Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Why Every Child deserves to Read!

My daughter told me tonight as we finished reading a story that she knew how to read.  I looked at her and said, "Not quite yet, but before too long you will be able to read."  She was insistent that she had read downstairs at some point.
We as a family had made it a point to read to our kids every night.  Kennadi is 4 and she sometimes seems like she can read as well as she can recite many of the books we have word for word.  Now I realize that as she gets into Kindergarten and 1st grade she will hopefully begin putting sounds together and learning phonics while beginning to learn how to read.  I am so excited to see and hear the day when she begins reading and she can read me the book instead of me reading it to her.  I know it will get tougher and we will have times when she will be frustrated, but it hopefully, eventually will lead to the magical tool of reading.

Reading is the most important tool we can give to our youth of today as they go out into the real world.  I understand that soft skills are important and people skills, but reading is something that kids and adults can get places with.  Here is a great blog that I found that talks about the 10 reasons for kids to read and it really makes sense if you look closely enough.  Reading can improve concentration, vocabulary and imagination-Who wouldn't want that?

In our schools today we focus on many things-Technology, test scores, evaluations, science experiments, character education, etc.  Don't twist my words around, ALL of these are important and they all make a difference when teaching a child. Reading is something however that I think every child deserves.  EVERY CHILD deserves to read!  Every child deserves the opportunity to learn and learning is reading.

So take a minute tonight regardless of how old your kids are(high school, elementary, middle school) or for goodness sakes look at your self and read!  Put your phones, computers, iPads away and read to your kids, read a good book and see how the imagination flows.

Thanks for reading


Other Items to check out in Bobcat Land

Twitter Feeds
-If you tweet follow these people for any info from Bobcat Country
@blhsathletics, @blhsnews, @sherryreeves19, @jfuhrman3932

Also I wanted to introduce our new Tech Director for the district, Lisa Lund you can follow her on Twitter  also:


If you are interested in learning more about the district initiative of MTSS Reading, please contact your child's school to ask questions.  You can also check out this website as it talks about how Kansas has adapted it.  http://www.kansasmtss.org/

Dates to Remember

Sat, Nov. 2nd-State Cross Country in Wamego--Congratulations to our X-Country team!

Mon. Nov. 11th--No School.   Inservice and Collaboration for Teachers

Nov. 14th-17th  HS Musical  "Shrek"

Fri., Nov. 22nd - Meet the Bobcats for Winter Sports

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Look, Listen and Love

Every day is special.  Realize that.  Take a minute to Recognize that you only have so many days on the earth to make a difference.

Each day we have the opportunity to look a person in the eye, listen to what they have to say and love on them in any and every way possible.  Why so many times as educators, friends, parents, etc., do we walk right by?  Why do we look, but don't listen?


See what walks in front of you.  Put away your iPhone for a few minutes, set down your iPad and just look at what is around you.  As an educator, what types of kids walk in our halls?  What is the look on their faces when they walk in the building?  What can you tell by looking at your teachers in the mornings and seeing the worn, tired faces or the excited, nervous look.  Parents, take a minute to look at your kids when they leave in the mornings.  Invest in your kids more than you invest in yourself.  

Here's a great article about Paying attention to your child.  IT is vital that we do that each and every day. Not just our children, but people around us.  LOOK each day how you can help another person. There is a reason that that someone was put into your life-Don't miss an opportunity to make a difference.


There are people who can look.  They can see the problem, but refuse to act on it.  They Look and then turn away.  They see the kid in the hallway without a friend.  They see the person on the street who has been fired from three jobs, lost their house and now has nothing.  They see the child-homeless, no food, yet they continue to walk on and refuse to listen to those things that are calling them.
One of Steven Covey's 7 Habits is Listening.  He understood the fact that people don't listen.  They even sometimes hear the screams, call-outs, but often turn a deaf ear.

Kids and adults want to be understood.  They want to be heard.  Listening doesn't mean that you can walk in their shoes, it doesn't mean that you can tell them that you understand what they are going through.  It can be used in its most essential form-just plain listening.  Kids talk and sometimes want us to just listen.  Don't give them advice, other times they want advice.  If you are listening you will find the answer.
LISTEN each day to that person that needs your help.  LISTEN to those that are excited about things.  Sometimes they just need a person to LISTEN.

3) Love

People often mis-use the word Love.  They don't understand what Love really is.  Love is not necessarily an emotion.  It is not necessarily an action.  It's not necessarily a feeling.  Love doesn't have to mean a sexual thing.  It doesn't have to mean that you want to form a relationship with a person.  Love can be simply saying hi to someone as you pass them in the street.  It can be as simple as shaking hands to greet another person.  Love is being with your kids without a bunch of distractions and talking to them about their day, dreams, and thoughts.  Love is patting a co-worker on the back when they have done a good job.  Love can even be throwing a few dollars to the person that is homeless standing on the corner.
The quote above, "Where there is love, there is life." is so true.  As educators we should love all our kids.  By doing this it means we treat them with respect, honor, and support them.  It also means we may have to discipline them, hold them accountable and push them to be the best they can be.  As a lead learner I want all kids to feel safe and supported when they are at school.
LOVE each day with a passion.  Treat everybody with respect.  The more you LOVE the more life you can influence.



Monday, October 14, 2013

Be a child- Every Day!

Every day is different.  Every person is different.  Every child is different.

As I reflect back on the week that was I think a lot about my own children.  What are they thinking? Are they happy? Am I teaching them the difference between right and wrong? Are they growing up to be good kids, friends, Christians, brothers, sisters, etc.? I look at my job as a parent and realize that I have one of the best jobs and one of the toughest jobs!
As an administrator/leader many times we are asked to do both parent and lead.  We really get to see kids at their best and in other instances we get to see kids at their worst.  As I talked about before in a prior post, there are many faces that we as leaders wear during the day.  Not only leaders, but teachers can also wear many hats-It is important to recognize this. One face that I haven't mentioned before, but think might be the most important is the face of a child.

It is so refreshing to look at my own kids and think about what it must be like to be a kid again.  There are no worries, learning is a constant and all you have to worry about is to eat and grow.  The innocence of a Child.  It is so important for each of us every day to Be a Child.  Take a few minutes to look at the flowers, smell the air and smile.  When we smile others will smile--Greet everyone with a smile tomorrow and see the reactions you will get.  Look your enemy in the eye and smile!  Take a minute during your day to realize how lucky you are to be working with kids every day and seeing them grow right before you eyes.

Be a Child if even for a minute every day and see how much it will change you view on the day.  I know that every minute that I get to see my own kids grow and play is precious.  I look at different kids in the hallways whether they are freshman or seniors and get goosebumps when I see how they mature and grow each and every day and that I may have had some influence on them in a positive way.

Don't forget to BE A CHILD tomorrow!


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Failure is not a dirty word!

What does it mean to fail?  Does it mean you are a loser?  If you fail, do you ever recover? What about second chances? If a student fails a test do they get do-overs? 

Check out this video and would you call this guy a failure?

Why is a Major League Baseball player hitting .300 considered an All-Star? Doesn't that mean they "Fail" 7 out of 10 times they are at the plate?

Many times in Education we look at the word Failure differently than we do in the real world.  We as educators want kids to do well, be successful, and be a good addition to society.  We work hard each day to help kids understand Math, English, History and Chemistry.  We as Teachers many times strive to have all our kids passing classes and getting "A's" on all of our tests.  As administrators we incorporate strategies to help teachers teach the best they can and hold them accountable to a student doing well.

What do we do when a kid flunks a test?  What do we do when a kid fails a test?  Do they get a second chance to re-take?  What does it really mean?  Was there other factors to consider?

When looking at the word Failure we need to re-evaluate what it really means.  We look at the word Failure and we think immediately of someone that doesn't work hard, is not intelligent, and will never get anywhere in life.  Really???????    Can't failure, failing and to fail be a good thing?

As parents sometimes we need to let our kids fail.  They will in their life have a time when they fail-if you don't let them experience that when they are young-they won't know how to respond.  As teachers it is ok to let your kids fail sometimes, as long as they are given a chance to recover and master the content you want them to get.

Failure is not a dirty word!  When looking at different ways to change the meaning how about this acronym-Failing Always Involves Learning.  Learning from the mistakes you have made and how to do it better the second time! Another one could be Finding Answers Involves Learning.  Using creativity to come up with answers-even though you may fail once or twice-is OK.

Here are a couple of great articles to read about Failing in School and how parents should let their kids fail sometimes, but be there to teach them how to respond to the failure.

Benefits of letting Kids fail
Why Parents Should Let Kids Fail

Thanks to my wonderful PLN friends on #edleadchat for getting me thinking about the words Fail, Failure, Failing and what those different words mean.