Nicest Email Ever.


This is the nicest email anyone has ever sent me.  And keep in mind, I get a lot of emails.Just Kidding.  It Might Not Be Worse.

"Teachers complaining about me to the superintendent. Had to find something to take my mind off to a better place. Thank you for the blogs!

Principal A."

First, since when do teachers complain about principals?

Second, never mind.

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Email Stress.


Teachers and administrator have stress all around them.

The beginning of school stress.

Report card stress.Ever Feel Buried?

Parent-Teacher Conference stress.

Holiday stress.

Testing stress.

Way too much free food in the lounge stress.

School Board stress.

Overwhelmed with constantly changing new technology stress.

Contract stress.

Other employee stress.

Senseless meeting stress.

Teacher stress on administrators.

Administrator stress on teachers.

Discipline stress.

Kids with runny noses stress.

Lack of enough snow days stress (the official season of woo-hoo! is about to begin).

End of school stress.

And the list goes on and on.

But #1 on the list comes from an unexpected source.

Email stress.

Electronic mail was supposed to make our lives simpler.  But like with so many things, it has made it more complicated (hello, spam).

Emails are great but they never stop.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.  Ding.

My inbox makes more noise than junior high boys in the restroom (take my advice… do not go in there)

If you walk away from your computer for 10 minutes you can return to 20 emails.

During the course of writing this blog, I’ve received 12 emails… only 1 was almost important (and it’s Sunday).

Emails multiply like rabbits.

It’s easy to become overwhelmed.

The good news is I think our friends, the tech people, can help (let me… I mean them… help you).

While most people know the basics of email, most don’t go beyond that.

The easiest way to reduce the amount of time you spend on incoming emails is to filter them automatically as they arrive.

This is where you need tech help.

To not only set up your email folders, but to help relieve your stress.

Or some of your stress.

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Why Do Schools Always Hire the Opposite of What They Just Had?


Summer is here.

If I could sing I would. If I could dance I would.

Since my only marginal talent is rambling ill-conceived blogs, I am going to stick with what I know.

School is out which means it is time to find some new teachers. Which reminds me, interviewing is exhausting.

The process seems simple enough.

Step 1: advertise the open position.

Step 2: get 12 bazillion resumes on 87 different shades of white paper (who knew there were so many shades of white??).

Step 3: open the applications while constantly wondering… how much do these people spend on fancy paper, envelopes, and fancy folders?

This question always leads me to the same conclusion. The applicants really should have put as much time and effort into their college classes as they did applying for this position.

Step 4: schedule the interviews by emailing. No phone calls. It’s 2009.

Tag is fun. Phone tag is not.

I can remember when I was looking for my first job and the time and effort it took to check the answering machine 8,000 times a day.

When schools didn’t call back, I assumed the phone was broken. Turns out the phone was working just fine, the schools just didn’t want me.

There was a time when I was afraid to go out in the backyard because I might miss a call. If I did venture out, I almost always heard the phone ring (in my head) and would run back into the house to find…

… a phone that hadn’t rang and wasn’t broken. It was exhausting not getting hired.

Email seems simpler and less painful.

Which is why candidates shouldn’t hide their email address on their resume. It’s like playing “Where’s Waldo” with some of these people.

Put your email address on the front page of your resume in at least a 12 point font. I am begging you. I am old, which means the only thing that is worse than my eyesight is my patience.

I can barely find my car in the school parking lot. how do you expect me to find your email address if it is hidden on page 3 right next to the fact that you were in show choir your sophomore year of high school?

If I need a psychic, police dog, or a magnifying glass to locate your email address, I am not going to lie to you… the odds of you getting an interview aren’t good.

But I am venting (actually it feels good and could be considered somewhat healthy).

By the way I have another new pet peeve. The emailer who always has to have the last word (it’s like I am married to them).

If you are sending an email with 2 or less words take my advice and don’t. I won’t be confused or offended.

Examples of these emails include: Thanks, OK, Will do, Sure thing, and Got it. Email is not a new technology. It works.

If I have sent you an email, I am 99.9999999999999% sure that you have received it.

Please don’t feel like you have to respond to my email that was sent to confirm your last email. OK?

Got it?

Good.

The fun really starts during the actual interviews.

I think schools and administrators make a colossal mistake when interviewing.

They attempt to hire people who are the exact opposite of the person they are replacing.

And by exact opposite, I mean they are completely different in one area.

You see this all the time.

If the last person was older, the new hire must be younger.

If a retiring teacher was quiet, the replacement must be outgoing (this is good news for you show choir person!!)

If the last teacher thought his or her computer was evil and watching them as they moved around the classroom, the school will look for someone with a ton of computer skills (and no history of mental illness).

If the last coach was considered strict, the school will want someone that is kinder and gentler (then two years from now, this person will get fired because they are too kind and way too gentle).

When hiring an administrator, if the last one wasn’t strict, the school looks for a former Marine with anger issues and a crazy eye.

This happens over and over.

Even bad employees have good qualities. It’s a mistake to just focus in on their faults when looking for their replacements.

Having tunnel vision is not always the best way to find a good replacement.

You may hire a new employee who is better in a specific area, but what about the other 27 qualities in which they need to be successful?

Focusing in on one particular trait can lead schools to hiring people who aren’t complete educators, coaches, or administrators.

A year from now the same school will be looking for yet another new employee because this year’s version was lacking in a totally different area.

Which means, if you don’t get an interview this year you have twelve months to pick out some new white resume paper (or off-white… or ivory… or bone… or …).

And find out about the person you are replacing. You don’t have to be better than them, just different.

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Is Your Email Address Keeping You From Getting an Interview?


email_iconCould someone please tell me what’s going on with colleges and universities? But please, not too many details, I may want to send my daughter there one day (although I am anticipating her attending some sort of truck driving school).

My concern is who is guiding our teachers of the future?

Who is showing them the ins and outs of what it takes to be an educator?

How can these schools be handing out diplomas and yet not talking about something that may be keeping their graduates from getting hired.

Email addresses. Sounds simple. In theory.

It makes me wonder if I should be worried about these institutions of higher education. Are their standards high enough?

I should have known something was up when they gave me a diploma. Or three (by the way, that was before email… and indoor plumbing).

Professors of Education spend months teaching their students about lesson plans, yet they don’t have five seconds to share advice on the proper selection of an email address.

How can people spend 4 years in college (or 5, 6, or 7… and if you have been in college longer, I hope they call you Dr.) and then send out an application letter (or preferably email) with something so heinous and inappropriate on it.

I was under the impression that signing up for an email address was simple. I thought Gmail and Hotmail were giving them away like candy. The kids these days, with their knowledge of technology should be able to handle this.

Evidently, I must be wrong.

A candidate mails (or again… preferably emails) a resume. The interviewee looks it over. Everything is in order. GPA looks impressive. References are excellent. Degree is perfect for the open position.

And there it is.

The cool guy/cool girl email address.

The address that was so very funny only days before. Funny to the person who thought of it. Funny when the person wasn’t completely sober.

Funny on Facebook.

Turns out a prospective employer might not be as amused as your roommate who thinks everything is funny.

Examples include drunkenpartygod@email.com… or hotsororitygirl@email.com.

I am sure these addresses served an important purpose at one time in a college student’s life. Probably a highly illegal purpose, but as always I am not here to judge.

Since colleges are evidently not teaching this invaluable lesson and the drunkenpartygod and the hotsororitygirl lack a certain degree of common sense, I feel it is my obligation to pass on this advice (plus, I get a pet peeve off my chest).

When you move towards the end of your college experience… find a new email address (you know you can have more than one…).

Prospective employers are looking for someone who is structured, trustworthy, and good with kids.

Not a wingman. Or a date.

Candidates spend time choosing which information to include on a resume, what font to use, and what color of fancy paper on which to print it.

Can’t they spend 10 seconds signing up for an employer appropriate email address?

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Email iz ded, Old ppl. (Version #1- Texted- For the Kids)


The Kids With Their Texting... What Will They Think of Next?az parNts we nEd 2 undRstNd dat email iz fst BcumN an out of D8 teknoloG (d kds dEz dAz don’t roL w d email). teknoloG iz changing, & we (old people) can’t possibly kEp ^. kds nEd somTIN faster & rght nw it iz txt msgN.

f U R foolish Enuf 2 tink dat emailing frm yor desktop iz kEpn ^ w d tImz, I M bout 2 GIV U som bad nuz, old prsn.

My six-year old skul LuvN, SpongeBob watchN (evry episode @ lEst 39 times- I M ded serious), bYk riding, roller blading, giggling ltl 3:o) knOz mo bout teknoloG n d 1st 6 yr.z of her Lyf, thN I knew aftR getin my Master’s Dgre frm a somwot accredited uni..

We nEd 2 cum 2 grips w our futR. az parNts, we R raising a smarter, mo advncd race of ppl whuz onlE purpose on erth iz 2 replAc us.

un4tuN8ly, ther iz Nuttin fune bout DIS. f U R rEDN DIS blog, ther iz n doubt dat U R old & out of D8. evN wen we tink we R cutting edge w our email, mAbE evN a laptop, our ceL phones- we R faLN farther & farther Bhind n UzN teknoloG Ech & evry dA.

We R Pac-Man n an iPod wrld. We live n d presnt, dey (d nu advncd race) R LernN 4 d futR.

dEz v smrt, v ltl ppl R grON ^ n a dfrnt wrld. dey hav n knowLdG of rotary fonez, Y calculators wer kewl, typewriters, Donkey Kong, Polaroid cameras, 8 track tapes, metL ice cube trays, o Y ther wer fone booths @ d gas statN.

dEz kds wiL nevr hav a checkbook, L%k @ a (o) 2 teL tym (dey uz thR ceL phones), coRec thR own spLN on a writiN assignment, o knO d fear of wot wiL hpn @ om f dey R snt 2 d principal’s OPIS @ skul.

dey wiL nevr remMbR a wrld w/o MySpace, iTunes, Facebook, o YouTube.

We R so out of tuch dat students tAk [abc]N, 10 yr.z aftR dey R 1st on a cmptr.

It iz tym 2 admit it. We R old. Not jst a ltl old, I mean rly old teknoloG wise. d wrld iz changing qixlE. It hz advncd since I stRtD typing DIS blog, 3 mins ago (I typ fst; n my previous Lyf I wz a [abc]N Teacher).

yung ppl R not onlE smarter thN we wer @ d sAm age, bt dey R smarter thN us nw. & dey R getin smarter. & smarter. & smarter.

We hav n choice. az elderly adults, we must b proactive. We must git out of thR way b4 dey (d sml people) crush us lIk bugs. It iz tym 2 run & hide & sAv wot ltl prId we hav L.

I M goin 2 lEd d chRj. I M getin out. It iz official, I M dn. n mo blogs. d NXT tym U rED DIS blog it wiL b typed (o possibly voiced) by a technologically advncd six-year old.

She can’t Dcide wot she wiL blog bout. She hz it narrowed dwn 2 dat cinematic classic- hI skul Musical 2, o mAbE a blog bout d world’s greatest ;-o, Justin Timberlake, o mAbE d best invention n d lst twenty-five years- Webkinz (it’s g9, stuffed animLz + cmptr website).

whIl she iz doin dat, I M goin 2 wrk on d VCR- it hz Bin 12:00 pm n our living r%m since we bought d LUG machine 9 yr.z ago.

My dAutr wz goin 2 hlp me, bt she nEdz 2 post an assignment on her claS Wiki (f U R old, U R goin 2 nEd 2 g%gle Wiki…that iz ok…I did).

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Email is Dead, Old People. (Version #2- Not Texted- For the Old People)


Email vs. Texting.  Email is Losing.As parents we need to understand that email is fast becoming an out of date technology (the kids these days don’t roll with the email). Technology is changing, and we (old people) can’t possibly keep up. Kids need something faster and right now it is text messaging.

If you are foolish enough to think that emailing from your desktop is keeping up with the times, I am about to give you some bad news, old person.

My six-year old school loving, SpongeBob watching (every episode at least 39 times- I am dead serious), bike riding, roller blading, giggling little girl knows more about technology in the first 6 years of her life, than I knew after getting my Master’s Degree from a somewhat accredited university.

We need to come to grips with our future. As parents, we are raising a smarter, more advanced race of people whose only purpose on Earth is to replace us.

Unfortunately, there is nothing funny about this. If you are reading this blog, there is no doubt that you are old and out of date. Even when we think we are cutting edge with our email, maybe even a laptop, our cell phones- we are falling farther and farther behind in using technology each and every day.

We are Pac-Man in an iPod world. We live in the present, they (the new advanced race) are learning for the future.

These very smart, very little people are growing up in a different world. They have no knowledge of rotary phones, why calculators were cool, typewriters, Donkey Kong, Polaroid cameras, 8 track tapes, metal ice cube trays, or why there were phone booths at the gas station.

These kids will never have a checkbook, look at a clock to tell time (they use their cell phones), correct their own spelling on a writing assignment, or know the fear of what will happen at home if they are sent to the principal’s office at school.

They will never remember a world without MySpace, iTunes, Facebook, or YouTube.

We are so out of touch that students take keyboarding, ten years after they are first on a computer.

It is time to admit it. We are old. Not just a little old, I mean really old technology wise. The world is changing quickly. It has advanced since I started typing this blog, three minutes ago (I type fast; in my previous life I was a Keyboarding Teacher).

Young people are not only smarter than we were at the same age, but they are smarter than us now. And they are getting smarter. And smarter. And smarter.

We have no choice. As elderly adults, we must be proactive. We must get out of their way before they (the small people) crush us like bugs. It is time to run and hide and save what little pride we have left.

I am going to lead the charge. I am getting out. It is official, I am done. No more blogs. The next time you read this blog it will be typed (or possibly voiced) by a technologically advanced six-year old.

She can’t decide what she will blog about. She has it narrowed down to that cinematic classic- High School Musical 2, or maybe a blog about the world’s greatest singer, Justin Timberlake, or maybe the best invention in the last twenty-five years- Webkinz (it’s genius, stuffed animals + computer website).

While she is doing that, I am going to work on the VCR- it has been 12:00 pm in our living room since we bought the stupid machine 9 years ago.

My daughter was going to help me, but she needs to post an assignment on her class Wiki (if you are old, you are going to need to Google Wiki…that is ok…I did).

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The End of Civilization is Coming (Read Fast).


Passwords Are Driving Me CRAZY!!!I can’t take it anymore. The stress has become unbearable. It is a weight that is crushing me more and more each day.

No, I am not talking about soccer (although I could be), the Iraq War, gas prices, teachers burning popcorn (it’s not that hard to correctly run a microwave people), or the fact that everything on TV is almost unwatchable.

This is more stress piled up on me at a time when I feel terrible about becoming a corporate lackey (not really, it is free cash and if I end up keeping my (?) daughter, she is going to need braces- check the front page of PrincipalsPage.com (coming soon) and help a little girl have straighter teeth).

This issue is larger than anything I mentioned in the last paragraph.

It is the fact that I have way too many passwords and I can no longer remember all of them. I truly believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that this may cause the end of our civilization as we know it.

Here is a partial list of passwords bouncing around my head (along with the voices I hear from time to time- again I wish I was kidding, but I am not).

The list:

School email
PrincipalsPage.com email
Server account
Go Daddy account
My Cell phone
Bank card
Wife’s bank card
Forum login
Forum administrator’s login
Google analytics account
Blog password
12 passwords for TV and Radio stations (weather related- school closings)
Fantasy Football team
Yahoo college football pick’em
My Yahoo account
TourneyTime.com
YouTube
TeacherTube
Principal’s listserv
Superintendent’s listserv
5 Newspapers online
EBAY
Traffic Facts
IllinoisHighSchoolSports
Del.icio.us account
Music site for IPOD
Consumer Reports.com
ESPN Insider

If you are keeping score at home, by my count this is a crapload. And this is only a partial list because I can’t even remember all the things I need passwords for. This doesn’t even take into account that I need a login name to go with each password. Something needs to be done as I can no longer deal with this problem on my own.

I am not a big government person, but I would vote for the Presidential candidate who can come up with a solution to my problem.

It is almost like you have to recognize and remember a secret code.

Computer/Tech people tell me to use passwords with letters, numbers, and symbols like this: i2h9#AT*/EsO$ccE6r!

How I am supposed to remember that, when I can’t remember my mom’s maiden name, my first car, my wife’s birthday, or what I had for lunch on Tuesday?

I give up. This is an unwinnable battle. Some day people of the future are going to find the remains of our society and ask… “What happened and why did all of the people vanish?”

It won’t be because of floods, wars, or disease. It will be because we had too many passwords and we finally all snapped.

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Names Have Been Changed to Protect Me.


The following story is entirely made up and is in no way about anyone I have ever met or anyone I will ever meet in the future. In fact, I didn’t even write this blog. It just showed up like a stray cat. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. If I am sued, it is my hope that the court case will drag out for years and by then, God willing, I will be dead before any money exchanges hands.

This week was our first day of school. I am so thankful summer is over and we are back at work. Thankfully, no more days cluttered up with vacations, golf, and naps. It is time to get back to shaping the future. Duty calls and as soldiers in the Army of Education, we all must respond. (only the first 8 words of this paragraph can be considered anywhere close to truthful)

On my first full day, I received a very nice card from a teacher who retired last spring. She retired after nearly 107 years of teaching (really 40). I always enjoyed having her on staff. Actually, I guess I was on her staff since she started her teaching career in August 1967 and I was born two months later.

She was always very kind and tolerated me (another in a long line of snot-nosed administrators she had to work under).

Mrs. HERNAMEHASBEENCHANGEDBECAUSEICAN’TAFFORDTOBESUED wasn’t too happy four years ago when we went to a computer program for student grades. In fact, it was insinuated that she would not be participating in anything to do with computers, printers, or other machines of the Devil.E-mail Isn't That Scary.<

I am happy to say, that with the help of her fellow teachers, a student teacher, a janitor, three secretaries, two tech people, four cooks, a really bright first grader, a crossing guard, and a boatload of prayer that she conquered the evil computer program and was able to eventually enter all of her own grades.

Next, we decided to turn it up a notch and teach her to email. Wow. Enough said.

I must admit that she also eventually learned this difficult task. I was quite proud that she even attempted to email let alone become proficient at it. Although, there were several months in there where she only read email; never actually responding to a message. But I told her, there was no reason to get crazy right off the bat; it was important for us to pace ourselves. There would be plenty of years ahead to learn the skill of hitting the SEND button.

Well, time flew and before I knew it Mrs. HERNAMEHASBEENCHANGED… was ready to retire and take her technology knowledge with her. I assumed that she would probably never touch a computer again.

Over the summer I started to hear some disturbing stories involving her and a laptop. The stories turned out to be true; she had indeed purchased one. All of the work we had done, the harsh words that had been exchanged, and the tears that were shed evidently were worth it.

Once I received the card, I thought it would be funny to email her. I figured that in retirement, she would check her email religiously every 12 weeks or so and get back to me sometime around Thanksgiving.

Much to my surprise she emailed me back in roughly 3 minutes. I felt proud that while we had encouraged (okay, forced) her to use technology, that she was now using it in her everyday life.

Over the course of the next few hours, we emailed back and forth. I grew more and more impressed.

What happened next was both shocking and horrifying. If you are the least bit squeamish, now is a good time to look away from the screen.

Mrs. HERNAMEHASBEENCHANGEDBECAUSEICAN’TAFFORDTOBESUED emailed me saying that she noticed I didn’t instant message! She has been using messenger all summer.

She has gone from being afraid that a computer would bite her, to instant messaging. Amazing. And unbelievable. Even shocking. We had created a technology monster. It is true what they say, anything is possible.

Then a little bit of sadness overcame me as I realized my work here was done. They grow up so fast.

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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.