Friday, January 18, 2013

How's Your Glass?

Is your glass half full or half empty?  

I stepped back this week and I analyzed (I know what you're saying, Ben you analyze everything, well you're right) my world, our world.  I came up with some things that made me think about where I stood.  Let's first focus on the World.  These are some of the headlines of late, which did you choose to focus on?

Half Empty                                                  Half Full
*  Fiscal Cliff talk                                                 *  Stuttering Singer WOW's American Idol!
*  Lance Armstrong Admits to Cheating               *  Chris Christie slams NRA, guns not the answer
*  Manti Te'o scandal                                           *  Loyal dog saves man after he falls through ice
*  Devastating Floods in Jakarta                           *  Detroit Auto Show buzzing with "green" tech

I looked at major stories out on the web.  If you chose to read it all you'd probably believe the World is crumbling.  The news tends to be disturbing and depressing, I for one lose a bit of faith in humanity the more I watch.  I try very hard to focus on the positive, I look at websites like:, I also enjoy reading and MSNBC's website: Wonderful World.  These websites remind me that life is good!

I also try to look at my own "small" world.  I think of my family.

Half Empty                                                  Half Full
*  My son Troy was very upset at basketball last week  *  My two boys were all smiles at hockey!
*  My wife has been swamped at work              *  Drew and I have had many good talks about God!
*  I'm taking a new class at Eastern Michigan  U.  *  I'm taking a new class at Eastern Michigan U.

I can choose to focus on the doom and gloom at home or I can choose to look at the good side.  I will tell you that I find being positive is contagious.  When I come home upbeat and happy the household seems to lift up.  On the flip side, negative talk seems to breed more negative talk.

Finally I looked at school - 

Half Empty                                                  Half Full
*  No computer lab                                              *  All teachers now have iPads!
*  We are a Focus School                                    *  We've got great kids and we are seeing growth
*  Feeling overwhelmed by Common Core changes    *  Shifting to Project Based Learning!
*  Wishing the bond would have addressed ________    *  Feeling great that we passed a bond!  
                                                                                           Supportive Community!    

So ultimately it all comes down to perspective.  I believe attitudes are contagious.  I try very hard to spend time with upbeat, positive people.  My running friend Eric and I often talk running, he tells me I must stay positive, focused, and I have to believe.  He pushes me, he encourages me, but he also has a positive outlook that brightens me up.  The same can be said for the classroom.  When I was teaching I knew places to avoid (grumbling and stirring the pot) and who to gravitate towards (uplifting, comforting, collaborative, and friendly).  My belief is that attitudes are contagious, I try to stay positive and upbeat, sometimes life gets me down, I appreciate when people help pick me back up.  We are all in this together, and life is to short to always view the glass as half empty.   

Next Week at a Glance:

Monday, January 21st:  PD Day
8-11am HS Tech lab (bring headphones)
11-12 Lunch at Warner (Potluck style, bring soups, salads, desserts or drinks)
12-1pm Common Core altogether in Warner Cafeteria
1-3pm Splitting into grade levels to focus on (Common Core, Smarter Balanced, iPads, and Common Assessments)

Tuesday, January 22nd:  Hearing Test grades K, 2, 4
Wednesday, January 23rd:  Grades 3-5 assembly in gym 8:45
Wednesday, January 23rd:  Grade 2 Ice Arena Trip
Thursday, January 24th:  Vision Testing Grades 1, 3, 5
Friday, January 25th:  Half-Day, dismissal at 12:05

iPad iNfo:

35 Top Teaching Apps  shared by @studiobree

17 iPad tips and tricks  shared by @principalspage

Great Articles Worth Reading:

Videos Worth Watching:

Love this! (2 min)

Ellen's Favorite Web Videos (3 min)

Orcas escape (2 min)

If we can't agree I say we try this... (1 min)


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