Friday, April 26, 2013

Peppy - not preppy

The American pep assembly is a right of passage, an element of high school that builds community and makes a mockery of staff and students alike. They are fun, they are obnoxious, but ultimately they build a common experience in a school of 2700 kids where there are not many common experiences to be had.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Consistency is King

I had back surgery two weeks ago. I have arthritis between my L-5 and S-1 vertabra that was impinging a nerve. The surgeon went in and scraped the arthritis out, took out a piece of bone, and aspirated a cyst that was sitting on the nerve. Sounds awful, right?

Although I was pretty much down for the count for a week, I have made steady progress towards recovery. This progress is due to walking each an every day not matter how I feel, not matter my pain level, walking has been the key.

Yesterday I woke up and felt discouraged because the day before I couldn't walk as well as the previous day and I ached I awoke. Nevertheless, I ventured on my morning walk and continued to feel better as the day wore on. Last evening I was able to take a one-and-a-half hour walk, the longest since my operation. Throughout the day, I thought about what I was able to do a week ago. We walked to a restaurant down the street from my house, and I was barely able to do it. My balance was off, I couldn't quite get the grounding I needed, my knee felt like it was using new muscles, and riding in the car was painful.

Making this realization, I came to see that I have, in fact, made progress towards recovery in the last week. This helped me not feel demoralized or unmotivated to continue; it did just the opposite. It helped me understand that although each step towards recovery is slow, those steps taken together create progress towards healing.

It is the same with education. When students feel discouraged, it is important for them to realized where they were when they started, when they began the journey with me. It can be difficult from day to day to see and feel progress, but when seen over a span of time it is remarkable.

Consistency is what allows this. Doing what needs to be done each and every day to move in the direction of learning, of healing, is the single most effective way to make progress. Consistency is king!

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Can we reform education and not treat all parties with respect? Can we create change while ignoring communities? What can we actually do to make improvement and give our communities what they deserve?

While I believe that we need reform, must we do it in a dehumanizing way? Can we do it through empowerment rather than humiliation?

I don't know the answers, but I do know that creating change through fear is not the answer.

Watch this in light of what is happening in Atlanta.