Aug 10, 2016

8 Habits and School Beautification

I cannot believe that I am saying this, but school started yesterday!  The summer flew by, but I am very excited to get this school year rolling.  After a very busy and productive year of planning, MTE is rolling out the 8 Habits to our students this year, and I couldn't be more excited!  If you haven't read about the 7 (in our case 8) Habits, then I highly recommend you get the books by Stephen Covey and dive in!

Here is a quick run-down of the habits that we are teaching our students this year:

Habit 1 - Be Proactive - I am a responsible person.  I take initiative.  I choose my actions, attitudes, and moods.  I do not blame others for my wrong actions.  I do the right thing without being asked, even when no on is looking.

Habit 2 - Begin with the End in Mind - I plan ahead and set goals.  I do things that have meaning and make a difference.  I am an important part of my classroom and contribute to my school's mission and vision.  I look for ways to be a good citizen.

Habit 3 - Put First Things First - I spend my time on things that are most important.  This means I say no to things I know I should not do.  I set priorities, make a schedule, and follow my plan.  I stay focused on what I'm doing and try to minimize distractions if I get off task.

Habit 4 - Think Win-Win - I am a problem solver when an issue comes up with another person.  I think about what other people want and not just what I want.  I am kind to others and try to think of ways to make everyone happy.  A win-win compromise is when everyone feels they've won!

Habit 5 - Seek First to Understand, Then to be Understood  - I listen to others without interrupting.  I raise my hand when I want to speak and wait patiently to be called on.  I don't blurt out.  I listen to other people's ideas and feelings, even if they are different from my own.

Habit 6 - Synergize - I value other people's strength and learn from them.  I get along well with others, even people who are different than me and work well in groups.  I know that "2 heads are better than 1" and as a team we can get more done than we could alone.

Habit 7 - Sharpen the Saw - I take care of my body by eating right, exercising, and getting sleep.  I learn in lots of ways and lots of places, not just at school.  I balance my time between school, community, family, and friends.  I take time to find meaningful ways to help people.  I balance all 4 parts of myself.

Habit 8 - Find Your Voice - I know what I'm good at, and I show it in my work.  I strive to meet my goals and work towards my greatest potential.  I inspire others to find their voice by respecting them and working with them to find and celebrate their purpose.

Our teachers have been hard at work the past year learning the habits themselves, and preparing ways to teach them to our students.  One of the first things we determined as a committee last year was that our building needed a make-over in order to make it more "leadership friendly".  That is where our School Beautification day came in.  Our wonderful administrative staff scheduled a beautification day before the first day of school this year in which teachers volunteered their time to come in and help with this goal.  We did some brief team building, and then got to work on our walls!  Hopefully some of these examples of their amazing work will give you some inspiration for your own buildings!

We're Building TREE-mendous Leaders!
This is an interactive board that we will use throughout the year to highlight the 8 Habits that our students are showing at home.  Students will be sent home with leaves, and when they show a habit at home, their parents can fill out the leaf to be added to the tree!  We hope to see the tree filling up with awesome things soon!

Emotion Control
This is the board that I was in charge of (can you tell?!).  One of the other fabulous elementary schools in our district has a board just like this one, and I couldn't resist as I absolutely adore the movie Inside Out.  Since Habit 1 is all about being in control of your own actions, I thought it was perfect for our goals this year.  Each emotion is identified, given a purpose, and then students can also see ways to cope with each.

Popping Up
I have seen this board several times on Pinterest, and I was very happy to see that one of our teacher groups chose to put it up in our building.  They also strategically placed this in front of our cafeteria.  

Leadership Comes in Cans
This one is in our Kindergarten area.  I love how simple it is, and how the message is very clear - it's also super cute!

Awesome Message
Our 5th grade team here at MTE does an awesome job of promoting kindness and respect for others with our students.  I love this message, and feel that if we all kept this in mind, the world might get just a little better bit by bit every day.

To the Beach!
This board was inspired by a mural that was found on Pinterest and was done by our 5th grade team.  The goal within our first 20 days of school is to do basic introductory lessons of each habit to get the concepts started.  Each day, the team is adding the habits onto the pier that they discussed, and by the end every habit will be listed!

Readers are Leaders
Our Media Specialist never ceases to amaze me.  She always comes up with amazing themes for our library every year, and does a wonderful job of showing them.  This is another interactive tree that has staff names as stars and student names as leaves and is located in the reading section of our library.

As I said before, we are excited to be launching the 8 Habits this year with our students here at MTE.  Keep an eye out for more posts about the Habits, as I am busy creating new things for our staff and students that are Habits based every day!


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