Resilience – A Necessary Part of Personal Success

October 10th is World Mental Health Day (sponsored by the World Health Organization – WHO). What a great day to talk about RESILIENCE and its importance in providing students with a pathway to success.

When I went through teacher training I learned about a number things like lesson construction, effective assessments and curriculum content. We didn’t spend a lot of time learning about student resilience — in fact, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t even mentioned. And that’s probably because it wasn’t a concept being discussed among educators 30 years ago. I doubt that you could find one that incorporated it into the recipe for student success.

Resilience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; personal toughness or the ability to bounce back.

What I’ve discovered over my career is that a student’s success is intimately linked to their ability to withstand disappointment, failure or setbacks. Their resilience is a critical part of their success story.

Do We Now Have a Generation of Entitlement?

“We rarely get what we feel we are entitled to in life” – Dr. Laura Schlessinger on The Dr. Laura Program (Sept 6, 2018)

I heard Dr. Laura utter these words as I was driving to a meeting. It kind of hit me like a 2×4. I pulled my car over and wrote it down.

I have heard Dr. Laura Schlessinger on-and-off for the past 20 years.  I like her — but I’ve heard from others who don’t. She’s blunt and doesn’t pull any punches. What’s also interesting to note is that she has been broadcasting on radio since 1975, so I assume that she’s been doing something right for these past 44 years.

So, has she hit the right note? Was she suggesting that our sense of entitlement is bigger than it should be — that feeling an exaggerated sense of self-worth is perhaps the norm in our society?

Year-end Reflections – Lessons from Yoda (Star Wars – v.2)

As this school year draws to a close I have begun to reflect on the year that has been — and its importance to my personal and professional growth. And because I love Star Wars — I have now connected some of this learning to the wise and articulate Yoda — master of the Jedi Knights.

Jedi Master Yoda

So, without further ado … here are some of my 2018-19 reflections as Superintendent. May the Force Be With You:

YOU WILL ONLY FIND WHAT YOU BRING IN

Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Yoda and Luke

Yoda told his young apprentice (Luke Skywalker) to not take his anger, fear and weapons into the dark cave as bringing these would only result in conflict. His words proved to be prophetic.

In life we bring both our negative and positive experiences to a current situation. I reminded myself this year to leave my negative reactions at the door and remain open to new ideas, thoughts and opinions. Fear and anger do not open doors, but close them.