Midwest Education Technology Conference.


I had the chance to present with my wife, Shannon at the 2014 Midwest Education Technology Conference.METC 2014.

This is what I learned (not shared… learned).

METC is without question, one of the best (if not the best) conferences in the country.

The good people who run it are the most helpful and organized I’ve had the pleasure of working with.

Sure, every hotel conference looks the same.  Of course, except for the carpet.

And the lobbies.  And the lights.  Actually, they all look alike.

But METC is different.

It’s worth your time and money.

If you are in the Midwest, please consider adding their February date to your schedule.

The other thing I learned is my wife is good.

Very good.

But I already knew that, so maybe this doesn’t count as learning something new.

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Why I Love KidCarpet.com.


KidCarpet.com

KidCarpet.com

I don’t blog for money (obviously). 

Or bribes.

Ocassionally, I will blog for a free t-shirt, but that’s not the case here.

A few weeks ago, I was approached about an area rug for an elementary classroom.

As luck would have it, I had both a classroom and a need for a rug.

Who knew?

This is where the good people a KidCarpet.com came along.

They provided a great rug for one of our preschool classrooms.

Please keep in mind I can’t be bought (unless it’s a free t-shirt), so when I say this is a wonderful product you can believe me.

If you find yourself and your school needing a rug or any of their products, check out KidCarpet.com.

You won’t be disappointed.

When you visit their site use the coupon code PrincipalsPage. It is for $20 off and is good until August 31, 2013.

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Why My Generation Believes We Are the Best Generation.


This is not my work.  It’s much funnier.

I received this in an email.  If you are old like me, feel free to look down on those who are younger.

If you are younger than 35, please feel free to roll your eyes.

Those of You Born 1930 – 1979, We Are Survivors.We Are the Best!

First, we survived being born to mothers 
who smoked and/or drank while they were 
pregnant.

They took aspirin, ate blue cheese dressing, 
tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes.

Then after that trauma, we were put to sleep on our tummies in baby cribs covered with bright colored lead-base paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, 
locks on doors or cabinets, and when we rode 
our bikes, we had baseball caps not helmets on our heads.

As infants and children, 
we would ride in cars with no car seats,booster seats, seat belts, air bags, and sometimes no brakes and bald tires.

Riding in the back of a pick-up truck on a warm day 
was always a special treat.  Sometimes we sat in lawn chairs so the wind would blow through our hair and sometimes completely blow us out of the truck.

We drank water 
from the garden hose and not from a bottle.

We shared one soft drink with four friends and no one actually died from this.

We ate cupcakes, white bread, real butter and bacon.  We drank Kool-Aid made with real white sugar and we weren’t overweight.

Why?

Because we were 
always outside playing!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day.  We only had to be home by the time the 
streetlights came on.

No one was able 
to call or text us.  And we were okay.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps.  Then we would ride them down the hill, only to find out 
we forgot the brakes.

After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We did not have PlayStations, Nintendos, or XBoxes.There were no video games, no 550 channels on cable.

No Dish Network.  No Direct TV.  And no Netflix.

No video movies or DVD’s, surround-sound or CD’s,cell phones, personal computers, internet, or chat rooms.

What we had friends and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones, and chipped teeth.

And there was never a lawsuit.  We called these accidents and blamed no one but ourselves.

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt.

The worms did not live in us forever and our parents didn’t rush us to the emergency room.

We were given BB guns for our 10th birthday.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and while we were told it would happen, 
none of us ever lost an eye.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house to talk to them.

Little League had tryouts and not everyone made the team.Those who didn’t had to learn to deal 
with disappointment.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law 
was unheard of.  In the good old day, parents sided with the police.

These generations have produced some of the best 
risk-takers, problem solvers, and inventors in the history of the world.

The past 50 years 
has been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility,and we learned how to deal with it all.

If YOU are one of them?CONGRATULATIONS!

You and your parents/grandparents should be proud.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?

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The $425 Million Powerball is All Mine.


Don’t waste your money on buying a ticket.Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.

I’m winning.

Actually, the woman who I’m relegated to by marriage is winning.  All of "our" money goes in "her" account.

But don’t feel badly for me.  I have total access to "our" money.

Just as long as I don’t spend any of it.  In her defense, she doesn’t spend any of it either.

This explains the bumper sticker on her car "She Who Dies With the Most Wins!".

We decided to buy a Powerball ticket last night.  By we, I mean she said "Stop here, so "we" can buy a Powerball ticket."  I think it’s cute she includes me.

After we purchased the winning ticket (we didn’t win), the woman I’m related to by marriage and chauffeur around so she can gamble "our" money away ($20 for losing tickets) asked what "we" would do with the money when we won (again… for clarification… we are giant losers… so far).

She wants 2 vacation houses.  One on a beach.  One in the woods.

I think a lake house would be the answer, but it’s not "my" money now is it (again, we lost).

The Evil Spawn wants iEverything.  And $1,000,000 in Fun Money.

Seems excessive, but then again I’ve never had $425 million (and never will… even if "we" win) so who am I to judge.

If she is going to be spoiled, might as well go big.

Me, I want nothing.  But a nap.

My concern is if (when) "we" win, how much am I going to have to spend on security?

I have zero interest in getting kidnapped by members of the Mexican Drug Cartel.  I’m not sure why I’m afraid of them, but it just seems like the logical thing to be frightened by.

Actually, "we" decided after the vacation homes and iJunk to take the rest of the money and spend the rest of our lives (length will depend on Cartel) giving it away.

Our foundation will be called "Buddy’s Gift" after Buddy the Dog – the Patriarch of Our Family.

So don’t bother buying a Powerball ticket this week because "we" are winning.

And "we" have big plans to give away the money.

Actually, go ahead and buy a ticket.

It will just make "our" winning amount that much larger.

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The Kid in Purple Pants.


I get a lot of requests to review and recommend books to the readers of this blog.The Kid in the Purple Pants by Pat J. Anderson.

Normally, I pass.

Mainly, because I would hate to endorse something I haven’t read or don’t believe in.

This is not the case with "The Kid in Purple Pants".

I’ve read it.

I laughed.  I cried.

I didn’t really cry because I’m a soulless school administrator, but it was quite good.

Good enough I purchased two copies with my own hard earned money.

As an added bonus, I used to teach with the author, Mr. Pat J. Anderson (soon to be Dr. Anderson… which is HILARIOUS to me), about a million years ago in a life far far away.

We’ve gone on to bigger and better things, but like many educators we both remember our first jobs in education quite fondly.

Oakland, Illinois in the mid 90′s.  It was a crazy time.

For the record, he didn’t ask me to write a blog about the book.

Which is why I did.

Check him and his book out on Facebook.

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Seeking Solitude: Unplugging From An Increasingly Wired World.


Article by Martha Irvine, AP National Writer.We Need Quiet.

"Seeking Solitude".  Click HERE.

I’m more and more convinced that this is an absolute must for teachers, administrators, and students.

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This Will Make Every Teacher Very Happy.


Last week I had a good day because I only worked half of it.Lotterys Are Fun.

At lunch time, I snuck out (and before you tell on me… I filled out the proper paperwork).

I have to sneak out.  If not 197 people stop me.

This is bad.

The good thing is each one of them only "needs a second".

Superintendent Math:  197 people x 1 second = 17 hours and 19 minutes.

So, I was very happy to get out of the building without being stopped.

I spent a beautiful fall day working with a dog like a dog in the yard.  I’m not sure what Buddy does when I’m at school, but I know what he does when I’m home.

He lays in the exact spot where I need to work.

It’s creepy.  Wherever I turn, there he is.

Sleeping.

And snoring.

Note to dog who lives in my house and eats my food:  It’s a big yard.  Go sleep in a flowerbed I’m not weeding.

While I was working, I had an endless stream of ingenious ideas.

Most of which I forgot within two minutes.

The one I remember is golden.

Everyone loves a day off.

Everyone looks forward to it.

How about each school employee gets one Lottery Day Off every five years.

Here is how it works.

Each Friday the school hires an extra sub.

Before first period, the entire staff gathers in the gym for a drawing.

After a drum roll and lots of anticipation, one employee is pulled from a fancy machine filled with ping pong balls.

When your name is pulled, you get to go home.

No questions asked.

Just a bonus day off.

Teachers, administrators, janitors, cooks, secretaries… everybody is eligible.

A day off is great.  An unexpected day off is better.

Everyone would look forward to Fridays, just because of the excitement of not having to stay.  Actually, everyone looks forward to Fridays already, but that’s not important.

I don’t see a downside to this idea. 

Other than the cost of a sub and the bitterness of those who don’t win. 

Now, I just need to find a fancy lottery machine with ping pong balls and a large group of people who want to go home.

One is going to be a lot easier to find than the other…I will let you decide which is which.

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We Should Look at the World Differently.


Things are as bad as we are led to believe.

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Fresh Beagle.


As I get older, I’ve come to realize what’s important in life.

It’s not a big house.  Or owning several cars (including a Classic 2000 Ford Taurus).

Or big screen TV’s, iPads, or fancy computers (but they are nice… and the screen clairity on the new iPad is unbelievable).ET Phone Home.

It’s the little things.

Seeing your child stay out of jail (making bond is a gift).

Surviving another day at work (barely).

Enjoying weather that’s not too hot or cold (which is getting harder to find at my advanced age).

Waking up and most, if not all, of the important body parts are working.

I guess it’s a sign of maturity when you can recognize what’s truly important and you don’t focus on the small and petty.

Having a day where you literally have nothing to do (I haven’t experienced this one, but I’m looking forward to it).

And there’s nothing more important than Buddy the Dog’s bath.

Simple, but important.  At least to me.

It happens every two weeks and it is a highlight.

I look forward to it days in advance (him… not quite as much).

I’m not sure this little bit of happiness would have given me the same level of contentness 20 years ago (not sure if contentness is a word or not).

But a clean dog makes me very happy (this is not a metaphor).

It doesn’t make him quite as happy, but maybe he will see the bigger picture as he gets older.

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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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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.