Everyone in education knows Harry and Rosemary Wong. Their famous book, The First Days of School: How to Be an Effective Teacher, is one of the books every practicing teacher has read or heard about in coursework. They believe the classroom's number one problem comes from procedures and routines.

It is a solid foundation for building an organized classroom where students know expectations, understand what is happening, and complete everything the same way each day.

Classrooms have changed. However, the need for this solid approach to procedures and routines is still the best approach to a solid foundation for an organized classroom focused on teaching and learning.

The changes we see in our classrooms are always a reflection of our society. Looking through history, we will see the influences from society in our schools. What are the discipline issues educators would say they face? I want to ask all of them to please share their number one discipline problem. Will you make a comment on the discipline issue which is the number one problem you face?

There are many ways to support our educational system—Locally, get involved actively. Many times schools will ask for engagement. “Please join us with a Family engagement night of reading.” “Please join us at Family Math night.” These are amazing and fun to be part of with your children, but being involved as a volunteer, member of a committee, holding an educational position like a school board member, or being involved with programs at the school has a more significant impact on the overall educational system. Schools, homes, and communities must collaborate with a focus on education and children. How can all of these resources work together to do what is best for the whole child? Many will provide their solutions, but it is up to the local community, parents, and school district to take a stand on what is best for the children involved with their system.

Lack of respect for authority, improving the social-emotional needs of students, understanding the purpose of education, and providing support to individual students are what I would like to provide solutions for home, school, and community. My Two-Rule philosophy helps to give a foundation to build what is needed to succeed not only in school but in life.

The foundation of the philosophy is about choices. Students learn about the importance of helping themselves and others to feel good and safe where they are. When you understand the thinking process in this way, solutions are seen first, and problems begin to shrink. It is in asking the right questions, providing the answer, and learning responsibility for our choices.

Troubling times face each of us in many different ways. Some we can see clearly, others hide it and shelter it away. Our news media brings us stories daily, filled with reports locally, nationally, and globally. We can watch these reports on several stations, read in newspapers, scroll through media platforms and catch comments.

You can gather different accounts and opinions of what is reported depending on the “trust” level in those reporting to you. How do they gain your trust?

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. —1 John 16:33

I see, hear and feel anger, negativity, fear, and anxiety from people ranging from young and old. Who needs to say can we all calm down and bring people together? Daily there is news pulling people apart and not uniting them together for a win today.

We are planting seeds every day. These seeds will be harvested in the days, weeks, years, and decades. Along the way, we need to pull the weeds of anger, doubt, negativity and promote the peace, abundance that will come from All of the work we do together.

I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid. —John 14:27 NCV

The troubles we bump into may be massive in life's difficulties, but we face them with joy in knowing the days are filled with impossibilities here but possibilities in our love and faith. Our pessimism will lead us to courage, and courage leads to perseverance. We must never forget there are always things we can control and something we cannot control, but we are always in control of our faith, core values, courage, and the peace we find in knowing our roads are never traveled alone.

Today is the day to stand on the values you have and the voice you were given and to always seek to understand first. There is always a solution to every problem; by asking the right questions, we reach the correct answer. Be not afraid to stand up for the rights you believe in, speak up for your core values, and to be visible in helping in the schools, communities, and places that need volunteers.

Thank you for #Bethesolutiondaily in a world that needs you! You make a difference daily in how you speak, the actions you take, how you model for others, the things you do, and the smile you wear each day. All of the little things add up to be big things each day!

I received a beautiful stone as one of my gifts from my best friend for my birthday. I then received a kit to create a stepping stone for my landscaping from my sister-in-law and brother-in-law as one of my gifts. It seemed to be a theme! It made me think about stones!

During an interview to move to another district, the Superintendent asked me, “Will you be using this position as a stepping stone to move on to another position in a different district?”

No, I would not think of using this position as a stepping stone. As you can see, I have stayed at my hometown school district my entire career until I could not move up any further. A principal position would not be available for many years, and I am ready to serve in this capacity. I plan to make this the place I retire.

Stumbling Blocks turn into Stepping Stones

Stumbling blocks can become stepping stones if you look at the situation through a solution-focused lens. An accident happened in my life, which was very traumatic. Most did not think I survived the accident, and many did not believe I would recover. Through the grace of God and the purpose of my life, I could stand in front of the children I served for a bit longer.

I was welcomed back with a great deal of support from many people to help me during my years of healing. I had severe injuries to the brain and more. It soon became clearer to me, the strain of the day was too much for me. I needed something where I did not need to make quick decisions and have all the pressures a middle school principal has each day.

My stumbling block had provided a stepping stone to be at the central office. I would not be with children, families, and staff but would be working to help build foundations with the funding and influences I had.


We experience slip-ups from time to time. We are all human, and mistakes happen to the best of us. Sometimes slip-ups can impact lives more than we think. If you forget to put a box of rice in the bag at the grocery store, it is a slip-up that will not be a huge impact on someone’s life. If you are a doctor and slip up by taking out the right kidney, it should have been the left one—a huge slip-up! When you go in for any surgery, you will go through many safety checks to make sure they are doing exactly what they are supposed to do before they put you under. Thankful for the safety protocols.

I have thought about when a slip-up has worked out to be positive, like the stumbling block to a stepping stone. I thought about it after writing, deleting, and writing again. Slip-ups can lead you to negative thoughts. You can begin to play the blame game, feel sorry for yourself or remain in a cycle of trying to determine what happened. Acceptance, forgiveness, and the ability to move on take courage. You may never understand what happened to cause the slip-up. But know you cannot control the slip-ups, stumbling blocks, or stepping stones. You can only control how you react when they show up.

So do not let a slip-up or a stumbling block sidetrack you because it could land you on the right stepping stone to share a greater purpose in life. Be the solution daily in the life of others. Your choice can impact the lives of others in more ways than you think!

We have all faced days that have been difficult for us as individuals. When we face these days as a family or a country, we can see emotions and stress. These visible signs are reflected in arguments, short-tempered exchanges in grocery lines, driving incidents and worst case situations of extreme violence.

We can see how our current situations are not going to change. The prices of gas are steadily increasing, which will affect everything. Grocery store prices have increased, and children are out of school needing three meals a day now. Summer vacations may need to be changed, adding another layer to the stress already in place.

These days are difficult for many of us, but we can find solutions together to help. Our ancestors faced difficult days, although they may have looked differently, they were still difficult to meet. They had answers for the days they faced, and they are similar to the ones I will suggest.

Solutions to Face the Days

Opportunities to encourage are a daily goal. I know we can do this for each other. Teamwork can help us support the efforts to strengthen our commitment to our communities by working together to help each other. The face of courage rests with each of us as our children look to us to model as previous generations did on how to face difficult days. We can, we will, and we face these days together to overcome. Be the solution daily in a world that needs you.

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