Looking Toward the Future

As I reflect on my career as an educator, I am blessed to look toward the future. Facing retirement after many years of service in public education is exciting. This is mostly because retirement, for me, is simply another avenue to pursue my passions and to boldly go into the next adventure. I am so grateful that in my retirement from public education, I can begin to:

Provide service to others in the form of supporting and mentoring female leaders. As a recent doctoral graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, my dissertation was on the Underrepresentation of Female Superintendents in New Jersey. This research journey allowed me to see the challenges women in education face, particularly at the Chief School Administrator Level. Executive-level coaching is necessary for women to succeed in the top spot in education and I am thrilled to be offering to serve others.

Support educators at all levels through consulting and professional development. I have developed professional development content over nearly three decades in education which can be used to improve teaching and learning across multiple grade levels. This exciting consulting opportunity allows me to support more teachers than those in my district, reaching beyond the local community and toward all who may need assistance.

Support equity. Another area I am passionate about is removing barriers for the underserved and attempting to shine a light on the inequitable practices that plague our nation’s schools with wisdom and sensitivity. The importance of equity is paramount as many continue to face discrimination and unequal access to programs.

Social-Emotional Learning and Trauma Informed Teaching. Post pandemic, we simply must approach teaching differently. Understanding the effects of trauma on students and facing the reality that teachers are struggling as well, we can all come together through awareness and hope to reimagine our approaches, connections, and what it means to be human with each other. Through compassion, patience, listening to one another, and understanding SEL, trauma, and the need for social and human connection, schools and schooling can and will improve.

Cultivate leadership through new teacher cohort support. This is one of the areas I feel is most needed in education. When new teachers are hired, they begin their teaching journey with enthusiasm and passion. If their passion and talent are not cultivated, however, they may be negatively impacted by others. New teacher cohort support is unique, a customized opportunity for districts to build leadership capacity in their new teachers and maintain high levels of rapport, instruction, engagement, and content application.

It is so exciting to continue my educational journey, impacting a broader audience and finding satisfaction and gratitude along the way. I look forward to refelecting on my journey and inviting others along for the ride.

COVID Keepers and Opportunity Through Challenges

Throughout the pandemic, many educators have struggled with new ways of reaching students, managing content and communicating with parents and other stakeholders. Yet some have proven their fortitude and innovation through trailblazing efforts that have maintained the focus on the needs of students. This brief reflection is in honor of the successes we have collectively shared as an educational community. It is also written with hope for the future.

In my current district of Vernon, we have identified “COVID Keepers” and the access that technology can provide to assist families and students to be active participants in their educational communities. Here are just a few COVID Keepers that schools might consider keeping, as we continue to navigate through the pandemic and hopefully near its end, into a more stable future.

  1. Virtual IEP Meetings – the sole use of the virtual platform for teaching was something that some of the eduational community went into reluctantly. Delivering lessons on zoom, navigating through breakout rooms, and finding educational tools that could be leveraged virtually to engage students was a struggle. But the use of the virtual platform was a blessing as well. In Vernon, we distributed Kajeets (mobile hotspots) early on in the pandemic to ensure WiFi access for all students in our community. This allowed parents to be connected with our schools. Even with a return to live instruction in school this fall, (2021), the use of Virtual IEP Meetings has remained. Parents have the ability to attend from nearly anywhere, making meeting attendance accessible. Our attendance rate at meetings is 100%. This ensures that our Child Study Teams can meet in a timely manner, supporting our special needs population thoroughly and efficiently.
  2. Virtual Parent-Teacher Conferences – Vernon is a lovely community but can be quite far from where working parents commute for employment. We enjoy amazing hiking trails and a ski resort! Commuting for families, especially during what can sometimes be harsh winters is essential for working families. The use of virtual parent teacher conferences allow for communication between school and home in a safe, timely, accessible, confidential environment.
  3. Virtual Administrative Meetings – while the administrative team and I prefer to meet in person and will resume in person meetings in the near future, virtual meetings allow administrators to remain in their buildings, tending to emergent needs, student concerns, or staff assistance. This is beneficial because in a district with six schools, the virtual meeting limits travel between schools which can be a barrier during emergent situations.
  4. Schoology – During COVID, the district utilized Schoology as their primary learning platform for students. It includes classwork, notes, teacher presentations, videos, on-line assessment tools, and other important resources of an online classroom. While live instruciton is occurring so far this school year, the landing location of Schoology for students (and families) is a consisent place to find important class-related items for academic (as well as artistic and athletic) success.

It is my prediction that education will continue to evolve through the pandemic. The shifts we have made as an educational community were necessary to “get through” the challenges we were facing. However, now is the time to reimagine schools and schooling for the improvement of the structures that have historically been used in education. These include the societal, financial, and educational needs of students and families. I know I look forward to the evolution of education. The opportunities that school leaders have to influence positive change will be pivotal in the next phases of education as we know it.



Greetings!  It has been a long and interesting journey!  As part of the #Compelledtribe, we take on writing initiatives each month. Although I have been remiss in my writing, I am always grateful for the many wonderful things around me.  At this glorious time of year, it is a perfect time to reflect and practice….#Gratitude!

It would be simple to list what I am grateful for but more challenging to state why. In the interest of true reflection and growth, I feel the “why” matters.  Here are some things I am grateful for and why they mean so much to me.  I have found that sometimes we must deal with challenging circumstances to truly feel gratitude toward life’s blessings.

  • I am grateful for my two children.  They make me smile and laugh.  They also challenge me EVERY day.  If you are a parent, you know these challenges.  But when I think if Gavin and Katie, I know them for their compassion, kindness, dedication, creativity, and joy!  The reason this matters so much to me is that as an educator, I recognize that all children (including my own) have good days and bad days, have struggles and challenges.  It is difficult (as a parent OR educator) to assist children in navigating these times.  I hope each day that my skills strengthen to help my children and the children of our district.
  • I am grateful for Vernon!  I have landed in a truly amazing place.  My new district is vibrant and engaging.  I see the talents of educators (administrators, teachers, aides, etc.) all around me.  I am inspired by the work of many including dedicated Board of Education members and parents and volunteers who support our schools each day and find new ways to make our district even better. It is so important to enjoy the work we do.  All careers have challenges.  If it was easy, it wouldn’t be called “work” but being able to go to work each day and feel value toward the goals of the district is tremendously gratifying.
  • I am grateful for resilience.  It is my hope that the community of Vernon will continue to be resilient and hopeful.  The district has been through significant changes in a short amount of time. Through it all, teachers have remained dedicated and that is inspirational.  My own experiences have led me to understand how important resiliency is and how it is absolutely necessary for growth and healing.  The challenges of the past are simply that…the past.  I do believe time heals all wounds.
  • I am grateful for my network. This includes the folks that have known me since I  was a little girl, to my new co-workers to those I only know via Twitter.  I always say, “We are stronger together.” It takes a strong leader to put his or her feelings/opinions aside and listen openly to others, especially those with differing ideas. I hope that through my network, I’ll continue to grow so that I may help others.

  •  I am grateful for nature and fresh air. Living in this remarkable part of New Jersey has given me a true appreciation for what I have.  Hiking with my children is joyful!  We cannot wait to ski and explore more of what this beautiful region has to offer.  There is something about the appreciation of my surroundings that reinforces how blessed I am to have landed in a truly remarkable place.

  • I am grateful for new beginnings.  I simply cannot wait for 2019.  I think it will be a good year to be a good year!

Why I Tribe

This post is long overdue.  I belong to an amazing tribe.  Actually, I belong to several tribes.  The first one I’m referring to is the #compelledtribe. We are a group of educators who publish online content.  Our topic for August was “Why I Tribe”.  As you can see, this post is overdue.

The definition of tribe is as follows: a social division in a traditional society consisting of families or communities linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.

My #compelledtribe, my awesome tribe (#wmnleadedu) and my tribe of friends, family, colleagues, and loved ones who have never stopped supporting me all have something in common. It is the part of the definition that says, “linked by social, economic, religious, or blood ties, with a common culture and dialect, typically having a recognized leader.” My Tribe has a common culture.  It is that of EDUCATION.

My tribe believes in educating everyone – students, staff, families, and communities so that we can be unified in our quest for knowledge and education.

My tribe believes that all students can learn and that it is our job as educational leaders to provide equity and access for the underserved as well as the gifted.

My tribe believes in going above and beyond to make school an exciting, safe, fun, memorable place that students (and staff!) are eager to be part of every day.

My tribe believes in honoring the voices of everyone so that we may make good decisions and put students first.

My tribe believes in supporting one another through thought-provoking questions, deep conversations, and strong professional development.

My tribe believes that we are stronger together.

Why I tribe…

I tribe because I seek feedback from educators across the globe who are more experienced than me.

I tribe because seeking the voices of others makes me a better leader.

I tribe because more voices at the table and honoring those with differing viewpoints makes be a better person, a more well-rounded leader, and a person of humility.

I tribe because I never want to stop learning.

I tribe because I never want to stop growing.

I tribe because standing together with good people for the improvement of education in our country is a necessary action.


What Will You Do This Summer?

The end of the school year means so many things for so many people.  For many teachers and students it means a short break from the day to day challenges educators face each day and believe me, a break IS necessary. Breaks allow for us to rest but there is also research to back up that when our brains are at rest is when they are most creative. This cognitive miracle is a great reason to remember why it is important to take a break, then exercise that cranium this summer!

Here are some suggestions on how to rest but also how to energize, re-connect, and feel great about the next school year.

  1. Join a book study group. This can be done on Twitter or at your local library (yes – they still exist.) Talking to others about a common book is a great way to broaden your horizons.  Try a new education book or a fiction book.  Either way, you are bound to relax and learn something new.  My favorite new read is  The Path to Serendipity by Allyson Apsey found here:   https://www.amazon.com/Path-Serendipity-Discover-Gifts-Journey/dp/1946444715
  2. Get some exercise. We all know that exercise improves our health but sometimes finding the time to commit is challenging. They say it only takes 21 days to start a new habit and I believe that to be true so why not start now?
  3. Get some fresh air. This can be taking a walk, getting out on a boat, or hiking, camping, or just sitting in your yard or on your front porch. Taking the time to acknowledge that our bodies (and minds) need time and space to heal, regroup, then grow are essential.
  4. Try something new.  This can be just about ANYTHING! Are you a thrill seeker? Try something adventurous. If not, try something else. Crocheting, knitting, learning how to play chess, painting, gardening…you name it!  Remember that almost any activity (including meditation) calls for a certain level of cognitive engagement. Cognitive engagement is necessary for the brain to reset but to also grow. It is like the old saying, “Use it or lose it”. The more our brains are working (efficiently and effectively), the better the outcome.
  5. Play with your pets. This may seem silly to some of you but research indicates the joy of interacting with animals produces endorphins. This is why so many hospitals and nursing homes have therapy dogs or other similar animal volunteers come visit.
  6. Draw or Sing. It doesn’t matter if you can’t draw OR sing. Just do it! You can sing in the shower ’til your heart’s content or do it in a more formal setting. Take some singing or drawing lessons. Many teachers will offer a “first lesson free” option to see if you are truly interested. Why not treat yourself to a half hour a week of learning about music or art? These creative niches allow the brain to be creative, productive, and relaxed all at the same time.
  7. Go camping. Talk about connecting with the outdoors? This is the way to go. It is always a good opportunity to “unplug”. My family and I camp in a tent nearly every year. There are beautiful, affordable sites all around the country. Families and friends begin to value the art of conversation, starting and maintaining a campfire for warmth and cooking, and listening to the sounds of nature. Camping is also a great way to be at peace when life throws you curveballs.
  8. Learn about SEL (Social Emotional Learning) If there is one thing you do this summer in regards to getting ready for the 18-19 school year, consider learning about Social Emotional Learning and trauma informed schools.  Although the terms have two slightly different meanings, any school that is trauma informed is also likely equipped to deal with most of the social emotional needs of students. In my opinion, this is the biggest shift in education we have seen in a long time and the research (and strategies and support available) are voluminous. I began learning about SEL a few years ago and began applying it in my district where we have seen tremendous results.
  9. Volunteer. If you have some spare time this summer, consider volunteering. Remember that doing positive things for other people makes US feel good too.

Summer is a great time to learn new things, reconnect with old friends, and prepare for the fall. It is essential that our minds and bodies have a break to recharge. This is evidenced during the school year when Saturday and Sunday are usually our days of rest. When you think of what to do this summer, consider the need for “brain breaks” as well as stimulation of new knowledge. I know your brain will thank you!

Grant Funding, Finance, and Self-Funding Programs


I am so pleased and excited to be featured in this publication. Check out my latest work on blogreign.com.  Here is the link…


Although finance is one of the most challenging areas for school leaders, having knowledge is just the beginning.  After nearly ten years as a Superintendent of Schools, I understand grant funding at the local, state, and national levels.  Experience goes a long way too but having a Chief Financial Officer or Business Administrator is equally as important.

At times in my district we have had to reduce spending or re-allocate funding, we have never “cut” anything.  This is tremendously important when providing necessary programs for students and even more crucial when it comes to retaining qualified staff. The practices we’ve established over the last seven years have sustained staff, provided necessary professional development, and maintained and implemented outstanding programs for students.

I have even been able to implement two very successful self-funding programs in Barnegat. Not only does our Early Learning Center provide for the care of very young children (ages six month of age to six years of age), but this program is completely self-funded. The salaries of all employees, including the Coordinator and all care givers, supplies, and needs are funded by tuition. However this service also provides necessary care for many families in Barnegat and employs many residents as well. It is an affordable day care in Barnegat run by caring individuals at no cost to the district. The location of our facility is unique as well because it allows Barnegat families their first foray into our public schools.

The other self-funding program is our Before and After Care program. This program began because our families had a need for affordable after care. When this program began, nearly five years ago we had approximately 40 students enrolled at one school site (that September). By December of the same year we had close to 100 students.  By the end of the school year we opened before and after care centers in all of our elementary schools. We now have over 400 students enrolled in before and after care. That number exceeds the total enrolled population for one of the elementary schools in our district in Barnegat.

Creating self-funding programs is just one way to be skillful at finance. We are also lucky to be the recipients of a large grant from RWJ Barnabas Health. They provided us with a $500,000 grant over five years that includes a full time prevention specialist in one of our schools, the TALK program, the DART Youth Prevention Program and a unique Med Sci Academy at Barnegat High School.

I am very proud of the accomplishments of our district under my leadership. Passing a tax burden on to tax payers is something that school administrators should work to avoid.  Although funding for programs is necessary, there are many ways to do so that reduce the strain placed on families and community members who are already struggling or on a fixed income.

No Wonder I’m Happiest When I’m Creative…

Many of you know that my blog posts are often inspired by articles, books, stories,  lessons from within a classroom or a recent experience I have had. This blog is no different.  As I was perusing Twitter, I found this article posted by Eric Sheninger.


It seems there is scientific research to support that we are most creative when we turn off our self-monitoring brain during the creative process.  In the article, one of the most fascinating bits of research shared was having jazz musicians or rappers perform or create original riffs while being monitored by an MRI machine.  The results are as you would expect.  Self-monitoring brain off = creativity ON.



The last two years have been like a roller coaster ride for me. There have been twists and turns, highs and lows, and heart-wrenching drops.  I am, however, a musician and a creative person by nature.  “Creation” for me, means performing, practicing, improvising, writing, painting, learning something new, or DIY. The creative process is different for all people but the most interesting thing is that during the times I am creating I also feel happy, energized, enthusiastic, passionate, and excited. But I also feel like I am productive and that my ideas or creations have worth.  That, of course improves self-esteem, self-worth, and self -image. What an amazing cylce!

You know what I am going to say.  What about for our students??? How can we foster creativity in our classrooms so that children feel valued?

  1. Give students a choice. Nothing says, “I respect you” more than giving students an option.
  2. Create spaces that support creativity. These can be stations or centers. Maybe they are artistic corners or spaces on the floor where children can write, color, or think.
  3. Ask children what they want to learn about, how they would like to learn it or what their interests are.  I get it. We all have to teach a viable curriculum in our classrooms but maybe if we adjust how we teach the content, we can allow for creativity with our students.
  4. Promote growth and achievement in soft skills. This means reinforcing collaboration, critical thinking, problem solving, and when students try something more than once (and listen to feedback and improve.) These skills are essential and will be beneficial to them for years to come.
  5. Celebrate! When things are going well, tell them and tell their parents. No one loves to celebrate more than children and parents bask in the attention of a call home from school, celebrating a child’s success!

When I reflect on my most productive times and the times I was at the absolute top of my game, it was when I was creative.  As I became more constricted by those around me, I was less creative, less happy, less productive, and in some cases down right miserable. I know, now, that I cannot let others impact my creativity, for by doing so I let them impact my mindset.

Practice Kindness



Today I am choosing to write about how our actions, both big and small, have a lasting impact on those around us.

I have always been blessed to work with some amazing people.  One of the teachers in my district, Mrs. O’Neil shared a beautiful lesson in kindness.  She and a colleague who both teach fifth grade  decided that it was time to put aside math and writing for a moment and teach students about what it means to be kind.

In order to fully understand the magnitude of the lesson and its impact you will need to read her newsletter.  The link is here for you….


Please take a minute to review the lesson.  It truly is extraordinary.  Lessons like this CAN and SHOULD be used in our schools.  They are essential. This post is deeply connected to the content Mrs. O’Neil presented in her newsletter.

When is it time to prioritize kindness?

Why should kindness matter above math or writing?

How can we embed kindness into our daily lessons?

What can we do to make the world a better place?

The four questions above are not simple ones, nor do I feel they can be answered in one blog.  Especially by me.  I am, after all, one person.  But I truly believe that one person can make a difference.  The reality is that KINDNESS MATTERS!  The other reality in today’s classrooms is that children feel overwhelmed, worried, anxious, lonely, and afraid like never before.  We must do everything in our power to help our struggling students – our students who struggle emotionally.

Remember this? Not only was Maslow right on with his work, but this graphic gives examples so that you may better understand my point. Look carefully.  I believe that children – not all children but many children suffer terribly due to not having the bottom parts of the pyramid fulfilled successfully.  If children do not have food or warmth at home, they will never move up the pyramid in their emotional or cognitive ability levels. This is where too many people (in my opinion) have become critical of thy neighbor. Too many people, in my opinion, look the other way and chose not to get involved.  They chose not to donate their coats so that children can have warmth or assist and neighbor who is hungry. People chose to look the other way during bullying or uncomfortable situations. There is evidence all around us of those who can criticize but not mobilize. Children are our most precious asset so we do we so often look the other way?


The emotional needs of children cannot be met in one fell swoop. It takes an army. It takes a nation. It takes people caring for one another through kindness and the ability to put another person’s needs ahead of their own.

What can and will we do to change the trajectory of our nation’s children?

Can we provide food and shelter for all of them? Can we provide safe schools, secure classrooms and no more fear? Can we create a sense of belonging and love on our district campuses? Can there be respect for one another where we are proud of the achievements of others, even if it means putting others before ourselves? Can there be fulfillment for all of us, knowing we have done everything we can to support each other?

I think we can. Let’s start by practicing kindness.

Dedicated to Teachers…


This post is dedicated to teachers everywhere who work tirelessly to reach our students everyday.

I am from New Jersey.  If you are from New Jersey, you know that we have a new Governor.  For me, the jury is out on what will happen in our state on all fronts. But this post is not about politics.  It’s about teaching.

I was inspired to write because I love teaching, education, and watching students grow and learn everyday.  Education is my passion. But in my opinion, our previous Governor hurt the teaching profession.  In 2015 he said that teachers unions are “the single most destructive force in education.”  In 2016, he said that teachers unions were “New Jerseys version of the Corleones”.  In 2017, he said ““All too often this system is built for the comfort of adults: how much money they want to make, what kind of benefits they want to work, or don’t work.”  Although I know these comments were pointed at unions, they vilified teachers and damaged the profession that I love so much.

Here are the things that most people forget about teaching:

  1. Teachers must get their bodies on the schedule they have been assigned. They are unable to use the bathroom or take a break, other than when it is scheduled into their day.
  2. Teachers spend an inordinate amount of time preparing their lessons. This means they don’t only work from “8 to 3”. This means they spend time researching, reviewing, prepping and revising BEFORE they even meet with their students.
  3. Teachers must engage every child. What if each time someone walked into your store and didn’t purchase something, it counted against you? Engagement of every student, every day is easier than it sounds. Hopefully by the end of this post, you’ll realize why.
  4. Teachers spend lots of time learning to get better. This is a cause of frustration for some on the fiscal end but it is essential.  Imagine if Fortune 500 companies or big businesses and industries decided it was “too costly” to invest in their brand, invest in their customer service, invest in the skills of their employees? That concept has little merit outside of education. Yet in the education sector, professional development funding is often scrutinized.
  5. Teachers spend time outside of class focussed on student growth. They grade papers. They analyze student responses and individualize assessments so that every student can learn and so that proper differentiation is provided.  They learn new strategies and implement them, tweaking and revising along the way, until they have managed to hold the attention of a challenging class and get to the content of the standards they are responsible for.
  6. They go to cross country meets and football games and concerts to support students who need it.  They know that if a student sees a teacher OUTSIDE the classroom, that students will work harder.  Reaching a child in the classroom sometimes means doing things outside the class to support their students.
  7. Teachers must teach EVERY child on their roster.  Children arrive:
    1. hungry
    2. tired
    3. depressed
    4. excited
    5. with ADHD
    6. with learning disabilities
    7. as gifted students
    8. with anxiety
    9. angry
    10. from divorced families
    11. from homes facing addiction
    12. from homes with wealth
    13. disinterested
    14. overwhelmed
    15. scared
    16. with strong supports for education at home
    17. with no supports for education at home

….and the list goes on and on….

Teaching can be like performing for an unwilling audience.  Have you ever had one of those days where you didn’t feel like engaging with your colleagues or making extra calls to boost sales? Maybe you didn’t feel up to showing just one more home to a prospective buyer.  Imagine having twenty-five or so students who didn’t quite feel like learning.

But here is what GREAT teachers do:


They smile A LOT!  Smiling matters! Think about it.  When someone smiles at you, the natural tendency is to smile back. Try it. Smile at a total stranger. Do they smile back or turn away? Go a step further. Smile and say, “How are you?” or “Have a great day.” Teachers go a step further. They smile and they say, “I’m so happy you are here today!” and they mean it!


They praise their students and find joy in every minor victory or improvement. This can mean a small comment on the side to a shy student or an absolute focus on a success complete with music, certificates, and a call home. Let’s face it, the best praise is the one that is shared.


They go the extra mile to reach a student, staying up late, attending free professional development or registering for workshops on their own to implement new strategies. They try over and over again to reach a student.

My son is not a reader.  He is a good student. He loves school. He is very social and I think he is liked by his peers.  For years, I have been trying to get him to read. He came home Wednesday and said, “Mom, can you get me this book?”  I nearly fell off my chair.  I was overjoyed! As an avid reader, I was DYING for my son to discover the joy of a good book. Then, “They’re having a book fair at school and I really want to buy a few books.  Can I have some money?” Of course, I thought! Thursday night, after the book fair, Friday morning before school began, and yesterday, I saw my son reading quietly. He chose the comfort of an exciting story with characters he could relate to over YouTube or chatting with his friends.

His teacher DID NOT stop until she inspired my son to read.  I will forever be grateful for her dedication in going the extra mile.


They are creative. They comb Pinterest or pester colleagues to find ways to excite their students.


They CELEBRATE! They get on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or use Remind to share their amazing successes with families in their community. The call home to share successes with parents. They tell the school Principal so that he/she can make an announcement, provide a sticker, or a free treat.


They are proud of the profession they chose no matter what anyone says. They inspire others to become teachers, to recognize teaching and learning in any form. They inspire their students and they wouldn’t have it any other way.


They are grateful for the ability to work in the most amazing profession. The one where we get to influence the future and support the learning needs of the next generation!

Don’t forget to thank a teacher. I know I will.

~Karen Wood

Practice Football or Practice Joy? Why not Both?

Tonight nearly 100 million people will be watching the Super Bowl.  100 million viewers is not a record but it is almost unfathomable to me.  It is exciting too!  How nervous must everyone be?  Football players, coaches, game officials, Justin Timberlake, dancers and musicians, cameramen, commentators, and ticket takers.  The musician side of me considers the insane magnitude of “putting on a show” of this size.  But as a lifelong performer, it makes me tingle with excitement!

Practice makes perfect.  I don’t care what it is.  Here is a list of what we do when we practice perfectly (or as close to perfection) each time:

  1. Practice reinforces a skill.
  2. Practice makes you stronger, faster, more skilled at what you are working towards.
  3. Practice lets you reflect on what you need to improve.
  4. Practice can be broken down to micro-moments to focus in on one thing with absolute precision.
  5. Practice builds character.
  6. Practice builds stamina.
  7. Practice creates discipline.
  8. Practicing something you LOVE is FUN!

When you’ve practiced and seen growth or improvement, the results are amazing. In the Super Bowl (or any other high level athletic competition) you will see a high level of skill and a fierce competition based on who practiced more.  Did one team out practice the other in regards to defense? Or offense? Running the ball? Completing passes? You get the idea.

What if we practiced JOY like we practice other things?


This video is completely accurate.  Did you know that a special type of brain tissue called myelin actually helps us acquire and master skills? And that children are like myelin generating machines? This enables them to absorb information more rapidly than adults.


Children learn quickly. They learn how to catch a well thrown spiral pass. They learn how to play a scale on a musical instrument. They learn how to be kind to others. They learn how to cook. They learn how to love. They learn how to ride a bike.  They learn how to be of good character and go through this life with integrity, joy, and love….but only if we teach it and model it every day.

~Karen Wood