We have power in the words we use and the actions we take or choose not to take. This year my word is “Grit,” and I am working each day to provide for all of you resources, tools, ideas, motivation, inspiration, and spiritual blessings as we continue to move forward with solutions for better tomorrows than yesterday. Today looks like the best day to begin!

Speaking Voice-Listening Ear

“When people talk, listen completely. Most people never listen.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

One of the best ways to build a positive image of your school, district, business, and organization or a negative one is how you communicate. Websites provide others the opportunity to evaluate you. If this page is outdated, not easy to navigate, and does not contain inviting school pictures or welcoming information, you have missed your opportunity to capture their attention.

Websites are one of the best ways to connect with your stakeholders to give them a clear picture of your vision and mission. Letting others know why they want to be part of this system or are proud to be a member is a critical piece of the foundation for continued improvement, involvement, and support.

How do you listen to those who respond to the information you share? Listening to others is critical, but taking action steps is essential. You can listen with your ear to hear, but is it your brain or heart that responds?

Emotions

Our emotions are part of how we respond to the information we receive or do not receive. If you share information through social media, you check to see the likes, shares, and comments you receive. Many times you may find yourself comparing your posts to others. What happens when you do not receive any feedback?

The discovery of learning about the active and inactive engagement is essential, we look for the bonfire, and we miss the candle. Because we listen for the shout, we miss the whisper. Everyone who engages with your information may not feel comfortable “actively” placing a like or writing a comment. Never give up when you do not receive all of the active engagement you want to see.

Have you ever read a post, and it hit you hard with emotions? Please remember that posts are not always what they seem. Truth be Told one of my favorite songs and brings the dangers of assuming others have an easy life. Vacation pictures, awards, celebrations, and so many other things, if looked at deeply, are deceiving. We live in a time where impressing others is more important than living real life.

Stop comparing life with others and live life fully. Take in the moments, all of the wonderful crazy mixed up stories, pictures captured of scenes only families and friends understand, and adventures of travels to familiar places with special memories. Live life and not live life through the lens of social media moments. No one will remember all those posed pictures, awards, or ceremonies, but only the days, moments, and minutes that led to them.

One of the best ways to help yourself and others is to enrich your use of vocabulary intentionally daily. I have always practiced adding a word to our vocabulary in the classroom and with my grandchildren now. Words do not have to be extravagant or flamboyant to be selected to add to your list. You may already know the word, but do you do all of the power it holds in the way it can be used?

Words have power! One of the most important lessons we can provide is learning how much power we hold and how we utilize the words we choose to group. Great men and women have delivered messages of great power. Some of these individuals are not described as being strong by their physical appearance, but their words have stood over time as a solid foundation to build a great nation and inspired leaders for generations.

Authority is a word with many definitions and uses; here are a few:

Who is the authority figure in your life? Are you an authority figure?

I honor Authority?

What is the purpose of authority?

In the examples of the definitions of authority, power, decisions, influence, and knowledge are acknowledged. One of the most important aspects of authority is to protect our rights to life, liberty, and property. Authority can be used to provide order and security in people's lives. Has having authority in your community and life helped you? How does authority help you and others? How do you honor authority? What are ways you can succeed with those in authority?

As we add value to our power by enriching the usage of the words we choose to group as a message, take the time to be reflective in journal devotion time.

Reflective Journal Devotion Time

Today the value of authority is the power of the language usage we seek to grow to protect life, liberty, property, and honor. What are words to help embrace the wisdom of authority? What is the message needed to honor authority? How can a message be provided to understand the boundaries of authority, the responsibility of authority, and the influence authority has on making changes? Please help us to see the vision of the importance of authority to paint the words on the pages for others to see the best reflection of the greatness it has when it is written.

My example: Today, as you began to prepare yourself for the day, you already introduced yourself to our new word. You greeted the day with authority. You were awakened by the alarm clock or an authority figure in your home telling you it was time to get up to start the day. Then you took over by taking charge of preparing yourself for the day. As the day continues, the authority will meet you along the way at different times, places and stops. See how many times you can discover authority.

You can pose a reflective question each day and spend a week on the same word. At the end of the week, each individual could share a short one-minute speech on the word authority. Learning better communication skills and exploring thoughts to think about is an important enrichment activity for all.

I am a big believer in vocabulary! We do not spend enough time exploring, providing, and giving children time to explore “words.”

It could be because I come from a home where my parents did not know how to read. When I would go to school in my early years, I can remember my Kindergarten teacher saying, “I am sure your parents have read this story to you, but I am going to read it today again.” Nope, my parents had not, and I heard it for the first time. We forget many children do not have rich conversations or have exposure to reading materials or opportunities to visit other places. How can we help to improve their vocabulary for them?

You can join word of the day by having it sent to your email daily. It is a great way to provide yourself and those you teach with opportunities to enjoy a new word daily.

Emolument: Compensation, based on time and length of activity, for employment, services, or holding office and is generally used in a legal context. Emolument is derived from the Latin term "emolumentum," which could mean either effort or labor, or benefit, gain, or profit.

You can decide to choose your own words for each day. Maybe you want to focus on positive words, vocabulary words used in your curriculum or special topic words. It really does not matter the focus of the words as long as students are able to engage, explore and explain the words they are learning.

Encourage students every chance you can to read, write and share!

Brenda Yoho

Getting Back to Center

Have you ever felt like you were off-balanced? A change happened in your life, and now things as you knew as “normal” are now the opposite. Oh, yes, the pandemic! The Covid-19 pandemic is one example. Can you think of more? Many things can impact us in positive and negative ways, which cause us to feel off-balanced and not centered; how do we handle it.

Word of the Day

I am a big believer in vocabulary! We do not spend enough time exploring, providing, and giving children time to explore “words.”

It could be because I come from a home where my parents did not know how to read. When I would go to school in my early years, I can remember my Kindergarten teacher saying, “I am sure your parents have read this story to you, but I am going to read it today again.” Nope, my parents had not, and I heard it for the first time. We forget many children do not have rich conversations or have exposure to reading materials or opportunities to visit other places. How can we help to improve their vocabulary for them?

Are you facing “Drainout”?

In our current situations, we have all faced many critical, unpredictable conditions not seen before. We have dealt with in our years of service overcoming what many have referred to as “burnout”, not motivated, exhausted, and leads me to what I believe is replacing all of these words in our workplaces today: “Drainout.”

Think about how you and your co-workers feel right now. How do you feel overall? “Drainout” is not something that happens just at work, it can happen in every aspect of life. We will discuss more this week.

Donuts, Veggies or Ice Cream? Choices

Do you hold meetings? If you do, do you provide a snack? When people walk into your meeting, do they find chocolates or candy on the tables? What do you think about offering food or something for meetings?

I am curious about this idea. I know I have, it seems, always had candy on the tables and offered snacks. During my career, I never used a line budget for my building expenses. I thought doing this was my choice, and I usually paid for it myself. Sometimes I had vendors who would send stuff, but mostly me or sometimes my Assistant Principal would get things.

Fast Forward-Future Skills Needed Today!

As we have witnessed in the past three years, leaders have shifted to rapidly respond, react and realign approaches to meet the needs of change. Change is not something new to leaders, but a change at this level of magnitude left leaders scrambling. We have not seen this level of change happen at his rapid domino pace.

What do we need from leaders based on the experiences from the past three years to prepare for our future? How can we be readily prepared for rapid changes? Can we give this some thought and reflect on what we have learned as we move forward?

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