Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Random Thoughts

I know I said last Friday that it would be the last post until the Friday of December 3rd but there is to much going on to let it slide by.

Dancing with the Stars has proven that talent has 0 to do with who wins their competition. I am by no means a dance critic, but how Brandy could be voted off is certainly a mystery to me, when the consensus opinion was she and Jennifer Grey were by far the best. Just my opinion but I've seen scarecrows more limber than Bristol Palin, how could she make the final? I'm not so upset that I'll blow up my TV though, to many football games I'd miss.

Josh Selby, basketball player at the University of Kansas and the nation's #1 rated recruit received a 9 game suspension from the NCAA. His crime was losing his amateur status. Question, isn't that like losing your virginity, once its gone you can't get it back. So if guilty why is he allowed to play? If innocent why is he suspended? I guess he "sort of" lost his amateur status, kind of like a girl that once told me when I was a high school principal, Mr. Gorman I"m "sort of" pregnant, could have sworn that was an either/or.

The body scanners and pat downs at airports have dominated the news of late especially with Thanksgiving coming up. News people we have almost 10% unemployment and kids are dying in two wars we are waging. I wonder which is most important? If you don't like the security measures take the train, bus, or drive yourself. I am curious to the job interview and selection process for an ATS position, my mind really wanders on this one, thoughts better off left unsaid.

Charles Rangel feels bad about his ethics violations-if I didn't pay taxes for 17 years I would feel joy. Oh that's against the law? Never mind.

To Brett Favre: You got him fired happy now? A Thanksgiving day gift to the Vikings, have Favre go the same way as Brad Childress.

Miami Heat you still stink! Especially since you are the self-acclaimed best team in NBA history.

A joyful Thanksgiving to one and all.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Random Thoughts

Drumroll please its time for my Friday Random Thoughts. I will not be posting next week so I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving and I hope everyone's holiday is a good one.

Cam Newton's saga continues and for the life of me I can't figure out what the question is with him playing. He has not been found guilty of anything, yet. If he is found guilty and Auburn has to forfeit the games he played in, what difference does it make if they have to forfeit 10 or 12 games. What does he supposedly did have anything to do with his Heisman chances, is he not the best player? That is what the award stands for, sort of like stripping Reggie Bush, he would been less a player had his parents not gotten a house? Once again, O.J. Simpson still has his unless he has pawned it.

Well it appears the Chiefs are back to normal as much as I hate to say it. Hopefully they will get the ship corrected this weekend at home.

I am a Republican and conservative by nature, but the new reality show gets my goat. Sarah Palin's Alaska, I could be wrong but I think Alaska existed before Sarah Palin. Is this the same Alaska that she loves so much she quit on the people that elected her? I know she would never say this but do you suppose she had book writing and lecturing that was more pressing than her job as governor? I know money had nothing to do with that decision. I just have a problem with people that put themselves above the larger organization i.e. like saying they are Peyton Manning's Colts, Kobe Bryant's Lakers-fortunately neither one of those has ever referred to their teams that way, at least to my knowledge.

Todd Haley not shaking hands after the Broncos game created quite the stir. I think at the professional level sportsmanship is not the lesson they are trying to get across like in high school and college. They are grown men if he doesn't want to shake hands so be it.

You have to love the newly crowned NBA champions the Miami Heat, oh yeah the playoffs haven't started yet, nor won't until this summer. Chris Bosh stated that the coach wanted them to work and they just wanted to chill. And you guys wonder why you're 7-4?

Have a great Thanksgiving over and out.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Play to Your Strengths

I think all of us need to know ourselves better than anyone else knows us, which means we know what our strengths are and what our weaknesses are. Now lets examine why that is so. Being a simplistic individual I think it is because we enjoy doing what we are good at and we don't enjoy what our weaknesses are.

The common error we make is to work on an area of weakness until it becomes a strength. The reason I think this is an error is because we can work at something forever and if we don't enjoy it we will never get good at it, proficient, but not necessarily good. Because we don't enjoy what we're doing.

I am a school superintendent, but the budget is not the strongest area for me. I know it is very important and I give it full attention when working with it. But it is not my favorite aspect of the job and never will be, that is why I think it will remain my weakness. If I worked with figures all day everyday, I think I would find a new line of work.

I enjoy people, laughing (although some don't like a satirical sense of humor), organization, finding best practices for our teachers, and sharing information. I throughly enjoy doing any of the above activities all day long, and thus feel those are my strengths.

I would rather have someone going from good to great, than from poor to average, simply because they will love what they are doing. Thats why I think as educators we need to play to our strengths, because we love doing those, rather than focusing on having people work on weaknesses and have them dislike their job, which in the long run will effect the kids.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Random Thoughts

Ah its Friday again and I get to write about Random Thoughts and I have more this week and it makes my head hurt, to have thoughts. Heading for God's country tomorrow, aka Norman, Oklahoma, for the Texas Tech game, really looking forward to it.

The BCS which is quite the controversial subject, even though many don't like it the one thing I can't figure out is why don't they match 1 vs. 2- 3 vs. 4- 5 vs. 6 etc. in their bowls and forget the conference affiliations for BCS bowl ties. We won't get a playoff until the megaconferences are formed then they will no longer need the NCAA which is not such a bad thing.

The Big 12 (which has 10 teams) extended the contract of Commissioner Beebe. What a wise move, he virtually allowed the conference to be raided last summer and almost disbanded what was arguably the 2nd best football conference, and top RPI rated basketball conference. I guess the presidents were happy with that, allowing the Big Ten (which has 12 teams) and Pac-10 (which now has 12) to pluck members away. Good job, commish, in two years the conference won't exist with your leadership.

I'm sure Republicans were pleased after the mid-term elections. What they need to be more pleased about is Nancy Pelosi being minority leader, there may not be a Democrat left in the Senate after the next elections.

I hate to agree with the LA Times, since anything from California is to liberal for my taste, but they proposed we move the clocks back 1/2 hour and then leave the time alone. Please lets do one or the other, or what they proposed seems a reasonable compromise.

No toy in a Happy Meal? That is the first step to communism, come on San Fran, what are you doing. Doesn't the city have more important things going on other than the nutritional value of fast food? We know its crap, but thats why it tastes good, loaded with fat. By the way your state is broke, maybe you should worry about that, and I will no longer support Happy Meals, when Wal-Mart pulls pork rinds off the shelves.

I hope Congress has gridlock, at least they won't be spending money and making the deficit go higher.

Royals fans (of which I am one) have been outraged of the trade of David DeJesus. He is a good guy, but how good have we been with him? Have you forgotten the 100 loss seasons already? I say put them all on the trading block how much worse can we get?

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The People Business

Last Saturday I attended the edcampkc in Lee's Summit, Missouri. I had reservations about it since my Saturday's are devoted to watching as much and as many college football games as possible. I am so thankful I went I can't explain it in this short blog. The connection with people is the most valuable thing we have in education, and to finally meet the VanMeter, Iowa, crew was so rewarding, in fact our administration is going to visit them later in the year.

It really renewed my feelings that we are in the people business in education. I know test scores seem to dominate the conversation, or budget issues can definitely come into play. But our focus is our students, staff, support personnel and parents and all those are people. When one thinks of their positive school experiences they think of the people that influenced them, not content matter.

Last night on Dancing with the Stars (please don't make fun of me for watching that show) Kurt Warner, whom I have great respect for, got eliminated, but its what he said that really impacted me. By the way if you haven't read how he and his wife met, you should. His quote was "Life is not about winning and losing, it is about impacting people and building relationships." What a class act, and thanks Kurt for reminding me why I chose education as my life's profession.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Random Thoughts

Chilly Friday in east central Kansas, but its November guess its to be expected. So here go with another edition of my random thoughts.

In an interview with Diane Sawyer Nancy Pelosi claimed to be a professional, which she is, but thats the problem in Washington. No one should be a professional politician, enact term limits for Congress.

As I hear Dallas Cowboy fans boohoo over the loss of Tony Romo, hey you were 1-5 with him how much worse are you going to be without him? You were going nowhere with him so get over it. Just another example of good individuals don't make a good team.

I am so thankful that Brett Favre got to keep his starting streak in tact last weekend, I mean I worried for an entire week, I thought maybe they would put cleats on his protective boot. Then the Randy Moss thing is to ridiculous to even comment on. How about handing the ball off to Adrian Peterson more (I know I'm not objective since he went to OU). To much coverage on Vikings who are 2-5 and not enough on teams that really deserve it. Same with the Cowboys.

TCU going to the Big East? I know when I think of east Fort Worth comes to mind immediately. Why? The Mountain West is much better in football and TCU would get killed in basketball. Oh yeah they are an automatic qualifier in the BCS (which I will talk about next week), which is also ridiculous. They are not deserving plain and simple of an automatic bid.

I never thought I would say this but I welcomed back regular commercials this week and get the political commercials off the air.

Have a great weekend and hope your teams win unless you are a Texas A & M fan.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

What are We Doing?

Last Thursday we had a superintendent meeting at our education service center, and like most of our meetings it eventually came around to finances, but before it did we discussed some educational issues. We even got to visit with our state commissioner of education via distance learning network. Since most of us had never heard from her this was refreshing to get her prospective on some issues.

There is where my frustration started to build. We discussed the national core curriculum that 39 states have now adopted. Commissioner DeBacker wanted to know if we we wanted to phase it in or make the switch from our state standards to the national standards all at once. We wanted to switch all at once, but that doesn't matter.

What difference does it make if we are telling teachers to teach state or national standards, it is still the cookie cutter approach to do what, prepare for a standardized test. The only change is from being a state assessment to a national assessment. Now instead of pitting school vs. school with test scores we will be pitting state vs. state. Now that is real reform Mr. Duncan.

What are we doing? Every time education has to look at itself in the mirror we get angry because people criticize us but we need to listen a little. After we get over our mad nothing changes in education, and there lies the problem. Reform is not a standardized test, like some are trying to cram down our throats. Reform is changing the very nature of schooling and education, how much longer are we going to put up with this before we let our state and national leaders know they are off base, our job is student learning not test scores.