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First Technical Theater Week – Huge Success!

Our first Technical Theater Week was a huge success. Students will continue to fine tune their technical theater vocabulary over time but their enthusiasm for this lesser known theatrical art is commendable. Lighting Design rarely gets the attention that it deserves but BLS students are hooked!The skill, creativity, and vision required to pull off an innovative lighting design takes collaboration, communication and patience. I look forward to seeing our students overcome these challenges.

Students demonstrated excellent command over lighting vocabulary and concepts and then they made lighting decisions for their original play, “The Helping Oak Tree.” Students challenged themselves to explain their ideas to their team mates and provide constructive criticism in order to arrive at a consensus.

It was a new way of communicating for nine year olds but their perseverance to speak thoughtfully and respectfully, while also making their ideas clear is an example for children of all ages.

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3 keys to communication in the family

When I talk to our students about Teamwork I point out to them that the most important team that we are on is our FAMILY.  No other team needs the cooperation and vision that our family needs for long term success of all members.  Of course the leaders of that team is Mom & Dad.  While every team leader has different responsibilities, there are a couple of foundational standards that are true for all teams and especially families.

1.  Be consistent. Whether it is setting the rules, the making of decisions or in keeping our word, consistency is one standard that team members depend on.

2.  Be clear. Set forth what the values, morals and ethics are for your family.  Setting these expectations make it clear to all what is expected and it is much easier to follow a leader with clear expectations.

3.  Be courteous. By showing respect for everyone in your family, even the child that is giving you the hardest time at that moment, as a leader you are setting the tone for the family.  Everyone in the family is watching to see how you will deal with the member of your team that is not following the rules, determining for themselves how they will be treated.  Trust and respect can be gained or lost based on our being courteous to one another.

Teams / Families always reflect their leaders.  As the leader of our team / family we set the tone for respect being shown to each other and to those on the outside.   By setting the example with consistent, clear, and courteous communication with our team, the team will be more willing to participate and voice their thoughts and feelings, which in the end is what all parents want to have with their children.

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Leadership: skills & 3 types of leaders

One of the most important skills that a leader needs is one of communication.  Communication is made up of two parts both of which are very important, but the first one is vital to the second.  That first skill is listening.  The focus and attitude for listening can really make the difference in a leader that is respected by others or not.  

How do we teach our children about listening.  There are several ways of showing that we are listening to others including, looking at them in the eyes, nodding from time to time, being able to repeat what they say back to them, keeping our bodies still and not fidgeting, and not being distracted by electronics, noises, others, or even worst – our own thoughts.

When I was talking to our students about this subject, I told some of them that sometimes I find my eye wandering to see who is next in line to speak to me.  Have you ever done that?  Well I have and I am working on practicing keeping my eyes, attention and thoughts on the person and the message they are delivering to me. 

Being a good communicator also includes being able to speak well.  For many of our students it may start with speaking loud enough for others to hear them.  Now when we get the volume up we have to think about the attitude of the voice and person.  Which of the following 3 types of leaders are they;  passive, aggressive, or assertive?

A passive leader is one that seldom does the work and finds it difficult to make decisions.  They may even agree with everyone but not want to be responsible for making a call or decision.  The aggressive leader is full of opinions, generally their own, and are more than happy to push them on everyone around them.  They seldom are good listeners. 

Then there is the assertive leader.  This person is a good listener, willing to hear out all opinions and ideas before drawing a conclusion and making an advised decision.  This assertive leader would ask others to help them in a kind way and would always be willing to say thank you.  They would recognize to others the work of his group and be willing to share the rewards.  This is the kind of leader most of us would like to work for, this is the kind of leader we all want to be. 

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Preserving the ‘rules of respect’

This month as we have looked at the character of respect with our students, we must examine ourselves as adults and ask how we can encourage respect, even when disrespect an rudeness is found everyday.  Of course we have to be sure that we do not begin to believe that it is acceptable to act in that manner.  In fact we may ask ourselves,  how individuals we spend the most time with during the week speak to one another.  Do they show respect in their communication and how does it affect us?  How do we do as individuals on a scale of 1-10 of showing respect for others?  Do we create drama in our relationships and show disrespect for others?  As we think about this we have to wonder about the affect it has on us and the way we speak to others and how they speak to us.  Do adjustments need to be made?
Robert Ingersoll said, “Give to every human every right that you claim for yourself.” I would add our children are watching and our neighbors children.  They are learning how they will act toward others.  It is our responsibility to set the best example we can to ensure that the ‘rules of respect’ are preserved with our children.

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