The apples have fallen from the tree

Posted by Brenda Yoho

My father-in-law was a man of very few words. He always made me nervous. My husband and I began dating when we were in high school. At 16, I guess I was a little worried about many things in life.

One of the phrases I remember he said was, “If you do not like my apples, don’t shake my tree.” During our many years together, we faced many heartaches and challenging times. My father-in-law passed away in 1997.

As I reflect on the many issues facing our country, communities, schools, and families, it seems the apples have fallen from the tree. We have been shaking many of the same issues repeatedly without a solution. Education is being hit hard with a great deal of shaking.

I do not listen to the TV on most days, and in the evenings, we try to catch up on the day's news. However, I cannot listen to all of the leaders push agendas again and hear the same things repeatedly.


See words standing all alone makes no sense to anyone. They fill up space on a page and float in the air. Unless we can connect them to something with an action, they remain in space.


It is another word with meaning but still stands alone in space unconnected. It can be used to buy many things, but what does it do once you buy it? Yet we continue to throw it out like words without concrete connections to robust solutions. The sustainability of programs is fueled by money, but answers do not come from money alone.

When will we stop shaking the trees? All the apples have fallen, been picked up, and tossed around, and nothing new has been found. The seeds have been replanted to take root in hopes apples will grow to bring new solutions.

It is now time for winter, and we have time now to begin our plans. We need to connect our thoughts, resources, needs, systems, and supports to reach our final goals. It is not in one single word, one single person or group, but a system of gears working together to produce the best results together for the best outcomes.

Join me in learning how to help our students learn:

  • The choices we make become part of the habits we create.
  • The mindset we have drives the choices, growth, and habits that develop into who we are.
  • Each day our goal is to follow the Two Rules in helping ourselves and others in feeling good and safe.
  • All of this can be accomplished with the five core competencies we establish in our Two Rule approach and partnerships with home, school, self and community.

We must look at the barriers our students face, like poverty, and address their needs as whole children. There are no excuses but explanations of the “why” in behavior and learning. We can find the right path and solutions with partnerships as we work together.

"I only have 2 rules!"
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