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Monday, April 30, 2012

Not "winding down"



Here are a dozen roses a student
sent me for something I did for him last
May. If you check out, you'll miss out
on things that need to be done.
Yesterday, on my Facebook page, I made this comment while we were driving to church. When I got out of church, it had more than 60 likes! It resonated, so I decided to address this thought of "winding down."
Tonight I will be in my classroom grading. One of the toughest things about this time of year is just how much time everything takes. Usually I work 50 hours a week but this past week it is more like 65 or 70. Most people don't know or understand these hours. In the business world, if you worked long hours people knew because your car was there or they got emails. In teaching it isn't as evident. I think those who understand and respect teachers during this time of year are our friends and it is appreciated. On the flip side, those that call with frivolous requests because "things are winding down" can be quite upsetting. It is hard to comprehend it unless you live it or live with someone who does it. Teachers, you rock, keep going, encourage each other. We can thrive and survive!

School is not winding down! 

I think it is this misstatement "things are winding down" that gets me the most. When I go in to school after having been up until 2 am and have someone say, "now that things are winding down, it would be a great thing for you and your students to..." I feel angry. Yes, I do.

Linda Clinton in her comment on the post above says it well:
"Linda Clinton I laugh when people think the end of the year is "winding down." In many ways, it is much more stressful and frenetic than the beginning of the year because there is a hard deadline for darn near everything. In the beginning of the year, there may be some flexibility for at least some things."
In some ways it is accelerating and then it suddenly crashes to a halt. I find myself rereading my own old posts about how to stay encouraged and motivated this time of year. (How to keep positive during May or Finding Your Beautiful Moment the last week of school).

Tips for Staying Motivated in May

Here are some reminders for you that might help you:

  • Be careful about trusting your emotions this time of year. You're tired. You probably aren't taking great care of yourself. Everyone else is excited about summer but you can't be... yet. You have too much to do. Just give yourself some slack about how you're feeling, it may not be an accurate depiction of your life at this moment.
  • Take it one day at a time. (See Laugh and love but don't lament: teach well until the last day)
  • Do small things to help lift everyone's mood (see "Take the #youmatter teacher's lounge challenge")
  • Talk to people face to face or on the phone if you need "to vent" and be careful about social media when you're over tired, especially when it involves job-related opinions. (I find that when I'm over tired, I say things I regret sometimes or that don't reflect as clearly what I think.The last thing you want is a social media controversy about your career that could hurt your career. You don't need that.)
  • Be careful about confrontations. When everyone is tired, that is a very poor time to deal with controversy (unless you absolutely have to.)
  • Give yourself and your students things to look forward to. (Plan events, activities, and rewards.)
  • Give yourself and your students things to look back upon. (create memory books, take pictures - tons of ideas on Pinterest for this sort of thing.)
I wish I could wave my magic wand and magically help you get your work done, but I can't. I've got more work than I can do and to say I'm upset about it is like expressing mild concern over a tornado about to hit my house. 

My gut tells me that my workload isn't doable but my brain tells me that this is my 10th time doing this and I can and will make it through May.

Universal truths about teachers

Here's the thing about teaching that I've learned. No matter the teacher I talk to, whether she's in Qatar,India, China, Australia, or the US of A, teachers are overworked, underpaid, and have an incredible amount of pressure. We're misunderstood, maligned, and spoken ill of by many. Most everyone has had a teacher - both good and bad - and thus, now are education experts and have the self-appointed expertise to speak out about good teaching, meanwhile, most make the mistake that the way they learned is how all students learn.

That being said, I am speaking to you right now, my friend. It is 6:52 and I've got to get dressed and run to a teacher's meeting while feeling nauseous knowing that my grades aren't all entered from my binge grading from this weekend. I didn't have it in me. Meanwhile email piles up and work accumulates in every area of my life as the laundry pile grows. ;-)

Teaching is an incredible, important profession. What we do is vital to the future of this planet. We must respect, appreciate, and defend one another (when preposterous things are said.) 

Speak ill of a lawyer (even if he's wrong) and they will descend upon you  for attacking their profession. Speak ill of a teacher (even when she's right) and you hear crickets chirping because the cacophony of voices that should speak out for teachers stay silent. 

This is a tough time for teachers, that is certainly true. But amidst great trial lies great opportunity. 

These students need you - they are starved for greatness. You can have an incredible impact. Be the kind of teacher who makes a difference.

Photo credit:
Thank You Roses - my photo
Teacher - Bigstock

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 04/28/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Learning about Learning: Research and Edreform News and Views 04/28/2012



  • This competition to create a video game will teach you how to make a game and help you study about health. they are due March 15 in this competition. Comptetitons are a great way to get students outside the classroom and create. way to help kids make more than a 100. What is more relevant and engaging to students these days than video games? In a few short weeks, you and your students can go from no game design experience to publishing your health related online video games on the Green Ribbon Schools website. The best part is we will show you exactly how to do this. We understand that Game Design can be new and intimidating. So we have developed a simple Lesson Plan for teachers to follow. No matter how computer-phobic you may be, you can complete this Lesson Plan with your students in 4-5 weeks. No game design or coding experience necessary. (With game design experience you can complete this in a matter of days)." "

    tags: education teaching gaming health gamebasedlearning

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 04/27/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 04/27/2012



  • The newest graduates of the Flat Classroom Certified Teacher program 11-3 have "graduated!." They are an amazing group of teachers: Cynthia Sandler, Cindy Shultz, Kathy Scarpato, Sandy Wisneski, Phil Macoun, Kevin Duncan, Michell McGarvey. Read about them and their projects on the blog. Congratulations! It was great getting to know you!

    tags: education flatclass certifiedteacher news

  • Google Drive is covered under same terms of service as other Google services. This means they can scan your data and us it to share with third party vendors for advertising purposes. For this reason, I'm not using Google Drive. I'm already in so deep, I'll just keep paying dropbox.

    tags: education news Google cloudcomputing

  • Google drive is a file storage site, however, I"m seeing many not willing to activate this service as it has been explained to me that according to Google Terms of service that they may "publicly perform" what you upload to the Google Drive. What does this mean?. I'm looking into this. It is an interesting service and 5GB is free, however, this terms of service, is not a good thing.

    tags: education news Google apps intellectualproperty

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Elearning and global competency #flatclass #globaled 04/27/2012



  • The newest graduates of the Flat Classroom Certified Teacher program 11-3 have "graduated!." They are an amazing group of teachers: Cynthia Sandler, Cindy Shultz, Kathy Scarpato, Sandy Wisneski, Phil Macoun, Kevin Duncan, Michell McGarvey. Read about them and their projects on the blog. Congratulations! It was great getting to know you!

    tags: education flatclass certifiedteacher news

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 04/26/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Getting the most out of email




Let's get one thing very clear here.

EMAIL is NOT FREE. 
Never has been. Never will be. You may not pay actual money for the service, but you are paying your time and your eyes each and every day. Your time is your life. It is all you have. Time wasted responding to bulk mails and junk is wasted. I'm to the point that all press releases from people I don't know go in the TRASH. Period.

Most of us aren't journalists working for newspapers and it isn't our job to cover everything that mainstream PR firms want us to. As for me, I'd rather talk to people and converse and see what is happening that way.

You won't get extra stars on your tombstone because you read every email. Some things aren't worth reading.

Stop the madness and ignore, delete and trash junk email and then maybe those that do it will realize that they are wasting the lives of good people.

The problem is the trash is getting in the way of doing real work that is important to me. I am going to get this email under control starting with sharing this with all of you in the hopes that you will pass it along.

Some habits that will help us all.
Why email when a phone call will do? I think everyone who uses email should adopt the email charter.

The email charter in a nutshell:

When emailing,

  • Don't waste time, 
  • Don't think a short message is rude - it is actually very considerate,
  • Be crystal clear in your subject line
  • Never ask open ended questions, be specific
  • Don't cc if it isn't necessary
  • If a thread goes over 3 replies pick up the phone
  • Don't use graphics or logos in your signature that appear as attachments
  • Use EOM (End of Message) and NNTR (No need to reply) in your workgroups
  • Don't reply to every email with wasted space
  • Disconnect from email sometimes.
I'd add ...
Respect other people's time and schedule a message for later if you don't really need a reply right then (use Boomerang - see below.)


Gmail Productivity Apps


There are a couple of apps that can improve your work in Gmail as well as some habits that could help us all. I use Gmail, so here are some apps of note if you use that popular service. Find something similar for your favorite tool.

Boomerang

If you're working late or sending a message to someone that you know uses a Blackberry or checks email all day long and you just don't want to interrupt their weekend, schedule the message to be sent Monday morning at a reasonable time. It also will send you a reminder if you haven't heard back from someone which will let you feel comfortable emptying out your inbox.

Wisestamp

This app creates the best email signatures that I've seen and connects to your social media accounts. Just don't insert your latest tweet if you're one of those people who tweets things you'd rather not everyone know (although why would you do that in the first place, I'm not sure.) This is a freemium model which means you'll be asked to upgrade if you want "fancier" templates although I'm happy with the standard template myself. I'm working with it as it still looks too long to me and I'm going to remove some of the social media buttons. I haven't found a way to easily add my book information either, however, I do like that you can have different defaults depending on the account you're sending from and for me, it may be worth looking at the upgrade just for that.


Priority Inbox
There are some cool layouts within Gmail such as priority inbox, although be very careful here as I've missed important emails down at the bottom when using priority inbox. Go into your settings (on the top right) and get familiar with all of the features and make sure you've set it up just like you want to.

Canned Responses

I have certain responses for requests I get a lot. Speaking, advertising, guest post requests (I don't do them - they are invitation ONLY).

YesWare

I do want to mention an app that is out there for those of you who HAVE to know if people are opening your emails. Yesware is for salespeople but because it allows you to create templates and see if people open your messages, I could see great applications for school administrators and office managers. It is getting great reviews in gmail productivity circles but I haven't used this one personally.


Photo Credit: Bigstock
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Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 04/26/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Elearning and global competency #flatclass #globaled 04/26/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 04/25/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Take the #youmatter Teacher's Lounge Challenge



Mom's coffee cake that will be in the teacher's lounge in 15 minutes and gone in 30. ;-)


We need cheerleaders. Teachers who encourage and help us "seize the day" and know we're going to make it.

I don't have a lot of time this morning, but I'm going to give you a poem that I'm taking to the teacher's lounge this morning. I took some funny teacher cartoons and put it on the top of the paper and then put this poem at the bottom:


You are going to make it, the end is near. Just hold on for life to all you call dear. 
Our school is a special gift and has been blessed beyond measure. These times are our legacy and ones we should treasure. 
But meanwhile we have a lot to do now! And with kids already on vacation, we have to wonder how. 
Grades to take, things to teach, projects galore – we’re already tired when our feet hit the floor. 
But these times will flee and time is so hurried, let’s work together, laugh, and work instead of getting too flurried. 
You are my heroes, you do great things, you will make it!  So today, take your empty tummy and put some coffee cake in it!
You could take the coffee cake and replace it with whatever you take to everyone. The note at the bottom reads.


You are loved! We’re going to make it! You matter! Your work is important!

Take time to encourage others en masse.

In the daily challenges on Twitter, I often ask you to buy a friend a favorite soda or something like that. But today, I'm throwing down the hatchet (or coffee cake as it may be) and asking you, my friends, to take the #youmatter Teacher's Lounge Challenge. (Hat tip to Angela Maiers for inspiring the #youmatter hashtag sweeping the Twittersphere.)


Tell others You Matter!

Her Tedx talk in Des Moines recently is one that everyone in education should watch. (embedded below)


Do something for all the teachers to bring a smile, encourage, and let the other teachers know that they matter to you. Do it as a group. Do something. If you're an admin - do something.

Some people understand love with things like this and words don't matter to them so DO SOMETHING. Our principal leaves cakes in the teacher's lounge on random days. It is silly to think it makes a difference, but it makes a BIG difference. I'm eating that cake thinking, "my principal really does notice me." Mrs. Betty, our curriculum director does the same thing sometimes.

If you can't think of an idea:

So, feel free to copy that poem and plan something spontaneous to put in the teacher's lounge. If you write your own poem or have a good message, share it so we can all encourage each other. Sometimes something very little like this can make a big difference so take time to encourage others.

Any old sourpuss can be crabby and steal joy but the gifts to this world are those who give encouragement. Right now we ALL need encouragement.

Take the #youmatter Teacher's Lounge Challenge and plan something by yourself or with friends to encourage your entire teaching staff. (Why stop there, after the teachers, take it to students, parents... end the school year well.)

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 04/25/2012



  • From the LA Times today. Lots of people "unzipped Google" today in honor of his birthday, however, he did NOT invent the zipper..

    "Gideon Sundback -- the man who did not invent the zipper but did perfect it -- is the recipient today of a giant, interactive Google Doodle zipper.

    It's a doodle to add zip to your day, honoring the birthday of the man who helped introduce the fastening device into everyday clothing. Look around -- there's a good chance you'll see Sundback's handiwork in nearly every item of clothing you own, save shirts and blouses.

    Even sneakers sport zippers these days.

    Sundback was born 132 years ago today in Sweden. He lived briefly in Germany before making his way to the U.S. and becoming the epitome of the American success story. He didn't actually invent the zipper. Such a device -- which uses metal teeth to pull two sides of material together -- had been dreamed up years before but was clumsy and easily came undone, undermining its usefulness.

    tags: education news

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 04/24/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Edu app news: apps, ebooks, and sites for your classroom #mlearning 04/24/2012



  • Awesome! You can now create a public URL for ANY file in dropbox (not just those in your public folder) to share with anyone. It is a very easy system as Richard Byrne shares in this post.) Great news. Dropbox is my favorite "go to" app for making my classroom paperless.

    tags: news dropbox eduapp edapp

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Learning about Learning: Research and Edreform News and Views 04/24/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Sitting still does not mean learning (It is time for school redesign)



I am a blogger for the Balancing Act on the Lifetime Channel and enjoy watching their many videos on learning. Yes, each session does have a vendor (this one is Virco talks about the Zrock rocking chair) on the piece, however, I had to share this one that I totally agree with that shows and talks about the redesign of schools from furniture, to making them green, to use.

At the beginning of this video, the speaker says:

"Sitting still does not mean learning."

I have students all the time who lean back (and break) my regular "four on the floor" chairs because they lean back. I am a leaner and like to lean back as well. In this clip, they have a school that bought these "rocking chair" style chairs for their students and it totally warms my heart to see the students rocking. They need this!

In the Flat Classroom book, we talk about in Chapter 7: Choice - giving students choices. I believe students need choices. Ewan McIntosh shares in the book his 7 spaces  in schools about how we have to redesign schools. A conversation in South Africa at the Microsoft Partners in Learning conference opened my eyes to the fact that we need to design for learning and choice from the ground up. We don't need typical desks any more for what we're trying to do.

(See his 7 spaces of technology in schools vimeo video below.)

The Seven Spaces of Technology in School Environments from Ewan McIntosh on Vimeo.


I also love the green school they show at the end that is completely sustainable and creates its own electricity and water.

IF you're looking at what school design needs to be, this video segment is an excellent opportunity to look at some schools and ideas.

Adding this to my Big Little Thing #6: Look at your school from the chairs out.




Note: Although I blog for the lifetime channel, I am NOT a paid endorser of anyone or anything and have complete editorial control over what I write. Lifetime and I exchange links and if I receive products I will always disclose that according to the Bloggers code of ethics (see the bottom of my blog.) For those of you new to my blog, I want to be transparent about any relationships I have.

Daily Education and Technology News for Schools 04/24/2012



  • The Read write web writes a comprehensive assessment about how the iPad is changing education. 

    tags: education news ipad ipadchat

  • Artists are going to adopt schools to help improve them. This sounds nice but if an artist adopting someone to make them successful worked, every movie star's child would be successful and we know that this is not true. Hard work from a lot of anonymous people is what it is going to take. This feels gimmicky but if it helps kids, I'm all for it.
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington and Forest Whitaker are adopting some of the nation's worst-performing schools and pledged Monday to help the Obama administration turn them around by integrating arts education.
    The President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities announced a new Turnaround Arts initiative as a pilot project for eight schools with officials from the White House and U.S. Department of Education. Organizers said they aim to demonstrate research that shows the arts can help reduce behavioral problems and increase student attendance, engagement and academic success.
    The two-year initiative will target eight high-poverty elementary and middle schools. The schools were among the lowest-performing schools in each of their states and had qualified for about $14 million in federal School Improvement Grants from the Obama administration. The public-private arts initiative will bring new training for educators at the Aspen Institute, art supplies, musical instruments and programs totaling about $1 million per year, funded by the Ford Foundation, the Herb Alpert Foundation and other sponsors.

    tags: education news

  • I find this title incredibly hard to believe but yes, there are many other options other than the ipad. Grace Lutheran School in Oshkosh, Wisconsin chose Chromebooks, but I would hardly call that a challenge to an ipad. Hat tip to Tim Holt for this interesting read.

    tags: news ipad ipadchat

  • I love Leo Babatua from Zenhabits. His crazy talk is my crazy talk, with the exception that most people want to quit. My blog has actually given me some money on the side to allow me to stay in teaching as the pay cut I took was very hard to deal with for my family. (Hat tip to Stephen Downes for pointing to this post. This is  a pick me up post, for sure.

    "That’s the amazing realization here: that we rule out the possibility of great change, because it doesn’t seem realistic. For nearly two decades I focused on going to college, and working at a day job that I sometimes enjoyed but often dreaded, because that’s what we expect should happen. Starting my own business, pursuing my dreams, doing something I loved? Crazy talk.
    Crazy talk is what I’m going to give you today, in hopes that perhaps one of you will expand your possibilities. It is possible — I did it, all while working a full-time job, doing free-lance writing on the side, and having a wife and six kids. I did it, even if I never dared to dream it for the first three decades of my life.

    tags: education passion news inspiration

  • Awesome! You can now create a public URL for ANY file in dropbox (not just those in your public folder) to share with anyone. It is a very easy system as Richard Byrne shares in this post.) Great news. Dropbox is my favorite "go to" app for making my classroom paperless.

    tags: news dropbox eduapp edapp

  • eLearning Laura shares her ideas for integrating iPads. I love how she starts with learning. Great read for teachers and IT integrators facing ipad integration.

    tags: education ipadchat ipad news

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Elearning and global competency #flatclass #globaled 04/24/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Will you help judge a few videos? #flatclass



We are in great need of some judges to help review student multimedia for TWO projects. 
Both of these projects have many students madly finishing off multimedia work, with a timeline for judging to start by mid-May. We will be holding a Judges Orientation meeting around May 1 to go over expectations. However all information is on the respective wiki.

If you have a couple of hours spare in mid-May we welcome you warmly to sign up on the Ning link(s) above and follow instructions on the associated wiki to put your name next to the preferred topic of interest.

If you have any other teachers in your schools who would like to learn more about our projects through judging the final product, we welcome them to sign up as well.

Many thanks everyone.

Julie Lindsay

Just received this in my inbox and wanted to see if you want to learn about how to judge multimedia. It takes about 1 hour or 1 1/2 hours in early May. I know you're busy, but if any of you can help out, it is very appreciated. As the students are studying current trends in technology and education, it is a great way to get up to speed on current trends. Join us! -- Vicki

Teach This! Teaching with lesson plans and ideas that rock #teaching 04/23/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Learning about Learning: Research and Edreform News and Views 04/23/2012



Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

When it is OK to get complaints. (A pep talk for the visionary)



You don't measure success by how few people complain. It is a horrific way to measure success and yet we see it all the time. Principals live with complaints and I have seen some tweets and updates saying:

"It has been a good day, no one complained."

Really, no one complained?

This was also a measure of success used in the 1930's and it was called appeasement. (See more on this in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.) Are there people who are not moving forward because they are spending time appeasing all the different types of people?

This came to me yesterday as I heard my new preacher, Michael Catt (no I didn't join this church because of his last name ;-)) at Sherwood  talk about the resurrection of Lazarus (John 11:17-44) and said

"God ticks people off even when He does good things! The leaders started planning to kill him."
When everyone likes you you're doing nothing
Whatever you believe, this principle does apply. I spent the afternoon thinking about another saying that my father has always told me:

"When everyone likes you it means you're doing NOTHING and you're not worth talking about."
Don't try to be popular on Twitter unless you're ready to be unpopular
For example, right now on Twitter, for some reason, many people follow me on Twitter every day. In fact it is a problem because I usually do my Twitter work on the weekends and Twitter has a limit of how many follows you can do at one time (the cap is at a hundred) so if there are 75-110 following me a day, it is literally undoable to follow everyone back.


(So I use a service called manage flitter and work to follow people who CONVERSE with me and have COMMON interest. I typically follow PEOPLE not marketeers someone hired to get on my Twitter stream. I also unfollow those who unfollow me - often because they are trying to "game" their klout score by following me - getting me to follow them and unfollowing. That is ridiculous and a waste of time.) 

But here's the thing. Sure, I get a lot of followers every day BUT I get between 8-30 UNFOLLOWERS a day. This can be for so many reasons - I do tweet a bit. I tweet to teachers -non teachers often unfollow because they queued on one of my quotes or technology notes. Or heck, some people just don't like me. There are some people that couldn't handle success on Twitter because it would kill them the volume of unfollows they would get. But honestly, I can't focus on that. People will unfollow you just because people can make up their own minds about who belongs in their PLN and whether they want to be on Twitter at all.

There are things that get me unfollowed every time.  When I mention anything about my faith or any religion at all. (I"ve shared some religious resources that gave an overview of what other faith's believe as part of in-class curriculum and got a spike in unfollows) However, I've decided if it is something that is part of my thought process and is applicable (like this blog post) I'm leaving it in. I'm not followed or read because I'm some fake well-polished propaganda machine -I'm a real person and just need to be real and encouraging and insanely helpful and what happens, happens. I've got students to teach, I can't spend my time worried about why I had a spike in Twitter followers and rethinking my Tweets. Life is more than all this, for goodness sakes and I'm going to live it.


Abraham Lincoln did a great thing but he ticked off a lot of people. (Of course you'll argue that he was assassinated for it as well, but he was also our greatest President.)
Winston Churchill was very UNPOPULAR in fact because of his stand against appeasement. I was listening to William Manchester's book the Last Lion while walking around the track and heard the words, "Winston's social isolation was complete..." It resonated from me because I've experienced this in my own life.

The kinds of things worth taking grief over:


If it is right, just, if you're attempting to disagree respectfully, if you are an elected or appointed leader and an injustice has happened, if it is noble or visionary to do... these are the things worth being unpopular over. I think it is especially important for us to be concerned about being fair to everyone but also to hold people accountable. It is always worth it to me to hold children accountable for their actions, even when I get complaints and the blame that always comes from parents because I didn't "MAKE" their child do something. (I teach high schoolers, for goodness sakes, I can make sure they are on task but if they want to sit there and pretend, I can certainly be snowed sometimes - not often but sometimes.) It is always worth it to take grief for a well-founded vision. Nothing undermines the credibility of a visionary more than excessive waffling.

The kinds of things not worth taking grief over:

Incompetence, slackness, sorriness, apathy, laziness, corruption, exploitation, injustice - these are the kinds of things that it aren't worth it. When such things happen DEAL WITH THE PROBLEM and for goodness sakes don't defend it. It is not worth taking grief over the fact that I didn't help a child who is down: death, bullying, the struggles of life - I should be there and work with a child to get the content in a way that doesn't heap a lack of hope upon a child in their lowest moments.

Complaints make a poor yardstick for your life
I just don't think that measuring your life by whether people are not complaining is a good rule. Sometimes people complain because you are doing something that needs to be done but they don't want to be held accountable.

Just a word for those of you struggling to do the right things and taking heat for it right now. It is the end of the school year and sometimes things come to a head.

Do the right thing, be just, be kind, be noble, but know what kinds of students you wan to produce out of your classroom.

I want to produce students that know how to get a job done and can be trusted with the future of society because they have the thinking skills and work ethic to do it. I'm willing to take the heat for it today so the world can have a better tomorrow. I don't give grades, they are earned.

Photo Credit: Big Stock
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