How many children feel like they cannot learn in our schools today? How many teachers feel like they cannot teach in our schools today? How many school leaders feel like they cannot lead our schools today? Why the questions? Why the disconnect? Why are we hearing this today? Are we hearing it?
Being involved in education today is complex; it has always been challenging. However, today in the shift in our society we have many things we are facing and not sure of each day. As adults face all of these uncertainties, so do our children. The amount of stress is felt across our nation by everyone. Our teachers walk into classrooms with even more challenges, as more and more is placed on them as fingers point directly at them for the cause of learning loss.
Can we please stop for a few moments? Take some deep breathes to pause. Clarification on a few things first. We have been experiencing loss of learning for some time now. Many issues have not been solved for many years. Then a global pandemic hit us, turmoil within our country over politics, economics, border crisis, many issues I can continue to list, but will not. Everyone, I mean everyone has been through a great deal in the past few years. It is directly impacting our children.
Children are listening, watching and feeling all of what is happening around them. They are taking all of this data in and are not finding ways to process it, understand what to do with it or how to respond. Instead our children are finding ways to react. Unfortunately, the reactive behaviors come out in behaviors such as self medicating themselves with alcohol or drugs. If they do not choose this path, they begin to withdraw and no one seems to notice the anxiety and depression they have until they have reached the point of suicide.
It is time for a change in how we approach all we do in order to do better. America first, children first, support for mental health, collaboration together and talking with each other not at. I want to hear you, I want you to hear me and we may disagree, but we will find a solution together when we can see the problem together from all sides.
Everyone who walks through the doors of our school will feel good about being here and will feel safe. You can choose to be part of the solution or part of the problem; the choice is always yours to make. However, every choice you make has a consequence. Consequences can be problems or solutions; it all depends on your choice.
Before you say or do anything, ask yourself these questions: Will this make me (or others) feel good about being here? Will this make me (or others) feel safe about being here? If the answer to any of the questions is no, then your answer is no in saying or doing. If you choose to say or do it, then it is a problem. Then the consequence is the solution you find in your school handbook. So when you come to see me, I will ask, were you part of the problem or solution? You will already know the answer. You will already know the consequence and solution.
The Two Rules sound pretty easy to follow, but a lot of preparing goes on to get students to understand all of the teachings which go along with this problem-solving and self-regulation way to your day. We will learn how to build a Two Rule School each week. “Do you want to be part of the problem or solution? The choice is always yours,” is a great way!
A life journey fills you with many cups of courage, choices, disappointment, encouragement, failure, and a found purpose. The result and reward calculate all the sums to equal who you become. What we do, when we do it, how we do it, and why always leads us to who we serve. If we choose only to help ourselves, so much of life and after will be lost; in the choice of service to others, we find our true gifts and rewards.