Blogs

Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 3: Instruction, Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities, Personal Learning

Connected and Networked

Two weeks ago was just like any other ordinary week for me. My connection to the world was strong and in full force.  I was looking over the color-coded excel spreadsheet my husband made that meticulously listed my children’s upcoming sports practices and game schedules.  There were so many things running through my head. I sat there trying to figure out how to be in two places at once. Who would I need to connect with to make it all happen? How could my networking help balance the perpetual to-do list?  I knew I needed to start by making the necessary carpool plans. Then my mind shifted to visiting my Outlook calendar to check for upcoming meetings. I was excited to squeeze in time with my team to collect more raffle donations from local businesses in preparation for EdCampLI After Dark.  I thought about the hundreds of new books I had to inventory and distribute to teachers’ classrooms and the shared level libraries within the buildings I work in. I needed to make this happen so that all students could have immediate access to them. On top of all of this, I was also feeling a bit stressed, but extremely enthusiastic about gathering all of the materials and revisiting the research around the topic I was going to share and present at the Lilac/Nassau Reading Council 2020 annual conference. 

The Puzzle 

While all of these responsibilities were stacked in piles in my mind, like puzzle pieces are thrown together in a box, I could visualize the big picture clearly. Each time I connected those pieces, I could feel the tension slowly release. You know the feeling you get when you put the last piece of the puzzle in the picture?  You breathe that sigh of relief and feel incredibly accomplished for the hard work that was put in to commemorate that moment. I COULD make this happen and I WOULD!  

Professional Playground

At the same time, I found myself insanely dedicated to listening to the messages in the #AllinEDU Voxer Book Study (Voxer: an online walkie-talkie app) group I am currently participating in.  Passionate educators from across the country are making time to share their thoughts and perspectives about the book All In: Taking a Gamble in Education by Kristen Nan and Jacie Maslyk, all while engaging in various other topics in education.  It is important for me to put myself out there and continue to grow so that I can be the best I can be in my position as an Instructional Coach.  A major focus of my job is to stay on top of the latest research and instructional practices, continuously build relationships, connect, network, collaborate, be reflective, stretch teachers’  thinking about the impact that they can have on the social, emotional, and academic growth of their students, not to mention inspire and motivate them to push the envelope in order to be the best versions of themselves.  For me, these Voxer groups have been my way to escape to a professional playground that invites nerdy conversations, allows me to share my voice freely, and has also challenged me to think differently about the organizations we work in including our colleagues, the students, and community we serve.  I actually yearn for these networks, crave these intellectual discussions, and thrive on developing relationships and expanding my PLN (professional learning network) with other passionate educators from around the country.  

And then”We interrupt this regularly scheduled program to bring you this message…”

Collaborative Efforts

It was Friday, March 13th, 2020, a day I will never forget. This day looked very different Monday-Thursday of that very same week. It was a day of the unknown, as new information about the COVID-19 pandemic was trickling in on a moment to moment basis. That morning, my instructional coach team and I felt this incredible sense of urgency,  as we were about to help facilitate and create “At Home Learning Plans” for our elementary schools. We were enthusiastic about taking on the challenge, but knew that we had limited time to complete an unbelievable amount of important work due to a half-day schedule. The information had to be disseminated to families and students that same day; yet we walked into the administration building of my school district calmly, focused, and ready to support the endeavor.  Our collaborative efforts with our Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction and a dedicated team of educators from across the school district were about to go into action. 

A Network of Trust

As educators, we tend to like a sense of control and like to know what to expect (for the most part).  On this day, we were walking into the unknown and were navigating the uncharted waters of at-home learning. It was the most organized, peaceful chaos you have ever seen.  The waters were a bit rough as we took over the Curriculum and Instruction office and administration conference room, ready to WORK; printing, organizing, debating, sharing all while the clock was ticking. It was a half-day of school and we needed to get these materials out, and collectively, we trusted… YES, TRUSTED each other!! At times it felt like we were building an airplane while we were flying it…but we did it and magic certainly happened all while keeping the students at the core of the work!  

Productive Distraction

Moments later, we rushed to the print shop and as my fellow coaches and I waited for the “Home Learning Plans” to be printed, we turned to our #ALLinEDU Voxer chat for the most productive distraction we could count on!  Professional growth is a part of who we are, so it was natural for us to reach out to our PLN for comfort. We discussed the book, we voxed, we laughed, we discussed our need to get all of the essential necessities if school closure was imminent, and even managed to take a picture to commemorate this moment in history.  

A Promise

As we walked to our cars that day, we made a promise to stay connected, to check in on one another and continue to push each other to share information and maintain our love of learning together.  And, if this would be the last memory we would have collaborating in person as an Instructional Coach team, (my school district is eliminating the role due to budget constraints), I would be unbelievably proud of our collaborative efforts that day…in fact, it would be a day I’d never forget.

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Christine LaMarca, Lauren Kaufman, and Natasha Nurse 
The Long Beach Public Schools Coach Team

Lauren Kaufman is an elementary Instructional Coach for the Long Beach Public Schools in Long Island, NY. She is a lifelong learner who is passionate about sharing best literacy practices with colleagues and wholeheartedly believes in job-embedded professional learning for professional growth.

Personal Learning

Navigating Conversation of COVID-19 with Kids (Anxiety/Mental Health Wellness Check-In)

As I navigate life within the walls of my own home under new “rules” and true uncertainty, I find myself reaching out to an abundance of resources to help navigate these very murky waters. Not only am I a parent, but I am a parent of two teenage children who access the world in a variety of ways… without the same “control” I once had when they were little and I could shield them from the world. Whether it is Snap-chat, Face-time, Instagram, or any other means of communication, my children are connected to their friends and the world, which means they are connected to the latest news, leaving them with facts and even opinions of COVID19.

For this mom, I must rely on my own gut, mixed with the knowledge of professionals as I lead my children through this time of uncertainty. As a teacher, my children have looked to me for answers about their education. As a mom, they are looking to me for stability and hope. With the support of professionals to help with their questions and elevated anxiety, I am better equipped to be the best mom I can be for each of them. I hope by sharing the professional advice of Hilary Zurbuch, LPC, you will also have an extra resource to help you navigate conversations and time at home with your children.

“Parents, as we are stepping into uncertainty with COVID19, I am sure you have a lot of questions on how to talk to your children and what to do with your days as you may be working from home and your children may be homeschooling. Most importantly, talk with another adult about what you are feeling and your own fears before you try to explain these uncharted territories with your children.  If need be, take time to call your/a therapist to ask for a telehealth or phone appointment to try to make a plan for your anxiety before you begin to discuss this unknown with your child.  Remember, the status of this virus is continuously changing.

First, have a plan. Before talking to your child about the recent climate and the escalating concerns in our world today, plan it out. Children are basically sponges and feed off your emotions and words. It is important to be age-appropriate with your child, and provide reassurance that many adults are handling the situation. With several new terms that have entered our world over the last two weeks, keep the following things in mind:

EXPLAIN CDC

It is crucial to explain what the Center for Disease Control (CDC )is before you tell them to follow the recommendations.  Explain what the CDC does and how it is a program that is here to protect us, not just now in this situation but it has been doing this since they were born.  

SOCIAL DISTANCING

Social distancing is another term that sounds extremely frightening.   Use multi-player video games as a metaphor. Kids have been practicing this idea for years but had no clue that was what they were doing.

TELEHEALTH

Telehealth is an important term as well.  This is a possibility as to how/where they will see the doctor and therapist for the next month or so. Currently, the government has allowed all therapists to provide either telehealth or phone calls without stringent rules. Reach out to a therapist. 

Don’t:

  • make your children wake up at 6:00 am, let them sleep in a bit. 
  • have adult topic conversations with your children

To-dos:

  • Maintain all hygiene routines: get dressed, put on socks, and maybe even style hair. 
  • Keep a sense of normalcy: Develop a schedule for the day, children need this routine. 
  • Try having a family meeting to discuss things they have wanted to do but did not have time and add that to the daily schedule
  • Make time for FaceTime with extended family. This is not only important to your child but to your family that may be held up in the house without contact.  
  • Go outside! The backyard has an opportunity to bring back the old school games like whiffleball or kickball.  
  • Try to add a part in the schedule that is spontaneous each day, spontaneity is exciting for kids and gives them something to look forward to each day. Keep in mind that these days are going to be lengthy. Whether it is a special new card game or baking something in the kitchen with parents, or as simple as watching a classic movie on the couch, make it happen! 
  • I cannot stress enough to GO OUTSIDE daily several times per day, obviously continuing to follow social distancing. Fresh air and exercise are crucial right now. 
  • Decrease the talk about the virus.  Determine a time that is appropriate to talk about it, turn the news off, 
  • Decrease social media for children. Not all media can be trusted and it is a host for anxiety.  
  • Parents take care of themselves and designate time out of each day for yourself. Everyone needs a time out and some alone time, even you. You need to practice what you are preaching!
  • Take time to embrace the extra time you have with your children. When was the last time you had the opportunity to open periods of time as a family? No, this is not a novel gift of togetherness and yes, it is forced on us which can cause a frenzy with your children. Remember this is not normal and your children are aware, stay patient.” -Hilary Zurbuch, LPC

Anxiety is not isolated to my home, it is heightened across the globe. It is times like this that we have to recognize our own stress or anxiety in order to help those around us. Please reach out to your own doctor or a local Licensed Professional Counselor if you feel in any way you need help determining which of these you may be managing for yourself and or loved ones.  

Personal Learning

Dear Graduating Senior, You Are Writing History as I Type

Dear Graduating Senior,

I’m thinking of you! You are on my mind and in my heart. You have done it… you have worked hard and are deserving of everything life has to offer. You continue to amaze us, just as you did when you were a child. And now, we find ourselves wanting, expecting, hoping and praying that you can see beyond what life has just thrown at you. You, sweet graduate, are writing history as I type. Yes, you heard me. You will forever be the graduating class that the world holds in their memory and close to their heart wishing we could rewrite this part of your senior year.

If I could…

give you a hug, it would be the first thing I would do.

know exactly what to say to calm your fears, refocus your mindset and lift your hopes, I would call you personally to say those much-needed words.

change the circumstances to meet your own very needs, I would do it in a heartbeat.

promise you prom, I would.

put sports back in action and allow you the chance to feel the joy that fills you up, I would make it happen in an instant.

sit in the audience to watch you perform your last musical performance, I would… and you would be able to spot me in the crowd by my standing ovation you so deserve.

But you and I both know what I wish I could do is far from the reality that we are in and far removed from the feelings that you are having at this time.

What I can do is…

remind you that all your hard work is going to continue to pay off.

let you know you are not alone because we are in this together.

gift you time to create your own opportunity through all of this… maybe it is a day or two weeks or possibly more. You are so incredibly amazing and have so many wonderful ideas to share so I ask you how are you sharing them right now?

tell you that your resilience, grit and overall character is being shined upon right now, as it is times of struggle that show us what we are truly capable of in this lifetime.

give you a glimpse into the future because you are writing history as I type. Remember, YOU are part of the graduating class that we will talk about for decades to come. You are on all of our minds and in our hearts. You will be talked about in conversations among future generations. You are a part of history.

Now take the pen, it is yours. You earned it. Your future awaits!

Personal Learning

Living My Best Life

Living my best life has not always been at the forefront of my choices.  Not that I wasn’t happy or trying my best, but there have been phases of my life where survival was more how I would describe it.  Through the ups and downs of life, one can feel overwhelmed and find themselves trying to get through, and at times even going around.  I was more so “doing life,” kind of like kids “doing school.” Maybe it was because I didn’t feel the impact of each given day in a way that I have felt over the last few years or maybe with time comes wisdom just as my grandmother would often say.  The one thing that I do know is that living my best life starts with me and I can only hope that through my best version I can help others. 

My meeting had started bright and early.  As I entered the room, one of my colleagues noticed my outfit and made a comment to the fact that she loved it, but was possibly surprised that I would wear it to school.  Not in a bad way, but a WOW way… the kind that was surprised I was embracing my workday with much grander! She made me giggle and my reaction came effortlessly as I said, “If I am gone tomorrow, you know I owned today!” 

Rewind: I started this blog over 2 weeks ago and then life “interfered.”

Life handed me the loss of a loved one at the young age of 22. Someone I admired and genuinely shared my heart with as we journeyed this life together over the years.

Life handed me a diagnosis that I had to face head-on, not go around or deny in any way.  “Stage 1 Melanoma,” he said, as he told me the “good news” to what could have been so incredibly worse. “It is manageable and curable… 99%”  All I wanted to do was go home and crawl on Eric’s lap to find comfort, but I couldn’t… he had just left for 4 days and this was not a conversation that would happen any sooner.  This was the first time I would have to face something so scary without having him to tell me it would be okay. At least, for 4 days. 

And then,

Life handed me an opportunity to sit still, so I did.  I absorbed this moment and then made a call. As friends and loved ones waited in the wings to hold me up, I called upon my pastor and he answered.  After an incredible conversation and much-needed prayer, I walked away with one thing resonating inside my soul. He said, “What is mentionable is manageable.” This gave me strength and somehow gave me back the power that I felt had left my entire being just hours before.  I am going to be okay… yes, this is what I kept telling myself! I’m living my best life.

Fast Forward: Today, I …

jumped into my book study to catch up, woke up my children, gathered all the things needed for a day of work, sent my family on their way, missed a meeting I should have been at, and somehow found myself standing at the doorway of my classroom… on time. They came in droves, down the hall… full of love, hugs, and stories.

was on the receiving end of goodness.

had the opportunity to teach the most amazing children.

had the privilege of learning from my students who confidently brought me into their world.

laughed at my students who had the most incredible battle of the bands that I have ever witnessed.

had a hug… make that several!

laughed with my friends over true silliness.

came home to my teenage boys and their teenage ways.

had more hugs.

jumped into my book study again and was fired up to hear some of the most poignant thoughts shared by educators across the globe.

reached out to a couple of friends to remind them to sit still. Lean in. Do for themselves. and have grace when needed.

sat still with my husband,embracing time.

broke down more walls and allowed for vulnerability.

pushed aside fear and allowed my faith to steer me.

Today, I am…

living my best life! Making it all count. I’m looking forward to tomorrow and I’m owning today!

Domain 2: Classroom Environment, Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities, Personal Learning

Intentionally Positive

As the “ALL IN” book study kicked off, the questions that were laid on the table were thought provoking and reflective all at the same time. I would have never looked at Bets 1-10 and found these very questions to be the ones to light up a conversation, but they did just that. Intentionally, positive… these two words are what struck me the hardest when combined into one single thought. These two words are the ones that my mind raced back to with each response that came through.

Intentional

The word intentional was embraced in a variety of ways. With some being intentional about the relationships that they built, while others being intentional about keeping balance between nurturing others’ needs and their own. There was not a “right or wrong” in this conversation, but a solid respect for the perspective that each of us took. We were “sitting down at the same table” and having real conversations. From the perspective of admin to teacher to support staff… it was all there and we were “all in” listening to each other’s take on being intentional. Whether it was actually said, or possibly my mind just computed it this way, I was left reconsidering how being positive affects others.

Positive

I am positive that I have a fresh take on this one word! To know that there are educators at all levels doing everything they can to bring out the best in others is so incredibly uplifting. We see it on social media and hear it in chats, but this study has brought about a way of thinking to which pushes my own and that is what I thrive on! Being positive is a choice for many on more days than others realize. The poker face is one that gives us each pause as we realize that even though it may not be intended, that a poker face can be a cultural bust. Even though it may be the one way to hold back what is truly behind those eyes, someone else has already written your story with one glance. On the flip-side, it can be a necessity… one that is a gift of respect in a way of handling a moment. One that does not need explanation. In the big picture, if a poker face is the norm, then the norm is the perception other’s are having. Regardless of our role, in order to create positive relationships, we must allow others in at one point or another.

Are you intentional with connecting with your colleagues? If so what kind of impact has it had?

How does having a positive attitude impact your role? Does a poker face help or hinder?

#2MenAndABook is comprised of Matt Larson and Ricardo Garcia, two principals that continue to shake it up within education by giving each of us a place for safe and vulnerable discussion surrounding incredible topics and books. Some books have been full-blown educational, while others are not, but the common thread is pure goodness, positive push-back and the challenging of one’s thoughts to think beyond our own perspective.

Are you ALL IN?

Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities, Personal Learning

Priceless Moments of Gratitude

As I sit here in the airport, attempting to wrap my head around the last seven days of my life, I am in awe of the priceless moments of genuine gratitude I have felt within my soul.  The one thing that I know is that the kind of impact that I just embraced in Miami this past week could never have happened on its own. I have daily conversations about being intentional, finding balance, keeping self care at the forefront, contributing as much if not more than I consume, and the list goes on and on.  This week I accomplished each of these and more. Each moment counted… every single one!

When I think about the amount of opportunity I have been afforded by my administration, students, community, colleagues and yes, my incredible, selfless family I literally become overwhelmed with emotion. This is how much WE love children. This is how much WE are willing to invest in OUR future. This is the value WE place on education.

My heart beats a thousand beats a minute as I pour my passion into words attempting to type as fast as my brain is processing. It is this moment I am choosing to sit and allow each moment to wash over me so that I may feel the gratitude that humbles me to appreciate those that made this happen…

for me

for my students

for others

for the risk-taker, the dream-maker, the chance taker, the fearless and the fearful.

Yes, the fearful. That is me too. The one that just had so much new learning poured into me that I fear my brain will never remember it all or that I will forget how to execute it the way it was presented. See, I too fear, just as the amazing educators that found their way into my workshops this week bubbling over to learn something new. But that fear, the kind that gets in the way of opportunity, let it wash over you all the same… let it speak to your soul. It is that fear that reminds us that change is here. It is that fear that reminds us we have something incredibly important to embrace as our responsibility for the future we have chosen to help create. It is that fear that is yet another priceless moment of gratitude, for it is through that fear that we will embrace the best version of ourselves.

5 days of leading and learning #FETC

2 days with my god-daughter, Maddie #miamihurricanes

7 days of priceless moments of gratitude

Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities, Personal Learning

#OneWord2020: MOMENT

The Gift of a Moment

The moment you realize it is right in front of you and all you have to do is embrace it, the gift! That gift may come in the smallest of packages or so large that you need two more people to help you lift it, nonetheless it is a gift that you will miss out on if you do not embrace the moment. Two years ago I chose GOODNESS for my #OneWord as it resonated with me through the act of someone’s kindness. Last year, I moved from the feeling of goodness to the action of OWNit to which I challenged myself to contribute more than I consume. As I reflect back on both of these words and the blogs that I wrote, I see the MOMENT I was attempting to embrace.

this year

this word

every moment

Small Package Moments

I suppose it is all in the eye of the beholder as to how small or big a moment feels, but for me, these are the quick and candid times that I never see coming… the small package moments. These are the unplanned, unforeseen, or unnoticed times that may get past me when I am not in the moment of life. This holiday season, I saw each one so clearly… big and small!

A Smile

I never seem to pass up the feeling of a smile that speaks to my heart, a small gift that comes my way. It is one of the kindest moments shared between two people. As I shopped this holiday season, I took in every smile and allowed it to sink in and warm my heart. It was a reminder that these moments I am living in are such a gift to me. I wouldn’t be able to shop if I didn’t have the means to do so and I wouldn’t have people to buy for if I didn’t have loved ones in my world. I wouldn’t have conversations without someone taking the time for me and I wouldn’t know the joy I may be able to give if I didn’t look up to see their smile. These smiles are small moments. Each one fuels my soul and I do my best to pass it on to the next person I encounter.

eye contact

one smile

fuel a soul

A Laugh

When my children laugh I can feel it to my core. Whether it is a “boy moment” or one that we all create together as a family, it has a way of navigating my entire mind leaving me chuckling for hours to come. What isn’t lost on me is the joy of living that brings about these moments. Our journey over the last 2 holidays was overshadowed by loss, leaving a void where laughter was once filled. This year, in place of feeling the loss, I feel the gain. The gain of those here with me and the joyful spirit of those that no longer are. My moments are not just with my home family, but with my work family as well. There was once a time when I would be in a hurry to leave my staff Christmas party.  Not because I didn’t want to be there, but because I couldn’t bring myself to live in the moment.  My mind would race to the list of holiday goodness yet to be bought or the mounds of wrapping that were hidden from plain sight.  This year, however, I took it in. I heard the laughter roar across the room and felt myself smiling and laughing without even knowing what had truly transpired.  It was a reminder that happiness is right here and that it is my choice to

feel it

embrace it

take it in

A Thought

A fleeting thought. That is what it is to me, but I stop and embrace it for what it is and share it with those I am thinking of in that very moment. It has happened more than I expected or maybe more than I had realized ever before. At times it is a feeling, other times it is something I see that reminds me of someone or simply a memory that resurfaces. No matter what it is I have been trying to take the time to reach out to the person. That thought put into action rekindles some relationships while nurturing others. It isn’t that I have been too consumed to have the thought before, I just let it go at that and did not put it into action until now.

a phone call

a tweet

a direct message

a vox

a note

an action gifted by a thought

Big Package Moments

The big package moments are what I receive when embracing the small ones. These moments occur with friends, family, acquaintances, coworkers and strangers alike.

A Moment in Time

I was blessed to travel to Nashville, Tennessee to visit my brother and his family as the holiday was being kicked off in November.  At the time, I was preparing for my first ever book launch, had not even started my Christmas shopping, had a 2.5-hour workshop to create on a topic I had not presented before and my house was in need of my attention, along with the endless loads of laundry strewn about my basement floor.  I knew that this moment in time maybe something that I cannot get back so I chose to take in everything that my visit had to offer. I did not let my to-do list get the best of me and I even made a conscious effort to walk, relax, and sleep in! There were laughs, smiles, and an abundance of positive thoughts that we each got swept up in together! Although my family left feeling the warmth and love of our time with loved ones, it was a phone call days later that gave me pause.  My brother phoned to tell me that he and his family needed that visit more than I will ever know. He didn’t elaborate, but the message was clear. This was a big package moment.

Another moment in time was the day of my book launch.  I was nervous in the most exciting way possible, yet a fear crept over me that the world was about to view my heart and possibly not like what they see.  I had a last-minute meeting scheduled for a student, or so I thought, and I was trying to make it all happen without a breakdown.  I was determined to get to school, settle in, stay on top of the book launch challenge, and be an effective teacher, all while taking in the moment I had worked so incredibly hard for… oh, and do it with grace.   As I was focused on getting paperwork together for my “meeting” my colleagues put the finishing touches on the celebration they masterminded for Jacie and me. I was quickly scooped up and sent to meet another teacher before I had enough time to say anything at all.  When I entered the room for the surprise celebration,

I saw smiles

I heard laughter

my thoughts were scattered, endless, and full of emotion, and I felt a love that was ALL IN!

Most recently, my #4OCFpln family started a spreadsheet listing each of our #OneWord2020 choices. I told them I would pray about it as it hadn’t come to me so easily this year. I left my hometown and headed for the Omni Bedford Springs in Bedford, PA to create new memories with my family. I was a bit apprehensive, as this was our first visit without mom and I wasn’t sure how it would unfold or whether I would have any control over the outcome. All I knew was that my family needed me focused on them and that my one word would have to go on my perpetual to-do list. As we entered the town, a warm feeling came over my family. No-one said a word, they just smiled as they looked out the window. We stopped for lunch, and it was there that we were lost in thought and started sharing some of our fondest memories of Nana. Those memories created by moments that gifted us an abundance of love. As the weekend unfolded, we switched up our traditional routine and opened ourselves up to new ideas, ones that led to laughter and joy. As the weekend came to a close, I sat in a chase-lounge down one my favorite corridors of the hotel and opened up a journal I had gifted to mom the summer of 2017. It was something to help her regain her focus. A way of making a choice to see the good around her when her world felt so dark with uncertainty. I open it often and reread some of the moments she captured. I had no idea that the small gift I was giving mom that day would eventually be one of the biggest gifts for me to receive. I hold onto her words and live in each moment as if I am reading them for the first time. It is the cover that spoke to me this time. When I picked it out, I knew mom needed a reminder to live in her final days and so when I stumbled across the cover of her journal I knew it was perfect for her. It reads,

MAKE

THIS

MOMENT

COUNT

The Moment of Truth

This moment in time is a stark reminder of what I may miss out on when I become laser-focused on life, my goals, and at times my loss in place of my gain. What I realize is that I can’t make it all happen without something or someone suffering along the way. There must be give and take in my life if I am going to make this moment count! The moment of truth is in front of me.

I may pass up a phone call in order to be present in a conversation.

I may skip my favorite Twitter Chats in order to make time for family in my evenings.

I may say no without apology.

I may have to skip blogging to create a workshop.

I must live without regret.

I must reserve judgment.

I must have grace.

I must lead with humility.

I must advocate for every child, including my own, when needed.

I must continue to contribute more than I consume.

I must redefine my focus.

I MUST MAKE THIS MOMENT COUNT!