Tag Archives: library

Collective Reckoning

I love Oprah and as usual, she hit it right on the head. I just re-read a January article from her magazine and it spoke to my heart. Oprah is my virtual mentor. I adopted her as my role model back in the 80’s. Oprah was the first person to send me a positive, uplifting message that changed my life. I’ve loved her ever since and adore her life’s work and attitude.

Today, I’d like to share some great lines from this recent article. By sharing her inspiration, I feel the joy of her words over and over again. Oprah gives me hope for the future. Here is a sample of her recent message to me:

Regarding our nation today – “We’re losing what it means to be civilized. We’re losing respect for lives other than our own.”

Now here’s the hopeful part of the message – “Everyday acts of goodwill and consciousness are what’s needed to restore our collective broken soul. Only a deep collective reckoning can bring us back from the brink.”

Don’t underestimate your power.

It takes only one candle to light a whole room of darkness.”

I agree that we need this “collective reckoning.” However, we can only control what we do as individuals. All we can do is add our own individual effort to the collective reckoning and hope that the ripple effect expands these intentions. “Be a balm of peace in a troubled land.” Thanks Oprah. You always know what I need to hear.

FYI – The Oprah Magazine is now available at the GCC Library for your reading pleasure. Stop in and say Hi and enjoy being surrounded by tens of thousands of books!


Catch ’em Being Good

Thank you, Louise So. Reading your post, DON’T FORGET THE GOOD ONES inspired me to write about intrinsic motivation. As an elementary school teacher, I made an effort to encourage intrinsic motivation in addition to using extrinsic rewards such as handing out stickers and saying “good job.”

I learned that if I just narrated the behavior of a student, I didn’t need to compliment or correct the student. Simply describing the scene allowed the individual to create their own intrinsic compliment or correction. For instance, if a student was totally on task and following instructions, I would announce to the class, “Jennifer wrote her name and the date on her paper and she’s highlighting the nouns and underlining our sight words.” Now, Jennifer can create her own intrinsic reward in her mind and the rest of the class is reminded of the expectation.

I think the narration technique builds intrinsic motivation. Using explicit and relevant details sends the message that I noticed Jennifer’s efforts. Recently, while grocery shopping, I noticed how nice the produce section looked. I told the produce employee, “Your produce section looks beautiful. Every item is in perfect rows.” I think he was stunned by my observation.

I imagine that’s what most of us want – to know that once in awhile someone notices our hard work, not just our shortcomings.  As adults, we don’t need stickers on a chart, but isn’t it nice when someone notices our everyday efforts? Just like the swimmers in Louise’s post, recognition of our efforts encourages us to do even better.