I can’t control the weather, but I can control____________________.

I can’t control what people say, but I can control _________________.

Some things I used to love to do, but I don’t do anymore______________.

When I was in school, I ____________________________.

If I could change one thing today, I would_______________________.

The best part of my job is__________________________.

If everyone knew_________________________________, they may______________________________________.


Try making up a sentence to ask others to complete. Find out what others like, what they want to change, and other thoughts.

Some things I used to love to do, but I don’t do anymore is roller skate. (Way to old!)

As a child, I can remember having horrible nightmares. Thank goodness they were just dreams, and I could be comforted to realize I was safe. When others have these terrifying moments in life, who helps to comfort them?

There are many things in life today that can cause us to feel overwhelmed, frightened, nervous, and have an array of emotions. Who is telling us it will be okay and solutions will be found?

Keeping up Appearances

Do you value the opinions of others? As a business, we care about what customers think and ask them to take a quick survey after interacting with us. I experienced this recently after an online chat with customer service for a retail department store. I never physically saw who I spoke with on the other end, just a name.

Are we headed toward faceless interactions with only words in our customer service experiences? In another incident, I did speak with an individual but never physically saw anyone as we spoke on the phone.

Today, I will be heading to a department store to talk to someone in the customer service department. I will physically speak to someone to retrieve a package from the store. I am looking forward to seeing how this experience will be for me.

I am noticing more self check out lanes and fewer lines for physical employees to check you out from the store. Do you like the self-check, or do you like having someone check your items out for you?

Appearances

These changes I am seeing and experiencing are appearances not isolated to the area I live. We have this in every location across the United States and beyond our borders.

I miss the interactions with people. I want to say hello, ask questions and meet people. We seem to want to keep cutting out things to make things go faster, reduce costs and, at the same time, isolate people. Shopping is a social activity. The shutdowns and gas prices have turned me into a more online shopper. However, I am trying to fight it and return to the stores.

Keeping up

We must slow down and enjoy the people we share the world with as we grow. The violence we see and continue to have is a layer of many issues. If we do not get to know others and begin to look at our world to not just keep up with appearances, it will soon overwhelm us with the problems being created. We do not want to create spaces where they are always posed to look great in photos but actually to be great!

The terrifying thought of not having contact with other people is flashing in my mind. How many people do you interact with in a day? Are you having honest conversations face-to-face, or are you texting? How about social media platforms? Are you worried about all of these changes happening to cut off our human contact?

Terrifying thoughts on this Thursday may be just part of my dreams again, but it seems a little scary to me. Nightmares of a society shrinking into a non-contact society lacking the ability to know all the feelings we need to function.

Love brings patience, encouragement, and understanding. When we love what we do, it shines through in many ways. When children know we have a passion for who they are, it is very impactful to each one.

Approach each day with a nurturing heart to pass on the love to those you serve, breathing hope in every day.

We are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ.

2 Corinthians 2:15

I love the different aromas from the flower gardens when they are in full bloom, but these are not the only times aroma affects me. How about you?

To walk into Bath and Body works, you are hit with the wall of aroma that fills the store, and if you pass by those perfume outlets, the aromas escape through the doors to linger outside to entice you to come inside. But honestly, they are overwhelming at times.

Have you ever been so hungry that you could smell the aroma from your neighbor's backyard of the grill siring a steak? Maybe you passed a steak house with a giant wave of mouth-watering scents.

People want to experience these effects from the leaders they follow. They want to follow the aroma of leadership, which is pleasant to their senses but not overwhelming.


Five Senses

How do we provide in leadership the aroma people need to accommodate all of their senses without overwhelming them? We can begin by looking at the five senses themselves. I opened with the sense of smell. I love the fragrances we have, well, the pleasant ones, at least.

Regarding leadership, people can smell a “rotten” leader in seconds. This is a pretty harsh word, but when leaders begin by putting on a fake show and not an authentic one, people are not interested at all. If they had tomatoes and didn’t think they would get in trouble, they would throw them.

As the leader begins, it is what people see from their leaders every day that impacts them. How does the leader model what they expect? Do they say what they mean and then do it? Is this a person we can trust?

Communication is a big part of effective leadership. It is not only what you say, but it is what others hear that matters the most! How do you communicate? Are you able to reach all of those you want to share with? Do you speak, send emails, text messages, or send something on Twitter or Instagram? Making sure your message is received in the tone and manner you want it delivered is a vital part of success.

While talking to some former staff members, I realized taste matters in leadership. When we think about taste, we automatically think of food to eat. However, the taste can come in a variety of ways. The best way to the heart of your staff is in the fantastic food treats you provide at breaks, celebrations, and a just because of day. They also consider the taste of style you have in leadership. Are you military-like? Do you make it up as you go? Are you nurturing? Both the food and style are essential!

The most important one I have left for last is how you make them feel. If you pass them in the hallway without a greeting, never ask them how they are doing, do not include them in meetings or conversations, or never return their emails, how do you think they feel? A person will only work for those who appreciate them as an individual. Building relationships is an integral part of leadership.


Aroma or fragrance can awaken all of our senses. People often have a favorite because it means something to them. It can be a special memory, a reminder of someone, and can provide comfort or support. Leaders work to awaken those they lead to take giant leaps, try new things, discover, uncover and develop. Leaders encourage others to grow, share and collaborate with teams. If leaders cannot utilize all of the senses, then shortcomings will create.

Do you have a favorite scent? My husband, many years ago, bought me Christmas, Beautiful perfume by Estée Lauder; I have only worn this perfume for all of these years. I do not think I can ever smell it. I also love warm vanilla sugar and lavender—both reminders of my mother and mother-in-law.

Remember to have just the right amount of the aromas you use because too much will overwhelm your staff!

Welcome to Daylight Savings Time

Hopefully everyone remembered to fall back! Clocks changed today!

I am the Lord, the God of every person on the earth. Nothing is impossible for Me.—

Jeremiah 32:27

Gratitude Brings-Great Things

The month of November is a time we think of “Gratitude” and “Thanksgiving.” What does “thank you” mean?

If we take a little time this week to look into “Gratitude,” “Thanksgiving,” and “Thank You,” we can discover how often it is used in our daily lives and the lives of others. What does it mean in our lives?

We have layers

While talking with several different people from my past over the past week, I discovered the many layers we all have. I wanted every person to share with me their stories and memories of their professional educational journey.

Memories are important to me for many reasons. As an individual suffering from a TBI, I have been told by many doctors of the possibility of developing dementia and Alzheimer’s. At the time of the injury, memories were already taken, and working each day to keep what I have is important.

Let’s learn more about the layers we have.


The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.”

Steven Spielberg

Mentoring and Coaching

In my professional opinion, I strongly believe in mentoring and coaching all members of education. As an individual who began her career in education as a teaching assistant, I received mentoring and coaching. Those were informal and formal programs over my years in education.

As a leader, I have been blessed to have opportunities to mentor and coach at all levels. I love doing both! Giving back to others is so rewarding and watching them grow is amazing. Mentors share knowledge and experience and help mentees develop and grow. Coaching provides guidance one-on-one for particular goals established over a period of time.

Teaching, Learning, Building-Hope

Teaching and learning are being looked at today in many different ways. While talking with seasoned teachers this past week, the conversation turned to how teaching changed over the years, and the joy of teaching was taken away when No Child Left Behind legislation was passed. Many mandates and regulations shifted education, and it cut into teaching. Instead of teachers designing and connecting, they were told what, how, and when to teach.

Listening to them tell me their stories over time and then talking about what is happening in the classrooms today, I could hear the frustration from teachers and students. Building hope is needed. How can we support education?

Thank You Veterans!

November 11, 2022

We thank all who have served to keep us safe and free to all who are serving today to stand up for life, liberty, and the U.S A. To those who have lost their lives or suffered in other ways, one day is not enough for all of us to say; God Bless you and your families for all you have given we can never repay. Thank you.

This goes with my blog post today. So happy to see this land in my email box this morning. Trust matters!

Everything!

If you do not have trust in any relationship or environment, there is no chance it will last or work.

Have you ever worked in an environment where you did not trust those you worked with or worked for? If you have, you know exactly how it feels. While listening to an individual tell her story of the situation she had just been through, as tears formed in her eyes, my heart sank. No one needs to ever go through a time when they feel like this, making a choice over themselves or those they serve and deciding who they can trust.

It isn't easy in your work life when there is no trusting environment. You do not feel like you can take those risks to do extraordinary things for those you serve. Sometimes you are asked to do things you know are not right. What do you do when your boss tells you to do something you know is incorrect, does not follow legal guidelines, and is not in the best interest of those you serve? Do you do it to keep your job or not?


In the business world, education, and organizations, people work with us based on our reputations. It takes years to build up who we are, our beliefs, and our core values. Can an individual have enough influence to make others believe something untrue about you? I found an article that is not something I would typically select to read. However, it was fun to read, and the points below come from the article.

How do you know if your boss is working against you?

I have to say, I have had a boss with most of the above points. The article provides information on how to deal with these points. Excuse the language, especially in the title. It does get your attention.


Trust is an integral part of every relationship. As a boss or leader, you are gaining the trust of those you serve and it is the most crucial part of your work. Keeping that trust is what you work to do each day. When you are working in a high-stress level job or doing a job where knowing those above you and beside you will be there to support you is critical.

Everyone wants to feel good and safe while working to accomplish those two needs; trust has to be present. A friend shared the graphic below, and I think it represents leadership. What it should be and should not be.

My blog post on October 27, 2022, began with students saying. Embedded within the post was an article with data collected from middle and high school students. The data in the paper presented the biggest barriers to student learning, according to a new report released by YouthTruth, a nonprofit that surveys K-12 students and families for school districts.

Anxiety, depression, and stress were indicated, along with students identifying they did not have enough support at school by finding enough adult support. School counselors, Social Workers, School Psychologists, and other Mental Health providers are in need, but there is a shortage. There are not enough qualified individuals to fill positions, nor do schools have the available funding to support all of the additional needs.


Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 24th, 2022, had an active shooter. A teen and an adult were killed in the shooting. With the fast-acting security team at the school, all doors being locked, following the safety drill protocols for active shooters, and the fast response of the police department, the shooter was taken down within minutes of the 911 call. All of this saved lives.

While investigating why this school is a target for violence and why the shooter with no background in violence would commit such an act, mental health is brought up. In every case of active shooters, mental health is brought up as an indication of triggers for these incidents. However, the first thing politicians, media, and others do is focus on the weapons used in the horrific violence.

I intend to bring a spotlight on targeting the core of the issue long before (years), before the few days before they have a breakdown and decide to do such an awful thing to the lives of innocent individuals. Those few minutes in the lives of all who survived will be with them for a lifetime. To all of the families who lost loved ones, the scars of the day are so deep. All of these add additional needs for mental health support for the trauma experienced from extreme events, which mental health may have been able to prevent.


I say…

In July of 2022, I wrote another blog post about safety and feeling good. These are the foundation of my Two Rule Philosophy for school. In having a Two Rule school, the purpose is to meet the needs we all value; Safety and Feeling Good. If you look at all of the rules you currently have, the basic foundation of each one is grounded in one or both of those simple Two Rules. However, they are not simple at all once we dig deeper into how we apply, model, explain, support, and teach all that goes along with them.

We will continue to see violence, anger, and issues with our youth and young adults until we address the issues at the core of the problem. Mental Health is a significant need. It is my professional opinion implementation of Two Rules in all schools will begin to develop the habits, skills, and knowledge needed to form a solid foundation for success not only in academics but in their life journey. In addition, we are advocating for funding to increase mental health support. We need to help more individuals who want to go into the mental health and education.

My final thought to share is this, as my editor is currently working on finalizing my book with me, it was important to me to have the book contain pages leaders can take to implement so it will have those. In addition, a collaboration of teams is significant for me as well, so this is included. When I say teams, I want to clarify what this means. Education is not something we do to children; it is something we do with children. Children, families, schools, and the community are part of the teams. Children will lead the conferences about what they are learning, what strengths they have, what they need help with, and how they would like us to all support them. Communication openly together. Nothing changes until we change our approaches together in partnerships. It really does take a village!

“Difficulties come to each of us in waves of storms, bright sunshine, or in rainbows to paint the skies. Each day and every moment, we have the opportunity to respond, react or be reactive. The choice is always ours to make, but also are the consequences.”-Brenda Yoho

Each day is an opportunity with lessons to learn, knowledge to gain, and always to share the gifts you have. Be strong and courageous in all you do, and many blessings will come to a well-served life.

I read daily, write daily and do a great deal of praying, all in the morning hours. Mornings are my best times of the day because I have rested and I am fresh for the day. I grow weaker as the time of the day passes by.

Justice is a word I have heard frequently in many areas, but this morning I read it from another former student who is grieving the death of her brother from a gunshot. She wants “justice.” I heard these exact words about a former student's death as his sister and family campaigned to find “justice” for his death not long ago, it seems. The violence continues to reach further into homes so close and hearts so near.

I am reflecting on my life journey and recall several times I have said and thought, “I want justice for what has been done to me.” It was my first thought and emotional response of anger, which soon faded as God reminded me of the justice and healing he always provides. You still ask yourself: How could they do that to me? Why would she say that about me? Why did they believe that? Why did he decide to drive that day? More questions pop up each day, but it is a reminder of lessons taught and learned. I am overcoming obstacles and fears to open new doors to pathways of rich rewards. It is in finding hope for the future, the joy in the day, and the promise of justice from the one true judge that keeps my heart full.

As an educator, I firmly believe in teaching responsibility, accountability, and integrity. Modeling is the best way to teach. We seek “justice” when we are angry, grieving, healing, in need, and pleading for help. What is justice? Can we clearly define it? Based on the actions and policies of today, do you find justice? I would love to hear more thoughts about justice.

Prayers for When You Need Justice

Today's inspiration comes from:

A Prayer for Every Occasion

by Carrie Marrs

Lord, You know the pain I’ve endured at the hands of others.
I give myself to You, the Healer.
I also submit to Your command to love everyone around me,
including my enemies.
May I not repay evil for evil—May my heart not wish harm
for those who have hurt me.
Instead, I pray for Your blessing on them.
Make me generous in grace and compassion,
and strong enough to live at peace with everyone. I praise You because justice is in Your nature, and I trust You to carry out justice as You see fit, when You see fit.

You are God, and I am not.
You are on the throne, saying,
“It is mine to avenge; I will repay” (Romans 12:19 NIV).

I give You honor, God,
And leave room for You to do
what Your wisdom says is just and right.

~C. M.

God, You’ve shown us what is good:
to act justly and to do what is fair to others. You’ve sent Your Son to provide peace
and the bond of true fellowship.
Open our eyes to the needs of others —
of all the different types of people in this world. Lead us out of our comfort zones
so we can bless and build bonds
with people who are different from us.
Lead us in respectful service toward one another, treating each other as brothers and sisters.
May we be instruments in Your hands
as You bring Your kingdom of justice and peace. May we spread Your goodness
and bring many to join us
in living close to You in Your glory and love.

~C. M.

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