Mindset is Everything: How To Handle Every Student Support Challenge this Upcoming School Year w/ Guest LaVonna Roth

Mindset is Everything: How To Handle Every Student Support Challenge this Upcoming School Year w/ Guest LaVonna Roth

Learn More About LaVonna Roth

As a former elementary and secondary educator, keynote speaker, author, consultant and mom, LaVonna bridges her passion for how the brain learns with education and shows every individual how to S.H.I.N.E. through their mindset and social-emotional well-being so achievement soars for all. 

She has a Bachelor’s and two Master’s Degrees, taught at the elementary and secondary levels, author of 8 books (about to be 9), and has worked with educators in the U.S./Canada, Europe, South America and the Middle East.  She is the founder of the Ignite Your S.H.I.N.E.® framework and creator of brain-powered learning.  To elevate educators further, LaVonna teaches educators how to get into educational consulting – part-time or full-time – through her Prime to S.H.I.N.E. consulting course and membership site. 

She will leave you inspired, remembering why you got into education, and how to create substantial change in your classroom, district or organization that is sustainable. She is here to serve you, so you can effectively serve your students through the lens of brain research, social-emotional needs and psychological safety. 

Key Thoughts from Our Interview with LaVonna Roth

  • LaVonna discussed how the pandemic didn’t come with a manual and how we should be careful with the language we use, such as lost year, lost learning. 
  • “We need to take a step back and understand what just happened over the last year and a half. We need to survive to thrive, and we need space to transition.” 
  • Don’t miss the key strategies she provides for when students return. This reminded us of Dan Sullivan’s book, Who Not How. LaVonna clearly establishes who should be at the table.
  • Lavonna talked about how educators need to have age appropriate conversations. Check out her free SEL resources
  • LaVonna uses a structured way to look at situations, and she asks very specific questions: “What was the lesson, benefit, or takeaway?” 
  • LaVonna talks about psychological sciences and cognitive psychology. She points to books from ASCD. We also recommend taking a look at Make It Stick, Powerful Teaching, and a company called TeachFX
  • Don’t miss LaVonna’s personal hacks for self-care. Become aware of your thoughts. Check out, also, a great book on this topic, Chatter, by Ethan Kross.
  • LaVonna wants to slow down a bit…listen to what she says about it. It reminded us of Essentialism
  • LaVonna combines learning with self-care to continue to grow as a leader. You’ll want to hear this. 
  • Her final segment was powerful, vulnerable, and relatable for those of us who struggle with imposter-syndrome and the value we seek to add. 

Let us know what you’re reading and who else you want us to bring on the show by contacting us at contact@theschoolhouse302.com

We can’t wait to hear from you. 

Joe & T.J.

PS — Sign up for our next Masterclass in Candid and Compassionate Feedback and our first ever Masterclass in Building a Winning Team. 

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The Three Minute Challenge: Bring Your Goal to Life with 3 Simple Steps — #TheThreeMinuteChallenge #NoExcuses2020

The Three Minute Challenge: Bring Your Goal to Life with 3 Simple Steps — #TheThreeMinuteChallenge #NoExcuses2020

The thing about goals is that living without them is a lot more fun, in the short run. It seems to me, though, that the people who get things done, who lead, who grow and who make an impact…those people have goals. ~ Seth Godin

Every second of the day, our minds are bombarded with thoughts, images, feelings, smells…you name it. At times, we can feel like a Dyson vacuum, collecting everything that is even remotely within our path. As humans, unlike machines, we are luckily gifted with the unique ability to rapidly sift through all of that stuff, and, unconsciously, we ignore most of it. This allows us to focus in ways that keep us grounded.

But even given this innate ability, we must remind ourselves of our purpose. Even though we don’t change direction because of every distraction that comes our way, they are abundant, and we can fall prey to their lure. This is why we need to pay credence to a single goal, almost memorializing what we want to achieve in each moment. The best way to do this is by writing your goal down in words and keeping it with you at all times.

Writing your goal down achieves three basic purposes:

  1. The act of transferring the goal from your mind to paper requires you to engage with the idea and refine it. This will add clarity to what you really want to achieve.
  2. By having the goal in your possession, it allows you to read the goal throughout the day. Eventually, this will help your mind focus on what you really deem important, rather than being subject to every sensory stimulation. Reading it once in the morning and once at night is the least that you must do.
  3. Writing the goal down is the very first physical act of manifesting what you really want to achieve. Goals require action. Writing is the first physical action that you take toward the reality of your future success in attaining the goal.

The Phases of Success Through Goal Setting

Avoid the desire to skip this critical step. Having your goal nestled comfortably in your mind is not enough. Our thoughts are too plentiful and your goal will eventually drown in the noise. Bring it to life, write it down.

The Three Minute Challenge

Use the next three minutes to take an action step toward your goals.

Phase 2: Bring It to Life

  1. Write your goal down in words. You can use your phone, a journal, or a 3×5 card. We prefer 3×5 cards with only one big goal written on it.
  2. Bring your goal with you wherever you go. If it’s in your phone, that’s a no-brainer, but if you use a journal, take the journal with you in your bag or briefcase. One reason that we like the 3X5 card is that you can keep it in your pocket.
  3. Refer to your goal several times throughout the day. The morning and evening are a minimum. The difference between a goal-setter and a goal-getter is how often she refers to her goal throughout the day. Read your goal as often as possible.

Technical Tip: Just like the physical aspects of writing your goal down, speaking it into existence is powerful as well. Whether you are talking to yourself or referring to your goal in a conversation with another person, say your goal aloud. When the universe listens to your goal, and you, in turn, hear yourself say it, it’s much more likely to become real.

Reach out and share your story with us.

Stay tuned for more challenges, reflection questions, leadership models, podcasts, and more by following theschoolhouse302.com. It’s our job to curate, synthesize, and communicate so that you can lead better and grow faster. In a world plagued by nothing but noise, we help you by getting to simple.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Joe & T.J.

The Three Minute Challenge: Bring Your Goal to Life with 3 Simple Steps — #TheThreeMinuteChallenge #NoExcuses2020

The Three Minute Challenge: Minding Your Emotions to Set Your One Big Goal in 2020 — #TheThreeMinuteChallenge #NoExcuses2020


My goals are so high that I don’t have any time to relax in any way, shape, or form. ~ Kevin Hart

Life should be an incredible adventure, filled with spectacular moments. The life that we create for ourselves is not something that we should leave to chance, but rather one that should be pursued with persistence and hard work in order to achieve true happiness. We all have tons of things that we want to accomplish throughout life, and rightfully so.There is always an amazing sense of personal fulfillment when we grow. When we take the steps to see ourselves through the phases of goal attainment, we seek and reach new heights.

But, not every goal has to be as great as climbing to the peaks of Mount Everest. It can be as simple as working to be the very best parent for your child this weekend. Or, getting to a point of organization in our home or business office. The point is that reaching goals make us feel better in life and work. And, often our goals focus on conquering our inner-selves. We all have internal “mountains” to climb as well as the external goals that we want to achieve.

Regardless of what you want to accomplish this week, this month, or this year, there is power in identifying a single goal on which you plan to focus all of your efforts today, right now. Of course, over the time-span of this year, #NoExcuses2020, you may want to do more and be more. But, to be successful in any area, especially those that can feel elusive at times, requires incredible effort and focus. It means that we need to target one important goal at a time. And, it means that we need to address our emotional state before anything else is possible. This is Phase One of our goal setting model.

The Phases of Success Through Goal Setting

Avoid the tendency to try and set more than one goal. Remember, this is a goal that you have a deep desire to achieve, one that scares you just enough to create an unsettling feeling within you. It should be something that has been gnawing at you for whatever reason; you’ve been avoiding the required effort to make it a reality. Start with Phase One by taking The 3 Minute Challenge.

The Three Minute Challenge

Phase 1: Set One Big Important Goal

There are a few critical steps to identifying one big important goal. You have to take the time in this process to generate the emotional gravity that is equal to the desired achievement.

  1. Identify one goal that you are truly passionate about that you want to achieve this year. Tell yourself why this goal is important to you and the impact it will have when you are successful.
  2. Identify the 5-7 emotions that you feel when you think about the goal. What does it feel like to take the leap? Write them down.
  3. Find a cool, quiet place to relax and envision yourself pursuing the goal. What situations do you find yourself in during your pursuit? Imagine each scenario as you reach your destination, achieving the goal.

Technical Tip: One of the biggest differences between goal-setting and goal-getting is in the way we handle our emotions. When you write down your 5-7 emotions that you feel whenever you think about your one big goal, try turning all of them into positive emotions. For example, if you feel “anxious,” tell yourself that you’re “excited” instead. “Fear” can become “ calculated risk” and “lost” can become “opportunity.”

Reach out and share your story with us.

Stay tuned for more challenges, reflection questions, leadership models, podcasts, and more by following theschoolhouse302.com. It’s our job to curate, synthesize, and communicate so that you can lead better and grow faster. In a world plagued by nothing but noise, we help you by getting to simple.

TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple by maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster.

Joe & T.J.

#reviewandreflect: Supporting Creativity as a Leader

#reviewandreflect: Supporting Creativity as a Leader

Creativity Chart This is TheSchoolHouse302’s monthly #review&reflect, wrapping up our focus on Creativity. Our review and reflect series embraces the powerful sentiment from Soren Kierkegaard: “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” Take time with this post as we take a deep dive into our leadership content so that you can develop the skills you need to lead better and grow faster.

Skills I need to develop for improved creativity…

This month we focused on creativity, and we introduced the topic through our low-level leadership series. We truly espouse the notion that finding “bright spots” and “soaring with your strengths” are keys to accessing and duplicating superior leadership qualities. However, there is tremendous value in identifying key behaviors that thwart a desired result as well. We often need to know what not to do first, before we can explore what to do.

We liken our low-level leadership series to that of the great vehicle app, Waze, which informs travelers of all kinds of potential obstacles and issues that lie ahead during a drive. By identifying the three surefire “waze” to crush creativity, we provide leaders a navigational tool to help them avoid common hazards.

Passing judgment, over-prescribing recommendations, and limiting risk-taking are all creativity crushers. An effective leader simply responds differently than using any of these three low-level methods. Rather than passing judgment, she supports her subordinates to gain a greater understanding. Instead of restricting thoughts and controlling situations, she collaborates and creates a space to think. Lastly, she rewards the people who are taking calculated and thoughtful risks to support the core of the vision. 

Be Creative


If you find yourself thinking, “well, it really depends on the person,” then we encourage you to dive into the following great reads. Organizational cultures should not be situational, and organizational norms should not fluctuate based on individuals.

Great leaders are avid readers…

Review: In our #readthisseries we featured books that highlight real people who we can emulate and real wisdom for the courage we need to succeed as leaders.

Our first recommendation is, Steal like an artist: 10 things nobody told you about being creative.. This is a quick read that we feel sparks creativity.

Our second recommendation is from Eric Sheninger and Trish Rubin, BrandED: Tell your story, build relationships, and empower learning. This is a terrific book for school leaders looking to brand their school or district and truly bring their story to life. It offers practical yet creative advice.

Our final recommendation comes from Sir Ken Robinson, Creative schools: Revolutionizing education from the ground up. The bottom line is that Ken’s message challenges us as educators. Only read this book if you are serious about change, creativity, and alternative to the current system of schooling.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQTAMFF_0nk?list=PLEDYf65jBDzZGq4wt4rPO7dsjq9Hi36ti&w=962&h=541]

You can’t miss our #readthisseries on 3 books you need to read now.

Who should I follow…

What does an expert have to say about creativity? If you want to dig even deeper into the mind of a creative thinker, you’ll want to listen to our #onethingseries this month, which featured creativity expert and author of Steal Like an Artist, Austin Kleon. One simple but magical act you can do each day, according to Austin, is to take a walk. We champion this sentiment because it encourages the need to find our center, to find “me” time, to enjoy nature, and to open the mind to creative thought.

Austin Kleon

Action: This month we asked you challenge yourself through TPA: A Framework for Growth Through Reflection

Think - Plan - Act

To learn more about supporting the people you lead, complete this #ThreeMinuteChallenge.

To become more collaborative, complete this #ThreeMinuteChallenge.

To become better at rewarding risk-taking, complete this #ThreeMinuteChallenge.

Please subscribe! Listen to the entire podcast on iTunes, One Thing Series, and please rate and like (it helps). That’s our #review&reflect for Creativity. Take a look back to take a step forward. TheSchoolHouse302 is about getting to simple and maximizing effective research-based strategies that empower individuals to lead better and grow faster. Please let us know how our leadership posts are working for you, what you are reading to improve yourself, and your thoughts on leadership and growth here on our blog and Twitter. Follow our #onethingseries podcast on iTunes and our #readthisseries on YouTube. Joe & T.J.
#onethingseries: Employee Engagement w/ Mark C. Crowley, @MarkCCrowley

#onethingseries: Employee Engagement w/ Mark C. Crowley, @MarkCCrowley


Don’t miss this leadership podcast with Mark Crowley.

Mark C. Crowley spent over 25 years in the dog-eat-dog world of financial services, an environment known for its heartlessness and “take no prisoners” attitude. Twice, he held national-level responsibilities – most recently as Senior Vice President-National Sales Manager for Investment Products at one of America’s largest financial institutions, where he was named “Leader of the Year.” After much success, Mark decided to leave the financial services world and devote himself to fully answering the question:

What happens inside of people that makes them fully committed to doing extraordinary work?”

His research led to the publication of his first book, Lead From The Heart, which we believe has a very powerful message.

Recognized globally as a workplace thought-leader, Mark is a regular leadership contributor to Fast Company Magazine and has been published in the Seattle Times, The Huffington Post, Reuters, CEO Magazine Great Britain, USA Today, and by the Great Place To Work Institute. He has interviewed CEOs and senior executives at innumerable high-performing companies (including Google, SAS, Gallup and the Cleveland Clinic) who are models for “managing the emotional side of work.” And his profound conclusion draws on new scientific research which shows that the human heart is a source of remarkable intelligence:

What people feel in their hearts has tremendous influence over their motivation and performance in the workplace. “The heart is the driving force of human achievement.”

His interview with TheSchoolHouse302 is enlightening as it challenges many conventional ideas about leadership. He provides practical ways for leaders to  effectively manage through care and high expectations for great employee engagement at work.

  • Listen to Mark debunk the fears of “soft management” and how tactics like fear and intimidation simply don’t work effectively.
  • Mark talked about psychological safety and the importance of honoring people for who they are and how he follows the work of Harvard Professor, Amy Edmondsons.
  • He also discussed the power of “thank you.” Don’t miss what he says.
  • You definitely want to hear his thoughts on why we resist change when we know things aren’t working.
  • We were thrilled to hear him talk about the power of “knowing thyself.”
  • You have to hear how his thoughts on how people should lead and the wisdom he acquired over his years leading others.

Please follow, like, and comment; it really helps. Use #onethingseries and #SH302 so that we can find you. For more great leadership content, follow theschoolhouse302.com.

Joe & T.J.

#5thSunday: Year-End Reflection Infographic–R.E.F.L.E.C.T.

#5thSunday: Year-End Reflection Infographic–R.E.F.L.E.C.T.

Every month at TheSchoolHouse302, you get a blog post with a leadership development model, a podcast with a leading expert, a “read this” with three book selections, and a review and reflection tool–all on a particular topic of leadership to help you lead better and grow faster. Posts are always blasted out on Sundays so that leaders can think and prepare for the week ahead. In months when we have 5 Sundays, we also provide an infographic to help visualize and solidify the concept. This month, as we end our year, we want to R.E.F.L.E.C.T. on several powerful concepts to propel our success into the future of 2019. We hope you enjoy and Happy New Year. R.E.F.L.E.C.T._Infographic As always, please like, follow, and comment. If you have topics of interest, guests you want us to interview, or books that we should read and recommend, please let us know that as well. Joe & T.J.
Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Learn how you can give practical praise each day as you lead your school to develop a better and more positive culture through this complimentary eBook we use in our workshops to help principals all over the nation and subscribe for more resources like this one delivered to your inbox. 

Congratulations on claiming your copy - you may download it here: https://theschoolhouse302.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Technical-Tip-Praise-Practice-A-Model-for-Specific-Praise.pdf