Twenty-two regional teachers and others involved in education were certified as “8 to Great” trainers recently during a two-day MK Mueller workshop at Chadron State College.
Area communities represented by the professionals included Spearfish, S.D., Box Elder, S.D., Bayard, Neb. and Chadron. Several faculty and staff from the Red Cloud School, located near Pine Ridge, S.D. also attended.
Dr. Kim Madsen, CSC professor in applied sciences, and Bille Knifong, interim manager of CSC residence life, were certified through the training.
Nearly 80 Pine Ridge Job Corp students and other area school personnel and community members attended the free session Saturday afternoon conducted by those who were certified as trainers at the end of the event.
The training discussed eight methods or “High-Ways” to access and maintain more personal power. “When I feel good, good things happen,” was a foundational mantra repeated by Mueller.
She asked the audience if they could have complained about something as they came into the room for the program. Then she asked them if they could have felt grateful for something as they entered the room. She emphasized that choosing to act and dream add to one’s personal power while blaming and complaining decrease one's personal power.
Taking wise risks on the way to success and accepting failure or setbacks as part of the overall journey, as Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Edison did, plus taking full responsibility for one’s actions were two additional “High-Ways” to feeling great.
Experiencing feelings of sadness and anger and then tapping into the constructive energy and heat of anger or the release of grief was another “High-Way” discussed by the team from Red Cloud School.
Honest communication, forgiveness of the past, gratitude for the present and hope for the future were other methods for success which the professionals taught the students through a series of interactive learning experiences.
Chadron Middle School teacher Peggy Hinman, who was certified through the workshop, plans to use the content in the Chadron public schools and with local 4-H and FFA programs.
She said, "I believe this program is a process that is life-changing. The training was excellent. Through instruction, example and critiquing our presentations, MK provided what we needed as '8 to Great' facilitators. I only wish we could do this in Chadron on a yearly basis."
Knifong said, "It was an amazing experience and I can't wait to share it with as many students as possible. I am very grateful my supervisors gave me the opportunity to be trained."
Madsen, who organized and hosted the event, said the evaluations completed by participants were very positive.
“The comments included ‘awesome training’, ‘the training changed my life forever’ and ‘I will be grateful for the rest of my life’. The teachers are excited to get these components integrated into a variety of courses and programs in their schools,” she said.
“The teams of teachers who attended from Bayard, Spearfish and Red Cloud will be practicing some of the principles taught my Mueller school wide. It’s so exciting to see kids will have the opportunity to experience this life changing process before college,” Madsen said.
Madsen hosted Mueller as a speaker in her First Year Inquiry class in the fall semester and plans to integrate the content in all of her Family and Consumer Science classes in some way.
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