On Fathers' Day, I figured I would ponder a bit about the things my dad taught me and how they have affected me. I must first admit I am not the ideal daughter. After all, I make sure I still send a card to my 85-year old dad but I may only see him a couple of times a year. So, this post is not meant to profess my daughterly goodness, but instead to talk about what I will always remember about my dad.
1. Work hard and play hard. As a band director his entire working life, he gave his all to teaching high school students how to march. He spent hours and hours poring over marching band formations, hand-drawing the drills (no web-design back then), and "drilled" into us the image of hard work and how it pays off, as his shows won many 1st division ratings over the years. When I talked to Daddy about it, he said, "I always tried to make it fun, though, for the kids and for the audience. Other bands may have been more precision-driven, but everyone always enjoyed the versatility of our shows."
2. If you love something, truly love something, keep doing it for as long as you can. Honestly, my dad could still likely play clarinet and saxophone better than most people half his age but he finally "retired" from his multiple jazz bands, big bands German polka bands and quartets with whom he was playing a few years ago. Ironically, or maybe not so, he has reconnected with many of his former students. One student told my dad he was the strictest disciplinarian he had ever had. Another credited my dad for his love for music.
3. Don't hide your talent under a bushel. Although he might not have been a church-going man after I was a young kid, he knew this verse well. When he could perform and make other people smile, he did it. I would guess most people can't remember what food was served at Dave's and my wedding, but I'll bet most everybody can remember my dad channeling his inner Louis Armstrong to sing "I Want a Little Girl" and "What a Wonderful World" and so many other tunes for our wedding music.
4. Sometimes you have to be quiet, especially when fishing. I will admit I didn't really enjoy the being quiet part but I always loved the time spent with Daddy, as a little girl. We'd sit in a canoe or on the bank of the Chocolate Bayou in Southeast Texas and talk about...who knows what? Who really cares what? We were spending time together.
5. Patience pays off. After doing instrument repair for so many years, Daddy realized he loved that intricate work so much he parlayed that love into building model ships. He watched a VCR tape (I know, it's been a while) of how to build a ship then he set his mind to it and did it. The family members have all reaped the benefits of his work, as well, and I love the idea that he is still working on ships. In fact, when I called Daddy an hour ago, it took him a minute (or maybe a couple of minutes) to get to the phone because he was in his "Shipyard", as he calls it, working on a Spanish Galleon.
Just for today, I hope you remember the life lessons you have been taught by someone important in your own life. They matter.
...so why try?
I came across this great post on Facebook and simply had to steal it for this week's blog. Do not fret. I let Dr. Steele know I was stealing it.
The article is called
"Things That Principals Know About Great Teachers".
Read it and add your own thoughts about what principals know about great teachers.
Not long ago, I woke up from a dream, singing a song...a song I had never heard before. I told Dave about it and then, just as quickly as the song had come, it left me. I have often heard songwriters, poets, writers, (and creators of whatever else) say they keep a notebook by their bed to write down lyrics, words, pictures, or ideas as soon as they come to them. Alas...a golden opportunity missed because I forgot my memo pad.
Have you ever been in an art museum (or simply passed by a Jackson Pollock or Kandinsky painting) with someone who said, "I could have done that when I was five years old"? My response is always something like, "But he DID do it"
If I have a great idea and I don't act on it, who is to blame? Me!
Check out these cool new inventions of 2017 to get your brain churning.
What are your ideas in education? Thinking about innovations in learning makes me smile. There is not much more exciting than coming up with or finding a new idea that makes your already good teaching even better. Maybe it's a new storage idea for the materials you keep on each team table in your classroom. Maybe it's a new engagement strategy that will get students up and moving around while they explore new text.
Whatever that new idea is, you likely got it from your own creative brain or from the creative ideas of other educators. Check out this website that lists 16 other websites that are great resources for teachers.
What strikes me the most about good ideas is the fact that they should be shared in order for their true success to be realized. After all, a good idea kept in a precious treasure box is not nearly as beautiful as a good idea shared with others. I love this quote by Steven Spielberg:
When I was a kid, there was no collaboration; it's you with a camera bossing your friends around. But as an adult, filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself. Steven Spielberg
Good ideas are meant to be shared, I believe. So, how do you do it?
Start a blog. Tweet out your ideas. Start a googledoc you can share with your teammates. If you gain one new idea, aren't you better off than you were before?
Just for today, consider the impact of a good idea that never came to fruition. Now consider the impact of a good idea shared with others. After all....