Monthly Archives: March 2011

Diversity

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Diversity

School is the centerpiece of the community. School leaders must not take for granted that the community is a vital part of the success or lack of success, that any school experiences. Failure to communicate the needs of the community will bring about several “roadblocks” created by disgruntled community members. Individual leaders are faced with a dilemma, the school leader must ask whether people must earn their respect, or if respect is inherent. When respect is to be earned, the process is comprised of negativity influenced interpretations about variance. Leaders must assume that misrepresentation will ensue. Respect that is inherent comes to pass based upon the constituents interpretation of the strengths that are worthy of recognition. Trust is integral to the successful development a community of learners; “We must internalize the importance of placing trust in others’ abilities to enhance a learning community” (Wilmore, 2001) Thus, members of a learning community must be diligent about work-related outcomes. This, according to Burns, is the mode of transformational leadership; “Burns (1978) stated that transformational leadership is a process within which “leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation [p. 20]” Therefore, the transformational leadership process must help the community, both school and residential, begin to care intrinsically for the “peace” of others.

The strategies for developing a community within the school and through the neighboring community involve several factors. According to Leithwood (1992), “Transformational leadership is a form of consensual or facilitative power that is manifested through other people instead of over people.” Three elements of this leadership are as follows: a collaborative, shared decision-making approach; an emphasis on teacher professionalism and empowerment; and an understanding of change, including how to encourage change in others. Communication in regard to this is integral.

Diversity of race, gender and socioeconomic background must not be an excuse for lack of student performance. Every teacher must hold students to a high standard of achievement. Leaders must be certain that rationalizations are never accepted. The community expects this and so do the students, “the administrator must be proactive at all times. Because school and community demographics will never be static again, it makes no sense to continue treating school leadership and governance as we have in the past” (Wiltmore, 2001). Administrators must keep a constant eye on issues and problems that schools currently face and will face in the future. Proactive administrators must work together with staff and community to develop common values. Everyone has a part in their development. Leaders will no doubt face increasing demands on their skills and resources in the future. According to Janas, “Mastering the art and science of communicating is a basic step in responding to the evolving tapestry of diversity in our nation’s schools” ( Janas, 2001) With all of the labels assigned to groups, classes, schools, students, or neighborhoods, the immediacy of the individual is most vital. Leaders must seek opportunities to communicate the needs among individuals, groups, and communities in order to build a solidified and successful future.

References
Burns, J. M. (1978). Leadership. New York: Harper and Row.
Janas, M. Getting a clear view. Journal of Staff Development v. 22 no. 2 (Spring 2001) p. 32-4.
Leithwood, K. (1992). The move toward transformational leadership. Educational Leadership, 49 (5), 8-12.

Leithwood, K. Leonard, L., and Sharratt, L. (1998). Conditions fostering organizational learning in schools. Educational Administration Quarterly, 34 (2), 243-276.

Daily Dose

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The love hormone! We want it and we need it. Fortunately, ladies, our bodies produce it. By definition, “oxytocin is a mammalian hormone that acts primarily as a neuromodulator in the brain. Also known as alpha-hypophamine (α–hypophamine), oxytocin has the distinction of being the very first polypeptide hormone to be sequenced and synthesized biochemically, by Vincent du Vigneaud et al. in 1953.” Great news, our brains produce chemicals that, as Halle Berry’s character says in Monster’s Ball, “makes [us] feel gooooooood”.

In recent years oxytocin has been extracted for use in nasal spray and oral hormone therapy to treat symptoms related to autism and schizophrenia. Oxytocin is considered to be the love hormone because of how it is derived, “best known for roles in female reproduction: 1) it is released in large amounts after distension of the cervix and uterus during labor, and 2) after stimulation of the nipples, facilitating birth and breastfeeding.” Apparently, there is something to be said about physical stimulation. The release of these hormones cause a marked difference in interpersonal behavior and interaction.

Have you ever noticed that when people feel a woman is too “uptight”, “stiff”, or “witchy” it is said that she needs to “get some”? Well, scientifically speaking, there is some truth to that. The release of oxytocin soothes and helps to form and maintain emotional bonds. All mammals, not just human babies, need to be touched, held, stroked, and physically stimulated. Physical touch reduces anxiety and calms nervous or hyper over-stimulated behaviors. Physical closeness is directly related to mental well being, “recent studies have begun to investigate oxytocin’s role in various behaviors, including orgasm, social recognition, pair bonding, anxiety, and maternal behaviors. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone.” Thus, physically stimulating interaction should not be rationed.

In clinical studies, the love hormone has been proven to improve social behavior in highly functioning patients with Autism. Studies by French scientists, conducted on 13 highly functioning autistic patients revealed the following: “We demonstrated that oxytocin can promote social approach and social comprehension in patients with autism,” Sirigu and colleagues report. They also suggested that, “the specific effect may be that the hormone reduces mistrust and fear associated with social interactions.”

Women must not use the production of oxytocin as an excuse to “go wild”. Women should keep their virtues in tact and share their bodies with a deserving partner. Women who practice withholding physical interaction end up hurting themselves more in the long run. If there is a contingency related to your intimacy, you are playing a game that has no real winner. Discerning adults should enjoy healthy physical relationships that are developed over time with trust at the helm.

The problem exists in playing the “game”. A woman who denies the man who cares, physical interaction, in an attempt to determine his level of commitment is shooting herself in the proverbial foot. If a man only wants sex, no amount of giving it away or withholding it will change his mind. So, women actively playing the game; you are thereby depriving yourself of helpful hormones that your body and mind needs to be well. Stop playing yourself : develop some oxytocin! If your worth and value is determined by what you can do for your partner physically, there are deeper issues present that are not related to physical interaction. If you are loving who you are with; show him some love. It will do your body and your mind some good!

References

Oxytocin. (2011, March 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 19:42, March 12, 2011, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Oxytocin&oldid=418327314

CNRS (Délégation Paris Michel-Ange) (2010, February 17). Autism: Oxytocin improves social behavior of patients, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 12, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com /releases/2010/02/100216221350.htm

Winning

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In regard to the Charlie Sheen rant before his dismissal, he considered himself to be, “winning”. Winning with major media buzz, “goddesses”, tiger blood running through his veins? Tragic.

Unfortunately, poor John Cryer, who I thoroughly enjoyed as “Duckie” in the film “Pretty in Pink”, no longer has a job as a result of Charlie’s win. Everybody has challenges, bad experiences, errors in judgement, but bringing someone else down with you is bad karma.

Celli says you’re winning when:
1. Your family is proud of what you are doing with your life. They tell everybody all of your business, because they have such good things to say.
2. You don’t have to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing. The worst lies you can tell are the ones you tell yourself.
3. The goodness that you give out is returned to you.

Winning is not about wealth, beauty, popularity, or fame. Winning is about creating opportunities for other people to win with you. Reciprocity. If you kill everything around you, who will be able to “cellibrate” with you, tiger? 😉