Sunday, April 15, 2012

From atop the Soapbox

Welcome to the New and I believe improved Warner Word!

This Week April 16-20
Monday, April 16th:  After School Science Club with Prof. Kuntzelman
Monday, April 16th:  Crisis Response Meeting (for me)
Tuesday, April 17th:  Panther Pride
Tuesday, April 17th:  PTO meeting 7pm - Brad and Jenny are signed up
Wednesday, April 18th:  Grades 3-5 assembly @8:45
Wednesday, April 18th:  Some staff will be doing Common Core work

Most people that know me know that I have several qualities.  I tend to look at a few that really define me.  In random order here are my most defining character traits (in my own mind):  patient, caring, and analytical.  You may agree or disagree that is completely your choice.  My guess is most people don't know that I analyze everything.  This morning as I was running my mind thought was why have people stopped using the word "darn" and now almost exclusively use the other "D" word which is much harsher?  This thought provoking moment helped me get through a difficult hill stretch.  To refocus, I'm an analyzer, I analyze and over-analyze things.  As I entered my second year as building principal I thought back to positives and negatives of year one.  I've been told my first year was rough...some may mean that I did a bad job or that circumstances of my first year were difficult to handle.  I look back and analyze my first year, I wouldn't change it.  It was not easy...I went home several times wondering why I left teaching.  In nine years teaching I only had  2-3 instances I would deem bad.  In year one as principal I think I hit 2-3 by November.  Maybe I was to sensitive...maybe I still am?  I wouldn't change year one because I wanted people to see the true me.  There were several tough times my first year and if people didn't learn how I would react and who I am then they may never know.

This led into year two.  I analyzed several times how to become a better leader.  I felt 40/60 on leadership and management.  I decided in year two I needed to read more.  I've tried to simply be me, but I needed more I needed to be able to feel more knowledgeable on topics and help my teachers and students grow.  I began by reading Educational Magazines, next came books, after that I signed up for a class, and finally I joined the world of twitter.  Yes, I'm on twitter. The bottom line is I've tried to help myself grow by learning more, reading more, and trying new things.  So the analyst in me has decided my next step is to begin blogging.  I hope to update weekly, but who knows what life will throw at me.  My new mantra is, "change is okay" I think many people get used to routine and feel safe when things stay the same, but change is okay, in fact it's inevitable.  If we don't change what does that say about us?

As I wrap up my soapbox I ask you all this, what top qualities define you?

People that help me get new ideas:

Junior High Assistant Principal using social media & tech as professional growth tools; growing & developing through group collaboration & sharing of ideas. is a new online community devoted solely to education in the 21st Century. We have so much to talk about. Join us!
Husband to greatest wife of all time - Dana. Father of my pride and joy - Seely. Cherokee Middle School principal Springfield, Missouri
Elementary Principal, technology junkie, life long learner, school safety specialist, firefighter, first responder, and family man
wife, mother, elementary principal, lover of learning!
Elementary Principal, Twitter Evangelist, passionate about learning/daily5/cafe/instructional leadership, comoderator of chat, mom of 2 boys 
Passionate Educator,Tiger fan, Theatre Lover,Grandma & Rookie Tech Explorer! Scatter joy!
Principal of New Milford HS (NJ): NASSP National Digital Principal Award Winner (2012), Google Certified Teacher, ASCD Conference Scholar, Author, Speaker
I am the Technology Integration Coordinator at Western School District and Northwest Schools in Jackson County.
Elementary school principal, dad, husband, trout fisherman, technophile, reader, Darth Vader lover, recess kickball legend
Artist, Technology Facilitator & ADE. I'm out to change the world.. one classroom at a time!

One of the most entertaining and informative authors/speakers in education today, Annette has written several books including 101 Answers for New Teachers...
Reading specialist, instructional coach, NBCT, teaching 14 yrs. Family gal. Love books, DMB, STL sports & being surrounded by friends.
Updates from 'yourkids' classroom. Things we're learning, doing, & achieving.

Things I heard or noticed last week:
-Mrs. Valentine is retiring!  Say it isn't so!!!  I'm going to miss our talks, in less than two years I've become a lifelong supporter of yours.  You've taken the time to listen, share, pray, and encourage.  I never cry, so I'll stop typing right now.
-Josh Curl was in the office for a nosebleed, I threw him a piece of chocolate...he said, "you make nosebleed's worth it."  I had to smile.
-Mileage Club started last week!
-On the Mileage Club note, Lucas Inosencio says I just finished my 24 lap, we had only been outside 6 minutes.  Gotta Love the exaggeration of kindergarten!
-I was in Mrs. Beissel's room and several students were working on Power Point.  Mrs. Beissel mentioned to the kids that I'm an expert...yikes!  I was able to share a couple tricks.  Students were very engaged and couldn't stop sharing tidbits about Earth or The Moon.
-At pizza with Mrs. Nash's class, I think every student talked to me and told me something about themselves.  I'm pretty sure you could spend a whole day in Y5's or kindergarten just listening to different stories.
-Janice Chilcote had a very positive spin for Mrs. Smith's newest addition, "look on the positive side, all our new students have been good!"  LOVE IT!  Sometimes new students are okay...we dread, but we will survive.
-D'Andra Clark received a really cool award.  Teaches me, you can't achieve if you don't try.
-Don't park next to Mrs. Smith or Mrs. Moffitt...items from their vehicles may randomly fall out.  The ladies shared funny stories about the inability to get their vehicles cleaned out after Spring Break.
-Mrs. Shearer's classroom openly groaned when they received word that Ritvik was allowed to participate in the class spelling bee.  Made me smile!  Mrs. Shearer said it was an opportunity for someone to beat the County Champ.  Way to spin it in a positive!

Articles worth checking out:  Click to Open in a New Window

Videos you may find Interesting:
You've gotta have a sense of humor on this first one!  I found it after Bubba's Masters Win.

Nice Video on Flipped Classroom

Love this teaching idea!  Must see!!!

Every Wednesday Warner hosts the Western String Team.  Our String Players are, Josh Ostrander, Gezahegn Starr, Ruylie Bruton, and Karter Herrington.

Coming Soon:  Books, Ever Wonder Why, New Videos, Graphs, Poll Question, and anything else that I can think of.  

Some of my Colors...Enjoy!


  1. Great reflective post Ben. I understand and can relate. Remember to continue to do what's best for students! They are why we did what we do.
    I appreciate the mention and compliment. Thanks for including me. I look forward to learning with you. Have a great week!

  2. Sorry, but it should read "they are why we do what we do."

  3. Ben,

    I love seeing your TRUE colors. It makes me appreciate you even more! Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks for openly sharing your heart! I love how you put some of the student humor and comments in for the week.

  5. Nice bost BG! Reading will certainly improve your knowledge of education and leadership, but writing really makes you think about it. Never easy to make sense of the ideas of other people in writing, but even harder when those ideas are your own!