Saturday, May 19, 2012

From atop the Soapbox

Next Week at a Glance:

Monday, May 21:  Fire Drill in the PM
Tuesday, May 22:  4th grade CPFCU
Wednesday, May 23:  3rd grade to Greenfield Village
Wednesday, May 23:  4th grade CPFCU
Wednesday, May 23:  PLC Wednesday, Mr. Smajda would like to briefly talk with all staff in the Warner Library at 2:50pm
Thursday, May 24:  Greenfield Village returning in the evening
Friday, May 25:  Last Day to Check out books
Friday, May 25:  Lockdown practice

The Power of Getting Away...

Does anyone else have occasional difficulties of letting things go?  You may not know it but we might have something in common, I sometimes really struggle with letting go.  As a college golfer I would let a single hole sometimes ruin my round, as a teacher I would struggle on several occasions on how to best reach a student and I couldn't sleep, and as a husband and father I beat myself up for not being home more.  As I've previously stated I'm very analytical, but that brings me to my focus; the power of getting away (and letting go).  Take my mom for example, she would be the first to admit she holds on to the past and cannot let go.  I truly believe letting go and getting away is a mindset.

So let's first start with letting go.  This can be easier said than done, but holding onto past grudges or feelings that you've been wronged will do one major thing...they will spread through you and create more negativity.  Negativity breeds negativity.  There are days we all need to vent, but my advice is this: First, vent...vent to the person you are upset with or to a trusted friend.  Second, let go...let go through prayer or let go through your own ways (exercise, kids, etc...).

Next, the power of getting away.  I find it absolutely essential in any profession to get away.  Now let me clarify, getting away is not hard, but getting away and letting go is hard.  Take Wednesday for me, I have my evening golf league and I'm running a bit behind.  I get to the course and my mind is very cluttered, simply put I was a waste.  I played poorly, I couldn't relax...I should have just went for a long run.  Here is my advice or I guess my soapbox...everyone needs to get away.  Weekends are for getting away, Summer is for getting away, Personal days are for getting away...getting away can be both helpful, powerful, and needed.  We are down to just a handful of weeks to go, some people have lost some patience, some students have full blown summer-itis.  These are the moments we need to get away, let go and remind ourselves that we only live once.  Smile, forgive, think positive thoughts : )

The Top 3 Ways I let go:

1.  Pray...go to church - I'm a internal thinker, one of my favorite things about church is my chance for internal reflection, and those silent prayers for help, guidance, and wisdom.
2.  Run or exercise - For me getting out and running clears my mind, it also helps me to get out and exercise.  It seems so simple, but when your mind is heavy sometimes exercise is the farthest activity away...take time to exercise.
3.  Play with my boys - there is nothing in the world better at distracting me than my boys!  It could be a bike ride, a treasure hunt, a movie, pitching, playing catch, ice skating, you name it, they help me let go.  

Top 3 Suggestions to Get Away:

1.  Mini-Vacations - Take a road trip to a destination you are sure to enjoy (don't over plan it, just enjoy and be flexible).  
2.  Surround yourself with positive friends...have a cookout, barbecue, bonfire, golf outing, or even take in a ballgame.
3.  Do something you've been putting off - go watch the movie that's been on the top of your list, plant a garden you've been meaning to do, landscape, walk the dog in the park, or find a festival to attend (once the warm weather hits, festivals occur most weekends).

(This is a picture from one of my favorite places, Jackson Hole, Wyoming)


- Warner String Team had a fantastic finale to their season.  The string team performed at the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.  All the students were raving about the experience!
- Watched Kindergarten students try and beat Mrs. Kline at Tic-Tac-Toe!  
- Sat down with Meadow as she successfully rhymed 12 words in less than 1 minute, great job kindergarten.
- Loved the purple elephant Aurora showed me, kindergarten has come a long ways this year.
- Received a beautiful water color painting from Taylor.
- Had two of Mrs. Dault's students explain a chrysalis. Then I got to actually see one in the room!
- Watched Noah breeze through his adding coin worksheet, very impressive for 1st grade.
- Listened to Haley tell me about her favorite food being Strawberry CUPCAKES!  Then she wrote about it with Mrs. Reed!
- Had a really nice talk with Mrs. King's class, several students had me sign cards for Caleb...they are missing him!
- Read a cute story by Brooke in Mrs. Valentine's room, she shared with me how she became friends with Erin.  
- 5th graders seemed to really enjoy the Zoo.  Karly Jones said she liked seeing all the animals that don't actually live in Michigan.
- Was really pleased with Breanna G. in Mrs. Hurt's room, she had 10 words in Boggle, as she went through them she took 4 off because she said they weren't real words.  Nice to see honesty in all situations.
- 4th graders returned from Waterloo talking about Geologist Dougie...made me smile!
- Kindergarten students beaming at their recess nature walks.  Glad I can show them the difference in plants and insects.  No more misconceptions of poison ivy.
- Big thanks to Mike MacGuinness for taking the time to take technology on Wednesday!

Articles worth your time:

Power of Prayer
15 Secrets of Successful Self Learners
19 Things we should say to children

Videos Worth Watching:

If you've never heard of TED-ED this is a must.  This video really excited me and made me think of ways to change my educational approach over the summer.

Watched Avengers Friday Night!  Really enjoyed myself.

This week I had the 3-5 assembly and we focused on Random Acts of Kindness.  I showed them this brief video to try and spark inner goodness.

Easily one of my all-time favorites.  Robin Williams inspiring young minds.  Will you seize the day?


  1. I am envisioning your future motivational book: Thriving Rather Than Just Surviving For Elementary Folks.
    I enjoyed your post this week - especially the shout-out to Dougie! :)

  2. Great post Ben. Letting go and getting away can be hard at times. Great tips and ideas on how to do both.