They Should Teach This in Superintendent School.


When you go to Superintendent School they teach you a lot of things.Just Say It!

Such as, superintendents get paid more than principals (I got an A on this quiz… nailed it!).

Usually, this lesson is enough to pique one’s interest.

They also teach you about public relations, finances, and school law.

That’s the good part.

The bad part is they don’t teach you everything.  Some things you just have to learn on the job.

This is not very reassuring…for the superintendent and school board.

Lots of Responsibility + Lack of Knowledge = Ruh Roh, Raggy!

In a perfect world, superintendents would be prepared when they started their new careers, but as you might’ve heard, the world isn’t always perfect (if this is news to you… I’m sorry you had to hear it here).

The superintendentcy is a big job, so I can’t really blame universities if some things fall through the cracks.

Not to complain but… there is one little tidbit I would like to see college professors share before diplomas are handed out.

Teach future educational leaders how to say "No".

Everyone can say "Yes", but only a select few can say "No".

I think this gets many people into trouble.  It’s almost like new superintendents need a safe word.

Personally, mine is "Serenity now!" (if you see me screaming this while huddled in a corner rocking back and forth in a fetal position… please back away slowly… and notify the authorities).

Saying no sounds simple, but it’s hard.

Really hard.

Especially for people who haven’t been taught.

I want it noted this is the only blog where you get  Superintendent talk mixed in with Seinfeld and Scooby-Doo references.  You’re welcome.

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Kids Are Soft.


The kids today have it way too easy.

They’re spoiled, lazy, and soft.

And I’m officially old when I write(?) how kids these days are spoiled, lazy, and soft.

As I watch students walk (or run) down the hallway, I’ve noticed their school supplies are much nicer than what I had in the early 80’s.

They are also more expensive.

Fancy binders.The Evil Spawn's 2010 Lunchbox.

Mechanical pencils.

Glue sticks.

Highlighters.

Book bags with wheels.

State of the art lunchboxes.

I can live with the binders, pencils, etc., but I have to draw the line when it comes to the new–fangled book bags/luggage and lunchboxes/coolers.

When I was a kid (I’m actually becoming older and older as I type this…), we didn’t have $60 book bags.

With or without wheels.

Kids driving their books down the hallway drives me crazy.  My luggage should be as nice as their book bags.

We carried our books underneath our arms like God intended (that’s if we took books home… and we didn’t). 

How are today’s kids ever going to feel the embarrassment of dropping 7 textbooks, 4 folders, and 114 papers in the middle of a busy street if they have a book bag?

This is a rite of passage that all children should be forced to enjoy.

We are cheating our kids out of one of life’s most precious moments.

You haven’t lived until the wind is howling at 40 miles an hour and you’re chasing your math homework across a busy intersection (and all the other kids are looking and pointing at you… not that this ever happened to me…).

If that wasn’t bad enough, we are also creating a generation of children who don’t understand how to keep their lunches cold.

It’s not that complicated.

You freeze a can of soda.

We did this.

We did this because we had to.

And we liked it.

Put the can in the freezer the night before, wrap it in tinfoil, and bingo… instantly cold lunch (and sadly, sometimes soggy).

There weren’t any lined lunch containers when we were kids.

We didn’t need them (actually we might have needed them, but we couldn’t afford them).

We had two choices.  A brown paper sack or metal box covered with pop-culture (and rust).

Poor kids used a brown sack (me).  Even poorer kids were forced to recycle the brown sack each day to be used for an entire week (my wife… who is still working through this issue).

The rich kids had a Scooby-Doo, Evil Kneivel, or Happy Days lunch box.

The really rich kids had a KISS or Star Wars lunch box (with matching Thermos I might add… ).

Today’s kids have lunchboxes with zippers, levels, containers, and water bottles that look like works of art (Exhibit A:  The Evil Spawn’s lunchbox in the picture).

I still have a brown paper sack (and the sad part is I have a job).

I think today’s kids are soft.

Kids think I’m old.

We are probably both right.

One of the great mysteries of my life… How does a Thermos work?  Hot stuff hot.  Cold stuff cold.  It’s magic.

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Fired.


When The Suits say it’s not you, it’s them.  It’s you.

I’ve been fired.  Axed.  Booted.  Canned.  Discharged.  Dropped.  Given my marching orders.  Received a pink slip.  Handed my walking papers.  Let go.  Sacked.  And officially terminated.

This pleases me (it was time… and I have something to blog about).

Several months ago, I was contacted my an educational magazine (that I’d never heard of… but I don’t get out much) to see if I would be interested in having my blog posted once a week on their website.You Represents Me.

After little or no thought, I said yes.

That was a mistake.

I was lured in by the prospect of no-fame and no-fortune.  I forgot the fundamental thing that makes blogging interesting.

I can write whatever I want (within certain moral guidelines and my day job expectations) and post it within seconds.  And much to my surprise people occasionally read it (this is the part I will never understand).

It’s that simple.

No editors.  No publishers.  No Suits.

I answer to no one (other than the PrincipalsPage lawyers).

If I find the subject matter interesting or funny, I blog about it.  No deadlines.  No pack of Suits sitting around a conference table deciding if a topic qualifies as magazine worthy.

Just me and Larry the Laptop.

Now, I understand that’s both good and bad.

It hurts me to say this, but sometimes I’m not as interesting as I think I am.  But that’s okay because it’s all part of blogging (they can’t all be winners).

To be honest, I should have jumped ship about a month ago, but I made a mistake.  I didn’t trust my gut feeling.

If there is a lesson to be learned, it’s always trust those feelings.  They’re almost never wrong.

Why we don’t follow these feelings 100% of the time I will never now.  Even in the heat of the moment, we tell ourselves to follow our gut and yet we still don’t.

That’s what I did.  And now I am magazineless (and I had a chance to be the dumper instead of the one getting dumped… and now I’ve forever lost the power of the pre-emptive break-up).

A few weeks ago the young lady who “hired” me left for a new job.

My immediate reaction was “Ruh-roh!” (we have been watching a lot of Scooby Doo at my house).

I don’t have a lot of experience with corporate America, but I know when the person who brings you in leaves, you may well be next on the chopping block.

And I was.

I’m not sure the new Suits understood what the blog is about.

Which is nothing.

That’s got to be a hard concept for simple Suits to understand.  The blog is about education, school administrators, and nothing.

It’s not high-concept or low-concept.  It’s no concept.

Maybe they just wanted to go “in a different direction.”  Which is of course code for “your blog stinks.”

Actually the official “Your Dead to Us Email” was nicely worded.  It said, “Unfortunately, we will not be able to continue publishing posts for PrincipalsPage the Blog”. 

I was getting fired. 

Actually that’s not true.  I was fired.

What’s worse is they paid me little to nothing for the blogs.  Yes, that’s right… I got fired from volunteer work (how bad do you have to be when The Suits decide you’re not even worth zero??).

What a special moment in a blogger’s life.  If I had emotions (don’t forget I’m a dead on the inside school administrator), I might have cried.

The worst part is they didn’t even replace me with another blogger.

I’ve been replaced by a “Jobs” section.

Buddy the Dog references have been given away to an Assistant Superintendent Opening in Windham.  I’m not going to lie, that hurts.

Not for me so much, but Buddy.  He has feelings after all.

The good news is this isn’t the first time I’ve been fired (wait a second… that may not be good news).

What I’ve discovered through these slightly tragic moments (more on these later in the PrincipalsPage Book I don’t have coming out) in my career is things always work out for the best.

Getting fired only hurts for a second, especially when you realize it’s an opportunity.

One door being slammed in your face generally leads to another one opening (usually a better, much larger door).

That’s what I’m hoping for in this case.  Maybe a larger publication I’ve never heard of will hire me to blog about nothing (or maybe I can direct a movie… because doesn’t everyone eventually want to direct??).

Now I just have to sit around and wait for the next big thing to come along.

And of course comfort Buddy.

He’s taking this really  hard (I am so glad he doesn’t know that at my job I AM the Suit…).

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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.