. Your PBIS site team should be at the core in working to establish and maintain these efforts.  As a unified district we must use RTI to establish and maintain district and site systems that align and support assessment, data management and interventions. Our district wide focus on T4S and specifically Academic Discourse aligns and support all of our efforts in the areas of collaboration and standards alignment. 

Don't forget the WHY of what drives our work. We are doing this for EVERY one of our students in our district. We are doing this to engage our students so that they are empowered to be the change agents of the future. We are doing this so that students are excited to go to school. We CANNOT allow mediocrity. We must not make EXCUSES! Don't let your budget constraints get in your way. Think of ways to maximize the dollars that you have. Don't let negative staff get in your way. Think of ways to tap into everyone's strengths and have them be a part of the process and ensure they understand the WHY. We CANNOT be complacent. If you see something going well then share it and encourage others to see the benefits. If something is going wrong then address it and determine an action plan to make corrections, don't allow it to fester. 

We can use our challenges and struggles to develop our passions and to push us to improve. 

Take a moment to think about a positive chain reaction. Engaging in one positive action for another can cause a ripple effect. What if all of our #FSUSD students were greeted on Tuesday to cheers of appreciation that they were on campus? What if we showered them with HOPE and LOVE?  What if we focused on the HEART before the HEAD every day with ALL of our students? People want and need to be loved. Dr. Jeff Andrade, keynote speaker of "Growing Roses in Concrete" and now the Growing Roses in Concrete Community School has said that having just one caring adult in a child's life can be the difference between a child finding success or not. If you have never heard Dr. Andrade speak, you must. Dr. Jeff Andrade "Growing Roses in Concrete"

We MUST commit to spreading the message of self worth and importance. As every child walks across the threshold of our classrooms each and every day we MUST tell our students they are valued, they are important, they are needed. We must use our positive words to overcome any existing self doubt. WE must help them handle negative thoughts and in turn it will help them gain more confidence in who they are.

Take a moment to watch and LISTEN to the words in this video. If you are moved, then take that energy and share with others. 

We MUST not give up on any of our students!! We must empower! We must BELIEVE that anything is possible. We MUST NOT make any excuses. Provide HOPE!

Think about the ways in which you can #Sparkle on campus and keep spreading positivity. We CAN change the reality around us. We can commit with positive intention to reinforce the actions and behaviors that we want to see in our colleagues, our students, and ultimately our society. We must highlight and showcase the strengths of our peers and our students. We must mend any mistrust and replace it with open and honest communication. Don't be afraid to have those that you are leading come out from the shadows and shine bright. True leaders are able to create more leaders and empower those that they lead to be the absolute best they can be.

When I was asked what my #OneWord2017 was, my reply was UNYIELDING. Webster's Dictionary defines UNYIELDING as, "showing or having firmness or determination." It is more important to me now more than ever that I stay true to my convictions and core beliefs.  There are many forces at work that will try to make one sway or falter. But, remaining centered and grounded and joining forces with others that are like minded will provide a network of impenetrable strength.

Imagine a unified movement with the message, "Not In Our School." One student alone can have a difficult time standing up for what is right, but when you have students unite they become a much stronger force and it is then much easier to spread the message of, "Not In Our School." Join me in this effort!! Let's join forces to create this movement at our school sites. Let's work together to transform our schools to be schools FOR the community not just IN the community. We can DO THIS together with the "Not In Our School" movement.

Continue to be innovativecreative, and a model of excellence!! 

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