NASSP Principal Leadership Magazine: How Many Friends Do They Think I Have?


Once again, it’s an honor to be included in such a great magazine.Great People.  Great Pictures.

People I barely know continue to say they’ve seen my blog in Principal Leadership Magazine (page 7).

This blog is one of my favorites.

I still don’t understand why they give me so many school pictures.

The logo above is a free plug for the company my school uses.  When they take my picture they do their best to make me look less horrific than normal.  Sadly, more years than not, they fail.

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Society Has Gotten Too Fast.


I have a theory.Ferris is Cool.

Not because I’m smart, but because I’m old (two of the benefits of being old are you can say whatever you want… and eat dinner at 3:30 pm).

I think life is getting easier, but less enjoyable.

The interweb is great.  Stores being open 24/7 is wonderful.  Getting our news and weather whenever we want is nice.

Every day more and more things come along to make our existence more pleasant.

In theory.

Apps are nice.  Movies on demand are great.  Central air certainly has it perks.  Smartphones are cool.

There is no arguing technology is great.

But on the other side of the coin, everything happens all the time.

We’ve lost something.

And I think it’s free time.

Boredom is good because it makes you appreciate other experiences.

And in this day in age, I’m never bored.

Who has the time?

Between work and weekends that are busier than ever, there is no down time.

This weekend I ran (jogged… whatever) a half marathon.

I hadn’t trained nearly enough.  I had a bad foot (worse now).

Yet, I didn’t want to miss running (jogging… whatever… I get it).

Why?

Because I was so looking forward to the 2 hours with no phone.  Or email.  Or resposibilities.

Just running along with thousands of complete strangers who wouldn’t ask me a single question about anything important.

No responsibities other than putting one foot in front of the other (and not wetting myself… runners will understand).

This doesn’t happen often enough.

No, not running a half marathon.

Slowing down for two hours.  Or two minutes.

Maybe I need a skip day like Ferris.  Anyone want to go… Bueller, Bueller, Bueller… anyone?

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School Administration is For Old People.


This weekend I stumbled across a college class full of school administrator wannabees (I have no idea if this is spelled correctly… and I’m too lazy to Google it).Youth is Wasted on the Young.

I was struck by how young they were.

They were children.

In an advanced graduate course.

So cute.  So inquisitive.  So excited (or not) to be spending their Saturday talking about school budgets, finances, and referendums.

Not one of them looking at their watch to see if it was time for class to be over (probably because anyone under 35 doesn’t own a watch).

They were hanging on the professors every word.

And I would say a little foolish.

School administration is a tough game.  Not something children (again.. anyone under 35) should consider pursuing.

At least without careful consideration.

Don’t get me wrong, a young person can do it.  I did (okay, bad example).

But here’s the thing.  Being a school administrator is permanent.

Like death.  Or a neck tattoo.  Or marker (this one made me laugh).

Once you become a principal or superintendent there is no going back.

The teacher’s lounge door locks behind you.

Think of it this way.

If you are 25 and become a school administrator, you are looking at close to 35 years in the same demanding, difficult, sometimes thankless middle-management profession.

I’m not saying it isn’t fun.  Or can’t be done.

I’m just saying it’s a long time.

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Technology in Schools Is a Fad. Trust Me.


Why are we still talking about this?  The constant conversation about the need for technology in schools. Schools Need Less Technology (Work With Me... I'm Making a Point).

Why are we still trying to convince teachers and administrators this is needed?

Some might even say it’s the wave of the future?  Crazy talk if you ask me.

Technology is the "next big thing".

Like automobiles.  Fire.  Batteries.  Movable type.  Bottled water.  Daily showers.

Trust me, these never caught on and neither will technology.

I think the naysayers are right.

Technology is a fad that will never last (like ballpoint pens, air conditioning, laser beams, and Subway… because who in their right mind would pay some  17-year old kid to make them a sandwich?).

There are educators out there who understand this.

They’ve seen this same type of thing happen time and again in education.   This too shall pass.

They are the ones leading the real charge.  They are the ones mumbling and looking at their watches during professional development.

They gather in the hallways (often during class time) and point out what’s wrong with this technology scenario.

Technology isn’t here for the long haul.

Sure, it’s caught our fancy for the moment, but it will disappear.  Trust them.

It’s time we stopped preaching to these people in our schools.  It’s time we followed them.

They are the visionaries.  They are the leaders.

They are the ones we should be following.

These forerunners will no longer hear me trying to bring them over to the side of technology.

From now on, I am all about paper and pencil.

It may not be what the kids want, but it’s what they need (and who knows better what the future needs than the past).

I owe so many people apologies.  I’m sending them all an email apology.

Now, if someone in their buildings would just help them check… because they are also the ones constantly telling me their email machine is broken.

And I for one, would hate for them to be left out.

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Easter Bunny Stopped By. Streak Continues.


Another holiday. 

Another acknowledgement to all that is good in the world.No One is More Surprised Than Me.

Our floppy eared friend showed up.  And she cleaned up.

The Evil Spawn continues to believe.

I sensed a slight hesitation, but not a word was said.

This would be year number 11 if you are keeping score at home.

This process has lasted longer than I ever could have imagined.

Only 260 days until Christmas.

Will she make it?

I hope so.  Because once it’s gone, it’s gone forever.

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Discovery Techbook Review.


Since my trip to Washington, I’ve been very busy.It's the Future.

School.  School.  More school.

And avoiding hamburgers like the plague (which is what I thought I had… and mark my word, you do not want the plague).

Mowing my yard 14 times in March (global warming stinks… but it is a lot warmer).

I’ve also spent a lot of time thinking about Discovery’s Techbook.

I didn’t want to rush right back and write a review.

My concern was I couldn’t do Discovery or the product justice (and I didn’t have time).

My initial reaction to the Techbook… I was just a little bit "under"whelmed.

I think I had my hopes set so high.  After all, this is the company that brought us Mike Rowe, Mythbusters, and American Chopper (by the way… props on the cardboard cutout of Paul Sr. at Discovery Headquarters).

I thought the Techbook would completely transform education.

Rock my world.  Like Poison or Motley Crue (the 80′s were a special time).

I was hoping for everything.

Complete and total transformation.  The universe would never be the same.

Like when ice cubes came along.  Or air conditioning. 

Cable TV.  Indoor plumbing.  McNuggets.  Shoe strings.  Underwear (seems weird, but try to imagine life without them).

Techbook was good.

Really good.

But I had my hopes up for iPad good.

That it would give me something I didn’t even know I needed.

Don’t get me wrong.  Discovery is on the right path.

It’s a company with really smart people who really care about education.  And storms (they like to chase them).

I was just hoping they would jump 20 years into the future.  Call me impatient.

I was impressed enough we hope to try out the Science Techbook in my school.

There is no doubt digital textbooks are the future.

I’m just hoping the future gets here quicker than probably is possible.

My suggestion:  if your school is thinking about buying textbooks… don’t.  Until you try Techbooks.

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Still Best of the Blogs.


We need more superintendents to blog.

If I’m still on the list, we may have a problem.

But thank you AASA and The School Administrator magazine.

Check out the March 2012 issue.

 We Need More Bloggers.

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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.