Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sharing Joyful Moments

I remember growing up and reading books.  As a youngster I enjoyed repetition.  One of my favorite stories was, The Little Engine That Could.  Most of you know this is a story about believing in ones self.  I also believe it is about attitude and mindset.  When the Little Engine encountered the hill, it could have easily given up, but it didn't...and the rest is history.

For most educators the school year began at the end of August or the beginning of September.  It has been a long stretch for students and staff.  Essentially we've all been at it for roughly sixty days. Whether you are five years old or fifty this can take a toll.  What I see is fatigue, less patience and increased physicality's.  

Some days we can all feel beaten down as we manage behaviors and try our best to keep order. There has been stretches where I have felt stuck in the office being the disciplinarian.  For me it's easy to fall into a rut when I feel as though I'm simply "managing." 

When I fall into a rut a few things jump start me.  If your first 60+ days has challenged you, try one of these ideas:

1)  Write Notes to Staff/Colleagues  - This is one of my favorite activities.  I find lots of joy in lifting people up around me.

2)  Spend tons of time with kids - A great way to lift your spirit is by visiting classrooms, playing at recess or attending events that occur outside of school.

3)  Read - I have a couple of books and several blogs that I read.  Reading gets me thinking and often creates a couple of prompts:  "How could I..."  and "I'm going to...".

4)  Writing - Ten years ago I would have never said this, but now I find writing to be reflective and therapeutic.  

5)  Sign up for a conference or an EdCamp - Collaborating with educators is a great way to snap oneself into a more positive mental spot.

6)  Assist a family in need - There's just something about helping others that makes most people feel good inside.

7)  Lean on your faith - Often times we lose focus of our faith in times of stress and anxiety.  

8)  Get Creative - As a classroom teacher I often believed the more dynamic my lesson the less I would have to manage.  Simply put, I tried to make learning exciting.  It was a great feeling to see the smiles on kids faces.

9)  Take Pictures - This is one of my favorite things to do.  I take my phone or iPad out and click pictures of people in happy spots.  I enjoy sharing these photos with others and spreading the joy.

That brings me to my final number.  Number ten is one that has the ability to fluctuate.  Number ten often is more about others than it is about me.  Number ten is... trying something new.

Four years ago I tried something new...I started blogging.
Last year @colbysharp and I started the Panthers Podcast.
Just two weeks ago out came the The Warner Star

The latest endeavor is The Warner Star and in a nutshell, it is all about student voice.  My plan is to meet with students, ask a few questions, do lots of listening and share the experience with others as a podcast.  If you haven't listened to the first one, I strongly urge you to click on the link below:

Every day instances occur that have the ability to bring us down, we're faced with the proverbial fork in the road.  We always have a choice in how we react.  

How do you pick yourself up in times of stress?  What do you do to feel a sense of happiness?  Do you share joyful moments?


Monday, November 24th:  String Team 3:45pm
Monday, November 24th:  No after school clubs this week
Tuesday, November 25th:  Admin meeting 9am
Thursday, November 27th:  Happy Bday to Laura Smith

Thanksgiving Break Wednesday, November 26th until Monday, December 1st

Articles Worth Reading:

Flipped Mindset @Glennr1809

Making it Stick @Jeff_Zoul

Videos Worth Watching:

Super Cool Science Experiments with Kevin Delaney and Jimmy Fallon (4 min)

Ellen shares Technology of yesterday with today's kids (7 min)

Life is your Talents Sir Ken Robinson (10 min)


  1. I love reading your blog! It is so inspiring! Thanks for the "jump start" ideas!
    No. 2 Pencils

    1. Jacqueline,

      Very kind of you to read and respond. Thanks for taking the time. What is your twitter handle?

      Happy Thanksgiving!


  2. Ben, your blog has "spoken to me" quite often in the last year or so, because you show good balance in being both optimistic for what is great about the work we do, and progressive for where we can still go. I appreciate what you've offered in this post, especially for this time of year, when things speed up and we need to slow them down. But my favorite has to be # 9.

    I used to see those taking photos as hiding behind the camera lens, missing out on the true experience. But now, as someone who takes photos, I have a new appreciate for it. Because I find myself looking for, as you do in your posts, the great things happening in our schools and our students' lives. And like your posts, it helps me to see how far we can still go.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Ben.


    1. Dennis,

      I appreciate the feedback and kind words. It is has been a journey and I know it is far from over.

      The photo thing is funny. I once thought the same thing and often when I'm in a room I miss a great photo opportunity. But what most don't realize is taking a picture and sharing it takes a moment and if you visit rooms and kids often it is a small part of what you are really doing.

      Thanks for contributing Dennis, I appreciate you.

      Happy Thanksgiving!