Archive for August, 2007

Genius Boxing!!!  You have got to try this, but you had better know your math!!!  Enjoy!

The Dip by Seth GodinOne of my favorite people, David Jakes, talks in his weekly post at techLearning about a book The Dip, by Seth Godin. David eloquently puts the education spin on the ideas found in the dip and gives us all some solid things to think about:

“Over the summer, I read The Dip, by Seth Godin. It’s a short book with small pages, but with big ideas. Basically, the idea is that you want to be the best in the world at something. You start out great, all energized, and you start that climb towards implementation, and then the barriers set in, which result in resistance, and then your ability to reach that goal enters into a big dip. The question that Godin poses is this: should you quit, or should you lean into the dip, push through the dip and proceed on your way to excellence?”

David goes further by saying:

“Now what?

Sometimes it’s not possible to make it through the dip because either you don’t have the skills or the resources, something gets in the way. If that’s the case, strategic quitting is the answer, according to Godin.

I’m not interested in quitting if the goal is to be the best.

So my question to all of you is this. Have you thought about the approaching dip? Because it’s coming…

To the teachers out there: What will you do to work through the dip? What can you do to anticipate the factors that will contribute to the dip? What alliances do you need to form or develop that can help to mitigate the dip? How must you alter what you do to provide the time necessary to nurture, develop and extend the things you have learned so that they become a seamless part of what you do? How will your past practice, behaviors, and methodologies contribute to the onset of the dip? How will you avoid these? How will you lean into and push your way through the dip to be the best?

To the administrators out there: What will you do to help teachers through the dip? Do you know what they learned over the summer? Have you learned the same things? What do you have in place to support teachers on those new initiatives? Have you built organizational readiness to support teachers, or will you be a contributing factor to the influence of the dip? In September, will you think of November, when the initial energy of the start of school is a distant memory? Are you planning to help teachers maintain the energy? Are you providing the dollars, the infrastructure, and the leadership to help your school become the best? Teachers can only do so much; administrators have the ability to open the door to more.

And the technology people out there: will you supply that lost or forgotten password ten times, and do so with a smile? Will you answer that email in a timely fashion because behind every email is a whole bunch of kids that need to know. Can you get that site unblocked for that teacher that wants to do more and take kids to the next level?

Look at all the questions. Look at all the potential excuses. It’s easy to see why the dip occurs, and why it’s difficult to get things changed in education.

Start leaning now.”

I’m leaning everyone, let’s lean together! Thanks David!!!

A Dip?

First Day of SchoolFor most students, in my part of the world, yesterday (now two days ago) was the first day of school; however, 7-12 students had a reprieve until today (now yesterday). So, today (now yesterday) I shall deem the first day of school for everyone. With a busy schedule yesterday (now two days ago – are you seeing a pattern here), 😉 that included getting my five children where they needed to be and home, I did not get an opportunity to post here at H I T. It is a busy and exciting time to be in education, and we face some difficult challenges. Nevertheless, we face these challenges together because of kids like my own that you see in this post’s picture. They are our future, and we must not be afraid to do what is necessary to help them prepare for an uncertain world. Problem solving skills must be taught and practiced in order for our children to make a way for themselves. Technology can serve as a tool to solve real world problems, but in order to do so these children need access.  My children are fortunate in that they have opportunities at home that many kids don’t have.  A place to close this digital divide is in schools, but this requires a commitment on the part of policy and decision makers to come to the plate and hit a home run.  I realize this is not a game, but there is much to be won or lost, and my position and mindset is that we go for the gold!

NPHS Marching Band We attended the first football game of the season this evening and the North Platte High School Bulldogs defeated Columbus!!! The marching band performed very well playing the national anthem and two songs during halftime. Our daughter Hannah played her trombone in excellent fashion along with her wonderful band mates. Mr. Bradley has done a great job in bringing this group together and forming a wonderful team of budding musicians.

It has been a full week in the district with all of the teachers back and ready for students to arrive this coming Monday.  I use the term “ready” loosely as we all know we are never ready, especially when it comes to the technology department.  😉 Nevertheless, we will make the best of our situations and welcome those bright shining faces into the schools and classrooms in the coming days.  I sense and see great things happening here in our part of the world, and I hope to share our challenges and inevitable successes as the year progresses.   Test scores are up in the district, and the hard work of students, staff, and parents is paying off.  We must not rest on our laurels but must continue to be committed to continual improvement.  It is a pleasure to be here and to work with such a dedicated group of people that are working together to make this a special place to be and visit.

I also had the opportunity to meet two of my son’s teachers today, and I am thankful for their service and choice to be involved in the education of my children.  Teaching is a noble profession, and I admire those who have taken on its charge.  I am thankful each day to work with such wonderful people!

Please enjoy this short clip of our own North Platte High School Marching Band!!!

Rest in peace Josh…

Posted: August 23, 2007 in High School, Learning, News, Respect

Josh Trobaugh Life throws curve balls from time to time to put things into perspective. I learned this evening that one of my former students from Dakota Valley High School, Josh Trobaugh, was tragically murdered during a robbery. The details are as follows:

“DENVER – A memorial has been set up in front of a tattoo parlor where a man was killed during a robbery on Wednesday night.

Denver Police investigators say the owner of the store was killed after he was robbed at gunpoint at Mr. Tank’s Tattoo Shop near Niagara and Colfax Avenue. The tattoo shop is a few blocks east of Monaco and Colfax.

Police say the two robbers were wearing ski masks and are still at large.

9NEWS has learned the victim was Josh Trobaugh, the owner of Mr. Tank’s Tattoo Shop.”

Josh was a wonderful young man, with a great sense of humor, and I know he struggled in school. We struggled together. He taught me many things in my first years as a teacher, more than he will ever know. My heart goes out to his family and friends and especially to his children. A part of me goes with Josh, the things we learned together, the knowledge we shared, and the respect that was gained uneasily. Josh taught me about respect, and that respect is gained through honest caring between human beings. I will miss you Josh, may you rest in peace until we meet again.

Childsplay I came across Childsplay today: open source (FREE) software that works on Mac, Windows, or Linux operating systems. There are several games in the software that test basic math and language arts skills along with other exercises that practice matching, listen, and memory skills. The activities help children learn fine motor skills as they navigate the computer keyboard and identify specific number and letter keys, mouse, and mouse pad movements. My 4 year old daughter and 6 year old son think these games are awesome!!! I do to, and best of all they are free. Download, install, and try them at home or school, but remember to get permission from your parents or the technology department or both! 😉 Enjoy!