Why Do I Want to Run Again? June 2011

One thing that will make this return easier is that I have gone into semi-retirement and have taken the summer off to do a lot of things, but one of the main things I will be doing is running.  Hopefully, the knee holds up and that I don’t get impatient by do some stupid training routines.  I am not known for my patience and am a bit bull-headed (stoopid) at times by trying to do too much too soon. Hopefully, I have learned some patience as I have matured. We will see on this one.
I have decided to do my daily running log and most of my posts related to running at my new blog “Time to Run Again” (update – which I discontinued and now use A Veteran Runnah).  So if you are interested in my daily battle to get back in shape and the story of my return to running after a sixteen month layoff due to injury, please follow me there.

So why do I want to run again?

The answer is that I am a runner and have been one for a long time.

Nothing more, nothing less.

Now to do the work, get out there and put one foot in front of the other and run.  It feels good to be back to being a runner – it is a part of who I am, that was missing for far too long.

I Wish School Was This Way

I am a big Chris Lehman fan for a while and finally got around to watching his Tedx Philly talk (I now have the time).  In the video he describes what schools could be.

I just happen to agree with his vision.  If you have 15 minutes it is well worth watching.

I wish this was future of school for more of our students.


School in my opinion is not to teach students how to work, but teach them how to think and do for themselves and others. How to ask questions, how to find answers and then tell others what they found. School should be about opportunities, not drudgery.  Students still need to know how to read, write and do math well, but there is so much more to life than those three subjects. Don’t students have to be good at those as well.

If we continually to punish them by forcing them to do what they suck at, by giving them more and more of what they suck at. Haven’t we been reaping what we sow – bored or angry students who are tired of being told they suck at (you fill in the blank), but are required to do it anyway. Then we wonder why so many of them leave school as soon as they can.  School has no meaning to this population of students, except that it is a punishment for them to attend school everyday.

Saying that just because we have done it this way in the past is not good enough anymore. Instead of punishing students for being bored and acting like twits, because they are bored with lesson plans that were appropriate for a previous generation of students, even if they align with the most recent set of academic standards.  We need to start looking at what are the student’s strengths we have today, not 5, 10, 20, 50 years ago and teach to those strengths. Yes this is more work for teachers, but it isn’t any more work than teaching to the test and dealing with the negative behaviors of students who don’t want to be there because they are bored.

Am I dreaming of something that can’t occur?  With the present mindset of test, test, test, more data, accountability and that kids need more and more structure it won’t occur, it can’t.

These are some of the reasons why so many of us have left education recently.  We only see more of the same or worse coming to education and our public schools for the foreseeable future and personally I don’t want to be a part of that future.

I think that the term “Do no harm” needs to be used more often when discussing education.

It is going to take a paradigm shift about what is the future of education in the United State.  For this shift to happen it will require teachers, administrators, school boards, politicians to look outside the box that we are stuck in now and show real guts and leadership to change the future of education, because I agree with Mr. Lehman (most of) our public schools are broken.

Mr. Lehman, I think that I would have liked to have been a teacher in your school. You show leadership and an understanding of what school could or should be. Thank you for sharing this vision with the rest of us.

Week in Review – June 19, 2011

U.S. Coast Guard Official Seal
Image via Wikipedia

The week that was.

On Friday, I turned another chapter in my life where I decided to leave teaching as a full-time profession and finally take advantage of retiring from the Coast Guard over 15 years ago.  I am entering the semi-retired stage of my life where I am going to try it out and see how it fits my life style.

During the next six months I plan to focus on things that I have neglected around the house, getting my body back in shape and getting over the mentally drained feeling that I now have, that has left me completely exhausted this year (what I call the fog affect). No energy for much of anything right now.

No I won’t stop following education and being an advocate when I can for education reforms that I believe should be made, not the ones currently making the rounds that focus on the stick approach to management, in the guise of accountability, based upon less than reliable standardized testing. But that is a rant for a different post.

As I enter this new chapter of my life, it does means that we will be downsizing and simplifying a lot of what we do and how we live. Strangely enough, I am looking forward to this part, because I think that this is something that is the right thing to do and have been looking at doing more and more anyway.

I also plan to figure out what I really want from blogging. Do I want to try to make some money blogging or do I want to just keep it low-key personal and any money generated would be incidental to the writing. I know which way I am leaning, but I want to look at it more closely before I decide.

As I enter into what I call semi-retirement I do not see myself having a classroom again. I might come back as a sub or tutor or if money becomes tight maybe even an EdTech or teaching assistant in a school setting – I have had some offers already.  Maybe I will look for a part-time job outside of education completely or that I will just sit down and write that book I keep threatening to write. The future is wide-open to possibilities and I am not all that worried about the money end, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this.  We have enough, just not much extra.

What I do have now is time and freedom to try or do things that I want to do, not what my boss expects me to do.  I really want to fully experience this freedom.

In reality what I would like to do is win the lottery and not have to worry about the money end at all.  Wishful thinking hmmmm. 🙂

I do know that I am looking forward to this thing called semi-retirement, who knows it might even turn into a real retirement.

I guess I have to include my top 5 posts for the week based on pageviews instead of continuing to talk all about me and my future:
  1. Evernote Review
  4. Mobile Me Review
  5. Evernote as a Task Manager

This was a bit of a tangent for a weekly review, but it is what is on my mind right now.