Category: Reflection

The other day I was talking to our high school choir teacher, when she told me about a fascinating brain study involving music.

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Image Source:

MIT neuroscientists have discovered that music triggers an auditory cortex of the brain that doesn’t appear to respond to other basic auditory sounds like speech.

If our brains have portions that only react to sounds recognized as music, this leads to an important question: Are we really engaging the brain most effectively if we aren’t exposing it to music? Read More Triggering the Brain with Wonder

It’s cliche, but so true. Little things mean a lot, in daily life and in our profession of education. Sometimes we have to set aside time to reflect on the…

Read More Little Things Mean A Lot

One of the strengths I appreciate in my team members is their ability to voice concerns or raise red flags when something important is affecting our students. I am so thankful for helpful feedback.
Of course, there is a big difference between honest conversation and complaining. Will Bowen explains that the habit of complaining is like bad breathe: you may not be aware of your own, but others are.

Honest feedback provides you with information for making better decisions. Complaining simply discourages the attitudes or motivations others may have to take risks or achieve new goals. All of us are guilty of forgetting the difference between the two. Read More A Complaint Free World: 5 Ways to Respond

Disruption for many people generates discomfort, shakes the status quo and breaks routines. We all have an emotional response to this process: for some hesitation, doubt, confusion, fear, anger, bewilderment,…

Read More Disrupt Me!

During Christmas break, my brother and I took a long walk behind our parents’ house. He showed me places where they had cleared fields and brush–adding more pasture to the acres where the cattle graze.

Photo source: Wikepedia
Foxfire Photo Source: Wikepedia

As we made our way through sage brush and into openings where green patches of winter fescue grew, he pointed out a line of brush piled up near the clearing.

“You ever seen foxfire?” he asked.

“No, I’ve heard the word but never thought about what it means.” Read More 3 Secrets for Maximizing Moments this New Year

Words are a powerful vehicle for meaning and understanding, connected to individual or group perspectives, interpretations, and connections. The word “Digital” has been part of our vocabulary landscape for a…

Read More The Death of ” Digital”.

When I was a boy, my father rigged up a large water barrel to use as a solar-heated hot water source.
smile He wasn’t environmentally friendly. We just lived a simple life in the backwoods of West Tennessee.

Until we had an actual hot water heater, Dad’s makeshift one perched on a small rise of red dirt just outside our basement home. He had welded a water handle to the base of it where he connected a garden hose. Once it was filled with water, he would place the metal lid on top and let the sun do its work of warming it. Read More Giving Encouragement For The Holidays

A couple of weeks ago, I was standing in the high school commons when one of our military recruiters had set up a table to hand out items to interested students.
For years I’ve watched recruiters talk to kids who stop by tables for information. But this time, a steady line of students was crowding around his table. When I made my way over, I saw boys and girls doing push-ups in exchange for lanyards, water bottles, or other memorabilia as reward. What surprised me was the energy, passion, and excitement they were showing for earning something so small in value. Read More What Are You Willing To Do For It?

Yes, there is the Internet of Things: a world in parallel to ours were our devices, data, algorithms, gadgets, smart phones and digital tools interconnect, communicate, and work independently of…

Read More Welcome to the Machine

When I was student teaching, I had the idealistic view that teaching alone was the most powerful way to influence the success of students.

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Image source:

Although research shows that teacher expectations significantly affect the success of students in a classroom setting, I don’t believe we can overemphasis the power of a parent’s influence in shaping how children learn.

Ruby Payne*, in her research for Framework For Understanding Poverty, identifies 8 essential resources that students must have to experience significant success in school: Read More The Power of Parent Support

Last week I found a handwritten card in my box at school. It was from a student who will be a senior this coming school year.

In the note, she was telling me thank you for the ways we had helped “pack her parachute” during her years at SHS. Inside the envelope, she had placed a cut-out piece of parachute cloth and a folded up copy of this excerpt by Charlie Plumb: Read More The Power of Gratitude (Who Is Packing Your Parachute?)