In the transformative journey of implementing Two Rules—Feeling Good and Feeling Safe—in education, Chapter 2 of "Lead with Two Rules: Feeling Good and Feeling Safe" serves as the gateway to establishing a culture dedicated to keeping promises to students, staff, families, and communities. The focus is on creating an environment where everyone walking through the school doors feels good and safe. This blog post delves into the pivotal aspects highlighted in the chapter, emphasizing the foundational role of trust and the principles of servant leadership.

Addressing Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Historically, addressing the emotional needs of students has not been a top priority in the educational model. However, the chapter underscores the significance of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, emphasizing the necessity of addressing basic needs first before achieving any other educational goals. The commitment to prioritizing the personal needs of students sets the stage for a holistic and student-centered approach.

Establishing Trust as the First Step: The chapter stresses the paramount importance of establishing trust as the initial step in the journey towards a Two Rules culture. Trust is the linchpin that binds the school community together. To support this journey, the resource list at the end of the chapter includes valuable recommendations, with one standout resource being "Simple Truths of Leadership: 52-Week Game Plan for Becoming a Trusted Servant Leader" by Ken Blanchard & Randy Conley.

Key Truths from "Simple Truths of Leadership": The blog post highlights three key truths from the recommended resource, each contributing to the development of a strong Two Rules culture.

  1. Truth #1: "Servant Leadership" is presented as a powerful approach that integrates achieving great results and fostering great relationships. By focusing on both vision and direction for results and working collaboratively with people, leaders can ensure the accomplishment of goals while maintaining positive relationships within the school community.
  2. Truth #5: Building a positive culture and developing individuals is facilitated by Truth #5—catching people doing something right. The importance of authentic feedback, immediate recognition, and consideration for individual sensitivities are highlighted as essential components of this truth.
  3. Truth #8: The Best Minute Servant Leaders Spend: Highlighting the value of investing time in others. Getting to know everyone in the workplace personally, making connections, and understanding their unique qualities contribute significantly to building a strong foundation for the Two Rules culture.

The Two Rules culture, grounded in feeling good and feeling safe, begins with the establishment of trust and the application of servant leadership principles. By embracing these foundational elements, school leaders pave the way for a positive, supportive, and transformative educational environment that benefits everyone within the school community. As the journey unfolds, the commitment to trust and servant leadership becomes the cornerstone for a thriving Two Rules school and workplace.

“Begin with the end in mind.”-Dr. Stephen R. Covey Is a great quote I have used often when talking about school improvement, goal setting, lesson planning, taking a trip, or anything to do with a destination. Have you ever used it for Reading?

I am curious to ask if anyone begins reading a book by reading the end first. I recently read that some people like to read the end of the book first before they start. What?

If you are reading a suspense and mystery book, why would you read the end first?


If you are writing a book, do you think about the book's ending first? Do you plan it out, wanting it to end in a certain way? Do you write the last chapter first?

I have never thought about the end of the book being the beginning of my reading. The end of the book is the end of the story; if I begin with the end of the story, why do I begin the story? It seems like a scene from Alice in Wonderland. "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.


Please let me know if you begin with the end or begin with the beginning. Do tell me the why behind your reasons for your choice, because I am curious. I am really seeking to understand this reading backward if it exists.

We want to hear our leaders say those three words when they have made an error or mistake. Many will quickly speak those words, and those will dance around to avoid them. Well, I want to tell you I have been wrong. I look back over things I have stated and the wording used. It is imperative to develop your language, so it expresses your points and positions clearly. Working with my editor, I am learning the importance of crafting your words so they give enough details; readers understand clearly the position, points, and foundation you are establishing.

In the past, I have talked a great deal about accepting changes and being open to new ideas. I still believe this is true, but I need to add more to this statement. Change and new ideas can not conflict with the beliefs, values, and core principles you have established. The importance of staying true to yourself and being authentic is priceless.


I am seeing and hearing fear when it comes to today's changes. The cancel culture, name calling, and labeling of others because they choose not to go along with a narrative, beliefs, or changes is not the American way.

What happened to the art of debate? I am not talking about the level of name-calling, dirt digging, and low blows you can punch. The factual points, claim, reason, support, and warrant. What problem, why do we have this problem, what solutions can we use to resolve the issue, and how do we know?

Stand on a platform and foundation. Do not be afraid to try new things, but be cautious of where they may lead. Always ask questions. Why? What if? I will provide one educational example I was part of during my career.

The whole language was the new shiny thing as I joined the staff working with children with reading difficulties. Everyone switched from teaching phonics to whole language. Did this switch help to improve reading for all children? If you look at the statistics, you will find the answer is no.


I want to know your thoughts about change. What changes are happening you are not comfortable with, and are you making the changes or not? Are you afraid to voice an honest opinion on changes that are happening? I will reference one of my posts, Good Enough, from this week when I talk about those who survived traumatic events. The courage they had to survive these events I cannot do justice to in the words I write. Charlie Dukes stayed a prisoner of war to go on to write about in his book Good Morning: but the Nightmares Never End Hardcover – December 1, 1997. He and his wife Gracie were blessings to me; I worked with Gracie as a young educator. I invited them to come and speak at every location I went. His story and their story are what I wanted my students to know about America.

As fifth-grade teachers, we studied the Holocaust in history. I strongly believe in doing all you can to bring tangible resources to students when you can do so. We were very close to Terre Haute, Indiana, the home of the CANDLES Museum. CANDLES is an acronym for “Children of Auschwitz Nazi Deadly Lab Experiments Survivors,” created by Eva Mozes Kor. She, along with her twin sister Miriam Kor survived SS Doctor Josef Mengele's human experimentations at the Auschwitz concentration camp in German-occupied Poland during World War II. Their parents and two older sisters were killed in the gas chambers at Birkenau.

Eva Kor was the museum, and I am thankful to have introduced this to many students. I invited her to speak several times, and her lessons touched the hearts of all in attendance. She talked to me about a letter she had received and how she was thinking about what she would be doing. She would be meeting Hans Münch, who was part of what she endured. She publicly forgave the Nazis for what had been done to her.

I have their books that are signed, but it is when they gave them to me I remember and cherish the most. They have passed on to a new life journey leaving me with opportunities to continue to share their wisdom.

Always say Good Morning! The importance of forgiveness frees us from the nightmares holding onto us and allows us to continue to move through our life journey courageously. Today is our day to stand for what we believe, free from the worry of what others may think, but knowing “Good Morning” comes when we know we have done all we can. Thank you for being the solution daily in a world we create together with courage, faith, liberty, love, and happiness.

When you make a mistake acknowledge, ask for forgiveness and when you hear the apology acceptance begins our path towards healing.

One glove does not fit all was a post last week. Professional learning is an integral part of growth for each of us, but are we utilizing all the resources and tools available to maximize the time and cost?

What is the best way to receive professional learning? Do you conduct book studies? Attend Podcasts? Zoom meetings? Share your thoughts. How are you changing the way professional learning is happening in your corner of the world?

Podcasts

Trying to find the time for your learning is hard to do. Heck, it is hard to find the time to go to the bathroom in the busy life of educators! Podcasts have been new for me in the past year. I have learned to enjoy listening to them as I walk, do dishes and drive. You can gather many ideas to get the spark you need to re-light your candle. These are three I recommend for different needs. You decide what you need. I have others, but I will share these first.

#1 The Cult of Pedagogy Podcast has a vast diversity of topics and is one I have referenced many times when mentoring and coaching teachers.

Jennifer Gonzalez is the host and creator and offers super hands-on, practical tips for teachers and topics about building relationships with all involved in education. She also has a unique personality of quiet soulfulness to draw you in. A solid connection to students, staff, teaching, and learning!

#2 Better Leaders, Better Schools podcast hosted by Daniel Bauer, who believes that improving the leader improves the school and refers to his followers as the ruckus makers as thinking outside the box is always encouraged.

Danny is from my area of the world initially and works diligently to network and build connections throughout education, and his show reflects the variety of his efforts. It is warm, inviting, and welcoming!

#3 The Shakeup Learning Show is hosted by Kasey Bell, who utilizes her expert knowledge in technology to teach how to meaningfully integrate technology into your classroom each Tuesday with guests, other educators, and her powerful presentations. In addition, her on-air coaching calls, in-depth interviews, and opportunities to grow as a leader are all reasons to tune in to this podcast.

Book Studies

I genuinely love book studies. No surprise! It may not be for everyone, and I understand, but it is something to do in a small group. We had done it before as a large district but divided it into small groups within buildings. Always great to have everyone on the same page. (Funny, right!) I will start a list with books I am going to read or read now. I am happy to help by hosting a book study online if anyone is interested. Just let me know which one you are interested in, and I am happy to get one started.

#1 Change your questions, Change you life by Dr. Marilee Adams

#2 Teach Like a PIRATE: Increase Student Engagement, Boost Your Creativity, and Transform Your Life as an Educator by Dave Burgess

#3 Fostering Resilient Learners: A Trauma-Sensitive Classroom by Kristin Souers and Pete Hall

#4 Happy Teachers Change the World: A Guide for Cultivating Mindfulness in Education by Thich Nhat Hanh and Katherine Weare

#5 I Wish My Teacher Knew: How One Question Can Change Everything for Our Kids by Kyle Schwartz

Targeted-Creative ways to Learning

As a professional development organizer, I recognized general professional development for all did not meet the needs of everyone participating. When we had one theme and a central message to deliver, we could accomplish this a portion of the time. The majority of our time needed to be divided into what staff identified as what they needed.

It takes a lot of work to accomplish in a large school district and even more balancing if you want to coordinate with other communities. Several have modified their approach to delivery by “thinking outside the box” and sharing resources.

If you live in a county and you want to have a prominent name speaker come to your area, pool funds together to have the speaker come to a central location. Additionally, if coordinated teachers who are experts in specific areas wanted or could present to peers, this would be an opportunity to do so.

Other ideas have been to record pieces of training teachers create, complete short training called “Lunch and Learns” over lunch periods, and connect with teams on a rotation of floater subs.

What I wish my teacher knew is a presentation students can lead in a professional learning workshop for teachers. Students can provide a look into what students are thinking and what they need and also allow them to give some praise to teachers. This takes a little behind-the-scenes work with taking pictures, gathering student comments, and putting together a slideshow presentation to show staff. A Win-Win for all! (Hard to do without teachers finding out, but it can be done!)

Have you ever had a time when you were so tired and weak? Do you struggle each day to get up and go, to continue to put on the smile to get your job done? If you have felt that way, then you are not alone.

Many individuals do a great job of masking their feelings. They hide emotions well and can “fake” their way through the day. Practice like this is not healthy for anyone, but it happens daily.

You can make it through the storm you may be in today. There is no time limit set for the storms we have; I will tell you I had one last over three years until I resigned. A new door opens, and your purpose continues. Embrace today’s grace. Refuse to drag the heavy baggage and memories of the past another step. Let go, and let God.

I do not judge others and their actions; it is not for me to make or for you. Instead grab hold of today’s mercy, grace and power offered right now. No matter what comes our way-the fear of days unknown to us with health and finances. Remember this: This is not the end of my story, it is not the worst of it either and there will be more to come. I will face those days with God as my guide, clothed in strength and dignity, and a smile.

If I have not mentioned this before, writing a book is a great deal of work if you want to ensure the message you provide is clear and reaches the right audience to help them. I have had breaks because of health issues, but I have a great editor who keeps me on track. Thanks, Kate!

Our vision can be clouded for many reasons. It is up to us to step back and reflect on the “why” of the situation. Turn to the guidance you need in the right place. What do I mean by this statement?

We seek guidance from others, but those we seek from may not always have our best interest as a priority. We have to take rugged looks at those we surround ourselves with to understand the actual value they bring to our lives. Surround yourself with those who will shout your praises to everyone publicly and are genuine in their support for your success.

My faith is my strength, and God directs my guidance. I surround myself with so many who have the same level of faith I do. If you look at the leadership of those I admire the most; you will find a strong faith at the center of who they are.

Jon Gordon is at the top of my list, as you know from following my blog. If you do not already follow, please do! If you are not connected with me on LinkedIn, Twitter @BrendaYoho, or Website, please do! If you would like to win one of Jon Gordon’s new books, The Sale, give me a like and comment on why you want to win! I will hold a live drawing to win these books! Please do not wait. I want to get these books into your hands so you can experience this great wisdom to share with others!

Noise Turn up your volume and enjoy this noise!

“Turn down the TV!”

“I can hear her coming home, the car radio is so loud!”

“What are those sirens for?”

“The wind is blowing and the wind chimes sound so beautiful.”

What is noise? Noise is defined as unwanted sound found to be unpleasant, loud, or disruptive to hearing. The brain receives and perceives a sound. There is no distinction between noise and desired sound, as both are vibrations through a medium such as air or water. Our brain sends signals to respond to the noise we receive.

Do you think there is more noise today than ten years ago? How about five years ago? How about just within this year? Many people are talking, yelling at times, and have so much anger. The noise level is high, in my opinion.

So, what kind of noise do you make? My friend Becky Robinson just released her book Reach, where she guides in helping others to get their message, thoughts, and ideas out to as many people as possible. I recommend reading Reach as a great tool to help you overcome the noise of the world. Order Reach today to help your voice be heard. We need your voice, thoughts, ideas, and message.

How do you get your voice heard in all of this noise? Every voice is needed! You matter! I had the opportunity a year ago to attend an event with Berrett-Koehler Publishers. It was the best experience for me. I met incredible people, learned amazing things, established friendships, and gained a “family.” This event is being offered again this year and I recommend attending. You do not need a book written at this time to listen and learn. It is a way to learn, grow and cut through the noise to be heard. This is the first step in living your purpose, delivering your message, and bringing value to a world that needs you.

Join us for the two-day Virtual BK Nonfiction Book Marketing Workshop: Cutting Through the Noise to Sell More Books on June 8–9, 2022, 8:00 am to 3:00 pm PST / 11:00 am to 6 pm EST.

This event is open to the public and will have content for aspiring, new, and experienced authors, as well as book marketing professionals. We encourage all attendees to set up an “out of office” email and be present in the event, but if you have to miss any of it, we will be recording the entire workshop so that you can watch it later at your convenience. 

Sign up by the Early Bird deadline of April 30 to access special pricing.

You can see the agenda of speakers and topics here.

Mark your calendar and plan to join us to experience a breakthrough in your effectiveness in reaching your audiences with your work.

Register

We look forward to seeing you!

The BK Authors Workshop Committee

Chair: Becky Robinson 

Committee: Dianna Bensch, Gwen Cooper, Kristen Frantz, Stacey Hall, Bob Miglani, Nikki Soulsby, Brenda Wensil, and Brenda Yoho

Reach-Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause by Becky Robinson

Ready Everyone? A Chance Has come to understand how to get your message out to others. REACH

I began my journey in 2018. I had been reading authors’ manuscripts, participating in book launches (I still do), and taking part in everything I could to learn about publishing and writing a book. This is how Becky Robinson and I became friends. We found each other, but I think God placed her on my path. I cannot explain it any other way. She is such a blessing.

“If we choose to, we can all make a tremendous impact on the lives of others.”-Becky Robinson

Choice is a big part of what I believe and teach. It is the choices we make that can change the direction of the path to our success, reach, impact and absolutely our negative outcomes. I hope you choose to pick up a copy of her book even if you are not thinking of writing a book. Reach will help you in getting your message out to others in a time when it needs to be heard.

“Every interaction you have is an opportunity to influence and encourage a valuable human being.”-Becky Robinson.

Bringing value to others consistently with quality content is a critical piece in REACH. The 4 REACH commitments are Value, Consistency, Generosity, and Longevity. These commitments align perfectly with the foundation of #Bethesolutiondaily and the Two Rules philosophy. If you look at your cause, book, or message, it will also. The 4 REACH commitments are the best foundation for the purpose you have. Please learn how to apply them in your message by reading Reach by Becky Robinson, available today! Don’t wait! Reach! It is in you to tell others!

Resources to Support

Utilize Becky’s website to connect to her information from articles, events, podcasts, and more. You can leave your email to connect to not miss out on updates and resources. Check out her website at beckyrobinson.com.

Only you can!

I hope no one has ever discouraged you or provided you with information to lead you to think differently. Your voice, your words, your thoughts, your ideas all matter. It is essential to hear, see and engage with everyone to see and hear all. Within each of us, we hold a particular purpose. Each individual is designed to be part of something in the world we live and share. Many of us may have walked through the shadows of the valley of death, traveled through mighty storms, and felt the power of healing and praise for our blessings. Our storms are not designed for punishments but opportunities for more significant relationships as we learn powerful lessons as God walks with us. Find your footing, embrace our faith and engage in our journey to Reach and impact. Clean our lenses to look at all as we share solutions for better days ahead. Go ahead and REACH! The world is waiting.

So happy for this book launch today!

Have you said or heard these words? How do they make you feel? Are you validated, feel encouraged and become more invested in what you are working hard to achieve?

Do these words make you feel overwhelmed? Do they make you question what you are doing? Are your thoughts shifted to thinking I am not good enough and I can never reach my goal?

POTENTIAL

The experiences with the word potential will determine the emotions it brings.

“You show great potential, and we wish you continued success. However, we have selected another candidate for the position.”

“Yesterday, you showed us great potential in handling the team meeting; we look forward to your continued growth!”

Experiencing these statements utilizing the word potential, you may experience different emotions as you leave the conversations. It also depends on the relationship of the individuals making the statements. Many factors impact the way people “feel” after discussions with leaders and colleagues.

What is my Potential?

To truly know your potential, you have to know where you want to go! Like Alice in Wonderland, you really can’t trust to ask someone else which direction to go. Turning to yourself and understanding who you are, what you want to do, and who you want to become are all questions you can answer.

Follow these steps to find your Potential:

Finding Potential with Authenticity

On your journey in knowing “You have Potential,” realize it is not at the cost of being someone you are not. My potential is being the best representation of who I am, in the place where I can showcase it the best! It is a marathon and not a sprint. It takes time, hard work, self-awareness, learning and failure.

The most important lesson I have learned in the journey to find potential is when you improve one area, other areas can improve! You can discover new skills, improve other skills and learn so much more! You may not see the rewards today, but with perseverance you will!

My career in education grew over the years, changed in positions and then came to a conclusion in retirement. I had to pivot to find a different way to bring value to others. “Every interaction you have is an opportunity to influence and encourage a valuable human being.”-Becky Robinson, Reach: Create the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause pg. 124.

Pick Me

Like in school, when picking people to join your team to play, everyone calls out, “pick me.” I am working my way to building my connections to bring more value to others and move my book forward. It all takes time to grow! Do not give up; keep growing, bring value to others and build a solid network to support your journey! Many call out to “pick me,” but do not be discouraged when they do not call on you! Soon it will be your turn to be picked and be ready to bring all you have to offer to those who say, “I pick you!” You have reached your full potential!

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2023 Brenda Yoho
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