October is National Learning and Development Month which encourages individuals to focus on broadening and advancing their personal and professional skills. Pennsylvania provides multiple opportunities for those in child care professions to increase their knowledge, experience and awareness of quality early learning.

Dr. Marnie Aylesworth’s article, A Leader’s Mind Matters, on the Center for the Promotion of Social and Emotional Learning (CPSEL) website shares the impact of actively taking care of ourselves and positively strengthening the area of the brain responsible for the executive functioning which leaders need as they broaden their skill set.

I have held various leadership roles throughout my career, yet it is only recently that I realized how to embody what I believe in; to truly walk the talk. Prior to that, I was not walking the talk, at all. Thoughtful leaders often seek out knowledge, strategies and advice in order to improve their leadership abilities. I did. It included reading leadership books, asking colleagues for advice and attending leadership conferences. All with the aim of garnering that elusive, sage advice. I listened to colleagues, leaders in their own right, talk about leadership and about the things they read and believed in, but they rarely appeared to walk that talk either. Sure, those seven principles from that one book or that leadership framework I learned about at a conference was interesting and felt like it could work, but I realized I was rarely implementing them with any consistency. And it wasn’t just me. Read more on the CPSEL website.

Apps recommended by Dr. Aylesworth include:

  • Headspace (Now free to educators) – Available for Apple and Android OS
  • Calm (Free to educators) – Available for Apple and Android OS
  • Insight Timer – Available for Apple and Android OS
  • 10% Happier – Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics – Available for Apple and Android OS
  • Aura – Available for Apple and Android OS