Values guide you others share in the journey graphic by Brenda Yoho with sky blue background and white flower and heart

I do not change who I am with who I am with……

I do not change what I believe because of who is around…..

I do not change what is the core of my values, beliefs and all that I stand for even when others work hard at trying to influence me too.

I do not change who I am with who I am with. Whether I'm surrounded by colleagues, superiors, or students, I remain true to myself. I believe in being authentic and genuine, regardless of the company I keep. My character and values do not shift based on the individuals I interact with.

Similarly, I do not alter my beliefs simply because of the people around me. I hold firm to my convictions, rooted in my experiences and knowledge. I understand that different perspectives exist, and I respect them. However, I do not abandon my own principles in favor of conformity. I value critical thinking and open dialogue, which allow me to engage with diverse viewpoints while staying true to myself.

At the core of my being are my values, beliefs, and all that I stand for. These foundations are unshakeable, even when others attempt to sway me. I recognize that people may try to influence my thoughts and actions, but I remain steadfast. I am committed to upholding what I hold dear, even in the face of external pressures.

My Two Rule Philosophy has evolved over my 25 years of dedicated service to public education. It took shape during my early years as a Teaching Assistant and has grown with me throughout my journey, eventually leading me to the position of Director of Educational Support Programs. This path has not always been smooth, and it shouldn't be. Those who strive to make a meaningful impact on the lives of others should face challenges and obstacles along the way. It is through overcoming these hurdles that we truly grow and develop as individuals.

Moreover, I firmly believe that our commitment to education should be an ongoing and lifelong learning process. We must continually expand our knowledge, skills, and understanding in order to effectively support not only ourselves but also all those we serve. Embracing a mindset of continuous growth ensures that we remain relevant and capable of making a lasting difference in the lives of students, educators, and the community at large.

Stay true to yourself, unwavering in your beliefs and values, regardless of who you are with. Recognize that the journey in education can be challenging but fulfilling, and be committed to continuous learning as a means to positively impact all those you serve. You will find peace at the end of each day, knowing you did all you could with your foundation firmly in place.

Do you have an idea? Maybe you have a dream? Is there a goal you are working on achieving?

Share it, make it happen, get out, and do it! Today is the day to tell someone what your idea is, what you have been dreaming about, and the goal you are working on achieving.

Let me say this: It may not happen today, tomorrow, or this year. You will experience some challenges along the way, meet some extraordinary people and go through some doubts at times. Even with everything you go through and learn along the way, it will happen one day if you keep working on it!

If you can dream it, you can achieve it! If you believe, dare, and do, your dreams will come true! When in doubt, all you need is a little hope and some pixie dust! Just think about Walt Disney and Tinkerbell”

Choice is an important tool to teach children to use appropriately. We need to learn early in life with every choice comes a consequence. Once we can think about the process of making a choice and understand the possible outcomes, better decisions begin to happen.


Many Blessings to all for the best 2023 it can be!

Several years ago, I decided not to set goals as a New Year’s Resolution. It is true when you see the reports that most people will set goals but fail to achieve them. Many of the “resolutions” set are unrealistic, or they have too many they do not keep track of and forget. The statistics about New Year’s are interesting to look at, and some do find success.

Many want to find a way to save money, be healthy, and improve overall well-being. I believe these are all great goals to have! We should all strive to work to do these things each day of the year.

It can be overwhelming if you pressure yourself to pay for a gym membership to work out each day and not go. Then you begin to place guilt on yourself for not going and paying for something you do not use. Then if you pay for a weight loss meal program and do not see results in the first few days, you give up. What if you are paying for a financial planner and seeing monthly losses? In your mind, you begin to think it is not worth it.

I have often stated I am very simplistic in my lifestyle. Keeping things simple is the best way to stay focused. I only have “Two Rules” in my philosophy of education and life, I suppose as well. In my approach to each day, I have “one” word to maintain my focus on all I want to accomplish, how I want to live, my passion, and the: how, what, why, who, and when of all the commitments I have, will make and create.

I select a new word each year based on what I see I need to do based on where I am. It sounds so easy, but it is, and it is not. One word is for everything. You apply it to all aspects of life. If you genuinely want to make a difference, then begin with “one word.”

My word for this year is Grit.”

I have had a goal to write a book. I in fact, wrote a book. I wrote this book as I was recovering from my brain injury, and my career in education had ended. It was the perfect time to work on creating and filling the gap in life.

During this time, the world was hit with Covid-19, I developed Breast Cancer and went through my treatments, and I am cancer free. We also lost some loved ones during this time and experienced difficulties with other health scares. You would think it is time to give up, but no.

An individual with “grit” knows it is the passion and perseverance you need to see things through that is needed. So “grit” is my word for 2023 as I see my book make it to the publishers. I have been working with an editor, and I know we will get it right and into the right hands.

Are we back to normal yet? What is normal? Many of the challenges and frustrations before the pandemic remain. In addition to those, we find many more to add to them. These factors deplete our emotional reserves and leave us feeling empty and deflated.

We just had a holiday break, and many found themselves looking at prices of items way out of reach, gas prices costing too much to travel, and airline issues to time along with costs worth the travel—all of this adding onto the layers of disappointment. The symptoms of frequent periods of tiredness, feelings of separation and loneliness may be mild at times or intense after the holidays. These times are all warnings to use it is time to replenish our reserves!

The truth is obvious; we can not be our best at anything until we care for our emotional well-being. Many think of quick-fix “remedies” or “prescriptions” to find a healthy emotional state. There are no things people can prescribe to you to “fix” your emotional state of mind. You control your state of mind, and this is how you want it to be. I can provide several tips to guide you, but it is you and the power of choice which decides.

Prescription for Healthy Life

It is cold in my area right now but getting out and enjoying a beautiful stroll in our park is something I enjoy. I love nature, and taking time to look at the beauty around us with appreciation fills my cup each day. Doing things for others is magical. It is even better when they have no idea where it comes from. Living life simply, giving to others, and knowing all of the storms we see shall pass to bring beautiful rainbows with promises for a better tomorrow.

As I prepare for the New Year I always select one word to move me forward. My one word for this year is Grit. Take a few days to think of the “One Word” that will move you forward in the new year.

My father-in-law was a man of very few words. He always made me nervous. My husband and I began dating when we were in high school. At 16, I guess I was a little worried about many things in life.

One of the phrases I remember he said was, “If you do not like my apples, don’t shake my tree.” During our many years together, we faced many heartaches and challenging times. My father-in-law passed away in 1997.

As I reflect on the many issues facing our country, communities, schools, and families, it seems the apples have fallen from the tree. We have been shaking many of the same issues repeatedly without a solution. Education is being hit hard with a great deal of shaking.

I do not listen to the TV on most days, and in the evenings, we try to catch up on the day's news. However, I cannot listen to all of the leaders push agendas again and hear the same things repeatedly.


See words standing all alone makes no sense to anyone. They fill up space on a page and float in the air. Unless we can connect them to something with an action, they remain in space.


It is another word with meaning but still stands alone in space unconnected. It can be used to buy many things, but what does it do once you buy it? Yet we continue to throw it out like words without concrete connections to robust solutions. The sustainability of programs is fueled by money, but answers do not come from money alone.

When will we stop shaking the trees? All the apples have fallen, been picked up, and tossed around, and nothing new has been found. The seeds have been replanted to take root in hopes apples will grow to bring new solutions.

It is now time for winter, and we have time now to begin our plans. We need to connect our thoughts, resources, needs, systems, and supports to reach our final goals. It is not in one single word, one single person or group, but a system of gears working together to produce the best results together for the best outcomes.

Join me in learning how to help our students learn:

We must look at the barriers our students face, like poverty, and address their needs as whole children. There are no excuses but explanations of the “why” in behavior and learning. We can find the right path and solutions with partnerships as we work together.

It is Fall, and before we know it, winter will be here! Time goes by quickly, and 2023 will be here before we know it. Many will think about what goal or goals they will set for 2023. Trying to keep all of those goals we set is impossible it seems. One of the most important things to remember is to become who you want to be. So, who are you? Set goals to help you continue to be who you want to be or establish ones to help you grow to be who you want to be.

Example: I am a courageous leader. What goals would you set? Each week I will give a face to face feedback to one staff member.

Example: I am organized. Each morning I will have a prepared list of three items to complete.

Start with short, simple changes to do each day. It becomes part of your routine. Over time it becomes a habit. Habits lead us to who we become and who we are. Stephen Covey wrote about the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and James Clear wrote Atomic Habits. There are several other books about habits. I name these two books because they have influenced me and this blog post.

We can talk more about habits, goals, beliefs, and who you are as others share.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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