Domain 1: Planning and Preparation, Domain 2: Classroom Environment

It’s All About the View: Revisit, Reflect, and Re-frame Bet 11

As I close up my remote learning experience and turn my sights towards the fall, I am reminded of an important bet that Jacie and I wrote in our book, “All In: Taking a Gamble in Education.”  In Bet 11, “It’s All About the View”, we pushed our readers to reflect on their school culture.  We questioned whether districts were fostering a culture of yes or no. Our Double Down at the end of the bet prompted each reader to ask themselves… Is there something that you can remove to make room for betterment?  It is my time to revisit, reflect, and re-frame this Bet, and I challenge each of you to do the same.

CALL TO ACTION: OWN your part as a leader for every child and create new opportunities for betterment


The million-dollar question being asked right now is, “What will learning look like in the fall?”  There is no doubt in my mind that I will not agree, nor will I want to teach and learn within all of the constraints and restraints that will be what I call side-effects of #COVID19. That leaves me with more out of my control than within… if that is my view.

I could spend my summer planning what I hope to be.  But I won’t.  

I could reface the curriculum based on remote learning.  But I won’t.

I could fill up with resentment that flexible seating has been removed from my students’  learning space.  But I won’t.

I could have negative conversations about the “What ifs” that surround the unknown.  But I won’t.  

I could fill my community up with my disappointment on how my philosophy for learning and teaching may no longer mirror the execution of what needs to be or will come.  But I won’t.

I could keep revisiting what once was and reflect on what I once did. But I won’t.  It is now time for me to re-frame my thinking.


In place of that, I will make room for betterment.  I will look towards the fall with hope.  I will move beyond a dream and plan for what I can do to make a difference in the lives that I am blessed to impact.  Let’s not forget, THEY ARE WATCHING… what view are we creating for them?!  Our children are relying on us to lead them through this time.  We don’t get to step down from that leadership role as adults, especially now. This is not about school boards, administration, and teachers in isolation as educators, this is about our community as role models.  WE, as adults, are leaders with our actions and words, so I ask you… how will you lead?  How will you open up opportunity for betterment? They are watching.

I will give my children (both biological and community-blessed) the summer to be the resilient humans that they are in order to replenish and recharge themselves (never underestimate the resilience in a child).

I will remind them that their mindset is a powerful investment and they themselves must give, in order to gain a return.

I will embrace moments to fill others up and remind them that education is a privilege that each of us is blessed and responsible in supporting.

I will take hold of the unknown and settle my fears by staying focused on the known fact that one way or another I will be able to help children learn, grow, and find purpose in their efforts. 

I will refocus, rephrase, and redirect conversations within the community to re-frame our efforts on positivity for our children.  WE OWE THIS TO THEM! 

I will nurture my own self-care and refrain from apology when I am in need of disconnecting. This cannot be just when I am burnout on life, this must be a way of life!

  • Exercise
  • Increase time with those that care about me
  • Refocus mindfulness
  • Listen
  • Make time to play
  • Rebuild problem-solving skills

I will own my part in my role as a member of this community.  I will own my views and the impact of them on others.  I will own my role as a leader to which goodness, faith, hope, and love are being sought by the children who have just lived through something that no adult can possibly ever understand. I owe this to them.  

Children are truly amazing! It is said that when children are resilient, they are more curious, braver, more courageous, more adaptable, and more able to extend their role into the world.  The one thing that a child needs in order to regain and build resiliency is a strong relationship with a loving and caring adult. Stop and ask yourself, “What am I projecting?” What legacy am I leaving for our children?  How am I owning my part in raising our future leaders? Are you owning your part? Will you be the loving and caring adult building a strong and positive relationship for a child?  Let’s remember,

They are watching.

They are learning.

They are growing.

They are leading… by our example! 

Personal Learning

Boost Your Self-Care Package

I decided that I needed a little boost before I head on vacation so that I can truly relax and soak it all in with my family. I stopped to think what that really meant to me and was surprised at how quickly I was able to figure it out. Self-care is not a foreign concept to me , as I have been empowered by it from an early age. The mere idea of taking a walk by myself to allow for my thoughts to escape me has and always will be a part of the “Kristen Self-Care Package”. As I have aged, I find myself exploring new ways to boost myself in order to balance new responsibility. Simply stated, I am always open for new innovative ways, while leaning in towards what I know has always worked.

As I sat waiting for my massage, the deep tissue kind that removes the knots that I create by not breathing properly when I am under stress, I noticed a “Personalized Total Body Care” handout that the establishment was promoting for skin. I glanced over and giggled a bit as it was an “innovative approach” that I had encompassed in my own world for so long for things unrelated to skin itself. I had used these particular ideas/methods for so long that I was actually searching for something different. The crazy part was that I was searching for something that I really didn’t need, as these methods were always of value to me and worked great… it was just that with my mind always spinning towards innovation I just felt that I should be reaching out for something better, even if it didn’t exist just yet. The breakdown for this product promotion was so incredibly similar to my own methods that it felt like they had entered my mind and ran off with a little piece of me. Was this exciting for me or annoying to me or was this simply intriguing? I honestly couldn’t figure it out, but it led me to more reflection and in turn this post.

Energizing BOOST for my Soul

My energy level fluctuates, as it does for many. The thing is… that there are times I’m not so sure if it is because I am overextending myself, low on iron (I’m that girl), sitting too much (writing manuscript, blogging, curriculum, etc.) or if I am running wild through a self-pity moment that is comparing myself to the many other incredible people around me that appear to have their “stuff” together a bit more than me and my post-its. Then I pause and ask myself, did I have my coffee yet? ha! Oh, yes… 2 cups! Recently, I started “power” walking with my husband at the crack of dawn. The first day out, I thought I was going to have a heart-attack… something like, ” I can’t make it… this may not be for me!” He replied with, “Come on, you got this!” I didn’t have it that day at all and cried a few pitiful tears for myself as my chest stretched and I couldn’t catch my breath. Then when we got home I could feel that I was ready to move on with my day in a different way I hadn’t felt in awhile. I embraced the boost in my energy and accomplished quite a bit to my surprise.

Clarifying BOOST for my Mind

Power-walking led to a different accomplishment… a more clear-headed accomplishment. Here I am a month later, and I am now on fire with my walking. To be honest, I am giving my husband a real run for his money. The thing is, walking had boosted my energy level physically that in turn nurtured me mentally and ultimately gave me more time with my husband, Eric, that I didn’t even realize I was missing. WOW! This is where balance comes in for me and that needs to be my definition of balance, not that of others. When I look at others crushing balance in their lives, I compare myself to them and find myself discouraged when I am not mirroring what works so well for them. Clarifying what works for me is a self-care chat that has to happen… so when you see me engrossed in serious conversation and no one else is around, let’s just say it’s all for the good!

Hydrating BOOST for “ALL THINGS”

Ahhhh, hydration! This is a game changer, right? The amount of water I drink could float a ship… one full of my fabulous friends, family, and PLN. I find that the more I drink, the less garbage I eat, the more water I want, and the boost in my energy level goes up and up! The thing is that I actually feel like I’m glowing a bit different these day and yes, the water is a definite support, but there is something else. Somewhere in my “Kristen Care Package” I recognized that in order to put more in, that I need to take some things out. For me that meant having a “come to Jesus” moment where I recognized I needed to go through something, not around.

Renewing BOOST for Resilience

For those that are close to me, you know where this is going and for those of you who may be connecting with me for the first time, building resistance for my broken heart is something that I must go through, not around. In order for my smile to return on a regular basis and my cheerfulness to be at the forefront where others are used to, I had to seek a therapist for the grief that I had yet to go through with the loss of my mother-in-law… one of the closest people in my world. For me, it was a struggle of honoring her wishes, maintaining her confidence, fulfilling our relationship as friends beyond family, helping her to embrace her new journey with God when she wasn’t ready to leave her loved ones, and assisting her with the transition from here with us to her precious spot in Heaven. For many families, hospice provides this support, and even though they were a major support to us, with the quick unraveling of health, I took on the full responsibility to administer her medication. At the time, my mind knew it was what had to be done… my mind just didn’t convey that to my heart. As the months passed, and I tried to hold my family up in their own grief, I found myself retreating into a space unfamiliar… alone. It wasn’t until recently, and through therapy, that Eric and I realized that when mom passed, she took with her a piece of me that will never be back and left a hole in my heart no one ever had to fill, as she was the one to do just that. Building up resilience for my heart has meant opening it up to new possibilities. Allowing it to beat again, to be loved in a different way, and to trust that I can do this without her. I am getting there… a boost of love and support is around my every corner. Smiles, kindness, support, and love are renewing my heart in a way that is now able to relate to my mind.

Self-Care Package- Just For You

What is it that boost you? What is it that creates that moment of joy that you feel entering your mind, taking over your body, and filling your heart? I encourage you to find it… create the package that is made just for you. Open it up, use it daily and allow yourself that boost that you are worthy of… yes, you!