Where is our balance

I start each morning with a daily devotional.  One morning last week, the theme was the importance of balance in our lives.  “There are people who get out of balance in everything: from not sleeping, to sleeping too much; from not cleaning their house, to trying to keep it so clean that nobody can move in it.  Find balance; balance keeps your day going right.”

I make an honest effort every day to balance my school life with my life outside of school.  I hope to never become one of those people who define who they are by what they do.  I try to live each day as the late Jim Valvano taught us, “…there are three things we should all do every day.  We should do this every day of our lives.  Number one is laugh.  You should laugh every day.  Number two is think.  You should spend some time in thought.  And number threee is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be of happiness or joy.  But think about it.  If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day.  That’s a heck of a day.  You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

When I look at the time my students spend in school each day, I have to think about their balance.  Do they get the chance to laugh, to think, and be moved emotionally?  Do they wake up each morning wondering about the day ahead?  Or do they wake up knowing it will be another You Tube, another powerpoint, another worksheet, just like yesterday, and just like tomorrow?

They come into the building each morning filled with wonder, hopes, and dreams.  Will they have the chance to create, to connect, and to collaborate?  Will they have the chance to craft the questions?  Will they get to discover answers, or will they spend too much time regurgitating answers already known?  Will we be so focused on their academic growth, that we neglect their their social needs?  Where is the balance in thier day with us?

It is my hope that most will leave each day knowing not that they are wanted at school.  But that they are needed.  And that they matter.

Slow Me Down, Lord

This is the first post.  I will update this site somewhat frequently, as I end each day by reflecting on life as an asst middle school principal.  I have had a fantastic 35+ year run in public education as a teacher and administrator, having met and worked with some truly amazing people in some very high, and some not so very high, achieving schools and school districts.
I first saw the poem below in my graduate program at Ft. Hays State University under the direction of Dr. Ed Stehno, a giant among educators.  I think of it often as I drive to and from school.
I hope you enjoy my reflections, and the occasional rant.
“Slow me down, Lord, I am going too fast.
I can’t see my brother as he goes past;
I miss a lot of good things day by day.
I don’t know blessings when they come my way.
Slow me down, Lord, so I can see
More of the things that are good for me;
A little less of me, a mite more of you,
Let Heavenly atomosphere trickle thru,
Let me help a brother when the going’s rough
When folks work together, things aren’t so tough;
Slow me down, Lord, so that I can talk
with more of your angels…slow me down to a walk.”