Friday, August 27, 2010

Rise and Shine...It's Time to Get in the Fields!

At Chets Creek Elementary this year we are "Cultivating a Community of Excellence".  As a family we have been challenged to till back into the soil on which our strong foundation has been built, yank out any weeds that are threatening our work and plant a crop that will yield our best harvest to date.  This will only be accomplished by focusing on and then strengthening each area of our Guiding Vision.  During our opening day I shared some simple, but powerful ways that we can grow ourselves professionally as well as personally in each of these areas:

Bountiful Relationships: By understanding one's Emotional Intelligence you can greatly improve your ability to relate and deal with others and in turn improve your opportunities for success.  In Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry and Jean Graves describe EQ in four skills.
1) Self Awareness - Your ability to understand your own emotions and typical reactions
2) Self Management - Your ability to control your reactions to others, or not
3) Social Awareness - Your ability to perceive the emotions of others and understand them
4) Relationship Management - Your ability to use your own emotions and your understanding of the emotions of others to manage interaction with success
What have you done to improve or build your EQ with students, parents or colleagues?

Fruitful Risks: In Seth Godin's book, The Purple Cow, he describes how companies create that special marketing idea that dares to be so different from others that it takes the business to a whole new level of success.  It requires the risk taker to be REMARKABLE.  Remarkably innovative, driven and authentic.
Have you dared to be PURPLE?

Grade A Results:  In How the Mighty Fall, Jim Collins investigates why highly successful organizations fail.  It was determined that over time that they lose sight of lose sight of what made them so unique and special in the first place and get complacent about their successes.  To keep from falling into this trap you have to look  at the Underlying Factors that affect your work, undertake Disciplined Creativity, participate in frequent and purposeful Fact-Based Dialogue, and embrace the Disciplines of Greatness.
What data have you gathered to guide your work? Have you engaged a colleague in conversation about the standards?  Have you volunteered to lead or participate in a rewrite of homework or assessments?  Which one of our Core Values have you modeled for your students?

The land's been turned...
the water and sunshine are ready...
the seeds have been placed in your hands...
there's 175 days left for this year's growing season...