“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” -Jim Rohn
I heard this quote for the first time a few years ago. After hearing it, I began to think about the people with whom I spend time. I reflected on how those people make me feel. I quickly recognized the people who make me a better person, teach me new things, push me to reflect, inspire me to be better and help me grow. I created a list in my head of people who help me bring up my average and also started to recognize those people who bring down my average. Most importantly, however, I reflected on myself. I started to think about whether or not my words and my actions were adding value to others? I definitely don’t want to be a person who would bring down the average of someone else!
The theory of being the average of the five people you spend the most time with directly connects to the values we embrace in our school district. In Hilliard City Schools, we are immersed in R Factor training. One of the principles of R Factor is the concept of no BCD. As we all know, BCD stands for Blame, Complain and Defend. In a recent blog post, Tim Kight explains that BCD “afflicts millions of people every day, and is often triggered by work stress.” This time of year brings about a lot of stressors-testing, end of year assessing, data team meetings, IEP meetings, moving grade levels, new initiatives, and more. So now more than ever, we need to reflect on our own mindsets, words and actions. We can all fall into the habit of BCD. BCD makes things worse. When we BCD we bring down the average of those around us. I challenge us all to think before we BCD. We control our self-talk and we control the story we tell ourselves.
As we continue on our journey to ELITE we must surround ourselves with people who raise our average. Take a moment to think about the five people who you spend the most time with at school, at home, at the gym, etc. What do these people do to your average? Are these people habitual BCDers?
Now think about yourself. Do you inspire others? What do you do when you’re stressed? Are you raising or lowering averages?
To read Tim Kight’s blog that was referenced in this post, click here.
Here is your staff update for March 31.
I always think of Spring Break as the equivalent of coming down the home stretch of the school year. Before I completely destroyed my ankles from years and years of running and never adequately healing from injuries I ran many, many races. For me, there is nothing like the feeling of coming to the last mile in a race and then the last half-mile and then finally seeing the finish line in my field of view. No matter how tired or sore I was; it seemed that when I came down the home stretch I was able to dig deep and keep running. If I dug really deep I could even feel myself speeding up and I would start passing people. I never raced because I wanted to win, in fact I knew I would never win a race; I ran because I wanted to push myself to run faster than I did during my previous races. I ran because I loved the feeling of accomplishing something that was hard. Just like the races I ran, the end of the school year is hard. It’s easy to want to slow down because we’re tired, but now is the time to dig deep, keep the end in sight and not give up.
Throughout the past week, I have had to keep myself focused, push myself forward and remind myself that I have not yet crossed the finish line. Positive self-talk always helped keep me moving forward as a runner and it has the same effect in my professional life. On many occasions this week, I found myself thinking about the answers to five questions. These questions have helped me as I have dug deep to push myself down the home stretch:
It would be easy to slow down and say, “It can wait until next year.” It’s also easy to get lost in the minutia of the school year and forget about the importance of taking time to truly connect with the students, parents and staff who are so important to me. I will continue to reflect on these questions as we move into testing season and then the final part of the home stretch, which is the month of May. I hope that we can all continue to dig deep and if we do, this just might be our best finish ever.
Here is you staff update for March 17th.
The school year is winding down. It’s March, spring break is almost here. The end of the school year is in sight. We’re looking forward to next year by submitting budgets for the 17-18 school year, looking at staffing plans for the upcoming year and thinking about summer PD. One would think that as educators we would feel like we’re almost “finished”. And, in all honesty in years past I have felt exactly this way around this time of year. But, this school year has been different. This school year has been one of transformation, change and new adventures. During this week alone, my staff and I have been interviewed by the Teachers of Critical Language Program team located in Washington, D.C. because we are semifinalists to receive a grant that would pay for an Arabic teacher to work at our school next year. We were visited by a team from Apple Education that included the Vice-President of Apple Education and Sales. On Thursday, I was part of a committee that is rewriting our language arts course of study. If that isn’t enough, my staff and I are taking another crucial step in redesigning elementary education on Friday as we work to plan ways to provide our students with experience that will help them identify and learn about their own personal passions. For some, a week like this could be stressful and overwhelming. And, while we all had a lot of work to do this week, we are feeling energized and inspired.
As I was driving back to school from my course of study committee meeting on Thursday I had an overwhelming feeling of excitement and anticipation about the future for my students and my staff. Instead of thinking about the end of the school year, I was feeling like I was just getting started. Often times as we embark on a journey we are anxious to arrive to our destination. But, for me, it’s not the destination that excites me; in fact, I don’t even know what our destination is going to be. Right now, I’m excited about the first steps, the beginning of the journey. I can’t wait to see what new risks we take and what we learn along the way.
Here is your staff update for March 10th.
Over the past week I had the pleasure of working with the one and only Dave Burgess, author of Teach Like a Pirate. He is truly one of my favorite “edu-celebrities”. He is a great speaker, engaging writer, and an inspiring leader. But, most of all, he practices what he preaches. What I mean by that is that Dave values learning, risk taking and stepping outside of comfort zones.
Dave also coaches people up. Every great leader, every great teacher, everyone who wants to really make an impact understands the importance of being there to coach others. Dave has done that for me on multiple occasions. I’ve only officially met him once, but even before we met he took time to answer my questions, retweet my blog posts, join me for a Google Hangout and most recently, he agreed to co-moderate #ohedchat with me. Dave doesn’t just do these things for me. He connects with educators all over the world who are inspired by his work. Working with Dave this past week has taught me more than just lessons that I can take to the classroom. Working with him taught me what it really means to be a leader and a teacher. We must take the time to share our ideas and talents with others. We must take the time to coach others up. That’s what Dave has done for me. I want to do the same for others. That’s how we make a difference.
I was so inspired by the questions from our chat on Wednesday that I have to share them with you. Take some time to read the archives of the chat last night. I encourage you to read the questions and reflect on your own answers to them. Then, think about why it is we do what we do each and every day.
Here is your staff update for March 3.