Interview With Chambanamoms.com.


I don’t do interviews.It's a Real Website Written By Real Moms.

I’m the Howard Hughes of school administrators.

Of course, without the money or the pilot’s license.

And the OCD.

Actually, the real reason I don’t do more press is because I have a condition.

It’s not something I like to talk about.  Especially on weekends.

It’s called a job.

And it gets in the way of my other life.

The one where I stay home with  Buddy the Dog and blog for approximately 12 minutes each day.

This is my dream.

This is Buddy’s dream.

This should be your dream (because quite frankly, if it’s good enough for Buddy, it’s good enough for you).

I really want a full-time job that’s neither full-time nor a job.

And blogging fits that bill just about perfectly.

I don’t really know any other bloggers, but I’m assuming they are very good golfers.

If I had a job that didn’t require me to work, I could get my handicap down and still have plenty of time for other stuff.  Like interviews (I’m not sure, but this might require people asking to speak to me… details, details).

Since I have to work to pay for Buddy’s enormous appetite, I don’t have time for all the extra things that real bloggers do.

Like…

… actually, I don’t know what real bloggers do.

Again, I’ve never met one.

I’ve always assumed they brainstormed, did some research, read a lot, and other writing type of stuff.

This was all  true until about a week ago.

That’s when I agreed to be interviewed (weak moment).  I’m not sure what came over me, but I returned an email from Chambanamoms.com.  Evidently, they had gotten so desperate for material they needed to interview me.

It makes my stomach gurgle just thinking about it (on second thought, this could be the Mexican food I ate last night). 

I still don’t have a clue why I answered the email because I can’t think of anyone I would like less to talk about than me.

Just the thought makes me want to shove a letter opener right in the back of my worst enemy (no need to hurt myself, after all).

For reasons I can’t explain, I agreed to speak to this young lady. 

And you know what?

It was as painful as I imagined.  Sure she acted interested, but I was on to her from the very beginning (me=boring).

I don’t care how many questions someone asks, I still don’t have a clue what I’m doing with this blogging thing.

To her credit, she wrote a very nice article (amazing what someone who got A’s in English class can do).  She also took less than a horrible picture of me (this takes TALENT and lots of it… most of my school pictures have been destroyed at the request of the Kindergarten teachers… something about me frightening the children).

But none of this interested me.

What did was the fact that she is me.  Except she’s female.

And has a journalism degree.

And probably a bunch of other stuff, but I don’t want to get weird on you (too late???…. sorry).

She’s started her own website and blog.

In the four years I’ve been blogging, I’ve never run across anyone who does this (by the way, my blogging anniversary was this week… thanks for the cards…).

During this time, I’ve typed my goofy thoughts on my little computer at my kitchen table all by myself (except for my faithful sidekick Buddy).

So while I found the interview awkward and uncomfortable, talking to her was terribly fascinating (if I could just have been involved without being involved).

She does what I do, but better.

She has a staff.  A business plan.  Goals.  Web people.  Advertisers. 

And she goes to blog conferences and meets other people like us.

I didn’t even know there were people like us, let alone Blog Conferences.

So the interview was worth it.  Simply because it’s nice to know there are real people out there who are trying to accomplish the exact same thing as me.

Which is…

… actually, I have no idea what they are trying to accomplish.

But my plan is crystal clear.

I’m just a school administrator who is trying to find a high-paying job that requires little or no work with absolutely no supervision and doesn’t involve interacting with other humans.  And good benefits.

It’s the American Dream.

Or maybe it’s just my dream.

Check out Chambanamoms.com.  Personally, I’m hooked on the Househunting Mom.

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Generation Z: Their Learning Will Never End.


I’ve got bad news.

No, it’s not school is about to start (bad news for some… good news for moms).GenZ2

The world is changing.

Yes, you heard it here first (actually, you’ve probably already heard… but amuse me).

The world is changing.

Actually, it’s already changed. 

My best guess is the end of the world I grew up with died around the year 2000 (excuse me for not noticing… I was a little preoccupied by Y2K).

This means the new world has been around for roughly a decade (feel free to check my math).

And sadly, like far too many educators, I’m just now figuring it out.

Our children have moved on without us (not like the glorious day when the Evil Spawn moves out of my house… that’s an entirely different special occasion).

Kids today no longer want to play by our rules.

They don’t understand why schools are locked up at 3:30 and on weekends.

They don’t understand why computer labs contain equipment that is inadequate compared to what they use at home (and in the car).

They don’t understand why they’re constantly told to read more, yet school libraries are inaccessible for 3 months during the summer.

They don’t understand why teachers and administrators are given the option of improving their own technology skills.

They don’t understand why so many adults in charge of their education still seem to think PowerPoint is cutting edge (and while I’ve got your attention… if you still feel the need to use PowerPoint… stop using 18,000 words per slide!).

They don’t understand tenure or salary schedules.

But they do understand learning doesn’t begin and end for them at school.

Their education isn’t tied to a bell schedule or holiday breaks.

They know their education isn’t better because of worksheets, memorization, or mandated testing.

They get it.

They know what we still seem to be confused by.

They don’t need us.

The don’t need brick buildings that are only open 7 hours a day.

They have the internet.

And curiosity.

They’re going to learn with or without our help.

And the learning process is not going to stop for them after 8th grade.  Or high school.  Or even college.

They’re smarter than us right now.

And they’re going to be a lot smarter than us in 50  years.

The future isn’t coming, it’s already arrived.

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PrincipalsPage.com Blog: The Most Read Superintendent Blog in the World?


Could it be?

Is it possible?thanks

Surely not.

Well, maybe.

Actually, who knows.

I certainly don’t (add this to the monster list of items I have no clue about).

The world is a pretty big place after all.

But I’ve been thinking (always dangerous).

This little blog now has 500 subscribers.

Over 800 people follow it on Google Reader.

The number of visitors per month is consistently between 15,000 and 25,000.

Yes, I said 25 thousand.

It’s hard to believe.

It’s hard for me to comprehend that educators from all over the world visit to read what I write (even more humbling… think how many people don’t visit).

I’m honored anyone would stop by to check in on Buddy the Dog and the Evil Spawn.

In the last month there have been visitors from all 50 states and 139 countries (finally, you show up Gibraltar and Tanzania).

Readers range from teachers to administrators to college professors to parents and finally my favorite group… educators to be.

So I’m not officially saying this is the #1 Superintendent’s Blog in the World.

But, I am saying… “Thanks”.

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Dyslexia. Maybe There is Help Coming.


I had so many hits on this video on my other website, I thought it deserved a spot here.

 

http://principalspage.posterous.com/

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How a Copier Works.


Once again, a PrincipalsPage.com Blog reader steps up and teaches me something.

I will no longer spend sleepless nights pondering the mysteries of the copier.

 

 

Every time someone sends me something, I get just a little smarter.

Thank you reader.

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My Son is a Dog.


There are a lot of things I just don’t understand.Bud

How a plane gets off the ground.  Microwaves.  The unbelievably cold temperature inside of movie theaters.  Why every pencil I’ve ever used is a #2.

How copiers work.  The complex engineering system known as an intercom (I have no idea which button to push).

And last but not least, mandated testing.

Oh, and I almost forgot… junior high boys.

But my greatest unsolved mystery is why humans can’t get along with each other, but they are capable of falling in love with other species.

I’m talking about dogs.

We love them.

At least most of us love them.

All the people I trust love them (I just don’t get you cat people).

We absolutely love these animals  and they walk on four legs and have brains the size of golf balls. 

They also use our yards as restrooms (when you think about it, this isn’t really socially acceptable).

They tear stuff up that’s not theirs (someone owes me 12 bucks for my shredded undies).

We even overlook the fact they seem to have a dysfunctional relationship with the UPS guy and his big brown truck (Buddy and that driver really need some counseling).

They eat us out of house and home and then belch about it.

If you really think about it, they’re sort of disgusting (breath… bad).

And yet we talk to them like they understand.

We spend hours petting them and taking care of their every want and need.

We exercise them when we don’t have time to take care of ourselves.

We hold them like babies (not me and Buddy… other crazies).

We even treat them better than our own children (sorry, Evil Spawn).

And they are dogs.

Dogs.

Not humans.

Dogs.

We seem to get along better with them than we do with our relatives, coworkers, or neighbors.

They become the center of our lives within minutes of meeting them.

Now, if you are a dog person all of this makes perfect sense.  If you aren’t a dog person, you probably think I’m weird.

But I don’t care.

Nor do I have the time to convince you Buddy the Dog and I have a special bond you will never understand.

Plus, I have to go.

He needs his belly scratched and you have no idea how grumpy he can get when his belly is itchy.

Maybe I should be an administrator of an animal school.

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Educators Cheating? Who Knew?


I did.test

It’s quite possible I’m the least surprised man in America about the cheating scandal in Atlanta, Georgia.

Educators would cheat on standardized tests?

Sure they would.

Why wouldn’t they?

The pressure.

The expectations.

The unrealistic goals.

The high-stakes game of testing we are forcing down our children’s throats.

This cheating scandal was bound to happen.

And it won’t be the last one.

Sooner or later it’s going to come out lots of schools have cut corners during testing.

Teachers and administrators aren’t any different than the rest of society.

From politicians to Tiger Woods, there are plenty of examples of people who are willing to cut corners to reach what they consider a worthy goal.

People cheat.

Newsflash… some even lie.

I would also add there are people who steal, but I don’t want to discourage you.

I wish it was different.

I wish the world we live in had higher standards, but it doesn’t.

We live in a short cut world.

A place where what’s good for me at this very moment trumps long-term integrity.

And sadly, it’s probably no different now than it was 50 years ago.

Or 500.

Or even a 1,000.

People are people.

And teachers and administrators are people.

So don’t be surprised a very small segment of educators got caught up in doing the wrong thing.

Because I’m not.

I’m also not surprised 99.99% of educators get up and go to school everyday and do the right thing.

And you shouldn’t be either.

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Goodbye Cursive.


Indiana’s elementary students will no longer be required to perfect the looping script of cursive handwriting.

It’s a sad day (if you ask an old person like me).

Starting this fall, the Indiana Department of Education will no longer require public schools to teach cursive.

Instead, students will be expected to become proficient in keyboard use (like keyboards will be around in 10 years).

As someone who makes a second living off writing(?) a second rate blog about nothing, I know this is the way the world is heading.

But it makes me sad.

I can remember the sense of accomplishment I felt when I learned how to make a cursive S.

I don’t remember feeling the same sense of accomplishment when I typed my first S.

 

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Employee Twilight Zone.


Before I started my new job, I had some concerns.TwilightZone_Logo

No, not how much I would get paid because I would gladly work for free just for the opportunity to see the smiles on students’ faces (not true, but you never know who is reading this garbage).

My major concern was starting over with new employees.

When you work with a group of people over the course of several years you get a sense of them.

Who works hard.

Who can be trusted.

Who goes above and beyond.

Who’s a team player.

And most importantly, who wants to see you killed in a really painful horrific “accident”.

Just a suggestion for new administrators:  don’t eat these people’s baked goods.  Those aren’t brownies.  They’re bite-sized weapons (I learned this the hard way).

There’s a certain amount of comfort I took from understanding the great employees from the ones I wanted the police to take a hard look at in the case of my untimely death (I know who you are).

And now, after years of working with the same group, I am starting over.

New people.

New personalities.

New paranoia on my part.

But I must admit I’ve been pleasantly surprised.

I thought I’d be dealing with a whole new group of personalities I wouldn’t understand.

Turns out I couldn’t have been more wrong (again).

The names aren’t the same, but the personalities are.

It’s almost creepy (the situation, not the people… no need to get on anyone’s bad side just yet).

All the new people match up with the old people (not age wise, as I mentioned in the last sentence… there is no need to offend someone who bakes with Drano).

It’s really quite interesting.

Maybe there will be some surprises down the line, but so far it turns out people are people.

And there’s some comfort in that for me.

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Being the New Kid is Hard.


On July 1, I started a new job.  My first new job since 1996 (gainfully employed for the last 16 years!!!).

If you are young, that was a long time ago.  If you are old, that was like yesterday.

Actually, it’s the same job but at a different school.First Day.  Giant Desk.

Lots of things are different.

The people. 

Actually they are the same, just different names.

The students. 

Actually, I don’t know any students since they haven’t started school, but I bet they’re probably the same.

My responsibilities. 

No, they are the same.  Paperwork and phone calls are paperwork and phone calls.

Me.  I’m different.

No, sadly I’m the same (just older).

Now that I think about it, nothing is much different.

School is school.  Students are students.  Teachers are teachers.  Problems are problems.

This is probably why I wasn’t nervous.

I’m proud to say I slept like a baby the night before I started the new job.

I didn’t have nightmares, cold sweats, panic attacks… nothing (it was the exact opposite of a normal night).

But I must admit going into a new office was a little weird.

Parking in a new lot.  Walking into a new building.  Unlocking different doors.

All slightly odd.

I felt like the new kid at school.  I guess this is to be expected since I was the new kid at school.

But the worst part?  Sitting at someone else’s desk.

That was just weird.

Weird like Al Yankovic weird (how does he have a better career than me?).

I felt so small.  Crawling up into a big giant chair with my tiny little feet dangling high above the floor.

I felt so short.  So insignificant.

I don’t mind saying in that moment, I felt a little overwhelmed.

Then I realized the person I’m replacing is a foot taller than me and the desk had been jacked up 6 inches.  This will officially become my Tom Hanks in Big moment (giant keyboard… small man).

Once I troubleshot the whole desk situation, I was ready to get on with my new life.

So, I grabbed the stapler and off I went.  But it just didn’t seem natural to use someone else’s stapler. 

I felt like I was cheating on my office products.

Maybe this will get easier over time.

Maybe someone else’s desk will become my desk.

Maybe I won’t be racked by guilt each time I touch the stapler.

Maybe I will get used to everything involved with going to a new school.

If nothing else, I bet I’ll have a much better understanding what it feels like to be the new kid at school.

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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.