Time to Get Things Off My Desk. And Chest.

It’s summertime.

This means two things. 

The first is I finally have time to clean off my desk (I couldn’t find a paperclip all year and now I stumble across 1,714 in one drawer… who knew?).

Not Really My Desk.  It's From CartoonCrunch.com.

Secondly, I find during the summer people continue to read this blog, but the number of comments go way down (yes, I’m trolling for more comments… I have little or no pride and apparently a great deal of free time).

The lack of comments could be a sign that the quality of my blog material isn’t as strong during the summer.

Or as I like to believe, readers are just way too busy (vacations, yard work, completing court-ordered community service, etc.)

Either way, I thought this would be a good opportunity to write(?) about a few of my half-baked theories that may not qualify for a full-blog.

So here are 10 possibly comment worthy theories of mine.


1.  World Cup soccer is the equivalent of ice skating in the Winter Olympics.

I’ll watch because I take great pride in pummeling less fortunate countries, but in two weeks I won’t be able to name one athlete who participated.

News to soccer lovers:  It still isn’t sweeping the country.  And it never will (although who knows, because I did think horse racing and boxing were here to stay…).

Little kids like soccer because it’s easy to understand (and pretty much every 6 year old likes to kick a ball and eat snacks after the game).

The rest of us don’t love it because you aren’t allowed to use your hands.

Americans like sports we invented.  And we only invent sports if we can use our hands.

I wish it was more complicated, but sadly it isn’t.


2.  There are way way too many loud blowhard white guys on cable news.  The loud I can mute, but is it too much to ask that we diversify a little bit? 

It is 2010 after all.

There has to be at least one obnoxious overweight Hispanic guy/gal out there somewhere who wants to complain about government.


3.  President Obama misjudged the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Turns out it’s kind of a big deal.

People are either incredibly angry or sad for those people/communities directly affected (and maybe more so for the birds covered in oil).

He’s not gaining many votes this summer.

He’s becoming the neighbor who leaves their trash cans in the front yard six days after the garbage has been picked up.

Not a big deal to them, but a huge deal to everyone else (yes, I just compared a massive oil spill to my neighbor’s trash… sorry about that).


4.  Twitter is great.

It’s also causing people to be less productive at work.

My estimate is employees are costing their companies $4.3 trillion dollars each year by Tweeting when they should be working.

But that’s just a guess.

It could be more (feel free to follow me on Twitter… @principalspage).


5.  Tony Hayward (head of BP) and General McChrystal (head of Afghanistan) are on my short list for Idiot of the Year (lucky for them we have a lot more year left).

Both should speak less.

Much less.


6.  My desk is like my dorm room in college.  It’s a magnet for crap I think I’ll need later, but as it turns out, it’s just crap.

I’m making a personal plea on behalf of everyone who holds a meeting or a convention.

Stop giving us free stuff.

We can’t handle it.

And we definitely can’t throw it away.


7.  As I get older (and older) winter is too cold and summer is too hot.

I have no point here, I just want to go on the record that I’m seldom happy with the weather.

No matter how bad my day, I always look forward to watching the weatherperson with contempt.


8. My daughter (the Evil Spawn) wants to be older.  I want her age to be frozen in time.

This is no doubt the first of 19,767 arguments we will have between now and her 18th birthday (again, could be more… I’m just guestimating).


9.  Education is changing.  Fast.

And the worst part is most teachers/administrators have no idea.

In 5 years most of us won’t recognize schools, curriculum, evaluations, or the technology advances.

My only hope is all of this makes education better.

But with the government involved, it’s 50/50 (but then again, isn’t everything).


10.  Buddy the Dog sleeps a lot.

And by a lot I mean at least 20 hours a day.

He only awakens to eat, roll over so we can scratch his big hairy gut, bark at big trucks (garbage, FedEx, UPS, busses, etc.), wander aimlessly around the yard, and use the bathroom (also aSeriously.... Why Did You Wake Me Up? lot… and I know because I mow).

His life is exactly how I envision my retirement years (I especially look forward to the belly scratching).


Feel free to comment. 

More importantly, enjoy your summer (it’s going fast).

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Change is Sneaking Up on Us.

Embracing change is a gift.

As educators, we don’t seem to have this gift.

That’s the bad news.Do Educators Really Believe?

The good news is if you are an elementary teacher you are now a proud owner of at least 17 new coffee cups with apples on them (Merry Christmas everybody!!!).

And a variety of lotions.  But that is a whole different blog.

I think the world of education is about to change in a very big way.  It is also very likely that I have no idea what I’m talking about.

But I have a blog that constantly needs content, so here’s my theory.

Change is happening right under our noses and most educators don’t even see it coming. 

The bad economy, advances in technology, and higher expectations for administrators and teachers leads me to believe that we are all headed in a new direction.

Some of this is related to finances and some is just the general public believing that schools can and have to do better jobs.

And who better to lead us in this quest of excellence?  The federal government.


I just got a migraine.

Or punched in the throat.

Which is bad.  But it’s better than the Swine Flu that was going to get me earlier in the semester (will we ever hear about the dreaded pig flu again???).

What I do know is it’s a bad time to have a career with tenure, especially when the rest of the country is struggling to keep their jobs.

As educators, I don’t think we have a good grasp on how the rest of society perceives us.

Our only hope is people will continue to hate bankers and won’t turn on educators (so keep up the bad work, Wall Street!!)

The old rules about education and educators are about to be tossed out the window (but again, what do I know other than this blog needs content like Buddy needs dog food… and a back rub).

State governments are in fiscal trouble and they are going to be forced to make difficult decisions.  Many of these will involve K-12 Education.

I’ve also noticed the Obama Administration has a pattern of doing things in a very big way.

Health care is the latest example (am I the only one who gets the feeling our premiums are about to skyrocket and no doctor will ever schedule another appointment to see us…).

It can only be a matter of time before the good people in the White House tackle schools.  And testing.  And teachers.  And administrators.  And tenure.  And evaluations.

Only time will tell if this new path is a productive one.

Change is often discussed at school, but almost never embraced.

My assumption is this time will be no different.

Except this time I don’t think we will be able to ride the changes out.

I think they may be big.  And I think they may be uncomfortable.  And I think they will be permanent.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying this is all bad.

I am just saying we probably should have paid more attention when President Obama ran under the slogan of “Change.”

Because I don’t think educators necessarily thought he was talking about us.

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President Obama Doesn’t Need a Visitor’s Pass to Speak to Students.

The President wants to talk to the students of America. Evidently, his intention is to encourage students to take their school year more seriously and take greater personal responsibility for their education.

Not so fast.

We are going to need to see an ID.If Anyone See a Tall Slender Man in the Hallway Surrounded by Secret Service... Please Send Him to the Office.

Somebody needs to stop by the office, sign in, and get a visitor’s badge before he will be allowed to speak to kids.

Mr. President, you just can’t just show up and demand an audience with our students.

Who do you think you are?

This idea of the President of the United States addressing school children has sparked a great deal of discussion.

Educators have been debating this speech for the last couple of weeks. It has been a topic of discussion on Twitter, Plurk, listserv’s and blogs.

In my mind, schools have reacted rather predictably.

The speech is a new idea.

So it must be a bad idea.

Far too many adults seem to be forming their opinions based upon their political beliefs.

Personally, I think this idea needs to pass the “Say It Out Loud Test”.

This method is tried and true.

If you want to see if something is a good idea or a bad idea… simply say it out loud.

So here I go. “President Obama wants to speak directly to school children so he can encourage them to work hard and take school seriously.”

Sounds good to me.

Plus, I am willing to give him the benefit of that doubt because he is… The President of the United States of America.

All too often teachers and administrators complain about schools not getting well-deserved respect.

Now the President wants to help by encouraging students to do better… they must do better.

I say we give him a chance.

Just this once, let’s not be overly paranoid about a stranger speaking to our students.

Let’s give a new idea a chance before we sit around and come up with a long list of reasons why it won’t work.

This is a great opportunity to not only teach students the importance of listening, but also the importance of respecting the highest office in the land.

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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.