Month: April 2014

It’s always personal: Transformational Resiliency in Action-Reflect-Persevere!

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It’s always personal: Transformational Resiliency in Action-Reflect-Persevere!

I don’t remember consciously focusing on my personal resilience as a young child, yet, as I take a moment to reflect on some of the circumstances that are the collective of my now distant memories, I find myself remembering many moments that provide for my current awareness of what it takes to support resiliency development in our children today.  Each of these memories includes not just an environmental scene, they also include people.  People who made each situation personal, the good, and the bad, they are both personal.

Family circumstance, environmental situations, cultural dynamics, educational setting, and personal motivation and resolve, all are important ingredients to our memories, and though they are not an exhaustive list. they are important when we consider the need to support, nurture, and assist children with developing into well-functioning human beings.  Yes, there is more to be considered when we try to address the needs of each child that we aim to support, but these categories help us understand ourselves just a bit more.  

Within each of these categories further lies personal connections that must be present and forged for individuals to connect with their world and flourish into healthy humans.  There are relationships that must be invested in and built for our memories to become solid foundations upon which children can grow.  There are also moments that we should try to avoid so as to not create unwarranted trauma for children that could stunt their development. Can we control all of the moments in a child’s world, no, nor should we seek to control them all, yet we can focus on building more positive moments each day.

Read and reflect about these questions for a moment:
-Does your definition of “family” define you? 
-Are you simply a compilation of every environmental situation that you have ever been in? 
-Was your personality defined by your cultural teachings, and are you limited by historical offerings about your “culture”? 
-Are you only as astute as the educational settings that you had the good fortune or mis-fortune to experience? 
-Did you simply decide to become who you wanted to be, and you arrived?

More than likely your reflective answers to these questions are complicated, and truly could only be answered by understanding and discussing a multi-layred web of connections between these categories: family, environment, culture, education, and personal motivation and resolve, are inter-twined, and each of these components, especially as they relate to each of us, hold’s very personal memories, filled with relationships, and connections to other people.  Thus, it is safe to say that these multi-layered web of connections are built upon thousands upon thousands of personal moments that we have lived, and more than likely have lived with others in our environments, which makes them personal not to just one person, but potentially to many.

These inter-twined moments, these opportunities to be somewhere, anywhere, with another person, especially children, cannot, and should not be taken for granted, as each of them holds an opportunity for a memory to be formed, a light to be lit, a true opportunity to support resiliency development. The development of a child’s positive mental health, and an opportunity for continued positive growth of the mind, are outcomes that we want more of for our children, so it is incumbent upon us to be aware, be conscious, be present at each of these moments, as they hold an opportunity to change the world. We must further recognize that each time we have the chance to connect positively in a personal manner with others, especially children, we must use that opportunity for good.

Am I finished growing, developing, shifting, becoming resilient? Not even close. Am I getting better at understanding that what I do, say, don’t do, don’t say, can impact those in my environment? I’d like to think that I’m getting better, and I hope you are too!

Please follow me @ResiliencyGuy and @DrRobM_FSUSD and continue to always help all of our children to “Grow in Peace!”



“Building the Resiliency of At-Risk Students”-Transformational Resiliency in Action

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“Building the Resiliency of At-Risk Students”

This last year I was honored to be asked to participate in a Post-Graduate Fellowship Program.  A strategic partnership was formed with Drexel University and the California School Board Association (CSBA), and I worked with the CSBA Leaders over the last year to support changes to the education and training of members of the CSBA.  Further, as part of the fellowship I wrote the following Governance Brief that has now been published by the CSBA.

I often write of the critical importance of each person, and the important and powerful changes to our world that can be initiated by just one person. Some have called this the ripple effect, or string theory, and I like to think of this process as an essential part of our lives that actually empowers both the initiator of a change, and those that the change positively affects.

This Governance Brief was written to support the over 5000 members of the California School Boards Association as they continue their important work of creating change within all of our schools in California.  As members of multiple governance teams, each one of them has the power to become the initiator of change, the igniter of a new idea, and the person who might ask the question that will bring a new focus to the issues of positive mental health instruction in their district, and in turn could powerfully impact the lives of the hundreds, or thousands of students, that they have the due diligence to support.  In this brief I further describe the concept of “Transformational Resiliency,” and present a few examples of schools where this process is taking root and supporting some of the neediest, grittiest students in our community. 

The brief is also written as an educational resource and tool for those that are considering the importance of resiliency development for students, and hopes to inspire all who read it to take action. Take thoughtful, purposeful action to create environments where students are able to prosper, and “Grow in Peace.”

Here is the link: Please share this far and wide! It matters for all of our students.

You can also follow me @ResiliencyGuy and @DrRobM_FSUSD on twitter


#Resiliency-You Matter! You Make a Difference! You are Essential!

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#Resiliency-You Matter! You Make a Difference! You are Essential!

Have you read this? If you have, read it again, and take it to heart, because your heart will want to continue to do the work that you do!  If you have not, I ask you to please take a moment, take five moments, heck, take a half-hour, and consider the importance of each moment you have that is spent in supporting those in your life, especially your students or those you care for in your world.

It’s about making connections, being present for those in your world, and about knowing that you ABSOLUTELY MAKE A DIFFERENCE!!!!

#Resiliency-You Matter! You Make a Difference! You are Essential!

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#Resiliency-You Matter! You Make a Difference! You are Essential!.t

So many individuals have viewed this blog post, and I do hope that each of you have received some of the positive feelings that I intended to be felt by those who serve others.  In my time as a student, educator, administrator, researcher, I have been fortunate to have met so many dedicated individuals that truly give of themselves on a daily basis to those they serve .  This post is dedicated to those individuals who strive to connect, who work like mad to ensure positive environments for children, and to those that are just starting to embark on their careers to serve others.  Thank you for taking the time to read, to connect, and for your service to students.