I am excited to introduce you to Mitch Weathers, a high school teacher who has created and designed Organized Binder. Mitch teaches you precisely what I believe is the absolute best first step in establishing your work in becoming a successful school and classroom. His teaching of executive functioning skills focuses on six areas (Organization, Working Memory, Goal Setting, Planning and Time Management, Self Regulation, and Accountability), and he can take you through each one with first-hand experience on how it works with examples from his classroom.
Organized Binder is a consistent approach to teaching the executive functions our children need. It perfectly matches my Two Rule philosophy in helping everyone feel good and safe at school. Teachers are faced with “managing” classrooms and not being able to get the “teaching” they are passionate about doing because of executive functioning skills. Children can gain the skills they need to begin to discover not only who they are but what they can be.
Executive function and self-regulation skills are the mental processes that enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. These skills are the foundation needed to build a successful learning journey and life. Children who have experienced trauma and other environmental issues, executive functioning skills have been impacted. Children at birth have been genetically predisposed to have some, but it is through environmental experiences they learn to utilize these skills. Birth to three programs, as well as pre-school programs, are an essential part of the educational journey for our at-risk children. Practicing these skills consistently, seeing them modeled, and being engaged with their use will most likely take risks in learning. Our children will grow more rather than slip further behind without a focus on the need to learn, use and practice these skills.
If you want to learn more about executive functioning skills development by age, a chart on the website is provided to you as a free download along with more information.
I told Mitch this reminded me of our AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program in my last school. Organized Binder and how Mitch presents his information in every classroom can utilize his methods, practice, and strategies. I want to invite you to connect with him at his site. Reach out to him and see if this is something you can do with a group or if you want to try it out for yourself. I want to make sure you know I am not getting anything in return from him for talking about what he does. I truly believe in this best practice for the children, staff, and families we serve.
Thank you Mitch for being the solution daily for the kids who need you!
My granddaughter is a tiny girl. She is 14 years old, and her goal is to reach 5 feet tall. The doctor told her she would not make it and would fall short (no pun intended) by a few inches. She knew she was in for a genetic battle when all of her aunts were under 5 feet.
Her determination is impressive, so she makes up for it in other ways. After spending some time in the weight room preparing for volleyball tryouts, she was excited to share with us her accomplishments. “Everyone was impressed with me today. I can leg press….wait for it…390 lbs.” What? Are you kidding me? Wow! “That is not all; I did 20 pull-ups, but I was embarrassed by the crowd watching me.” Alright, little girl!
Strength can be deceiving! We never know our strength level until we are pushed to use it. Strength comes in many different forms and types. The pillars of strength are physical, mental, emotional , and spiritual.
We have many things to consider when thinking about how to measure strength, how to celebrate the strength, and how to admire others for the strengths they have. If you can get for point A to point B with very little work, is it the same as someone who traveled the same distance with many obstacles, challenges, and hardships?
When you have a little time, begin to take an inventory of the strengths you have as a leader. No need to hit the weight room for training like my granddaughter, but taking a look at what areas you have as strengths is an important inventory to take.
Are there areas in your completed inventory you would like to tune-up? Do you find any gaps? Are there areas you would like to improve? It is also important to ask others what they believe your areas of strengths are as you evaluate strengths. Others may recognize strengths in you that you did not realize you had, or they may point out that the strengths you think you have are a weakness.
How to build your strength:
Graduations have been held or are being held for high schools across the United States and also at the college level. These young adults find themselves at a crossroads in life. However, they are not alone in wondering what is next. Which way do I go? Do I follow the leader? Who’s in the lead?
Some people are retiring from jobs while others say I better not because the economy is not looking good and everything is costing more. What should I do? Follow others? Who’s in the lead to follow?
“Would you tell me please which way I ought I out to walk from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.
“I don’t much care where-“said Alice.
“Then it doesn’t matter which way to walk,” said the Cat.
These remarks are taken from the story of Alice in Wonderland and it is such a great adventure! The point is clearly made if you have no direction of where you want to go, then you will continue to move in circles. Thinking with the end in mind from Stephen Covey is the best advice we can provide. You are the leader of your life.
Leader is not an official title someone gives you. You are a leader. Maybe you are only at this moment leading yourself, but you are leading. You are in the driver’s seat of the car of your life and not the passenger. As you continue in your life, you may pick up passengers you will lead.
Choice is a word I believe is another powerful word we have and sometimes do not utilize it fully. If you do not choose to be the leader of your life many others will try to choose for you as they work to influence you in many different ways.
No matter your age thinking with the end in mind does not mean you have to plan out every detail of your life. It is establishing the choices of the pathway you determine to take today can affect you for the rest of your life. The longer you live the more you can reflect on the choices you have made in life to lead you to the place you are today.
The crossroads continue to move you forward. We can reflect, but never take time to try to stay in the past steps traveled or try to retrace those steps with the “what if” remarks of regret. The important fact to remember is the choice we have to continue to move forward on our journey with a pathway of our choice.
Be the solution daily in a world that needs you!
Many families unwrapped gifts during the Christmas season; much love and joy were shared worldwide. However, many still felt pain, sorrow, and despair during this time. Many efforts by individuals and organizations are always communicated to bring awareness to the needs to bring goodwill, health, and happiness.
I believe all of our hearts genuinely melt when we hear, see and understand the stories told. Our souls felt the need of others losing homes to storms and the loss of family no longer able to hold. All of the homeless are left out in the cold. Now is the time to take actions that are bold.
The new year is here. It is time to wake up-not woke out. It is not a time to follow the leader but be a leader. Each new year brings many new things, ideas, gadgets, fashions, and toys. However, we each like to bring our thoughts, wants, trends, and goals to the new year. It is time to be united, not divided, as we face many issues ahead.
What about new ideas? Do you have some? Please share them! FEAR-Forget, Everyone, And, Remark. I know fear well! However, if you look at it differently, you will always see through it. False, Evidence, Appearing, Real I think we have all experienced this in our lifetimes. Being scared is part of life, and we have all faced it differently. Conquer those fears and be part of the solution in 2022 as we work together in bringing what is best for all.
Start by reading something different—select books from different genres to broaden your knowledge, humor, and spirit. Select various news feeds to watch and read. Get your news sources from other places and challenge all of them. Change your morning routine. Eat different things, try different coffees, or share breakfast with someone. Take a new route to work. Say hello to everyone you see. Try starting a conversation with someone new. Who knows, these unique conversations can bring new thoughts, ideas, friendships and lead to better things.
Be curious! Visit places you have not been to in your area. If you can travel and talk with those in the area, you visit. (Yes, I know we still have Covid! Please follow guidelines, but remember today is an opportunity!) Take notes of ideas, what you saw, and what others shared. I created a memory book of pictures for my sister-in-law and her husband on our travel together.
Seek out, experts. Talk to others who are experts in their areas. Message them, comment on their post, send an email with a question. Believe it or not, most will communicate with you. It is not always about making money but about making a difference. I always say to reach out to me. I will do all I can to help. My former boss did, and I am helping four of her Principals at no charge. It never hurts to ask, so why not ask.
Staying in our comfort zone and routines gives us a feeling of stability and safety. However, no matter what we do, the world will continue to bring the unexpected and unknowns into our lives when we least expect it. My husband and I listened on the phone as the doctor told me, I have breast cancer three days before, Christmas. So what do we do?
Every day counts in our lives of service to others. Knowing how to focus your service on others is a massive part of helping to target the needs to grow. Start your week out right with a Meaningful Monday!
I constantly measure the meaningfulness of the messages I send, the information I share, and how I impact those who choose to read my posts. I intend to always help with driving solution-focused thinking and increasing the positives we share in day-to-day interactions.
One thing missing is an opportunity for others to share what they would like me to focus on to help them in what they are doing. I want to pause and organize this blog to work for those who need it to work for them. My idea is to dedicate each day to a particular topic. Examples could be: Monday: Motivation, Inspiration, Meetings Tuesday: Teaching, Thoughts, Talking Points, Communication Wednesday: Wisdom, Wit, Things to Ponder Thursday: Takeaways, Things to Share, Activities for team building Friday: Facts, Factors, Leadership Saturday: Solutions, Strategies, Plans. Sunday: Spiritual, Social-Emotional, Mental Health
Maybe you don't want to read something daily. What if you wanted something in one post? If this is your desire, what day would you choose to receive it, and what do you need the content to include?
Be the solution daily is for you. I want to thank all of my followers and those who have invested their time. Starting today, I will take a two-week break while I gather information on the direction of this blog.
Keep being the solution daily for all as we serve others in making the world better one day at a time.
Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer and philosopher
Ambition is an essential element to an organization and individual. Ambition begins with understanding the desires, aspirations, and goals you have for yourself and your team. What exactly are your desired outcomes for yourself and those of your team?
Knowing and understanding how far to reach is key to harnessing healthy ambition. Setting goals that require just the right level of difficulty push and struggle helps ensure to reach beyond your current abilities. Suppose the challenge is too great; a risk of giving up or becoming discouraged when target goals fall short happens. If the challenge isn’t significant enough, a risk of disconnecting, not being engaged, and never reaching the levels of total performance is accomplished.
I worked with a young ambitious leader who was very talented. His desire to accomplish was greater than the skill levels of himself and his team. They pushed full steam ahead, but lacked the ability to sustain all of the components of their plans. Piles of data was collected, but being able to utilize it wisely with a targeted purpose was missing. They could accomplish some small wins, but the frustration levels grew with trying to maintain the action plans. Creating the action plans was difficult to establish because the data seemed to become outdated by the time they reviewed it together. It became overwhelming with the stacks of data collected.
There is more to accomplish than performance with ambition. We need to think about growth, achievement, sustainable and solution-focused ambitions. Each of these requires more in-depth conversations we can continue in future blog posts. We need a balance for ambition to find the formula for success. In the meantime, ponder these questions with your purpose of performance:
Questions for Focus
When we work only on performance ambition, our teams may look to us in different ways. If our goals seem unattainable, they will look at us as being “unrealistic.” Maybe you have set too many or too high of goals. The team believes you are setting them up for failure.
What if you do not take any risks and have too few of goals? The team thinks you do not believe in them, you are not a risk-taker and you have low expectations.
We do not want to lose our sense of purpose. Our team must believe in the goals, values, and beliefs we establish. It is essential to keep a check on the level of ambition we have and to maintain high sustainable energy to develop the accomplishments we want to achieve.
Nobody needs to tell you about having obligations; we learn this as a child. We have responsibilities to ourselves, family, community, country, and let's not leave God out. But when it comes to meeting these obligations, what takes priority?
“In all the work you are doing, work the best you can. Work as if you were doing it for the Lord, not for people.”-Colossians 3:23
Whatever your plans are with life, prioritize! Life brings many opportunities, disappointments, celebrations, and achievements. It is in taking the directions, turns, and roads before us that lead us to the spot we are right now. However, as we all know, we keep moving. It is all of the choices and reactions we make to help us as we move.
Jon Gordon and P.J. Fleck have released a new book, Row the Boat. It is an incredible story for you to read! You will learn how this coach turned a tragedy into a choice of not being defined by life journeys, events, and circumstances beyond his control—turning to a strategy. He choose to place into practice in life the “row the boat” to guide with enthusiasm and optimism. P.J. takes you through the process to discover how to put the “row the boat” components into practice. So pull up the anchor and set sail on the best book you will read this year.
Our obligation to ourselves is to invest in learning as much as we can to help ourselves and others. “Do all you can to give more than you take because serving and giving is key to life.”-RTB.
Think about the obligations you have today. What is your priority? The direction you are headed is decided by the compass you carry. “Live with a compass of faith.”-RTB. When you fulfill your obligations based on your priorities, you will count blessings not troubles.
Many times my staff and students would hear me repeat things over. I believe repeating consistently helps to cement it into our thinking. So I would say:
“Trained behavior creates boring habits, boring habits create elite instincts.”-RTB It is training of the mind and our mindsets that help us focus. Set your priorities to meet your obligations. Your destination is ahead!
Thank you for being the solution daily. Model for others as you are the standard of what we need to be. Let your light shine to brighten the darkness in the world.
I grew up really as an only child. My brother and sister are 16 and 17 years older than me, respectively. I have always said I was a gift from God to make sure someone could help this family.
My siblings, especially my sister, did lots of things with me. I think I was like a doll. The best adventure I can recall was going to see Elvis Presley in concert. I loved his music, but I was more fascinated by the way grown women were acting. So exciting to watch! He did it his way!
Watching my grandchildren play, I learned a great lesson. They span in age from three years, six years, and 13 years old. The two younger boys play together and are not always easy to handle. Their sister is quick to help settle disputes and monitor the playtime.
While vacationing at the beach, everyone found their place. Each one has a special interest in what they wanted to do. There were enough adults that each child had one to help them in whatever they wanted to do.
When they decided to play together after having their time, the conversations were so interesting.
“Hey, look, I found a purple-colored shell. Would you want it?”
“Do you want me to help you find more shells?”
Fantastic how they were working together to collect shells. Now it lasted a short time as you know, attention spans do not last long and brothers, well are boys.
We took the shells back to the house to sort, identify and talk about them. We like to do art projects and make things; this is what they do with me. They each had a container to place their shells in, and all was good.
How does your team work together on projects? As a leader, do you begin with your way of approaching the task or situation? Are there opportunities to identify and sort out target points? Can individuals discuss freely and offer ideas?
In dealing with finding solutions, it is essential to have all voices heard and illustrate possible solutions. People need to see, hear, talk, and sometimes “touch”(move items) to understand the process.
If the solution is “my way,” the problem will stay. It stays because, most likely, I am the only one who believes in the solution. The same is true if the solution is “your way,” which most likely comes from the loudest one. It should be “our way,” providing ownership from all.
Think about the structures of your problem-solving teams. How do you handle issues that come up? Do you have a process to follow? Who is involved in making decisions and finding solutions?
Thank you for being the solution daily! It takes each of us working together focused on solutions.
When we think about the improvement process a vision of binders appears with bullet points, goals, documents, graphs, data, charts and the list goes on. Stop ⛔ Think about focusing on improving one day at a time. At the end of the day, reflect. Now, what can you do tomorrow to be better than today? Simplicity is the key to not overwhelming yourself or your team.
We do have to make those strategic plans and improvement plans to grow together. However, as leaders we want our teams, students, and colleagues to understand the importance of self-worth in the improvement process.
As we gather as a group the importance of modeling the team approach is critical to the success of your organization. All eyes are on you when you are before a group. The tones of your voice, word choices, body language, and facial expressions all send messages to others. The importance of our communication is not always in written form.
Have you been in a meeting or with a group and an individual says, “that was not my responsibility, I gave the information to everyone and it wasn't me to do anything else with it?” Is this being part of the solution of part of the problem?
Do we not want our teams working together for the same mission and vision no matter the position they have? When we say this is not me or my responsibility and shift the blame, it sends a clear message to everyone on the team. What message? “I” is never part of a team. “I want to make it clear, I had no responsibility in this.” Wow, so you are not part of the team? Do you accept this from those who report to you? Do they accept that response from those who report to them?
When we are all working for a common purpose, it is the responsibility of all to make sure items, tasks, issues, and solutions are brought forward in a timely fashion. Validation of all who are working to help accomplish the goals established is successful.
If you are a teacher remind your students every day is a new opportunity. Tomorrow I will be better than today! Always find at least one thing to improve, one thing to be grateful for, and one goal. I like to say, “Three things to a better me! One day at a time!”
Thank you for being the solution daily as we humble ourselves to serve others. The needs we meet each day provide the solution for tomorrow.