The Dean.


Having a Mentor Who Has Jumped Before You is Important.Coming up with blog topics can be tricky. At least that is what I’m told.

People who believe this must put some thought into their blogs. Luckily, I don’t have that problem (lucky for me… unlucky for readers who actually want to learn something or be amused).

My strategy for writing a blog is quite complicated.

I stumble through life and ideas pop into my head. And since I don’t blog for a specific audience (just me… again, bad for readers), it makes it that much easier.

One of the benefits of working in education is that it is never the same. Each day brings a new (although sometimes complicated and occasionally horrific) situation.

In my part of the educational world, things go relatively smoothly. That’s not to say that I don’t get frustrated from time to time. Because it is (and by time to time, I mean every 7 ½ minutes… on a slow day).

I’ve been able to survive (barely… and it should be noted that could change at any moment) in my administrative career primarily because I have had good mentors.

This could be the secret to being successful at any job.

There is nothing better than finding someone who can serve as a guide as you traverse the slippery slope of (fill in your career choice here).

In my case I have had several mentors.

The great thing is that I have never had to look for them. They always pop into my life when I need them the most.

Usually, I don’t even realize they are there or that I even needed them at the time. But as I look back it is easy to recognize their importance.

I may be the luckiest person you don’t know.

One of my first mentors was a high school administrator.

He had all the answers to questions that I wasn’t smart enough to ask.

When I first met him, he was getting close to retirement and I was at the end of my teaching career.

One of the things that I didn’t know was I was about to conclude my time in the classroom and head off into the complicated world of administration.

If I had known this, I would have paid more attention to the stories he told.

And told.

And told.

Besides being an administrator, he also was a public speaker. He spoke a lot. I guess those two things go hand in hand (administrator and speaking… we do seem to like the sound of our own
voices).

He spoke at his school, at church, at workshops, at conferences, at other schools, at colleges, on the phone, at the movies, at the grocery store, on the street to total strangers, and wherever 1
to a 1000 people gathered.

I heard him speak in public maybe 3 times. He was good. I think.

For the most part I zoned out.

Mainly because I had heard all of the stories before. For free.

He had mastered the art of getting paid to speak. What most people didn’t know is he would tell you the same stories for nothing.

All you had to do was not ask. Just be in the vicinity.

While I didn’t listen as closely as I should have, some of his advice soaked in. I am sure of this because I repeat it.

A lot.

One of the things he told me (and anyone else who would stand still for him) was his thoughts on people going back to college for more education.

It drove him crazy when people said they didn’t want to return to college because they were too old.

We have all heard someone say, “I don’t want to go back and get my Bachelor’s or Master’s because I will be 46 years old when I finish.”

His thought.

They will be 46 anyway. Might as well have that degree.

Simple, but good advice.

And I use it all the time. And 20 other things he told me when I wasn’t listening.

Like if you take a job as a principal, remember the kids are more like adults than you think, and the adults are more like kids than you think.

Over the last 6 years, I have found he couldn’t have been more right.

I often wonder how many other bits of good advice he shared and I didn’t hear? I have a feeling that I should have paid better attention.

Like all good mentors, he never forced his beliefs on me.

I sometimes wish he had.

As I look back, there is one thing that he didn’t tell me.

That I should listen closely because he might not be around forever.

**Note from wife… In addition to being a mentor to many individuals in the field of education, the man described in the above blog is my dad. Super Bowl Sunday three years ago was the last time that I had the opportunity to talk with my dad. The next morning he slipped into a coma after a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 60 years young and I wish that he was still around to tell those stories and give us his unsolicited, but very wise advice.

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Evaluations: Which Came First, The Principal or the Good Behavior?


I’m fascinated by the reaction that many people have to an evaluation. In my humble opinion, they don’t seem to like them.

Call me crazy (trust me, I have been called worse).

The reaction is very subtle, but if you look closely you can see the disgust. And the steam coming out of orphuses (I have always wanted to use that word in a blog).

It is like people have to go through a greiving process.

Which Comes First?

Which Comes First?

There is denial.

Then anger.

Followed by bargaining.

Depression.

And finally, acceptance.

If you stop and think about it, no one has ever died from an evaluation (you just wish you would).

While this isn’t always the case, an evaluation does make most of us at least a little nervous.

It seems that most people are happy with their present job performance. They already have their own opinion on their abilities and they like it (they generally believe they are model employees… human nature I guess).

I have more respect for evaluations since I started being the one who does them.

If done correctly, I really believe you can help people become better at their jobs. And I assume this works in any type of business.

This can be done (in most cases) without subjecting employees to a torturous process that takes away the will to live (or makes them want to take away my ability to live).

And even more importantly, the evaluator doesn’t want them to lose the will to work hard for the good of the students.

If for some reason they aren’t better for going through the evaluation, I know I am.

Evaluations have been a great learning experience for me. Granted I could do without the paperwork, but overall they are quite interesting and educational (I almost always learn something about teaching and the subject area while I conduct an evaluation).

If I’d had the opportunity to watch 50 different teachers while I was still in the classroom, I am positive that I would have done a better job in my role as a teacher.

Every teacher teaches in a slightly different way, but most seem to get the job done.

It occurred to me that the really great teachers seem to do a few things alike.

One, they teach the entire class period. And the students know it. These teachers don’t have time to waste because there are too many concepts they need/want to cover.

Secondly, they are in the same mood every day. Could be outgoing and happy. Could be quiet and reserved, but their students always know what to expect.

Students like surprises, like a new car on their birthday. They don’t like surprises, like drastic psychotic mood swings from adults (mental note… neither does my wife).

When kids walk into a great teacher’s classroom they know instantly what to expect. They are going to be constructively busy the entire period and the teacher’s personality won’t be a surprise.

There is one other thing that the really good teachers seem to do. They dismiss their students when the bell rings (or after the bell rings… after all they have a lot to accomplish in one class period).

Seems like a small thing, but I have definitely seen a pattern.

When an evaluation is complete, I seem to hear one comment more than any other… “The students sure were good while you (place evaluator’s name here) were in the classroom.”

My question for the day (or the blog)…

is that because an administrator was in the room…

or because the teacher was giving 110%, completely organized, and teaching a lesson that is interesting and engaging?

Which came first? The administrator or the good behavior?

Or the great lesson?

This blog is only one person’s opinion. My wife refers to that person as… clueless. As a teacher, she likes the evaluation process. Who is right? Do most people (in any job) like being evaluated, or consider it a necessary (forced upon them) evil?

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Church and School.


Church.

Church.

I know church and school aren’t supposed to go together (I think it has to do with the small print in the Constitution), but as I sit in church my mind usually wanders towards school.

That isn’t completely true. My mind always wanders, but not necessarily about school.

Does anyone sit in church and think about church?

But that is a topic for another day.

As I was waiting for my daughter to sing in church (that’s why I was there… and you thought I was lost), I begin to think that most people aren’t that excited to be in church (just one person’s opinion… the comment section is at the bottom of this blog).

And that’s what reminded me of school.

Yes, another brainstorm. Some students and parents aren’t all that enthralled with the public school experience.

This got me thinking about private schools (my mind seems to work, or not, in a very random way…).

My experience with private schools is primarily with Catholic schools. And one thing always impresses me about them.

The students and parents seemed to be thrilled with the education they are receiving.

Why is that?

Is it because they pay tuition? Because they got to choose? It can’t just be religious reasons, because students from all denominations attend these schools. Is there another reason?

Something has caused them to “buy” in to their schools.

They seem generally more excited about the education the students are receiving. I also notice that they speak very highly of their teachers and administrators (this is something with which I am not always familiar… the speaking well of administrators).

Don’t even get me started on how well they support their athletic programs (of course winning helps… and they seem to have mastered this).

They just seem to have more passion about their schools than students who are receiving a public education.

Do you think they believe in their school more because it was their choice?

Do families (such as mine) take public education for granted?

Is it better than most people believe?

Does it come too readily available? Does that make us quicker to criticize our local schools?

If everyone had to write a check out for several thousand dollars when they enrolled their children in public education, would we be more appreciative?

This topic ran through my head during the first 5 minutes of the church service.

Then I got distracted by an even bigger topic.

Lunch.

Why do some people call lunch… dinner… and some people call dinner… supper?

Why is that?

The next time I am in church, I hope to get to the bottom of this mystery.

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Maybe Punishing Parents Isn’t Such a Bad Idea After All.


I've Got an Idea!Every so often a student will get in trouble at school.

I know, I know… this comes as a shock to most of you. This is the dirty little secret of education. Students don’t always do exactly what they are told.

But wait, there’s more. You may want to sit down.

Students almost always know the difference between right and wrong. It’s true. I seldom run into a kid who doesn’t understand this concept.

Don’t get me wrong, they may not care but they know.

This knowledge of what is right certainly doesn’t stop them from testing the rules from time to time. Hopefully, this only happens occasionally (because the 1% who are chronic wear me out…)

And when these little bumps in the road happen, it’s okay. Kids are in school to learn. About math, science, social skills, being part of a team, appropriate behavior, and how much they can push the system before they get pushed back.

In my estimation, it is a good thing that students test the boundaries. This is how they learn. And they often pick up these valuable skills from others (sometimes they gain invaluable knowledge from the worst kid in your class… like don’t set the garbage can (or a freshman) on fire).

As educators, our job is to teach students these lessons along with a thousand more (it’s a big job, but it beats working for a living).

Our students need to learn these behaviors before we send them out in the real world.

Of course, while I believe in this, it would be nice if they didn’t test my limits late on Friday afternoon. Or Monday mornings. Or any day where I was up late the night before. Or especially during my lunch break.

Students will make mistakes and it is our job to correct them (consider it job security).

This part of the process never frustrates me.

I have found some of my most loyal students are the ones I have had to discipline in the past.

Once you get them through the process, they are better off for it. And they know it. They may not admit it, but they know it.

Now parents, they are a different story.

I particularly enjoy parents who want to take the blame for their child.

As in “It was my fault they were late. Punish me.” Or “They didn’t get their homework done because I had to go to (fill in the blank). You should give me the detention.”

My response is always the same. We aren’t here to teach parents a lesson.

Although once, just once, I think I would like to punish the parent.

Maybe a Saturday School, a suspension, or even an expulsion.

I truly believe this idea has some merit because just like with kids, you wouldn’t have to punish all the parents to make a point. Just a few.

Bad news travels fast.

And the rest of your parents would learn a valuable lesson.

A lesson they evidently didn’t learn when they went through school.

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President Obama and Great Teachers Have This in Common.


Professor Obama.

Professor Obama.

Today was one of those days that our great grandchildren will read about in history books (like books will exist when my great grandchildren are running around… or laying on the couch if they take after their grandma).

In my 40 years there are only a few days that get their own chapter in textbooks (or hard drives… or whatever technology exists by then).

There is 9/11, the Challenger crash, OJ’s trial (first…), and… well, that’s all I’ve got.

What separates today (which if you have been living under a rock was President Obama’s inauguration) is that it is the only positive event that I can list.

In 40 years, I can come up with a grand total of one.

That is a little sad when you think about it.

What I can come up with is President Obama reminds me of a great teacher.

You say how can the leader of the free world remind me of a teacher? How can the most popular politician of the last 25 years remind me of a teacher? How can the first African American President remind me of a teacher?

Great teachers are focused, committed, energetic, and passionate. Great teachers get people to follow them. Great teachers make others believe anything is possible.

A great teacher can energize an entire group.

They can walk in the classroom a transform the attitude of everyone they meet.

One person is able to change the dynamic of an entire group. One person, such as a great teacher, can make a difference

A great teacher can provide a different perspective on the same old problems. They can take difficult situations and find solutions.

They don’t see obstacles, but opportunities.

They make others feel better about themselves, especially when things are there most difficult.

A great teacher provides hope.

Just like President Obama.

Today was one of those days that our great grandchildren will read about in history books (like books will exist when my great grandchildren are running around… or laying on the couch if they take after their grandma).

In my 40 years there are only a few days that get their own chapter in textbooks (or hard drives… or whatever technology exists by then).

There is 9/11, the Challenger crash, OJ’s trial (first…), and… well, that’s all I’ve got.

What separates today (which if you have been living under a rock was President Obama’s inauguration) is that it is the only positive event that I can list.

In 40 years, I can come up with a grand total of one.

That is a little sad when you think about it.

What I can come up with is President Obama reminds me of a great teacher.

You say how can the leader of the free world remind me of a teacher? How can the most popular politician of the last 25 years remind me of a teacher? How can the first African American President remind me of a teacher?

Great teachers are focused, committed, energetic, and passionate. Great teachers get people to follow them. Great teachers make others believe anything is possible.

A great teacher can energize an entire group.

They can walk in the classroom a transform the attitude of everyone they meet.

One person is able to change the dynamic of an entire group. One person, such as a great teacher, can make a difference

A great teacher can provide a different perspective on the same old problems. They can take difficult situations and find solutions.

They don’t see obstacles, but opportunities.

They make others feel better about themselves, especially when things are there most difficult.

A great teacher provides hope.

Just like President Obama.

Today was one of those days that our great grandchildren will read about in history books (like books will exist when my great grandchildren are running around… or laying on the couch if they take after their grandma).

In my 40 years there are only a few days that get their own chapter in textbooks (or hard drives… or whatever technology exists by then).

There is 9/11, the Challenger crash, OJ’s trial (first…), and… well, that’s all I’ve got.

What separates today (which if you have been living under a rock was President Obama’s inauguration) is that it is the only positive event that I can list.

In 40 years, I can come up with a grand total of one.

That is a little sad when you think about it.

What I can come up with is President Obama reminds me of a great teacher.

You say how can the leader of the free world remind me of a teacher? How can the most popular politician of the last 25 years remind me of a teacher? How can the first African American President remind me of a teacher?

Great teachers are focused, committed, energetic, and passionate. Great teachers get people to follow them. Great teachers make others believe anything is possible.

A great teacher can energize an entire group.

They can walk in the classroom a transform the attitude of everyone they meet.

One person is able to change the dynamic of an entire group. One person, such as a great teacher, can make a difference

A great teacher can provide a different perspective on the same old problems. They can take difficult situations and find solutions.

They don’t see obstacles, but opportunities.

They make others feel better about themselves, especially when things are there most difficult.

A great teacher provides hope.

Just like President Obama.

Comments: 12
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Guest Blog (We are in Charge Now!) – The Secret to Better Technology in Schools.


If You Need Technology Workshops for Your Teachers... You Need RecessTec.After editing 200 blogs of PrincipalsPage ramblings, I have decided that the Wife/Mother-In-Law Team needs a chance to speak. I mean come on…
Don’t I get a reward for constantly correcting semicolons and the incorrect use of to, too, and two?

Honestly, how can a man rise from coach/teacher to administrator in a few short years with only one opinion on the use of the English language?
I quote, “The semi-colon is by far the coolest of all punctuation!”
I mean seriously, who ranks punctuation by coolness?
Note from PrincipalsPage:
(I do not apologize for my love of the semi-colon… and I might add… I am a huge fan of the asterisk***)

Of course, we shouldn’t judge. One of us married him.

So, with that being said…

We present Recess TEC as the first official “Guest bloggers“.
(Note from PrincipalsPage… quite possibly the last

In the struggle between the TECH GEEKS VS. THE SUITS, another adversary needs to be included.
This adversary could be the one to bring peace to the land…
with an “and they all lived happily ever after” ending.
This adversary is (insert drum roll and “dah-da da da”)…
IT.

We would define “The Suits” as (in some cases add “dearly beloved, but ignorant of all things technology”) the administration.
We would define “Tech Geeks” as the teachers and students who want to include technology in the curriculum, use as much technology as possible in their everyday lives,
and see it as a highly motivating factor to enhance teaching and learning.

Enter the IT. “Dr. No” if you will.
(Notice, we did not say “Dr. Evil”.)
IT’s #1 priority is to keep the server alive and well to handle the administration’s email.
Priority #2 is to NOT lose any file stored there.
And finally, #3 – NO VIRUS…EVER!

Nobody and nothing is allowed to slow down the server.
We mean NOBODY and NOTHING
Don’t even get us started on bandwidth.

Anything Google slows it down.
Anything Skype slows it down.
Anything that involves long distance collaboration slows it down.
Anything that includes the word “streaming” slows it down.

We believe that the more things slowing it down, the more the students benefit…which in turn means the server space and bandwidth needs to be “supersized”.
We know…now we are talking money.
We would be willing to give up the chalk and dry eraser marker budget in exchange for a little more server space.
Anyone else?

Things we hear from the IT:

“Google Earth? You don’t need it. You have maps.”
“SmartBoards? Why? You have white-boards and all you will use it for is to show movies on a big screen.”
“Pandora.com? (Add indignant tone.) The teacher’s desk is the first place we see it. You can’t control what is being played…a song with inappropriate content might pop-up.”
“I don’t want my teachers to have wikis/blogs/podcasts/webpages (insert any other web 2.0 tool here) because I can’t control the content.”
“It slows down the bandwidth.”
“It takes up server space.”

Enter “Recess TEC” to the rescue.
Now it is time to bring to reality “Why can’t we just all get along?”
Pull up a chair and sit down. (Coffee, anyone?)
We need all of you in the same room together. (Even if it means providing chocolate or a continental breakfast or a steak dinner with mixed cocktails ;) )
Teachers.
Suits.
Tech-geeks.
IT.
Possibly even a few tech-geeky students. (“Ixnay on the ixedmay ocktailscay…”)

It is time to watch, listen, and talk.

Google everything.
We mean EVERYTHING!

And SMARTBoards in every single classroom.
YES! Even the music and art rooms!

And tons of bandwidth.
And HUGE servers.

And finally.
Teach the teachers.
Let them do what they have been trained to do.
Teach.
Teach them to teach with technology.
And let them be the filters and decide what is best for their students and their curriculum.
Help them understand that technology is not an addition to the curriculum.
It is not the time to take the students to the lab where their students log on, work individually on a website, while teachers grade papers.
Teach teachers to integrate, collaborate, and to become proactive.
After all,
that is what they were hired to do in the first place.
and finally,
trust them.
Trust them to do no harm.

Which means…

No Internet Filters on computers when TEACHERS are logged in. That’s right. No filters.

Teachers are the BEST filters (if they are engaged with students… which means stand up and walk around the room).
And if they prove NOT TO BE…
then slam that filter right back into place.
Abuse it = lose it.
Show teachers how to use sites like Flickr and You Tube SAFELY.
We are not saying, turn the kids loose on whatever site they want.
We want to protect kids, but we also want to motivate and engage them!

Communication together is the key to solving all of these issues.
We need to be in the same room to see what is out there and how it best can be used.
And it should never be Suits Vs. Geeks.
Or ANYONE VS. ANYONE.
Let’s work together and put the puzzle together piece by piece.
Let the teachers show the IT department (especially the ones that may have never taught) HOW the technology is being used in the classroom.
Let the IT department show the teachers why things are structured as they are.
Most teachers know very little behind what it takes to do your job.

The dialogue should include,
“We didn’t know you wanted that.”
“I can do that for you.”
“I didn’t know that was out there.”
“Will you help me with that?”

Inservice.
Inservice.
Inservice.

Share.
Share.
Share.

And finally, show by example.

(Recess TEC is also known as Recess Web Design…but doing more and more Technology Educational Consulting and less and less Web Design.)

**Note: This blog was collaborated over a 60 mile distance and written using Google Docs without filters.

Comments: 19
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Tech Geeks vs. The Suits.


Computer Nerd.

Computer Nerd.

It’s on.

A battle of historic proportions is taking place.

It is the classic scenario of good vs. evil. And both parties think they are playing the role of good.

The future of education hangs in the balance.

Worse yet, some of the people involved don’t even know a conflict is happening.

Tech Geeks (a term of endearment) are consumed with the idea the Suits (revered and esteemed colleagues of mine) are not learning/using technology at a quick enough pace.

The Tech Geeks are a large group made up of computer teachers, technology directors, and everyone else with a love for all things futuristic. These are not people you want to cross (especially if you want your email to work). They have knowledge and time on their hands.

The Suits of course are people like me. They are the ones running schools all over this great country. They are easily recognizable because they yell at kids for running in the hall, make rules no one understands, and look tired all of the time.

This group also includes central office robots and school board members. Just about everyone over 50 years of age can be lumped in with The Suits.

Tech Geeks crave everything new and cutting edge. Suits like the status quo (at least the techies think so).

And this is where the problem lies.

In some wars it is hard to pick sides, but not in this one.

Tech Geeks have a voracious appetite for all things technology. You are either with them or against them. No fence straddling here.

They love the 5 P’s (I have this copyrighted, so don’t use it… unless you are willing to pay me 4 cents each and every time) which are Phones (cell… the newer, the better), Printers (wireless preferably), PC (laptops with big screens), Programs (which includes Twitter, Plurk, and any cool website), and Presentations (they love their workshops and the people who put them on).

The Suits are confused, nervous, and don’t know what they don’t know.

Simply put, it is the future vs. the past (educationally speaking).

The Tech Geeks are all over the internet screaming that The Suits are falling behind and don’t know what is best for kids.

The Suits don’t hear the screams because they don’t Twitter, Plurk, Google, or do anything internet related (other than check their email).

This whole situation frustrates the Tech Geeks to no end.

What is funny is that in the middle of all this there is a dirty little secret.

The secret is… The Suits know they are behind in technology. Way behind.

They just don’t know how to catch up.

The Suits are the kid in class that doesn’t know enough to even ask a question. They are afraid to raise their hands.

So consequently, they aren’t progressing.

I shouldn’t speak for all suits, but I am going to (it is my blog you know).

They are confused by technology and what the future holds…for them, for students, for teachers, and for schools.

They have been successful in their careers without technology, so it is easy not to see a drastic need for it. Especially when they don’t understand it.

Over the last 10, 20, 30 years they have climbed the career ladders to get where they are.

They have put in time, worked hard, studied, taken classes, and attended conferences. All of this without anything more than a basic knowledge of computers (as in they know how to turn them on).

Now towards the middle or end of their career, Tech Geeks want them to jump aboard the runaway train of technology.

Every day, they fall farther and farther behind and there is no safe jumping on point (in their minds).

Somehow we have to bridge this gap.

Bring the good Tech Geeks together with the good Suits (there are some out there you know).

All of this makes me ask the question “Can’t we all just get along?”

But it brings up another question for which I don’t have an answer.

“How?”

At least I don’t have an answer in this blog.

Oh wait… someone just stumbled by who has the answers to all of our problems.

** Note from wife…I know, I know…I have had a lot of notes here lately. I think I might have a start on how to bridge this gap. Anytime I give a professional development session at a school, I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE the administration as well as the technology department to attend. I do this because I know three languages…geek, administration, and education. (4 if you include my ability to ask “Where is the bathroom?” in Spanish. How sad those 5 years of Spanish class don’t come in more useful. That is truly one of the only things I remember.) I do have my Type 75 Administrative Certificate in addition to my Teaching Certification as well as a corporation that provides technology assistance and professional development for schools…so I feel pretty qualified to add this note. When we get the Tech Dept. as well as the Administration to sit in on the training, everyone comes out on the same page. All three parties have huge eye openers regarding the position of the other groups. It is amazing when we can get them all in the same room. SO…if you haven’t made it a priority for EVERYONE to sit through professional development sessions regarding technology…YOU SHOULD! It would help us bridge the gap of the differing needs and create an awareness and possibly a mutual respect for each person’s position.

Comments: 18
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The 50% Rule.


50% Rule (or Off)...  Both are Good Deals.If you are a first year principal, my guess is that you are tired.

Why do I think this? Because I’m not a first year principal and I’m tired.

It is part of the job. Like the copying machine always being out of paper, the kids being jumpy during a full moon, a student almost “accidently” hitting you with a ball as you walk through the gym, and having someone complain about something 42 times a day (on a slow day).

There is some good news.

For most administrators, the school year is already about half over. You will make it to the end of the year.

At least, keep telling yourself that.

It is really hard to tell at this point (although I am pulling for you).

During my first year, I had a theory (actually I have thousands of theories… most of which make very little sense, even to me).

My theory during my first year was thousands of principals came before me and they survived.

Surely, I had to be as good as at least one (maybe even two) of them. So I set a goal.

Be a principal for 2 years.

A lofty goal at that point (and to people that knew me… an almost unreachable one).

But I survived. As so might you (again, a little early to tell).

Near the conclusion of my second year, I sat in my office and took a moment to reflect (keep in mind it was a very short moment… as I had a game to get to…as you have probably found out… supervision never stops).

It occurred to me that my second year was easier than the first.

Not easy.

Easier. Let’s not get crazy here.

And just like that, I had myself a new theory.

Every year you are a principal, it gets 50% easier. And for once I have found a theory that has held up over time.

Each school year gets a little more manageable (if you survive this one… and that is really up to the administrative gods at this point).

At least you have something to look forward to. Next year will be easier. About 50% easier if my theory holds.

And that’s the good news.

The bad news is the job of principal starts out on a difficulty scale of about 37,000 %.

Which means you (and the rest of us) are in way over our heads for the next few years.

And by few, I mean until you reach retirement.

If you make it. Really hard to tell at this point.

But I think you will.

At least that’s my theory (let’s hope this one also works… :) ).

Comments: 6
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So You Want to be a Big-Time Blogger?


Bloggermobile.

Bloggermobile.

Do you want a blog that you can call your very own?

I have but one question.

Why?

Do you find yourself with too much free time to devote to your family, hobbies, or charity work?

Do you feel like you’re wasting time reading books, taking walks, or working on a Master’s Degree?

Is your mind so demented that you believe people want to read your every waking thought?

Do you want to come home from a full-time job and then work some more?

Are you just an idiot?

If you answered YES to 1 of these 4 questions, you are wasting my time. It is also possible that you are involved in a healthy long term relationship (with another human being).

If you answered YES to 2 of these 4 questions, you have goals in life and no time for a blog.

If you answered YES to 3 out of these 4 questions, you are close but aren’t truly committed to the world of blogging (come back when you are weirder).

If you answered YES to all 4, Congratulations… you have what it takes to blog. And it is quite possible that you are a moron, slightly creepy, and in a word… breathtakingly odd (sorry, two words… and there is no chance I want to ever meet you in person).

Now that we have weeded the rift raft from the uncommitted, it is time to learn what it takes to blog.

How do I have time to blog?

I get this question a lot.

Easy, I don’t.

How do I come up with 2-3 great ideas for blogs each and every week?

Easy, I don’t.

How do I write blogs that make people laugh?

This one is way too easy. I don’t.

In fact, I don’t even try.

I write blogs that make me laugh (a really good one makes my wife laugh).

If you are struggling with starting a blog, consistently blogging, or coming up with fresh ideas for your blog…I am about to solve all of your problems.

The key to a moderately successful blog is simple.

Now, listen closely because I am only going to say this once (yes, I know you are reading this… but one day… mark my word… this blog will be podcasted to literally tens of people).

The key to having a moderately successful blog is… at this point you should be doing that drum roll sound in your head…

… a couple of times a week, sit down at your computer and type.

I almost feel guilty giving away this information for free (mental note… I need my own infomercial).

That’s it.

That’s the secret to blogging.

Sit down. And type.

Did I mention you need to do this a couple of times a week?

Type. Twice a week. After sitting down (stand if you like… it is a free country).

Do this every week.

In a month you will have 8 blog entries. In a year 104. Slightly less in a leap year.

And there you have it. A blog of your very own.

Now you may ask, how in the world can I come up with humorous interesting topics that thousands of people will enjoy?

You can’t.

And don’t try. You might pull something.

Just type (twice a week… don’t forget) about things that interest you. And things that make you laugh. And things that you believe in. And things you want to see changed.

You will be astounded that those very same things that amuse you… amuse others. And things that you believe in and want changed, are the same things as lots of other people.

If you do this consistently, people will find you. That is the great thing about the internet (thank you Mr. Gore). You don’t even have to advertise.

If you blog, readers will come.

If you follow my simple advice.

Sit (optional) and type (not so optional).

No matter what your beliefs, there are thousands of people out there just waiting for someone to express them.

And that someone could be you.

Please keep in mind that the author of this blog has no English degree (or skills), no journalism background, makes stuff up as he goes along, and is generally full of it… Sincerely, His Wife.

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What Feelings? I’m a School Administrator.


This week I was asked an interesting (granted, it may just be interesting to me) question by a Superintendent from another school district.

Do I ever get my feelings hurt?

The answer is of course, yes.

Just not at work.

A school administrator who gets their feelings hurt at work is obviously…. new or about to find a job in a different profession.

After a certain amount of time on the job you move past the whole feelings thing. Crying Man.

My daily schedule goes something like this. Drive to school and turn off car. Go into office and turn off cell phone. Sit down and turn off feelings.

Sometime I mix it up, just to keep things fresh. Like turning my feelings off before the cell phone.

If this makes me sound like a cold hearted bastard, I would tend to agree (sorry for the harsh language… it’s been a long week).

I think on a certain level you have to become resistant to having your feelings hurt.

Are they hurt?

Sure.

None of us are robots (or are we??). Of course we aren’t. If we were, we would be more organized and wouldn’t be running late all the time.

No one likes to get yelled at, cursed at, or told they are terrible. Or hear my #1 parental response… “I am going to sue you!”

But the job of running a school or district is very simple. It is about making decisions for the good of the group and not just for a particular individual.

This is the challenging part.

And often the cause of administrators’ unpopularity.

Of course when I say often, I mean always. Or at least sometimes. Okay, I mean always.

It is hard enough to raise one child. Or two. Or even three or four.

But as an administrator, you are helping raise hundreds.

The rules are different. They have to be.

My wife and I can’t always agree on how to raise our daughter. So, I can’t expect several hundred parents, step parents, and grandparents to agree with me on what’s best for their child.

When you make a rule for one child it can be less stringent. Like asking them to turn their cell phone off at dinner.

Easy enough.

And when it rings you simply ask them to turn it off or you take it away until dinner is over.

Now, if you have 750 kids, it gets a little more complicated.

You have to make rules that are much stricter. Like taking away the phone for a week when it rings during a Physics final.

Rules for the group are broader. And harsher. And consequently more unpopular.

This is why parents and administrators don’t always see eye to eye.

And why feelings get hurt.

If you have them.

And lucky for me, I don’t.

At least at school.

*Note from the editor in chief (a.k.a wife) – I do not condone the type of language used in this blog post. If the kids at his school only knew how PrincipalsPage REALLY spoke….at home.

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Disclaimer

While this site operates with the knowledge and awareness of the Tuscola CUSD #301 School Board, Tuscola, Illinois, the content and opinions posted here may or may not represent their views personally or collectively, nor does it attempt to represent the official viewpoint of Tuscola CUSD #301 administrators or employees.