NLTA Vice-President

Dedicated to my grandfather, Baxter Langdon; small in stature but walked tall with integrity...

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Your Social Credit...

Bad credit? No problem!

The existence of this phrase within our commercial landscape confuses and worries me to no end each time I come across it. I am sure that any individual experiencing significant financial woes can find little advantage in adding another major purchase to their credit history, other than that wonderful new car smell! The JAWS theme rings in my brain for some reason each time I pass one of these signs.

As I was driving to work this past week, this line of thinking progressed into the idea of 'Social Credit'.

What is your social credit history as it pertains to values-based decision-making, being a character individual, or leaving a legacy of integrity? I am sure we all have had experiences whereby we wish the chance to rewind and have another crack at a conversation, a problem, or an interaction with a friend or family member. We are mortals and mistakes make for ideal learning opportunities.  However, can we truly say the majority of our social credit history is solid and virtues-based?

A common counselling strategy I frequently use with my students involves writing their legacy and demonstrating how their current actions can build their reputation for many years to come (particularly in the age of social media). Children and adolescents, when attempting to attack problems and make decisions, require a toolkit consisting of common sense and core virtues. Attainment of this skillset is often 'a long time coming' but with consistent reinforcement and utilization of teachable moments it becomes entrenched. These will be skills that will serve them very well as they proceed into the teen years, young adulthood, post-secondary school, and certainly their career.


The 5 Strategies of the Virtues Project are a fantastic foundation for building character and enhancing the social credit for you and your kids.


  • Speak the Language of the Virtues
  • Recognize Teachable Moments
  • Set Clear Boundaries
  • Honor the Spirit
  • Offer Companioning


  • Good credit? No problem!

    Trent

    Thursday, 1 October 2015

    10 Strategies for Igniting Adolescent Motivation

    10 Strategies for Igniting Adolescent Motivation


    For educators, parents, and caregivers,  the adolescent mind continues to confuse, yet intrigue us, as we look to support them in their individual life journeys. So now is the time (as adults) to apply the 'adolescent lens' and view our current state of affairs. The true challenges become those of developing essential life skills and promoting achievement amidst a global community saturated with instantaneous 'e-reward' systems, the 'de-humanization' of communication,  and 21st Century realities deeply rooted in 'uncertainty' (e.g. individual safety & security, financial and workforce instability, economy turmoil, etc.). 
    Through the years, however,  the one thing that has not changed within this adolescent creature is the unbridled quest for meaning and identity. Equally, the virtues that have driven humankind toward advancement and success, still hold great meaning today.
    Melding this innate drive of the adolescent with the world 'as we know it' and igniting the passion is your assignment. 

    Strategy #1:  Invest the time and effort to truly connect with your teen.  This includes consistently playing the roles of 'good cop' and 'bad cop'. You will see pay-off in due time.

    Strategy #2: Listen. Truly listening to your teen involves the ears and heart...

    Strategy #3: Trust (reciprocal) - "Adolescence, in essence, is all about trust." (Gord Downie, The Tragically Hip).

    Strategy #4: Ingrain traditional virtues that have done us well as Canadian citizens and Newfoundlanders & Labradorians (e.g. loyalty, resilience, hope,...)

    Strategy #5: Meet them where they are and do NOT force your own expectations for success on them. The 'new world' offers many alternative ways to achieve success and many of us (adults) do not have experience in those realms.

    Strategy #6: Build a relationship that is outside that of parent-child, teacher-student, etc. Be willing to play, cry, and progress together.

    Strategy #7: Work with your teen to keep their options open! My father has always espoused this strategy and it has served me very well.

    Strategy #8: Embrace change as a family, class, community. Though often shrouded in doubt, change often brings new light.

    Strategy #9: Allow adolescents to take chances (actually encourage it!)...we know they are willing to do so and much like ourselves, will come out unscathed.

    Strategy #10: Resilience & Adaptability ...in a world that may very well knock them down, we cannot put a price tag on survival of the fittest.












    

    Thursday, 17 September 2015

    Terry's Enduring Impact


    Of the Terry Fox photos that I have seen through the years, this one continues to have a long-lasting impact on me, my practice, and my well-being. I have it displayed on my office wall in clear view for my students (as well as myself) as we leave to face the day. It has prompted many questions as to its purpose, intention, and significance. As they themselves are dealing with many types of pressures, demons, stressors, and worries, I ask my students to tell me what they see; they reply: darkness, hope, perserverence, an impressively muscular leg, contrast, dream, sadness, loneliness, character, strength...

    It provides a very special 'teachable moment' and inspires on a daily basis. For me, it is a constant reminder to continue the journey with integrity and strength. Terry represents a multitude of virtues that I wish for myself and my students. I say this in the present tense as I do believe that Terry's legacy and spirit continues to burn strong.

    I mark the Terry Fox Run with highest reverence, much like that of Remembrance Day, as I do believe that Terry too, gave his life for our country. As we approach the Terry Fox Run on September 20th, my family and I will participate once again to acknowledge and respect. I was only 7 during the time of Terry's Run but I vividly recall the 'play by play' as he started his trek in our province, heading across the country.  Little did I know that this rising star would continue to guide and direct my professional and personal life.

    With appreciation Terry.

    For inspiration and perspective...

    Terry Fox ESPN
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjgTlCTluPA