I Am Glad My Daughter Was Born After Title IX.


The Evil Spawn and millions of other young ladies are very lucky to have Title IX.

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Dress Codes for Educators: A Tough Sell When Wearing a Puma Sweatsuit.


Puma was/is Cool.There is always talk about dress codes when you work in education.

Teachers are often concerned if a student can wear a particular shirt, a hat, baggy pants, etc. Most of these issues can be quickly addressed by a good handbook and fair enforcement by the staff.

I also think about dress codes. Except my thoughts often go towards what educators wear.

This issue first came to my attention when I was getting ready to complete my Master’s Degree in Educational Administration (yes, I have a degree… as far as you know).

My college advisor came to visit me at school.

He took time out of his busy day (????… this is a whole different blog discussion) to sit down with my Superintendent and me to discuss my future.

At the time, I thought it was a good sign that he felt like I had a future. In retrospect, I have come to realize he was just completing his part of the advising process so he could get paid.

As the meeting came to a close, the professor looked at me and said, “The best advice I can give you is to always, and I mean always, dress professionally.”

He felt that if you wanted respect, you had to look like you deserved it.

I thought this was great advice. And throughout the years, I have tried to abide by it.

If teachers or students are in attendance, I always wear at least a shirt and tie (and yes, pants).

Not every administrator does this, but it works for me.

The thing that has stuck with me about my college professor’s advice is that when he said this, he was wearing a white and lime green Puma sweat suit.

For those of you too young to remember, the Puma brand was cool way before Nike.

Back when tennis was the next great sport (we are talking the 70’s here… tennis was soccer before soccer), Puma athletic clothes were considered hip.

And not rapper hip, mainstream hip.

The problem with my college professor wearing this dapper outfit (he thought) was the year; it was in the late 90’s.

He looked like Jimmy Connors in his prime (actually, he didn’t look like Connors in his physical prime… just the outfit).

He wanted me to be appropriately dressed, but his best advice was given wearing a 20 year old sweat suit?

How was this a good idea? Why do people think rules are for everyone else?

I often think about that meeting when I hear or read about school dress codes.

If we want others (students) to present themselves in a certain way, shouldn’t we (teachers and administrators) lead by example?

Haven’t student dress codes become an issue just in the last 30 years? Isn’t that about the same time that teachers and administrators began to think that golf shirts, khakis, shorts, and tennis shoes are okay to wear to school?

And please, don’t get me started on wearing jeans on Friday. How did Fridays become less important than a Tuesday or a Thursday? Isn’t it still 20% of the educational week?

Unless, of course it is a shortened week but that is also another blog.

I could go on and on, but I have to go iron my dress clothes. Maybe I should rethink my thoughts on this topic.

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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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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.