For those of you who aren't aware of it, Lynne Truair and I run two companies. One company deals with corporate training and the other, The World Youth Network International, is for the educational community.
Today, I was invited by Lisa Canty of Our Holy Redeemer School in Australia to visit her class of 3rd and 4th grade students. They are using all of our IQ, EQ, SQ curriculum and hearing from the students how they use it and how they love it touched my heart. When teachers and the principal, Jason Geraghty, heard about the 180 power pak they were excited!
I am thrilled to have this opportunity to welcome Our Holy Redeemer administration and teachers into the Power Pak Community.
- How can we help teachers and principals be more successful at achieving their outcomes?
- How can we support the emotional and social literacy (EQ and SQ) needed to stop bullying on our school campuses?
- How can we support educators and schools in developing or enhancing a community of caring on their campus?
- How can we make all of this affordable and really easy to access for everyone on the campus?
And the 180 Power Pak was born! It is easy to access for everyone at an unbeatable price point, with parent videos, lots of activities, e-seminars for admin and teachers and ongoing support during the course of the year.
Teachers are loving it! Here's what they have to say:
"Having activities, stories and quotations at my fingertips is totally great!"
"The curriculum with the social emotional components is just what I needed."
"I used to spend time looking for activities and stories to support social learning and now I can instantly access these and they are grade relevant. Good stuff!"
And a principal recently said:
"Thanks for the e-seminars - especially the one on building a collaborative school community. I used it to engage my entire faculty in creating our plan for the coming year."
I haven't always loved mind mapping. During school, I was well trained in outlining and I was fairly good at it. Habits from childhood can run deep. So it took me a few years to let go of the old and embrace the new.
However, when I did let go of the old outlining method, I fell in love with mind mapping! It is the fastest, most powerful brainstorming tool I've ever used.
As a result, when I planned my first book, Learning to Learn - Maximizing Your Performance Potential, I mind mapped it. I brainstormed the entire book on a single page and I followed the map through the entire writing process.
In fact, when I thought that I'd lost the page somewhere half way through the book I freaked because I thought I lost the plot of the book. When I did find it, I made copies of it, filed the copies and finished the book.
Then, some years ago, I ran into Tony Buzan. He was the original author of mind mapping and he had developed a mind mapping program for the computer. I purchased it immediately and have been using it ever since.
Recently I upgraded to the iMindMap5 release and I love it. It is excellent for students, teachers, business people, project planners, and anyone who uses brainstorming as part of their planning process. Some of the new items included are a 3D view, presenter guides, greater ease of navigation, more templates and a lot more.
Below is a mind map that I did on Leadership for an executive team I'm coaching. The skills, skill sets and competencies I will include in the process are included on the right. The character traits necessary for success are on the left.
This is a comprehensive overview of everything I will cover in the coming months. And it gives the coachee a clear picture of where we are heading.
The map took me 15 minutes to do and the style I will present it in is 3D with various areas popping onto the computer screen as I highlight them.
My deepest apologies to all of you parents and teachers who were with me for those two wonderful evening events in Melbourne. That you all came out to discuss the issues we are addressing for your children and for the three schools involved was inspiring. Parents are often tired after a full day of work and though that might have been the case with you, all of you showed up and stayed for the full evening.
W. Edward Deming was the creator of TQM (Total Quality Management).He was also responsible for raising Japan out of the dust after WWII. The Deming Quality Award is the second highest award in all of Japan - second only to the Emperor's Award.
I loved W. Edward Deming and had the opportunity to spend 4 days of my life in training with him. I realized during that entire time that I was in the presence of a virtual giant.
In the four days I spent with Deming, his presence and his brilliance were palpable. He had a powerful, quick, agile mind and a quick wit even at 94. When challenged by a young man from the floor he responded, "Young man, my product is Japan. What is your product?" The man blanched as Deming continued. "Come with an open mind to learn because my job is done while yours is just beginning."
Although Deming passed away 11 months after I studied with him, his ideas and his wisdom live in my work to this day. There are four key steps in the Deming process. And they can be applied not just to CEO's and business people, but by leaders on the campus and teachers in the classroom.
- Consistency - Be consistent in the delivery of your products and services.
- Whether you are a leader or a teacher, be consistent in your words. Keep your emotions in tact, consistent and balanced.
- Trust - Consistency builds trust in the people you serve.
- If you are a leader, watch the response of those in your team. As a classroom teacher, notice how your students react to you. Protect their dignity by never making them wrong in front of their peers. Acknowledge the difference between an intention and a mistake and then apologize when you make a mistake.
- Loyalty - As trust is built and stabilized through consistency, loyalty blossoms.
- Whether you are a campus leader or a leader in the classroom, pay attention the response that you get from those around you. Loyalty is built on trust. Trust is built on consistency. Thus if your people are loyal you have laid the foundation well.
- Repeat Business - When all of the above factors are in place, people come back for more.
- Repeat business within the school construct means that your team and your students want more, are willing to give more and do more. They are willing to go the extra mile to support you and/or learn from you.
So how do you build capacity? All of the results in the Deming model are built on number 1 - consistency. So let's focus on consistency.
For me, consistency is the hardest mountain to climb. I feel as if I climb it every single day. Plateaus are short lived and only provide a momentary illusory respite. I say illusory because there really is no rest on the journey to become consistent in words and actions.
So here's the 4 step study guide:
- Recommit to the goal every morning.
- Action-Awareness - Practice and observe yourself during the course of the day. Course correct for greater consistency.
- Reflect at days end on where you did well and where you would like to improve.
Do the same cycle every day for 30 days and notice how your results improve.
Students need to feel connected to the adults in their school environment. The more connected they feel the greater the positive impact this has on everything from academics to social and emotional behavior.
So how do we do this?
The 3-6-9 Rule that I developed and deliver to every school community that I work in will help you. Teach it to every adult member of your school community and ask for committed practice of the 3-6-9 Rule from everyone on the team.
When walking across the campus or standing in the hallways or office areas...
3 - Look up, smile and say hello to every person who passes within 3 feet (1 metre) of you.
6 - Look up, smile and nod at every person that passes within 6 feet (2 metres) of you.
9- Look up and nod at every person that passes within 9 feet (3 metres) of you.
Let every adult on the campus know how important they are in the lives of students. Their connection on any given day and at any given moment could be what makes that students day! Invite everyone to have fun with this. Make it a game to see how many students you can connect with during the day. And of course, if you know their name use it! Students love to be acknowledged by their names!!
I truly deep in my heart hope the research is wrong! I truly hope that we as people are not facing such a troubled future. But it startled me into thinking. If the research is only 1/2 true, if the students of today are even just 20% less empathetic and compassionate than their predecessors, this is a staggering thought.
It requires some pretty deep consideration about what we are doing and where we are going in education. Maybe we need to ask ourselves a few questions that will help us hit the reset button on our educational computers:
- What does it mean to be a human being?
- What does it mean to be truly human?
- Are we nurturing the right qualities in school or are we serving the intellectual mind beyond all else?
I'm not saying that intellect isn't important. It is really important!
Maybe it is more to do with IQ as the Quality of our Intellect - how we use our minds and how we think.
Maybe it is what we do with our lives and what we contribute of ourselves to society and what legacy we leave... maybe these are better measurements of our humanity and of our success.
No numerical score can ever measure that. No number can place me on the Dean's list of Life. I have to live it to be there.
And the questions above have guided my actions and tempered my words making me a better human being - a more compassionate caring individual - as I progressed through the seasons of my life.
And if I might be so bold, maybe these questions can help us rethink and reinvent our educational process so that it more closely aligns with the long walk of life rather than the shorter sprint through the halls of learning.
The Illustrious Gang of 5 found me... How cool is this hyper-connected and wonderful world that I can think out loud on a blog and straight away the beautiful Donna and Antonella send me an email. So here's the scoop.
The Gang of 5 consciously keeps the training alive in the field. The 'field' is the field of life where we put into practice what has been learned in the training room. Each member of the team, in their own way, carries the flame of inspiration and energy to their students and the entire campus. I call it "intentional positivity".
This photo shows you that energy
Keep up the good work ladies! Thank you for who you are!
Being intentionally positive works!
In all my years working in organizational development I have been results-oriented.
I believe in results and outcomes.
I understand results come from action and focus.
I think in terms of focus, then action and finally the results.
So if I turn my attention onto the education of students, I see that schools focus primarily on intellectual development. Obviously intellectual development is important, and shows up in scores in math, reading comprehension, English, science. The results in all core subjects areas are directly related to the amount of time and energy spent on these subjects.
From my perspective it shows up in classroom behavior, schoolyard interactions, as well as student dealings with teachers, administrative staff and each other throughout the campus. It shows up in how students communicate with each other.
Most schools review the numbers of principal referrals and bullying incidents. Some schools might interview teachers on the classroom management issues they are facing. All of these give us information regarding the job we are doing as educators.
Measuring Emotional and Social Literacy on a scale like that used for intellectual development is much harder. It might even be an illusive ideal to have a school wide measure for these things. But it might be time to start thinking along these lines.
The community in which your school, your family and in fact my family and friends live is dependent on us measuring and developing the emotional and social well being of students in our classrooms.
The community we want tomorrow is dependent on the results of schools today.
I was more than deeply disturbed at the story that surfaced months ago about Phoebe Prince, 15, who committed suicide in January due to bullying of epic proportions. Maybe heartbroken, stomach wrenching, sad, horrified that anything could come to this... maybe these feelings more closely approximate my reactions. Yet even these words belie the feelings in my heart of hearts.
I agonize for the parents. I agonize for the child who left our world in torment, thinking there was no other way out. I agonize for those that didn't hear or respond to the cries of a child's desperate need. I agonize for the schools who have these issues and the teachers and principals who face these issues daily. And I agonize for a system that has gone awry.
I feel as if I've been a voice in the wilderness calling for emotional and social literacy reform in the schools forever. But this blog is not about me. It's about an issue so deep that It has become systemic. And maybe its deeper than that. Maybe it is about the health or lack of health of our humanity at its very core.
How many more children will be sacrificed? What does it take for all of us to wake up?Â Please follow this story and see if you can stand aside.
Every child is our child.
I am so sorry we lost this one.
I am not the only voice calling for reform, this article also calls for Bullying+expert+says+Massachusetts+school+didn't+follow+advice" target="_blank">action, but I want the reform to be deeper then policies and procedures.
Human beings are emotional social beings. If they are not getting emotional and social education, then we need to provide it. Let's get to the heart of the matter that is ailing our children and then support this work with viable policies and procedures.