Sometimes You Go Back, To Go Forward

Sometimes You Go Back, To Go Forward
If you have ever seen my social media feed, you will know that my kids play soccer. I coach one of their teams, referee for two teams, and cheer for the other. This past weekend my oldest son and I traveled a few hours away for a soccer tournament. At the U14 level players understand soccer and can play at a very high level. The teams that are successful, can control the game and pass the ball around very efficiently. When the offensive player gets the ball and is pressured they look for another player to pass to. What separates the mediocre teams, from the really good teams, is how they attack.
The mediocre teams attack towards the goal and sometimes are pushed back by the defense, but they continue moving forward. The attack is met with defense that tries to clear the ball downfield, which sometimes results in a game of kickball. Kicking the ball back and forth does nothing for the attack unless someone has a bad touch in which you capitalize. Si…

Be Aware

Every day we wake up and head out into the world. Whether you are going to the grocery store, work, school, or a coffee shop you are surrounded with different people from all different walks of life. It is important to remember that not everyone has lived the life that you have. No matter where you come from, we all have our struggles and we all have stories to share.

Harris was a student at one of my first schools that I taught at. He was one of those students who challenged the limits of what was allowed and what he might get in trouble for. The behavior would typically cross over the line and would need to be redirected. From the time he came to the school from Germany in the 2nd grade through the 5th grade he made a name for himself. Throughout all the shenanigans that he caused there was something that made me really like this boy. Harris wasn't in my class, but I had seen him in other classes and would interact with him on the playground. There would be days that I would pu…

How many more moments?

How many more moments do we have?
I recently listened to a podcast by Jesse Itzler, author of Living With A Seal and Living With A Monk (Highly Recommend). In the podcast Jesse talks about his experience in living in a monastery, living with monks and he talked about a couple things that really got me thinking and put some perspective on living my best life.
He talks a lot about life, how many days left we have on this earth, and what are we doing with a time. He used an example, talking about his parents. If your parents are approximately  68 years old, and an average person lives to 78, that means they will potentially live 10 more years. If you only see your parents one or two times a year that’s potentially only 10 more times that you will see them. WOW!! This was scary to me.
What are you doing to maximize your experience in relationships with those people?
Too often we get distracted by every day lives, social media, technology and other stimuli. We don’t necessarily take the time t…

Say Yes To The Banana

Say Yes To The Banana
The walk a thon is one of our biggest fundraisers every year. Every year, teachers compete to see how many laps they can get in and the kids create an energy that is contagious. Music is pumping, parents are cheering, and everyone is doing their best to complete as many laps as possible in the time allotted, all while raising money for the school.
As I do every year, I set a goal for myself. I am currently semi-training for a half marathon and my long run that week was supposed to be 8 miles. Instead of doing it that Saturday, I thought I would do it alongside the students. I would run 1-1.5 miles with each group and then put on the Hawk mascot costume and then run some more. At the end of the day, I would have 8 miles and my long run for the day would be done.
The day started off great! I was running strong with the first group of kids. At 1.5 miles, I continued my run into my office, while alrighty sweaty, changed into the Hawk mascot costume. Then I would head…

It's Not Easy

If being an educator was easy, anyone could do it.
Throughout my time in education there is one thing that stands out to me. Being an educator is not easy.  
When I entered my first year of teaching, I was not as good at building relationships as I am now. At least I wasn’t as intentional. Even though I knew that relationships were the foundation for everything, I wasn’t very good at building them. Every year I would start by doing some type of team building activities, where we create a culture of community and trust. We would build relationships and students knew they could come to me if they had a problem.
I was a elementary physical education teacher that traveled to six sites a week, and I was teaching anywhere from 90-120 students at a time. It wasn’t the easiest first teaching job, but I wouldn't have traded it for the world. It taught me more than I could ever imagine and opened my eyes to even more.
I had standards that we worked towards each and every week. There were ass…

Follow The Leader

There is a blind man in New York City that everyday wakes up and heads to the subway station, where he sits and begs for money from those riding throughout the day. Day in and day out this man heads to the same place, with only his knowledge of the area and his probing cane.
On the morning of September 11, 2001 this man was on the subway station platform when the first of the two towers fell. The power instantly went out and everything went dark. The subway riders  started to panic and were in complete hysteria, they did not know how to act and could not find their way out in the complete darkness.
At that moment of time the man had a choice: he could get out of there and avoid the mass exodus/confusion or he could stay and help others find their way out of the tunnel. With a loud voice, he got others attention and said “I have been walking around this station for years in the dark and I can lead you out of here now, but you need to follow me.”
He suggested that others would build a ch…

If She Can Do It, So Can I

As I was driving to a principal meeting this week, I drove by a woman wearing a middle school sweatshirt from a school where I had previous taught. The school is a great middle school, but it wasn't her neighborhood school. She was walking in the rain in a direction away from the school by herself with only her umbrella in hand. Even though the school was a mile to a mile and a half away, the timing, the outfit, the situation, made it obvious that she was returning home after walking her child to school to ensure they made it.

The neighborhood that I was driving through is a low socioeconomic area, where choices are limited because of a variety of reasons. Having also taught in this neighborhood, the one thing that I knew was that a great deal of parents that would do whatever it takes to make their children succeed.

This woman made me start to think and reflect on my own journey.

We often make different excuses for why we can't do things. No budget, no time, no resources, th…