Sunday, December 27, 2015


There are no rules - only reading! Share your reading joy, learning, and progress. 

The goal? Read 16 books in 2016.

The choice of books is your own. It's your reading journey.

Daniel Pink says three things motivate: purpose, mastery, and autonomy. 
Purpose of #Read16in16? To promote a reading culture - to be part of something bigger than ourselves - to inspire ourselves and each other to read.  
Mastery? We see our own progress - beginning, savoring, and finishing books.
Autonomy? We each make your own "reading playlist." Together we encourage each other by sharing our reading journey to #Read16in16.

With the goal to finish more of the many books I want to read and to grow a culture of continuous learning, #Read14in14 was started in January of 2014. #Read14in14 was shared publicly in my school district and on Twitter to hold myself accountable and to inspire us to read and talk about our reading. The self-accountability and shared commitment with others in my school district and on Twitter worked. I read more than 14 books. My husband read more than 14 books and so did many others. Even more good things happened with #Read15in15.

The creative social aspect of #Read14in14 and #Read15in15 took on its own life as I am sure it will with #Read16in16. Teachers posted about each book read on their classroom door, in hallways, on bulletin boards. Libraries encouraged students to read at least 14 books in the year. Madison Elementary students, where my husband, @TklineTom is principal, encouraged by Tom and their "FunBrarian," @BeckyDenzer, read over 14,000 books in five months. District employees shared their reading journey by listing books completed and books currently being read in their email signature. Educators wrote blogs tracking and reflecting on their "reading year" and shared how journaling about their reading positively impacted them.

These very public efforts encourage a learning culture and begin conversations about our learning and reading joy.

Join us! Start a "reading revival, revolution, renaissance" in yourself and with your students and colleagues in 2016! Make it your own. Share your reading excitement and inspire others by using the hashtag, #Read16in16 as you begin, gain insight, and finish books. Interact with and encourage each other on the journey.

Best wishes for a great year of learning and growing together! 

Looking for a book to add to your #Read16in16 playlist? 
Drive by @DanielPink is a great place to motivate yourself forward.


Saturday, December 26, 2015

"Clarence" Leadership

It's a Wonderful Life has always struck me as a leadership parable. Centering on George Bailey, a man who puts his aspirations on hold for the good of others and his community. People rally around George's choices to put others first. He inspires the people around him. The world needs more George Bailey's. Yet, an overlooked leadership example in the movie is Clarence. Without Clarence, George ends up in the river and Bedford Falls becomes Potterville.

Clarence is an angel, but his actions and words don't have to be reserved for the heavenly. We may not be able to show an individual how a whole community would be impacted if they had never been born, but Clarence's leadership is more accessible than we may think. Clarence simply makes the time to let George know how much he matters, how purposeful his life is and therefore, how wonderful.

Letting others know how much they matter, how much their work matters, should not be reserved for angels striving to get their wings. We can all bring a little more Heaven to Earth each and every day. We can strive to be more like Clarence for the people in our lives.

Who can you be "a Clarence" for today? There are lots of George Bailey's out there who need you.

For more on leading through small acts that have a big impact watch the @nuancedrew TEDtalk, Everyday Leadership. Books that inspire are The Energy Bus by @jongordon11 and the Three Signs of a Miserable Job @patricklencioni.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Unwavering Love

Transformation often occurs incrementally. Gradual progress happens practically undetected. A typical day; subtle impacts. And then a moment propels our progress. A clear point in time when you are aware you are no longer the same.

Nine summers ago I chaperoned an inner city work trip for our church's middle school youth group. My best friend and I went along with our daughters. We prepared and painted the inside of a house, pulled weeds and picked up trash to beautify a neighborhood, and shingled a roof. The houses we worked on would become homes - occupied by people who found themselves in need of physical shelter as well as shelter from the storms currently swirling in their life. It was here I met Rubee.

Rubee had been a homeless, drug addict; it was this house we were painting into her home. Rubee opened up to share her life was saved by the unwavering love and support of the outreach group whose work we served. This team of people would not quit on her. They loved her without giving up as she learned to love herself and turn her life around.

Driving back home I realized my work as an educator would never be the same. Rubee propelled me to realize I must love without ceasing. I must believe in people even when and especially when they don't even believe in themselves.

Unwavering love transforms. Being seen and known and valued instills hope, reminds the person of their infinite worth and possibilities, and fortifies them with courage to take steps forward.

Belief is the linchpin. This is not an isolated story; it is research based. John Hattie's Visible Learning research shows that student expectations are the #1 factor in growing student learning. Our belief has the power to transform their belief and make all the difference.

As you begin 2015-2016, know how much your influence as an educator, your work, your view of our students matters. Your unwavering love and belief has the power to change mindsets and the course of a life. We must remind and encourage each other of this life changing work, lifting our fellow educators up throughout the year, so we may each continue to lift up the students we impact.
Blessings to you - the transformers, the inspirers, the believers in our youth.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

7 Ways to Learn & Practice Twitter for Personal Professional Learning at #e3Tech


Begin learning how to maximize Twitter as the number one personal professional learning tool for educators while at #e3Tech!

  1. Share your learning w/ others by tweeting using the hashtag: #e3Tech.
  2. Read, favorite, and retweet your fellow #e3Tech attendees' tweets.
  3. Follow and interact w/ #e3Tech conference attendees who are tweeting.
  4. Attend Twitter 101 Monday at 10:30am - 11:30am w/  @LorindaKline.
  5. Attend Twitter 102 Tuesday at 10:30am - 11:30am w/ @LorindaKline. 
  6. Attend #chat Tuesday at 2:00pm - 3:00pm w/ @maestraschemmer.
  7. Participate in the special #WCSmission "e3Tech Conference Twitter Chat"  led by the @WCS_District Twitter Chat team of @ColtsCubs @StephanieAbbitt                @maestraschemmer & @LorindaKline on Tuesday from 8:30pm -  9:30pm!

Graphic by @maestraschemmer

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Grow Your Character & Your Culture

"... discipline among followers mirrors the discipline demonstrated by leaders."  - Michael Fullan

Let's make even more good things happen in 2015-2016 by modelling the qualities of character we hope to cultivate in our students and staffs and in our learning culture!

Here are two exercises to move your district, school, or classroom closer to where you want to be next year.

 1. List five attributes you would most want in each employee or student. Self-assess: how do you rate in living up to these five qualities? Choose one attribute to grow intentionally in yourself and share your focus with an accountability partner.

2. If  you had a visitor to the educational setting where you are a leader, what three characteristics of the culture would you most hope they would observe? Determine one quality to intentionally grow and make a plan to foster this characteristic where you lead.

Dr. Richard Curwin shares a sample plan to foster hope in  Cynicism Is Contagious; So Is Hope.  Curwin lists Five Strategies to Help Teachers Stop Cynical Feelings. One strategy is to remind yourself and other educators often why they became a teacher. "It was and is to help children." Michael Fullan challenges to keep the "Moral Purpose" front and center. Placing "helping children" at the forefront of conversations reminds us of our purpose and motivates us to persevere. Our purpose is noble; our purpose is worthy. Another strategy? "Adopt a cynical teacher". Look for the good. Pray for them. Point out the gifts you see in them. Ask the person for help in an area of your own vulnerability. Together, adopt a student who seems to have lost hope. Curwin's article for Edutopia reinforces Michael Fullan's personal characteristics of an effective leader: energy, hope, and enthusiasm. Our attitude as a leader is contagious and sets the tone for those we lead.

We can change a culture from cynical to hopeful, and it starts with our own mindset. We teach who we are, so our mindset and character are the most important leadership factors to discipline and grow. Do we inspire energy, hope, and enthusiasm in others? Indiana State University professor, Todd Whitaker, once tweeted, "One goal of every faculty meeting is to make sure teachers are more excited about teaching tomorrow than they were today." Someone replied: "That's an ambitious goal!" Dr. Whitaker responded, "That is a minimum goal." Leaders of districts, schools, and classrooms set the tone and bear the responsibility for leading toward the community they wish to build. Let us begin by looking in the mirror to grow a better character to serve others.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

I see you for the miracle you are & the gifts you have to give.

There are 7 billion people in the world and 6,999,999,999 of them are not me.

Who are these people?

They are miracles. Each and every one.
What if we saw each and every person as a miracle?
How would we speak, how would we listen, how would we act?
What if part of our own miracle is that our impact is much bigger than we ever imagined even in a world of 7 billion people? What if we didn't dismiss our impact? What if we owned it? What if we were aware and realized how much our words and actions mattered? What if each positive influence nudge helps a person become who they were meant to be?

What if we embraced the fact that we matter?

Educator Angela Maiers (@AngelaMaiers) reminds us of the power of the words: "You matter." in her TEDxTalk:  Angela Maiers: TEDxDesMoines - You Matter

Principal Salome Thomas-EL(@Principal_EL) speaks to our influence in terms of leadership: "Leadership is about inspiring others to find worth in themselves."

We are all leaders; all 7 billion of us because we all have influence.
You matter. Your work matters. Your impact matters. How you view others matters.
Let's see each other for the miracles we are and the gifts we have to give the world.

Thank you to Angela Maiers and Salome Thomas-EL for your inspiration and leadership. You matter.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Don't Let Your Perfectionism Get in the Way of Your Progress

The right words from the right people have the power to inspire us... challenge us to risk and grow. 

At the beginning of 2014 a valued Twitter colleague, Rosa Isiah (@RosaIsiah), responded to an inspire-challenge from speaker and author Tom Hierck (@thierck) to begin blogging. Rosa responded and in her first blog "tagged" me to begin to blog as well. This invitation sat with me for half of 2014 - dormant. Beginning is difficult... in the beginning you are a "non-expert."
The work will not be perfect; there will need to be learning, growing, stretching, and sustaining.
It's surprising we begin anything. 

When we find ourselves with a new challenge and assume the role of a non-beginner, a non-starter, we often don't get out of the blocks because we are afraid we won't measure up. But as Tom Hierck says in his TedxTalk "I am the Future," he is not perfect; he is still a work in progress. We are all "works in progress." How would our words and actions change if we viewed our students and each other with this growth mindset... if we saw each other as works in progress

A year after listening to Tom's "I am the Future" talk and 6 months after Rosa's challenge, the inspiration comes full circle. I realize part of my "non-starting" as a blogger was due to a fight with perfectionism. I need to see myself as a work in progress and begin where I am.

Who might you encourage today to take on a new challenge or continue the one they have started?
Encouragement matters.

What learning journey might you risk to begin or sustain today?
Don't let your perfectionism get in the way of your progress.
Educator Robert Eaker says, we must "Get started and then get better!"

I encourage you to watch Tom Hierck's TedxTalk "I am the Future': 

Thank you to Rosa and Tom!

And for your continued belief and encouragement, thank you to two members of my professional learning network who are much closer to home: mentor and husband, Tom Kline (@tklinetom), and dear friend and colleague, Nancy Rooker (@NancyRooker1).