“I team of researchers, together with Baltimore City district

“I wanted to be a painter and I ended up as Picasso. I began as an artist and I ended up as Picasso.” (Bennis & Goldsmith, 2010)I believe that transformational leadership is one who inspires change. Transformational leaders invite stakeholders to take part in developing a shared vision that they are then able to articulate. They are not only concerned and involved in the process of achieving their vision,  they are also focused on helping every member of the group succeed as well. Through collaboration and creativity, leaders are able to change expectations and perceptions, and to motivate others into working towards a shared goal. They also encourage others to explore new ways of doing things, through new learning opportunities, by demonstrating this themselves. I would think that transformational leaders would find great use in creative visualization. “The process of creative visualization is commonly taught in the field of education as a means of facilitating personal growth and development and enhancing learning skills” (Colella, Ph.D., 2018). This type of leader would leverage creative visualization in gathering all participants and rallying them behind the realization that their vision, that they developed, is attainable. Asking teachers to consider things like – What kind of school would you like to work in? What kind of teacher do you wish to be?, What kind of classroom do you envision yourself having? Or what do you hope your students are able to achieve?These principles and practices can also be utilized with students as well. As I was reading this week, I couldn’t help but to think of “mindfulness”. It’s become somewhat of a buzzword nowadays in education. “Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us” (Staff, 2018). I have personal experience with mindfulness, and have seen the benefits of it. In 2014, a team of researchers, together with Baltimore City district leaders and teachers, were brought together to identify practices for addressing fundamental challenges that face many, if not all urban school teachers face – high stress levels, along with low levels of student engagement, leading to behavior challenges. “Mindfulness was identified by several researchers as a practice with potential to support students’ ability to  self-regulate emotions and behavior, increasing focus, therefore reducing behavioral challenges in the classroom” (SERP | Focus 5 Mindfulness Exercises. 2018). It was introduced to us in a variety of forms, from breathing exercises for 2 minutes at the start of a class, to yoga or meditation. Practicing mindfulness, helps students (as well as individuals) to calm themselves and bring their attention to the present moment through controlled breathing and awareness. With practice, students learned how to distance themselves from distracting thoughts and emotional reactions so they could focus more effectively on the task at hand. In addition to this, I had my students write bi-weekly SMART goals. I created a vision board, and would use this to drive our mindfulness sessions. I would ask the students to visualize themselves achieving their goals, pushing aside things that they listed as being distractors. Gradually, as students began to accomplish their goals, they began to create bigger, more long-term goals for themselves.Mindfulness made a difference in students’ stress levels and ability to focus and maintain their attention to a task. I personally witnessed this with my own students. Being self aware, practicing breathing and visualization techniques, equips students with tools to help them see their own success, and eliminate distractions that may stand in the way of accomplishing their goals.Mindfulness Video”Individuals who are self-empowered have come to the realization that the choice to change their lives rests within themselves and that this option to change is not controlled by others, but rather by themselves” (Colella, Ph.D., 2018). If you change how you think about things, then you will change how you feel towards them, this affects what actions you take, ultimately changing the results. ReferencesBennis, W., & Goldsmith, J. (2010). Learning to lead (4th ed.). New York, N.Y.: Basic Books.Colella, Ph.D., A. (2018). Pathways to Self-Empowerment. Presentation, Seton Hall University.SERP | Focus 5 Mindfulness Exercises. (2018). Serpmedia.org. Retrieved 16 January 2018, from http://serpmedia.org/focus5/index.htmlStaff, M. (2018). What is Mindfulness?. Mindful. Retrieved 16 January 2018, from https://www.mindful.org/what-is-mindfulness/