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Travis Jordan  @Supt_Jordan

Travis Jordan @Supt_Jordan

I'm currently the Superintendent at Shiloh Christian school in Bismarck, ND. I blog about my experiences in education and my thoughts about life in general. I want to inspire people to inspire others. So please read on and start inspiring. My blogs posts are written as an expression of my opinion and are in no way, shape, or form intended to represent any other organization. Feel free to follow me on Twitter @Supt_Jordan

Posted by on in What If?

hug

I write blogs because I literally lie awake at night wondering what I can do to have an impact on this world.  So many thoughts run in and out of my head and the clock continues to tick away.  Soon the sun rises on another day and the daily routine begins.  When the day closes with another sunset my mind begins to waken.

For the first time ever I’m going to let you into my mind (blog factory as I’m starting to call it) and give you a glimpse at what is constantly taking place there.  Now I know this may not be as exciting as Charlie’s Chocolate Factory or Santa’s Toy Shop, but in any event I’m going to take you where no one has ever gone.  A place where questions are in abundance, hope is at an all-time high, and passion flows like a river.  You are going to want to check this out.  Keep reading.

Enter my mind

How can we make this world better?  What if media stations all over the world could only air positive news?  Negative news could only be aired if it served a purpose to protect the public.  What if the lottery gave three-hundred people a million dollars instead of giving a giant prize of three-hundred million to one person?  What if they gave a half-million to six-hundred people?  What if we all decided that the Lottery could give the three-hundred million to a charity?

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Tagged in: inspire

Posted by on in General

graduation

Graduates.  It has been almost seventeen years since I walked across the stage at my own high school graduation.   Even though the time-gap from then until now seems like an eternity- I know the emotions that each of you has.  You are excited.  Most likely thrilled.  You feel free.  You also feel scared, and possibly sad.  You have probably both laughed and cried about this event in the past couple of weeks.  You are finishing and starting all at the same time.

Most importantly I hope you feel proud.  Graduation day is one of those times in life that you can say that all of your hard work has paid off.  You put forth effort and your feeling what it is like to be successful.  You have had your ups and you have had your downs.  You persevered.  Don’t forget this word as you journey forward through life.  Perseverance (as defined by dictionary.com) is the steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.

Soon you are going to realize that homework assignments were not that bad.  Taking a final test will seem like nothing.  Striking out in wiffle ball and losing it for your team during physical education class will no longer feel devastating.  These moments (gigantic as they once seemed), are the tiny seeds that have been planted that will help you grow through life.  Toney Dorsett retired pro football player once said, and it applies to life as well as football.  He said…

 “I’m a strong believer that you practice like you play, little things make big things happen.”  

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Posted by on in School Culture

SELFWORTH

Throughout my years in education I’ve been to a number of conferences, connected with many respected school leaders, and I’ve read countless articles and books relating to education.  One would think that in doing so I’ve been able to pin-point exactly what it is that sparks learning in humans.  I use the word humans simply because learning is not limited to students.  The principles that apply to student learning also apply to learning in adults.  I almost always walk away from conferences, conversations, and literature with the feeling like something was missed.

It is not something that is missed on purpose.  Every conference I’ve been to has been great.  I’ve connected with many wonderful administrators and I’ve read many scholarly books and articles.  But again, it’s not missed purposely.  We take it for granted.  We believe we are already doing it.  It’s something we don’t often think about, but I’m writing today to bring it back to the forefront of our minds and hearts.  This takes us back to Life 101 (if there is such a course).

We all perform better when we feel valued.  When we feel like we are a part of something and a contributor we will automatically rise and perform better.  Simply; when we are appreciated, feel loved, and cared about we will do better.  This I believe needs to happen in all of us.  But many of us believe we are already doing it, and because so, it is often taken for granted.  As educators we say “of course we value our students.” As human beings we say “of course we value our loved ones and the people we work with.”  We say it, but do we truly do it?

How does this impact our nation’s schools?  If our students feel valued; if they have a sense of self-worth, and they know that we care for them and believe in them – they will perform better.  From there we can help shape our students into being who they want to be.  We can facilitate a culture that embraces differences, and one that exists on the primary focus that every child can achieve at high levels.  Bringing in a curriculum or program that is proven to maximize learning for all will not be successful if our students do not feel valued.  The opposite can also happen when you have people engaged, appreciated, and valued; they can take a “not-so-great” program and turn it into something really special.

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Photo shared by on in What If?

As an educator, school leader, or human for that matter how many problems could we eliminate and possibilities could we create if we just trained ourselves to see with our hearts?

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Posted by on in General

 Winning

 
I’ve participated in multiple sports.  I’ve played in many games.  I’ve been a spectator at thousands of sporting events.  I’ve coached a number of different sports.  I’ve read hundreds of sportsmanship articles.  I’ve never been more puzzled and appalled than I am now.
I feel compelled this evening to give my thoughts on the societal in-accurateness of the purpose of sport and activity.  To the fans applauding negative “on court” behavior in our high school gyms, to the pro sports teams exhibiting unsportsmanlike behaviors in front of millions of viewers – I’ve reached my limit.
 
sportMy life revolved around sports.  I slept with a basketball and knocked off the popcorn finish on my ceiling just about every night.  I shot baskets until my fingers bled in negative degree temperatures.  I could name every major league baseball player on every team in the late 80’s and 90’s.  I idolized pro-athletes such as Michael Jordan, Ken Griffey Jr, Don Mattingly, and Joe Montana.  I wanted to be like Mike.
 
Unfortunately, my love for sport seems to be fading.  The cynical mindset that exists in many that “we must win at all costs,” “my child is better than yours,” “if you wrong me, you can bet I will wrong you back.”  We can think of many others. “the refs cost us that game,” “if only the coach would have played you,” “you just don’t have the right last name.”  I have a million more in my head, but you know them all already.  This is not healthy!  If you are at an event and these phrases are rolling through your mind – please leave.
 
The purpose of sport is to grow our character, not diminish it.  I don’t care who you are.  You can be the student athlete, pro athlete, parent, fan, etc.; people are watching you.  Yes, somebody is watching you.  Somebody admires you.  Kids are watching you.  They will practice what they see.
 
We need to change the picture.  Competition can yield the best of us, and it can certainly yield the worst of us.  I have first-hand knowledge of this from my coaching days.  I allowed it to bring out the worst in me.  We have got to allow competition to grow our character.  When we are able to embrace losing, forgive the enemy, and brush the chip off our shoulder we will then be back on the road to healthy sport.
 
I would like to send a shout-out to those that sparked this blog post.  To the pro athletes and teams who let negative behavior cost them the game – you got it wrong.  To the fans everywhere that demean refs and applaud negative behavior at our nation’s high school sporting events – you continue to get it wrong.  To athletes and their parents that are out there for personal glory – you are getting it wrong as well.
 
To the Minnesota Vikings coaches and players – you got it right.  You failed forward and embraced one of your own with love and support after a missed field goal.  You may have lost the game of football, but you won in the game of life.  You showed to millions of fans that in the mist of all the glory that surrounds athletes and big games we are all still human.  Thank you for growing the character of millions of young athletes.  Also, thank you to the many others that do practice good sportsmanship on a daily basis.  My hope is that people will start seeing the positive over the negative and become stewards of the cause.
 
Please let this be a “check yourself” moment.  There is more to life than winning.  Having anxiety as a parent/athlete/spectator is not healthy.  Two wrongs, never make a right.  When you have one wrong and a right follows…the right always trumps the wrong.
Let’s get things right again.
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