TV Show Idea: Road School.

I have an idea. RV1.jpg    

An ingenious one.

It may sound like I’m full of myself, but if you don’t think your ideas are ingenious, who will?

You have to give me the benefit of the doubt because I could be delusional from the massive amounts of Advil coursing through my veins from my recent snowboarding accident (I fell… hard… on my caboose… now I must blog standing up… sad really).

In the past few years, I’ve watched my share of reality television.

Survivor. American Idol. Shows with angry unhappily married fake rich ladies. All the junk on E! and VH1.

Some of it’s good.

Most of it isn’t.

Usually, I come away with even lower expectations for the human race.

I’ll often watch and then go through a period of self-loathing and abdominal cramping.

Just recently (after my last blow to the head while snowboarding/falling), it occurred to be there is an untapped reality show market.


The great thing about a reality show about education is 100% familiar with the topic and issues surrounding it.

Most of us went to school. Some of us even graduated (8th grade counts).

It’s hard to find a family who doesn’t have at least one member who is a teacher, so the education reality television market could be a gold mine.

Here’s my idea.

A show called “Road School”.

It’s homeschooling, but in an RV.

Two things I know nothing about.

You take an average family with two educators, an Evil Spawn, a handsome beagle, big fancy motor home with internet and satellite television provided by the production company and you got yourself a show.

Hit the open road and let the high jinks ensue.

An entire school year learning from the land.

The family visits national parks, monuments, and also interacts with regular people.

They stop by the homes of astronauts, veterans, and inventors.

Each week the family goes to a new state, does charity work, has a new experience, and learns a valuable lesson.

At the end of each episode there’s a quiz on the places and people they visited and the things they learned.

The curriculum could be put out in advance so schools and homeschool students could participate along with the show.

It would be education for the next century.

Not confined to a desk or classroom, but learning by being out in the real world.

I see a blog, YouTube updates, lots of Tweeting, and possibly a Discovery Education tie-in.

The family not only learns new stuff, but grows closer.

There’s laughter. There’re tears. There are long speeches about the greatness of the American people.

It’s The Amazing Race, Dirty Jobs, American Pickers, combined with a life-long education.

It’s ingenious.

At least, I think think so.

Now I will just sit back and wait for some education organization to recognize my genius.

And throw massive amounts of cash at me and Buddy the Dog (because he doesn’t perform unless there’s money involved… or a carrot).

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Athletic Age.


The Evil Spawn is 10.  I am not.

This has never been more apparent to me than when my face slammed into the earth as we were learning to snowboard (you may have heard my girl-like screams and crying earlier this morning).

I graduated from high school over 25 years ago.

I have t-shirts from the late 1980’s.

I remember when David Lee Roth had good hair (side note… Van Halen is getting back together… are you listening Guns N’ Roses?).

I know who was President before Ronald Reagan.

I shouldn’t be learning to snowboard.

I shouldn’t be snowboarding even if I knew how.

Which I don’t.

Which was very apparent to the high school kid who was kind enough to give us lessons.

He was very polite.  He even called me “Sir”.

And he helped me up the first time I fell.

Which was when I was trying to strap my boots into the fiberglass piece of death I was supposed to slide down the mountain on.

He also helped me the second time I fell.

After that his interest in my safety seemed to wane.

As I add up my injuries, I seem to have a slight concussion, a bruised tailbone, and some sort of thigh injury that will no doubt get worse as the swelling goes down and the Advil wears off.

Through the grace of God, my fingers seem to be okay which allows me to share this horrific and humiliating experience with blog readers around the globe.

On my last trip on the ski lift, I not only feared for the safety of the people in front of me, but also the 5-year old girl behind me who had no idea she was about to crash into an old man laying face down in the snow in the next 45 seconds.

During the few seconds of reflection I had before doing a face first plant into a snow bank, it occurred to me that my real age isn’t 44 (I also want to take a second to apologize to Ashleigh, the kindergartner I traumatized.  I’m almost certain she has stopped crying by now).

I have no idea what it really is, but I now have a better understanding of my athletic age.

I’m not 16 anymore.  Or 26.  Or even 36.

I’m at least 44.  Probably older. 

Much older.

This may not seem that old, but you don’t see many 44 year olds in the Olympics do you?

I enjoyed snowboarding, although I’m not sure why they just don’t call it falling.

I have come to realize, I can no longer choose my athletic endeavors based on fun, excitement, or conquering new challenges.

I first have to consider rehabilitation time and if my health insurance deductible covers any possible disfigurement.

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NASSP Principal Leadership Magazine: I Am Famous. But Not the Rich Kind.

nasspjanuaryAnother year. 

Another published article in my favorite magazine.

Principal Leadership Magazine from the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

For my money (and I’m not rich), they have as good of a digital edition as anyone.

Every school administrator should be reading Principal Leadership.

And my column (blurb… whatever).

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Why Are You Reading This Blog During Christmas Break?


Get a life people.

Most of you probably have a few days off, and you shouldn’t be wasting your precious time on this drivel.

We all spend way too much time mindlessly staring at our computers and looking at the same websites over and over.

Trust me, what was on 2 minutes ago is still there (I just checked).

What’s sad is this blog has an extremely large amount of visitors every Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

How pathetic it that?

I feel somewhat responsible for the dumbing down of America.

So, if you are reading this blog, I have some suggestions.


1.  If you are enjoy reading a blog about school administration (boring), save it for when you’re back at work and need to waste time.

2.  Read an iPad (books are so yesterday).

3.  Talk to your family.  Or if you don’t care for your family, talk to someone else’s.

4.  Sleep (from the picture you can see Buddy the Dog has taken my advice on this one).

5.  Go to the movies.  Tom Cruise needs the money and we all need $12 nachos.

6.  Take a walk because in about one week we will all come to the conclusion we’re fat (in retrospect, lay off the nachos and invest the $12).

7.  Write your own blog (this would take some of the pressure off me and also give me something to read at work).

8.  Pick up trash (this just seems like the right thing to do).

9.  Clean out the junk drawer you know we all have.  As an added bonus, you will no doubt find the 47 batteries you are about to need on Christmas morning.  Plus, this will save you a trip to the gas station in your pajamas.

10.  Go shopping and get your spouse a very special Christmas gift.  They will not only love it, but will owe you for all of 2012 (I’m personally counting on this one).


Merry Christmas.  If you need me I will chasing the Evil Spawn down the side of a mountain (skiing).

I look forward to starting the new year on crutches.

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Self-Esteem Poster for Students.

This got such a response on my other blog, I thought  I would share it here (for a much, much bigger audience).

I think this picture should be in every school in the world.

“They laugh at you because you’re different, but they are actually very immature.”


Truer words have never been spoken.

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Your Kid is Great. Mine is Mine.


parent-610I can’t be the only teacher, school administrator, or parent for whom this is a problem.

I have a great deal of patience with other people’s kids.

In most cases, I see them in only the best light.

I always try to give them the benefit of the doubt and second chances as warranted.

Until proven differently, I assume they are telling me the truth.

If they make mistakes, I try to help them make the right choices to correct them.

After all, mistakes happen.

I know they aren’t perfect and they just need some gentle guidance as they transform from an adolescent to an adult.

Time and maturity will certainly lead them down the right path.

Then there’s my kid.

What an idiot.

The odds of her living to see the age of 18 and being able to walk out of my house under her own power is not good.

Not good at all.

If I don’t snap the next time she says something sarcastic, it will be a miracle.

If I hear her say one more time “I’m doing my best”, I’m going to lose it.

Her best doesn’t seem to be good enough.

A-‘s are unacceptable.

Bad choices are not allowed.

Don’t even get me started on the rolling of her eyes.

Forget a book at home?  Instant grounding of a minimum of 1,000 days.

No mistakes allowed.  No second chances. 

She was raised better than that.

How long can I be expected to remind her it’s time to study.  Or practice piano.  Or to get a bulldozer to pick up the clothes in her bedroom floor?

When I coach her in basketball, I have to fight the urge to run onto the court and smack her upside the head with her own arm (I’m assuming this is wrong).

I haven’t the patience to raise this child.

I’m not sure our house is big enough for the both of us.

But the kids at school.  All 1,000 of them.  They are great.

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Parents and Coaches See Things From Different Perspectives.

coachhatEveryone has a tendency to see the world from their own unique perspective.

Democrats see it one way.

Republicans see it another.

It doesn’t make them wrong.

Actually, it makes both sides wrong and absolutely clueless, but that’s another blog (is a Moderate 3rd Party too much to ask for?)

Students see the world differently than teachers.

Young adults have different ideas and views than older ones.

It’s good to have diversity of opinions.

You see it in music.  Every generation is drawn towards a new (and usually louder) style.

Every prom since 1900, parents have been convinced the world is about to end because of the inappropriate way teenagers dance (personally, I blame Glenn Miller, Elvis, Axl Rose, and Lady GaGa).

Of course, they’ve all forgotten how disturbed their parents were when they danced (little heathens).

But these differences are good.

They’re what makes the world go round (actually it’s love).

I see the same thing with parents and coaches.

They couldn’t be more opposite in how they view things.

And by things, I mean playing time.

Coaches aren’t perfect (trust me, I was one…  in a life far far away).

But all coaches are generally trying to accomplish the same goal.  They want to win (and of course, help produce upstanding citizens who pay taxes, obey laws, and mow their lawns).

They may not play the same players we would, but they believe they’re being as fair as possible.

Seldom are they not giving someone a chance because it’s part of a sinister master plan.

Parents see things from a different angle.

Usually the same angle they first viewed during childbirth (which by the way… wasn’t the most pleasant sight for me…).

They are locked in on their own kid, sort of oblivious to everything else (and all the other people’s children).

I came up with this theory (and thousands of other ones) over the course of talking to hundreds of parents.

I’ve yet to meet the mom or dad who is upset because the coach plays their child TOO much.

After all of these conversations about how a coach is ruining everything (i.e. college scholarship), I’ve yet to hear the following even once.

My child shouldn’t be starting.  My child shouldn’t get so many__________ (shots, serves, at-bats, carries, receptions, goals, hits, spikes, chances, opportunities, etc.).

I’m still waiting for the parent who requests a coach who yells more, practices less, and pays little or no attention to their kid.

I keep thinking after all of these years, I will eventually run into someone who sees what the coach sees.

But it’s never happened and probably never will, but I guess that’s okay.

The coach shouldn’t see things the same way parents do.

After all, the parents were at the hospital the day their child was born and the coach was probably at practice.

And those are two way different jobs.

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Little Kids Says the Most Honest Things.

boyMe:  “Hi.”

Little boy:  “Are you Mr. Superintendent?”

Me:  “Yes.”

Little boy:  “My dad says you are great.”

Me:  “Thanks.”

Little boy”  “My mom says you’re terrible.”

Me:   Speechless.

My job performance is evidently 50/50.  Pretty good. I’ll take it.

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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.