“That’s not the way we’ve always done it.”

“In the past, we’ve (…fill in the blank here…)”

I will be honest now … I’ve heard these two statements so many times this year I think if I hear either one of them again I might puke.

Done-it-this-way2

Just to clarify, there have been a few times that I asked what was done in the past, but that was a calculated question because I didn’t want to hear someone come right back with the answer “In the past, we …”  And I’m not stubborn enough to not care what was done in the past either.  Sometimes knowing why it was done really makes sense and makes it easy to keep doing it because it was a good idea.  However, I feel that often times some people say something like this because they don’t want to do anything different and I think that just might be our downfall.  I think that school people (me included) often times get so comfortable in our routines that it becomes easy to keep doing whatever it is.  I say this with the understanding that it is not always easy to let go of old habits.  But, it also helps to look at where we want to be and ask ourselves if what we are doing know will get us there OR will I need to do something a little different to get some different results.

same-old-thinking-gets-you-the-same-results

I also believe that there are people who only want to do things their way and when someone does something a little different (it doesn’t even have to be radically different either) then they get all out-of-whack, upset, and frustrated.  This to me is the sign of a selfish person.  I don’t think that is a quality that we need to have. There is nothing wrong with being confident in what you do, but when it gets to the point of “your way is the only way” this is when I lose my ability to want understand you.  I begin to tune you out.  I don’t want to be like this and I don’t want to be around people like this.

No Selfishness

So here are my challenges to all of us ….

  1. Don’t accept the status quo.  Look to see if it is working.  If it is, great.  Ask yourself … can it be better?
  2. Don’t just automatically start out a conversation with … “That’s not how we do it here.”  or “In the past, we ,,,,” or “That’s not the way we’ve always done it.”
  3. Ask Why?
  4. Strive to make things better.
  5. Don’t be selfish.

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.  Maybe I am the one that is out-of-whack in my thinking.  If so, let me know.

Hand holding a Social Media 3d Sphere

To begin with … I am, and have been, a supporter of social media.  I have been on Twitter since June of 2012 when I went to the Texas Association of Secondary School Principals Summer Workshop in Austin and went to a session on using Twitter as a tool for personalized learning. I talked to my teachers about it and many of them have also joined in and use Twitter on a regular basis for their own learning and sharing.  I also use Instagram to share pictures and information, mainly because most of my students use it, and I wanted to be able to get information to them as well as show off the good things that are happening at our school.  I do see the value in social media !!

However, I have not ever been on Facebook even though I knew it was the most widely used form of social media. The superintendent at my previous school would not allow us to have a Facebook account for our school (he called it The Evil Empire), so I just didn’t worry about it for my school or for myself.

Facebook

I have been contemplating getting on Facebook for a while now, not really personally, but for my school.  I think we have done a fair job this year of reaching parents, but I knew it could be better.  I got with one of my teachers the other day and she talked me through creating a personal Facebook account so I could then create a Facebook page for our school. After doing this, I linked it with our school’s twitter account so now when I post on Facebook, it automatically posts on Twitter. That was one benefit … one post goes to two places, but the main benefit so far has been the ability to reach so many more people.  To be honest, I was really amazed and pleasantly surprised.  In just a few days of my school being on Facebook, we have tripled the amount of people who we reach and that are able to get information.  Now more people can see all the good things that are happening at our school.  It is important that we tell our stories of all the good things that are happening in our schools because many people never hear about the good … they only hear the bad … and if that’s all they hear, then that’s all they think is happening.  People thrive on the negative, but I want to spread the positive.

So with that, I am now officially personally on Facebook and I am a little shocked.  It amazes me not only the sheer number of people that are on Facebook but also how much time people are on it as well as the amount of information that gets posted.  I have used Twitter as a tool for my own learning and then occasionally I would share something that is just useless random information.  But with Facebook, I will have to get used to people putting every bit of their personal information out there for people to see and read about.  And I will have to caution myself to not do that as well.

Being on Facebook for these last few days has really opened my eyes even wider to the value of social media and the ability to reach so many people.  It also has reminded me to be wary of the pitfalls and that we should exercise some caution while connecting in the world of Facebook.

And to anybody who is my friend on Facebook, please be patient with me as I am still learning.

Today I was looking through my twitter feed and came across these pics and I thought they were very relevant so I thought I’d share.

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Leave a comment and let me know what your thoughts are.

Frustrated

Posted: March 1, 2015 in Attitude, choice, Leadership
Tags: , ,

Bang Head Here

Have you ever gotten frustrated?  I know, that’s a dumb question because we all have.  I guess the better question is How do you deal with Frustration?  Do you keep on doing the same thing hoping it will get better or change or do you do something different?

We (teachers, administrators, parents, students) all get frustrated from time to time … this is a given.  How we deal with this frustration determines if we will end up being successful or not.  We can blame others or we can look at ourselves and our actions.  We can’t control what someone else does … we can only control our what we do.

So here’s the challenge to myself — look at what I can do differently to get the results I want.

It’s really that simple.

Originally posted on THE BRAHMA BLOG:

flipped classroom

I have had several teachers talk to me about flipping their classes.  In the course of some of these conversations, some have expressed apprehension about it but still was very interested in the possibilities.  This apprehension is pretty common … it’s called the Fear of the Unknown.

So how do you overcome this fear?  This is a relativity simple answer — just jump right in and do it!  Take a chance!  Go for it!

Here are two videos (each is less than 5 minutes long) to get you started on the path to flipping your classes.  After you check them out, please let me know your thoughts either by leaving a comment at the end of this blog post or just come by my office and visit with me about it.

View original

One Word

I’ve been off from work/school going on two weeks now. (It’s great getting two weeks off every year for Christmas and New year’s !!!) I’ve been really thinking a lot about writing a new post for this blog for a while, even before Christmas Break. I’ve had a few ideas, but I really never just sat down and took the time to actually put the words down.  I have been reading tweets everyday and stalking around on Instagram.  I’ve been going back over some of my older posts in this blog.  I’ve been staying up late at night and sleeping in late in the mornings.  I’ve been watching a lot of good football games.  I went to ATT Stadium in Arlington and watch some great Texas High School Football State Championship games. I watched some great College football bowl games too.  And for what it’s worth, I am glad to finally see a college football playoff format that the National Champion will be determined on the field rather than from computer rankings.

I’ve been doing a lot of different things but nothing really productive.

Just the other day was January 1, 2015. I read a lot about resolutions, etc. from many people.  But I didn’t make one. I wanted to.  I actually thought of many different things I am going to do differently this year, but I still didn’t make a resolution.

This morning I was sitting on my couch watching East Carolina and Florida play in The Birmingham Bowl. (I still can’t get over some of the bowl games that are played AFTER the major bowl games!!) As I was watching this game I was creating a “Back to School’ post on my school blog called Preparations for the Second Semester.  Within this post, I posed the question:  If you could choose one word that describes what you want to do in 2015, what would that word be? I asked my faculty and staff to email or text me their One Word.

Then tonight as I was going through my twitter feed, and came across a tweet from Tia Henriksen, a K-7 Principal from Langley, BC.  (You can follow her on twitter @TiaHenriksen).  In this tweet was the following video and it really says it all. There’s nothing else I need to add to it.

It’s funny how some things happen.  This video goes right along with my question I asked my faculty and staff this morning.

I saved it to my Pocket account and now I want to share it with you.  I hope you enjoy.

By the way, my One Word for 2015 is FOCUS.

What’s yours?  Please leave a comment and share.

Adversity!

Posted: December 3, 2014 in Uncategorized

Adversity

Throughout life we all face tough times.  Some people have tougher times than others.  Everybody has issues.  You can face them or you can give up.  It’s a choice!

You never know what someone is going through or has gone through.  Other people don’t always know what you are going through either.

It’s called ADVERSITY.  How you handle it will define who you are.

In this video, former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell gives a very motivational, and inspirational speech to the Alabama Crimson Tide football team where he recounts the events that were made into the movie “Lone Survivor”, and then he relates it to playing football.  (Mark Wahlberg played Marcus Luttrell in the movie).  Click here to see the video.

I would encourage each of us to really think about the adversity we all face. Remember that quitting is not an option. The mission is still on. Put in the work. Draw a line. Don’t stop.