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“Harass our spirits,” my colleague Rich Bluni says, which allows us to “hone the inner resources we need to face whatever life sends our way with courage and commitment” (back cover). In his book Oh No… Not More of That Fluffy Stuff! The Power of Engagement, Rich tells us:

The challenges we face in healthcare are tough, and our work is not likely to get easier.

The same is true for education. What does it take to “overcome obstacles and tap into the passion that fuels our best work” as educational leaders and teachers? Consider Bluni’s solution for workplace culture (adapted from healthcare to education):

Peace. Love. Forgiveness. Gratitude. To cynics, these words might as well read puffy clouds, candy hearts, teddy bears, and frolicking kittens. Yet the so-called “fluffy stuff” is powerful. It gets us engaged—and engaged employees provide excellent [opportunities for learning], drive dramatic change, and keep [schools] alive so they serve [students and parents] another day… Andgood newsIt might change your life!

So, here’s to our friends at Oakcrest who recently “harassed their spirits” to let their kids know just how much they mean to them; a short video clip from the school’s pep rally:

Oakcrest leaders, teachers, and staff do a great job of representing their school. They are their best advertisement; along with improved student achievement… and their Happy T-shirts!

Happy T-Shirts (Oakcrest)

Some final words from Bluni:

There are many things that can lead us to being more engaged when it comes to work. While many of those things are “out there” for you to go get and bring back, even more of them are “in here” to retrieve and bring out of yourself… (p. 152). We are all hungry for engagement. The very meaning of the word shows us it is about emotional involvement, connection, presence. These are, by their nature, fulfilling things, and we need more of them at workheck, in life! (p. 167).




Special thanks to Oakcrest Elementary School principal Denny Wilson for sharing his school’s Happy FCAT Pep Rally video. Principal Denny Wilson is an Escambia County School District (FL) Principal of the Year and leads a school-full of great teachers and support staff at Oakcrest Elementary School. Visit the Oakcrest Elementary School website.

Bluni, Rich. 2013. Oh No… Not More of That Fluffy Stuff! The Power of Engagement. Gulf Breeze, FL: Fire Starter Publishing. Available online here.

Our mission at Studer Education is to help education systems achieve measurable results that produce positive outcomes in student achievement, employee engagement, support services, and financial efficiencies and productivity. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the sixth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.