Friday, August 30, 2013

Pride: We as One

I retweeted a tweet yesterday and got a question back.

I didn't think I could answer it in 140 characters, so I decided to blog about it.

When I collectively look at the youth of today, at least in my area, I see the brightest, smartest, most creative, most technologically advanced youth of all time. But through all of this, I also see so much self-indulgence. I see kids wearing the Nike and Under Armour shirts with sayings that basically say, "Bow Down and Worship Me. I Am the Best Thing This World has Ever Seen."

Some self-pride is good. It's needed. It builds confidence. Strengthens individuals. But. (you knew there was going to be a but.) Too much confidence leads to a feeling of awesomeness in which you can never do anything wrong. This includes things as simple as tripping and falling and as elaborate as failing out of a university. What I fear in all of this is the very moment when these students do make a mistake. If you see yourself as superhuman and then that moment happens when you find out that your flesh bleeds just like the rest of us, it's going to be a hard fall. When those mistakes happen, are the kids of today going to be able to get up and try again, or are they going to sulk in their own self-pity because the world owes them something because they are "all that?" Do they understand that mistakes are a part of life? That building something worthwhile takes time, commitment , and sacrifice?

Back to the original question that Alan asked- How to fight self-pride and independence in schools because @PastorMark said that Satan's primary motive is pride. I agree that Satan's number one goal is for us to think of ourselves as best, while shrinking Jesus to less and less. That's true in schools and out of schools. In offices. In factories. Everywhere. Satan wants us to put ourselves as high as we can. I had a conversation with a girl in one of my classes about Instagram. She said that her main goal was to have as many followers as possible. I didn't get the chance to ask her why. I'll put that on my to-do list. I'm interested in hearing her answer.

So, how do we combat that? We create independence with boundaries with help from mentors, more than likely adults, who shape lives.  I say adults because adults have a "big picture perspective." Their views encompass more. Mentors who know that life has ups. More importantly, that life has downs. Everything isn't honky-dory every fleeting moment of every day.  Mentors that show the youth how to get up from that hardship. To press on.  That hard work is still virtuous. That going on a reality show, winning, and making a million bucks is not hardly, even remotely, likely. At all. That humility is what drives relationships. Leaders need to create cultures of collaboration while celebrating the strengths of individuals and showing and modeling how those individual strengths propel ALL of us along. That no matter what, we are all connected. That WE is more important than Me. WE need to share our lives with others so that we hold each other up. Be a servant leader. Serve others. Be humble. Model all of these things. Turn selfish into selfless. We as One. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Classroom Posters

I used the app Phoster to create some posters for my room. I think it was easy to use and the posters are modern looking. Some school posters just look corny to me. Maybe it's my design background.

For my futon/couch area:
For my reading nook area:
iPad rules:
For my tech job person at the end of the day:
My "Can you throw this into the trash can rule sheet." :


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Are We Teaching Life?

So, I read this article today. In short, a college freshman at IU, fell down some stairs at a party. She was seriously hurt. No one called for help for at least 6 hours. She passed away. No one knows yet whether alcohol played a part in her death. There was alcohol at the party. Some blamed the "failure to notify" on being scared of the punishment for underage drinking.

Please don't misunderstand where I'm going with this. I feel horrible for this girl, her family, her friends, and everyone involved. It's just that this news story's focus is on the Lifeline Law. The Lifeline law is this:
The Lifeline Law provides immunity for the crimes of public intoxication, minor possession, minor consumption, and minor transportation alcohol to persons who reveal themselves to law enforcement while seeking medical assistance for a person suffering from an alcohol-related health emergency.
I think the law is good and let's people help others, but obviously the law was developed because there were emergencies that people weren't reporting. What's sad is that they had to create a law to offer immunity. To me this is teaching that it's ok to underage drink and party because if anything happens, we can call for help and nothing will happen to us. It seems like stories like this are becoming all too common. Are our youth not leaving home and going off to college with a learned responsibility-ness to understand what is beneficial and what is not? Are we doing our jobs to help educate students about the dangers of underage drinking? Forget underage drinking. Let's replace that last sentence with destructive decisions. Are we doing our jobs to help educate students about the dangers of destructive decisions? Are we doing enough to educate about unselfishness, accountability, responsibility, and humility instead of selfishness, independence with zero consequences, arrogance, and self-importance? Are we hammering home the don'ts, but not educating about the dos?

I've always been taught that nothing good happens after 11:00pm.

Please think about your actions. Please do that thinking before the action. I attended a basketball coaching conference a long time ago and Coach Don Meyer was the speaker. He hands these cards out to his players so that they can carry them in their wallets. Maybe you could carry one as well.


A great presentation by Coach Meyer is here as well -

I met Coach Meyer and we chatted about his book and life. He signed my copy. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

SS Interactive Notebooks on Culture

I plan on blogging about our Interactive Notebooks this year. Our first chapter will be in culture. We started with reading a handout on the 5 elements of culture. Then, we created mind maps of the five elements and added some personal "swag" to them.

Here's some samples.


Off to a Great Start

This last week was our first full week of class. We're off to a great start. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all of my students. My home room class is a little smaller this year, which I love. (I think classes should have a cap of 15 by the way.)

This was my tweet after leaving school on Friday.

Have a great day!