Saturday, November 12, 2016

Words Are Eternal

"Among the many worlds that man did
 not receive as a gift from nature but
 created out of his own mind, the world of books is the greatest… Without the word,
without the writing of books, there is no history, there is no concept of humanity. 

And if anyone wants to try to enclose in a
 small space, in a single house or a single
 room, the history of the human spirit and
to make it his own, he can only do this in
 the form of a collection of books."
                                                             ~Hermann Hesse

The ability to read and understand
simple, subtle, and complex ideas is
the golden feat we shall set our sights 
upon.  The priceless skills of reading
and thinking are tremendous gifts
which can elevate our children
into worlds of possibility!   

Let it be our mission and passion
to encourage the art of learning to
read for all children.  It may just
lead them to dream, and from
that distant shore....
there can be no turning back!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

#IMMOOC & "The Purpose of Education"

"Change is nothing to fear."
Repeat:  "Change is nothing to fear."
Embrace it and step out of your comfort zone because each moment, each day, week, month, 
and the year that passes is different from
 the times that have eclipsed you and I.  The idea of "time marching on" is a powerful one.  Let it provoke wonder and energy within you because of the young people who come into class each day.  

Turning back to the first ten pages in George's 
The Innovator's Mindset, I recognized  
this phrase right away:  "What I care about
 is that kids are inspired to be better people because of their experiences in school." 

It was highlighted in yellow.  

I read the book months ago and was
curious about that first section which we
were responding to this week.  For me, 
it was necessary to "revisit" those 
early pages of the book. 

Why else should I rise from my bed each
morning and head off to play, to my important responsibilities?  It's for that genuine engagement with students, colleagues, families, and the community surrounding the school.  

Back to the book......I rediscovered three other passages (on page ten) that "jumped out" at me in that first reading of The Innovator's Mindset.

They were also highlighted in yellow. 

"Relationships are the crux of everything we do."
"The second thing my parents taught me was
 the value of being a constant learner,
especially in the face of adversity."   

In the same way, we need to, as Teach Like a PIRATE author Dave Burgess says, create
 an experience where students are
"knocking down the doors to get in."  

Lucky are we to recognize our mission
to be a part of encouraging and educating kids.
Let's reach out to seek the inspiration to 
get the job style, and with love.

If you missed YouTube Live 1 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

"Bill & #IMMOOC"

A year ago I met a friendly gal around noon at
 the Vincennes, Indiana YMCA.  We were 
preparing to get our respective work-outs done under the watchful eye of a guard when she smiled and introduced herself as Laura.
 Throwing out a compliment about her suit,
 I jumped into the water and pushed off the 
wall.  "Timing is everything" they say,  
That poolside encounter proved to be true.

Little did I know a third swimmer
 finishing up his workout was the subject of
 of a piece Laura had  penned for 
Boomer Magazine, a local publication 
highlighting people and special events
 occurring in and around  communities
 adjacent to Knox County, Indiana.

Once I had the opportunity to read
 Laura's piece it both surprised and delighted
me.  Ironically I'd met the subject of her
 as a teenager and we were both living in 
Lawrenceville, Illinois.
He was my neighbor and the father of
 one of my friends, Mr. Carrithers.  

The afternoon Laura and I had a chance meeting, Bill just happened to be a couple of 
 lanes over from us.   Looking strong, he was
  in the midst of finishing up a mile swim.

Read Laura's story about Bill
in the link above (on page 8).  
Come back here to
"My Pedagogy Page," for there's
so much more to this story.

Bill Carrithers, Still in the Swim

Here's my shout-out to the group
participating in #IMMOOC 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Do Your Job

"It's not our job to play judge and jury,

to determine who is worthy of our kindness

and who is not. We just need to be kind, 

unconditionally and without ulterior motive,

even - or rather, especially

when we'd prefer not to be."     

                                                                       ~Josh Radnor

Friday, June 3, 2016

Selfless Spirit

From 1917 until the end of World War One, the
woman of The Salvation Army provided donuts to soldiers.  

Today on this 1st Friday in June,

 we celebrate National Donut Day. 

It officially began in 1938 as a way of paying 

 tribute to the selfless spirit of The Salvation

 Army volunteers, the "donut lassies" during 

the first world war.  The holiday honors and 

symbolizes the services The Salvation Army 

continues to provide today.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer is Due

The Swedish say, "Life without love

 is like a year without summer."

Do without fireflies, warm silver moons,

or ruby tomatoes? Unthinkable! 

Days in a garden or furrowed field, 

fishing poles in the pond, revivals,

and dips in a pool.  Juicy slices of

watermelon, smoky campfires,

and excursions to the fair.    


Breathe in the love from family & friends

 as May slips gently, sweetly into June.

                                         ~Rose West

Tuesday, May 24, 2016


It's difficult to imagine not "connecting" with those whom you admire.  Their smiles, words 
of encouragement or advice can make all
 the difference.  Simply put, our paths cross routinely nearly each and every day, right?
It's a comfortable feeling.  

Yet when that individual's an educator
who has been present in the lives of
countless numbers of learners
for all the right reasons, the
routine will be upended.  
People such as these do not just have jobs.

These extraordinary 
individuals share a craft; 
they fulfill the varied needs
of their customers at every turn.
Quoting John Steinbeck:  "I have come to believe that a great teacher is great artist and that there
 are as few as there are any other great artists.  
It might even be the greatest of the arts 
since the medium is the human heart & spirit."

I wish Steinbeck had gone on to comment  
on how to deal with a void that occurs when special individuals we know 
decide to pursue new adventures.   

So for this moment late in May, I'm so
thankful for their gifts.  I will be grateful 
they chose to share their passion for
questioning and for learning, with kids

You realize that some think 
they'll go out and "change the world."  
Crazy thoughts, huh?

William Magee, Suzanne Jordan,
and Priscilla Salmond 
have done just that.    

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The End of the School Year

You have spent the year together, close quarters since late August.  You've involved students in thousands of lessons and group is feasting during the waning days in this month of May.  

Teachers get to know a lot about their "customers."   Some children do better than others in the academic areas of fifth grade, while their classmates may excel in endeavors related to athletics.  Often kids have some tough personal issues or challenges, and  teachers usually uncover such truths.  He or 
she can relate to a child's pain, and help.

Hopefully together you've learned, laughed, and grown since first crossing the doorway of the classroom.  There's been tension and disagreements, for no group escapes them when sharing nine months or more of time, together.  Yet now as you approach the last day of school, everyone is tired.  Everyone is ready for the start of summer break.  Everyone who is remembered in a special way is "changed."  And that change feels so good.
Yes, kids still do pass notes.
 Click on this image to get the whole message.
 Then smile to know a child feels this way.

Thank you teachers, for 
being in the lives of our children.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

For All Seasons

Ball season's here, with players young and old participating in a beloved sport.  Countless
 hours of practice and coaching lie ahead.  Families reorganize schedules to attend
 games, with obvious pride and zeal for
teams they support and the players they love.

Ever played baseball or softball?  
You relish the feeling of getting out onto a grassy field.  Partnering with teammates and giving each matchup a "best"effort is what it's about.  There's immense pride in developing skills and reaching goals.  For players, what can be more delightful?
This spring it's been eight years since this trio were involved in a game pitting
 college softball rivals Western Oregon University and Central Washington University.

For a photo opportunity (above) several years ago, these athletes recreated a moment when senior
Sara Tucholsky was carried by rival Central players Mallory Holtman and 
Liz Wallace.  

Sara had just hit a home run but suddenly
she dropped down, injured and unable to run.  With two Western players already on base, Sara's  home run would have be voided if teammates had intervened or offered her any assistance. 
That's when Mallory Holtman did what
some people would considerable unthinkable. 

Batters up.........a true story,
one of determination & compassion!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Makes Me Think

You never know what
talent lies out there in your midst. 

Think about that the next time
you're with children and they are
learning something new.  A path to
self-discovery or accomplishment
begins with simply "that chance."

David Tolley made a second 
appearance on Carson's show and
continued to inspire the audience
that evening, as he does even today:

Thursday, January 28, 2016

So True

"People rarely succeed unless 
they have fun in what they are doing."
~Dale Carnegie

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Sunday Stand 1-17-2016

One day late this week, it's "Saturday Stand"
coming out on a Sunday.  There were two separate instances that occurred recently, each 
resonating with importance for students and for others. 
I wanted to reflect upon and share them;
each story holds an important truth.

#Kids need good role models.

That being said, here's a gentleman that "stepped up to the plate" for a group of
school kids and some caring adults.  

Meet Christian who works at the Bethalto, Illinois Post Office.  He's also a veteran.  

Saturday a family attempted to ship
two boxes of items their child's class
had collected for 
Project Frontline:

When they discovered the expense
to mail both packages was out of their
this man pulled out his wallet
to pay 
the cost to ship one of the boxes.  
His reasoning?  

Christian explained that he knew first-hand how much programs that serve the needs of
servicemen and women, value donations.  
He knows just how much packages like
the two mailed from Bethalto mean
to soldiers who shall receive them.  

#Hero          #RoleModel        #Veteran

#Kids often come to school hungry

 When I envision a wide spectrum of success
for young people, the fact that many are
hindered by pervasive hunger is not
something I used to think about.

As educators we must consider that.


Read on to discover an idea that
began with a June 2015 gathering
The Lawrence County Health 
Department, and the courage of a
handful of people who don't sit by
the sidelines when it comes to 
doing what's "best" for young
people across Lawrence County. 

#Hopeful     #AHeartForKids



Saturday, January 9, 2016

Saturday Stand 1-9-2016

Kids come to school with uncertainty
and perhaps some initial nervousness.  

That's to be expected, especially if they're involved with learning in large groups 
of peers for the first time.  I say 
"extra bonus points
if kids come to class feeling
hopeful and curious, how grand!

I'll take it from there.
You know, the moment they enter my classroom.  They will be successful.

I'll expect everyone to support kids.
I create resources to inform 
my learning community.
I'll expect families to communicate 
with myself, colleagues, and the administration
to uphold and maintain 
on-going success for kids.
I read, "Tweet," and connect with
others to continue my learning.
I refine my craft. 
Let's strive for "win-win" situations.


Parkside Night Owls:

Shining Moments:

Let's Go!

George Couros- I loved the
 "The Innovator's Mindset"
and recommend it to others!