Am I a Storyteller?

It was in Grade Two when I first had the audacity to create an after-school writing club with a handful of friends.
Audacious, because my teacher believed that although I showed hints of “potential,” my story craft was evidently pretty weak.
Every week or so after the final bell rang, my little crew and I would race onto the bus, walk the 1/2 mile of gravel road to my front door, plunk ourselves down at my kitchen table, and we’d begin.
I think in hindsight that the others came for the snacks. I bumbled through that year with the unwavering belief that I was a storyteller.
Soon, with advent of a few strong personalities and notable events in my life, that belief transformed into doubt. I began curating my contributions and took on the role of observer.
The truth is that until recently, I’ve rushed to the punch-line, unable to own my slice of the limelight.
Not long after my children were born, I tuned back into the little whispers and the deep restlessness I felt.
I began writing.
It wasn’t “good” but it was my voice. Clarity and passions emerged… ideas… interests.
My joyful observation and curiosity then pushed me to start a podcast.
I am honoured to listen to the stories of countless people and delight in connecting them to my own, to the narrative of common humanity that runs through all of us.
Now, I have been delighting in creating workshops for educators around creating belonging, and I understand the engaging power of story.
I am have stepped back into the belief that I am a storyteller.
How about you?
I’d love to hear your story of how some of this content has changed your viewpoint.
#kindsight101 #smallactbigimpact #teachers

 

Ep. 85: Love is Medicine (With Monique Gray Smith)

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Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Lakota and Scottish ancestry and a proud Mom of fifteen year old twins. She is an award-winning, best-selling author and sought after consultant. Some of her books include: Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation, You Hold Me Up, What Fills My Heart with happiness, and Tilly and the Crazy Eights. Her books remind the reader of the power of the human spirit and that love is medicine. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience. We explore the concepts of

  • istening to your intuition,
  • being patient in allowing success to happen in a slow way,
  • the power of gratitude,
  • the gift of cookie people in our lives,
  • and how to give a heartfelt territorial acknowledgement that doesn’t just “tick the box.”
  • You can find Monique Gray Smith by typing her name in google.

Monique believes in the strength and resilience
of Indigenous peoples worldwide.

Monique Gray Smith is a mixed heritage woman of Cree, Monique Gray Smith is a proud Mom of fifteen year old twins. She is an award-winning, best-selling author and sought after consultant. Monique’s first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature.

Since then, Monique has had 5 books come out, including Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation. Speaking our Truth has won numerous awards, is a a Canadian Best Seller and a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award.

It continues to be used across the country as a tool to educate the hearts and minds of both young and not so young readers. Monique’s latest release, Tilly and the Crazy Eights is an adult novel about an epic road trip that reminds the reader of the power of the human spirit and that love is medicine.

Monique is Cree, Lakota and Scottish and has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 28 years. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience.

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

 

What If We Had User Manuals for People?

User manual with magnifying glass. User guide document and magnifier. Handbook, handbook, instruction and guidebook vector icon
Dr. Adam Grant suggests that we should all get clear on what makes us tick in order to play better with others. 

What if we issued user-manual that made it easier for people to work with us? It’s almost certain that conflicts and misunderstandings would decrease and productivity would increase.

That’s exactly what Dr. Adam Grant decided to do, after receiving some negative feedback from members of his team. He decided that it would be helpful for those around him to provide him with some specific feedback about his strengths and his blind spots.

It turns out that the user manual was a brilliant document that enabled people to interact with Grant in an effective, productive manner. Many people and companies have adopted this strategy in their businesses and organizations.

What if we took this approach with school? It’s possible we could do this with our colleagues, with our students, even with our administration to amplify connections.

Here’s how you can start.

Part I:

Here are the questions that Dr. Grant suggests you should reflect on the following three questions:  ask when creating your own personal User Manual:

  1. What are my strengths? How can someone bring these out in me?
  2. What are my weaknesses? What tends to bring those out?
  3. What are some of my “bright spots” (the spots that are strengths I might tend to see)?

Part II:

Think of 5-10 people who work, live, and play alongside you and ask them to answer some questions about you. These should be you genuinely like and trust. You could send out a google doc or a quick email to see what comes back.

  1. Reflected Best-Self: Ask 15-20 colleagues to contribute stories of times when you were at your best.
  2. Next, analyse the stories and find common themes. What activates my being at my best?
  3. Ask these colleagues to reflect on the following questions about you:
    1. What are my blind spots?
    2. Triggers that bring out the worst in me?
    3. What do you wish you knew about me when we first started working together?

Take all of this information and put it into a one-pager that highlights your strengths, stretches (with triggers), and ideal communication style.

 

Written by Morgane Michael #smallactbigimpact #kindsight101

 

 

 

Ep. 82/83 The Power of Visuals, Child Honouring, and the Gratitude Jar (With Kristin Wiens)

 

https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Have you ever wondered which small shifts in your classroom practice could make the most impact?

In Part One of my interview with Inclusion Coach, Kristin Wiens, we discuss the transformative and creative use of visuals in the classroom including specific tips and tricks for amping up your effectiveness in the classroom.

We talk about what an inclusion coach’s role involves and what educators need more than ever.

We touch on the fact that EA’s are the unsung heroes in education and Kristin’s Educational Assistant ground-breaking training program.

Finally, we explore the importance of developing unconditional  positive regard for those we serve in the classroom and community, but most importantly how to foster self-compassion for ourselves.

Kristin is the Special Education Inclusion Coach at School District 62 in Victoria, B.C. Canada. Passionate about Inclusion, Visuals, UDL, Self-Reg, Mindfulness, and Creativity. She is also a Speaker & Author of My Gratitude Jar.

In our second part of the interview, we focus on her work with activist and musician, Raffi, talk about the 9 principles of child-honouring, explore her collaborative online course with Raffi, and highlight her beautiful book, The Gratitude Jar. You won’t want to miss that conversation!

Please see the show notes for links to her amazing free visuals and gratitude Jar Reading  at northstarpaths.com. You can follow Kristin on twitter at kwiens62 or on Instagram @kristin.weins .

North Star Paths http://northstarpaths.com/

The Gratitude Jar Book : http://northstarpaths.com/childrens-books/

Twitter: @kwiens62

Instagram: kristin.wiens

 

Ep 79: The Secret to Health and Happiness (With Gail Markin)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Have you ever wondered what the number one predictor for high-achieving teams was? What about optimizing the brain’s most basic neurochemicals to live a happier life? Did you know that there are three main ingredients to create belonging in the work place, and anyone, irrespective of title can contribute to doing so? In our episode with Gail Markin, we’ll be answering these questions and more. I was totally blown away by the TED talk this amazing educator gave this past summer and want to share all the juicy learning with you! You can connect with her @markingail on twitter.

Notes:
Dr. Brene Brown’s master list of emotions
Dr. Lieberman’s work on physical vs. emotional pain

Gail Markin is a Middle School Counsellor and a District Support Teacher for Social Emotional Learning in Langley, British Columbia. Gail has a background in social work, family counselling and parent education. Gail is a member the BC School Centred Mental Health Coalition, Social Emotional Learning BC and the Langley School District Wellness Team. She is passionate about promoting and supporting mental health and wellness for all. Here is the talk that was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at https://www.ted.com/tedx

The 4 Tendencies (Gretchen Rubin)

https---blogs-images.forbes.com-naginaabdullah-files-2017-09-FourTendenciesJacketBasedGraph-1Ever wonder why some people are really good at following through when they’re trying to nail down a new health habit or when they endeavour to quit a harmful vice?

Gretchen Rubin, author of the 4 Tendencies explains that we all fall into one of the 4 personality tendencies and that these tendencies have remarkable implications on the way we live our lives. We learn that there are pros and drawbacks to every tendency and that, if we’re smart, we can harness the strengths in order to live our best life. Not only can we impact our own lives positively, but having a working knowledge of the framework can help us navigate the various personalities in our lives from our bosses, to our children, to our spouses, to our adversaries, and to various stakeholders in our lives.

Here’s a brief breakdown of the tendencies according to Gretchen Rubin:

Rubins-Four-Tendencies

Here is a test that’ll help you identify your tendency

Here are some helpful ways you can reframe the way you approach expectations based on your tendency:

2

How does knowing your tendency change the way you interact with others?

Feel free to share with others!

#kindsight101 #smallactbigimpact #podcast #education

Urgent vs. Important

pen calendar to do checklist
Urgent vs. Important Tasks

As the great Stephen Covey once asserted, there is a difference between urgent and important tasks. Both are a part of life, but it seems to me that life would be most rewarding if we filled our days more frequently with important rather than urgent matters.

Urgent is the thing that needs attention right NOW! These are tasks that emerge out of a restive mindset, defensive tactical action, rushed, and with a narrow focus on success.

Important are the things that contribute to grander, overarching goals, slow-drip moves that bring you closer to where you want to be, and a sense of intention that correlates with your values.

Of the tasks getting done today, how many are urgent and how many are important?

#kindsight101 #smallactbigimpact

Adopting a “Life-Fit” Mindset

 

Adopting a Life-Fit Mindset

balance countryside field girl
Photo by Mabel Amber on Pexels.com

I often get asked how I manage to fit podcast-creation, online content conception, professional development planning, full-time teaching, mothering, and managing our house at the same time in a balanced way, and the truth is I DON’T!

I’ve learned recently that there is no such thing as work-life balance. The concept simply does not exist in real life!

My friend, speaker, edu phenom and best-selling author Jimmy Casas talks about adopting the mindset of life-fit, instead. We cannot balance everything important simultaneously. What we can do, however, is live an integrated, rich, lopsided, beautiful life.

One approach that has really helped me is using Time Blocks (Charlie Gilkey):
He suggests a more essentialist style by mixing and matching four blocks of time to structure the work of your day. I like this approach because instead of trying to spin all of the plates at one time, you can focus in on a few with an incredible amount of depth:
  • Focus blocks (90–120 mins blocks of creativity, inspiration and high-level focussed work)
  • Social blocks (90–120 mins blocks of connecting with people)
  • Admin blocks (30–60 mins blocks of lower-energy blocks of time)
  • Recovery (variable-length blocks for exercise, meditation and self-care).

Some days, you might focus more on one goal or interest, and that’s just fine.

Don’t make yourself crazy by trying to be all to all, all the time! Seek out wholeness by ping-ponging between your interests and being okay with the occasional messiness of it!

How can you invite a sense of life-fit into your life?

#smallactbigimpact #kindsight101 #podcast #21daychallenge

 

Ep 77: The 5 Second Key to Courage (With Amy Perkins)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Have you ever dreamed of a doing extraordinary things with your life but haven’t known where to start?

Amy Perkins, an educator and teacher coach turned entrepreneur and influencer, walked away from a 25 year career and an overwhelming sense of imposter syndrome to embrace her true purpose by unlocking the key to courage. In this interview, she shares her specific three-step process for manifesting your dreams a process through which she was able to get one-on-one coaching with Mel Robbins, get a one-on-one facetime for her daughter with a world famous actor, get to know Seth Godin, helped her husband to become the leading sales person in his division, win international trips across the world, and change lives.

Amy shares Mel Robbin’s 5 second rule that helped her to reclaim her life. She discusses tuning into the whispers that lead you closer to your purpose, how to create family affirmations, how to walk the talk when it comes to believing in yourself. She also explores some of the pitfalls of education and how to overcome the failures of ineffective leaders by speaking truth to power. You will come away inspired, with the belief that you too can live an extraordinary life! Follow her @amyperkins on Linked in or check her out @keystocourage on Instagram and online at www.keystocourage.com

Ep 76: Culturize Your School (With Jimmy Casas)

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https://itunes.apple.com/ca/podcast/kindsight-101/id1412489005?mt=2

Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a the kind of educational leader that nurtures excellence while building a powerful sense of community?

I’ve got another gem for you today…the one and only Jimmy Casas!

In our wide-ranging conversation, we explore:
* the biggest challenge in education,
* how to become a leader regardless of your title,
* how to delegate effectively,
* how to reach tough-to-teach kids without lowering expectations,
* the power of second chances, one of his top anxieties as a school leader,
* and the magic of establishing student-centred school culture.

Jimmy Casas is the best-selling author of Culturize and Stop Right Now, a speaker, and leadership coach, and currently serves as an adjunct professor at Drake University in Educational Leadership. He was an award-winning principal who served for twenty-two years as a school leader and is now consulting with and coaching educators, principals, and superintendents across the us.

You can find him and more about his books on social media at casasjimmy or online at jimmycasas.com

Throughout the book Culturize, Jimmy refers to his 4-point-core-values that have guided his practice as a leader and we touch on many of these throughout the interview:
1. Be a Champion for Kids– 3 rs’ …relationship, relationship, relationship! It turns out that most kids don’t succeed because a lack in these following three areas: confidence capability, and connection.
2. Expect Excellence– Choose empathy vs. sympathy and through effective scaffolding, hold the people you serve and your stakeholders to a high standard.
3. Carry the Banner– Be positive about your school. Branding happens…you can either control the message or let someone else do it. Social media is here to stay, so it makes sense to learn how to harness it.
4. Be a Merchant of Hope -Give people chances, make your mistakes right, and believe in people.

In culturize, Jimmy asks leaders to reflect on their practice using the following questions:
-Do your words inspire success or shame?
-Do you acknowledge the needs of others?
-Do you dismiss the gifts of others?

Hope you enjoy the episode. Please share with people you think would benefit from the message.