Monday, April 8, 2019

Educators Unite! Let's share and celebrate everyone!

Why so often does it seem that educators are in competition with each other? Are we trying to push others out of bounds, so our information get noticed first? Is her book so much better than his? Can't they both be of value?
Sure, some of the book topics are similar with content and practices, but aren't we in this together? How come some amazing edu's that have authored books, will also gladly share and support others, but some will not even acknowledge others? It seems odd, that in our country of broken educational goals, values and systems, that we wouldn't be more united and celebratory of each other.

Take my buddy Adam Welcome, for example. I speak to Adam whenever I can, because I learn each time we chat - I hope it is reciprocal too, as we can get pretty deep at times. But here is the deal. Adam has written 3 books, 2 are published and 1 is currently in the publisher's hands (co-written with the amazing Lynn Colón). I see Adam taking pics and videos with so many other author's books and sharing the great things he's seen and read! Why? Because he wants others to succeed and rock it too! We should all be in this for EVERY CHILD. EACH TEACHER. ALL ADMIN.

The more we feel comfortable sharing our successes, wins, tricks, trades, messages, the better our students will be in the long run. Let's not have pride and money get in the way of helping others. We need to be on board, as a group of brains, bodies, beliefs, resources and ideas that make education great for every child in this nation and around the world!
I love to share my blogs, podcasts I guest on, articles I read, books I have learned from, and so much more. I tag others that I feel may enjoy or benefit from what I've learned or shared too. If someone isn't compelled to read, click, or share, then that is up to them. But if I see something amazing, I'll let the person know how much I like, have learned and have grown from their message. At the same time, I probably am too honest and transparent about my ideas at times and that throws people off! But, it's who I am.

Have you noticed that on Twitter, many people follow others because of a NAME, not the necessarily the content or learning they can garner from someone? Or, you'll see people get super excited because X followed them? With so many phenomenal educators, authors, professionals and others on our Social Media fingertips, we all need to make an effort to be open, share information, say no if needed, request ideas, but most importantly: Be genuine and kind. I get it. We are all busy in our own way of 24/7. We choose to give and/or spend time with those we feel we have the greatest connection, friendship or history with. Make the time meaningful. Help each other grow. Watch each other win and succeed. Isn't that what we need?

Publishers want to sell books and market authors.  Authors want to sell books and market themselves and their messages out. I get it. As someone who will be a published author soon, I know that I am not going to be making much money (it is amazing how many books one needs to sell to be wealthy). I want to send a message. Share ideas. Help those in need with my charitable acts. It seems that most eduAuthors want this too. So, let's celebrate each other. Encourage each other. Share the wins. Watch the fireworks burst. But remember, we have about 60 million students in the U.S.A that need us, a united front of educators, making a difference for them. We should put that first.

Peace, my friends!

#DropOfKindness #CompelledTribe #PushBoundEDU

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Label our Clothing, not our Students

This morning I came across a wonderful picture/post that I had read a few years back (Thanks FB Memories!). It really got me thinking, marinating, and then stewing. It happens too much. Everyday. We (I use that term holistically for children and adults) use labels. All. The. Time!
Why? Can't we shine in our unique ways? Isn't it OK to be #YOU? If my brain, body, or personality glitters in its own way, why is that not alright?
Special Ed. Gay. Bi. Dumb. GATE. Slow. Behavior Problem. Bully. Jerk. The list goes on, and on, and on. I would challenge you to see if you could go a whole day without hearing one of these labels, or worse.

From the White House, to the news, to schools, playgrounds, street corners and homes. The labeling continues. Why is it OK that our President can make fun of people of color, or from 3rd world countries or with learning challenges and have no one push back? Why has it become fine for staff members to write on student information cards: Behavior Problem, Needs to be separated from X, Should be in SpEd...Let's wipe it clean. Stop it now. Can't we be cool with all of us doing our own thing as long as we don't bother and hurt someone else?

Words Do Matter, my friends. And if we use a label enough, we become it. It is the way it is. Go look at a student's cume file some time. There it is: GATE, TRUANT, SUSPENDED. I get it. Some things we need to identify so that we are able to address issues, make connections, get background and then foster the relationship. But it does need to become us. We are better than this!

I challenge you to make a stand. Stop using labels. And, when you hear them, push back in a fashion that is kind, but direct: "Please don't use that term", or something similar. If we all work together, focused on helping us ALL, and uniting the work we do, it would be mind blowing to see how amazing we'd become.

Let's start today. In schools, playgrounds and at home. Remove labels from all humans. Let's retrain our young children not to say them, believe them, or hear them. That way, we may be able to help prevent a beautiful soul from harming them-self, or buying in to the BS. We've had enough tragic endings and suicides from people believing what others say. Start now with the littles, and we can positively change our cultural missteps.

It won't be easy. But who really cares. Easy is lame. Easy is so 1970's. Let's help those that need us the most.
Humans. People. Children. Adults.
It will take work. But I believe we CAN. Do you?

#OneDropOfKindness #PushBoundEDU #CompelledEDU

Monday, April 1, 2019

A 3 month check in with my #OneWord: YOU

Each year that I choose a #OneWord to focus on, I like to reflect and check in on my commitment and progress toward my goal. I believe it is imperative for us to continually reflect, check, and then iterate as needed. This not only keeps me true to my word, but it gives me a chance to either re-focus, if I have lost it, or continue my drive and faith.

When I came up with my #OneWord, YOU, I was quite intentional as to my choice. Over the last year, I had been a bit #Me focused and needed to rewire my attention to doing more to support others; YOU.

Over the last 3 months I have contributed to books, blogs, podcasts, PD, career advice, my father's care with his Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, supporting my mom in the transition, rebuilding some teacher morale, encouraging the focus on #AllKids at my school site, and trying to be a better father and husband at home.

While this may seem like a lot to some, I'm sure it may pale in comparison to others. But, that being said, I'm not in it to compete. I'm in on building a better YOU. And, what that may entail for some; a check in, hug, support via Voxer, more honesty conversation, healthy challenges and lifestyle, professional advice. For others I have tried to be more present, both physically and mentally, more disconnected from devices and Social Media, and for a few, just a "hey, you good?"

Over the next few weeks, I will become a published author for the first time. My children's book, thanks to Sarah Thomas at EduMatch, "One Drop of Kindness", will become a reality. I'm hoping that this will change the life of one or more students, teachers, parents, and leaders in how "Kindness" is looked upon and shared. My intent is to make a positive impact on YOU, so that we may find a kinder way to look at each and every individual and situation. I hope you can join the ripple effect with me.

If you didn't choose a #OneWord for whatever reason, that is all good too. Perhaps though, you can take a moment to reflect on how your calendar year is going. Are you on the path toward your goals? Are your intentions positive? Who is helping to keep you in check and accountable? Where might you need a tweak or two? Just some thoughts...

It is important for all of us to have a tribe, a circle, a crew, group, peeps, or whatever you may call it. We all need support, love, challenges, and hope. But at the same time, we need to reflect and grow. Let me know if I can help YOU! Not only is it my #OneWord, but it is my intent to make others better.