At Riverview International Language Academy, our school focused on teaching the 7 Habits of Happy Kids. As a result, I took initiative and become a grade level representative of the Lighthouse committee. The goal of the committee is to become a Lighthouse School. In addition, The Leader in Me is a three-year transformation process for the entire school in which we establish a culture of leadership with specific tools that empower staff and students for a common school wide goal by utilizing the common language of 7 Habits.
I am a responsible and dedicated individual because the Lighthouse Committee meets weekly to share ideas with staff members and train our families about each habit and how to incorporate them into their homes. As a result, we have fostered a culture that all students can be leaders.
Each day, I choose to be proactive and be positive with my students and colleagues. In addition, I choose to do the right thing and take initiative during staff meetings and grade level planning because the effect is facilitated leaders for the 21st century.
How will I teach it to my students?
I demonstrated to students that a proactive person makes positive choices even when no one is looking. Based on their understanding, I had students make a pledge on how they will commit to Habit #1 at Riverview Language Academy. As a result, the final responses allowed me to see their achievable goals in becoming a better leader.
Habits of Highly Effective Learners (Covey, 2004).
"Begin with the End in Mind" means to have a goal, either long term or short term goal. The outcome of the goal could be a continuous motivator to accomplish the goal. In order to reach the goal, a plan must be in place, so the goal can be attainable and realistic. Overall, the goals must be meaningful and can create a positive impact on yourself or the people around you. As a result, steps of being proactive can foster Habit #2.
Through my goals and aspirations, Habit #2 has guided me to become a positive role model to my community. When I set a long term goal, I visualize the "bigger picture" then break it up into attainable benchmarks to met my ultimate goal. Through perseverance and a supportive family and friends, my long term goal is reached. As a result, I am an asset and contribute to my school's mission and vision of creating 21st century leaders with technology.
How will I teach it to my students at Riverview?
At the beginning of the year, each student has a leadership notebook. The leadership notebook tracks their academic and personal goals. As a result, their leadership notebook is a visual reminder of their positive development into achieving their goals at Riverview. For example, each week the students take spelling tests and track their scores on a bar graph. Students also track their AR and STAR scores to improve English and Spanish comprehension skills. In addition, the goals are referred to as WIGs (widely interesting goals). Students can visualize their growth in all areas and continue to aspire for the "bigger goal" of becoming leaders based on the the 7 Habits of Happy Kids.
"If you were to ask me what single practice would do more to balance your life and increase your productivity than any other, it would be this: plan your week each week before the week begins." - Stephen R. Covey
Vision, Commitment, Purpose
Put first things first means focusing on your highest priorities based on your mission and values. In order for this practice to be effective, individuals must plan out every week and eliminate the unimportant activities by staying true in the moment of choice. In addition, setting priorities and making schedule to follow can lead to success.
Each week, I will list five or six important things I want to put first in my work and in my personal life. Then, prioritize them from importance. Important activities represent my vision, values and high priority goals. Urgent activities require immediate attention. I will have a weekly plan to organize my week before it begins. I have a google planner for the week , but writing down my list each day is an additional way for me to differentiate the "big rocks" and "little rocks". Since, I make a schedule in order to stay organized. The organization may take 5-10 minutes, but ultimately keeps me calm and collective on my mission and vision.
How I will teach it to others at Riverview?
Each Wednesday, the staff at RV participate in 7 Habits for 7 minutes before our PLC. Since, I am a part of Lighthouse Team, I have taken the initiative and lead the habit for the week. Our habit aligns perfectly with Put First Things First. We will engage in differentiating between important and urgent activities and create a list to prioritize them. I will share the ways that I create a plan for myself to stay organized and balance all the "rocks" in my life.
Reflection after PLC
The presentation on Habit 3 was a grand success. My peers at RV felt empowered on prioritizing the "important' and "urgent" activities to better enhance their productivity based on their own personal mission statement. A whole group conversation arose about their own personal connections to the Habit and reflecting on the four Quadrants. I am proud of my growth as an individual and I am thankful to my master's program cohort for sharing this experience with me.
"Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everyone- that one person's success is not achieved at the expense of others." Stephen R. Covey
Mutual Benefit, Fairness, Abundance
Think Win-Win refers to consider other people's wins as well as your own, create win-win agreements; and balance of courage and consideration.
By having the abundance mentality, everyone can win and share the "piece of the pie" instead of being greedy and taking the benefit of the entire pie. Also, celebrate the wins of others as well as your own winnings to establish a fairness in abilities to win as a company. Being cautious and deposit into the other person's emotional bank, so a strong relationship of trust can be developed over time. In addition, by considering other individuals needs can create a win-win relationships. By listening to each others ideas to create a better solution with immense benefits, which in term is a win-win situation. Also, leaders must balance the skill of courageousness and consideration to build win-win relationship. Courage means the willingness and ability to speak your thoughts and feelings respectfully. Consideration is the ability to seek and listen to other's' thoughts and feelings with respect. As a result, Habit 4 is the first step to public victory.
I would like to be more courageous and share my ideas and opinions with confidence. Also, I would need to practice this skill by pick an issue and confidently share my point of view with peers at work. In my personal relationships with my significant other, I would need to focus on win-win agreements. The win-win agreements must be were both individuals commit to work gain mutual benefits from the relationship to gain further trust.
How will I teach it to my students at Riverview?
I will read "Have you Filled a Bucket Today?" which explains to students about depositing into an emotional bank (invisible bucket) of others. When students being positive "bucket-fillers", they gain more in their emotional bank and develop a trustworthy relationship. However, if students are being "bucket dippers" and removing from an individual's emotional bank, they are also removing from their own "invisible bucket". This story will demonstrate how to develop win-win relationships and become encouraging, respectful and thoughtful around others.
I will ensure students can make a connection by facilitating discussion on how the Disney movie, Wreck it Ralph, demonstrates Sean Covey's Habit 4, Think Win-Win.
Identify the problem.
How does Ralph change at the end of the movie?
What lead to this change?
What specific examples show "Think Win-Win?"
"Most people do not listen with intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply" - Stephen R. Covey
Habit 5 is the habit of empathic communication. The focus of empathetic communication is knowing that we have a greater influence with others if I truly understand them first. In order to achieve Habit #4, we must practice empathetic listening and respectfully seek to be understood. When you listen empathically, you get out of your own story and into the story of the other person. You listen with the intent to understand, not to reply.
Stephen R. Covey said that it is only once you’ve truly understood someone that you will have influence. Two things may happen:
I will listen not only with my ears, but with my mind and heart as well, in order to act accordingly. By doing the following will lead me to empathetic listening to improve communication and relationships
How will I teach this to others?
Each week, our school has a professional learning community and we take 7 minutes for the 7 Habits, this means we focus on one habit and reflect on the habit and provide teachers some ideas on how to teach it to their students. As a result, I hope to create a powerpoint that reviews the concepts for Habit #5 Seek first to understand, then to be understood. Through the powerpoint presentation, I will model on how we can use empathetic listening with staff members to solve problems and build trustworthy professional relationships. Also, I will show the song from Youtube, that they can teach their students.
Songs In the Key Of Character
"When mutual understanding and respect are present, the spirit of synergy starts to develop." -Stephen R. Covey
Synergy is the culmination of all the other habits working together.
Synergy means valuing the differences of people in order to collaborate. Furthermore, sameness if boring- "the essence of synergy is to value differences- to respect them, to build on strengths, to compensate for weaknesses." Valuing differences is the foundation of synergy. It’s more than appreciating someone else’s cultural heritage, ethnic customs, or religion, as important as those differences are. We often have the most difficulty with people who differ from us in very fundamental ways, like: messy vs. organized; detail-oriented vs. big picture-oriented; spontaneous vs. planner. When we are effective, we value this type of variety and build on each other’s strengths.
While collaborating, the goal of synergy is to create the third alternative rather than settling for compromising. When synergy is in action, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. For example, one plus one equals three or more. Synergy means coming up with something that is better than what we could have imagined. This means Habit #6 is the habit of creative cooperation.
As a result, I will value differences by identifying someone I disagree with and make a list of his/her strengths. This will allow me to seek their values and beliefs in a positive manner. And when someone disagrees with me, say, "Great! You see things differently. I need to listen to you." I would commit to this act because this can lead to open and trustworthy relationship, which is aligned to Habit #5, Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
I will observe an upcoming meeting with the process of synergy in mind, then think about the significant problem or opportunity that would benefit from synergy. I will teach the process to those involved by seeking a third alternative, which is similar to Habit #4 Think Win-Win.
How will I teach this to others?
Synergy Soup is a great way to incorporate Habit #6, Synergize, into your classroom. It's an activity were students are learning about each other. However, it can be played at any time during the year because the result will be different each time a new team is formed. Students synergize and work together to create words from their initials. Points are awarded by how many letters are in each word. Students can work in partners or teams to create "synergy soup". This activity is an engaging way to learn Habit #6.
Renewal, continuous improvement and balance
Habit 7 is the habit of daily self-renewal. This means preserving and enhancing the greatest asset we have -ourselves. Through regular renewal of the four dimensions: body, mind, heart and spirit. By balancing the four dimensions we can achieve the daily private victory. By spending at least an hour each day can lead us closer to "daily private victory", which in the end, is the key to developing all the 7 Habits. By winning a daily victory provides us the ability to win the more difficult challenges played out in the public areas of our lives. For instance, this past week, I was stressed about grades, report cards, upcoming conferences and Master's homework reading and assignments, then a horrific incident occurred with my car on school grounds. My plate was filled with deadlines and stress. This publicly played out challenge drained me and made me reflect on how I need to take care of myself - emotionally, spiritually and physically. Through the realization, I took time for myself and attended CABE 2015 conference as a volunteer because this form of mental stimulation lead me to complete happiness, Habit #7. Not once did I stop and ponder about my various challenges that arose that afternoon. By attending CABE and listening to the inspirational guest speakers, I was able to achieve my "daily private victory" and the next day at work, I was back to my normal self and fully aware of the various responsibilities fast approaching but with a feeling of renewal and mental balance.
"The single most powerful investment we can ever make in life is investment in ourselves- is the only instrument we have with which to deal with life and to continue" - Stephen R. Covey
As a result, I will commit to this...
How will I teach this to others?
During PLC, I will lead the 7 minutes for 7 habits, which will focus on my own personal experience of car incident and CABE conference. By sharing various samples of activities to physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional/social dimensions to achieve the "daily private victory" and explain to my "RV family" how reaching "daily private victory" is the key to developing all the 7 Habits. And through my experience, how I MADE the time to balance myself and how easy we can balance our saw each day.