The Breakfast Pledge

The Breakfast Pledge

Last year in my For School Leaders blog and newsletter I focused on teaching civility. With this series on teaching civility, I drew heavily from Christine Porath’s book, Mastering Civility: A manifesto for the workplace, as well as other sources. Teaching civility, the grace and courtesy lessons we offer in our Montessori classrooms find renewed importance. Who do I […]


Four Keys to Raising a Self-Disciplined Child

four keys to raising a self disciplined child

Do you dream of having a child who is self-composed, articulate and respectful of others, young or old? In our children’s pre-verbal days it seems like those attributes may be impossible, but there are some teaching tools you can use to help your child have the self-discipline to live a peaceful life as a toddler […]


Ten Little Words

ten little words

As soon as my southern drawl is detected, I am usually greeted with something like, ”Aren’t you from the South?  Southerners are so polite.”  Folks from all over the world marvel at our use of “yes, ma’am” and “no, sir”. My imagination is not large enough to consider growing up and not saying “yes, ma’am”.  […]


Misbehavior Meets Needs

misbehavior meets needs

Misbehavior. That’s when you don’t act the way I want you to when I want you to. But what about when I do what I want when I want to do it? Some might call it personal prerogative. Others might say it’s a double standard. One of the interesting aspects of human behavior is that […]


Build Relationships With Frequent Deposits

build relationships with frequent deposits

Relationship building is work, and our relationships and the trust in those relationships are in constant change. We maintain and deepen our relationships with regular acts of kindness, consideration, appreciation and service. Every act of building a relationship is as if we are making a deposit into a savings account. We increase our balance by […]


I and Thou

Iand Thou

In the creation of successful relationships, there are two essential elements: giving and taking. In quality relationships, each party gives more than he or she takes, providing each person in the relationship a stockpile of positive experiences and memories. This abundance allows us mistakes without dire consequences during times of change and growth in a […]


Seven Traits That Destroy Lives

seven traits that destroy lives

Ever notice how a word, a phrase, a quote or a book title keeps popping up? The following Gandhi quote keeps showing up in my studies. Every time I read these seven statements I am astounded at the wisdom conveyed in so few words. Gandhi is attributed with saying that these seven characteristics are the […]


Three Gifts of the Human Being

three gifts of the human being

From birth we are given at least three gifts to create positive change in our lives. When these gifts are nurtured, we can become the creative force in our own lives. The gifts allow us to become the writer, the director and the actor in the production called ”Our Life.” Choice. From the beginning, choice […]


Asking Permission

asking permission

For many of us it is easier to beg forgiveness than to ask permission. If you really want to do something, why risk being told ”no”? Why endure the hassle of trying to sell your point? Why listen to pessimists who say that what you want to do can’t be done? Why take the time […]


Asking For Assistance

asking assistance

Can you help me, please? These five words seem to be hard for many people to say. In airport check-in lines, at fast food restaurants, or in grocery stores, we may react negatively when someone neglects to ask, “May I help you, please?” But at those times when we feel that no one is trying […]