SpongeBob and a Snow Day.

The Evil Spawn has a plan.He Was Fun While He Lasted.

She wants me to repaint her playroom on our next Snow Day (as always, capitalized out of respect).

When we moved to our new house, she was just starting kindergarten.  It was a no brainer to paint her favorite cartoon character on the wall of her playroom.

In what seems like 10 minutes later, she is headed towards 5th grade and junior high.

She’s ready to change the wall.

I’m not so sure.

In her mind, this is a big step towards growing up.

In my mind, this is a big step away from her being a little girl.

Bye, SpongeBob.

Hello… I’m not quite sure.

A picture of the new wall will be coming soon.  Check the weather.

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You Say It’s Your Birthday? It’s My Birthday Too!

Happy Birthday to All of Us.Another birthday has come and gone.

My official age can now be best described as old. I know its official because the last time I was in the sporting goods store looking at running shoes, the young lady helping me asked if I was going to use them to walk.

I said, “Yes, possibly upside your head if you insinuate I am old again.”

I didn’t really say that, although I did think it.

Actually, I don’t mind birthdays anymore. It is just a number and like I have said before, getting older certainly beats the alternative.

Around my house a birthday is cause for celebration, because my daughter loves to celebrate.

Like all 7 year olds, she loves many things… ice cream, pizza, milk, pop tarts, French fries, SpongeBob, her friends, singing, crafting, school, sleepovers, and most of all presents.

She loves everything about presents. She likes to receive presents. She likes to give them. She absolutely loves to open them.

And most of all she loves to give herself presents on my birthday.

Actually, that isn’t completely true. She loves to give herself presents on any day that we should be celebrating me.

Christmas, birthdays, and Father’s Day are all occasions readymade to head off to the mall and buy something nice for herself.

Sure, she says it’s for me. She has to. It would be tacky if she put her own name on the package.

And she would never do that, because we have raised her right (and by right, I mean like most parents we are just trying to survive… mainly the upcoming teenage years).

I hear about dads who get ugly ties for gifts. It makes me jealous. That would be a gigantic step up for me. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about her wearing my tie.

She always buys me something that she has talked about for months.

For Father’s Day, I got the Wii that she has always wanted. For my birthday, she got me Wii accessories. I am the proud new owner of Mario Kart and the 3 steering wheels that she has had her eye on (the whole family can now play “together”).

I am assuming that at Christmas I will be receiving a pink and purple cell phone with a fancy case that sparkles. Or possibly getting my ears pierced (suddenly, the phone doesn’t sound so bad).

I am giddy with excitement.

All of this is bad enough, but I am also paying for my/her gift.

Yes, that’s right.

She goes shopping to buy me/herself something on my dime.

When did I lose control? My best guess is it occurred roughly 4 seconds after she was born and announced that she was now in charge.

She didn’t make this announcement out loud, but there was definitely a look that told me she was now calling the shots.

I can hardly wait for 2017.

For some reason, I am thinking that will be the year I get a car for my birthday.

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Great Principals Do This. I Don’t.

I have been contemplating (better word than thinking… thanks thesaurus) what it takes to be a good principal or school administrator.

After much thought, I have concluded that I am lacking in a most important area.

Principals must have certain traits to succeed at what can be a very challenging job.

The qualities that came to mind quickly included organizational skills, leadership, and time management. To be successful, one must make good use of time and be able to take care of details.

Then I thought about decisiveness, a sense of fairness, and the ability to control one’s temper (sometimes easier said than done).

As I continued mulling this topic over, it occurred to me that the qualities needed to lead a school were almost endless.I am Not Allowed to Wear Theme Ties.  Ever.

A great principal must have a clear vision of what they want to accomplish and even more importantly how the staff and students should get there. Then have the ability to guide by encouragement and sometimes even a little arm-twisting.

Principals must always be believers, in themselves and the students, and certainly in what they want to accomplish.

Next, I thought they must be willing to work longer hours than most. This is really a requirement of all people who are really good at their occupations.

When working in schools one must be available to work days, some nights, occasional weekends, and certainly be flexible enough to change your personal plans on a moment’s notice.

While the job pays well, an administrator needs to work harder than the people around them. For those who are paid the most; a lot is expected.

If you are going to be a great principal, you need to accept responsibility for all of your decisions. And then be prepared to accept the responsibility for the decisions of others, whether good or bad (just a head ups… not usually good).

Just as important is being prepared to hand the credit to someone else when things go well and take the blame for almost anything or anybody when things go badly (and things always go badly, sooner or later).

All of the really good administrators that I have met are understanding, kind, enthusiastic, driven, and have a sense of humor.

The ability to laugh may be the most important skill of all. To be successful in education, one cannot take themselves too seriously (if you can’t laugh at yourself, someone else will).

Lastly, it occurred to me that most successful principals regularly exercise. You have to make your health a priority. A structured exercise program also helps with mental health.

I thought that I had come up with a pretty good list of qualities about what makes a great school administrator until… it was pointed out that I don’t wear theme ties.

No ties with drawings from small children. No ties with baseballs, soccer balls, or basketballs on them. No ties with pictures of crayons. No Bugs Bunny, SpongeBob, or Superman ties. And none with addition, subtraction, or multiplication problems on them.

Worse than this, I can never remember to wear the appropriate color on holidays. No red on Valentine’s Day, green on St. Patrick’s Day, or orange on Halloween.

A great principal should dress the part.

And I can’t even bring myself to wear a theme tie. I hate to admit this, but I don’t even own one. Not a single solitary theme tie. I am truly a failure.

Kids don’t care about organization, time management, vision, or work ethic. They want to see a colorful and cool tie. I am not fit to work in a school or be around children.

The state should repossess my administrative degree.

Worse than this, I don’t even have my school keys strapped to my belt. I am such a loser.

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The Chocolate Milk Kid is Back. Be Afraid. I Am.

My What you are about to read actually happened. The names have not been changed, mainly because I don’t know the Chocolate Milk Kid’s name. But, that face is forever seared into my head and haunts me like a bad dream.

If you will recall, there was an “incident” a few weeks ago involving me, chocolate milk, and a renegade kindergarten kid (if you are lost, you may want to November 11 blog).

Well, he’s back.

I thought he and I had an understanding. I would avoid him at all costs and stay at least 50 feet away from him during school hours (like a self-imposed restraining order) and he would not accidently hit me in my man parts.

So I have spent most of the fall avoiding him and trying not to make eye contact (because I didn’t want to anger him).

I thought this was an excellent idea on my part. But, my best laid plans came crashing to a close yesterday.

Minding my own business, I was headed down the hallway to get my daily dose of chocolate milk (quite a bargain at 25 cents if you ask me) and then it happened.

I felt a presence before I even saw him. It was like a cold breeze had come down the hallway (this may be a bit overdramatic- some kid left the front door of the school open).

Just like Batman, he came out of the shadows. At that moment, I thought I was alone in the hallway and then suddenly, out of nowhere, he was right behind me.

My first thought was I should scream like a little girl and run and find an authority figure. But on second thought, it occurred to me that might be perceived as weakness by the teachers. Who can respect an administrator who screams and runs away from a 5 year old child?

Before I could make a decision on the screaming/running, the boy says “Hey, I know you!”

I interpreted this to mean, “Hey, old bald man in the ugly tie, I am an above average reader and I stumbled across your blog last night as I was cruising the internet. I read what you wrote about me and now I am going to kick your behind in front of the entire school.”

In retrospect it is possible that I read too much into what he said. Things were happening so fast at this point. About this time I began to feel a little light headed and there was some concern on my part that I might throw up.

And then my worst nightmare. Well, not worst. He didn’t hit me again, but he said, “I know where you live.”

I can no longer simply avoid him at school. The little guy with the strong right hook knows where I live.

I must have had a look of amazement combined with fear and a touch of shock on my face.

It was all happening so fast. The entire conversation probably only took 10 seconds, but to me it seemed to me that time had stopped.

The scary part… I don’t live in the same town in which I work. This kid has obviously gone out of his way to follow me home. He has specifically targeted me.

I hope everyone doesn’t lose respect for me, but I am considering not returning to work next week.

If I do go in, I am wearing protection. And I am not walking down that hallway in the morning alone.

It’s not safe.

Who knew a kid with a SpongeBob backpack and a Shrek lunchbox could be so scary?

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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.