Episode 3 is about the valuable lessons I’ve learned from failure and want to share with you. Empathetic, impactful administrators learn from their mistakes and grow into strong leaders, better guiding and serving all of their colleagues. Thank you to all of the school leaders who have shared their missteps so that we all can learn from your experiences. I fail, therefore I learn.
Be R.A.D.D. School Leaders!
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As you may know, I often reference how lucky I am to work with an incredible faculty. Being a pragmatist, I decided to take advantage of their talents and insights by inviting some of my colleagues to guest blog for me. My first guest blogger is Ms. Elise Krogman, first-year Science Teacher. I know you will appreciate her insights as I did.
The last time I wrote a blog post, it was 2013, and I was backpacking for almost two months across Europe. Now, I find myself sitting down to write a guest blog post for the Dean of Academics at St. Augustine Prep (The Prep) about my first year teaching here. While the two experiences could not seem more different, in reality they are actually quite similar. In both situations, I was travelling by myself to a land unknown, and relying on the help and kindness of strangers to guide me through the upcoming months of my life. What I didn’t realize was how familiar these places would feel after what felt like no time at all, and how these strangers would come to be some of my closest friends and role models.
I have certainly learned a lot at the Prep this year… Continue reading “High school boys are not afraid to tell you that they don’t like your haircut.”
Continued from Is Consistently Crazy Good Enough? post.
Part III, of III: I am eager to know what personal milestones and struggles await me next year, whatever they may be. In the midst of them, I always want to be the educator that our students desire, and I feel certain I can accomplish this by being a consistent personality who can relate both myself and my instruction to our students.
Two weeks ago, the President of our school, an Augustinian priest, asked me if I had listened to Drake’s new songs. Wait. What? Did I mishear that? Drake? Continue reading Yes, Drake. This Drake.
Continued from Reflections on a Sleepless Year and Being the Educator Our Students Need post.
Consistency is the first of the two essential components of student engagement. Seems simple enough, and for some teachers, it is. The classroom is a haven where all of their outside problems wait at the door. Their moods are unaffected by parking tickets or root canal work. For others however, it is very difficult, sometimes impossible, not to bring their personal struggles into the classroom, and these difficulties manifest as unpredictable moods. Happy on Monday, inflexible on Tuesday, bitingly sarcastic on Wednesday. . . I get it. It is hard. I wrestle with this, and I assume many educators and administrators do too. Sometimes I wonder if consistently crazy is good enough. The inability to not bring personal challenges into the classroom however, creates a disconcerting inconsistency for students. Continue reading Is Consistently Crazy Good Enough?
Our English Department talks often about how to get our students to read— not read more, just read. Read. Something. Anything. I can easily empathize . . . with the students. As a teenager who struggled to find any joy in reading, I understand. Yet, as anyone who loves reading knows, it only takes one book to get you hooked.
Find a book written on a subject you love. Hooked.
Find a genre you love. Hooked.
Find an author who speaks to you. Hooked. Continue reading Hooked
What if every element surrounding the problem was off-base? What then?
At first this question seemed daunting, too daunting. I was spiraling, but I let this thought sink into my mind. Naturally, that led to other ideas and worries, but I forced myself to return to this thought again and again. What if this issue existed because every element surrounding the problem was wrong? A shaky foundation yields shaky results. Continue reading The Productive Struggle (post 2 of 3)
I recently found myself in the midst of a major struggle. I will share the phases of this struggle in my next three posts over the next three days, starting with this one.
As a problem-solving, advice-giving, “It’s all in your perspective. Just reframe!” guy, this is hard for me to admit to myself and harder still to admit in a blog post. Continue reading The Productive Struggle (post 1 of 3)
I love to eat, but regrettably I am not a great cook. Many of my favorite childhood memories start with the smell of my aunt’s cooking at our shore house. My Aunt Eileen is one of my favorite cooks. She makes the best meals and, in particular, the best sandwiches. I often try to replicate them but always fall short. I never know exactly where I went wrong, but what I do know is that something is off. Perhaps I am rushing. Perhaps I am not using the right ingredients in the right amounts. Or perhaps something is missing. Much like my futile attempts to replicate my aunt’s sandwiches, a young man’s future success will not be fully satisfying when something is missing. Continue reading “Faith It ’til You Make It”
The confidence of a young man is a powerful, yet very fragile trait, especially during his teenage years. Schools must dedicate time in their curricula to character development and, in particular, confidence-building for boys. Our freshmen take two such courses, Public Speaking and Lifetime Fitness Skills. These classes introduce and strengthen two critical life skills, self-presentation and healthy living; both build the confidence of our young men.
Continue reading “Fake It ‘til You Make It”