Searching for Sanity? Turn Off Your Technology.


It is my hope that through this blog someone at some point actually learns something.Take One Day Off. The World Will Survive.

I know it’s not likely, but hope is all I’ve got.

Many times, I know the advice I’m giving is directed squarely at me.

So lets hope today, someone learns something. 

This is my plan.

Technology is great.

It’s also suffocating.

When you are a new principal or superintendent, you are constantly told to communicate, be active in the community, be seen at school, and respond to questions and concerns as quickly as possible.

In this day and age, you can literally be "at" work 24 hours a day.

You can receive and send messages/information all day, every day.

You can check your email while eating, mowing, walking, and seconds before you fall asleep or within moments of waking up.

It’s great.

And it can literally suck the life out of you (I apologize for the language, but sometimes it’s nice to work blue).

That’s why I have this new plan.

No technology.

At least one day a week.  Or more likely, at least part of one day during the week.

I’m thinking Sundays may work best for me.

No emails.  No blogs.  No Facebook.  No Twitter.  No phone calls.

No school.

I’m going underground.  Off the radar.  Incognito.

Surely these same school buildings that have been standing for 100 years will survive one more day if I turn off my phone.

And if they don’t, there probably won’t be school on Monday anyway.

It’s easy to be needed. 

It’s much harder to realize everyone else will be just fine without you.

I’m officially copyrighting "No Technology Day for Administrators."  From now on, my speeches in front of literally thousands and thousands of people will include not only a push for administrators using technology, but also a push not to use technolgy.

At least one day a week.

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Parenting.


It’s the constant struggle between making your child’s life easier
and your life more complicated.
Who's in Charge?

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Do You Know What Your Kids are Tweeting and Texting?


I get it, I’m old.Kids Are Good.  But Their Texts and Tweets Sometimes Aren't.

Keith Richards has better hearing than me (that would be a Rolling Stones guitar player reference kids).

My eye site gets worse by the day.  I wear contacts, but also need glasses to read anything smaller than a 24 font.

I just know my next pet will be a guide dog (sorry Buddy, but I need more than your sweet sweet love).

But old doesn’t have to mean naive.

Or just plain stupid.

If you have kids, I’m begging you to be aware.

Here is what I see and experience on a daily basis.

Technology is great.  But just like alcohol and cars, students are sometimes to young and/or immature to handle it.

The great thing about the world today is all of this new technology making the world smaller.

The bad thing for parents with teenagers is it’s making the world smaller.

Trust your kids, but don’t be a moron.

Check their Twitter accounts.

Then check their cell phone texts.

If you ask them if you can and they get mad or defensive, you’re on to something.

As a tired old school administrator, I’ve learned a few things over the years.

One, never eat food prepared by a student (figured this one out the hard way).

Two, never ever smell anything when a student says "Hey, smell this!"  Odds aren’t in your favor that it’s going to be good (if it’s food they’ve prepared, revert back to my last sentence).

Lastly, anyone between the ages of 8 and 18 is a lot smarter than you might think.

My hope is when parents check their children’s phone or social media they aren’t surprised by what they see.

But I won’t be surprised if they are.

Follow your kids on Twitter and Facebook.  It can’t hurt.

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Our Presidential Candidates Learned Nothing in Kindergarten.


Last night, our country sat through the second of three Presidential Debates (it was like detention for America).Stop Acting Like Children.

Just my opinion (it’s my blog after all), President Obama and Mr. Romney acted like spoiled immature children.

And that’s an insult to spoiled immature children everywhere.

If they talked that way in school, we would have big trouble.

And by we, I mean them.

Did they not learn anything in kindergarten?

Did they not learn to play fair?

Did they not learn to say I’m sorry when they hurt somebody’s feelings?

I wonder if they washed their hands before the debate?

Did they take a nap beforehand?

Do they not understand when you go out into the world, you need to stick together?  It’s one for all, not one against one.

Did their teachers and parents not teach them how to talk nicely?

Did they not learn that in order to get respect, you have to show others respect? 

Did they miss the day when they should have learned to listen to other peoples’ opinions without interrupting?

They probably weren’t embarassed by their behavior, but I was embarassed for them (this is how I always feel about junior high boys).

I may be the only one, but I’m not comfortable electing a President who doesn’t seem to have the basic skills and understanding I expect from a 5 year old.

I know two gentlemen who need a time out.  And I bet they would color outside the lines if someone wasn’t watching them.

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Buddy the Dog Eats Better Than You.


The woman whom I’m related to by marriage just made vegetarian treats for Buddy the Dog. They Do Look Tasty.

I was given strict orders to take them out of the oven in 15 minutes.

And then wait another 15 minutes to give him one, so he doesn’t burn his mouth.

The world is ending. Save yourself.

You can find more sad and pathetic facts about me on my Facebook page.

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The Gangs Are Coming. They Are Just Running a Little Behind Schedule.


When I first started teaching, one of the big issues was gangs.Be Aware.

I can remember sitting through presentations that taught us what to look for.

Behaviors.  Colors.  Symbols.  And the always scary bandanas (we banned them just to be safe).

As teachers, we had to be careful and diligent so our schools and communities wouldn’t be taken over by these hoodlums.

They were coming from the city in souped up Chevys and we had to be ready.

Evidently, we were the first line of defense against crack-dealing gun-toting gang bangers.

I did my best, all while focusing on trying to get the 9th graders to stop talking in Keyboarding class.

Turns out, my best was pretty good because as far as I know the Chicago gangs left our farm kids alone.

As I look back, schools can sometimes be overly proactive.

Gangs.  Y2KSwine Flu.

If it’s new and scary, we do everything possible to stop it.

Sort of like cell phones.

Eight years ago, they were going to ruin our youth.

Actually, they probably have but not in the way we anticipated.

Educators thought if students were allowed to bring them into school, mayhem would insue.

It would be worse than a gang member who had swine flu and computer problems all rolled into one.

Cell phones were the enemy.

And we would crush them.

Turns out we were all idiots.

Now we all have cell phones and we can’t put them down or turn away.

Cell phones have stolen our attention span, but our kids seem to be okay.

Just a tip – if you see a student wearing red, blue, or black… call the authorities.  There’s a pretty good chance they have guns and drugs.  I learned this in my meeting 18 years ago.  Or they could, simply look good in red, blue, or black… but don’t take any chances.

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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.