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Who is Hunting and Who is Gathering?

April 19, 2015 Posted by admin

Amongst your family and friends you care about or students and the staff you work with reflect on who is “Hunting” and who is a “Gathering.”  This awareness will give you better relationships and a better understanding of how to differentiate instruction, how to teach certain students, see where a parent is coming from, and have empathy for others.  This awareness will bring freedom and partnership! 

What is the purpose of hunting and gathering?

For both it is survival.  That means there is a lot of intensity and energy around it.

 What are the two versions?

Hunting is the masculine. While both men and women can both do this, it’s fueled by testosterone. On average, men have 16x more testosterone than women. Without the same amount of “jet fuel”, women can become exhausted with hunting.  Gathering is the feminine. Because it’s survival driven, don’t think of the softer, gentler spiritual aspects of femininity here.

 What is the difference in focus?

Hunter is single focused. He or she is paying attention to one thing at a time. It could be a complex thing but it’s one ultimate result, like “Win the Game, Raise the API, Get a High Test Score.”

Gatherer has NO focus. Diffuse Awareness – meaning it pours out in every direction. Men will often try to translate this into “multi-focus” because “focus” is what they understand. It’s not. Consciousness is intentionally dispersed to be available for all stimuli.

One way to help men understand this: – imagine this happening to a women or a girl with every pencil on the floor, every crooked crooked desk or chair, piles of papers or books, things that are messy or dirty, or someone who is upset of frustrated screaming at them to do something about it.

 What are the different positions?

Hunter is committed. This is both a way of being and thinking.  Gatherer is keeping options opened; again a way of being and thinking.

 What are they each for?

Hunter is for a specific result or Mission.  Gatherer is for anything edible, medicinal, useful or beautiful.

What types of vision do they each have?

Hunter has track vision. Perfect for throwing a spear or catching a baseball.  In general, the faster and object is moving, the greater the difference between a man and a woman’s ability to track it.  Think of following a hockey puck or the way men move through traffic.  Gatherer has scan vision. Perfect for quickly assessing the possibilities in the school environment.  Scan vision allows Gatherers to find things more easily. Unconsciously, many men know this and assume we know where things are. They ask, “Where are my keys?” not “Do you know where my keys are?”

What do they notice?

Hunter screens out everything irrelevant to the result they are committed to producing at that moment. This includes vision and hearing.  Gatherer includes everything. They notice the physical, emotional and mental states of everything in the school or home.

What can become a problem?

Hunter becomes frustrated when they don’t have what they need to produce the result. The gatherer will try to soothe them and it’s very irritating.  Gatherer gets overwhelmed by all the input and all the things there are to do. A Hunter will usually advise the Gatherer to “prioritize” or “do one thing at a time” – both good advice for someone who focuses!

What types of support do they need?

Hunter experiences support when others get behind the plan, provide resources, and maintain/respect, or provide tools. They also experience support when they are appreciated for the results they produce.  A good question to ask a Hunter: “How can I support your plan?”  Gatherer experiences support when others DO something (their way, otherwise it makes more work), provide pleasant company, or provide space (this is a better term than “leave alone” which may be misinterpreted).  A good question to ask a Gatherer: “How can I provide space for you to do what you have to do?”

 What makes it all worthwhile?

Hunter must have a positive return on everything they invested in the result.  This includes the time, money, resources, connections, mental or emotional energyGatherer thinks most things are worth it because then they are done and therefore quiet! What we get from things being done is peace.

Thank you to Alison Armstrong the creator and founder of for sharing, creating, and providing this information.


Receiving Gifts

December 20, 2014 Posted by admin

This is a time of year for giving and receiving. The giving part is easy as I gifted my staff with gifts that expressed my appreciation for their hard work. I gave gift cards for coffee and food, pens for writing, and a lanyard with the name of the school misspelled. I retrieved the lanyard. The “ideal woman” or perfectionist side of me would not allow misspelled words to exist on our campus. This makes me giggle as I remember there are lots of misspelled words at a school, on the way to becoming spelled correctly. Oh, well…

The receiving part is proving to be more of a problem. This is what I have learned on how to receive a gift. To receive means to let in, have room for, or to allow. In order to receive I most pause for the gift and cannot be multi-tasking. First, I notice the gift, really look at it and see the details. I notice the color, texture, shape, size, smell, and always any beauty. Then I see the motivation for the gift. Was this gift an expression of a need of mine? Was this gift an expression of a passion that I carry? Was this gift an expression of something I share about? If I don’t know the motivation for the gift then I ask, “What made you think of me when you made or bought this gift?” Finally, I write or tell the giver what difference this gift will make in my life and how I will be using the gift or treasuring the gift in the future.

Two of my students and their family gave me handmade ornaments as a gift. This is how I received the gift: I paused, stood still, and bent down to tell the children that I loved the cinnamon smell, the sparkle of the glitter, and how Santa’s silly eyes made me laugh. I said, “Art and hand made gifts make me happy.” Then, I asked the children, “Did you make these for me?” While their big smiles nodded up and down, I told them these ornaments would be on my Christmas tree each year. When I place these ornaments on the tree I would remember them.

The three simple steps to receive any gift:
1. Pause/ notice
2. Motivation
3. Difference/Future

My wish for you is that you have the freedom to receive all the gifts at this magical time of year.

Merry Christmas!

What is Your Passion?

September 4, 2014 Posted by admin

School opens for the children this week.  I can feel that natural tension that occurs before any new happening.  So, why do it?  The answer is I because I love what I do.  I love being an educator.  Nothing makes me happier, gets me more excited, and gets me up in the morning and sometimes at night.  It is what others thank me for doing and I am good at.

What is your passion?  What is the fire in your belly?  What love of can no one take away from you?  Scott Dinsmore has created 27 questions to find your passion.  I found several of them quite useful and insightful.   I learned that even if I won the lottery, three months later (after a world cruise) I would go back to my school and be the principal.  I would return to the same district, same school, same job and be grateful.  If I knew I would not fail I would be more transparent, authentic, and teach painting, how to collage, art journaling to the staff, families, and scholars.  What makes me the most angry is how our culture even world appears to no longer value education of our children.  With unlimited resources I would create schools that meet the needs of all children and give them freedom.  Out of all my current work roles I would gladly be a principal for free.  But, you would need to pay me to teach kindergarten because the job is hard.  If I was the member of the audience at my own funeral I would love to hear people say that I gave love and was loved, that I was happy rather than unhappy, passionate rather than indifferent, adventurous rather than timid, and self-expressed rather than spiritually dead.

I would love to hear, that because they knew me that their lives were a little better.

Teaching Safety

March 27, 2014 Posted by admin

A safe environment is necessary for students to succeed academically.  A space of both physical and emotional safety is key.  Safety is different for boys than for girls. Girls have a higher concern for physical safety.Recently, I had the opportunity to teach a direct instruction lesson to a group of second graders, who have been struggling with behavior on the playground and with each other in the classroom.  The objective was to begin the process of teaching how to feel safe and create safety for other students. The title of the lesson was what is safety for boys and what is safety for girls.  The students learned that boys experience safety when they receive respect and trust, thus allowing for production of results. The students learned that girls feel safe when they receive positive attention and interest, thus allowing connection.Here is the lesson plan that I used:

Safety for Boys and Girls Lesson Plan


November 13, 2010 Posted by admin

You can overcome anything if you don’t bellyache. ~Bernard M. Baruch

To complain is an intransitive verb that means to express unhappiness, describe symptoms, and protest.  The synonyms are protest, criticize, grumble, whine, carp, find fault, nag, nitpick, make a complaint, and or object.  The antonym is praise.  As an educational leader I hear complaints from some students, staff, and families, but certainly not everyone.  The scholars on the playground complain that their classmates did not get off the swings after a loud and deliberate count of fifty.  Staff will complain about the demands of the job, each other, and the expectations from the government, state, and district.  Families complain about their student’s struggles as a scholar, an action taken by a teacher, and decisions made by the principal.  Indulging in the art of complaining, especially to my close friends and husband is something I have also done.

Yesterday, in a workshop called Mastery and Leadership I heard this statement, “a complainer is a chicken with a need.” For example, in a whiney voice say,” it is really cold in this room,” and then in your normal voice say ‘I am cold will you turn up the heat?’  Just imagine an educational environment or school site where the big and little people, who spent time there, stated what they needed or made a request rather than complaining.  In the future when I hear a complaint, a nag, a nitpick, or a protest I will say, “this sounds like a complaint rather than a request, how can I help you?”