Sunday, September 26, 2010

Remember that you are successful.

A pastor and instructor of preaching, Rev. Diana Goudie, once taught me this.  I think it's very applicable to teaching.

Judge your success not by how many people follow. 
Judge your success by your faithfulness in showing the way.

Be well, colleague.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

my favorite education quote

Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself. ~ Chinese proverb

Something tells me if you are reading this blog, you are doing a good job at "opening the door," and getting the students to enter.  Though, of course, it is ultimately up to them.  Be well and have a blessed week as you bless others.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Time for a little humor.

"Isn't the principal a dummy!" said a boy to a girl.
"Well, do you know who I am?" asked the girl.
"No." replied the boy.
"I'm the principal's daughter." said the girl.
"And do you know who I am?" asked the boy.
"No," she replied.
"Thank goodness!" said the boy with a sigh of relief.

joke originally found here

Friday, September 17, 2010

How to Improve Your Patience

Feeling hurried and harried yet, at this point in the year? Hope not, but if you need a little patience boost, click here to go to a post at The Positivity Blog.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Read this Mitch Albom column if you need reassurance . . .

. . . that some people do "get" how big our task is.

Mitch Albom is in Korea.  He compares their kids (and culture) with ours. I'm not sure this qualifies as "encouraging," but it is somehow reassuring to me that someone "gets" that we educators do not have an easy task; and that the fact that our kids do not perform as well as many countries' children is not the fault of me and you. Read "Korea's kids just like ours, 100 years ago" here.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Think about what you want to happen tomorrow.

“Our thoughts create our reality — where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go.” 
~ Peter McWilliams

I do not know of Mr. McWilliams, but he has very succinctly described the value of a positive focus.  

I'm writing this on a Sunday evening. Let me invite you (and me) to think of something successful from last week at school . . .

. . . Good; now think of how you intend things to go this week: your classroom climate, interactions, learning objectives, etc. Go get 'em. You can do it. 

Be well.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

an inspiring (and challenging) thought as school begins

A couple of years ago Matt Reeves, then my assistant principal, read us this the day before school, and I offer it now as a back to school thought:

"I have come to a frightening conclusion.

I am the decisive element in the classroom.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
As a teacher I possess tremendous power to make a child's life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration.
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis
will be escalated or de-escalated, and a child humanized or de-humanized."

- Haim Ginott, Teacher and Child: A Book for Parents and Teachers
(New York: Macmillan, 1972), 15.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Inspiring Video

Our superintendent, Ms. Michelle Burley, steered us in Escanaba to this inspiring video about your importance.  It's geared to the start of the year, and I realize some of you have been at work for weeks, but you 'll gain from it nonetheless. Be well!

Friday, September 3, 2010

How is your language affecting your reality? A link to a great article.

Yes, I do believe there is an objective reality "out there." But you can't deny that each of lives in our own mental universe, made up of our understandings of people and things.  As the Hebrew scriptures tell us, "As one thinks, so one is."

If we will choose more positive language to describe people and situations, we will think, feel, and act more positively, especially in dealing with challenges. I'll confess I often forget to do this, but when I do speak and think more positively, it does change my feelings toward a person or situation. Even using the word "challenge" instead of "problem."  Advertisers and governments daily demonstrate that they do not underestimate the power of words to shape people's actions.

Along these lines, here's  a fascinating article,