Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.-
Samuel Butler, English composer and novelist
The starting point of all achievement is desire. ~Napolean Hill
Imagine a company is going through some economic challenges and it comes to the point that the only way to survive is to make some immediate changes. So the Chief Executive Officer gets all the ten managers together for a meeting. You happen to be one of the managers.
One by one, he comes down the line asking what could be done to have this company, and by extension jobs saved. After the ninth manager, here comes your turn. With all eyes on you, the question is asked: “What can we do to save this company and your job?”
With a confident smile on your face you blurt out: “I have absolutely no idea!”
Now, if you were the last one that the company was depending on to come up with a good idea, then, there goes the jobs and the many lives depending on the employee.
Hi, my name is Allick, and I’m the Behaviourist Buy, and today I want to talk about actively thinking about the needs of the family as it pertains to building a stronger, better team.
So what are we talking about here?
There comes a time, when a parent, husband or wife, need to reflect on the direction the family is heading, and what can be done to ensure the family see the success it deserves.
Now this approach of becoming a reflective practitioner can help solve most, if not all major problems a family may have. The following are some steps you can take to help you become more reflective of issues affecting the family and how to solve them:
Step 1: Identifying the problem.
An adult may say to a child: “You never listen to me when I say go cleanup your room.” And this is normally followed by some kind of argument, back and forth. Now, most times the conflict would have been averted if the adult had said something differently. What I mean here is that if the adult was more specific in what the child appears to not be doing, this may reduce the chance of a conflict escalating.
So the next time you are having a disagreement with your child, try to be specific. For example, if you want them to cleanup their room, let them know what is to be done. So we are looking at things like remove clothing and books from the floor and pack them in their respective cupboards, dust writing desk, place shoes under bed, side by side in a straight line.
Step 2: Try to see the problem as though you were the other person.
This means, that you must walk in their shoes, as it were. That would mean, that you look at the named issue, and try to see if it would really be considered a problem for all persons.
Let say, again, it has to do with cleaning up their room after playtime. You as the adult may look at the entire room and say it is untidy. But, could you see, that for a child, it may be that they can still get to bed and sleep; at least if they arch their body just right, they can actually fall asleep between the rubble. And, that is a reason why they may not see an untidy room as a problem.
Step 3: Think in terms that the child may not be previously aware of the behaviour we are calling to their attention.
The child may see for instance the room with a number of stuff thrown about, but a question that could be ask is: Are they aware of the reasons for keeping their room clean? Don’t take for granted that they know.
Because they are 10 years old or 12 years old or because they are teenagers?
Sometimes what can happen is that we look at the child’s physical structure and make a determination, that cognitively or their ability to reason, should be commensurate with how they look. And that’s, not always the way to determine knowledge.
Step 4: How could I modified the child’s behavior?
It is often stated that a picture can paint 1000 words. This means that at times you may have to show them a picture of what behaviours you are expecting them to engage.
Video content is something that can keep the interest of a child. So it may be that you show them someone engaging in the behavior you want them to also engage in.
At times you may have to tell a story from your experience. For example, when you found as a child a scorpion in your untidy room (or something else with a little shock factor). Let them know how you felt scared and what you decided to do after that experience (hopefully it was to start keeping your room tidy!).
You may need to also build, or purchase cupboards for them to pack away their stuff. Also, teach your children how to label sections of the room, so that they will know exactly what goes where.
Step 5: Think about whether you are showing reasonableness or patients.
Sometimes you may want a particular behavior to stop immediately. Fidgeting for instance or speaking out of turn might be one of them.
Or once more, for them to clean up their room.
But it is important to think about the age group of the child, and the length of time they may have taken to develop this unwanted behaviour. As such, it may also take some time to reverse, or learn different behaviours; or the more positive ones.
It is important to note that there are some behaviors that are simply age specific. And so, more than likely, with proper guidance or appropriate discipline, the child will grow out of this unwanted behaviour. Please understand that this will also take time, patients and reasonableness on your part as the adult. In so doing, you will help the child to successfully navigate through this time.
So, you are a good manager, who can come up with how to solve family problems. Especially with how you interact with a child when there is a perceived problem. Follow these five steps and you’ll be fine.
Well, that’s all for now. This is Allick. Hope you learned something.
See you next time.
1) Love your students (even when they’re not so loveable!)
Enjoying and growing with your students is one of the most important ways to combat burnout. Unfortunately when you’re stressed, it can feel almost impossible to see the kids as the beautiful people that they are. It’s really helped me to build times into our daily schedule which force me to step back and remember what’s important.
For example, in our class meetings, I set a timer for one minute and the entire class greeted one another by name, usually with a handshake of some sort. That’s all the time to takes for every student to smile up at me, shake my hand, and say, “Good morning, Mrs. Watson!” This act alone sets the tone for the day and reminds me that I’m dealing with kids who have feelings, too.
I also had my students give a ‘fist bump or handshake’ when they left the classroom each afternoon. This personal acknowledgement gave me another chance to connect with each child and really calmed me down at the end of the day when I was feeling stressed. Sometimes I also had ‘tickets out the door’—the kids wrote one thing they learned that day and handed me their paper (the ‘ticket’) at dismissal. Having a written record that YES, this day was worth getting out of bed for because I did actually get through to the kids, was enough to help me keep going sometimes when feeling discouraged.
You can have lunch or snack with your kids as a reward every now and then—an unstructured time to just sit and talk about what’s going on in their lives really endears them to you (and vice versa).
Look for little ways like this to accomplish the goal of seeing students as individual people with unique needs, feelings, and experiences. Sometimes the school system trains us to think of kids as machines that can be pushed to the limit every minute of the day and perform at 100% of their ability regardless of outside factors, and we have to intentionally do things to remind ourselves that this is not the case.
When kids feel cared for and respected, they will work harder for you and follow your rules, making the day less stressful and more productive for everyone. It’s worth taking the time and energy to connect with your kids, because the payoffs are ten fold!
2) Focus on your big picture vision
It’s easy to get caught up in the little things that are so frustrating about being a teacher: repeating directions over and over, dealing with the same behavior problem from the same kid every single day, completing meaningless paperwork, grading a million papers…and if you focus on the small things that drive you crazy, you WILL get burned out.
There is a reason you became a teacher—was it to make a difference in a child’s life? To express your creativity? To immerse yourself in a subject you love and inspire students to do the same?
Reconnect with that part of you.
Write out your personal mission statement and post it somewhere in the room where you (and maybe only you) will see it throughout the day.
Create goals that you know you can meet and celebrate your success when you reach them.
Don’t major in the minors or allow yourself to become discouraged by distractions. The extent of your work and your impact goes far beyond what you see from day to day. Seeds are being planted, and lives are being changed, whether you see the results immediately or not.
3) Create a strong support system
I am blessed to have had at least one person in each school I’ve worked in that I considered a true friend—not just a colleague or associate, but a person that I could call at 2 a.m. with a flat tire and know that she would pick me up. When I was single, I hung out with someone from my job almost every single day, whether it was for something fun like shopping at the mall or hanging out on the beach, or something practical, like running errands together or keeping an eye on her kids while she cooked dinner for us (a good trade, I might add.) Knowing that I had someone I can go to with any problem, personal or professional, was the main thing that got me through the day sometimes—that thought of, whew, in an hour I can go next door and just vent!
If you wish you had friends like that in your school, give it time. Because teachers spend so much time isolated in their own classrooms, there aren’t many opportunities to get to know one another, and it can take awhile to get close to your colleagues. Be open to opportunities, and don’t write anyone off–I’ve often bonded with people that I would have never imagined myself growing close to! Even finding just one wise person you trust and can share ideas with might be all you need.
When time goes by and you feel like you still aren’t making connections with anyone in your current teaching position, you could also consider moving to another grade level or even school where there are teachers that have similar personalities (and ideally, life situations) as you. Having a strong support system is just that critical, and it’s sometimes worth the move!
When a student needs a break and you have a trusted colleague, you can send the child to him or her to work for awhile, no questions asked. When you miss a meeting, you have someone to take notes for you. When you’re rearranging your classroom or revamping your behavior plan, you have someone to bounce ideas off. If you have even a single co-worker that you can count on for that, it’s going to make a big difference in your energy level and enthusiasm at work.
Even if you don’t have true friends at work—or if you prefer to keep your personal and professional lives separate—it is important to have people you trust and can go to when you’re stressed at school. Your spouse, friends, and family do NOT understand what it is like to be a teacher unless they have been educators themselves—what we go through on a daily basis in completely beyond the realm of imagination for the general public. You need to talk to another teacher who understands the pressure you’re under, so seek people out in teacher Facebook groups, message board forums, Twitter chats, and so on. Join one of my book clubs or The 40 Hour Teacher Workweek Club. There are fantastic teachers out there who want to offer support and friendship!
4) Focus on flexibility and express your creativity
For me, one of the best aspects of being a teacher is the ability to be creative and let my classroom and daily routines reflect my personality and interests. Before you complain that YOU don’t have that kind of flexibility, let me assure you, I taught in Florida where third graders were automatically retained if they didn’t pass the state standardized test, so I was under a tremendous amount of pressure. We had to have our schedules posted and were supposed to adhere to them at all times. Our lesson plans had to be planned as a grade level team and followed precisely.
And even with these types of restraints, I still maintained a sense of freedom in my classroom. Sure, I needed to teach a specific standard on this day between 11:15 a.m. and 11:45 a.m., but I could teach it any way I wanted—with apps, individual dry erase boards, games, manipulatives, group activities, music, and so on.
I’d start the lesson I had planned, gauge the kids’ interest, and then adjust accordingly. I don’t know of any teachers, other than those who have scripted lessons, who are not allowed that sort of freedom, in reality if not on paper. Don’t lose sight of how awesome it is to choose many of the activities you do each day!
You probably have more control over your classroom than you realize. If your head hurts, you can have the kids can do more independent work; if you’re feeling energetic, you can teach using a game; if you want to sit down for awhile, you can call the kids to the carpet and teach while relaxing in a rocking chair. We have a tremendous amount of flexibility that we CANNOT overlook.
Think about how many people sit behind a desk nine hours a day, every day, doing the work other people assign to them. Hardly anyone gets to change tasks to suit their moods and still be productive—we do, because teaching is as much an art as it is a science, and there are a limitless number of ways to teach effectively.
Yes, there are many limits and restraints on teachers that threaten to suck all the joy out of our profession. But when you focus on what you DO have control over and all the ways that you CAN be flexible and express your creativity, you return to that original passion you had for teaching.
You took this job because you wanted to do awesome things with kids every day. So do that! Stay focused on your vision rather than the restraints that create burnout.
Go into your classroom and focus on what’s meaningful. Use the flexibility and opportunities to be creative that you’re given. Surround yourself with awesome teachers and a strong support network so you don’t feel isolated. Return to your big picture vision as a teacher, and enjoy your students. You can do this, and remember–it’s not going to be easy, it’s going to be worth it! Next Sunday, I’ll share four more keys to avoiding burnout right here in this post.
Admit it, failing at anything in school does not feel good!
It can damage your self-esteem, make you lose interest in educational pursuits and to see yourself as a failure.
I want to help you with exactly what must be done, to put you in a position to perform at your highest potential at school.
Learning can be fun and very rewarding. When your self-esteem is improved, you are placed in a position where you want to replicate your performance.
This is a straight forward student’s guide to a quick turnaround to educational success. Inside you will find exercises and questions for reflection.
Prepare your physical area to study.
Use a stop watch or wall clock.
Do not procrastinate.
Always have confidence in yourself.
Helping others to examine themselves.
Planning for each day of school.
Some experts estimate that 85 percent of your financial success comes not from your skills or knowledge but from your ability to connect with other people and engender their trust and respect.
Within seconds, everyone you meet forms an impression that largely determines whether they’ll like, trust, and respect you.
Whether you’re job-hunting or fundraising or leading an organization, making a good impression is absolutely critical. (No pressure, right?)
So whether you are looking to raise money for your company, or you are managing your team or leading your business, connecting to people and making a great impression is very important.
Here are some tips to help you win hearts and minds in 30 seconds:
Neutralize the fight-or-flight response.
The first few seconds of a first encounter are driven by instinctive reactions. Each person makes unconscious immediate appraisals that center around how safe they feel. Be mindful of your immediate signals, and make sure they could never be perceived as threatening.
Be mindful of personal space and respect the boundaries of others. If in doubt, follow the other person’s cues: if they lean in, you lean in; if they stand back, you do the same. Remember that concepts of appropriate personal space vary by culture.
In business, first impressions are frequently colored by expectations. We expect people to live up to the image we have created in our minds from their reputation, phone calls, emails, or texts. We expect consistency with that general image — and without it, we feel some degree of disappointment and confusion. It’s not the time to surprise others with a new side of your personality.
Be mindful of body language.
It accounts for more than half of what others respond to initially — so it literally does speak louder than words. Hold yourself in a way that signals attention and an open heart, and keep a facial expression that combines authority with approachability and eye contact.
The language of the brain is pictures, sounds, feelings, and to a lesser extent, smells and tastes. It’s much more difficult to translate negatives into brain-friendly imagery than positives. Work to develop a positive explanatory style.
Keep control of your attitude.
The general energy you give off is one of the first unconscious things people respond to. If you’re frazzled, project calm. If you’re distracted and unenthusiastic, project positivity. (You’ll not only make a better impression, but you can influence your own mood.)
Manage your moods.
People are drawn to warmth, enthusiasm, and confidence more than anger, arrogance, and impatience. Whatever is going on around you, manage your responses to get the best response from others.
Make sure your words, your tone of voice, and your body language are all saying the same thing. Mixed messages put off others, but consistency gives you clarity and credibility.
Use sensory language.
Activate people’s senses, and mix up your imagery to make sure you hit their strength. Whenever possible, use descriptions of visual images, sounds, textures, motion, and feelings to add meaning to what you’re saying.
Be curious, open-minded, and interested.
If you can get the other person talking and keep them talking, odds are they’ll be drawn to you. Be interested and open-minded; ask questions that spark their imagination and ignite conversation.
Dress for success.
Find a personal style that represents who you are and the message you want to send about yourself. Look at your dress and appearance as packaging a product.
Have a personal statement.
Have a personal statement prepared and memorized so you can tell others concisely and eloquently what you do, what it means to you, and why it makes a difference. Think of it not as a sales pitch but an engaging and artfully crafted mini-presentation.
Work through these points and you should have a great first impression all lined up.
One final tip as you get out there:
Treat every connection you make as if it’s the most important thing you’ve ever done. Because, frankly, you never know when it actually will be.