Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Mr. Fitness

As you may be aware, Jack Lalanne died Sunday at the age of 96. Seth Godin has a nice little blog post about Jack's life and how he made a difference in his live and the lives of others (here's another from Fox News). The thing I take from his life is his unwavering beliefs about what it took to stay healthy. I think his longevity is testament to his optimistic outlook on life and his strict perseverance to a healthy lifestyle. His message, the message that he lived - we can accomplish great things when we put our mind to it.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What's your word?

Jon Gordon shares an interesting concept in this blog post - reflecting on your direction and choosing one word to guide you throughout the year. It reminds me a bit about the One thing I wrote about in this post. It seems that simplifying matters tends to help us focus on what is really important. In Gordon's post, we're focusing on one word and letting that guide our actions. It will be interesting to see how much this little exercise helps focus you. I'm still reflecting on my - getting close. Post your word in comments and when I come up with one, I'll let you know.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Relinquishing control

After reading an article by a fourth-grade teacher on discipline, I began to reflect a bit on not only the practice from a teacher perspective, but from an administrative and leadership view as well. In the article, the teacher realizes her practice of rewards and punishment are not having the effect she desired. (It also helps that she happened to read a book by Alfie Kohn, who writes quite a bit on the subject.) Her change to a more democratic classroom that deals with discipline in a more subtle and one-on-one method has her fearful that chaos will ensue. This was not the result, as seen in her quote "A lot of the time, I just listened to these amazing students come up with solutions to problems, listened to them explain how they envisioned our classroom, how they wanted fourth grade to be."

As I think about leadership and creating an atmosphere of excellence, I realize that leaders must set the same kind of expectations and have one-on-one conversations with people in order to get results. The fourth-grade teacher used "listened" several times and I think that is the key for leaders. By listening to and then clarifying and asking questions about how current practice meets the level of expectation set, leaders can create an environment that leads to greater success. This is true whether in the classroom, the school, a district, state, or nation.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


A West Virginia lawmaker is writing a bill to hold parents accountable for their students' truancy. Certain to be a hot topic.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Thank You Walk

Here is an nice idea from Jon Gordon. I especially like the part about not being stressed at the same time one is thankful. That certainly makes sense and provides an easy way to not only de-stress, but find the peace of mind that comes with expressing gratitude daily. And the nice thing is that it only takes 10 minutes a day to complete. Doing this regularly should certainly help anyone who tries it.