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Posted by on in Education Leadership

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When I first decided to run for Congress, I remember who I went to for input. Surprisingly, it was not my friends and family (besides my wife!); instead, it was the educators that I have worked with over the last ten years. Not just those I have worked with in schools, but those in my personal learning network.  

Their overwhelming reaction to this new journey was positive, encouraging, and supportive.  They were real with me about the difficulties and realities of this endeavor, but they were also excited. They know the need to create change at a higher level, yet also felt confident in my ability and drive to accomplish our shared goals. They encouraged me not just to pursue this path, but to do everything in my power to make it happen.

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That is what we do as teachers. We encourage. We motivate. We push. We influence. We nurture. We believe. We kindle the fire that fuels passion in the face of adversity.

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Posted by on in General

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Why would an educator make a statement like this?

Especially one who proclaims to be positive and has even written a post or two on the subject.

Because I am tired of beating myself up and watching others do the same. We are causing ourselves too much stress by basing our self-worth on best moments. And we are doing the same to our students. And we must stop!

Our goal should be to create highlight reels.

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Posted by on in General

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Riding home from a friend’s house on a warm Friday night with my daughter is a privilege I know I wouldn’t have much longer. She is only twelve, but it won’t be long before her Friday nights are spent socializing with her peers while I anxiously await her safe return. So I cherish every moment. We spent the drive trying to see who was faster at naming the songs and artists on the local radio station. Lucky for me they played mostly hits from yesterday.

But as we neared home, the songs being played were becoming more current. Then Taylor Swift’s Style came on. She not only knew the artist, but she was able to tell me the entire story behind each and every lyric. The fact that it was written about Harry Styles, her imaginary crush, didn’t hurt. Was this a sign of things to come?

Then as we were minutes from home, my daughter caught me by surprise. She hit me with a series of questions that I wasn’t quite sure how to answer.

“Daddy how did you become such a good father?”

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Posted by on in Classroom Management

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Public speaking is a skill every student develops--but not everyone does so with confidence. Although speaking publicly has become a notion that is scary in nature, teachers rarely express its use after graduation and beyond. Whether you are giving a toast to celebrate one’s success, or you take on a career role that implements speaking at public events, public speaking is a useful tool in every aspect of life. Allow your students to embrace public speaking with stellar confidence by using these vital techniques below.

Highlight the Student’s Strengths

Positive feedback is always appreciated. Instead of focusing on a student’s weaknesses, celebrate their successful parts of public speaking. This can be something small, such as consistent eye contact, or even a larger public speaking element like voice inflection. By focusing on a student’s strengths, you will reaffirm their capabilities and allow them to evoke more self-confidence in the future.

Create a Friendly and Relaxing Atmosphere

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Posted by on in Education Leadership

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I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift nor easy. — Marie Curie

Translation: If you want things to change, get your ass off the couch and do the work.

That's what Marie did. In a world full of men unwilling to accept a woman, an atheist, and a person who followed her heart, she had to work her ass off to overcome the sexism and xenophobia of her times.

In 1911, just before receiving her Nobel Prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences asked Marie not to come to Stockholm, so King Gustav V would not be subjected to shaking hands with an adulteress.

Of course, she went to accept the award in person. That was her second Nobel. She was the first ever woman to receive one, and the first ever person to receive two. She discovered radium and polonium and coined the term radioactivity. She earned many prestigious awards, honors, and posts for her work.

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