Sunshine In The Storm

As August ends, I hear rumblings; can it be that more rain is headed our way. If you're in the south, then you know it has been a stormy, soggy month. 
We're ready to see more of the sun, that's for sure. 

In leadership classes this week, we've been reading What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada. In this engaging text, the narrator is trying to figure out what to do with the problem that finds and is following him. The illustrations are drawn in such a way that the problem starts out looking like a black cloud and continues to grow to almost-hurricane proportions. As he talks his way through the problem, he realizes that the secret to problems is that they actually hold an opportunity. So I said to my students that it was kind of like finding blessings in your burdens, sunshine in your storm. That's when a new student challenged me with, "What if your problem is so bad that there's no way to find anything good in it? What then?" 

Such a melancholy yet beautiful segue into a discussion about the role of the school counselor, someone to guide you when you're lost, to comfort you when you're sad, to light the path in your darkness, to help you move in right direction. 
Someone to spread cheerfulness.
Someone to remind you that you matter. 
Someone to share joy. 

Someone to listen.
Someone to understand.
Someone to care and hold your heart when you're hurting.

Here now, some pictures of where I get to do what I love:

The stage to the right, for our role plays.
The Puppet Palace in the far back corner.
The Counselor Cafe kidney table in the center.

Behind it, through that opened door, we have a Peace Room ...

filled with lots of different textures to help soothe our senses.

Feelings books, a reflection mirror, warm fuzzies, oh my.

Here's our Crayons to College bulletin board behind the stage

and a close up of our Pillar Power board. 
Team Trustworthiness? I choose YOU.

Just outside of Leadership Central, a 7 Habits of Happy Kids display.

Click the picture to download the lettering from Mel at From The Pond.

I am abundantly blessed to do what I love and love what I do.

In case you missed my guest post about trustworthiness
at Free Spirit Press earlier this week, click the graphic below.

Here's to a daily dose of that glorious Vitamin D.


Just Keep Swimming

Today I'm thinking about a story that Scott Shickler shared last summer at the 7 Mindsets University. It's about a legendary swimmer named Florence Chadwick. It was on the fourth of July of 1952, and this 34-year-old woman who had already swum back and forth across the English Channel set out to swim the stormy seas of the Pacific Ocean off of Catalina Islands en route for California. The water was choppy and the weather chilly. A dense fog hung in the air, making visibility so difficult that she could hardly see the boats alongside of her. After swimming for fifteen hours, Florence begged her mom and trainer, in one of those adjacent boats, to allow her to stop, but they told her she was close and encouraged her to keep on. Unable to see the shore, Florence became disoriented and just couldn't go on. She was taken out of the water, only to be told that she was less than a half a mile from her goal. It was the only time she had quit. 

In a news conference the next day, Florence said this:

So my reflection questions today include:

What are the things in life that keep you in the fog?
How easy is it to lose sight of the shore because of that fog?

Who is in your boat, helping you stay the course?
What are the benefits to perseverance and endurance?
What are the risks?

If you could talk with Florence Chadwick, what would you ask?
 What would you say? And how would those words help you
to keep on swimming the next time you're in the fog?


Here We Grow Again

Today I'm excited because we have successfully reached day 5 of our first week back to school. In celebration of all of that connecting and growing, 
a relatively new book to share. 

Click for a review and some activity ideas!
This one is so special that I'm going to read it next week as my Intro to the Counselor pick. We're going to discuss it. And then solve a problem together. 

And since I really think you're going to add this one to your collection, I'm not going to tell you much. Just enough to whet your appetite. You see, he didn't want the problem. Didn't invite it, didn't ask for it. He wants it to go away, to get lost. He finds out pretty quickly, however, that the age-old adage 
you can run but you can't hide
is, in fact, spot on. So he decides to face it, only to find ... ok, that's all I'm saying. Except to tell you to prepare to fall in love with Mae Besom's illustrations. And the potential that this book has to help your superheroes grow.

Click the graphic for its source.
At the end of the day, it's all about how we look at things.

Update: Click the picture to get details about the problem
I'm challenging them to solve. 

It has been a blast watching them move these six cups from a stack and into a pillar pyramid without letting them make physical contact with any part of their bodies! 

Check out these other growth mindset resources. 

Angela Watson's collection of growth mindset videos {here}.
A growth mindset poster freebie from Stephanie Ann {here}.
A rider, elephant and path clip about Change Theory {here}.
A mindset object lesson from Teaching in Room 6 {here}.
Sesame Street does Growth Mindset {here}. 
And my friend Lisa's Growth Mindset Pinterest page {here}.

Let's get growing!


Retiring Reflections

It was on Mothers Day, about three and a half months ago, that I decided it was time to retire from blogging. And while I did have a wonderful break from it, I have missed the reflection piece that journaling my thoughts and sharing them online offers. I've also missed the creative outlet I get from the writing process. So, I've decided to come out of my self-imposed retirement {or maybe it was just a summer break} as I start my 33rd year in public education. I was invited to inspire character educators at six different venues this summer, so I am
 re-energized and ready to grow.

One of my workshop participants made this for her office
from something I said over and over again this summer.

Thank you, Toni, for bringing my reflection to life.

My first share? A growth-mindset song I wrote this morning:

Now I just need to get really good at it on my ukulele!
What would you say if you were to write verse two?

We were blessed to hear Liz Murray last week; 
here's what she said that stuck.

I know, right? Let that power-bite sink in for a bit.

I actually got kind of carried away tweeting her thoughts as she shared:

She added that, "People will grow into the conversation you create around them." So today I'm thinking about how her words of wisdom will change me, 
help make me better at what I do. 

For now, I'm gearing up to cartwheel on in to the new school year tomorrow. Thank you, Jennifer Runde, for capturing passion in this photo.

If you can't stop the feeling, you must experience {this}, 
courtesy of our FISD Leadership Team.

Happy new year; it feels good to be back at the Corner. 

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