Wednesday, June 29, 2016

4th of July Give Away Alert! Let "FREEdom" Ring!!



Hey friends! Are you ready for some 4th of July celebrations? Well I am super excited to team up with the fabulous Mrs. MeGown over at Mrs. MeGown’s Second Grade Safari for a “Let ‘Free’dom Ring” give away next week! Entry is going to be easy peasy and required in order to win. You will get to choose one product of your choice from each of our TPT stores!!! If you have not already followed our stores, blogs, or FB pages please do! That way you will get the first notifications for when we go live!
OH! And there will be TWO winner winner chicken dinners!! Please share this info with all your friends and keep your eyes peeled Monday!

The Blessed OCDiva: 





Mrs. MeGown’s Second Grade Safari:



FB: www.facebook.com/megownssecondgradesafariblog/


Have a BLESSED day!!
"Restore to me the joy of your salvation."
Psalm 51:12



Wednesday, June 22, 2016

10 Principles of Leadership- Applying them in your leadership journey

Well hello there! So I have taken a bit of a hiatus since my last post. We wrapped up the year, moved out of my school into my dining room, was in a wedding, went to TEPSA, and still continuing to finish up a few commitments before I can officially stay put for hopefully awhile!
I have not shared on here yet what my plans are for next year, which is another reason for not blogging for a bit. I have had the amazing opportunity to become the ELA/SS Instructional Coach at a brand new school! It does mean I am exciting the 1st grade classroom :( I will miss my little owls! But I am confident that God is leading this new adventure and I have been in the process of being prepared for awhile now. I LOVE teaching with a passion, but I also have always wanted to investigate more into helping teachers more as well. Empowering them to feel confident in their gift and stretching their teaching to better serve their kiddos! I will also be able to stretch myself in ways I have not had to! Scary? Yes! Exciting? Yes! I will be able to expand my blog K-5 as well! So that's a quick down low of where I am going from here!

Moving on! So last week I had the privilege to go to TEPSA (Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association).  My amazing principal, AP's and IC partner all went.

Let me just say it was such an awesome experience. We had SO much fun and gained such amazing information. Way more than I can blog today! I wanted to focus today on one of the sessions I went to that I thought had some really good tips! I will list them below from the notes I took as well as with my own "blurbs" expanded for each.


Christina Cole (presenter)

1. Take Risks- even without success. This is something we don't typically like to do naturally. Our comfort zone is very inviting and reassuring. However, you won't learn a lot about yourself or situations if you don't venture out sometimes. Not only do we need to do this for ourselves but to encourage our kids to do the same and make them feel safe and confident to do so!
Difficult? Yes! Nobody naturally wants to fail. We all want to feel success and that we have accomplished our goals. But the truth is we don't always. Does that mean we are failures? No! Failure is an action NOT a person. It doesn't mean you are less or your effort was less. It means you will work harder to find solutions to be successful. If you give up and quit then your "failure" becomes amplified. And what really is "failure"? Everyone measures success differently. What might seem like a failure to you, could be an epic win for someone else. A victory is a victory no matter the size! Set yourself up to be willing to take the risks- to possibly "fail"- to redo-revamp-refocus- and be completely unwilling to let that stop you! 


2. Assess current situations- make goals for yourself. Be able to assess what is going on and what you are going through so you can adjust accordingly.

3. Hold yourself accountable for actions- once you make decisions you have to be able to own up no matter if it turned out positive or negative. Blaming others serves no purpose. Pass on acknowledgments and give credit where it is due. This again can be transferred into your classroom or work environment. Kids need to learn these aspects of life and be able to hold themselves accountable for their actions.

4. Authenticity - be real. If you are transparent it makes making deeper connections easier as well as building that trust. (adults and kids) You want to be able to have trust with your co-workers but it makes a huge difference in the classroom when your kids can trust you and know you are in it for them and their best interest.
Authentic people are: self-aware
                            transparent
                            honest
                            visible
                            admit to mistakes
An authentic person can not be faked. Most people can sniff one out. Fakers gonna fake. Don't be that person.

5. Spend time reflecting to make positive changes- this speaks for itself. Self reflection is something we want our kids to do constantly, but we need to model it and live it as well. Spend 15 minutes a day reflecting. Keep a journal and document what is going on and ideas to change it if needed. Keep up with what did go well so you can keep that going. I will tell you from personal experience, peeps who want to dish out their "thoughts" "ideas" etc on a situation but offer no positive feedback or constructive ideas on how to change it will suck the life out of the room. You can talk about problems but offer up solutions!

6. Transparency allows trust and positive relationships to evolve- looping back around to this point, your work relationships/kid relationships will have far better chances of being built with deeper connections if built on a solid ground.
-Share "why" and "how"
- Be approachable
-Be open to feedback
-Demonstrate and model yourself so others feel the same way (walk the walk)
To stay positive focus on what you can control- and give the rest to God!


7. Positive mindset breeds a positive climate- it enables productivity, ownership among staff and classmates, and you will get more buy in to what you are selling. No one likes a Debbie Downer, Negative Nancy, Problematic Polly (sorry if you are Debbie, Nancy, or Polly reading this ;) ) This will eventually break down and corrode a healthy environment.

8. Communication is essential- your actions speak louder. There is a fine line between being too personal and staying professional.  You want to build trust and be transparent and keep open communication, however, you don't always want to throw your baggage out there either. And lets be real, we all have some kind of baggage. I mean some baggage can be super cute and organized but others needs to stay packed at home.
Like a duck they look so peaceful and calm above the surface of the water, but underneath they are paddling those little legs as fast as they can. 
People don't always need to see the "struggle". Be selective.

-Be diligent in what and why you share/communicate.
-Be well rounded in your communication- "Listen to understand not necessarily to reply" This is hard for people. I think we naturally want to provide a fix quickly for someone, but sometimes it's not about a fix. Sometimes its about self discovery and the journey to a solution. Sometimes it may not even be about a solution at all.
-It is not always about "what" you say but "how" you say it.

9. Establish trust for growth to occur- know your individuals (adults or kids)
-Value feedback-the last thing that will stunt the growth of the trust tree is shoving someone's feedback off into the ditch. Sounds cheesy how I said it but it speaks truth- as humans we want our thoughts to be valued. Kids want their ideas, trials, failures, and hearts valued. Adults are not much different either.
- Lead by example- if you want me to follow you I need to see you offer your example. The proof is in the pudding.
- Get in the trenches- staff or kids. If I ask you to do something or expect a certain outcome or effort from you I better be willing to do it too or at least show you. What makes them tick? Why? How can you nurture their beliefs as well as grow their goals?

10. Effective and positive relationships between leaders and staff must be cultivated for organization to succeed. Without strong relationships: programs, initiatives, ideas, etc won't matter. This can be easily transferred into the classroom as well. Again, if kids don't feel a connection or feel like they matter or are heard; it won't matter how late you work each night or how long/detailed your lesson is it will not be as effective. Same with adults- if I don't feel valued or have no trust within my professional circle I am going to hold back and won't be able to go all in!


I hope these 10 tips were helpful! I feel they can be applied not just in a leadership role on your campus, but into the classroom as well!

Have a BLESSED day! 
What a comfort knowing His love never fails, changes, or waivers! At least we are guaranteed one constant always in this ever changing life!