Monday, December 31, 2018

Professor Patty Cake ® Professional Pointer #4- Make Your 2019 New Year's Resolutions a Reality

Welcome to 2019!  I am so glad that have stopped by the Professor Patty Cake ® blog. The new year is here and I am sure if you are like 99% of the population, you have made at least one New Year's resolution. Whether it be to get healthy, find a new job, or streamline your classroom procedures, the new year offers you the opportunity to reflect on the past year and make resolutions for improvement. In the spirit of transparency, I thought it would be helpful if I shared my 2019 New Year's resolutions and the quick process that I use for goal planning and monitoring. This method has been highly effective for me and has helped many PPC clients achieve their New Year's resolutions.

Professor Patty Cake's ® 2019 New Year's Resolutions
1) Increase PPC social media presence and be more consistent with posting on the PPC blog
2) Make "wellness" a priority
3) Giving myself permission to say "No Way" * Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on this topic!*

Years ago when I was a school principal, I developed the RICE process to help myself with goal planning and monitoring. When I say RICE, I am not talking about the food, but now that I think of it I could go for some shrimp fried rice. Really though, in this case, RICE stands for: Reflect, Identify, Commit, and Evaluate. A description of each step and the questions that I asked myself  as I move through each step are below:

1) Reflect: Which areas (personal, professional, and or project-focused etc.) have been successful for me? Which areas have been unsuccessful and are in need of improvement?

2) Identify: What barriers, internal and external, have prevented me from achieving success. What existing supports/tool are available to help me reduce/mitigate/eliminate barriers so that I can achieve success?

3) Commit: What actions am I willing to commit to? What are the deal breakers and non-negotiables that I am unwilling to commit to?

4) Evaluate: How will I keep myself motivated to follow through with established actions? How will I hold myself accountable for completing these actions? What is my pivot point if I find that my actions are ineffective? How will I know when my goal/resolution has been achieved?

To show how the RICE process works, I will walk you through it using one of my New Year's resolutions.

Resolution #1- Increase PPC social media presence and be more consistent with posting on the PPC blog.

1) Reflect:
Which areas (personal, professional, and or project-focused etc.) have been successful?
  • The PPC client base has increased two-fold in the last few years.
  • We are averaging 5,000+ blog views/month.
  • New partnerships and modes for communicating with potential followers and clients have been established.
Which areas have been unsuccessful and are in need of improvement?
  • There has been a significant reduction in the number of blog and social media posts during 2018
2) Identify: 
What barriers, internal and external, have prevented me from achieving success. 
  • I was overextended and lacked time to devote to blog and social media
  • I had an erratic schedule and a lack of consistency in work and childcare schedules.
  • My "people pleasing" nature led me take on more and more projects/jobs because I feared I was letting people down if I didn't do so. 
What existing supports/tool are available to help me reduce/mitigate/eliminate barriers so I can achieve success? 
  • My youngest child has started preschool and I have family supports available to help with childcare.
  • We moved into a new house with a dedicated office so I can work from home when I am unable to go to PPC headquarters.
  • I have financial security and resources available to obtain additional staffing and devote more of my time to social media and the PPC blog.
3) Commit: 
What are the actions that I am willing to commit to? 
  • I will invest in people, products, and services to help me streamline/delegate my workload so I can devote more time to social media and the PPC blog
  • I will build a tribe of supporters and partners who understand and are willing to assist me in achieving my resolution.
  • I will be mindful of my time management and workload.
  • I will create realistic boundaries and stick to them.
  • I will develop a weekly schedule that optimizes productivity and reduces stops and starts throughout the day
  • I will scheduling designated time daily/weekly to devote to blog writing and social media posting.
What are the deal breakers and non-negotiables that I am unwilling to commit to in my pursuit of improvement?
  • I will not sacrifice my health or engage in workaholic behavior to achieve my resolution.
4) Evaluate:
How will I keep myself motivated to follow through with established action steps?
  • I will divide larger tasks into smaller actions and develop mini incentives to reward follow-through.
  • I will share success with my tribe.

How will I hold myself accountable for completing each action step?
  • I will track/chart progress and success monthly.
  • I will share my goals with my followers/colleagues and schedule regular check-ins to report progress. 
What is my pivot point if I find the action steps are ineffective?
  • If after 2 months of following these steps, I am unable to increase my social media presence by 20% and meet my monthly blog target, I will make an adjustment to my plan.
How will I know when my goal has been achieved?
  • I will have increase my social media presence by 50% and have at least 1 blog posted/month during 2019.
I encourage you to take a moment and apply the RICE process to your own New Year's resolutions. As always, the Professor Patty Cake ® Consulting, L.L.C. staff and I thank you for reading the PPC blog and wish you much success this year! If you like what you have just read, hit the subscribe button on the right so you will be the first to know when a new PPC post is available.

Hello 2019! I've got my #BossBabe #LVPlanner #Starbucks and I am ready to go!! 
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Friday, November 30, 2018

Professor Patty Cake ® Professional Pointer #3- Teaching Gratitude

Numerous studies have shown the benefits of expressing gratitude. Defined as, the feeling of thankfulness and appreciation, gratitude has been linked to better sleep, improved self-esteem, strengthened relationships, reduced aggression, greater happiness, and overall improved health.

Unfortunately, despite its laundry list of benefits, gratitude is often lost in today's fast-paced, instant gratification, gimme gimme, self-absorbed entitled culture that we live in. Fueled by the desire to accumulate more and more with the purpose of flaunting our newest acquisition on social media for all our "friends" and followers to "like", we have evolved into a society focused on "what's next?" rather than focusing on and appreciating "what's now?" Given this, it is no wonder that children in your class/school, might not know why, how or when to express gratitude.

As educators, we have the unique opportunity to teach individuals in their formative years how to savor the moment, appreciate the now, and have gratitude for what they have been given. With the holiday season just around the corner, there is no better time than now to begin doing so. Below are several suggestions for how to implement gratitude activities into your instruction.

  • Designate at least one journal entry a week as a gratitude entry. You can give your students prompts such as: List 3 things that you are thankful for and explain why you are thankful for them., Who has done something nice for you this week? How could you thank him/her for his/her kindness?, What activities, hobbies, and or sports would you miss if you could not do them?

  • Facilitate a class discussion where you compare schooling today with schooling in the past and/or compare your school to schools in less developed countries. During the conversation, point out the positive attributes of your current school setting and benefits that the students receive by being part of your school community. Together, you can brainstorm ways to give back to the school by planning and implementing a service learning project or event celebrating the school.

  • Often our custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, office staff, and maintenance workers are the unsung heroes of our schools. They work hard each day to make sure our schools run well, yet they are often underappreciated and forgotten. You can brighten their day and show them appreciation by asking your students to write "thank you" cards for them. Not only will you brighten the day for the recipients, you can use the activity to teach and/or reinforce letter writing skills as well as give students a real life opportunity to show gratitude for others.

  • Implement a daily 5-10 minute break where students can practice meditation, yoga, guided breathing etc. Basically the point of the activity would be to give the students the opportunity to center themselves and focus on the things they are grateful for. If you are unsure about how to teach your students mediation, yoga, guided breathing, etc., have no fear ,the internet is a wonderful resource for finding cool "how-to" kid-friendly tutorials. You can also reach out to local yogis and mindfulness gurus to ask them for pointers and tutorials.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but hopefully one that will give you food for thought as you plan your instruction. Your students are lucky to have you and I am grateful for the time that you have taken to read this post. Namaste!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Professor Patty Cake ® Career Hack #103- Ditch Your Objective Statement Right Now!

There is no quicker way to make your resume/CV seem tired and uninspired than to begin it with an objective statement. Beyond restating the obvious (Yes, you want a position like the one you are applying for. If you didn't, you would not be applying for the position in the first place.), you are also conveying to the hiring committee that you are not up-to-date with current resume/CV format trends. Thus, leaving them to wonder, “What else is this applicant not up-to-date with?”

When you include an objective statement, you are also essentially wasting valuable resume/CV “real estate.” That prime resume/CV real estate could be put to better use by using it to instead showcase a professional summary statement synthesizing, in a few brief sentences, how your skill set aligns with the required/preferred qualifications listed in the job vacancy announcement. Not only does this strategy give you another opportunity to illustrate how you are the ideal candidate for the position, it also allows you to insert keywords into your resume/CV that the Applicant Tracking System (the computer software many school districts/institutions of education use to prescreen applicants before forwarding applicant materials to hiring committees) is programmed to look for in "qualified" applications.

Crafting the perfect professional summary statement can be challenging. Contact Professor Patty Cake ® Consulting, L.L.C. today, to learn how to develop an effective, personalized, ATS friendly professional summary statement. Your job search is too important to leave to chance. Let our skilled resume writers and career coaches help you create a resume/CV that stands out from the crowd! We can be reached (toll free) at 1-866-932-4454 or via the web at Professor Patty Cake ® Consulting, L.L.C. Website.

Professor Patty Cake's ® Spring 2019 P-12 Teacher/Educator Job Fair List

Are you graduating soon and are in search of your first teaching job? Are you currently employed in a school but are looking to make a mo...