Archive for August, 2013

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I love the Fall!  Why?  Because of two things:

  1. it’s the start of a new school year, and
  2. it’s time for football

There are a lot of similarities between school and football.  Each year you get a chance to start over.  Each year you get a chance to continue to build on your successes from the previous year.  Each year you have returning players / students, and at the same time, you have new players / students.  The success of your team depends on your coaches and your teachers.  All they both need to do is get the best from each player / each student.  When a coach / teacher is able to do this, then success is inevitable.  Success does not always mean an undefeated season or that a student gets straight A’s in every class.  Success is achieved when players and students are able to accomplish more that they thought they could or accomplish more that the did the previous year.  Sometimes there are setbacks … losses or injuries / a failing grade on an assignment or a test.  Great coaches and teachers can either give up or they can work harder and get their players and students to work harder to improve.

The main attribute to me, of a successful coach and a successful teacher is their ability to build positive relationships with their players / students.

Relationships Matter!

What is it about relationships that matter so much?  There is an easy answer to this question … kids won’t learn from someone they don’t like.

I have heard that as a teacher you start the school year out mean and that you can ease up around Christmas.  If you start out too nice, you can’t get mean but if you start out mean, you can always get nicer.  I challenge this way of thinking.  Why not start out the school year building positive relationships with your students (players)?  These positive relationships can make a greater impact on your students.  Sure you can be mean until Christmas … if you want to be miserable and if you want to make your students miserable.  Go ahead.  See how much learning occurs.  But if you want to have a productive school year (and football season) I challenge you to build those positive relationships.  I guarantee you will be happier and your students will be happier and will learn more.  If you do this, you will have a great school year.

In the following video, Rita Pierson makes an excellent case about building positive relationships.  I hope you enjoy.  Please leave a comment and let me know your thoughts.


The start of the new school year is right around the corner.  In just a few days, teachers and students will be back in school , back to the routine that is all so familiar to us.  While some teachers and students will say they are not ready to come back, most really are ready.

Ready to learn.  Ready to teach.  Ready to make a difference.

Here are some questions to think about.

  1. What are you going to do this year?  Will it be the same as you’ve done every year?  You know, the saying … one year’s experience, twenty-five times!
  2. Are you ready to do something different?  Are you ready to put in to action what you learned from your summer professional development?
  3. Are you willing to commit to it?  Will you go right back to what you’ve always done because that is what you are comfortable with?

Is this what your classroom will look like this year?

desks - straight

Do you rely solely on textbooks to teach your class?


In this video from John Maxwell, he talks about the value of a rubberband.  It is  intended to be stretched.  Can you be stretched?

Here’s my challenge to you … What are you going do to stretch yourself ??