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Nurturing our roots

January 2019

In the age of artificial intelligence, virtual realities, and cloud-based storage, an interpersonal exchange of information remains one of the most powerful communication tools. Scientists have even discovered that plants must interact with each other to thrive. According to a study conducted at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, plants can “talk” in several different ways: via airborne chemicals, soluble compounds exchanged by roots and networks of threadlike fungi. While communication is a basic premise for us, scientists are just beginning to understand the complex ways that plants exchange information with one another.

To humans, interpersonal relationships are a simple part of daily life that require consistent attention. Unlike our leafy-green friends, we often get distracted by the world happening around us. So, to strengthen our roots at Erie 1 BOCES, we’re reserving more time to listen to our partners and nurture our staff.

This fall, educational leaders from Erie 1 BOCES’ 19 component school districts gathered at the Potter Career & Technical Center for a “Build Your BOCES” event. The occasion spurred lively conversation between the cooperative’s membership and service providers. Dedicated time to reflect on the needs of Erie County schools created new connections and identified shared opportunities. 

Internally, Erie 1 employees with supervisory duties recently attended a workshop on emotional intelligence. Participants learned how a portion of the brain called the amygdala can hijack our emotions and alter our intended impact. Roseann Bayne, assistant superintendent at CiTi BOCES, explained how frequent amygdala activation can cause people to question trust and reliability. Attendees gained valuable insight regarding the emotions under the surface of all interpersonal exchanges.

Quality service depends on listening and an honest exchange between people who strive to make a difference. We must always remember that the best communication is rooted in a nutrient rich soil of understanding. We look forward to growing stronger in 2019! 

Lynn M. Fusco, Ph. D.
District Superintendent/CEO

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