Wrong turns……..or are they?

I recently returned from my vacation for this summer. My wife and I spent 12 days on the road together. It was an awesome time. We went to Clifty Falls State Park in Madison IN, Knoxville TN, Charleston SC, Savannah GA, Nashville TN and then back to home. We enjoyed over 54 hours and 2500 miles in the car together. We saw beautiful waterfalls, spectacular mountains, and wondrous beaches. However, you do not travel that far and not make at least one “wrong turn”.

We made one “wrong turn” in North Carolina leaving the Smokey Mountains (actually I think Google Maps gave us that wrong turn) that sent us on a 45-minute detour before we doubled back to the correct route. We were able to see some beautiful scenery because of that “wrong turn”. We would never have seen it if we had turned the right way first.

As I was recalling our trip with my pastor yesterday I started to think about those “wrong turns”. Are they really wrong turns, or an opportunity for new experiences? Then I started to think about school and “wrong turns” there. When we try new things for the betterment of our teaching and the benefit of the students, and it does not go the way we thought; is it a “wrong turn” or a chance for new opportunities. What can we learn from it, what new experience can grow from it, what new wonder will we get to see that we would have not seen if we did not take that turn? When I was a teacher I always told my students a mistake is not a mistake until we fail to learn from it. Wrong turns are not wrong turns when excellent things come of it. I once read the quote “it is better to try and fail then to never try for fear of failure”. I am not sure who said this to give them the proper credit, but I think it is very applicable. Don’t be afraid of that wrong turn. Take it. See what is out there for us and for the students. You may just stumble across something that works for those students at that time, and then the wonder and beauty of what they can do will come through.

Until next time……..enjoy the wonder and beauty of wrong turns.

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2015….a great year!

The 2014-15 school year is rapidly coming to a close. For us, we have 3 days remaining. For some of you, your year may be over already. Whether you year is done or you still have days to go, I just want to say “thank you”. Thank you on behalf of all the seniors that are finishing their high school careers at this time. Whether you are an administrator, a teacher, an aide, a custodian, a bus driver, or a kitchen worker; you have made a difference in the lives of the graduating seniors. the old saying goes “it takes a village to raise a child. Together we create that village.

My first year as a principal is ending almost as fast as it started. I have learned quite a bit this year, about myself, our teachers, and our students. Our teachers, even the most veteran, really are willing to make a change. They just want to know why. They want to know that it is not a change for change sake, but a change that will make things better for the kids. The staff entertained a new principal that wanted to have fun. I told them many times that if I could not have fun, I did not want to do it. I asked them to have some fun too.

The kids. Well…the kids responded better than I thought they would. Whether it was music Mondays, fun Friday’s, pep assemblies, a school-wide bucket challenge for ALS that earned over $1500 for ALS research, or a school-wide today’s meet at the end of the first semester to hear what they thought. The kids were all in. I am proud of the job they did and the improvement they made throughout the year. We put our faith in them, in return they put their trust in us, and it worked.

Our school year will be over in three days and the halls will grow quiet of the student noise. I think I will miss it! I will miss this group of seniors, they are my first graduating class. They have made in an enjoyable year.

So…..thank you to all of you that have made a difference in a student’s life, big or small, it matters. Keep up the good work!

Til next time…….Keep having fun..or why do it

Time To Take A Risk

For quite some time now I have thought about the need to start to blogging. I compared myself to others like Dr Justin Tarte, Amber Teamann, Matt Miller, Brad Currie, Jessica Johnson, Erin Klein, Peter DeWitt, and Mark Barnes (among others) whose blogs I read faithfully; and the same nagging questions always came to mind…what do I write about, how often should I write, who would want to read it, would I be able to inspire anyone etc.  After reading Connected Leadership by Dr. Spike Cook and receiving encouragement from him I started feeling the need to do this even more. As I thought about this more and more I decided I needed to seek advice from blog writers I respect and love to read. So I contacted Amber Teamann and Matt Miller for advice. I truly appreciate the time they took to give this beginner the encouragement needed to start this endeavor.

I don’t know that I will ever inspire anyone reading my posts, but I do know If I don’t do this, I will never inspire anyone.

So why do this? I ask our teachers and students to take a chance. To take a risk. To try something new. I tell them when they are uncomfortable they will have the most learning take place. I have decided it is time to take that chance and become uncomfortable myself. I am grateful to the many people in my PLN that have set the example for myself and others to follow and for giving us the courage to put ourselves out there.

This may be my first post, but I promise not my last.