Mike's Monday Message

September 16, 2019

OSSI? WSLA?

I'm not sure what you all know about OSSI and WSLA so I will start from the beginning. OSSI stands for Office of System and School Improvement. WSLA stands for Washington State Leadership Academy. OSSI is for school and district improvement and WSLA is for learning about leadership and how to lead improvement efforts. OSSI provides us with coaches from OSPI in the areas of special education and ELL. These are identified as areas that need improvement. We receive $20K a year for professional developement from OSPI to work on these areas. The goals of WSLA are connected to the work we are doing through OSSI. Both are working to meet all students' needs through developing MTSS - Multi-tiered System of Support, in the district.

Sue Connelly and Kathryn Page are our coaches for OSSI and Michelle Curry is our coach for WSLA. The support from OSPI has been very helpful.

Velcro, Teflon and Happiness

Rick Hanson, neuroscientist and author of Hardwiring Happiness, states studies have shown we must hold on to a positive thought or feeling for a minimum of fifteen seconds before it leaves any imprint in the neurons. Brain studies have shown we may be hardwired to focus on problems at the expense of a positive vision. The human brain wraps around fear and problems like Velcro. We dwell on bad experiences long after the fact, and spend vast amounts of energy anticipating what might go wrong in the future. Unfortunately, positivity and gratitude and simple happiness slide away like cheese on hot Teflon. The whole dynamic , in fact, is called the Velcro/Teflon theory of the mind.

We can rewire our responses by deliberately practicing enjoying a positive thought or grateful heart. The benefits are very real. We must, yes must, make a daily choice to focus on the good, the true, and the beautiful. Let's make a point of focusing on the positive in each other and the things our students do well as we work together and help our students learn. Happiness will ensue.

Happy

Can this ever get too old?
Pharrell Williams - Happy (Official Music Video)