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Building a Culture of Care

It all starts by creating an environment where people feel cared for,supported,and nurtured- p.79

I just returned from a long weekend spent with my daughter and her family, including my 2 year old granddaughter. Spending time with a toddler always puts things in perspective. As a long distance grandparent traveling to a different region of the country for a few days, spending time with my middle daughter and family (who just happens to be my only child who does not live close by) it has taken me a couple years to resist swooping into town to try to impose my point of view and way of doing things upon her and her family. Instead, I try to be present in the moments we have together, listening, offering guidance when asked, getting to know my granddaughter, just being a mom and grandma. My advice and guidance would not go far at all if I marched into town and tried to get my daughter to “fix” things, or to do things my way. I could easily focus on all the things I think she and my son in law should be doing as parents, but instead, I simply put down my phone, refuse to spend my time watching television, and spend my time getting to know my granddaughter. We eat meals together, read books together, sing, dance, play dress up and finger paint. We get to know each other.

My 2 year old granddaughter will adamantly but simply refuse to do things imposed upon her from a grownup’s point of view. She spends her days trying to innovate-taking toys and finding new ways to use them; taking foods and finding new ways to eat them; making up her own rules, for her own games, in her own language. In order to play along, I needed to see things from her point of view.

By the end of the long weekend, she trusted me and wanted to be with me. (I wish I had taken a picture of her carrying around my copy of The Innovator’s Mindset, pretending to read.) For my daughter and son in law, I was simply leading by example, spending time interacting with my granddaughter.

It is impossible to inspire change without getting to know your people-whether it is your students, your colleagues or your children.


educationengaged learningimmoocLearningliferelationships

Cathy Brophy • March 14, 2017

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  1. Rick Gavin March 14, 2017 - 9:15 am Reply

    I do the same when I go to see my siblings and their kids in Prince Edward Island. I am only there for a few weeks in the summer so I try to spend a lot of quality time with my nieces and nephews. They know I care for and am interested in them and so they want to spend time with me as well. For the last 20 years I have tried to be the fun Zio (for my wife’s side) or Uncle (for my side) and I think it has paid off in a lasting close relationship with my nephews and nieces. I get the educational connection you are making. As a teacher, I always tried to really get to know my students and as an administrator I have to try even harder. It always pays off big time because you can do so much more with kids (and staff) when they feel you know and care for them. Thanks for the post. Rick

    • Cathy Brophy March 14, 2017 - 9:24 am Reply

      Thanks Rick, it seems like such a simple thing, but sometimes what needs to get done take precedent over what should get done. I appreciate your thoughts,

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