Friday, April 20, 2012

Change

Daniel Pink in his book Drive talks about change and motivation. He challenges people to ask themselves two questions each day, "What is your sentence?" and "Was I better today than yesterday?" Our district, like many across the country, is changing.  Budgets and mandates are forcing the change.  Resources that we expect to be there are disappearing and the entire district is being affected.  Students, staff, and parents are all fighting for what they feel is the right thing to do.  At some point soon a decision will be made, something will change and my question is how will it affect you.     

The best part of my day yesterday was a firm handshake and a "Thank you".  



I could see the effects of the pending changes on the staff and students around the school.  People were just not acting themselves.  I spoke with people at school that I trust and decided that I wanted to change.  Last Friday was a payday, I decided to deliver each individual's paycheck and thank them for all that they do.  If this small change on my part made at least one person smile or feel more appreciated, it was worth it.  I have also been doing some reading.  Books about motivation, change theory, leadership, blogs, tweets and other professional research.  It was on Facebook that I found my motivation:


Erik Olson posted:
"So to give back for all God has blessed me with doing a 40 day challenge. 40 people, 40 days, 40 random acts of kindness to make a difference in that person's day. Going to post each night what was done. And maybe if it inspires one person to start living their life more for others mission accomplished."

I thought about  the motivation for taking on such a challenge and the last line in particular.  I do not know why Erik has started this journey or how it has impacted the people around him.  What I do know is that I too am attempting to change.  As I addressed the faculty at our last meeting, I spoke a little about the issues affecting us, went over some FYI items, and talked about next year's schedule.  We ended the meeting with what I called a social activity.  I gave the following directions: "On each table is 4 copies of the same paper with a statement on it.  Please turn them over, read them and either write something on them or talk about them with someone.  You have, let's say 10 minutes to walk around  and talk with people you do not usually get a chance to see.  Please take a look at all of the papers and when you are done, you are done."


The Reason I work at SEMS-East is...If I were in charge of advertising for SEMS-East, I would suggest the following tag line... One thing I did today that I am proud of is...Starting now, one thing I would like to change about myself is...If the goal is to be better today than yesterday, one question I would like to ask myself on May 2nd is...One thing I would like to learn more about is...One thing I would say I am an expert in is...One thing that makes me smile is...

Some of the tables had large crowds, some papers had little written on them, some people might not have even read the papers.  Erik's last line stated, "And maybe if it inspires one person to start living their life more for others mission accomplished".  I know that more than one person enjoyed the social activity. Sometimes we can get caught up in the BIG PROBLEMS and do not see the small positive changes that have BIG impacts.  Yesterday, someone approached me, looked me in the eye, gave me a firm handshake and said, "Thank you."  The best part of my day yesterday was a firm handshake and a "Thank you".


A Wordle of our teachers' sentences

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