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Archive for the month “December, 2011”

Balls for Accountability: A Response to Matt Damon

After reading the article, “Matt Damon Slams Obama, Democrats: ‘One Term President With Some Balls Would Have Been Better'”the urge to respond from an educator’s perspective has been looming over the comment that brought me most concern, “He’s doubled down on a lot of things, going back to education… the idea that we’re testing kids and we’re tying teachers salaries to how kids are performing on tests, that kind of mechanized thinking has nothing to do with higher order. We’re training them, not teaching them.”

Regardless of where you sit under the umbrella of education (in the rain, out of the sun), being informed of and educating the public of the intent in responsible decision-making and accountability measures has to be a priority. Building awareness provides each of us, as stakeholders, the opportunity to respond and act.

We are no longer a society in waiting, each of us has the responsibility to become informed, engage in the practices of accountability, and provide a voice for our children. Education is a large forum and one significantly tied to mandates for reform. YES, there are several issues concerning testing and teacher salary, however, our data across the nation (and the world) reflects the urgency to improve the quality of instruction, create a means to evaluate progress, and give our children the skills necessary for innovation, leadership, and resourcing.

It is one thing to have influence and a sort of earned privilege for a quality education and quite another to be serviced in an educational institution imposed on diverse communities with limited access to resources, as a learning community, educator, administrator and most importantly, as a learner. As an educator, we have to learn to do more with less. Not because we want to, but in the light of the financial reality. Instead of shooting loaded words at the President and educational initiatives, perhaps one should take the time to understand the educational reform models of public education and decide if you would like to serve as an advocate for education by any means, large or small.

Mr.Matt Damon, my question to you would be, “What do you know about Transformative Leadership?” I for one have been working at embracing this leadership style and  reflecting on how my qualities and developed experiences have shaped me to become such a leader. It takes work, dedication, and a long-term commitment to developing systems and resources for the generations of children we are nurturing to take the lead. I sincerely hope that you have had time to reflect and come to resolutions to act on behalf of the children, through education, as an agent of change.

While I disagree with your loose tongue and quick judgments, I believe that we all have within us, a chord to be struck that will spur a movement to enact change. Your children may not have to grow up in the public education system and for that, they are blessed. My children are in this sytem, my commitment to supporting their educational outcomes has been to lead in education and work these trenches. How will you lead?

Continued blessings to you and yours,

Sahmie Sunshine Wytewa

“Every society needs educated people, but the primary responsibility of educated people is to bring wisdom back into the community and make it available to others so that the lives they are leading make sense.”

from Red Earth, White Lies by Vine Deloria, Jr.


Women in Leadership; Inspiring Women Towards Leadership

What are your thoughts about Women in Leadership? Take the poll before you read this blog, watch the video then post your thoughts.

Inspiring Women Towards Leadership

Social Good for 2012

How many of our modern-day heroes are women?  Media and society project a male dominant hero, but that’s not to say that the qualities of great leadership have not presented themselves through and for women.

Leadership is a natural quality in so many women that has not been nurtured to its full potential.  The capacity for women in leadership is exemplified through accessible personalities like Hillary Clinton, Sheryl Sandberg and the likes of the financially influential members of society who advocate for great causes that include Angelina Jolie and Jenny McCarthy. All have a desire to utilize their knowledge, talents, and influences to create change and opportunity.

As my contribution to changing the world in 2012, I would like to assist in creating direct opportunities that assist women in nurturing their skills of leadership through avenues of advocacy, committee representation, engaging in government & politics, and organizing community efforts. This can be accomplished through the sharing of knowledge, collaborative efforts amongst women & men with specific talents under a shared responsibility to nurture, restore, guide and inspire women towards leadership.

Through this contribution to Social Good in 2012, my dream of starting an umbrella organization called NRGI-1 (Nurture, Restore, Guide & Inspire-1) will be rooted with women building capacity for leadership. I have long sat on the bench, dutifully filling roles of mother, community member, and contributor inside the invisible lines. I am committing to painting the world with shades of women whose collective talents, aspirations, and qualities will present opportunities to enhance and drive leadership to its greatest potential.

My goal is to engage in activities or reading, develop networks of people, plan events or provide presentations, and gather feedback that will provide opportunities for women to nurture their talents, restore confidence, and guide and inspire each potential leader to share their experiences with 1 other; individual, community, cause, or personal commitment. I welcome and challenge you to undertake this same commitment, however large or small, in your own networks and communities. Together, we can change the world.

Sahmie Sunshine Wytewa

“Every society needs educated people, but the primary responsibility of educated people is to bring wisdom back into the community and make it available to others so that the lives they are leading make sense.”

from Red Earth, White Lies by Vine Deloria, Jr

Self-Identity; “WhoooOOoOooo are you?”

From the multiple frames of self-identity, in the voice of the Cheshire Cat, “WhoooOOoOooo are you?”

In a time when we are eager to create opportunities to develop individualism and nurture the talents for creative intellect; what are the factors, inspiration or driving forces that have shaped who you are and how you contribute?

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