School Administrators Joke #1: How Coaches Become Principals.


This is a brand new feature on PrincipalsPage.com.

Jokes about us.

We can’t take ourselves too seriously…You Make a Horse Laugh and You've Done Something.

because we have to realize, they (and by they, I mean everyone… remember a little paranoia keeps you sharp and on your toes) are not laughing with us, but at us.

I came up with this feature just moments ago as I sprinted (I mean ran… I mean jogged… actually, to be honest it is more of a walk/shuffle) through my daily (sometimes daily, often it is more of a few times a week) exercise program.

A few days ago, someone (a.k.a. @tjshay via twitter) sent my wife this joke about principals. I had heard it before, but had forgotten it (because I am so busy, I can’t remember everything… or possibly I am just old and forgetful).

The joke.

“Qualifications to be a Principal. A Master’s Degree and two consecutive losing seasons.”

Makes me smile every time I think about it.

Probably because in so many cases it is true. Let it be noted…my last season of coaching resulted in the kids having a winning season (I say kids because it was all them… very little of me).

I like to think I have a great sense of timing. Get out right before things go bad. Don’t overstay your coaching welcome. Leave on a winning note. Let the next coach deal with the rebuilding.

So that is what I did. I saw the writing on the wall. I got out. The very next season the kids had a record of 24 and 5.

I have said it before, but it deserves repeating. I am an idiot.

As usual, the joke was on me.

True story: I met a gentleman from Texas who got “promoted” to high school principal after having 2 losing seasons in a row as head football coach. The “promotion” came with a $7,000 pay cut.

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A Politician Wants Drivers Licences Revoked for Dropouts: How Did Educators Not Think of This?


No ALL Student Drivers are Bad....This link was sent to me by a loyal reader of the blog (I can neither confirm nor deny that they are housed in the correctional system with a great deal of free time on their hands).

United States Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Politician-Ill. political party doesn’t matter because I don’t think there is an ounce of difference between a Democrat and a Republican) proposed taking away the driver’s licenses of high school dropouts.

This upset the leaders of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).

My only question is why?

As in, why has it taken so long for a politician to figure out this riddle? Students work harder and are more likely to stay in school when a carrot (i.e. driver’s license) is dangled in front of them.

Who knew?

Next, a politician will be telling us that students who play sports and participate in extracurricular activities will work harder in order to stay eligible. Shocker.

Or maybe they will let us know that they believe most young people study harder for their Driver’s License test than they do for an English exam. I am stunned.

And why are the two caucuses upset? Don’t they want their group’s children to stay in school?

If holding a drivers license over their heads keeps them from dropping out, isn’t that a good thing?

Won’t these students have a chance to earn more money over the course of their lifetimes, hold better jobs, and possibly attend colleges if they have high school diplomas?

What’s the downside here? Am I missing something?

Sure, you can always point out the exception to the rule.

A student might have to drop out to support himself. There might be a girl who has to leave high school to raise her baby.

But there is a reason they call situations like these… exceptions.

I am confused (yes, again).

Why don’t we pass education related laws to help the majority of kids?

When did having a driver’s license become a right and not a privilege?

Why can’t we have a law in place that takes into account that a student may drop out and lose his or her license but it can be reinstated once they receive a GED?

And most importantly, why did Rep. Emanuel come up with this solution to help curtail dropouts before those of us in education?

What?

This idea has been discussed, proposed, and rehashed in every teacher’s lounge in America since the beginning of time?

Who knew?

Oh yea. Educators did.

And something else we know.

States issue licenses, not the federal government (who knew teaching social studies would come in so handy?). While I appreciate Rep. Emanuel’s intentions, I am not sure it is his problem to solve.

But I could be wrong. I did study harder for my Driver’s License Exam than for the Constitution Test.

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My Childhood Dream Came True. Almost.


It's a Baseball.When I was a kid my dream was to play professional baseball (yes it’s true, I didn’t grow up wanting to be a school administrator… I like to share these things before you hear them on the street).

I held on to this dream up until about a year ago.

Reality finally set in around my 40th birthday. I came to the conclusion that the phone wasn’t going to ring. I am not going to lie; it was painful, but I believe it allowed me to move forward with my life. I felt it was a real sign of maturity (but, the mourning process did take awhile).

Sure, when this realization set in… there was some cursing and a few tears, but eventually I got over it (if you call crying myself to sleep in a fetal position after rocking back and forth for 14 hours, getting over it).

It was true; I would never take the field for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Their loss (if you sense a hint of anger, you would be correct).

I had all of the tools to be successful in the majors.

Actually, I didn’t…have any tools.

The one thing that held me back? Talent.

Good genetics is a cruel, cruel mistress. I was only 7 inches too short, 60 pounds too light, and threw like a girl (my apologies to all girls, especially the ones that can throw).

Anyway, I have moved on. Put all of this ugliness behind me.

Then it happened.

The phone rang.

I got a call to take the field at Busch Stadium with the St. Louis Cardinals.

I just knew they would come to their senses. I almost felt badly for the poor language directed at them during my 40th birthday party (sorry Cardinals, sorry neighbor kids who overheard, sorry Pastor).

My first career choice was finally becoming a reality.

I would be at the game and I would be ready.

I arrived early and got loosened up. Mentally I was prepared to help the team win the game.

Music was playing throughout the stadium as I got ready to jog in from behind the outfield wall in right field.

I had spent my whole life getting ready for this moment. Nothing could stop me.

The gate opened. I could feel the butterflies churning in my stomach.

I ran two steps and then heard an 80 year old usher yell, “slow down buddy, you are going to run over one of the Girl Scouts.”

Yes, I was at the game with my daughter’s Girl Scout troop.

They had been invited to walk around the field before the game. And bring their parent(s).

I could have sworn during the phone call that the team said they needed me to pitch, not chaperone.

Once again, my dream was dead.

Yet another example of God having a sense of humor.

I am more and more sure of it each day.

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Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Drag Me Back In.


Softball... It's Better Than Soccer.Soccer is over.

Let’s all take a moment to comprehend the significance of this event. I would invite everyone over for a celebration of cake and ice cream, but I don’t have the time or the interest in having people in my house.

Plus, you don’t know where I live. And if you do, I just find that creepy (and a little sad).

While soccer has ended, I haven’t had much time off (it ended just in time; right before I went insane from watching a pack of 1st graders chase the ball… why can’t they just SPREAD OUT!?).

You see, the unemployed one’s softball season started about 12 seconds after the last soccer game ended.

My daughter literally walked off the soccer field and grabbed her softball glove (the pink one… don’t ask… something about it needs to match her outfit and her hair thingies).

I thought my coaching career had ended when I took my first job in administration.

My daughter doesn’t seem to have time to get a job, but she sure has time for soccer, softball, swimming, skiing, riding her bike, going to science camp, being a girl scout, and the 17 other things that we have to drive her to and from.

I have noticed that helping run a school district takes less time and organization than it does to schedule and provide transportation for her assorted activities.

As if being in charge of her taxi service wasn’t enough work for us, we volunteered to coach (again… won’t I ever learn?). Hopefully the Queen of Technology can whip up an Excel spreadsheet for the stats (although, now she prefers Google Spreadsheets, whatever that is).

Let’s all take another moment to ask ourselves… “Am I a glutton for punishment for coaching or just a moron?”

Don’t answer that, I think the answer came to me about 7 minutes into the first practice.

Have you ever tried to teach 1st and 2nd grade girls to hit, throw, catch, run the bases, and everything else that is involved in playing softball?

By the way, I don’t know why the 2nd baseman doesn’t stand directly on 2nd base, so I wish they would stop asking.

Coaching kids this age (or any age) can be complicated.

Plus, their hair is in constant need of being fixed. Although I must say they do look stunning in their matching pink shoes, shorts, gloves, batting helmets, and those hair thingies (when they stay in place).

Who knew NIKE made softball cleats with a pink swoosh on the side (actually the swoosh comes in many colors and it can be changed to match a certain young ladies outfit… which I have done 14 times… but never again… unless she asks and smiles at me).

I must admit that as much as I have tried to teach the girls, they are teaching me more.

The first thing I learned is that they don’t like it when the coach “accidently” hits them with a pitch. Sorry. I am doing the best that I can.

I have also noticed that hitting my own kid doesn’t really bother me. I am a horrible parent, but she needs to learn that the inside part of the plate belongs to ME!

Another thing is, while I knew this would be different than coaching junior high or high school boys, I had no idea how much.

Stay with me here. You may want to sit down.

The girls actually listen.

Yes, that’s right. Girls seem to listen better than boys.

Was I the only one who didn’t know about this?

You tell them to do something and they actually look at you and listen to what you’re saying.

And they don’t play in the dirt. Or spit. Or scratch.

Unfortunately, the girls can’t do everything we show them, but the important thing is they try.

I am astounded that I have stumbled upon this revelation of girls listening better than boys.

When does this stop? When do boys become the better listeners? What changes that makes us so attentive as husbands and fathers?

I hope someone out there knows the answer.

But if you Skype me, I probably won’t hear you.

SportsCenter is on and the louder you talk; the louder I will be forced to turn up the television… in my head.

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Sometimes it Takes 3 Girls to Hit a Home Run.


Sportsmanship.In continuing with our new found theme of recognizing young people who go above and beyond… I want to share example #952 with you.

This was sent to me by a loyal reader of the PrincipalsPage.com Blog (Thanks Angie… please visit her blog Human Voices Wake Us).

While these are college-aged students, I still think it is appropriate to share their story of good sportswomanship (by the way that is Angie’s line… I have now officially been out-funnied on my own blog… it was just a matter of time).

Is it me, or as I get older (and older) students in college now begin to look like they are 13?

When student teachers show up at my school, I often mistake them for Girls Scouts (at least half of the time).

I never know if they are going to ask me where the office is, or try to sell me cookies (by the way, I do love the Thin Mints).

But my love of the cookies and the fact that I am aging faster than a President is not the point.

Please enjoy the following article and video.

I hope my daughter grows up to be just like these players. Not the young lady who hits the home run, but the two who provide more than a helping hand.

Oh who am I kidding? I wouldn’t disown her if she hit the home run.

Foes carry softball player around bases after her first homer.
By the Associated Press
In print: Thursday, May 1, 2008

Portland, Ore.

With two runners on base and a strike against her, Sara Tucholsky of Western Oregon University uncorked her best swing and did something she had never done, in high school or college. Her first home run cleared the centerfield fence.

But it appeared to be the shortest of dreams come true when she missed first base, started back to tag it and collapsed with a knee injury.

She crawled back to first but could do no more. The first-base coach said she would be called out if her teammates tried to help her. Or, the umpire said, a pinch runner could be called in, and the homer would count as a single.

Then, members of the Central Washington University softball team stunned spectators by carrying Tucholsky around the bases Saturday so the three-run homer would count — an act that contributed to their own elimination from the playoffs.

Central Washington first baseman Mallory Holtman, the career home run leader in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference, asked the umpire if she and her teammates could help Tucholsky.

The umpire said there was no rule against it.

So Holtman and shortstop Liz Wallace put their arms under Tucholsky’s legs, and she put her arms over their shoulders. The three headed around the basepaths, stopping to let Tucholsky touch each base with her uninjured leg.

“The only thing I remember is that Mallory asked me which leg was the one that hurt,” Tucholsky said. “I told her it was my right leg and she said, ‘Okay, we’re going to drop you down gently and you need to touch it with your left leg,’ and I said, ‘Okay, thank you very much.’ ”

“We started laughing when we touched second base,” Holtman said. “I said, ‘I wonder what this must look like to other people.’ ”

“We didn’t know that she was a senior or that this was her first home run,” Wallace said Wednesday. “That makes the story more touching than it was. We just wanted to help her.”

Tucholsky’s injury is a possible torn ligament that will sideline her for the rest of the season, and she plans to graduate in the spring with a degree in business. Her homer sent Western Oregon to a 4-2 victory, ending Central Washington’s chances of winning the conference and advancing to the playoffs.

As for Tucholsky, the 5-foot-2 rightfielder was focused on her pain. “I really didn’t say too much. I was trying to breathe,” she told the Associated Press in a telephone interview Wednesday.

“I hope I would do the same for her in the same situation,” Tucholsky said.

As the trio reached home plate, Tucholsky said, the entire Western Oregon team was in tears.

For coach Pam Knox, the gesture resolved the dilemma the injury presented. “She was going to kill me if we sub and take (the homer) away. But at the same time I was concerned for her.”

“In the end, it is not about winning and losing so much,” Holtman said. “It was about this girl. She hit it over the fence and was in pain, and she deserved a home run.”

Please take a moment to watch this Amazing Softball Story.

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Example Number 814: Why I Trust Kids More Than Adults.


Trust Kids... Adults Not So Much.I have no idea if the following will become a big story in education, but it should.

Unfortunately it isn’t as exciting as a teacher dating a student, a death or one of the other tragic things that local news stations and newspapers want to cover about education on a daily basis.

But it does deserve a bigger audience then it will probably get.

I have always held the theory that good kids will almost always make the right choice if given the opportunity (which means if adults will stay out of the way).

The following article (from ESPN.com… my arch nemesis) tells a story of some young ladies who made a great decision. They could have easily just accepted what the judge decided, but they sacrificed their own glory and did what was right.

After winner DQ’d, rest of field shows gesture of sportsmanship
ESPN.com news services
May 24, 2008

Bellarmine Prep senior Nicole Cochran should have been celebrating her successful defense of the Class 4A girls 3,200-meter title at the Star Track XXVI meet, Washington’s state high school track and field championships.

Instead, there was controversy, a protest, and then — an ultimate act of generosity and sportsmanship.

Cochran, who is attending Harvard this fall, had crossed the finish line first with a personal-best time of 10 minutes, 36 seconds in Friday’s meet. But minutes later, according to the News Tribune of Tacoma, meet officials notified Bellarmine Prep’s coach, Matt Ellis, that Cochran was disqualified.

According to the News Tribune, officials ruled that Cochran had taken three consecutive steps on the inside line along the far curve on the next-to-last lap of the race, which is when she had made her move to take the lead and break free of the pack.

It is a violation that results in disqualification.

“There’s not really much I can do,” Cochran told the Tri-City Herald. “We tried to appeal it. It’s very unfortunate, but sometimes it’s what you get dealt.”

Shadle Park (Spokane) High School’s Andrea Nelson, who finished in 10:40.04, was declared the winner.

The awards ceremony took place, then Nelson got off the awards stand, walked over to Cochran, removed the first-place medal from around her neck and draped it over Cochran’s.

“It’s your medal,” Nelson said to her, the Tri-City Herald reported. “You’re the state champion.”

The rest of the top eight finishers then held an impromptu ceremony of their own. Exchanging their medals — Nelson received the second-place medal, Sarah Lord of Redmond High School took the third-place medal, and so on.

“That’s not how you win state,” Nelson said. “She totally deserves it. She crushed everybody.”

In making this decision, the girls may have had some guidance from their parents and coaches, but ultimately they were the ones who made the right choice.

Congratulations to the athletes, their parents, coaches, and schools.

And just because I used your article, ESPN.com, don’t think I am not still coming after you.

I am. Be afraid…very afraid.

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Kiss Your Loved Ones Goodbye; The End is Near.


I'm Guessing They Weren't in Love.  And I'm Guessing He Would Get Arrested Today if He Did That.Take my advice and in the next 24 hours make contact with all the people you love and hold dear. Call, email, drive, fly… do whatever it takes.

Don’t let this opportunity pass because you will regret it for the rest of your life.

The end is near.

So, technically the regret won’t last that long. But, I digress.

Why is the world spiraling out of control? Why are we on the cusp of total mayhem? What has happened that is so monumental that life on this planet is about to end?

Simple.

Guess who scored a goal in her soccer game?

Yes, that’s right. My jobless daughter actually kicked (remember, no hands) a ball past 14 defenders and a world class goalie to put the Orthopedic Clinic up 1-0 on our way to yet another victory (final score 3-0, but who is counting).

At least that is the way I remember it.

I have never seen another soccer team as big, as fast, and as athletic as our opponent.

Their defense was nearly impenetrable as the jobless, slightly lazy one made her way down the field.

She weaved her way in and out of defenders with amazing skill and precision. As she made her way towards the goal you could see that they were going to be no match for her talent (she gets most of her athletic skills from her mom).

Then it happened. She reared back, as only a future Olympian can and took a mighty kick at the ball.

Their team was obviously overmatched, and I don’t mind saying a little scared.

She fired the ball at the goal. As our fans yelled, and theirs screamed in horror, the soccer ball crossed the line and went into the goal at nearly 90 miles an hour.

I felt a little sad for the goalie as she fell to her knees and wept.

The jobless one looked into their section of fans and taunted them with a little move that she likes to call, “The Happy Dance.”

And then I blacked out.

My wife said as soon as she scored, I passed out and hit my head on the floor.

I don’t remember a thing.

But, the wife does. She saw what really happened.

We were playing a team that was missing 4 kids (vacation, trips to the water fountain, 2 in the potty, etc.).

The goalie was evidently distracted (and not world class, but very scrappy for a 31 pound kindergartner). The defense was confused (and a couple were sad because they missed lunch… these games that start at 12:00 pm are not for the faint of heart).

My daughter didn’t exactly weave in and out of defenders. It was more like she was in the right place at the right time.

And she didn’t exactly fire a shot at 90 miles an hour. She actually bumped the ball… by accident… with the side of her foot.

Our fans didn’t yell. Theirs didn’t scream.

But, she was very excited as the ball trickled into the goal. It was almost like the whole thing happened in slow motion.

Maybe that’s because when she runs, it looks like slow motion.

Anyways, it was a goal. And then she jumped up and down like this was the greatest moment of her life.

Then I fell and hit my head.

She has already forgotten about this athletic achievement and moved on to playing sidewalk chalk.

As for me, I will remember this as the moment when her Hall of Fame soccer career first began.

Go see your loved ones. The end is near.

I am going to take a nap. My head is killing me.

Odds are when I wake up; this will all have been a dream.

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Turns Out the Soccer Gods May Get the Last Laugh.


Closests Thing I Could Find to a Soccer God.  David Beckham.My distaste for soccer has been well documented. For all of my complaining and making fun of the “sport”, my daughter continues to rank it as her favorite activity.

Maybe when she gets to her early teen years, she will meet a nice truck driver and run away from home and put this foolish soccer business behind her.

I am still hopeful that DNA testing can prove I am not her father. Time will tell. Please keep a good thought for me until the lab gets back to us with the results.

Until then, she has decided that we are going to spend our weekends at the local YMCA participating in an indoor soccer league.

Instantly, I recognized there were a few things wrong with this plan. One, it involves we (as in me). Two, the local YMCA is 25 miles away (not exactly my idea of local). And three, it’s soccer (I will continue to make the argument that anything that wants to be recognized as a sport must involve the use of hands).

Being the good father (alleged father I might add), I volunteered to help as an assistant coach of this train wreck. I figured the worst case scenario would be getting a free t-shirt out of the deal.

Shortly after I signed the entry form and made this deal with devil, the YMCA called. I was hopeful that they had gotten a hold of my criminal record and would have to deny me the opportunity of babysitting these small children for the next 10 weeks.

This exclusion as an assistant coach would be based on the fact that I was accused of a string of felonies during my misspent youth (accused, never convicted).

But sadly, no.

They were calling to inform me that I had been named head coach of my daughter’s team. I specifically put on the information sheet that I know nothing about soccer,
hated the “sport” and anyone involved with it, and that I also have anger management issues.

This evidently made me an excellent candidate and qualified me to be in charge of an entire team of 7 and 8 year olds.

I guess I should have included my drinking problem, my ADD, my penchant for cursing, and the fact that I carry a concealed weapon (hindsight is so 20/20).

During the phone call, I was told that I must attend a mandatory meeting or I will not be allowed to act as a head coach.

Don’t tempt me people.

For my daughter’s sake (at least until the test comes back), I went to the meeting. Turns out there is an entire secret society of dads who hate soccer, but will do anything for their daughters (I am assuming they are the actual fathers).

I was feeling pretty good when I realized that I was surrounded by dads who knew as little, or less than I do about Guatemala’s national pastime.

Until one of them announced he was from South Africa. Crap. He promised not to beat us too badly, but I am not going to get my hopes up. After all, he knows all the insights about the game, such as positions, rules, and strategy.

Still things didn’t seem too bad. I can hold my own with the other coaches and who cares if I lose 24-0 against the South Africans.

At least in that game there will be actual goals scored.

The only thing left to do was pick up my shirts and get my team name. The nice (and tolerant) man in charge handed me 10 black jerseys.

Yes! Crossing my lower elementary band of soccer hoodlums will be unthinkable. We will be the Oakland Raiders of the YMCA. No one (except the South Africans) will even think of messing with us.

We will roll right through our schedule. I was already considering where to put the championship trophy in my office.

Teams will rue the day when they faced us on a cold and bitter Saturday morning.

At this point, I must admit that I was almost getting excited. I was giddy with anticipation as I turned the first shirt over to see what business was lucky enough to sponsor my team (yes, at this point they had become “my team”).

Would it be a sporting goods store? Possibly a funeral home. Maybe even a liquor store. Could I get lucky and it’s the local bail bondsman?

We need to be sponsored by a big, rough and tough company so the other teams know we mean business.

I am sorry to say none of these are sponsoring us.

I turned the shirt over and much to my horror… we are being sponsored by the local Orthopedic Clinic. We are so getting our behinds kicked (literally, because you can’t use your hands).

Somewhere, soccer guy is not laughing with me, but at me.

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Take My Advice; If a Coach Throws a Basketball at Your Head, Duck.


Duck!!!I was reminded this week of an incident that happened to me when I was attempting to play high school basketball (attempting is the key word to focus on here).

This story usually pops into my head when adults say, “Kids sure have changed since we were in school.”

I have my answer to that, but first you have to sit through my sad little story.

During my high school basketball career (brief mind you, based on playing time), I was every coach’s dream. A complete player. In my mind, I had all the tools to be great.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t dribble, pass, shoot and I was slow, couldn’t jump, and certainly didn’t rebound. I tried rebounding once. Didn’t like it, so I chose to focus on other aspects of the game at which I was equally as bad.

In my defense, I was always on time for practice and games. I don’t mean to brag, but I was even early on several occasions.

Although as I look back, the coach was probably hoping that I would be late or better yet, not show up at all.

One day in practice, I was playing point guard (playing is probably too strong of a word). Coach told me to run a play and I did my best.

Turns out Coach wasn’t looking for “my best”, he was actually hoping that I could run the play correctly.

He stood underneath the basket holding a ball on his hip. I believe he was wearing those really short gray coaching shorts with the big elastic waistband. Cool at the time, but disturbing today.

As I recall the sequence of events went something like this; Coach calls the play, I run the play incorrectly, Coach yells “Dammit”, I turn my back to him, he wings the basketball at my head trying to knock some sense and hopefully some talent into me.

That is a lot of information in one paragraph, so let’s break down the details.

For years I thought my first name was “Dammit”. I say this because when Coach yelled, that word always preceded my last name.

I never even thought about it at the time, and I certainly never ran home and told my parents. Wouldn’t want Coach any madder than he usually was at me (my advice to kids…you never poke the angry bear with a stick).

Well on that particular day, I decided to take a stand. In retrospect, not the best idea I ever had. I probably wasn’t thinking straight; no doubt from the blow to the head from a basketball zooming at me at 112 miles per hour.

But in the infinite wisdom of a teenager, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Surely, Coach would stop me and apologize. Nope.

Evidently, he also picked that particular day to take a stand. And his stand was “don’t let the door hit you in the behind on the way out of the gym.”

I found myself out in the parking lot in my practice clothes. No choice but to walk home and get some sympathy from the parents.

Another in an unfortunate series of bad ideas.

As I made my way to the house, my dad was mowing the yard. My gut feeling was my day was just about to get worse.

And for the first time on that day, I was right.

He stopped the mower (I later learned that dads don’t like to stop the mower… I wish I had known that little nugget of information before I left practice).

To make a long story short, he wanted to know why I was home. I attempted to tell my sad story about Coach, the blow to the head, and then I was going to ask if my legal name on the birth certificate was “Dammit.”

Turns out he not only didn’t he like stopping the mower, but he didn’t care for the story either. In fact, he didn’t even let me finish.

He cut me off about halfway through and said, “I don’t care what happened, go back to practice and apologize to Coach and see if he will take you back.”

Not exactly the response I was looking for.

There is nothing sadder then a teenage boy schlepping home from quitting practice, except that same boy crawling back to practice 15 minutes later.

I went back. Coach shook his head in disgust (which really didn’t bother me because I had seen that look about 1,216 times before).

I don’t remember exactly what he said but it was something like, “Dammit, you can’t even quit right. Get back in here.”

That was it. I don’t think it was ever spoken about again; at home or with Coach.

No lawyers, no meeting with the Principal, no phone call to the Superintendent, and no special School Board Meeting.

What Coach did wasn’t right, but I was no worse for the wear. I grew up in a world where teachers and coaches were to be respected and sometimes a little feared.

I learned a lot that day that continues to apply to my life.

Run the play right, don’t turn your back; excuses are just that… excuses, dad’s don’t like to be interrupted when mowing, and most of all if someone throws a ball at your head… duck.

So I don’t think kids have changed. Parents have.

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School Buses and Principals. Let the Good Times Roll.


Shouldn't Busses Keep Both Wheels on the Ground?Someone out there has a sense of humor. You may ask yourself, how can I be so sure? Easy.

There are certain things in life that are a constant annoyance. Examples include but are not limited to: wacky weathermen and sportscasters, dial-up internet, scary cab drivers, fast food workers who mess up drive-thru orders, and people who wear blue tooth earpieces (how can these people be so busy that they don’t have the time to lift their cell phone up to their ear).

On top of these daily hassles, the spiritual being in charge (fill in your religious beliefs, or not- here) gave principals a special challenge.
In his (or her) wisdom, he (or she) has given us buses.

At first glance, buses are a wonderful idea. On the outside, they are just big happy yellow vehicles. Little kids grow up dreaming of the day when they can ride the bus to school.

When a preschooler watches videos (whoops….I just dated myself), there is always an exciting cartoon bus with wonderful smiling children looking out the windows. These buses are usually being driven by a very kind driver (and he usually has a mustache… I have no idea why).

These cheerful students aren’t throwing anything, getting out of their seat, putting the windows down too far, or using inappropriate language.

Buses were invented to provide safe and affordable transportation for school-aged children to get to and from school.

But as new school administrators learn in a hurry, there is always (and I mean always) two sides to every story. And buses are no exception.

When one delves a little deeper into the concept of buses, you begin to realize that whoever invented them either disliked principals immensely, or at the very least was having a really bad day. Or more likely, both.

When a teacher is looking for that first job as principal, they find out that the majority of interview questions deal with curriculum, evaluations, goals, staff morale, and discipline.

The discipline questions are a little misleading, because future principals usually assume they are about situations involving shoving, fighting, or disrespect towards staff members.

As candidates go through the interview process, buses are the furthest thing from a new principal’s mind.

If things go well in the interview, the district makes the candidate an offer to become their next principal. This is a very exciting career moment and the poor naïve candidate still has no idea of what awaits them.

They only have thoughts of more money, a big office, and most importantly, the idea of no longer having to babysit a junior high study hall.

The brand new baby-faced principal starts the new job excited and eager to have a positive impact on students and the school. But much to their surprise, the fun is just about to begin.

By fun, I mean buses. Actually, I don’t mean fun. The word I was searching for was… nightmare. That’s it. Nightmare.

If a principal is hired for $60,000, the financial breakdown is as follows: they are paid $59,981 for taking care of bus troubles and $19 for everything else.

Sounds like a good deal, but the truth is bus troubles are worth more than a measly $59,981. And $19 dollars certainly doesn’t cover everything else.

You may be thinking; how much trouble can buses really be?

It is obvious to me that if you are asking yourself that question; you are not an administrator, or you are a massive goofball who has taken an enormous blow to the head (possibly breaking up a fight on… I dunno… maybe a BUS!)

So there you have it. Buses were put on the earth not to transport children, but as a sick joke on school administrators.

Buses are a daily (actually twice a day…plus field trips and extracurricular activities) source of pain, heartache, suffering, and bloodshed.

And that’s just from the principal.

Starting your day with bus troubles is the worst possible thing that can happen to a principal.

Actually that isn’t completely true. Something worse could have happened the night before when the principal was supervising an athletic event.

But that’s another story (or blog).

If someone needs 842 Barney videos that include storylines about sweet children, buses, and kind (by kind, I mean creepy… I think it is the mustaches or it could be the talking dinosaur) bus drivers, please email me.

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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.