I love facilitating workshops because I like challenging paradigms around how educators think (which is the same reason I love attending workshops – to challenge my own thinking!). If educators can begin to see things in different ways, then the field becomes more aware, diverse, and gain insight (W. Edward Deming’s “profound knowledge”) to create more possibilities for today’s children and youth.
My favorite “Choose Love” lessons are the ones from the start of the program where we introduce the idea that we get to choose our thoughts and, really, have agency over who we’re being in any given moment, and how that affects how our lives progress. I wish someone had taught me that when I was young. I didn’t really “get” this idea until I was out of college for a year.
My best tip for educators: children and youth are people. Do not homogenize them – each is a unique light to the world and deserve to be treated with respect, understanding, and appreciation. Once you start seeing children and youth this way, your way of being shifts, affinity is created, and deep learning begins.
Lately, I’ve really been doing a personal deep-dive on the concept of courage. In the past, I have been very un-courageous in my personal life because of how I was raised. The Choose Love ingredient of courage seems to be the easiest for most people to embody, but it is definitely the one I work at the most. Each day, I silently, if only for a few moments, ponder the idea that the parents of the children I work with have placed enormous trust in me, and I am humbled and remember that how I show up for these students daily is the most important thing that I can do.
Fun Fact: I am a musician and have recorded a children’s album that kids, even 20 years later, enjoy (and parents don’t want to run away screaming from!)… it’s called “Cat’s Pajamas” and can be streamed at https://rickrood.bandcamp.com/album/cats-pajamas.
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