2021 Year-end Reflections : The School Year, Star Wars & My Dad

Where to begin?

The 2020-21 school year has been … ummm … let’s call it memorable. We can throw in exhausting as well. This past year I’ve written a lot about the pandemic — its effects on us, what we’ve learned from it, and how we might grow from it. I’ve written a total of 17 posts since August and 6 of them have specifically referenced the pandemic.

It’s been on my mind. I’ve never blogged so consistently about a topic in one year.

In case you’re wondering, here are the posts:

Some of my other blog posts from this year didn’t actually mention COVID or the pandemic, but honestly, the link was there if you wanted to find it — for example, the one on the importance of being kind (We’re All Fighting a Battle – Apr 2021).

The point I’m making is this …

There hasn’t been a day that went by where we were not thinking about the pandemic, worrying about the pandemic, or wondering about what comes next in the pandemic.

It has consumed everyone this year.

And for me, it has been quite cathartic to have my blog where I can crystalize my thoughts and share them with you. But, I also hope that it has been helpful for you to know what I’m thinking and processing during this year of incredible change and opportunity.

(More on Page 2)

We’re All Fighting a Battle

Every now and then I come across a message which reminds me about a focus I have in life — understanding. Remembering to ask the question WHY. There’s a reason for the behavior in front of you — for the way someone is presenting to you. THE POWER OF WHY was created with that mindset as its focus. It’s this framework that reminds me I have a choice on how I respond to others — that I can choose to be kind, inquisitive and compassionate regardless of what I’m observing.

Everyone has a story.

Everyone is living in their own context.

So, the purpose of this particular blog post is to remind us of that message — seek to understand and be kind. When I saw a recent social media post quoting the late Robin Williams, it resonated with me and I wanted to share it with you.

It’s a personal goal of mine — some days I do really well — some days I’m not as successful. But I keep aiming for the target.

That’s all I really want to say today.

STRIVE TO BE KIND. ALWAYS.

Can Improving Executive Function Also Improve Reading?

This is the second blog post I’ve written about Executive Function (the first being Our Personal Super Power – Oct 19, 2020). In this post I want to focus on EF’s potential as a critical component of effective reading.

Reading is an incredibly complex skill. It is not an innate ability, but one that is learned over time and involves an intricate dance of neuronal activity between a number of brain areas.

In case you’re interested, here’s a picture that highlights the complexity — no need to memorize it — there won’t be a test later.

Areas of the Brain That are Connected to Reading

And because of this complexity, for students who struggle with reading there can be a multitude of reasons why that is the case.

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