Welcome to another week! We are getting closer to the end and the # of student days is winding down. As the days wind down, it seems like there is something happening each day whether it is district track, graduation practice, state testing, semester testing, transition days, PK/Kindergarten Graduation and somewhere we find time for our own activities as well!
As we progress through the final weeks, it isn't a matter of trying to control or wait for the elements around us to settle. Waiting is usually never a possibility with events or deadlines so we push on through. The journey may sway you back and forth, toss you side to side but we stay a float and we continue moving forward toward our destination.
The storm isn't necessarily an obstacle but can be the propulsion that gets us from one destination to the next. With all the different types of events, activities or events that lie ahead of us, it is important to remember to go with the flow and take things as they come. No one intends for plans to go array but tis' life. No need to stress over the items that are out of our control.
Example for me that happen on Friday evening. We have roofers tearing off our roof, have all the shingles off and put down the weather paper. Well, storms pushed them to end early and we had rain come down for 30 minutes or so. My wife was worried that it would ruin the roof and cause mold. In all reality, this isn't the first time a roof in the world would have a little water on it with no shingles so I wasn't too concerned but she was making a big deal. I could be naive but you trust those around you to do their job and that they know what they are doing through these types of situations.
You can think about those situations and you can come up with scenarios on how to solve things but don't dwell on them. "Life finds a way" as Ian Malcom from Jurassic Park would say. This is just a gentle reminder to take on those waves and embrace the storms as they pass through. Take on the busy weeks and smile due to them coming to an end. We are ready for school to wrapped up but we also appreciate the growth we have made throughout the process as well. Enjoy the ride, enjoy the moments you have with your students, colleagues and continue to embrace the storm as it pushes us toward the end.
Have a fantastic Sunday and a great upcoming week!
I hope everyone is enjoying their extended weekend! It is one of those last weeks of short weeks as we prepare for the end of the school year (still hard to believe). Easter is a great time to spend time with family, enjoy loved ones and even have time to relax/reflect on how things have gone throughout the year. We live in a world where we run around like crazy trying to get to many places, see many people and continue to push ourselves to the brink of perhaps going a little crazy. Holidays are great but sometimes when you fit three family outings in a single day can make some go a little crazy...it can for this guy. That being said, please find the time for a little you time as well!
As we wrap up the year, this quote came to my mind and thought it be appropriate for the rest of the year. We have such a great responsibility as teachers to not only to teach material that helps prepare students for life/future but to also be that role-model for them day to day. I was talking with a group of teachers during one of the learning walk days and we got into a discussion of teaching subjects. As you think about your past teachers, their subjects and how they taught class, what were your favorite subjects/teachers? Answers will always vary from people to people but you will have some that love a certain subject yet hate another.
What makes the love or hate for certain subjects? It isn't about the subject itself usually. After all, schools across the state have the same standards that should be being taught? It comes down to the day to day interactions within the classroom. I enjoyed all the core subjects within Stanton because of how the teachers were with their daily interactions. Mrs. Paxton made science interesting with discussions and labs. Mrs. Grey made literature and grammar interactive which led to engagement and though provoking interactions. Mr. Waddington made math fun because of his energy and enthusiasm. Mr. Braun made history alive and created a fun atmosphere that made all students enjoy their time. Or I can take it back and remember most of my elementary teachers because of their impacts they had on my life throughout the classroom. Mrs. Wilke, Mrs. Dorsey, Mrs. McKeon, Mrs. Lance...
I'm sure we can all go through our past and remember certain subjects and teachers or coaches that we love. Most likely it is because of the relationships that they built with us, the particular things they did within the classroom or how they interacted with us day to day. That comes back to us today...how are you impacting students with their feelings? Students are going to push us. They may test us, they may start to become lethargic and want to finish below average, or maybe they are trying to finish the best they can. How we interact with them can determine how they finish the year.
As teachers, we are viewed 24/7 within our rooms, on the court and under the microscope of society. Wether you are in front of the room leading a meaningful discussion, sitting on your phone while class is still going or giving weird clues on how to remember certain rules of a particular lesson. Either way, we are always being watched and students will give however much we allow. I admit, I have chewed on some of our students because of the attitudes they may have had but tis part of the spring fever. However, I refuse to let students finish being average as we all are pushing our students to be more. So the challenge is to finish strong and keeping building your resume with our students. Continue to push yet let them know you love them. Don't check out early because if you do, then they will.
Have a wonderful Monday!
I hope everyone is doing well and that those affected by this week's storm/flooding have been able to recover or at least see some kind of end in sight. If there is anything that I or WE can help to ease the process, please don't hesitate to reach out. I hope those that have had damage is something that can be replaced and quickly. For those on farms, I hope the land isn't too torn up and that if you have livestock, you were able to come away with minimal death. These tough times are some times inevitable but what truly makes Nebraska and small communities is the way people come together and help each other get through these times TOGETHER. We truly are a family and prayers will continue to be said for you to get through!
Simple and to the point quote for the week. I'm not sure if we ever have a moment of comfort and convenience in our lives ;) but I know that we do have challenges and controversies throughout our lives journey. It is important to remember, it doesn't matter how far along you have traveled in our journey but it is important to know that we have continually moved forward.
Some of us go through more battles than others. Some of us have decisions that can tear us up while others have thoughts of the day or the future that do the same. Although different circumstances, we all face uphill challenges at some point. We don't see our growth until challenges present themselves (like this week). As you reflect back, what did you do during these challenging times? I am sure we all shook our heads, said a few choice words but then stood up and got to work. When challenges present themselves, we stand our ground and move forward.
Even though it may seem like we take baby steps and perhaps feel we didn't accomplish much, I remind you, look at where you started at and look at the progression you have made. Continue to move forward through these challenging times or the times of controversy. If you have those decisions that need to be made that are tearing you up, look to someone to talk with or at least to get things off your chest. Through these tough times, you have plenty of individuals that are in your corner that will continue to support and fight for you!
Challenges are all about perspective. Is the problem be a mountain or a molehill? Could it start as one and then change? It comes down to your perspective and how you attack it! Continue to move forward and overcome those challenges/controversies that may arise! Have a great rest of your Sunday and let us have a great week!
I hope everyone had a great weekend! It was one that was full of action and many moving parts! Our boys and coaches took 3rd down to state and it was great to see a lot of you down at the game(s)! The support was fantastic and it made it for a memorable experience for our student athletes and for myself! Congratulations to all the boys on the team! Thank you to all that helped with the speech meet as well and shout out to all those of you that were there for the day helping, supporting or just being respectful throughout the entire day! Thank you for helping in the concessions, moving desks and volunteering to help where you could! Districts is tomorrow so best of luck to the coaches and the students heading down to Loup City to compete! Trust your training and give it everything you got!
Kind of one of those quotes that resonated with me this week and weekend at speech and down at state bball. Every competition, there is a winner and a loser. At every competition there are people or moments in time that can spark anger with in us and put us in a sour mood. I know that I was sour with a certain fan base opposite of us that booed the officials and then the chants of "overrated" directed toward our team. It bugged me...it ate at me...it was well into the morning before I would eventually let go. This quote then came back to me and asked was the night ruined because of them or because of me?
One of those question that both parties can be guilty of but in reality, it was me who continued to dwell on it. It effected the way I looked, acted and took over the conversations for the night. When it came down to it, it was a 5 minute period that I milked all night. This happens with many things in our professional and personal lives every day! Whether it happens because of a certain principal being weird, friends or peers acting a certain way or maybe it was something that was said at some point throughout the day. The list can go on and each day there are these moments.
How will you respond? Dwelling on it? Letting it eat at you? Or finding a solution to it? Solutions can come in many shape and sizes but most are going to be conquered by a conversation. It takes courage to have those conversations but it will save you from living an entire day in anger/sorrow/etc. I for one decided to wear swim trunks, a life-vest, flip-flops and dance/yell/cheer all I had out and felt great afterwards. Find those solutions and rise above those negative times. Don't let five minutes ruin 1,440 minutes of a day.
Have a wonderful night and a start to your weekend!
Quote of the week goes to one of my favorite artist G-Eazy. During this time of year, we are in the middle of activities, on to the 756th homework assignment to check, or gearing up for a run through sub-districts; either way, we are pushing our way through February and we are continuing to push ourselves to be better. How do you accomplish this? The internal drive to want to be your best; both professionally and morally.
To be hungry is when you are on the bottom of the food chain and every day is a fight for survival. That may not be the case for most of us but it is the mentality to have when you want to accomplish more than you thought you could. Confidence is great but if you get satisfied with what you have accomplished, then others will wave on by when they go by. As Hoodie Allen said,
Nights be getting kind of cold, and lonely on the interstate.
You be pushing sixty five, and I be pushing sixty eight
Just to stay a head of you, and prove that we the best right?
Life is just a highway, but homie there's no test drive
You want to always be performing your best otherwise you will sell your self short in everything in life. You don't have to compete against others but you do have to compete against that person in the mirror you see every morning. If your taking steps forward, you are making progress. If you wake up and are able to suppress any negative thoughts, you are moving forward. If you overcome your nerves as you stand on the the free throw line or giving your speech in front of strangers, you are progressing and moving forward. If you come in early to get caught up on an assignment, you are making progress each day within the classroom!
The challenge is to continue to move forward. Even if you only take a few steps in a day, you are still moving forward. You have all be doing a great job and we have gone through many peaks as we have progressed in our year. The valleys that you have faced, you have overcome and you are still climbing! Moving forward is the key and because forward = progress toward greatness!
Have a wonderful week!
I hope everyone is having a great weekend so far and that you are enjoying your time doing what you want to do! What a crazy week we had here! It seemed that we were in school for the shortest time and yet the longest time as well with no school and late starts caused by the cold. I'm not sure your thoughts on January but it seemed like a long month with cold temperatures, sickness and no sunlight except for Thursday and Friday! We are making our way and now we are into February (pretty crazy!). We are moving right along and we are continuing to do great things!
As we continue our journey together; getting through the long days, the cold days and the days that are filled with energy vampires trying to suck the positivity from us, it is important to think of the quote above. Our profession can be filled with times of greatness; seeing your students achieve, watching "that one student" bring their homework assignment on time, seeing our colleagues grow professional, etc. Alas, there are those times of negativity that can creep on us as well; perfectly plan lesson falls flat, students aren't engaged, negative talk around the water cooler, thoughts of the future and "what ifs" that could go bad, etc.
Through these times, it is important to have your friends and family to talk to and to walk with through during these times. The friendships we form with those in our hall and our school is what we can grasp to as we make our way through these times. The dark isn't as bad knowing you are with others and that you are continuing to push forward through these dark times. As we have discussed before, these dark times are what can form us and shape us. We are living examples for our students on overcoming adversity and showing that you can rise through the tough times.
Then on the opposite end of the quote: "better than walking alone in the light". When you finally push through and are in the light, don't forget to look around you to make sure that others are in the light as well. Chances are, there are some that are still forging through the dark and need that helping hand to make it through. Continue to push each other but also make sure we care for each other as well. This profession can chew up and spit us out if we try and make it alone. However, when we stand together, take off our teacher hats for a little bit and chat with each other about life, that is when we show are true selves and can conquer anything that life throws at us. No one is bigger than the rest of us.
We are hitting the time of year where things can start to dip because of an array of items BUT together we can forge through and make this month one of the best. It is all about our perspective and the attitude we choose! Continue to have a wonderful weekend and enjoy your time doing whatever makes you happy!
Welcome to my first blog! As the new year is already 26 days in, I told myself that I want to start a blog to not only put my thoughts down, but it could be an avenue to focus my stresses, my triumphs and give me an overall experience of what I go through in a "normal" day. I had the opportunity to listen to Jimmy Casas & George Couros at a Professional Development summit on MLK day and they are also an inspiration on why to put my thoughts down. "What we model is what we get". These are the words that keep coming to me from all the great things they said throughout the day.
By no means am I a writer and I am open to any suggestions from those that have more experience in the ways of communication through a blog. Will people read this? I have no idea nor do I have a desire to be a well-known blogger. My desire for this blog is to give insight of what I can go through, what I see others go through and perhaps give perspective on the education world. Selfishly, as said earlier, I think the writing will help me focus on the day and take away the positives that shine through the negatives.
I am nearly six months in to my first principal opportunity and it has been AWESOME! By awesome I mean that it is a terrifying rollercoaster ride that has involved the high steep climb to the top, followed by the fast downhill fall and then followed up with a combination of twists, turns, loop-de-loops that continue to go on and on. The crazy thing is, I absolutely love this profession and thankful for Riverside giving me the opportunity to be a part of their journey with them!
I have learned a great many things through these fast 6 months but the one that is on my mind to day is to embrace the struggle. I have gone through my fair-share of struggles as I go through this profession. I liken it to "baptism by fire" but it really has been a great adventure because of the challenges, the victories and the relationships that I continue to build upon. As my superintendent has reminded me, "You have to find your way to deal with the struggles that you encounter but don't deal with those struggles by bottling them up inside. It will eat you alive." So as I journey through, the quote above has me reflecting on the year and how struggles have shaped me and how thankful I am for those around me!
I am fortunate to have the greatest wife in the world that has given me nothing but support and love. Even on those nights where I come home from a difficult day and I give short and snippy answers. She continues to support but also reminds me that it wasn't her or the boys fault of what occurs so don't take frustrations out on her.
Key #1: talk and communicate, don't take out frustration on others.
I have a great administration team that I can talk (or Vent) to that always has great advice when the struggle seems endless. I am fortunate to not only call them colleagues but also great friends.
Key #2: have a venting session to get frustration out and focus on positive
I have also been forcing myself to workout in the mornings (been slipping this week). What is nice about these workouts is that the "forcing" turns into want to after the first couple of weeks. I have found myself being more active, less frustrated at nights and feeling good from the inside out. I have also found that reading a chapter of a book at night keeps me in a positive mood at night and refreshed in the morning. (currently rereading Innovator's Mindset).
Key #3: Exercise both physically and mentally
Lastly, I have been blessed for current and past staff & students that has been a guiding light and given me my WHY. I was hesitant about the education field but it is something that I am extremely lucky to be a part of! Education is one of the greatest professions because of how we have the chance to build relationships, mold children and shape our world by one student at a time. I have great students that continue to push themselves to be great in and out of the school. I have a great staff that believes in our mission and vision of what our school is and can continue to be, yet we understand we can continue to do more to make ourselves and those around us better! I have a great foundation of previous students (who I still consider my students) and staff members/friends that I continue to lean on. Why do I do this? Because of them. Because I believe in the importance of education both academically and morally. This is my WHY!
Key #4: Find your Why
In the end, life is full of struggles but these struggles remind us that we can get knocked down but we WILL stand up after each one. It is important to embrace the struggle. Struggles are going to HAPPEN but we shouldn't live in fear because of it. When negativity shows up, stand up do it and drown it out with positivity. Can't do it by yourself? Reach out to those around you to help. We are never alone! Be thankful for those hard times because those are the ones that we learn from and grow from!
Enjoy your weekend and thank you for reading!