Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Some R&R&R&R

Hmmm....some of you are thinking this may mean Rest and Relax times two.  Others may believe I've been playing too much Monopoly.  The truth is neither.  

Tomorrow is August 1st, I can hear the collective groan for many of you.  If you are anything like me that means your mind shifts to getting ready for the beginning of school.  I try to tell myself that I still have an entire month, but that never works, I feel the need and urgency to get back at it.  So what is R&R&R&R?

The first "R" stands for rest.  This summer I found myself being able to rest a bit.  I believe much of this is due to the weather.  When the temps hit 100 degrees you are limited on activities.  I found the mid-afternoon visits to the lake refreshing and it helped me rest when I returned in the evening.  

The second "R" stands for relax.  This is tricky.  I've been on Twitter quite regularly and I see others stating their inbox is at zero.  My inbox has been as low as 6, but now I'm back up near 20.  I have days where I can relax, but all in all I'm constantly trying to improve.  I want to be a better principal, dad, husband, runner, golfer, etc... when you are constantly trying to improve relaxing makes one feel lazy.  Let me explain, some might say I relaxed at the lake.  I would say yes.  But then as I think about it, I played hard at the lake with my boys and I tried hard to make it beneficial for them.  I guess it comes down to your identification of relaxing.  I go play nine holes of golf, some say that is relaxing...this is not relaxing to me.  I try way to hard to be perfect and I beat myself up.  Relaxing to me is watching the Tour de France or finishing a hard workout and just sitting in the lake or the back deck.  These are the moments when I don't feel I have to "do" anything.

The third "R" stands for running.  This summer I have been actively running and trying to stay in good shape.  I've even decided to blog about my running.  Sounds weird, well maybe it is weird, but it is a way for me to get my thoughts out.  Just a bit of my quirkiness.  This summer, knock on wood, has been very positive.  I've stayed healthy, run some very strong times, and still hope to run in several more events.  On the downside, I have not broken 19 minutes yet.  I still believe I will, but the chances of it happening before school begins are slim.  I may be running in October and November races looking for nice cool temps to push myself under 19 minutes.  I also would like to run at least one half-marathon before the year is over.  I'm undecided on Capital City or something else.  

The fourth "R" stands for reading.  True confession, I like to read, but I cannot just sit and read for hours and hours.  I just can't.  Now my son Drew, he's a reader.  He has read every single American Chillers book and Michigan Chillers book this summer.  Yes, that is over 50 books in one summer.  I may have to have DNA submitted to make sure I'm related to him : ) 
I especially find that informational text has to be done in segments or chapters.  For instance, I'm reading Shifting the Monkey, The Death and Life of the Great American School System, Classroom Habitudes, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, and The Last Lecture.  Some would look at this and say, "there's your problem."  They would believe I'm in the middle of too many books.  They are probably correct.  

Here is why, Shifting the Monkey is helping me with leadership and management.  The Death and Life of the Great American School System is teaching me valuable history of our educational system.  It is helping me gain and expand my knowledge.  I just started Classroom Habitudes and I love the positiveness of the message.  The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is helping me with leadership.  BUT, The Last Lecture is what I cannot put down.  I will finish this book by Friday.  This is a fantastic read!  I have learned things as a leader, father, husband, and person.  I strongly recommend this book to all people.  I have not finished, but I'm quite sure this book will continue to make an impact on me.  I'm a bit torn on asking all of my staff to read it, or simply just recommending it.  I'm leaning towards the recommendation part.  

So there you have it, R&R&R&R.  That has been my summer!  Yes of course I helped hire four new staff members, yes of course I've been actively engaged on Twitter, yes of course my family and I have taken a couple short getaway trips, and yes of course I'm recharged and ready for 2012-2013.  Summer has gone to quick, it always goes to quick, but I'm excited to see all of my staff and I'm excited to see all of the students. I'm currently planning several things for this coming year.  My list of new things includes: Instructional Rounds, Building wide Learning Team, Building wide Positive Behavior, String Team, iPads in classrooms, Apple TV's, flipped staff meetings, introducing iChat, improving building safety, and engaging all students!  Yes, it will be a great year!

Troy enjoying the lake with Reggie!

Drew loves the water.  If he wasn't reading, he was swimming.

Even Snoopy loved the lake!

Articles worth Reading: (If they do not work I apologize, our system was changed this summer)

Videos worth Watching:

Troy and Drew versus the mammoth horsefly!

Summer Olympic Fever!

Sir Ken Robinson...