Once you’ve evaluated the “off-the-shelf” option, consider whether a DIY/DIT option might be the most cost-effective, long-term solution. Solving a problem once and for all is better than continuing to apply to wrong solutions year after year (and paying for them too).
Category Archives: Leadership
So you want to start a GSA…
A 2017 University of Chicago study estimates that 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQIA+. The 2021 National Survey on LGBTW Youth Mental Health finds that homeless queer youth are two to four times as likely to suffer depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.
A 2008 study from British Colombia found that if a school had a Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA), suicide risk for LGBTQ+ youth was 50% lower—and 50% lower for heterosexual boys as well.
Forming a GSA is an act of suicide prevention.
These strategies are free except for the cost of a pack of sticky notes. Even better, making them a routine normalizes joy and coaches the team to look for the best in each other. Teaching is hard work, and taking time to celebrate each other is an important way for the entire teaching community to model and practice self-care.
No more self-less self-care.
On 18 November 2022, 3:00-4:30 pm (Arizona Time), I’ll lead a session of one of our most popular online workshops: Self-care for Caring Professionals. As always, we’ll explore self-care strategies through the Eight Dimensions of Wellness. However, what’s new in this workshop is how we’ll confront what I’m calling “Self-less self-care.”
Successful initiatives begin with a shared understanding of what the team is doing, who the work is for, and what’s supposed to happen when we get it right. Sometimes, leaders assume that everyone understands what’s going on. The best, however, take no chances. Recently, Fatih Karatas, Chief Executive Officer at Sonoran Schools, sat down with me and his leadership team to list all initiatives and then identify the audience, responsibility, and outcome for each.
We know what we need help with.
When adults marginalize youth voices, youth suffer. Finding opportunities to centralize youth voice is neither frivolous nor fuzzy. What school leaders and youth-serving nonprofits should take away from Victoria Anne’s experience is that students should know as much about McKinney-Vento as they do about how to sign up for the football team. Also, we (adults) don’t know what we are doing unless and until we include youth voice.
Before you create a DEI task force, make a spreadsheet.
All organizations should have a DEI task force. And, the task force deserves to know what problem they are trying to solve. Without precision and clarity, an organization that begins the work of addressing systemic racism without first looking at their data is probably wasting time.
Self-care is the cornerstone of a healing-centered school.
Self-care is a journey—and because we’re all in different places on this journey—helping others heal requires some familiarity with the map. Build healing-centered schools by practice self-love, self-awareness, and self-service first towards yourself, and then towards your school community.
Bring your own agenda.
I used to say that I don’t go to meetings without an agenda. However, I realized that this is not always true. Sometimes, when I’m expected at a meeting that has no agenda, I bring my own.
Before planning your next meeting.
People spend a lot of time in meetings, and generally wish we had fewer of them. Before you schedule your next meeting, answer these four questions.