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.
Here are the questions that Dr. Grant suggests you should reflect on the following three questions: ask when creating your own personal User Manual:
What are my strengths? How can someone bring these out in me?
What are my weaknesses? What tends to bring those out?
What are some of my “bright spots” (the spots that are strengths I might tend to see)?
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.
Reflected Best-Self: Ask 15-20 colleagues to contribute stories of times when you were at your best.
Next, analyse the stories and find common themes. What activates my being at my best?
Ask these colleagues to reflect on the following questions about you:
What are my blind spots?
Triggers that bring out the worst in me?
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
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.
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
Have you ever wanted to know the secret to truly achieving success?
How to create rapport in less than one minute?
What about rethinking your personal brand-everyone has one (you can either be intentional about it or let someone else create it for you)?
What about how to guard against the destructive nature of perfectionism?
This episode with New York Times Bestselling author, speaker, and publisher Dave Burgess is a total game-changer because in our 40 minute conversation, he dropped so much knowledge that I took two pages of notes and I had to listen back to the recording just to squeeze it all out!
Get ready to be inspired! #TLAP #smallactbigimpact #kindsight101
I recently had the amazing Allie Apels of @joysofkinderon my podcast to discuss the transformative power of her brainchild “Kindness Ninjas” Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program in her kindergarten class (#kindnessninjas).
Essentially, a few years ago, when Allie was faced with one of the most challenging groups of children she had ever taught, she and her teaching partner (yes, there were two teachers allocated to one class due to the high level of needs), came up with a brilliant way to encourage the development of a kind and supportive classroom. They introduced a kindness ambassador: the kindness ninja. Every day, leading up to Christmas break, Allie and her class would be greeted by the kindness ninja who would leave them notes and various random acts of kindness missions.
She explained that the experience was completely transformative. The class came together as a team and that year wound up becoming one of Allie’s favourite years as a teacher.
All About Our 15-Day Kindness Ninja Video Challenge Synergy
Not long after our conversation went live, we got the best idea ever and now…it’s about to go live!
This October, Allie and I are collaborating to bring your classroom an exciting synergy between the 21-Day-Kindness-Challenge and the Kindness Ninjas.
Every day, staring October 7th, 2019, we will be posting on our Instagram accounts 15 school-days worth of kindness ninja challenges to complete with your class. Our little kindness ninja will speak to your children through video using the chatterpix app.
We debated sharing the challenges ahead of time (we love a surprise), and decided to do so in order to give you amazing educators a head-start in your planning. Also, we will be posting the videos eventually to YouTube so that you can follow along on your own timeline at a later time!
What you will need: Gently loved books (one from the class or one from each student), wrapping paper (make, use newsprint, or purchase), notes explaining who it’s for and what it’s for. Check out Mrs. Mac’s example.
Day nine: Write or trace notes of appreciation for the staff members of your school. Place the notes in their mailboxes or on their vehicle windshields.
Day ten: Create a kindness cart to deliver cold beverages and snacks to teachers in your school (or set up the staff room for a special surprise treat day before lunch or recess):
What you’ll need: beverages (large containers of iced tea/lemonade/tea/sparkling water and coffee) or individual cans. Also, cookies/crackers and cheese/and homemade treats are always appreciated.
Students can make small posters or cards expressing their gratitude for those who serve the school.
Day fourteen: Write special letters to people in your family thanking them for all that they do for you. Use fancy paper and envelopes to make it extra special.
Day fifteen: Make a kindness big-book to gift to another class, to inspire them to be kind within your school. Each person can make a page to tell one way to be a kindness ninja. You could even send it to another school to spread the ripples of kindness throughout your community.
Here we are, hopefully one step closer to relaxation than we were back in June. It occurred to me a while back that it would be fun to share a few of my favourite books about school, kids, kindness, and the human condition. I can’t promise that it’s all light reading, but I always love the aha’s I come away with when I read a good non-fiction book.
These books aren’t alphabetical…or even in any particular order of importance. I haven’t even gone through and curated the list or annotated the titles…but I have created a list of books that have changed my life (one paradigm at a time).
Hope you enjoy at least one of these titles during these beautiful summer months:
Simon Sinek, Leaders Eat Last
Simon Sinek, Start with Why
Bob Chapman, Everybody Matters
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
Stephen Pressfield, The War of Art
Seth Godin, The Dip
Seth Godin, Purple Cow
Seth Godin, Linchpin
Seth Godin, This is Marketing
Glennon Doyle Melton, Love Warrior
Dr. Brene Brown, Rising Strong
Dr. Brene Brown, Gifts of Imperfection
Dr. Brene Brown, Braving the Wilderness
Dr. Brene Brown, Dare to Lead
Dan and Chip Heath, The Power of Moments
Dan and Chip Heath, Ideas that Stick
Trevor Mckenzie, Dive into Inquiry
Trevor Mckenzie and Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt, Inquiry Mindset
How do you make authentic connections with people?
How can we teach kids to do the same?
What are some of the keys that will enable students to be successful in the uncertain future world they face?
I want to introduce you to my friend, David Knapp-Fisher, a connection ninja, speaker, author, world-traveller, and speaking coach.
In this episode, we talk about his journey as an advocate for his son living through muscular dystrophy, what it takes to set and achieve audacious goals, how self-education is the key to the future, the importance of service and gratitude in helping you get where you want, and the four steps to creating lasting connections with the people you serve.
We’ll talk about simple ways you can improve your (and your student’s) speaking through an easy formula.
We talk about the following game-changing books and authors:
– Tim Ferriss (Tools of Titans, 4 Hour Work Week)
– Richard Branson
– Tony Robbins
– Marc Marron
– Thoreau (Waldon)
– Mike Vardy
– Janelle Morrison
– Chris Gillebeau
– Jerry Lewis
– Jim Rohn
Can’t wait to hear your takeaways from this action-packed podcast.
I was inspired to create this post after hearing an episode of Barbara Gruener’s Corner on Character podcast episodes.
One of her guests talked about the power of mantras in helping to form a positive and encouraging classroom culture. I loved the idea. While I have strong values, I haven’t always articulated these into classroom mantras so that kids could hear how much I love, appreciate them, and how we can train our brains to overcome the tough stuff- the dips in life.
So, here are a few of my favourite mantras for the classroom. I hope you’ll share some of your own with me, too!
I am surrounded by greatness!
I am full of gratitude!
Don’t give up, don’t give in, there’s always an answer to everything.
There are no mistakes in art!
I loved you before you even showed up.
Listen to your heart; it will never let you down.
Kindness is better than getting your own way.
Judge less, love more.
Do it and forget it.
It’s not what you do, it’s what you don’t do that counts.
We all have those moments, real life crashes that provide us with an opportunity to choose fear or choose to rise above the adversity and find a way to move forward. What does it take to be a real hero?
How can we learn to rise above our circumstances, teaching our students to do the same, while balancing an attitude of self-compassion and patience?
In this episode, I talk with Janelle Morrison, an ultra marathoner and educator who beat the odds recovering and racing again 2 years after a devastating crash landed her in the ICU in a coma with a broken bones throughout her body.
You’ll hear the surprising thing she learned about self-compassion and what it takes to be a true hero.
We talk perfectionism, heartbreak, and overcoming adversity and how we can help our students to become their best selves while holding onto a sense of unconditional acceptance of themselves no matter their situation. You can learn more about Janelle on janellemorrison.com.
Also, take some time to view the film documenting her recovery and journey.
Hope you enjoy.
– You’ll learn how to rebuild after a crash.
– Some practical ways that we can choose to rise.
– You’ll learn advice for setting powerful goals that strike a balance between being audacious, healthy and realistic.
– We talk about the power of hope and fear in propelling us forward.
-We talk about the three essential questions everyone needs to ask themselves during a crisis of identity.
-We explore the secret to stopping your own limiting thoughts and behaviour in order to realign yourself with your goals and vision.
Picture for a moment, your ideal student. As Dan and Chip Health counsel us to do in their ground-breaking book The Power of Moments, fill in the following sentence with what makes sense to you:
Three-to -Five years from now, my students still know_____, are still able to do _____, or will continue to find value in _________.
Great teachers or mentors manage to maintain high expectations for their students, expressing the knowledge they have that their students will be capable of meeting those high expectations, and that if failure should come knocking, that they will be there to support the recovery.
When we are able to stand alongside a student with our unwavering belief in them, great things can happen. Students can develop an enhanced self-insight and self-worth that will serve them forever.
“I expect you to do X and I believe you have the power, intelligence, and ability to do so. I will be here alongside you should you need my guidance or support. I believe in you more than you know!”
What do you want your students to come away from your class knowing or being able to do? How might this apply to your role as the parent of your children?
Ever wonder what the key to engagement for your students can be?
How can connection be the key to achievement for our students?
How do we tear down the incorrect beliefs we have that other teachers are perfect?
Roman Nowak is a highschool teacher in Rockland, Ontario, Canada. A veritable kind of kindness, he hosted the #BEKINDedu chat on twitter with Eli Casaus and now hosts the #buildhope chat, has a blog, and makes kindness his mission.
You’ll learn some actionable ways to infuse kindness into your daily practice as a teacher and practical ways to build positive class culture.
You won’t want to miss this inspiring conversation with Roman Nowak.
You can find him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Books we talked about:
– Culturize (Jimmy Casas)
– Kids Deserve it (Adam Welcome)
– Teach Like a Pirate (Dave Burgess)