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