Monday, December 29, 2014


Everybody has things going on. In every house hold we hear things many things being said, some of them might include:

I've gotta run to the store.
I have to make sure I get the right stuff for the party tonight.
What are we doing this weekend?
I have to finish this book.
Man, I need to get my work-out in today.
Can you pick up the kids from Soccer? From dance? From gymnastics?
Can you take out the trash, pick up the house, make the bed, do the laundry, wash the dishes and make sure you pick the kids up at 5 and take them to piano practice?
I have to work tonight, finish this project and make a few phone calls.  
I have a meeting at 7am, lunch meeting and then finish it off at 3 with a conference call.

Whew--Out of breath!

As all of you know-That is just the half of it.  We have such busy lives that we never take time to enjoy it.  As I look towards 2015, I am looking to Simplify my life.  I have come up with 5 suggestions that have helped me in the past year begin that process and a few that I plan to explore to make life a little more enjoyable for me and my family.

1. Get rid of Cable TV.

I am a sports nut.  I love my KC Chiefs and my K-State Wildcats.  I love baseball and enjoying catching a St. Louis Cardinals game on Fox Sports every once in a while.  It was hard to get rid of my cable-We made a family decision to take the plunge in May.  Many times we would watch shows just to watch them, cartoons would be on all the time just to keep the kids busy while we could work.  It has made a huge difference in our lives and changed our priorities.  Yes, I do miss much of my sports, but now I get to do other things like hang out with my family and actually play games or enjoy conversations or for goodness sake- read a book.

2. Keep at least one/two days open a week.
Once your kids get older they get busier. They want to do everything-athletics, music, dance, etc.  Keep one day at least a week where no activities are allowed.  Don't work all week and then spend all day, every Saturday and Sunday at Volleyball/Basketball/Softball/Baseball/Dance(just to name a few) tournaments.  If you have weekend tournament, keep a week night open to spend time with family where you don't work.

3. Learn to say NO

I have always been a people pleaser.  I want to do a good job and many times I feel like I let people down if I tell them no.  I have learned it's ok to say NO.  You can't do everything-give some responsibility to others and say NO once in a while.  (This one is tough-you may have to practice it a few times)

4. Eat at home
"Busy" people eat out a lot.  They don't take the time to cook a meal.  Cooking and eating at home with your family can be a good time to visit, ask about each others day, etc.  (Another added bonus of no cable is we sit around the table to eat, not in front of the TV) Also if you eat at home, it will save you a little money!

5. Buy things for their usefulness, not their status
Do you really need that new car?  Do you need the biggest truck?  Did you really need that 75" TV or could you have gotten away with the 35"?  Seriously-don't purchase something just so you can be "cooler" than the other guy.  Make it simple.

These are just a few suggestions for making your 2015 simpler.  I'm am sure there are many more that you can think of.  Here's wishing you a 2015 that is better than your 2014!

Happy New Year and See you next year!


Saturday, October 25, 2014

It's OK to discipline your Kids

My family is very important to me.  When I have free time I spend it with them.  I love seeing my daughter and son grow before my eyes and how they learn, how they smile and how they interact with each other.  Even as I sit here now blogging, I am watching them laying together on the couch side by side, best friends.

When dealing the happy times and all the situations where they are doing what they are supposed to be doing-I am happy!  Of course they are kids-So they will make mistakes(just like we do) and as much as I don't enjoy it they have to have consequences.  Kids need to be disciplined. I see examples every day with parents, some are friends of mine that give in constantly to their children and give them what they want.  What is it teaching them?  I have heard this.."I can't take my kids phone away, that would be social suicide!"  HUH?  or how about this one, "I can't get involved in my kids Twitter account or Facebook, it is invading their privacy."  Privacy?  They are kids---There should not be any privacy.
Here's a good article from the Wall Street Journal about Kids and Privacy online

Many situations that I see also have to do with split families.  Dad does one thing and mom does another-  It's important to put your differences aside for your children-Being selfish about what is better for you is not going to help your children.  If you ground your kid-don't send them to grandmas for the weekend so you can hang out with friends.  If you say no computer/electronics for a week-then that means no computers/electronics for a week.  If you have to stay home with your kid-stay home.  Disciplining your kids is most of the time harder on the parents than it is on the kids.


Be consistent
Sacrifice your own wants for your kids
Don't give in too soon
Know what your kids are doing(Honestly they can have privacy when they turn 18!)

Just love on your kids- Teach them discipline, I promise they will thank you later on in life.

And Finally:

Don't be a "Friend" to your child: 


Have a Wonderful and blessed week!



Saturday, September 27, 2014

Learning from my Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes.  No one is perfect.
I make mistakes daily and reflect on them each and every day to see how I can get better.  Every day I meet with kids that have made mistakes.  Every time I meet with them I try to focus on the positive.  What can you learn from the mistake you just made?  How are you going to come back from the mistake?  Are there consequences?-YES  There are consequences for every choice we make throughout the day-some good, and some bad.  We can't help that, but we can learn something from every mistake that we make.

Don't Always hide your Mistakes

When talking to your kids, let them know that you make mistakes-They don't always need to know those, but they need to know that you aren't perfect.  They need to know that you have made them and work at correcting them.  The more you model that the more they will respond when you are talking to them about their mistakes.

For every mistake that is made there are two directions a person can go.  They can learn from it or they can not.  

Will you use it as an opportunity or Take it as a Failure?


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Google Drive

Technology has played a large part of what we do in each of our jobs. We use it differently and frequently.  Recently in the past couple years, Social Media has expanded my knowledge with being able to add "Friends" and "Colleagues from around the country to my learning circle.  It has also made dealing with students sometimes more difficult with many more ways for kids to communicate.  

When I look at myself and see how technology has best helped me, I look directly at the move our district made to Gmail a couple of years ago.  Google Docs has changed the way I can communicate with my staff members and the way that we can collaborate when it comes to helping kids become better.  

We have meeting notes, shared documents, presentations, endless data reports, etc. that is available for whoever you want to see that saves paper and saves time.  It's not necessarily anything new, but it has really helped the way that we use technology and communicate in our building.  



Wednesday, August 20, 2014

When You Aren't Looking ...

I can remember back when my daughter and son were born.  It was like it happened yesterday.  I remember the first time she crawled, the first time he said "Daddy", I can even still remember the first time she looked up at me and giggled.  It's amazing what kinds of things we remember and what kinds of things we forget or miss.

Each and every day as Educators we have a chance to see something that many people don't get to see.  We see growth, we see potential, and we see innocence.  The teachers that work in my building are wonderful. They have worked hard to harness potential and be there for kids.  I strive to tell every kid that in one way or another we will help them get to where they want to go.  But we as teachers, administrators, counselors have to keep turning our heads and stay focused.  We don't want to miss anything.  Kids grow up before our eyes.  Last week I stood in front of a Senior class that I can remember as young, innocent freshman.  Now they are sporting beards and maturity.  It's crazy how fast they grow up!

In this past week, I sent my baby girl to Kindergarten and my boy to Pre-school.  It's scary for many parents to send them off into the real world to learn things and to lose their innocence.  I work hard with our teachers to focus on character, caring and showing all kids that you are there for them when they need help......

Here's praying that teachers take time to "SEE" my kids.  

Will you as teachers make this a priority?  Will Parents at home?

It goes by too fast when you aren't looking...

Have a great week---



Sunday, July 27, 2014

2014-2015- It's Going to be Great!

Reflecting to Learn.  I started this blog about a year ago and have shared many things with all of you. I have learned the importance of transparency, honesty and true reflection.  If you can spot your weaknesses then you can work to make them stronger.  Last year when I started this blog, I wrote some goals that I wanted to attain for the 13-14 school year-Let's revisit those and see how I feel I did and then I'll list my goals for this upcoming year:

**Weekly Blog
regarding current practices, parental help, student support, personal reflection, school climate, etc.

I did pretty well on this one.(I am not sure on the quality of the blog, but I did receive a lot of feedback from parents) I have kept up during the summer writing 3-4 blogs. This was and continues to be a great way to reflect. I wish all of the teachers and all educators did this and did it honestly.

**Connect with community and parents
Phone at least one parent a week with a positive comment regarding his/her child

This has always been a chore for me to find time to do so. I did much better last year and will continue to have this as a goal for this upcoming year. To hear how proud some parent safe when you call them and let them know their kids are doing a great job, it something that makes it all worth it.
Develop a monthly newsletter for the community

I send out 6 newsletters so I actually fell short on this one. I did begin putting some information on my blog regarding these.

**PLC development

Be more involved in the individual collaboration times for the departments, give feedback to each collaboration, attend one meeting a week(could be different subjects)

I fell way short on this goal.  After sitting back and reflecting on this I didn't spend near enough time helping with the development of the PLC times.  I plan on continuing to do so this next year.  

2014-2015 Goals

I had a difficult time coming up with these goals for this year. I thought a lot about what I wanted to accomplish but more importantly what I wanted to help others accomplish. I chose 4, measurable and attainable goals. If anyone has any thoughts, suggestions, or comments I appreciate the support as I strive to focus on these 4 items this year:

1. Live out my word for the year-Faithfulness.  Post it where I can see it.  Let others know of my word for the year.  Live it out.  (I will expand on this in a future blog. Check out this book: One Word
*Post my word in my office, post it in my car, Post it in my house where I can see it. Finally share it with an accountability group and my staff.

2. Schedule weekly times to visit classrooms- Develop Feedback forms for the teachers that they can read and actually use efficiently.  

*I will post a calendar in my office and list times and days each week that are planned out to observe teachers. I will try to keep sacred to these times.
* I will work with teachers and administrators to develop feedback forms and each quarter review and revisit to see how they are working

3. Keep up on my blog to parents and community members(Join an accountability group to help with communication). One blog every 2 weeks.  Includes a calendar of events, contact info, etc...

* By joining my accountability team(My PLN will help me through!)

4. Take time each week to write 2 positive notes to staff member. Make 2 positive phone calls to parents each week. This is all about developing relationships and I want to continue to develop strong and personal relationships.

*Again-set a calendar to make sure that I am getting the notes and phone calls each week.

I am looking forward to this year and all is has to offer. I am excited to work with all the kids, staff and parents. I am really excited to continue to connect with my PLN in many different ways this year and grow my relationships throughout the year.



Tuesday, July 8, 2014



Every day we have a choice to make.  Every hour, minute and second of the day we are making choices of where we want our life to go.  We have the power to make our own decisions each day-There is always a wrong choice and a right choice.  Sometimes the choices we make hurt others-sometimes they can help others.  We make selfish choices, choices that are for others, decisions that make sense and some that don't.  Sometimes we think our choices through-other times we make quick, without thinking decisions.  Many times we make these choices by ourselves, where other times we have help.  Every choice or decision comes with a consequence.  Some of those are good and sometimes they are bad.  We have to live with each choice we make.

What will be the next choice you will make?  How will it effect you?  How will it effect others?  Did you make the right choice?  Are you trusting in yourself to make the right choice or others?

What will your choices look like today??


Follow me on twitter-@jfuhrman3932

Sunday, June 29, 2014


Each and every day we have situations in our life where we struggle.  We have something go wrong, someone let us down or maybe a tragic thing happened in your life.  We can look at each of these situations differently.  We can turn away, curl up and think that nothing is going to go right for us. People will be tell you there is nothing that you can do, you start to believe it.---------OR-------You can have...


Everything will work out....we can make it all better, with help from others and positive thoughts.  As educators we not only deal with these situations ourselves, but we are surrounded by hundreds of kids and adults each and every day that need HOPE in their life.

As you work to grow in your professional career, remember that you can be the HOPE for someone else.  Be that little voice of encouragement when others are putting them down.

Live to love today!


Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Be Great Every Day

I hear people say every day that, "Oh man I'm tired today, I hope today goes fast." "Really? Monday? I wish Friday would get here."  "I hope I at least do OK during that presentation today."

Do you think any of these people above thought they were going to be GREAT that day?  Did they miss a chance to make a difference in another person's life?

Be Great Every Day. Do the best that you can for other people not for yourself.  You can make a difference.  People don't realize what person they can have an effect on throughout their day.  It might be the person that you say hi to at the supermarket.  What if you paid for the person behind you in the drive-thru tomorrow?  Could you leave a note on a co-worker's desk that says-Have a good day! ?

Don't settle for being good, sort-of good or even OK.  Strive to be great every day!

Have a Blessed and GREAT Week!



Thursday, April 17, 2014

What if it did?

What if it did?

As a parent, have you ever heard that question? I have a hard time believing that if you have had a 5 year old that you haven't.

How important is that question? What if it did? 

What if every kid asked that question? What if all people asked that question?

What would happen if every time a kid asked that question he/she wasn't ignored or shot down?

As parents and as educators we are so quickly to worry about standards, what we have to get done, or what our priorities are we forget to stop and answer the question.  Kids ooze of creativity and we squelch much of that by just not answering the simple questions.

Ken Robinson, an author/educator has a fantastic TED talk that I would encourage you to watch. It talks of how schools can kill creativity.  Here is the link: How schools kill creativity.

1000 questions.  My daughter must ask a thousand questions. Why dad? Why is it? Honestly though it is the most beautiful thing to see her little mind work.  We need to take time to stop and answer the silly questions, the non important questions.  Rmember, what is important to you as a parent/educator will be important to your child.  If you don't read books, how do you expect them to do so.  If you sit in your room and watch TV do you expect them to do something different? If you use curse words or talk bad about other people, how will your kids respond? If you ignore their questions won't they eventually stop asking any? What are we doing to our kids?

Parents are the most important people in a child's life.  We can make such a difference, we can show our kids love and build up their self confidence more than anyone.  As Educators we shouldn't put down questions.  What's wrong with a kid questioning why something is like it is?  What's wrong with kids thinking outside the box?  We want to push critical thinking skills and problem solving skills.

My son loves his animals.  He plays with them all day, moves them around, they talk to each other, fight each other and hug each other.  He is using his imagination.   I would hate to take that away from him.   Every student has a dream.  We need to work to enhance that not squash it.

So the next time your child asks you a question, take a second to answer it.  Pay attention. Be a role model.  Remember-What's important to you will be important to them.

What if it did?

Have a Blessed and wonderful Easter weekend!


Dates to Remember

April 23rd-Academic Awards Program
April 26th- Prom
May 2nd- Senior Trip Day
May 16th- Graduation!
May 23rd- Last day of School

Monday, March 31, 2014

What are your kids doing?

This is a question that I always ask parents.  Do you know what your kids are doing?  Do you know where they are? Who they are talking to? What they are texting, tweeting or snap chatting? As parents you need to know and you should also want to.

One response that I struggle with is when a parent tells me, "I'm not sure I want to get into their business or their private life."  Earlier this year, I wrote a blog titled, "Let Parents Parent." It is so true.  This is the opportunity to step up and be a parent.  As parents we have the right to be nosey and know what our kids are doing.  We not only have the right, but we have the obligation to do so.   

The other day my daughter, who is 5, asked my wife when she could get a cell phone.(My answer is always never) She said, "When I'm 16 mom?" Of course she responded that maybe by the time she was 16.  Some kids have them earlier, in fact my mom teaches 1st grade and says that 10 of her 12 kids have cell phones.  How early is too early for kids to have a cell phone?

 Do kids just go outside and play anymore?

 I don't know the answers to these questions but they are important questions to ask.

The important thing to remember is we have to know what our kids are doing.  I am a huge advocate for technology and think it should be used in all aspects of education and at home.  But kids must know how to use it and as parents that is our job. As parents Ask yourself the following questions:

Does your child have access to the internet?
Do you know what websites they visit on the web?
Do you know who else is reading thier tweets, looking at their pictures, etc? 
Would you rather know what they are putting out there and they be a little mad at you for "prying" into their privacy or not know and something happens to them?

I don't claim to be the best parent, I love my kids, but they are my kids not my friends.  Please make sure you take a minute and know what how your kids are using technology.  Talk to them, invade their privacy.  

Whether they like it or not...

Have a great weekend. 


Tuesday, March 18, 2014


As I sit here on Spring Break, trying to catch my breath from the first 3 quarters of school and the long month of February, all I can think about is how I can do my job better 4th quarter.  What can I do better this quarter to help all our students become better?  What can I do to help our teachers improve and finish the year strong?  What am I missing?  In my personal life? Professional life?  Can you ask yourself the same questions?

Starting next week a group of teachers/administrators and I are starting a book study of Teach Like a Pirate by Dave Burgess.  The excitement that I have seen on Twitter about this book has gotten me excited to read and share it with others.  When Dave talks about being a pirate he is looking at 6 things:

A-Ask and Analyze

Combine these six items and you have a Pirate or one heck of a teacher.  Could you see how all these things can be applied in your life?  


Ask yourself the following questions and think real hard if you have the passion that you need in all parts of your life

1.What do you love about your life? What do you get excited about?

2.What are you really, really good at? What are your talents? 

3.When was the last time you totally lost track of time because you were doing something fun? What were you doing? 

4.Out of all your current roles at work, which would you do for free? 

5.Think back to when you were 5 or10 years old. What did you want to be when you grew up? 

I really hope you took a few minutes to answer these questions-Think about what you are passionate about and apply that to your life in whatever you are doing.  

Passion is so important in whatever you are doing.  Whatever job-whether you are a teacher, coach, business professional or stay at home parent-YOU need Passion!  Trust me, I know that it is hard to be passionate about everything.  But finding that thing that you are passionate about and applying it to what you are doing can go along way to being successful and happy in what you are doing.


What am I passionate about?


Friday, March 7, 2014

In Honor of National Reading Month!

Teaching Reading is no easy task.  As parents they tell us to read to our kids each and every night.  Many a nights I get on my son for repeatedly getting out of bed.  He will come to my door, saying, "One more book, dad? Just one more."  Seriously-How can I say No?  Of course I want him to stay in his bed, but if he wants to look at his books I have a hard time telling him no.  
We read to our kids each and every night(unless they are in trouble) and they look forward to this time.  In fact it can be melt down city when we go to bed without reading a book.  It is unfortunate that all families don't take the time to read to their kids because it truly does start here.  

Reading practice begins full force in Elementary school.  Learning the alphabet, putting sounds together, compound words, and finally putting together sentences in order to read all our favorite books- Green Eggs and Ham, Clifford the Big Red Dog, and Elmo books.  Kids begin to enjoy reading and read at home as much as they can, read for enjoyment and talk with their friends about it. I remember when I was young-Book-it was the cool thing.  I couldn't wait to get enough book-it points so I could get a personal pan pizza from Pizza Hut.  Why is that not still cool? 

As students get to middle school many of them get involved in sports, which leads them away from reading.  Reading becomes a hassle.  It becomes something that we have to do not something that we want to do.  Why is that?  Is it because all during elementary school and middle school kids watch their parents tweeting away or face booking or texting their friends instead of picking up a book and reading?  Is it because they don't have all the strategies needed to comprehend what they are reading so they lose interest?  Could it be its not cool to read?  Well if they get through middle school pretending to read then comes high school.

Yes Reading in High School-It can be taught.  

This year we have implemented a school-wide school reading initiative.  We have kids that read at a 3rd grade level all the way up to way beyond a college level. Before I talk about our program:

Picture this-You are a senior reading at a 3rd grade level.  You want to go to college or the military or technical school.  You know you can't read, but are too afraid/stubborn/embarassed to tell anyone.  You never get in trouble, never miss class, turn in all your homework and always get good grades.  Get all your chores done at home, great athlete, good in sports.  Great life huh!  Yet all you can think about is that you can't read.  Someone hasn't cared enough to teach you how to sound out words or understand what you are reading.  What do you do when you graduate?

Here are 3 things that I have found vital to successfully teaching Literacy in High School(And I'm no reading teacher)

1. Commitment

There has to be a commitment from everyone.  Everyone has to be on board.  She is not the reading teacher.  He is not MY kid.  They are not SPED kids.  All those thoughts have to change to- We are reading teachers.  He is OUR kid.  All of them are our kids.  The teaching staff has to be committed to being a part of the process.  Strategies for all have to be taught in all core classes, elective classes, etc.  We have worked hard at implementing vocabulary strategies in all our classes.  In our reading classes we have focused on specific strategies regarding comprehension and fluency.  However at many levels phonics is also an issue.  We also hit those kids that need those skills with our other programs.  
Another important part of this is getting parents on board.  There has to be commitment from parents that they want their kids to read.  Contacting parents and making them aware of our commitment and what we want for their kids is a great way to build that relationship.  I mean what parent, if they knew their kids had trouble reading wouldn't want them to get the help they need.  Anyone??  Anyone??  

All people must be on board and committed.  

2. Time

This also has to do with commitment.  You have to give the kids time.  Take time out of your schedule to dedicate to reading interventions and instruction.  We have committed 85 minutes every day for some kids and 45 minutes 4 days a week for others.  Its because of this focused instruction every day that kids have improved.  
Also you have to give your teachers time.  Time to develop their strengths, and for professional development.  Have we all taught reading before? No. Are we all reading teachers? Yes.  We all however need time to learn to become reading teachers.  I have met individually with our teachers, we have worked in services, etc training our teachers to become better reading teachers.  That never can stop.  If you want to make it a priority then you have to make a commitment.
Parents-This is also when you play a part.  Just because they are in high school doesn't mean there isn't quiet time at home.  Turn the electronics off and read with your child.  Model for them-Read the newspaper every day-online is ok!  Pick up a book and read along with them.  Take the time.

Take the Time, Give them Time

3. Encouragement-Show them you Care

Let's go back to that Senior who is reading at a 3rd grade level.  What does he have to look forward to?  Why didn't someone catch him earlier?  Isn't he in HS, and isn't it the Elementary teacher's job to teach him to read.  

It does break my heart to see a child who is 18 not be able to read.  But really no more than a child who is 7.  All someone has to do is show them you care.  If it is important to you it will be to them.  Give them a reason to read.  Show them passion.  Encourage them.  Encourage them.  Encourage them.  

If we teachers at the HS don't show them we care-who will.  Many students at this age have shut off and are in danger to not graduate if they can't read.  What will they do without their HS diploma?  The percentages are not in their favor.  We can use great programs, give them lots of time and all the commitment in the world, but if they see you don't care and don't put your full effort into it they WON'T learn to read.  
Another part of this is being intentional.  We talk about reading each and every meeting.  We discuss it in our PLC groups.  I look at data daily to see how our kids are doing.  IT has to be a focus of everybody and kids can improve.  

So the next my son comes in and says, "One more book dad? Just one more?"  I think I'll just smile and say, "Can I help you?  Do you want me to read it to you?"  

Will you turn down the opportunity to teach a kid to read?

Have a great Reading month!



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What Makes a Great Leader?

Recently I participated in a few twitter chats that asked the question-What makes a great Leader?  What qualities does a Leader posses?  I often reflect on my practices and my daily work and see if I have certain qualities that make me an effective leader.  We as leaders talk about them each and every day without even knowing it.   Here are just a few of the characteristics of a great leader:

1. Confidence
   A great leader must have confidence in him/herself and the people that work for/with them.  Confidence to do the right thing, to say the right thing and to know they are doing what is best for the whole.  Being a micromanager doesn't show much confidence in those that you work with.  Be confident in yourself-don't be afraid to fail.  
It really bugs me when parents say they won't let their kids fail.  Yes, I am a parent and I would love nothing better than for my kid to never fail-but if they don't fail how will they even improve or learn from their mistakes or get better!??!  
A Great Leader has Confidence

2. Honesty
A Great Leader must be honest.  Not only must they be honest with their team, staff, co-workers, students, children-but they especially must be honest with themselves.  Once a person has been dishonest it is hard to recover from that.
Parents-be honest with your kids.  Be the leader in your home and tell the truth.  Can you really ever expect your kids to be honest with you if you are not honest with them?  Teachers-be honest with your kids-Does this mean that you have to tell them all your deep, dark secrets? NO! But being honest with them can gain trust and let them know you care.
A leader has to be honest with him/herself.  They have to be able to honestly be abel to look into the mirror and say, "I messed up!" or "I did the right thing."  They can't lie to themselves
A Great Leader is Honest

3. Be a Good Listenter

A Great Leader must be able to listen.  If you talk to much-STOP!  Take a breath and listen.  This goes for teachers, bosses, administrators, and parents.  Focus and Listen to what your co-worker is saying.  Do they need help?  Could you give them advice if you weren't listening?  What is my son/daughter telling me?  Did I really listen?  Can I listen while the TV is on?
Being a good listener is difficult for all of us.  We are so distracted and so many things going on in our life that we forget to stop, look and listen.  Many problems can be solved if people would just LISTEN.

A Great Leader Listens

4. Leads with Heart and Mind
A Great Leader leads with the Heart and the Mind.  They Listen to people and realize they make mistakes, they have imperfect lives and our jobs as leaders is to help them get to where they want to get.  To be a leader you have to care for people.  I mean really care for them.  As a parent-you have to LOVE your child.  If you want them to be a great individual and make good choices you have to love them.  Lead them with your heart and your mind.
The important part of this last part is to make sure you don't separate the two.  You can't lead with just your mind and you can't lead with just your heart.  The two go together-If you lead with just your heart you become to emotionally involved and don't think about the decisions you are making many times.  If you lead only with your mind you may not have full understanding of the situation. There is no emotion.

A Great Leader leads with the Heart and Mind

(I mean does it get any better than this quote!)

Good listener
Leading with the Heart and Mind

Of course there are many more qualities that make a Great Leader, but if you think about many of those others-These 4 can be seen in all them.

Remember-These can apply to any leader.  Maybe you are a husband wanting to lead your wife. Maybe you are a dad trying to lead your family.  Maybe you are a parent trying to lead your son/daughter through a tough situation at school.  Maybe you are an Administrator trying to lead your staff or a teacher trying to lead your department.  In whatever you are doing-You can be a Great Leader-don't just settle for average...

Aren't they worth it?  I know they are to me!

Have a Great Week!

@jfuhrman3932 on Twitter

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Giving-What it really means

Giving is hard for some people.  The want to take, take, take.  Each of us has something inside of us that pushes us to give.  We also have that person over our shoulder many times telling us to be selfish,  do what's best for us, don't worry about the other person-Only worry about Numero Uno!  

To Give according to = to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation. There were 54 different synonyms that I was able to find for the word, give.  Let's take a few minutes to break down that definition a little more...

1. To present voluntarily

There are many people that need help, many students that need us to "give" them an extra hand in whatever it may be they are struggling with.  There are lists and lists of different professions that that exist.  Some of them make more money than others.  As Educators we don't(I don't care what anyone tells you) go into education to make money.  Obviously we want to support our families and support ourself, but we realize that we are not going to be rich with money because of being in education.  We "volunteer" every day to make a difference in the life of a child.  To make the difference in the life of a co-worker.  
I am so blessed as a parent.  I wanted to be a parent.  My wife and I are so happy to have two little children running our lives.  But you are a parent voluntarily.  You volunteer to be a parent.  Sometimes you may not be happy with the idea, but you are a volunteer-I would argue that you are the biggest and most important volunteer.  

(It's faces like this that make it all worth being a parent-This is my boy Maxxwell)

2. Without expecting compensation

This is where many people get mixed up.  Compensation to many people means that if I give a lot of money maybe I can get a tax kick-back in the end.  If I work hard with this child and this class, maybe I can get a raise or advance in my career.  If I "give" them help maybe when I get old they can take care of me and "give" me some things.  
TO Give means to not expect compensation.  You are giving without necessarily receiving.  

As educators many of us give our lives to help children grow to be a better person.  We want to have that kid come back after high school and just say Thank you.  We want Society to be a better place because of what we have given to a student or parent.  Please don't ever think that "Giving" means giving money-  GIVE A HUG today to someone.  GIVE A SMILE to someone.  GIVE OUT Thank You's!!!    If you give a smile or a compliment is there really any compensation expected or given from that?  

As parents the most important thing we can GIVE is our time.  Spend time with your kids.  I don't mean time where you are in the same room on your phones, watching tv or surfing the internet.  Give them 10 minutes to talk about their day.  Give them time to ask questions.  Give them time to be a kid.  Take away time away from yourself and GIVE to them.  Then sit back and see the "compensation" that you GET from that!

Have an outstanding and blessed week!

BLHS Assistant Principal

follow me on Twitter-@jfuhrman3932

Dates to Remember

February 20, 21st and 22nd- Winter Play
March 1st-  State Powerlifting
March 6th-8th  Sub-State BB @ BLHS
March 14th-March 23rd Spring Break!!!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Understanding the misunderstood

As educators we work with all types of kids.  Some of these kids come from great homes and others come from families that may be less fortunate.  It is so important that we as educators look past the black and white of every situation and see if we can understand the misunderstood.

Some of us look at things in black and white and there are no gray areas. That is our mindset and whether we grew up that way or had a mentor that was that way it is our philosophy when it comes to all things.  Everything is either this way or that and if you do something the consequence is the same no matter what level you did it.  If there are deadlines and you don't meet the deadline-Too bad!
There are times when situations are black and white, don't misunderstand me, but there are also times when you have to look at things through colored glasses.

Kids come from all different types of backgrounds.  Some are raised up with money, some don't get 2 full meals a day, others play playstation by the hour, while there are some that can't afford a new pair of shoes to wear.  There are kids that are loved, abused, hugged, cold, hungry, prayed for, read to before bed and taken care of.  At school we see all of them. We don't always UNDERSTAND why they act like they act.  WHY does a kids sometimes fall asleep during class?  Is it because they stayed up all night playing video games? Or is it because they had to sleep on a sleeping bag on the floor because their family can't afford a bed?

Understanding the misunderstood is all about looking beyond the situation.  See all angles of it.  One of my prior blogs talked about Looking, listening and loving.  What is our purpose as educators?  What is our purpose as parents?

Please don't misunderstand me, there are situations that may be black and white and it is what it is-but there is always more to the story than you think.

Make sure you don't dismiss a kid because you were too stubborn to look beyond.

Parents-Do what's best for your child(even if it may not be whats best for you!)

(This is my family-Kassi, Maxxwell and that little blonde girl-Kennadi, They make every day an adventure and they are the reason that I do what I do.)

Hope all are enjoying those snow days!



BLHS Dates to look forward to:

Feb. 14th-Courtwarming
Feb. 15th-Courtwarming Dance 7pm
Feb. 17th--No school(President's Day)
Feb. 20th-22nd- Winter Play

First Week in March -BLHS will host Sub-State Basketball

March 17-22  Spring Break

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Being a role model

Always being on your game= difficult!  As adults, educators, frankly as human beings we have a tough time always doing the right thing.  We have numerous things in our life each and every day that we deal with that can effect our actions, behavior and overall attitude.  It's times like these that are tough to be the person that our kids need us to.   

Kids these days have people that they look up to.  Many times its celebrities or athletes or someone else famous.  I remember looking at sports stars when I was younger and wishing I could be just like them and wonder what it would be like to have all the money in the world or be rich and famous.  TV reality shows are all many of our kids watch these days.  

The big question is this:

Has there ever been a little 8 year old girl that said, "When I grow up I want to be like my mom."??  Are there little boys that say, "I hope I'm just like my dad when I grow up."  

The answer is even though they may not verbalize it every child gets many of their habits and traits from their parents or people they are around all the time.  What kind of person do you want your child to grow up to be?  

As an educator many times part of our responsibility is to help parents.  As a parent or a teacher you are a role model and you can make a difference.  So the next time you start to say something, the next time you think about posting on Facebook, and the next time you are discipling your kids, STOP and think-Am I setting a good example for this kid?  Do I expect as much out of myself as I expect out of this kid?

Be a role model-Each kid deserves it.


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

2013 to 2014

Reflecting to Learn-I knew I picked the title of my blog for a reason!  2013 has been a magical year for me and my family.  Looking back on my professional, personal, and spiritual journey this past year I can't be happier and feel more blessed.  I always however come up with some things I really want to improve in the coming year.  I don't believe in short-term resolutions(many of them are a little out there and unreachable) but there should be some small things that each person should focus on to help them have a great year-Enjoy!

1. Quality Family Time
*Shut off the phone, put down the iPad/iPod, turn off the TV and talk to each other.  As a family our goal this year is to downgrade on electronics and upgrade on more quality time.  Get rid of your cable TV(can you really watch that many channels), pick up a book, help your child with homework, draw a picture-READ a BOOK.  Many of these things as parents we can model for our children.  I have already read more books in the past year than I think I have read my entire life.  Take time at night to put your kids to bed. Spend more quality time with your family-You and them will be better off for it.  

2. Read more and Share your thoughts(PLN!)
*Put together a reading plan. I read more books in the past year than I think I have ever read in my entire life.  Read for enjoyment or read to increase your knowledge. Read your Bible, pick up a self-help book that really dives into your life and how you reflect each and every day.  Another important part is to share your thoughts.  Join a men's group or a women's group.  Join Twitter!  It is very important to have people in your life that you can share thoughts with and reflect with.  I have developed a wonderful PLN in the past year and really look forward to what 2014 will bring.

3. Exercise and Eat Healthier(Don't go crazy though)
*Many people take it to the extreme each year and their diet lasts for about a week before they are done! Please don't do that.  Put together and plan-Simple and what works for you.  Maybe you start exercising for 20 minutes 3 days a week.  After a month try to lengthen it.  Eat a little healthier, maybe substitute a salad for a meal or eat more fruit and vegetables instead of junk food.  Drink lots of water in 2014 and put down the soda pop.  

4. Give and Volunteer like there is no tomorrow
*Many of us spend way to much money on junk.  Do we really need that new phone?  Is there a need to get a brand new vehicle?  Did you realize that their are many people out there that don't have a warm coat to wear let alone a phone with internet, unlimited data, etc???  Give, Give, Give.  Volunteer for someone that can't do it oneself.  There are numerous places to visit and help others of need.  Take some time in 2014 to give back to those that need.  It can also again be a great example for your kids and other adults.  Instead of buying a new vehicle, buy a used one and use the left over money to donate some food to a food pantry.  Love on others this year in 2014 and you will feel better about yourself for it.

5. Reflect each and every day
*The most important thing a person can do each and every day is reflect and learn.  Reflect on what you are reading, the mistakes you make, how the people in your life make you feel and how you make them feel.  A person's life is so short.  Many of us don't realize how fast it moves and how much of an influence we can have on another person's life.  So take each day one at a time and love on others as much as you can.

I hope your 2014 brings you hope, love and peace!