I am NOT an alarmist

I keep telling myself this.

Then I make the mistake of reading a newspaper or watching the news. REAL news, not FOX or any of the fringe news sites.

After watching the news this weekend I have realized that as a country-

við erum svo ruglaður

siamo così fregati

ne jemi të dehur aq

ይህን ስናደርግ ሰጋቴ ናቸው

نحن ثمل حتى

մենք այնքան պտուտակված

biz belə berbat olunur

beraz izorratu ari gara

мы так ўшрубоўваецца

আমরা ফেঁসে হয়

mi smo tako sjebani

ние сме толкова прецакани

estem tan fotuts


jsme tak šroubované

vi er så skruet

we zijn zo geschroefd

olemme niin ruuvattu

Nous sommes tellement vissés

Wir sind so verschraubt

είμαστε τόσο βιδώνονται

हम इतने खराब कर रहे हैं

vagyunk annyira csavarni


vi er så ødelagt

Estamos tão fodidos

suntem terminați

You Don’t Need Me…You Got This: Teach your Athlete to Rescue Themselves.

Get Psyched!

I know it is difficult and heartbreaking to watch our kids suffer. When we watch our kids fall at a competition, we feel their sorrow. When we watch our kids suffer through a mental block, we feel their helplessness. When we see our kids watch their teammates more up a level without them, we feel their pain.

As sports parents, we would do anything to protect our athletes. We want to take away their sorrow, we want to give them the answers they need, we want to protect them from pain. We want to ride in our our white horses and be their saviors. We want to fight their battles, remove their enemies, and provide a life a happiness. For if they are happy, then we parents must be doing our jobs.

When we rescue them, what are we really teaching them? If we always come to their rescue when they…

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Schools CAN Keep Teachers Happy. If they try

It’s a nightmare workplace scenario: Your boss puts you in charge of training a new hire, but you don’t have adequate training materials, there’s no coordination or vision, and you get blamed when the trainee isn’t prepared.

That’s the situation America’s teachers often find themselves in as they prepare students to move to the next grade level. Thanks to underfunded reform mandates and the pressure of being blamed for the problems plaguing public education, teachers in the United States are stressed out—and they’re missing class or changing careers at high rates because of it. Now a new study provides some commonsense answers to the question of how to keep effective educators on the job.
The study, published in the October issue of the American Educational Research Journal, found that four main factors reduce high teacher turnover rates:

  • administrators who are committed to teachers’ professional development,
  • a safe school environment,
  • high expectations for students,
  • a sense of collaboration among teachers.

“We’ve been sort of consumed by the importance of the individual teacher’s role, either by strengthening their skills through professional development or exiting them and potentially hiring a better teacher,” Matthew Kraft, a professor at Brown University and the lead researcher on the study. “That has caused us to lose sight of the larger context in which the schooling takes place and the degree to which all teachers are holding students to high expectations.”

The researchers based their findings on results from the NYC School Survey from the 2008–2009 through 2012–13 school years, which was given to teachers, students, and parents in the district, as well as the city’s student assessment and administrative data. As opposed to more common one-school, onetime surveys, the five years of data covered middle schools representing a variety of socioeconomic situations, enabling the researchers to analyze why some schools improved while others got worse.

“What that allows us to do is compare this school to itself over time, with all the things that stay the same about the school: location, general student body, many other factors,” Kraft said. “Schools that experience improvement, as perceived by students and teachers in the school climate, also have corresponding decreases in turnover and increases in achievement.”

A working environment with effective leadership that fosters professional development opportunities for teachers to advance their careers was found to be among the more important factors for teachers remaining in positions. In the United States 200,000 educators, or 8 percent of the total workforce, leave the profession every year, according to the Learning Policy Institute. Kraft and his team found that quality management alone is associated with an 11 percent reduction of turnover. Schools with a strong sense of collaboration among teachers saw higher student achievement as well.

“A component of this is the quality of the professional development that the administration provides to teachers,” Kraft said. “When they have challenges or they’re looking for a unified approach across the school, do they perceive that the principal or the administration is capable of generating support across the workforce?”

Beyond the teachers and the administration, high academic expectations for students also play a major role in teacher retention. Maintaining a safe school environment for both students and teachers is also vital.
“Regardless of who’s teaching, if you’re in a school where a student is more focused on looking over their shoulder rather than the lesson, that’s a direct impact on the students,” Kraft said. “If the teachers are more consumed with managing behavior than they are in delivering instruction, then teachers are also less effective.”

Overall, the study suggests that teachers and students function best when the entire school acts as an ecosystem in which safety, collaboration, and high expectations are actively encouraged, as opposed to focusing on what may be wrong with one individual within the school.

“What we’re arguing here is that alone, improving these factors will help. It’s not a silver bullet, but the status quo is to sort of neglect these things,” Kraft said. “If we can help teachers to better support each other and their peers, that support may help them to feel more successful in the classroom, and it can impact student achievement by helping them to be more effective and reducing turnover.”

Why I am looking forward to the Holidays!

The first thing I want to get out there is YES, I say, “Happy Holidays!” in public. I do not want to risk offending anyone PLUS between now and New Years there are probably 15 recognized holidays throughout the western world. By the way, it is totally OK to wish me Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays or what ever.

The biggest thing I am looking forward to is the end of the election. Truthfully, I hardly care anymore. Just get it over. This has gone on for too long and cost too much. (but that’s another story).

Growing up in upstate New York I had a pretty big family. From Halloween to New Years there were always people stopping by with wine, cheese, fruit baskets, or baked goods. When I was home from college not only were relatives stopping by but also friends from high school. I also, when out, would stop by friends and relatives house bringing small gifts.

The holidays are meant to spend with friends and family. It still brings a smile to my face remembering a full house on any given night.

As an adult with a family of my own  and we don’t have a lot of family near by. We make up for this with having some great friends. I can’t wait for the kids to get home college. I can’t wait for friends to stop by. I am looking forward to friends of my kids stopping by.

If you are driving by and the lights are on please stop for a glass of wine and some cookies.

Just wanted to put that out there.

Bonus if you know what this is! A bottle of wine if you bring me some