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What do teacher candidates learn in college nowadays?

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US. Department of Education recently published the Notice of Final Rulemaking for the teacher preparation regulations. The purpose is to bring transparency to the teacher prep programs and to provide them continued feedback so that each teacher is ready o go into a classroom. This readiness is different and more than obtaining the degree itself. According to research top performing teachers generate minimum five months of more learning opportunities for students.

It may sound a bit weird looking at the title but I am really curious. I have been interviewing teacher candidates for a long time. Over the years I have had the chance to speak with many candidates who are in school or who recently graduated. In both groups of professionals, I see a trend. No matter how many years pass and how much the field changes including requirements for teachers working with young children, the understanding seems to be remaining the same.

Here is a sample dialogue…

Q: Please tell me about some of the activities you do with toddlers. Paint me that picture I would see if I am in your classroom.

A: My toddlers know their colors, numbers, shapes and they started to learn the alphabet.

Wow! These little people are either all geniuses or the teacher thinks they are learning but actually they are just repeating and memorizing. I cringe when I hear this type of answer and try really hard to keep a straight face hiding my disappointment. Here I am sitting across from this person who has been working with children, who is also in college, or working on her or his graduate  degree or has completed a four year degree in early childhood, child and family studies, or human development or psychology. You name it. Yet, there is a big piece missing from the picture. Developmentally appropriate practice. NAEYC has brought so much attention to DAP and best practices that it is almost impossible not to know the basics of child development, expectations and how children learn the best.

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A toddler does not need to know his or her shapes or the alphabet. They do not need pictures and flash cards to memorize “green-blue-triangle-square…” Is this a big joke or are we really failing in our higher education courses? What are we teaching in these classrooms? Why are our educators focusing so much on the academics and the product? We are definitely doing something wrong. The sooner we figure it out the sooner we can resolve this issue. The sooner we resolve this issue the more I can hear a different answer to my initial question:

Q: Please tell me about some of the activities you do with toddlers. Paint me that picture I would see if I am in your classroom.

A: I am on the floor. Building with soft large blocks. I am dancing with the children to the music. We are playing the instruments. Some children are painting on the easel or the table standing. They have several colors to pick from. A couple of the children are pretending to eat fruit or the food teacher pretending to cook. I may be reading with the children. We may take turns singing and clapping. We may look at the family pictures and describe who they are and how they are feeling……….We are having a lot of fun together.

Great education interviews for the Local News tonight, including Humboldt Stepping Stones 1 yr. anniversary!:

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Well, this sounds very age appropriate and developmentally expected and needed. These are the moments children get to hear a story or a song over and over again. This is the way they hear and develop language skills. Not by memorizing what a letter looks like and what it is called. This is how they naturally learn to share, take turns, play together, talk to each other and imagine.

I visited an early learning program and as I was walking by the window of the infant classroom I saw handprint turkeys with feathers on them. In fact, the teacher who was giving me the tour said “Look, aren’t they cute? Parents will love it!”. I was devastated but did not want to ruin her spirit. I went along with it saying ” Oh I see. They are colorful”. I could not get myself to say “Oh yes, they really are cute”. I took ten minutes or so to gather what and how I would say so I was honest and constructive at the same time. I ended up asking her what she wanted her babies to learn from the activity. She could not answer. She stared at my face smiling. Then I said ” maybe the texture of the feathers and the coldness and wetness of the paint?” She nodded as if she found an escape. I continued ” What a great idea! We all know it is about sensory experiences for infants and especially if you talked about how each of these materials felt, you just nailed it. How much fun it is to help babies feel it and look at you in amazement” I took advantage of the moment and tuned it into a teachable one for the teacher. I could tell she was puzzled and the wheel started turning in her head. I was happy because I accomplished my goal for that particular moment.

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Going back to my initial question, what are we teaching in higher education classrooms and what aren’t we doing quite so right? What is missing? Maybe the solution is identifying high quality programs and assigning students to observe and even work in the classroom. Allowing them to have hands on experiences before they graduate. High quality and hands on experience are the key components for us to create well trained and educated work force. Expectations and practice need to be correlated with the age and developmental level of the children.

 

Perception is the reality…Is it?

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Not long ago I was in a meeting with a stakeholder. He said that perception is the reality. Out of respect, I did not disagree with him. However, not speaking up bothered me deeply. I could not sleep the entire night.  In my world and on my mind, perception is just perception. It is the understanding of the other person and it does not make anything the reality.

I cannot count how many times I spoke with someone only to find out they did not look at the situation 360 degrees. You see a snippet of a situation and start making judgements and maybe reach a conclusion. The person on the other side of the table is staring at you in awe. This is why we ask “did you do your due diligence?”

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Science defines perception as the neurophysiological processes, including memory, by which an organism becomes aware of and interprets external stimuli. Another definition is that perception is a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression. It is clear that perception is subjective. How can it be the reality?

The way we see the reality is affected by the way we focus on the subject. It is the same as seeing the glass half full while the other person is seeing it half empty. The reality is that the amount of water in the glass is equal to 1/2 of the size of that glass. Our personal choices, implicit biases, and beliefs effect our reality. On the other hand, our reality may not be the reality of others. It may not be the reality at all.  How does this happen? It happens because we see what we want to see. Our brain starts searching and focusing on the things that support what we believe in. Psychology defines this as “confirmation bias”. As we talk about the importance of anti-bias approach in education, how can we make sure that we are doing everything to be objective? One way is to check the facts in hand and remind ourselves to be objective.

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Our life experiences shape our realities. If you see John as a trouble maker, every time something goes wrong in the classroom you may think it is John’s fault. If you lost trust in your significant other, you may question everyone who presents similar behavior or who looks similar to that person. If you were bullied by a tall boy with big muscles, you may be scared each time you see a person who looks like that. Does this make you right? No. You are biased and your perception is influenced by your negative experiences.

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I watched an episode of Daredevil. A nine year old boy becomes blind after getting hit by a truck. His life takes a turn after this. His father dies, he starts hearing voices, pretty much everything around him even the things that are blocks away. Some people think that he is getting worse and is about to lose his mind because he is out of control with all the stimuli. He thinks he will not be able to live like this. Until an old blind man talks to him about his blindness being a gift. After listening to the old man the boy says ” until now, I have never thought of this as a gift.” Perfect example of perception. Our own beliefs and life experiences create our realities but they may not be the reality itself after all.

 

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Children have rights and we have to protect them!

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A two-year old child was hung at a day care center. 9-year-old girl is being forced to marry her rapist. Three year old boy is considered “not normal” by his teacher because he draws purple trees. Four year old girl is getting a red card in her second week of being in pre-K because she cannot sit still in the classroom.

We can see many of these on the news, on social media and in our daily conversations with colleagues, friends and relatives. Some situations are more severe than the others of course but in the end they all are hurting our children. Are we doing enough to protect them? Are we doing anything at all to be e remedy for some and to get rid of others for good? Maybe…

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I question adults who are supposed to be informed, aware and educated in these matters. I also question the adults who are in leadership positions overseeing these individuals exposing our children to such sad situations. Law makers, principles, parents… Do you take an action and stand up for these children’s rights when you see everything happening in front of your eyes or do you let it go? In some cases, do you allow it to happen?

One cannot drive before they are 16 or 18. Yet, they can be forced to a marriage while they have a long life in front of them. A life for them to figure out who they are, what they like and what they want to do in life. Their life can be ended by a delusional person who cannot control herself or who feels good after her sadistic act. They can be stressed out, crushed and pushed away with a label because of a teacher who is not capable of teaching and understanding basics of human development and psychology.

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It takes all of us to speak up for our children. To speak up and to encourage them to stand up for themselves. We need to have the tools and give them what they need to do so. I hear many people saying that they do not have the tools or the resources. Then I learn that the same people never even asked the question: Do you know anyone who can help me? Are there any self help books to give me ideas about the ways I can approach this problem or challenge?

Sharing is caring. Advocating is caring. Collaborating and fighting for the cause is caring. We need to start caring about children and stop acting like we are helpless or we do not know what to do. We have power as long as we are together. It all starts with a single step, a phone call, a meeting, a question. Don’t be afraid.

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When I was in elementary school, my best friend and I heard about UNICEF. We used to support the cause knowing that there are children around the world who were not able to meet their basic needs such as clean water, food, clothing, education ,and medical treatment. There are children who are being abused and raped by the adults they need to be protected by. We didn’t have jobs or any other income to make big donations but we were thoughtful. We started purchasing greeting cards that had UNICEF trademark/logo on them. We chose to do so because the proceeds were going to children from all over the world in different ways. We wanted to help break the cycle of poverty and inequity.

I was impressed and excited when I saw that my son’s school is ofering UNICEF club as an option in extended day program. When he asked me what it is I said “This is the moment”. He is an empathetic child and what can be better than him being involved in this club I thought. He came home the next day and said he was the only boy in the club. In fact, some of his friends tried to change his mind saying it would be “no fun” to be in UNICEF club. He did not care.

With his permission, I am sharing the poem my son wrote:

                          We should give clothing, water, shelter and love to the poor

                          Because shelter is for you to survive winter and rainy days

                          Food and water are essential to survive

                          Clothes are so you are not cold on cold days and hot on very hot days

                          Love, because people or kids that are poor should not be gloomy or sad.

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Who are we?


In case you do not know, early childhood professionals have been struggling to bring attention and seriousness to the  field for a very long time. I happen to be one of those professionals. As I am at the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) conference this week, I wanted to reflect on my thoughts and our many discussions with colleagues one of which took place yesterday. 

The big question is “Who are we?”. Can anyone do what we do as good as we do? Does is take a certain skillset to perform what needs to be performmed to support children’s growth, development and learning? If yes, who has the skillset? Can any and every one be an early childhood educator? So, here is what I think…

I started my journey in education when I was 13. Actually, it is a lucky number for me. Growing up in Turkey, I was intrigued by languages. My cousins spoke German, my sister was learning English and listened to artists like Michael Jackson, George Michael, Lionel Ritchie… I loved the tunes and how the words sounded to my ears. I thought it was so cool to be able to speak English. English as a second language was just beginning to be a hot subject in Turkish education system and schools that were teaching every subject in English except Turkish grammar, history and social studies started to pop up everywhere. Some were like public charter schools and some were private. Of course, you had to take a test and score high enough to get in. I do remember how my heart felt like blowing up when I got in. Excited to see the books shiny, colorful with lots of cool sounding words, I could not wait to get started.English for a Changing World was the name of the series and Streamline was for spoken English class. I totally fell in love with the language. Any how… My third year in my so lovely relationship with English language, I realized how much fun it was to teach others. I was helping family members and neighbors. One summer I gave lessons to a lady who was going to visit her sister in London and wanted to learn at conversational level so she would not feel awkward. She was my first student I charged tuition. Yay! It went on and on… 

I decided to teach English for the rest of my life. Hence the reason I majored in English Language Teaching. After I moved to the States, I was not sure what I was going to get my M.A. in. I went back and forth for a while and at the same time I was applying for jobs that had nothing to do with teaching. I wanted to take it slow and easy so that I could focus on my studies. Well… That is how I found  myself in early childhood with little, wonderful, curious people. Hiring manager looked at my resume and interviewed me only to say that “I am not wasting your talent and experience at the front desk. You belong to the classroom”. I was confused and scared. I never thought I would be able to work with little children. My first reaction was “Oh”. Second thing came out of my mouth was “Thank you, allow me to think about it and I will get back to you”. I said to my husband: Children need patience, a different type of patience. I went to college to work with middle and high school students. I don’t think i can do this. After discussing over and over again, with my husband’s encouragement, I decided to give it a try. After all, I had nothing to lose. 

I learned that I had patience in me. More than I ever imagined. I  always loved children and had empathy for them. Coming from a large and close knit family, this was second nature to me. We always took care of our young and of each other. What I loved the most about being an ECE teacher was the innocence of children. Their need for guidance. Their excitement for the littlest discovery. Big contagious laughter for silly jokes and funny moments. I realized how we lose most of these positive feelings as we get older. I also realized how children and families are different and not all have the same opportunities. I thought about older children, upper grade students in general. I realized there was so much work to do at the beginning of their journey not in the middle. 


So… here I am after 13 years working in early ed world and 17 years in education field overall. I have the same thoughts. There is so much to do and everyone cannot do what needs to be done. Being an early childhood educator needs patience, compassion, caring and loving heart and a progressive mind that is all about growth. Growth mindset can exist only in people who are all about education. Personal and professional development. It also needs dedication. Not only for children and families but also for each other. It is a work of a community who share the same vision and the goals for the children and for our future. So, roll up your sleeves. 

A fair shot in life…

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Compare to many other people, I did not have a hard life. My father was the bread winner and my mom took care of us, six daughters. As my sisters grew older, they started helping my mom around the house and raising the younger sisters. I must admit that I did not have to do any chores other than picking up after myself. My job was to go to school, study, get good grades and be respectful. In a nutshell I had what I needed and most of the things I wanted. Though a couple of my sisters called me “spoiled” I hardly believe in that. Why?

Because I was responsible. My parents never had to tell me to do my homework or to study. I was a hardworking little girl who respected authority and who was raised to be kind to people no matter what they looked like and where they came from. I was never greedy taking advantage of my dad’s willingness to buy things for me nor did I flaunt in front of my friends. Quite the contrary, I helped people starting at a very young age discreetly buying things for others from my allowance. I knew that everyone was not as fortunate as I was. In addition, I started tutoring when I was in high school so that I could earn my own money rather than asking from my dad.

Years passed and I graduated from college. I took pride in what I did as a teacher. Teaching is one of the greatest things one can do in life. If you know something and you have the ability to teach, why not do it? More years passed and I got into leadership world. I realized that it was my calling to lead. No matter how hard I tried, I found myself right back in it and I did not regret it once. It is the ability to make a difference on a larger scale. It is the opportunity to use my abilities and share them with others.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I know that there are many children who do not even get to be children. They are busy being grown ups because that is what they have to do to survive. Life should not be about surviving. It should be about living. It is every child’s right to live and to be happy. To make this happen, we all need to do our part. No matter how much we ear, where we live, how busy we are, how little or big jobs we have… we all can do something. One thing!

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I will share with you the things that I would do for the children and their families who are not privileged if I were:

  • a dentist/doctor: free check ups for the community every quarter.
  • an accountant/bookkeeper: tax filing, financial advise
  • an insurance agent: education on benefits
  • business expert: meetings/training about how to start up a small business
  • stay at home parent: organize fundraising events
  • everyone:  Volunteer at a school or an after care program reading stories for children.
  • everyone: donate to an organization who directly helps the homeless, unemployed, single parents, or anyone who is going through a hardship. Some of the organizations are:

Martha’s Table

So Others Might Eat

Bright Beginnings 

Coalition for the Homeless, Inc.

United Planning Organization

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Be the best you can. Do the best you can. Show empathy and be cognizant of the needs of people around you. Do not allow a location define a child’s future. Care and do what you can so that each child gets a fair shot in life. After all, they are our future and we create the future together.

 

Everything is for us… Humans.

Life is strange.

We live through so much…

Sometimes we are happy and sometimes sad

Sometimes we unite with the ones we love and sometimes we separate

Sometimes we get closer and sometimes we grow apart

Sometimes we are healthy and sometimes sick

Sometimes we see birth and sometimes death

Sometimes we are at peace and sometimes at war

Sometimes we love and sometimes we hate

Life is full of opposites.

As opposite as black and white, north and south

Everything is for us. Humans…

Positive thinking…

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Are you open to new things? New opportunities, new techniques or new style… Or are you fearful of newness?

New is sometimes scary. You never tried it before. You never experienced it. There are unknown things in every “new”. There is also an opportunity to grow and a thing or two to learn with every “new”. The question is, are you ready to take the step to the “new”?

The way I was raised, like many of you, was different than the way we raise our children today. We are encouraged to think the “new way” of parenting and teaching. One of the biggest things we talk about is using positive language. I am sure you heard and or used at least two of the following statements:

  • Don’t run in the hallway!
  • No talking in the library
  • Don’t hit your friend!
  • Don’t be rude to your teacher/elderly/
  • You can’t play outside when it gets dark
  • Don’t waste your food!
  • Don’t write/draw on the walls!
  • You can’t speak without raising your hand and getting permission

Don’t, can’t, shouldn’t…The list is long. After hearing or saying these things have you seen or heard a child or in fact an adult doing exactly what you tell them not to do? Yes. We all have. The point is that human nature does not comprehend and does not respond well to negative statements. Instead, we use positive language and positive response to it is more likely to take place.

  • Use your walking feet in the hallway
  • Please be quiet in the library.
  • Be gentle with your friend
  • Be polite/Show respect to your teachers/elderly
  • Please come inside before it gets dark
  • Eat your food/Finish your food
  • Keep walls clean/Write on paper/easel
  • Please raise your hand before talking/ask for permission before talking

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It may be easier to use negative instead of affirmative language however; the outcome we want to see is hard to attain. We need to be practice positive language and be conscious about it. The more we practice the easier it becomes. In addition, children hear us and they imitate what we say and what we do. It is easier to teach a child the positive way early on rather than trying to undo or reteach the best way. It really is about training the brain to think positively and use affirmative statements.

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Negative statements are like a band-aid. You stop the undesirable act for the moment. You do not teach how to achieve the desirable outcome. Therefore, when you tell a child not to write on the walls his question may be “I want to write. Where can I write?” “What can I do when it gets dark? I am not sleepy and I still want to play”.

I love the book series “Teeth are not for biting” by  Elizabeth Verdick and Marieka Heinlen. It talks about what you “can” do with your teeth.

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The entire series is about positive guidance and developing social emotional skills. It is a great way to start using language that will teach children what to do and a simple model to follow for the teachers. Every child needs and deserves a happy learning environment where they are safe and they can learn enjoying what they do. They need to feel valued and capable. Adult tone and language choice makes or breaks a child. Children do not need power struggle. Especially when we really want them to learn something. They need to be assured, acknowledged and given choices. And they need to hear all of his with positive words and or statements. This allows them to remain open to what we say and what we want them to do. It is not always possible to do this but when positive language becomes a habit and takes place majority of the time it is a win win. As the old saying goes: You catch more bees with honey.

 

Guilt and regret…

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If you are like me, working hard, helping everyone else and taking care of their needs, most likely you are neglecting yourself. If you have a family, it is even more serious. Have you ever been told by your spouse or your child that you are being tough on them or they are always getting the short end of the stick? I have! And what is worse is they are right.

I am a perfectionist. I want everything done correctly, I want everyone to have what they need and if they do not get what they need I feel terrible. I stretch myself so thin that when I come home from work, I have only 25% of patience and it runs out like a phone battery and you are like “oh no! I really need this phone now, I will not touch it unless it is absolutely necessary”. Yes, freaking out a little. Maybe more than a little. I am not good at operating with 25% charge left. Not at all. I may misunderstand something because connection goes in and out and sounds get mixed up:

  • Mommy, I am hungry
  • Don’t forget, you are doing the drop off and the pick up tomorrow and the other day…
  • We need to vacuum the carpet. I see crumbs on it.
  • Mommy, I need help with this part of the homework
  • Can you help him showering?
  • Mommy, can you read for me?
  • Wednesday is this, Thursday is that and Friday is this… And then…

By this time, I feel the steam in my head getting ready to come out. Ears, nose, eyes and all. Start thinking about how exhausted I am and no one really cares. Then I pause: No, don’t do it! Not their fault that you had a tiring day. They need you more than anyone else because you are the wife and the mother. Because this is your family and family comes firt. I am not able to pause every day though. That is the day I feel so guilty and regret everything I say.

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According to psychology today, guilt is both a cognitive and an emotional experience that occurs when a person believes that he or she has violated a moral standard and is responsible for that violation. A person can feel guilty even if she or he did not cause the situation.

This morning I woke up with an awful pain on my collar bone. Nothing to worry about but it is an excruciating pain due to using my muscles too much. I was struggling with it all night. Then I had to deal with construction workers due to a fixing need in the middle of my living room. Move furniture, shuffle things around so they can work while dealing with my pain. I received a message from my office and had to call in. I am at my boiling point and one of the best people in the world is on the other end of the phone. Yes, you guessed it. I got frustrated with someone else’s incompetency and she got the short end of the stick. I felt horrible after I got off the phone. I was in so much pain and feeling terrible about the way the conversation went. I apologized for it. Still did not make me feel any better. If she deserved it, it would not bother me but she did not. Here I am thinking: Take care of yourself, hold people accountable for what they do and do not do and save patience for the ones you love and care.

Guilt and regret does not do anything good to anyone. It is hard to take back something that already happened. Sometimes it is not possible at all. In those times, I hope that my loved ones cut me a slack and understand where I am coming from and I hope that I can better take care of myself and stop giving my all to others and keep some for the people who care for me.

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Do we know how to listen?

I never thought about the actual meaning of listening until one day I read this medical article about “listening”. Every single day we hear a lot of sounds. Cars, radio, music, buzzing noise coming from an AC unit, wind, construction machine, especially if you spend most of your time in Washington, DC 🙂 … people we live with, people we work with, people in general. We hear all these things but are we listening? I hear people talking all the time but I confess that I do not listen to them at all those times. I am one of those people who is very selective when it comes to taking things into my mind. I select what is important and what I need to listen to. 

Have you ever been in a situation where you are in a conversation, or so you think, and you are trying to get a word or two in? I have…plenty of times. The person across from you is talking and he or she does not realize that a conversation requires one person to talk and the other one to listen and then they take turns listening and talking. I come from a big family and we all have things to say. Thought, ideas, opinions galore! Well, usually there are more than two people talking. Some of us are busy trying to express what we think so we do not wait for the other person to stop talking and we start talking when they are still talking. Lately, I have been observing this a lot. Especially whe I am in a group. I conciously wait, tll my brain to listen and then speak. There are times i may not get a chance to speak depending on who is in the group or I should say “what type of person” I am listening to. From my experience, people who do not listen well are the ones who talk the most. There is a different type of chemistry that they have the urge to speak all the time. Most often, the talkers are also the loudest in the group. I remember one day when I was with my husband’s family, I realized how loud they were. I come from  similar type of family. Many of my family members speak loudly. When I asked my husband why they were so loud his answer was simple: “My dad used to turn the tv volume so loud that we got used to speaking at a certain decibel!”. Hmmm… After thinking for a brief moment, I realized that the same was true for my family. My dad used to (bless his heart, he still does) turn the tv volume so high that we used to compete with the sound of the TV. Not to mention we were so excited to share our own opinions (you guessed that right, we are pretty much very opiniated people 🙂 ) that we talked and talked not realizing we were not really “listening”. 

As I get older, I find myself seeking calmness. I pay attention to listening more. I pay attention to looking into the person’s eyes and listen. The moment I realize I am drifting into my own thoughts and opinions, eager to cut off the person to share what I think, I stop my thoughts and say “Berna, you will have your turn, now listen”. It works. Conciously making this decision really works. In fact, we teach children how to listen, take turns, raise hand if you have something to say. As adults, I dont expect a person to raise hand but i do expect her or him to read the silent signal “I am done, now it is your turn to speak”. It really is an important skill we need to help children and at times help adults develop. After all we are social beings and we all have something to share. Most of the times…

Do you have difficulty listening? Do you experience hardship talking or sharing your message because someone is not listening to you? What do you do in those instances?  

Choosing to be focused…

It is easy to get distracted in our daily lives. We wake up, get ready for work, prepare our kids for camp or school, hop in the car, fight the traffic… While in the traffic we make mental lists (yes, sometimes more than one)and then we get to work with all that in mind. Just as we say “Let me get situated and check my emails, or let me put my stuff away and go around say hello to people” someone comes to you asking for help or just asking a question and you are like” wow, I just came in, can I take a tiny breath before I save the world”. Quietly of course because we are adults and professionals. Even then it is hard. Then the person thinks his or her world is falling apart or they are going to save the world with that tiny task they need to do or a little question they have as if they cannot figure out the answer if only they think a bit more or look around more, they get dramatic and tasty. Here you are looking at them: Ok. I do not think we are doing a surgery here. Let’s calm down”. Again, quietly or using words that are less or not sarcastic at all.

The truth is that everyone’s job is important to him or her. The problem is that one person cannot find a solution to everyone’s problems. Isn’t this the biggest separation between a child and an adult? I believe so. I also believe in building capacity and skills. Child or adult, everyone needs to be able and capable one day… eventually. In the meantime, we need to make a decision about what to weed out and what to focus on. My time and energy is valuable. Especially the time I spend away from my family who definitely needs me. Often I have to remind myself and others around me: Stay focused. We have a plan, we have a goal. Little things should not take too much of my time especially when I see they are unproductive and toxic. When that happens, I hear the “tic toc” in my head getting louder and reminding me “you have a bigger task you need to worry about. Without that task being completed, you will not have the little things to worry about”.  Then I get anxious and highly concerned. This leads to nothing good because I am not one of those individuals who needs pressure to get the work done. It is scientifically proven that toxic stress and anxiety blocks productivity and clear thinking. That is exactly what happens to me. In that moment I have only one option: Remove myself from the situation and focus on the positive. It is hard but it needs to be done.

What are some of your struggles as you juggle more than two things in hand? How do you approach people and or situations who tend to focus on the negative? How about people who tend to focus on the negative o much that they do not realize they magnify things and end up with a big upset and setback?