The No Complaining Rule


The No Complaining Rule

Recently, a student suggested I read some books by Jon Gordon and offered to let me borrow his copies. I had never heard of Jon Gordon, but I took the student up on his offer and borrowed The Energy BusTraining Camp, and The No Complaining Rule. All of the books are short, inspirational reads and I would recommend them to anyone because we all need positive encouragement in our lives.

In The No Complaining Rule, Hope (the main character) is faced with improving the morale at her company. She searches high and low for solutions, and eventually develops a strategic plan to make the company culture positive, encouraging, and pleasant. Throughout the book, Gordon uses Hope’s situation to teach readers key principles and practices (two of the ideas are below) to help avoid being a complainer.

Three No Complaining Tools

1. The But —> _____ Positive Technique. When you catch yourself complaining, add a “but…” along with a positive.

  • I don’t like driving to work for an hour but I’m thankful I can drive and that I have a job.
  • I don’t like that I’m out of shape but I love feeling great so I’m going to focus on exercising and eating right.

2. Focus on “Get To” instead of “Have To.”

  • “I have to grade these tests” turns to “I get to grade these tests.”
  • “We have to go to chapel” turns to “We get to go to chapel.”

3. Turn Complaints into Solutions.

  • Identify your intent when complaining.
  • Justified complaining moves you toward a solution.
  • Mindless complaining is negative and should be avoided.


Five Things To Do Instead of Complaining

1. Practice gratitude.
2. Praise others.
3. Focus on success.
4. Let go.
5. Pray and meditate.

We’re getting into that part of the school year where we’re all tired and extremely busy— a bad combination— and students are getting restless. It happens every year, but since we know it’s coming, we need move forward with a positive outlook. I want to encourage everyone to be positive, to look for solutions, and to avoid mindless complaining.

As educators, we have an important job to do— correction, the most important job to do—and that’s to mentor and educate our students. No two thoughts can occupy the mind at the same time, so if we’re focusing on being positive, negative thoughts have no place in our minds or in our schools.

My goal is to be the most positive person in my school. I challenge you to do the same.


Managing Online Reading

To maximize online reading, I use several services to find great articles, to stay organized, to save articles for later reading, and to annotate while reading online. I’ll briefly explain the services I use below.

Zite– This is my new favorite! Zite allows users to create a personalized online magazine. After creating an account, users enter their interests and Zite combs the internet for blog posts and articles matching those interests. My Zite interests include blended learning, BYOD, classroom, classroom 2.0, Evernote, leadership, personal development, principal, teachers as technology trailblazers, and 12 other keywords. When I read an article, I can favorite it, share it, and I can also subscribe to other keywords.

Instapaper– Instapaper is how I save articles to read later. When I see a post on Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere else, I save it to Instapaper (using the toolbar extension). When I have time to read, I open Instapaper and have a list of posts I saved for later reading. I’ve used Instapaper for a while now and I love it!

Delicious– Delicious is new for me. It’s a lot like Instapaper but has some great social media functions built in. In addition to saving articles to read later, other users can subscribe to my Delicious channel and I can subscribe to other users. This is a great way to let others find the good stuff! Click here to check out my Delicious page.

IFTTT– If This, Then That is a pretty awesome service that finds resources for me and sends them my way based on a recipe I set up. For example, one of my recipes is “If I like a Twitter post, then send the post to my Delicious account.” So as I’m going through Twitter and come across something I really like, I’ll favorite it and the link is saved in Delicious. There are so many pre-made recipes on IFTTT that I just have gone through and picked the ones that might work for me. There are several that work with Evernote that are really helpful!

Clearly– I use the Evernote Clearly toolbar extension when I’m reading an article or blog post online because it clears out everything except for the text (no more ads, side links, flashing pop-ups, etc.) and it allows me to annotate directly on the article. Clearly links to my Evernote account, so when I highlight or make a note, the article and my annotations are automatically sent to my “Articles” notebook in Evernote. Click here to read more about how I use Evernote Clearly.

Lightly– This one is brand new for me, but I’ve already found it very beneficial when I’m reading on my iPhone or iPad. This app allows me to highlight key ideas while reading, and then the article is clipped (saved) directly to my “Articles” notebook in Evernote.

With so many articles and resources out there, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, but these systems have really helped me manage my online reading. If you’re not already using a service similar to one of these, I suggest you give one of them a try.

If you are already using a service to manage your online reading, I’d love for you to post a suggestion below. I’m always looking for something new to try out.

15 Things I’ve Learned As a New Administrator

1. Whatever the situation, write it down.

2. What gets scheduled gets done.

3. Everyone’s lives are messy, busy, or both.

4. Want to frustrate some people? Make a decision. Want to frustrate everyone? Don’t make a decision.

5. Not everyone sees the big picture.

6. Everyone wants to be the exception to the rule.

7. People who say, “I normally don’t bring up things like this” usually always do.

8. For some, teaching is just a job. For others, it’s a calling. Both teachers are easy to spot.

9. It’s easy to stay busy, but that’s not my job. My job is to do only what I can do. Learning to delegate is a must.

10. Creating culture takes time, a clear vision, and persistence.

11. Never determine my hourly rate– it’s depressing and it doesn’t matter.

12. Do not have impromptu conferences with parents in public. Boundaries are essential. Schedule a time to meet to discuss private matters.

13. If we don’t tell our school’s story, someone else will.

14. Don’t take things personally. Some people are just negative.

15. No matter what happened today, tomorrow will be completely different.