Category: Blog

Quotes that Empower

This blog post is going to be a little different than the ones that I normally post about. Lately, I have taken a look back at some of the most powerful words that have kept me going and truly shaped me into making those words turn into action. As a famous saying goes: “Quotes don’t work unless you do” and I believe this because I have not met anyone whose words have made them successful. Action makes people successful.

I want to share a few really important quotes that I can relate to and that I feel I have achieved. Some of these quotes turned me into a better person, while other quotes reminded me of how to continue to work on my goals and achieve my dreams. I hope that you can see the value in making change based on the success of others:

  • If you want to achieve greatness stop asking for permission. ~Anonymous
  • Good things come to people who wait, but better things come to those who go out and get them. ~Anonymous
  • Opportunities don’t happen, you create them. ~Chris Grosser
  • I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. ~Thomas A. Edison
  • Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day-in and day-out. ~Robert Collier
  • All progress takes place outside the comfort zone. ~Michael John Bobak
  • People who succeed have momentum. The more they succeed, the more they want to succeed, and the more they find a way to succeed. Similarly, when someone is failing, the tendency is to get on a downward spiral that can even become a self-fulfilling prophecy. ~Tony Robbins
  • If you genuinely want something, don’t wait for it — teach yourself to be impatient. ~Gurbaksh Chahal
  • You’ve got to get up every morning with determination if you’re going to go to bed with satisfaction. ~George Lorimer
  • Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don’t really matter. ~Francis Chan
  • Don’t let the fear of losing be greater than the excitement of winning. ~Robert Kiyosaki
  • You may have to fight a battle more than once to win it. ~Margaret Thatcher

What quotes inspire you to be bigger and better?

Which ones do you religiously follow?

I look forward to reading your ideas,


Loss and Leadership

Feeling of Loss

I recently experienced my first real feeling of loss in my life. While I lost all of my grandparents, I never truly understood that loss because they did not live close. However, as I grow older and becoming a mother of two as also taught me the realization of the emotional loss I would feel if something were to happen to my own children. Someone very close to me in my life went missing after hiking with two friends. On August 14, 2016, the day after celebrating his 50th birthday, Gordon Sagoo, an experienced hiker, did not make it back to his meeting spot after going by himself to the peak of Baby Munday Peak in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada. After 7 days, Search and Rescue was not able to turn up any trace of my cousin. The family then launched a private search. This search also turned up nothing. For the full details of the story, you can go to:

Gordon has a child; my first thoughts went to her. Being a mother, I cannot imagine the pain of a child losing a parent. The fact that he was never found also brings me deep sadness, as there is no closure for the family. I remember vividly looking at the photo on social media of the North Shore Search and Rescue (NSR) talon helicopters and having this feeling of hope that he would be found, as NSR is known to be the best in the country. The hashtag #bringGordhome was passed blasted through social media through family and friends to keep the spirit alive in all of us that Gordon was going to come home safely. Friends and family risked their own lives to go to the mountain and search when Search and Rescue was not able to find anything. All of the efforts, near and far, was because people were emotionally feeling the loss of Gordon and wanted him to come home.

Every time I look at this photo, I cry because all of us truly believed that he was strong enough to survive this and that there would be some confirmation of him being alive and okay.  It has been only a few months since we have experienced this loss of knowing Gordon will never be found or never come home. It’s heartbreaking and words cannot explain how not having any closure puts a deep hollow whole in your heart. I consider myself to be a strong person, but even I could not keep myself strong for his daughter.

Loss and Leadership

As life goes on, I have learned that loss impacts leadership. As a leader, I believe in resilience and taking loss and turning this into being a better leader. The emotions during loss take a toll on a person’s health. Therefore, it is my job, as a leader, to help to support people during this time of need. Further, a leader must act as a human first and use compassion when approaching leadership. Understanding is another aspect of leadership. When a leader genuinely understands others, he or she illustrates that he or she truly cares. In addition, no one wants to feel as though they have to focus on their job when they go through a difficult time. As a leader, remember those emotional moments you have experienced because oftentimes we forget about what it is like to lose someone if we are so far removed from it. Be open to listening and let your subordinates come to you to share their emotional loss if they want to. Give them time to grieve, as everyone grieves differently. Most importantly, understand that people go through loss differently and give them time and space but put yourself in their shoes and relate to their experience of loss because when they come back to work, the loss and the emotions are still there; it does not shut down; the grieving process takes time.

This posting is dedicated to Gordon Sagoo. May the mountains smile down on you. We know you loved the mountains. We know you are looking down on your family and taking care of them in the spirit world. However, know that you are so truly missed and we love you deeply.

If anyone wants to support Gordon’s daughter, a GoFundMe page has been set up at:

Rest in Peace – #bringGordhome


Understanding Diversity in the Classroom

According to Lederach (1995), “Culture is the shared knowledge and schemes created by a set of people for perceiving, interpreting, expressing, and responding to the social realities around them” (p. 32).  Culture is part of who we are and everything we do—where we grew up, the social groups we are part of, the way we talk, or dance, and think. If our experience shapes our learning and if culture shapes our experience, cultural connections are extremely important in the classroom.

Embracing Diversity

Some knowledge that we acquire has an impact on how we view the world. How we interact socially can shape the outlook that we have on a particular situation.  Social interaction and interaction with family plays a significant role in development and forms part of culture. It is through these experiences and interactions that culture began.  Culture has taken form of characteristics, behaviors, beliefs not only tradition, customs and values that shape our morals this means that composes everything that a human being is.  Our culture is formed and shaped by and through many people.

As an adult we encounter many experiences in life and our thinking is often affected by what we have encountered and learned in life.  Therefore, it is our duty, as adults and especially as educators, to embrace culture and teach the value of culture and diversity in our classroom. Embracing culture means to understand that each person comes with a different set of ideas and beliefs. Understanding that they may not resonate with you, means to find a way to understand and work with each other and accept one another’s beliefs and ideas.

I dedicate this post to all amazing diverse cultures. The world is a melting pot of interesting cultural differences that make our communities, neighborhoods, schools, and organizations a better place.

How can it be conducive to successful teaching? Administrators should consider this topic as well!
What are your thoughts on this?

Leave your comments!

Dr. Sunddip

Leadership in Times of Crisis

In the news lately, we have heard countless stories of crises that have occurred. How does a leader proceed during these times? During times of stress and crisis, leaders can help their followers by remaining calm during a time of stress and crisis because people look at their leaders and if leaders are panicked then it will cause panic throughout the ranks (Bass & Riggio, 2005). During these times, leaders need to take a step back and assess the situation and utilize their followers to come up with creative solutions to a problem during times of crisis and stress (Bass & Riggio, 2005). Stressful times can be helped by transformational leaders because these leaders can transform personal stress and motivate people to become united in certain goals. Further, leaders help their followers in times of stress by helping their followers to question assumptions made and reframing problems so that they can revise solutions to the problems (Bass & Riggio, 2005). In essence, the strategies needed by a transformational leader in a crisis are decisiveness through adaptation, teamwork and communication techniques (Bass & Riggio, 2005):

  • Provide specific recommendations for actions you believe a leader should take to remain transformational during times of stress and crisis.

I honestly believe a leader in times of crisis should be open-minded. An effective leader is willing to “think outside the box” when considering solutions to contingency situations and has the ability to understand different ways of looking at an event. Also, they must be responsible. An effective leader takes ownership of and responsibility for the resolution of a crisis and ensures that the whole team makes it through the occurrence. Additionally, they must be visionary. He or she should have the ability to create team cohesion, team coordination and collaboration.

  • Discuss the appropriate application of transactional leadership behaviors during a crisis.

Specifically, when the crisis requires a quick resolution, quick compromise or temporary fix this approach is best served. Transactional leaders during a crisis take advantage of already established plans and procedures and can react quickly to address emergency situations. Often times transactional leaders perform well under the pressure, because they are using a pre-established script and can help the organization find a quick, easy response to a bad situation. For instance, during a re-organization they quickly can find what each other desire and place a temporary fix in place to satisfy both parties.

Has anyone experienced this kind of leadership?

Feel free to comment.

Dr. Sunddip

Bass, B. M., & Riggio, R. E. (2005).  Transformational leadership (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum


Cool Tips for Teachers

As an educator, I am constantly looking for interesting ways to keep current in my classroom but also find innovative ways to help keep my teaching strategies efficient. Be it in the elementary, middle, high school, or adult education environment, I have found that there are some really neat strategies that can work.

Here are a few for you to consider and try using in the classroom. Try them and see how effective they are:

  1. Reminder101 App – This is an excellent way to leave messages for parents or students without having to give out your phone number. Not only does this work well for keeping your number private, it allows you to communicate directly with parents.
  2. Bathmats – Teachers can use bathmats to separate spaces for students on the floor. This can allow students to have their own personal space.
  3. Make a flash card game for restless students – For students who are finished early or you find off task, have ready-made flash cards with commands written on them so that they can do those tasks. The tasks can include activities such as: help the teacher by erasing the whiteboard; clean the desks with a wet paper towel; organize the cupboards in the room; help the teacher with photocopying…etc.
  4. Chocolate Eggs – Use a certain set of colors from a bag of chocolate eggs. Students who get the same colored eggs are in the same group.
  5. Colored Hair Ties – Give students different colored hair ties to separate groups. Students who get the same colored eggs are in the same group.
  6. Reminder Bracelets – Using construction paper, make bracelets and write out reminders for students to take home. Write the reminder on the bracelet.
  7. Exit Slips – Ask students to write a one sentence response on what they found to be most interesting learning that you provided them with that day. This will give you good feedback on what is engaging your students.

Trying different cool techniques and ideas can really help teachers to get their students engaged in their learning. I recommend you try one of these and see how it goes. Modify/adjust and share with other teachers any that you found to be effective.

I look forward to your responses!

Dr. Sunddip

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