Katie’s Northeast Chapter Visits

Katie Heath is Northeast Regional Chapter Coordinator at Kappa Delta Pi.

Bell 1One of my favorite things about working at Kappa Delta Pi is the opportunity to travel and visit chapters all across the Northeast! Last week I had the privilege of meeting with a few chapters in western Pennsylvania and New York.

One of those chapters was Lambda Eta Chapter at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. While meeting with Dr. Apple, Counselor, and Betty, President, they showed me some old chapter scrapbooks, including a newspaper article from the 1960s describing an old school bell that the chapter presented to KDP Headquarters in honor of our founder, William Chandler Bagley. We continue to house that same bell in our Laureate Library.

Bell 2I also was fortunate to meet with a few Pennsylvania chapters together as a cluster meeting to network and share resources and ideas. It was wonderful to reconnect with students and counselors that I first met at Convo 2013 in Dallas, as well as meet some new KDP leaders. As much as I enjoy sharing information about Kappa Delta Pi and supporting our chapter leaders, I also love hearing about the unique programs and events hosted by our individual chapters. Thank you to the chapter leaders from Robert Morris University, Grove City College, and Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania for your participation in this small regional meeting. Your dedication and creativity are so inspiring and appreciated.

I sincerely value the discussions with chapter leaders during each visit and continue to learn more about each chapter and Kappa Delta Pi as a Society every time I travel. Your ideas, success stories, and challenges allow me to support you as a leader of Kappa Delta Pi and as an educator.

KDP Chapter Visit, Katie 2014P.S. Thank you to Clarion University of Pennsylvania, St. Bonaventure University, The State University of New York – Fredonia, Gannon University, and Mercyhurst University for your gracious hospitality!

Welcome to the new KDP.org!

Laura Stelsel is director of marketing & communications at Kappa Delta Pi.

Website launchAfter nearly six months of writing and editing content, creating designs and graphics, testing site maps, and conducting focus groups, we are so proud to announce that the new KDP website officially launched today!

We hope you like the more modern look, shorter navigation, and updated pages. We sure do!

A big congratulations to Website Facilitator Erin Sanders and Art Director Chuck Jarrell for their hard work and countless late nights in the office to get this beautiful site ready for our members. Kudos to you!

Take a minute to check out the new site. We think you’ll love it.

Also note that KDP Global has a new design to be consistent with the look of the new site. Take a moment to explore it, too!

 

Take Our Nice Bucket Challenge!

Laura Stelsel is director of marketing & communications at Kappa Delta Pi.

Last week, Executive Director Faye Snodgress and I were challenged by our KDP co-worker, Assistant Director of Membership & Chapter Services Chris Beaman, to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Faye and I were going to make a donation to ALS (and a few other organizations that are dear to us) regardless, but we didn’t want to back down from Chris and his challenge. We’re a competitive bunch over here.

We were all ready to take the challenge together on Friday–we’d each brought a towel and a change of clothes to work–but before we did, we had a thought. While dumping a bucket of ice-cold water on your head is certainly a challenge, the act is over quickly. What if we were challenged to bring about good not just for one day, but every day?

So, Faye and I came up with an alternative: the KDP NICE Bucket Challenge.

On Friday, there were 131 days left in 2014, so we filled a bucket with 131 acts of goodness and kindness. We’ve challenged KDP staff to empty the bucket and complete all of the acts of kindness by Dec. 31, 2014.

We’ll be documenting our efforts throughout the year using the hashtag #NICEBucketChallenge. 

We’re also challenging YOU to the Nice Bucket Challenge! Do you think you can complete an act of kindness every day for the rest of the year?

 

 

Always Learning—Staff PLCs!

Katie Heath is Northeast Regional Chapter Coordinator at Kappa Delta Pi.

KDP staff PLCsFor the past few months, staff members at KDP have been meeting in small groups to share, brainstorm, and discuss various topics relevant to our profession today. Hearing the different perspectives of colleagues as well as taking time to work with those outside of our specific departments has been a truly rewarding experience.

The focus of our most recent small group meeting was to examine our individual personality traits and discuss how these traits impact our interactions with others. We each answered a short questionnaire to learn which of four personality styles (Relater, Initiator, Analyzer, and Driver) we aligned with most closely.

Understanding the different personality styles reminds us of the unique qualities we each possess. Sharing our strengths, challenges, and viewpoints enables us to work together more effectively as we take a step back to see a situation from multiple angles. We each shared our own personality type and then discussed both the personalities we tend to gravitate toward and those we sometimes struggle to collaborate with naturally. Just being open about our unique differences further develops a sense of community within the office. It has been interesting to hear how many times this month’s topic has come up in casual conversation even after our meetings had ended!

Now that we have spent a few months in our professional learning communities (PLCs), it is easy to reflect and see the positive outcomes these short meetings have had on us not only as individual staff members, but also culturally as a whole. I love working with the Chapter Services team, but an advantage of these professional learning communities is that they have provided me with opportunities to get to know other colleagues outside of my department and see the perspectives of coworkers in their different roles here at KDP. We schedule the meetings for a time that works well for everyone in the group and find a location to meet off-site. Panera has been a popular meeting spot, which my appetite always appreciates. 🙂

Our discussion of various personality styles highlighted once again the important role that teachers play and how much is expected of educators today. Teachers are required to exhibit all four of the personality types we discussed, as they are the leaders of their classrooms, yet also must be able to analyze situations and listen and relate to their students. Educators have to be very adaptable, working with children of every personality type regardless of how difficult that may be.

If you do not already have a professional learning community established for your school, grade level, or even classroom, I would encourage you to think about how this learning strategy could be used effectively in your career. You will be amazed at what you will learn both about and from your colleagues, and you also can model this collaborative learning approach with your students.

If you’d like to learn more about PLCs, we can help! Search “PLCs” in the KDP Resource Catalog to find articles and webinars to get you started.

From all of us at KDP, thank you!

Faye Snodgress is the executive director of KDP International.

KDP Executive Director Faye Snodgress thanks you!

KDP Executive Director Faye Snodgress thanks you!

World Gratitude Days is September 21. The day was created by a group within the United Nations so that people could find ways to express their appreciation for all the good things that groups and individuals do to make life better for others. Gratitude is what defines the humanity of the human being and brings inner peace and joy. We are called upon to pause and to think about those who have been an inspiration to us and who we value in our lives and to thank them.

Most of us recognize that by counting our blessings and being grateful for them not only makes us happier but also positively impacts those to whom we show our gratitude.  It now appears that some psychologists have arrived at the same conclusion. Dr. Robert Emmons, a leading scholar in the scientific study of gratitude and professor at the University of California stated, “ …while the emotion seemed simplistic even to me as I began my research, I soon discovered that gratitude is a deeper, more complex phenomenon that plays a critical role in human happiness. Gratitude is literally one of the few things that can measurably change people’s lives.”

Personally, I am very grateful for those special teachers who changed my life and for my role at KDP Headquarters that enables me to serve important  and special educators who play a critical role in our society and influence our country’s greatest resources—its children.  So, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation and gratitude to you—each and every member of the KDP community.  Today and every day, my thanks go to you!

The moment is now. It is a time for all of us to show our gratitude for educators and leaders who have influenced our lives.  Who can you thank today for the positive impact they have had yon your life? Who do you appreciate?  How do you plan to show your gratitude?