Friday, November 22, 2013


I have a certain love for a "Good Coffee" so I justified treating myself to one on the way to school this morning. Not just a regular Cup of Joe but a nice New Grounds Mocha. New Grounds is a little shop about a mile down the road from the ILC and my wife bought me a gift card there before the new school year . Unfortunately, today was my last coffee on the card so I need to drop some hints for a stocking stuffer or hope that she reads this. Sadden by the fact that my balance is 0 now I was a bit down in spirit. However, New Grounds does not disappoint in taste or in inspiration.  When you order a coffee they place a small sticker over the opening of the lid so you do not splash out any of their valuable contents. Today's sticker is pictured below:

A nice little message to Be a Friend first. This thought stayed fresh in mind and I thought about the many areas of life the message of "B1"could fit into. A simple yet straight-to-the-point concept that hit home and had my mind racing. At this point I was driving down the road clearly not paying attention because I suddenly found myself in the middle of running a red light. Thankfully my old Jeep brakes still work and I was able to make the embarrassing move into reverse and gather myself. As I pulled into the school parking lot I just kept thinking about "B1". What if we all took the time to act on the little things in life? What if teachers focused more on the small victories and not the doom and gloom of OTES. I once read that good intentions are worthless unless acted upon. I think it was an equation that stated Intentions-Actions=Squat but Intentions+Actions=Results. At that moment I acted and came up with a small list of 15 ways that I could use the "B1" philosophy for myself (now and in the future) and thought I would share:

1.     B1 teacher that cares
2.     B1 teacher that inspires
3.     B1 teacher that challenges
4.     B1 teacher that helps a colleague
5.     B1 teacher that motivates with ideas and not discipline
6.     B1 teacher that opens doors by opening the minds of your students to the reality of their potential (limitless)
7.     B1 Administrator that builds relationships in your building
8.     B1 Administrator that invests in quality not quantity for your staff
9.     B1 Administrator that is quick to listen and slow to criticize 
10. B1 Administrator that makes it fun to fail and learn in the process....take chances
11. B1 Husband that shows empathy
12. B1 Husband that offers support
13. B1 Husband that carries the burden
14. B1 Father that is involved
15. B1 Father that loves unconditionally

This list could grow daily but I know I need to keep it simple. It may change over time or during certain seasons of life. Quick side note....a vision of mine is to one day take what I have learned in the education world and share it with as many as I can. I have a passion to help others succeed in Education and be an avid encourager, supporter, and mentor to anyone who will listen. Starting an educational consulting firm with some like-minded, ambitious educators is something I see happening. Back to the point...I think in this current state of education our society is doing a pretty poor job of making the Art of Teaching a profession. As teachers we can get a negative attitude and start pointing fingers about the lack of respect, lack of resources, lack of support, lack of funding, and so on. Listen I get it; I have more debt in student loans than most and raising a family of 4 is hard on a teacher salary. I knew it would not be lucrative in that way. I knew the reward would come in the interactions and relationships I build with my students and the impact I can make. And guess what ....I choose this. I choose to "B1". No matter where you are in life we have all made choices that have led us to this point. I think we all need to make a "B1" list and live a little simpler in the chaotic mess of life.