Influential Voices: Sports and STEM

At this point, given that is the last day of February and I am just now finishing both of my posts for the month, I almost failed to meet my goal for this month. Realistically, some months I will fail to get in two posts, but I will continue to try. But this isn’t the same as failures at work. You may have read Paul Borowski’s post this month on fear of taking risks and STEM. I read this with interest because both of my kids are showing the potential to be good at math and science. And I watch my daughter overcome her fears at gymnastics, and I wonder how this may shape her future career path. Hannah is a worker. If she fails at a skill, she will do it once, twice, a hundred times until she gets it. When she was working on her kip on the uneven bars, one day she stayed after practice and worked on it long enough to strain her muscles. And, this past week, she finally got it. She has applied this same persistence to the skills she is afraid of – cartwheel tuck dismount from the beam, and flyaway dismount from from the bars. And if she falls, she has learned to laugh instead of cry.

I know that I won’t always get the right answer the first time at work. Sometimes I have to redo work to meet the needs of our organization, but I know that I have to keep going  because it is my job. I am hoping that Hannah will take what she is learning in the gym and continue to apply it in the classroom and in her career. Is sports the answer for every kid? I don’t know that. But I know that the confidence my daughter gets from her success carries outside the classroom, and I’m enjoying watching her explore the possibilities.

Influential Voices: Learning to Lead Again

I mentioned before that I just started to lead a Girl Scout Troop. It is forcing me to apply every time management and organizational skill that I’ve ever learned and then some. But it is exciting when I get to see some amazing peeks into the future of the girls that I have the privilege to lead. I had the opportunity to see a girl who is afraid of speaking in public get up in front of a large group of people and read a paragraph about China for our World Thinking Day Presentation. I saw all of the girls eager to help and learn when we earned our Chinese New Year patch. I saw girls sharing and swapping and doing quality control on our SWAPs (some fell apart). And I saw parents helping make all of these wonderful things happen. I know that not all of these groups will still with the troop through high school, but I am looking forward to guiding them on their journey. More stories to come.