START Leadership

Lead Well + Be Well + Do Well 
Hello & Welcome

We'e in the midst of something big - figuring it out as we go - and in search of support, stories, and ideas to help navigate. Our focus this month can help.

Of the three, primary leadership attributes known to be foundational in living a satisfying and meaningful life – Responsibility, Resilience, and Resourcefulness – Resilience has proven to be most essential in times of uncertainty – for us and for our kids/students.
When we are intentional about creating time, space, and guidance for kids/students to explore and connect who they are at their best with what they care about most, and then support them in finding where + how they can make a meaningful contribution, we reinforce their innate capacity for Resilience. When we know that we matter, that others are counting on us, we show up and stay with the work, even when it’s hard (like now). That's Resilience in action.
Read on to find the inspiration, information, and insight you need to tap into your own Resilience first so that you can provide the support your students/kids need to tap into theirs.  

And if you have any thoughts or experiences you'd like to share with us and the START community about how Resilience is showing up in your world, we'd love to hear about it. Reply to this email or share on Instagram or Facebook. We learn best from the stories we hear from one another. 
Together, we're building a culture of well-being and preparedness in our families, schools, and communities for goodWe're glad you're here.


Be Well,

Issue 3
Tapping Into Inner Resources

Bouncing (Back) 

As parents and teachers, the way we respond to what’s happening in the world right now will have an immediate and sustained impact on the degree to which our kids/students develop the resiliency they need to thrive. 

In the current circumstances, we can choose to frame the pandemic as an unprecedented catastrophe in which we have few choices - or - we can choose to frame it as an unprecedented opportunity in which we can help to make things better.  Either way, it's hard. But the benefits of choosing what's possible make it worthwhile. For us and for our kids.

Let's model what it looks like to bounce back.


Revealing Resilience in the Midst of Uncertainty

As the challenges of distance learning were unfolding around the country and the world, we invited an inspiring group of teachers to participate in a unique Leadership and SEL training program this summer. Designed to provide teachers with tools to equip students with the mindset and skills they need to lead well, be well, and do well, the group has answered the call in extraordinary ways.

In our work together, we have witnessed the ways in which these teachers are reframing challenges as opportunities and stepping up to take the lead in this work to make things better for their students, their school community - and in the process - for themselves. In the work, they're modeling Responsibility, Resourcefulness and a whole lot of Resilience.

Jessica Iaspaoro is one of those teachers. She's a physical education teacher (and more) at Rockford Lutheran School in Rockford, Illinois. She shared her spring distance learning experience with us, highlighting what she learned about the capacity her students have to be Responsible, Resourceful and incredibly Resilient in the midst of a global pandemic and what she plans to do to sustain this growth in the new school year. We want to share her uplifting story with you here. Thank you, Jessica.

Note: Informed with the insights shared here and those we're learning from our own kids/students, we can create a plan with the strategies, tactics, and routines necessary to ensure our kids/students have the time, space, and guidance they need to maintain social, emotional, and physical health and well being and to navigate and take the lead in their own lives.

Learning from Distance Learning
By Jessica Iasparo

Our school spent the last twelve weeks of our year learning remotely. At the beginning, I believed that when I lost daily, face to face contact with my students, the relationships we had developed in person would deteriorate. I was wrong. What I experienced was incredibly positive and powerful and will reshape how I approach building and sustaining relationships with all of my students going forward - whether online or in person.

Speaking Up: While learning remotely, the students in my physical education class submitted daily assignments that were of a subjective nature. Their assignments in meditation, yoga, and fitness were followed by an invitation to reflect on their experience. I was surprised and delighted to see students, including those who had rarely spoken up in class, submitting answers that were deep and insightful and reflected a tremendous capacity for resilience. The meaningful, online dialogues that emerged revealed their capacity to adapt, to engage, and to thrive in the face of adversity - and it strengthened my relationships with all of my students.

The shift, I believe, occurred as a result of the opportunity online learning provided for us all.


Read the full article to learn what Jessica's learned from her students about finding the silver lining and building resilience in adversity. 


Read Full Article


Resilience is Essential to Overcoming Resistance 

Seth Godin is a successful marketer, entrepreneur, and avid champion of doing work that matters. Millions tune in every day to be inspired to take action by his research and ideas. Though this book was written several years ago, it's relevant now more than ever. 

In alignment with START's WIN Map and Leadership Process, Seth makes the case that we can and must support students in discovering their brilliance and applying it in ways that are meaningful to them and to the world. This applies to us, parents and teachers, as well.

In his book Linchpin, Are You Indispensable? he states

"Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It's time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must."

He then backs up this call to action with compelling case studies, research, and ways to proceed. Later in the book, he makes the link to the necessity of Resilience in doing work that matters.

"The competitive advantages the marketplace demands is someone more human, connected, and mature. Someone with passion and energy, capable of seeing things as they are and negotiating multiple priorities as she makes useful decisions without angst. Flexible in the face of change, resilient in the face of confusion. All of these attributes are choices, not talents, and all of them are available to you."

The WIN Map and START Leadership Process have proven to be useful navigational and implementation tools for parents, kids/students, and professionals, including teachers, to identify, develop, and apply our brilliance in ways that matter.
Find more inspiration, information, and insight and join the conversation by following us on social media. Reach out directly if you'd like to explore how you or your school, community, or organization might get involved.

We are up to something that matters here. You're an important part of it.
Happy to be with you on this journey for the greater good. 

Please feel free to share this with a friend or colleague.
We'll make them feel welcome too.

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