Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thoughtful Gestures

With eighteen days left of school, many of us are tapping into our deepest reserve of perseverance, kindness, and patience. Many routines are altered to accommodate special activities. Teachers have a triple load of teaching, assessing and writing up reports. All of us have to complete our planning for next year and wrap up all the loose ends from this year before school closes. It is all wonderful and meaningful work, and I love every minute of it. However, there are moments when it feels a bit overwhelming.

Then on Friday afternoon, on my way back from drying up little tears, this was on my desk. The depth of encouragement I felt . . . that is, a lovely refill of courage in my heart came to be. I am reminded of the importance of putting good intent into actions, and am going to do a little something for someone every day for the next seventeen days of school.

Thank you for the inspiration~

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Power of Encouragement

When children are stuck, we don't have to engage in a power struggle with them. A little encouragement, a surprise but genuine response from us sometimes open up the little hearts and mind.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

Introverts as Leaders

Boringness: The Secret to Great Leadership - Joel Stein - Harvard Business Review

This goes hand-in-hand with the style of leadership Susan Cain speaks of in her book Quiet. Our culture values charisma too much. Quiet, thoughtful, reflective are all good leadership qualities. I am going to work on listening, really listening this week!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thank You Mr. Joe!

Every community needs persons of warmth and wisdom. We, at the Lowell School, have been lucky to have Mr. Joe Consolazio all these years! Many a little heart has that smile warmed and encouraged~

Snippets on Bullying

[From Developmental Resources Inc.]

A few highlights from recent research compiled by Dr. Meline Kevorkian and Robin D'Antona in 101 Facts about Bullying: What Everyone Should Know.

Fact #3: Bullying often happens in front of adults. (Teachers and parents sometimes overlook bullying because they view it as a “fair fight.”)

Fact #5: Bullying is a worldwide problem! (International researchers have demonstrated that bullying in schools is universal.)

Fact #8: Even friends can be bullies. (Children should be taught to differentiate between constructive criticism, friendly advice and outright bullying.)

Fact #15: Sibling violence is as serious as peer-to-peer violence. (Sibling bullying usually involves children between the ages of 2 and 9.)

Fact #26: Bully-victims are students who can be both a bully and a victim. (Because they have been victimized, bully-victims feel a sense of entitlement to perpetuate the behavior.)

Fact #27: Bully-victims and bullies tend to have more negative attitudes toward school. (They also tend to be more involved in negative behaviors – including delinquency, weapons possession and substance abuse.)

Fact #29: Students who fight back are more likely to be victimized. (Contrary to popular belief, violence often aggravates the situation.)

Fact #30: Victims tend to lack social skills and blame themselves when they are bullied. (They often feel they deserve to be treated poorly by their peers.)

Fact #33: Adolescents who bully often are popular and psychologically strong. (Bullies often use their status within a group to humiliate others. Because they tend to be psychologically stronger, they use that ability to control others.)

Fact #35: Overly aggressive and overly permissive parents are equally likely to have children who bully. (Harsh parents send a message to their children that this is an appropriate way to respond to others. Permissive parents fail to apply consequences for aggressive behavior.)

Dr. Meline Kevorkian is also author of Preventing Bullying, Six Secrets for Parents to Help Their Kids Achieve in School and The Comfort Zone. She is the Executive Director of Academic Review at Nova Southeastern University and a board member of the International Bullying Prevention Association.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Building Each Other Up

The thing with marriage is that it is made up of two imperfect people. We can focus on the things that bother us; or we can focus on the things that bond us. I distinctly remember the moment after many years of marriage, when I realized that although my husband is no Tarzan, I am certainly no Jane. Correcting him, or worse, criticizing him in private or in public never led to any positive changes in our relationship. Being encouraging and building him up, on the other hand, always added goodness to our shared lives.

Sometimes, I have to bite my tongue until it bleeds . . .