Editor’s Note: Erica Brusoe is the Assistant Principal of Southside Elementary School. In May of 2016, the Suncoast Campaign for Grade-Level Reading held a Mind in the Making (MITM) Facilitator Institute for 27 individuals from 13 different agencies in Manatee and Sarasota counties. Since then, these facilitators have been presenting Mind in the Making’s Seven Essential Skills Training Modules to over 375 people throughout the Suncoast region. Due to demand, a second Mind in the Making Facilitator Institute was held in February of 2017, raising the number of local facilitators to 50.
Team Hawk at Fruitville Elementary was a wonderful cohort! The group was a good mix of educators, parents, and community members. Everyone had the same goal of helping children succeed. The group was a lively bunch, and we had many interesting conversations about the modules and how they connected to our personal lives and the lives of the children we work with. It was a pleasure to be a part of a group that was so diverse and respectful.
It was also a pleasure to join a group of adults that were also interested in self-improvement. At the beginning of each module, we discussed the application of skills to ourselves. It was taken seriously—as were the Wish, Outcome, Obstacle, Plan (WOOP) sessions. Several cohort members discussed how they applied their WOOP goals to their lives.
About the WOOP process developed by Gabrielle Oettingen
Start with a clear mind.
WOOP is an imagery technique that involves free thoughts. You should be relaxed, focused, and willing to clear your mind.
Identify a meaningful wish. This is meant to help you select a personal, academic, or professional desire—one wish that is dear to you. It should be challenging, but feasible. It can be a wish you want to come true in a day, a month, or longer. Once you have a wish, summarize it in three to six words to make it memorable.
Identify and imagine the best outcome. This part of the process enables you to connect your mind and feelings to the best result of fulfilling your wish. Be willing to think about the best result. Really see and feel what it’s like to accomplish it! Once you are ready, make sure to hold the outcome in your mind and imagine it.
Identify the obstacle within you that is holding you back. Imagine it. Sometimes, our feelings, thoughts, or actions prevent us from fulfilling our wishes. Identifying your internal obstacle raises your awareness about what is preventing you from achieving your wish. You may have to dig deeper to find your real obstacle. Once you identify your internal obstacle, hold it in your mind, and imagine it. See and feel yourself experiencing the obstacle.
Create an “if [obstacle], then I will [effective action]” plan.
You can overcome your obstacle. First, identify one effective action you can take to overcome it. Then you will need to create a plan, but not any kind of plan. A WOOP plan has a specific formula: “If [obstacle], then I will [effective action].” This formula ensures that your plan is directly linked to the obstacle. Once you create a plan, you should repeat it aloud and imagine it. Reflect on the process.
You may need to make adjustments to some or all sections of your WOOP. To do so, ask yourself: “Is this wish meaningful? Is this the real obstacle? Is this action effective? Did I really see and feel it, and feel engaged in the WOOP process?” Once you find answers, WOOP again.
I felt very grateful to join this group of learners. They were fun, but took the journey seriously. While the original goals of impacting the lives of children were common, the personal goals that developed as we moved through the modules were just as meaningful. What a privilege it has been to learn and grow with Team Hawk!