Posted on February 15, 2018
With just six lego bricks a person can make more than 915 million different shapes or structures.
Have you ever watched a basketball game and seen every shooter with the same shooting technique? Reggie Miller, one of the greatest NBA shooters of all time pointed his elbow out, every coach always tells you to keep you elbow under the ball.
I went to my first stock show this week and watched a few of our students show their pigs. (Congrats Mr. Nation, Mrs. Walker, parents, and students for your representation, you all did a great job!). It was interesting to watch how students used differing techniques to “move” their pig around the ring. Although there were differences, they were all equally effective.
Education, sports, theatre, debate, stock shows, you name it everybody has a different way of accomplishing a task, goal, or performance. How do you decide what’s best? I’m not sure if there is a “best” way of doing anything, but I am confident that there are two things that can be done to ensure the success of one another:
Give the people around you your best everyday. There have been many times during the past 18 years in education where I wasn’t sure if an idea would be successful. Perfect example for me was my second year at Alva Middle School. The principal at the time, Mrs. Hilterbran, wanted to implement Great Expectations, a character education program. When Mrs. Hilterbran asked us to buy in to this program, and help her implement it I was extremely skeptical. I mean, all of it involved doing things that I wasn’t exactly comfortable with, like doing cheers or acting out a scenario in front of a group of people. Second, these were middle school kids and there was no way this would make a difference. A year later however discipline referrals went down, I became a better classroom manager, and most importantly I learned to follow, which can be a whole lot harder than leading.
It’s all about the kids. A story again from my years teaching at Alva Middle School involves a famous 7th grade science teacher Mrs. Ward. Mrs. Ward won the Teacher of the Year award, and after receiving the award said something that has forever stuck with me. (Paraphrasing Mrs. Ward, if you're reading this don’t yell at me) “You can be a teacher without the best facilities, books, administrators, etc… but you can’t be a great teacher without great kids.” Of course Alva has all of the characteristics previous listed, I will never forget that statement, “you can’t be a great teacher without great kids.” We have the best teachers, administrators, and support staff that work with great kids. No matter the challenges we face or new initiatives that are implemented, we have great kids that will rise to the occasion and be successful.