Intention, Reception, and Reality

“You can twist perception, reality won’t budge.” – Neil Peart Let’s start with a vignette. Mr. Venture is a principal at an elementary school that has recently invested a great deal of time, energy, and money into a new reading curriculum. The decision to transition to a new curriculum came at the heels of lower reading scores as indicated on multiple measures. Mr. Venture attended and helped guide the discussion during the reading curriculum committee meetings. Mr. Venture was adamant to his staff that he would not be the one to make the final decision because he was not the

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Teacher Appreciation

“Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr. The first week in May is Teacher Appreciation Week. It is a week when I see such valiant efforts of district and school leaders and other organizations to go to great lengths to shower teachers with appreciation. My Twitter feed floods with posters and sayings exclaiming appreciation for teachers. Typically appreciation is shown in the form of food. After all, who doesn’t love a good catered meal or fun snack to switch up the day? Another common appreciation gesture is a new shirt, an

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Wrap Parties and Unburned Bridges

“Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” – Ryunosuke Satoro Last month I was fortunate to ring in the beginning of March Madness by attending the IHSA girls’ and boys’ basketball state championship series in Normal, IL and Champaign, IL, respectively. I guess attend is a little skewed, I was afforded the opportunity to work both series. I served as a master control operator sitting in the production truck with the production crew for the girls’ games, and I served as the timeout coordinator with arguably one of the best seats in the house for the boys’

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The Feedback Myth

“We all need people who will give us feedback. That’s how we improve.” – Bill Gates I am convinced receiving true feedback that will benefit the improvement of my overall practice is something of a myth. I do not believe I’ve ever been in a position of employment in which I did not receive some sort of annual review or evaluation. Even in my decade of working various jobs—after graduating high school and before becoming a certified teacher—I had some sort of evaluation. And they all had one thing in common: pitiful. Oh wait. I had a couple jobs in

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Adapting Out of Necessity

“Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change.” – Stephen Hawking A true basketball fan will know the name Kenny Sailors. I like basketball, but I am not a true fan. So I didn’t recognize the name. Turns out, his contribution to basketball revolutionized the way players shot the ball. Sailors, born in 1921, grew up in Wyoming loving the game of basketball. Maybe one of his most formidable opponents in his teen years was his brother Bud. Bud had a distinct advantage over Kenny. A six inch height advantage to be specific. The two brothers would spend hours on

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Try A Little Kindness

“Kindness begins with understanding we all struggle.” – Charles Glassman The late Glen Campbell was a multi-award winner of both CMA and Grammy awards. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. When country music enthusiasts are asked to name their favorite Glen Campbell song, they quickly name “Rhinestone Cowboy,” “Wichita Lineman,” or “Gentle on My Mind.”  While Campbell became primarily associated with those songs throughout his 81 years of living, the song he was most partial to was an obscure song released in October 1969. It was

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