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  We reflect on our practices; we keep what is working, improve where we can improve, and toss what is outdated.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.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.  – Aesop

One of life’s greatest gifts is kindness to others.  In a world that values collection of material wealth and win at all cost competition, acts of kindness are even more important to live a balanced life.

We are constantly bombarded with negativity, hate, and anger.  From social media to the national news, the noise is negative.  Blaming, complaining, and defending is the norm rather than the exception.

Today, be purposeful and intentional with your kindness.  When you hear negativity, stand up and stop it.  When you feel yourself slipping below the line, be discipline and step up.  No act of kindness, no service to others, is ever wasted.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.

Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.  – Steve Jobs

There are certain phrases that are so overused that the meaning is lost.  For me, “outside the box” is one of those phrases.  Many of those people who proclaim to be “outside the box” thinkers have created their own box.  They simply don’t follow any rules and overlook simple solutions – often at the expense of success.

What we need are innovative people who are intuitive and skilled about when to be in the box and when to create new ideas.  Innovation is about vision . . . it’s about creativity.  Innovators don’t solve problems everyone else is trying to solve.  Innovators create solutions for problems that don’t yet exist.  Innovators don’t say, “Follow me.”  Innovators lead through actions and results.

Control leads to compliance: autonomy leads to engagement.  

Control leads to compliance: autonomy leads to engagement.  – Daniel Pink

I think too often people lose balance when considering control and autonomy; people lose balance when considering management and leadership.  There are those who tip the scales too far in one direction or the other.  Let’s be honest, every organization requires both control and autonomy.  Every school and classroom is balanced with time for compliance and time for engagement.

We want to instill in children a sense of autonomy; the ability to create their own learning experience.  We also need students to be compliant and to learn the specific foundational skills.  For each of us, there are times we must be disciplined, put our nose to the grindstone, and do the work.  Not everything is rainbows and unicorns; we must be able to achieve results in some areas that aren’t our passion.

It is imperative that we live balanced lives.  There are times we must either control or be controlled.  There are times we follow our passion and are actively engaged.  Let’s teach our children that a world of balance is the key to success.