Monday Moanin Thoughts #164 More Lessons From Annual Camping Trip

Happy June 2015 Monday Moanin to you. Wow , what a beautiful weekend I just experienced in Western Michigan. For the past several years my family and I have  been lucky enough to participate in an annual camping weekend. I am not going to lie, I am not Captain of the all camping team. In fact many times, including this year I manage to forget a critical component needed for the trip,( tent poles). So we had to buy a new tent. However, every year I learn more about team work and applying Manby’s seven principles. Below is an archived blog from June of 2012.  Enjoy!


Posted June 24, 2012

I just spent the weekend at PJ Hoffmaster State Park campground  near Grand Haven, Michigan and couldn’t help but notice love, support, collaboration, and teamwork in action. For the past decade my wife and her  two college roommates and families get together to camp. It is hard to believe that we have taken all of these trips. We are all older and our children now have have significant others, some are still in school and we also  have grandchildren in the mix. Wow, what a gift!! Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #162 Rest, Reflect, Reinvigorate

Happy mid June 2015 Monday Moanin to everyone. For many of you this may be your first week without students or of summer vacation. After a long and challenging school year it is important to recharge and get some rest. Enjoy some quality family time and have your share of fun. After a few weeks of rest and renewal it is time to get to work. The following ideas hopefully will assist as you begin planning for the summer and upcoming 201-16 school year. Give consideration to the following strategies. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #161 Finish Strong, Refer To These Quotes

Welcome to this June edition of Monday Moanin Thoughts. This may be the last week of school for many of you. As a result it may be a week filled with many distractions. It may be a time that you feel, ” lets just get this year over.” I hope that you fight that feeling. It may just be the perfect time for you to lead as if it was the first week of  the 2015-16 school year. This morning I spent a few hours on Twitter soaking up lots of good stuff from my PLN. Listed below are a few quotes that may help you focus your thoughts and actions as you begin 2015-16.

@principalpaul posted; “The true strength of our classroom lies in the collaboration of learners, not in the knowledge of one expert.”

@Dr_TravisBurns posted a James Comer quote: “No significant learning can occur without a significant relationship.”
Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #160 When Times Are Tough, Leaders Don’t Hide

Happy first Monday Moanin  of June 2015 to everyone.  June signals many things in education. Across the state of Michigan thousands of students are graduating and schools are successfully bringing their year to a close. June is also the time where Michigan school districts are dealing with the realities of a poor funding system and the ramifications of being a right to work state. As a result, this week could be when individuals find out their fate. Some will be laid off, or reassigned,  some involuntarily transferred, and still others will have their program eliminated.  Coupled with a challenging evaluation system, and pay and step freezes it can be difficult to find the good stuff. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #159 Memorial Day 2015, Lead With Courage

Happy Memorial Day 2015 to all of you.

Today we honor our heroes on this Memorial Day 2015. I can’t help but think of what character strengths our fallen held during their service to our great nation. The list of these strengths would be a lengthy one. One way to honor these men and women would be to lead by focusing on one characteristic they all shared, Courage. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #158 Write A Message To Your Students, #Finishstrong

Happy Monday Moanin to all of you. A few weeks ago, I wrote about using the hashtag #finishstrong. I urged us all to view this time of year as not the ending but the beginning of next year. Earlier today, my wife shared with me a message she wrote for her graduating seniors that she will give to them later this week. It truly is an example of finishing strong. Consider doing something similar with the students or staff that you work with.   It reads;

To my Senior Students:

And so it is finally May and seniors are graduating. There are times it feels like this day will never

come and yet, every year, I’ve survived to see another class of graduates from SCHS. As we

near this day I start thinking about what I’d like to share with you. This year I decided to share

some words from one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver. She asks,

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Such a great question, and put so well! I love that she asks about a plan. I do hope that each of

you has some sort of plan. Not to say that you will decide on one and stick with it. That rarely

ever happens in life. No, the part I appreciate about the plan is that it assumes a sense of

intentionality. I hope none of you just let life happen to you. I hope you all realize you have

choices and that you make them with some thoughtfulness. There will be enough of life that

happens without any warning – I know many of you have already experienced this in your lives.

At those times all we can do is reach down in ourselves and respond based on what we know

about ourselves at that moment. But having a plan and being intentional gives us some power

over our lives and encourages personal responsibility. I hope you find the joy in responsibility. It

will bring you power. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #157 Happy Mothers Day 2015, Thanks Mom

Happy early Monday Moanin! Today we celebrate a wonderful Mother’s Day. Every one of us can reflect on how our mom’s have influenced us as people and leaders. When I think of my mom, I am filled with many examples of how she helped shaped my life and those of my five brothers. Luckily, she still influences all of us  to this day. Rose Hickey is a  92 year old dynamo. Her gifts are many and she still is the leader of our family. After my dad passed away in 1991, my mom modeled for all of us resiliency and strength.  It was not an easy time, yet she led us through our grief and though missing him, continued to enjoy and live a rewarding, full life. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #156 Welcome To May 2015, Time To #finishstrong

Wow we did it. We made it to the first Monday Moanin of May 2015. For many of us educators,  the month of May signals the school year will be ending soon. With that comes many invitations to focus more on management issues and end of the year activities than to focus on good teaching and learning. As a young teacher, my principal always reminded our staff  be well planned and intentional for the final weeks of school. Read more

Monday Moanin Thoughts #155 Quotes To Guide Your Week

I wish all of you positive energy and hope on this April 2015 Monday Moanin. The content of today’s blog is posting five quotes/ideas that may guide you as you begin your week. Consider using them as a reminder or help provide you direction as you plan for a productive week. Here is hoping one of these will resonate with you:

“If you do things that are comfortable you’re not growing.” Samantha Bates Read more