Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Do We Ever Find Balance?

I often find myself struggling - struggling to find "balance" in my life.  How do I balance out my life?  I feel slammed - overwhelmed quite often.  Drilling down, I do my best to juggle married life, raising children, doing well at work, finding time for myself, etc.

The Balanced Man
When I was an undergraduate at San Francisco State University, I joined the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity.  It was a tremendous experience - one of the best of my life.  In addition to promoting Virtue, Diligence, and Brotherly Love, Sig Ep focused on being "The Balanced Man."  We always bragged about this - "We are balanced men."  In retrospect, I was anything but balanced.  I didn't make the Dean's List until my final semester at SFSU and quite frankly, could have been a far better friend to many, son to my parents, and brother to my siblings.  Not trying to sound hard on myself, but I didn't live up to the motto of my fraternity.

Here I am now, 44 years old, engulfed in "real life," and still feel unbalanced.  How do I find time to go to the gym without feeling guilty that I am not spending time with my wife and kids?  How do I get all of the work done that I need to accomplish without cutting off friends and family?  How do I make sense of all of the immense information available to us and share with others as a way to move things forward?

I guess I will always struggle to find balance.  I am human.  Humans are creatures of habit.  I need to form better habits and be a better example for those around me.  New Year's resolution?  Yeah, right.  Mind over matter.  Stay consistent.  Stay focused.  I think I can do this.  Are you balanced?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Do We "Lose our Touch?"

Here's some food for thought:  Does it come a time in our careers, that if we enter the administration ranks or take a position outside of the classroom, we forget what it was like in the classroom?  Think about that for a moment.  I had this discussion with my wife, who I feel is one of the most solid teachers I have ever seen.  She has not lost her passion and does not compromise her standards or beliefs.

Our district had a staff development day October 12, whereas site administrators lead morning sessions for teachers.  I love that model!  Walk the walk, talk the talk.  However, in the session my wife attended the administrator recorded himself ahead of time and simply showed the film.  Was he trying to model a flipped classroom?  There wasn't any follow-up or checks for understanding. So, the question is, do we lose our touch?

I taught for 12 years before entering administration.  However, I have continued to teach at the college level and when I was a site administrator, did my best to get in classrooms as often as possible.  But is that the same thing as doing it every day?  Do administrators get so far removed from the classroom (as we get caught up in the day-to-day running of the school or district) that we forget what it was like managing a classroom and every possible thing that comes with it?

Some have suggested that administrators should have to teach one class every "x" years.  How would we be alleviated of our other duties?  What is the answer?  Attend conferences and professional development more often?  But is that really putting things to practice?  I don't know the answer here, but I do understand that the day-to-day dynamic of a classroom is meaningful and very hard work.  It is easy to lose sight of things if we don't keep everything in perspective, listen to others, stay focused, and above all, remember why we got into this profession.  It's about the students.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Gearing up for a Presentation

Tomorrow night at our Board of Trustees meeting, my colleague and I will be presenting the state of technology in our district.

We've come a long way.... and we know where we are going.  It's about being strategic and deliberate with our planning and implementation.  #bethechange

Please feel free to comment.