Friday, May 27, 2016

Exploring Occupations Online

Maintained by the U.S.Department of Labor

Ret, 5-27-16

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Identifying & Stopping Bullying

Excerpt from a Reader's Digest article

"One Teacher’s Brilliant Strategy to Stop Bullying"

Here's how one schoolteacher takes time each week to look out for the lonely.

Every Friday afternoon, she asks her students to take out a piece of paper and write down the names of four children with whom they’d like to sit the following week. The children know that these requests may or may not be honored. She also asks the students to nominate one student who they believe has been an 
exceptional classroom citizen that week. All ballots are privately submitted to her.
And every single Friday afternoon, after the students go home, she takes out those slips of paper, places them in front of her, and studies them. 
She looks for patterns.
Who is not getting requested by anyone else?
Who can’t think of anyone to 
Who never gets noticed enough 
to be nominated?
Who had a million friends last week and none this week?
You see, Chase’s teacher is not looking for a new seating chart or “exceptional citizens.” Chase’s teacher is looking for lonely children. She’s looking for children who are struggling to connect with other children. She’s identifying the little ones who are falling through the cracks of the class’s social life. She is discovering whose gifts are going unnoticed 
by their peers. And she’s pinning down—right away—who’s being bullied and who is doing the bullying.
As a teacher, parent, and lover of all children, I think this is the most brilliant Love Ninja strategy I have ever 
encountered. It’s like taking an X-ray of a classroom to see 
beneath the surface 
of things and into the hearts of students. 
It is like mining for gold—the gold being those children who need a little help, who need adults to step in and teach them how to make friends, how to ask others to play, how to 
join a group, or how to share their gifts. And it’s a bully deterrent 
because every teacher knows that bullying usually happens outside her eyeshot and that often kids being bullied are too intimidated to share. But, as she said, the truth comes out on those safe, private, little sheets 
of paper.
As Chase’s teacher explained 
this simple, ingenious idea, I stared at her with my mouth hanging open. “How long have you been using this system?” I said.
Ever since Columbine, she said. Every single Friday afternoon since Columbine. Good Lord.
This brilliant woman watched 
Columbine knowing that all violence begins with disconnection. All outward violence begins as inner loneliness. She watched that tragedy knowing that children who aren’t being noticed may eventually resort to being noticed by any means necessary.
And so she decided to start fighting violence early and often in the world within her reach. What Chase’s teacher 
is doing when she sits in her empty classroom studying those lists written with shaky 11-year-old hands is saving lives. I am convinced of it.
And what this mathematician 
has learned while using this system is something she really already knew: that everything—even love, even 
belonging—has a pattern to it. She finds the patterns, and through those lists she breaks the codes of disconnection. Then she gets lonely kids the help they need. It’s math to her. It’s math.
All is love—even math. Amazing.
Chase’s teacher retires this year. What a way to spend a life: looking for patterns of love and loneliness. Stepping in, every single day, and 
altering the trajectory of our world.  
Ret. 5-18-16

Friday, May 13, 2016

El Reno's SSS End-of-Year Mentor-Mentee Event

Many Oklahoma mentoring programs have an end-of-year mentor appreciation event as brunch, lunch, or dinner. From the program's launch in 2013, however, El Reno School Foundation's Students Striving for Success has closed its year with a fun mentor-mentee activity.

Suzanne Thompson, catalyst for Students Striving for Success, a trustee of the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence, and a Students Striving for Success mentor, reported upon the event.

Richard Steanson and Gerardo Troncosco,
Students Striving for Success board
members and mentors, line up the mentees.

"The El Reno Bowl was the party setting for the end of school fun day for El Reno's Students Striving for Success mentors and mentees. Pizza, bowling and hanging out with friends have become an annual event for this group which includes ninety-six students and as many adults.  

This mentoring program has helped our children feel connected to their community and given them encouragement to be active participants in its success."

Curtis Jones, 2015 Mentor of the Year for Students Striving
for Success, and Kenneth, his mentee

How precious are these lovely mentees? Absolutely priceless!

Celebrations always include food.

El Reno Superintendent
Craig McVay & Lathon, his mentee
Mark Gibson & Seth

Mark Gibson & Nick
Dana Gibson,SSS chairman
& mentor,  with Sam

Dana Gibson & Caitlyn

About the 2014 event

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sample Survey from Mentoring Event

While objective stories tug at people's hearts and sometimes recruit volunteers and/or money, data and evaluation are essential. Below we share a survey template from the FIRST Women in STEM Reception 2016.

Adapt this for any speaker/informational event or share your own evaluation. We have added a few suggestions from the internal actual report about the event.

Thanks to Barbara Wollmershauser of Tulsa Engineering Foundation for sharing.

Robotics Competitor/Mentee
Robotics Competitor/Mentee


Strongly Agree
Strongly Disagree
Didn’t Answer
1.    Before this event, I knew engineers have various job functions

2.    Engineers are innovative.

3.    Engineers are creative.

4.    Engineers perform hands-on job functions.

5.    Engineers work in many different career fields.

6.    Before this event, I was interested in becoming an engineer.

7.    After this event, I was interested in becoming an engineer.

8.    The guest speaker was informative and engaging.

9.    Engineers do work that enables them to help the community.

10.  I see a connection between my interests/passions & engineering.

Printing -
Food -
Giveaways/Door Prizes, e.g., pins, books, etc. -
Signage -
Other -
Staff hours and value if applicable -
Volunteer hours and value -
      * A detailed budget is essential, but reporting can grouped and rounded to nearest dollar.

# of  Mentees
# of Mentors
# of Other Volunteers, Staff, and/or Board

Excel spreadsheets for relevant detailed data
Organizations represented
Disciplines represented
Planning committee & tasks assigned
Volunteer hours (before, at and after event)
Sample program and/or brochure

Which media - newspaper, newsletter, social media, etc.
Frequency or amount, e.g., shares on Facebook, picture with caption, article, etc.

A selected combination of these becomes the blueprint from which to evaluate for both impact and improvement and create future events.