Thursday, September 24, 2020

Change Requires Heroes (and maybe even Rebels)


Be a Change Agent

A Change Agent is defined as a person from inside or outside an organization who helps that organization transform how it operates. Essentially, a change agent is a person who sees a problem within the system and decides to make it better. As our world changes evermore, we need more change agents who are willing to look at the systems they are in and disrupt them to make them better. This doesn't necessarily mean make them like you, but rather change them to be better. Being a change agent is hard, stressful, and sometimes disheartening but the reward when you see the progress made is exhilarating. When you move to change things, you will always encounter the doubters, the nay-sayers, the worry-warts, but you can also face a change fossil. Change fossils are the people who are comfortable with a system the way it is. They aren't concerned with nor are they interested in a different perspective. Change fossils are scary because they are so stuck in their spot, they can't move without pain. We never want to become a change fossil and we want to strive to be a change agent. 
What characteristics make up a Change Agent, you might ask? Here is a list from Alan Barclay, a management professor at Colorado State University;
  1. Demonstrate persistence. When things get difficult, these people are resilient. They may take a deep breath or crack a joke to alleviate tension, but they keep moving. 
  2. Set Goals. Change Agents don't live moment to moment. They see a problem, they set a course to a solution. This doesn't mean they don't have to be flexible. Part of their resiliency comes from being a problem-solver. When something doesn't go right, they navigate the course to their goal or they move their goal to align with their course. They keep moving.
  3. Possess the Right Attitude. Change agents know they will meet resistance. They work to create an open, respectful atmosphere where it is safe to ask questions and push. They don't look for conflict, but rather a way to approach things which people can reach out.
  4. Grace Under Pressure. Part of being resilient and a problem-solver is knowing that no amount of planning will cover every possibility. When your goal gets off course, you need to stay calm, look at what needs to be adjusted to move forward. It also means that you need to find a healthy balance in your life. If something is going wrong, you need to have space or some time to regroup and do something you love. Keep your mental health up just as you do your physical health.
  5. Show Empathy. Change is not easy. Even if you have a group that wants the same change as you, they may not be prepared for the work. Some will be prepared for the work, but worried about the outcomes and what they will mean. Regardless, change is not easy. You must be willing to listen to the doubts and anxieties of others. You need to acknowledge the resistance and work with those people as well. You can't be so set on the change that you become a change fossil and are unwilling to listen and learn from others.
How do you become a change agent? Dina Buchbinder created three simple ways you can become a change agent.
  1.  Look and understand at your community- whether it be your town, city, neighborhood, state, nation, or international. What do people need to be successful? Is there an environmental, animal, or human cause that inspires you and you want to change what is happening?
  2.  Walk Your Talk. Show your passion for your goals. Demonstrate your willingness to work through a solution using teamwork, respect, tolerance, responsibility, and empathy. Always remember that change is hard.
  3. Get Moving. Stay active physically, emotionally, and mentally. Don't stay holed up in your room, use your feet, use your voice, use your tech know-how to reach out and build relationships and get your messaging for your cause out.
There are many areas which need you to be a change agent in our world. If you are searching for ideas, a great resource for global citizenship in sustainable development comes from the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals

Banned Book Week

Books are tools to help people navigate the world around them. Whether it is through nonfiction books that explain about historical events, people, or current events or fictional stories that help us explore situations through creative discourse, books give us freedom to explore, learn, and grow in understanding our world and ourselves. Access to information and intellectual freedom uplifts people in crisis and pushes thinking when people are in times of peace. When individuals or groups challenge that intellectual freedom and access to information, it is a threat for all. Every year,  we join the American Library Association and the Banned Books Week Coalition in celebrating Banned Books Week. We support the idea that while you may choose not to read a book because you don't like the content or ideas it expresses, you do not have the right to prevent others from reading it. Libraries, and Libratories, are places of freedom and choice. Celebrate the week with us by looking at the Top 10 Most Challenged Books of 2019 or peruse some of the most often challenged books in the 21st Century of the United States. Better yet, read one and decide for yourself if it is a good book!

Everything is Possible

Everything is Possible is the theme we are exploring in 7 Mindsets right now.  You’re learning that everything which exists today was once just an idea until someone believed it was possible and took the actions to make it into reality.  We seek to instill the belief that your goals are possible and to foster the courage, discipline, and persistence to act on achieving your dreams.  These concepts can also tie into the discussion of being a Change Agent.  Please watch the video below as Kid President travels to Selma, Alabama to meet some kids making a difference and a woman who was a freedom fighter during the Civil Rights Movement. 

A Message for People Who Want to Change the World 

Now that you’ve watched the video, think of ways you can be a change agent in your community and share them with your family.  You’ve been creating vision boards during ACCESS, and you can add this new goal to your board - as well as reading one of the banned books from the list! 

Monday, May 18, 2020

The Close of the Year

Summer is Almost Here! Summer Mindset

by Ms. Ertelt and Mrs. Dockerty

This is our last blog of the year. We are looking forward to summer and all of the things we can do. As we do every year, we will be having the OMS Summer Challenge in coordination with the JCPL Summer Reading Program. This means you can earn prizes from both programs and help out the community at the same time. For the OMS Challenge, you choose which blocks you want to complete. For every block you complete, you will be entered to win a small prize or gift card. If you want to go for blackout- which is completing every block, you are entered to win a grand prize. In the past, the grand prize has been a season pass to Elitches for the following summer, dinner and movie passes for two.  To participate in the OMS Summer Challenge, you must use the OMS Summer Challenge Form. This year, we are making the submission form electronic. So, you will complete all of the tasks you want, then you and your parent/guardian will complete the online form. All forms are due by August 28th. While you are working through the OMS Summer Challenge, you can also use the time you've read to complete the Jeffco Public Library Summer Reading Program. You can win prizes for both programs and help the community as well. JCPL donates to worthy causes in the name of the school that wins as well as donating money to the school that has the most participants. Watch the video below to learn more about the JCPL program.

JCPL Link to Registration for Summer Reading Program:
To learn more about the School Contest where we can earn money, read this link:

Wondering what books you might choose to read for your summer reading? Here is a virtual booktalk from JCPL to give you ideas on what to read.

Act With Purpose-Always

By Ms. Whipple

"How often I found where I should be going only by setting out for somewhere else."

~R. Buckminster Fuller
When we left Oberon in the middle of March, we didn't know for sure we'd be doing remote learning for the rest of the school year. We probably would have done things  a little differently to prepare to not see our friends and school staff as regularly and in person. As you act on purpose, reflect on the school year and identify actions you can take to align with your dreams. What are something you did over the school year that were really helpful to get you moving toward your dreams and other tings you may want to avoid next school year? 

Watch these videos to help you reflect on this year as well as plan for next year.

Sometimes we're so busy we don't stop to see the beauty all around us. As you're going for walks this summer with your family, try and take mental pictures or "frame" scenes (even if it's with your fingers instead of an actual frame like the video) you find beautiful. Also, you and your family can practice "broadcasts" each week of what is the best thing that happened during the week or even during that specific day. You can share these while talking over dinner, put notes in a jar and read them at the end of the summer, or get creative and make it fun by acting them out via charades or having them guess during a game of Pictionary.

Jeffco's Make Bake Shake Site
Jeffco has a site that has ideas of things to make, bake, and exercise. Click this Link to access the page.

Change Requires Heroes (and maybe even Rebels)

  Be a Change Agent A Change Agent is defined as a person from inside or outside an organization who helps that organization transform how i...