Wednesday, December 28, 2016

The Path to Success in 2017: Reading.

As the new year dawns, many, including myself are brainstorming areas for improvement in 2017. As I have spent time thinking about areas I would like to grow, I have not given much consideration to how I will get 'there.'

I read a fascinating article yesterday on successful people and their respective reading habits. The article talked about Warren Buffet. WB said he will read for about 80% of his day. Many times during his life, he would read anywhere from 600-1000 pages a day. Similar to Warren Buffet, Bill Gates is an avid reader. He regularly sets a goal to read 50 books a year.

I spent the better part of the day reflecting on this. I have always enjoyed reading. And, I do read everyday. Am I reading enough? In comparison to the aforementioned, no. Not even close. I thoroughly enjoy watching sporting events. I won't think twice about watching the Steeler game for 3 hours at a time. Not sure I remember the last time I read for 3 hours at a time.

Yet, as I think of the areas in my life I want to grow, I wholeheartedly believe reading is an avenue to get there.

So, as you prepare for the start of a new year, I challenge you with this: make growth in your reading habits a priority. Put down social media. Pick up a book - or a magazine. Find something to read that will make you grow. In turn, take time to reflect on how much you have grown- and read.

Here's to a great year of reading and growing...

"Being an avid reader gives you a strategic advantage in life. It improves your thinking, relational skills, and more. But you can leverage that advantage by reading books that stimulate personal improvement."- Michael Hyatt

"You stay teachable most by reading books. By reading what other people went through." 
— Retired Marine General James Mattis

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The Right Mindset

I have continually preached this message this year: our job as educators and leaders is to reach EVERY one of our 3,000 students.

We will measure our success by how wildly excited our students are to come to school each day. Is this a lofty dream? I am sure skeptics out there will say I am crazy. They will bombard me with excuses of why we can reach perhaps 80%, but never 100%. Too many variables we cannot control.

Yet- which of those 20% are we willing to discard? How many doors are we willing to knock down to reach each of the 3,000 that have been entrusted to us? How hard are we willing to fight to see each of our students be as committed to learning as we are to teaching?

Rethink education. Find a way to engage ALL students. Continually strive to create an environment rich with passion- with emotion- with zeal. That in the midst of this crazy world we live in - perhaps our students can find a respite in coming to school each day.

I read this quotation tonight- which really prompted my desire to write. If we as a collective profession took on this mindset, we would win this next generation of leaders, thinkers, and doers.

Let us fight for our students. If we do, and we remain committed to this fight- regardless of the obstacles we face- we will win.

“I am a soldier.  I fight where I’m told and I win where I fight.George S. Patton