The key is to teach them how to be safe with technology, because ultimately, we want our children to be in charge of technology, rather than feeling technology is in charge of them.

The key is to teach them how to be safe with technology, because ultimately, we want our children to be in charge of technology, rather than feeling technology is in charge of them.  – Elaine Halligan

Technology isn’t going away.  We aren’t going back to landlines, handwritten letters, or chalkboards.  I don’t see a time when we will take rolls of film to CVS to get them developed; I don’t think we will see the typewriter making a comeback.  Technology will keep infiltrating our way of life and permeating our homes.

Educating students to use technology as a tool is a core component of our role as public schools.  Part of this education is instilling in students the importance of interpersonal communications and real, human relationships.  Technology can enhance, but it can never replace, human communications.  We are social beings; we thrive on community.  We must teach students to look people in the eye and have a real conversation.  We are required to prepare students to work in groups, to embrace the power of teamwork.

The tools of technology are going to change.  The proliferation of computers is sure to continue – especially as artificial intelligences enables analytic process to be fast and more accurate than ever-in history.  The ethical and moral questions will continue to grow.  Technology should never be in charge of us, as humans.  We teach our students to be in charge of technology; we teach them to use technology as tools for great good.

The best and safest thing is to keep balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around and in us.  If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.

The best and safest thing is to keep balance in your life, acknowledge the great powers around and in us.  If you can do that, and live that way, you are really a wise man.  – Euripides

Keeping balance isn’t a new challenge – even the ancient Greeks recognized the need, and struggle, to keep balance in life.  Being balanced requires us to focus on others as well as ourselves.  Being balanced demands us to acknowledge a higher purpose; it necessitates commitment to others.

We are wise when we find joy and fulfillment in a balanced life.  When we are intentional and purposeful in our actions, when we are disciplined in our actions, we are most able to keep this balance.  When we act on impulse, when we put ourselves and immediate needs ahead of others, we get out of balance.  Own your 20 square feet, don’t permit others to place you in an unbalanced situation.  You are in control of you . . . be the best version of you every day.

When we let our minds wander, we set our brains free.  Our brains are most productive when there is no demand that they be reactive.

When we let our minds wander, we set our brains free.  Our brains are most productive when there is no demand that they be reactive.  – Sherry Turkle

Each morning, with maniacal precision, I make time to exercise.  For me, starting each day on a long run or swim is a required part of my routine.  Over years of serving as an administrator I have learned, the only time I can be free from most distractions is in the very early morning hours.  It’s my time . . . it is when my mind can wander.

When I am with my own thoughts, when there is no demand to be reactive to multiple stimuli, I am able to truly be productive.  When my brain is set free, I dream, solve problems, and create plans.  It’s not the initial thought that is most valuable; it’s the development of the simple into the complex.  It’s the intentional and purposeful processing of ideas.  This can’t happen with intermittent pings or vibrations from my iPhone; this doesn’t happen with alerts and notifications.

Make time for yourself, every day, to let your mind wander.  Some people meditate; others do yoga, and some for long walks.  Be intentional – turn off the notifications and vibrations.  Permit yourself the time to set your brain free.  You will be a greater contributor to the team, to the group, when you are able to have your own thoughts together.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.

You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.  – Abraham Lincoln

One of the greatest responsibilities in public education is change.  We, as the educators preparing students to be successful in the future, are obligated to change our methods to meet the future needs of students.  Change is part of the world today; we can’t hold on to the past and hope it returns.

I continue to be befuddled by those who yearn for the past, those who truly believe “the good old days” will somehow miraculously return.  As educators, the simple truth is manufacturing jobs are not coming back, our students aren’t going to need twentieth century skills, and technology will continue to accelerate at a dizzying pace.  The best 1980’s school is a failure today.

We can’t escape the responsibility of change.  For us to live our mission, for us to prepare each student to be Ready for Tomorrow, we must embrace the discomfort of change.  We will discuss and debate our methods.  We reflect on our practices; we keep what is working, improve where we can improve, and toss what is outdated.

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony

Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.  – Thomas Merton

One of my internal struggles is balance.  I struggle to balance a passion for growth with a desire of peace.  I struggle to balance embracing the journey with smelling the roses.  I struggle with enjoying today’s success and embracing tomorrow’s challenge.

When I find happiness it is when I have balance . . . when the rhythm of work and play, when the harmony of family and work, and when the order of faith and drive find equilibrium.  It’s not the size of victory and the volume of learning; it’s the wisdom to keep perspective.

When and where do you find happiness?  Be intentional in your action and purposeful with your time.  When with family and friends, be with family and friends.  Protect the balance, order, rhythm and harmony in your life.

Do what you can’t and experience the beauty of the mistakes you make.

Do what you can’t and experience the beauty of the mistakes you make.  – Daniel Pink

In the Hilliard City School District we know that functioning at an elite level means pushing ourselves to The Edge.  The Edge is that place that we are uncomfortable; it’s where we haven’t experienced past success.  Productive discomfort often demands that we embrace the potential of failure; we embrace this discomfort knowing we are going to learn.

When we reach our edge, when we learn from mistakes and find success, is where we redefine that edge.  Each day we do something we couldn’t do yesterday is a day of growth.  One of our core values is our passion for growth.  In our heart of hearts, in our core, we desire to be better today than we were yesterday.

The beauty of mistakes is the joy of learning.  We are intentional and purposeful in our actions; we embrace productive discomfort each and every day.

Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.

Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.  – Robert Fulgham

One of our greatest failures in public education is our lack of balance.  We often talk out of both sides of our mouths.  We talk about the importance of educating the whole child, and then we pull students from recess or specials for intervention.  We know that exercise is essential, yet we stack students in classrooms for inside recess.  We say standardized tests aren’t key to future success, yet our data teams spend hours analyzing test data.

Let’s bring balance to our classrooms and our public schools.  All of the research demands that we provide time for physical activity and exercise.  Play is essential for young people; it makes class time exponentially more effective.  Our young people must draw, paint, dance, sing, and PLAY.  As educators it can’t be about excuses or schedules . . . it must be about what is balanced for the students we serve.