The Greater Insult

A thought popped into my head about insults which resulted in a question.

Which is worse, finding someone’s weak spot and making fun or finding someone’s dreams and making fun?

As soon as I asked the question I knew my answer.  I’d rather you make fun of everything I am self conscious about rather than hitting my dreams.  It reminds me of a short poem by Yeats.



This poem was used by the great Ken Robinson to illustrate how students walk into our classrooms everyday.

Culture of Punishment – Rough Draft

As the title suggests, I am still working this thought out, so bear with me.

The first step in stopping unwanted behavior is to punish or threaten punishment for those who are committing that unwanted behavior.

This is not my belief, but what I feel our culture sees as the correct way to handle people doing bad things.  This belief has made its way into our education system as well.  I work with a lot of schools (as I’ve said in many previous posts, but wanted to make sure anyone starting with this post knew the situation) and in every single one of them there is a district wide policy that the school has to follow when dealing with problem behavior.  Suspension and Detention.  A policy that lists all of the “Incident Types” and defines what punishment will occur should a student commit those behaviors.  Its written in stone and every teacher/administrator wants it followed.

There rarely is a district wide policy for correcting the behavior.  Listing the problem behavior and defining how they will be punished is not going to improve that student’s life.  It makes us feel better, “Ha, caught another one,” but what is it really doing?

More as I figure this one out.

The Gift of Rejection

I have been on the road a lot recently.  Three straight weeks to be exact.  Aside from being a little tired the extended road trips have given me the opportunity to listen to NPR a little more than I would working from home.  As I was driving out to Columbus this past Sunday I caught a part of A Prairie Home Companion and heard the host, Garrison Keillor, make a pithy comment on success.

He said that the first time he was “given the gift of rejection” made him profoundly grateful, because that rejection became a “motor on his back” that forced him to strive for more.  For better.  For greater things.


The Google

I’m sitting and watching TV.  I see something I am curious about.  I want to look it up.  Should I?  Another great post from 22 Words.

A Good Read

If books were characters from the book.  A great piece from 22 words.

Pyramids of Awesome

This one is for where the venn diagram of Basketball and the TV Show Parks and Recreation overlap.

Pyramid of Success

I will admit, as a non-sports person, but a fan of Parks and Rec, I did not know that the Swanson Pyramid of Greatness was a direct Parody of Wooden’s Pyramid of Success.

Supporting the Youngsters

I love how he says, “Youngsters.”  How he wants the best for the youngsters.

“No written word nor spoken plea can teach young minds what they should be, not all the books on all the shelves but what the teachers are themselves.” -Elbert Hubbard

Married Around the World

I like this idea.  A couple got married in 2011, and then traveled the world to do it all over again everywhere they went.  Most of them in South America.

From the 22 Words Blog.

The Learner-Teacher Relationship

A continuation of True, But Useless.

Bobby’s story is not unique.  The fact that he got along with one teacher better than the others happens all the time.  We all have our favorites, our least favorites, and those we can hardly remember their names.

As my old mentor used to tell me, “10% of the kids I had loved me as teacher.  10% hated me.  The other 80% . . . I was just another teacher.”  In a profession that isolates its practitioners, where we have little time to interact or collaborate, it is hard to hold onto this statement, be confident in our abilities, and also open to support from others.  I am most impressed with the teachers who accepted the counselor’s support.  Who understood that his objective was not meant to diminish them in favor of the one teacher that Bobby did like, but to share the idiosyncrasy of a particular kid, and how it matched the practices of a specific teacher.

At this point, to all the non-teachers out there, I want you to think about your favorite teacher or teachers.  I would encourage you to think about how you view the other kids in that class.  You loved that teacher and because you did, you also make that assumption for everyone else in the class.  The same can be true of the ones you loathed.  You hated that teacher, your friends may have hated that teacher, so you assume that everyone did.  I challenge you to give that assumption a second look.  Is it possible that another student, with different priorities, dreams, and interests may have liked your most loathed teacher or who may have loathed your most beloved teacher?

A Teacher Almost as Nerdy as Me

I found him.  He’s out there.  A teacher almost as nerdy as me.  I wonder if there are more?  Actually, I know there are.