Friday, June 14, 2024

Journey With a School Janitor

Fifty-five year old Richard Goodall has been serving as a janitor at a local school for 23 years. He loves to sing and make people happy. He had the opportunity to be on stage at America's Got Talent TV show on May 28. As of June 14, his YouTube performance below has over 13.4M views! His story, wrapped around a popular song, moves everyone when he sings. 

Friday, May 24, 2024

Such a Great Read Aloud Book For Children . . . and Adults

I read to preschool classes twice a week, and for the first time in six years, a class requested — almost demanded — one morning that I read for a second time Pretty Ugly. I easily understood why. This is a must-read book for children AND adults. It has such a clever story and is so beautifully illustrated.

As many of you know, David Sedaris is pretty darn funny and clever, and the illustrations by Ian Falconer are so terrific. Here is a neat interview with David via Seth Meyers.

Thursday, May 2, 2024

Who Moved My Cheese?

Written in 1998 by Spencer Johnson, M.D., this book is a fantastic read that you can read in an hour.  The quote on the cover says it all — "An A-Mazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life." Also, "Cheese" is a metaphor for what you want to have in life—whether it is a good job, a loving relationship, money, a possession, health, or spiritual peace of mind."

If you don't have an hour to read the book or you want to share the story with a child, you can click over to this three minute YouTube graphic version.

Friday, April 12, 2024

What Adults Can Learn From Kids

Here is a very special TED Talk. See below for the 8-minute Talk by Adora Svitak — "What Adults Can Learn From Kids." As of this blog post it has 7M views. 

Friday, March 29, 2024

"How every child can thrive by five"

This 7 minute TED Talk by seven-year-old Molly Wright is fantastic! Here is the introduction to this 11M viewed Talk:

"What if I was to tell you that a game of peek-a-boo could change the world?" asks seven-year-old Molly Wright, one of the youngest-ever TED speakers. . . "

Saturday, March 9, 2024

"How AI could save (not destroy) education"

Here is a 5-star TED Talk for educators from the popular Sal Khan. He has such a good message—on the positive side—for AI. 

If you have not met up with Sal Khan, click over to his Khan Academy

Friday, February 16, 2024

Laugh at Yourself

Some great advice from the weekly JAM (Just A Minute to read). If you have not done so already, go to the JAM website when you have a chance.

Here are two quotes from the January 26, 2024 JAM – "Laugh at Yourself":

"It is so important to not take yourself too seriously. Laughing at yourself shows humility and brings us closer together."

"When you can laugh at yourself it displays a softened ego. It shows that you do not think you are better than others. Learn to laugh at yourself."

Friday, January 26, 2024

How to Know a Person

Author and NYTimes columnistDavid Brooks's, newest book is so helpful in understanding and building relations with others, especially for parents and teachers working with each other in support of child education and role modeling.

Here are a couple of quotes about how to know a person:
Chapter 11: The Art of Empathy 
"Empathy consists of at least three related skills. First there is the skill of mirroring." 
The second empathy skill is mentalizing.
The third empathy skill is caring

Chapter 17: What is Wisdom? 
"Wisdom is the ability to see deeply into who people are and how they should move in the complex situations of life."

These two chapters alone make this such an important book to read.

Here is a PBS seven-minute interview with David.

Click here for a wonderful hour-long video of David presenting the book at the Free Library of Philadelphia AUTHOR EVENTS; you will get an in-depth view that has been viewed by over 1M people.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Does AI Actually Understand Us?

 "Is AI [Artificial Intelligence] as smart as it seems? Exploring the 'brain' behind machine learning, neural networker Alona Fyshe delves into the language processing abilities of talkative tech (like the groundbreaking chatbot and internet obsession ChatGPT) and explains how different it is from your own brain - even though it can sound convincingly human." (From TED Talk caption)

Here is her TED Talk on the subject. It is well done and helps in building a better understanding of AI.

Friday, December 15, 2023

Momentum – Dr. Maria Montessori Caring for Children

      Momentum Montessori, a Life in Motion, an historical novel by Elizabeth Slade, is not only captivating, it gives significant insights into Dr. Maria Montessori's life in motion. Included are insight and determination into becoming one of the first women doctors in Italy, her care for her son and mother, and her accomplishments caring for children throughout the world are beautifully told throughout the book. Dr. Montessori was a determined woman.
      Here is a quote from "Chapter 8 • 1906" (pg. 134) that captures her insights into caring for children: "It seemed what they [children] most desired was a prepared environment with real activities to occupy their hands. It seemed the most effective way was to offer them the instruction individually, with few words."

Friday, November 24, 2023

Helping Children - 7 Ways to Find More Meaning in Your Life

I discovered GoodRx from a friend and physician and how it supports ongoing health information.

"7 Ways to Find More Meaning in Your Life" is one of the great articles passed on to subscribers. These "7 Ways" certainly serve as role models for children. Here are the "7 Ways," and do click over to the article to get a nice fill-in for each way.

1.  Find your passion
2.  Embody your values
3.  Give back
4.  Reflect on your gifts
5.  Look for role models
6.  Practice gratitude
7.  Think about your legacy

Saturday, November 4, 2023

Teaching Our Children Humanity

With all that is going in in our world today . . .

"We should teach humanity in school. Our children need to be taught how to be compassionate to themselves, to others and to our world. Education is universal. We are missing the greatest opportunity to teach our children what is most important: kindness, compassion, self-love, and equanimity. They were born with it but life has buried it."

Saturday, October 14, 2023

There's more to life than being happy

In Emily Esfahani Smith's TED Talk, she builds "there's more to life than being happy" with 4 pillars of a meaningful life: 

1)  Belonging

2)  Purpose

3)  Transcendence — stepping beyond yourself

4)  Storytelling

Learn more by watching her 12-minute TED Talk video.

Saturday, September 23, 2023


Humankind A Hopeful History by Rutger Bregman is powerful and gives a comprehensive look at the history of humanity. It crosses paths with Yuval Noah Harari's book Sapiens.

There is one chapter — "The Best Remedy For Hate, Injustice and Prejudice" — that is excellent on presenting the best remedy for these humanity issues, and the remedy is "CONTACT." Here is an excerpt (page 358) from that chapter: 

"Contact engenders more trust, more solidarity and more mutual kindness. It helps you see the world through other people's eyes. Moreover, it changes you as a person, because individuals with a diverse group of friends are more tolerant towards strangers. And contact is contagious: when you see a neighbor getting along with others, it makes you rethink your own biases."

Saturday, September 2, 2023

Friday, August 11, 2023

Volunteering — Its Value to Others and Life

Throughout my career and life, volunteering has been so important, especially once I retired. Helping children, schools, older folks, nonprofit organizations, and those in need have become a goal for my wife and me. I had the opportunity to share my experiences with volunteering via an interview for the Granite Senior Journal, a New Hampshire quarterly publication. The picture you see (with some others) in the article appears in this 2023 spring issue. Here is the link to the interview article:  "A 'consultering' life — Staying Active Through Work, Volunteering and Leisure." Give it a read and see what you think.

Saturday, July 22, 2023

A Follow-up to - The Body Keeps the Score Book


"How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime" by Dr. Nadine Burke Harris, is a very important follow-up to my April 28, 2023 blogpost "The Body Keeps the Score." 

Take 15 minutes to hear what Dr. Harris has to say in her TED Talk. What she has to say and her presentation are so good!

Monday, July 3, 2023

Nutrition, Exercise, Socialize

Three important practices in life: Nutrition, Exercise, and Socialize . . .

The Good Life by Robert Waldinger and Marc Schultz is such a good resource for helping us with socializing and building relationships that are so critical to happiness in our lives. "Technologies like the smartphone and social media now play a role in shaping some of the most intimate parts of our lives. Quite often, when we connect with another person, there is a device and a piece of software between us." (page 126)

AND, give some thought to AI (Artificial Intelligence) and what it is doing to humanity at this point!

Watch Waldinger's TED Talk — one of the top ten TED Talks of all time (44.7 M views) . . .               

Saturday, June 10, 2023

A Look at AI (Artificial Intelligence) via Dr. Montessori's Great Lessons

 "Cosmic Education And The Seven Great Lessons For 2023?" is an article I wrote and is published in the latest issue of Montessori Leadership from the International Montessori Council. 

With the advent and persistence of AI and its impact on humanity, and with much more to come, I reviewed Dr. Montessori's Five Great Lessons — that are a part of the article — to see how they might be reviewed and used to prepare us for the unanticipated realities of AI and to  make sure that love never goes away from our lives.

We have so much to do for ourselves AND our children to help all of us manage the rise in AI.

Friday, May 19, 2023

When Should You Reach Out to an Old Friend or Colleague?

Here is a 96-second podcast by author Daniel Pink. Short as they always are, Daniel gives excellent advice. Watch and listen to what he has to say about reaching out to an old friend or colleague. 

Friday, April 28, 2023

The Body Keeps the Score

The Body Keeps the Score a phenomenal book by Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., explains so much of why we are struggling with so much trauma over the past few years. The book has been on the NYTimes Paperback Nonfiction Book List 231 weeks. This past week it was number four on the Combined Print and E-Book Best Sellers list, which it has been on for 135 weeks. AND, the book has a copyright of 2015! Not an easy book to read, Kolk has so much insight based on his experience and research over so many years. The last two sentences in the last chapter say so much — "Trauma is now our most urgent public health issue, and we have the knowledge necessary to respond effectively. The choice is ours to act on what we know."

I will let Lara Hammock at Marble Jar Channel give you her excellent summary of the book. Invest the 10 minutes to view this excellent video.

Saturday, April 8, 2023

The True Way Children Teach

Here is a beautiful story about Teddy, Mrs. Thompson—his elementary teacher—and how she adjusted her teaching based on what Teddy taught her. This video is 5:47 long, well worth investing the time, and it may bring tears to your eyes. 

Friday, March 17, 2023

The Light We Carry

If you have not read Michelle Obama's The Light We Carry, do find it at your local library, borrow it, or buy it. And, if you don't have the time to read the whole book, do get to the library or a book store and at least read Chapter 3 — "Starting Kind." She also does a nice job on explaining the life of "When they go low, we go high" statement she made at the 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Would versus Could

When you watch this Daniel Pink research-based two minute Pinkcast, you will get some simple, powerful advice when you are confronted with a problem.

Saturday, February 4, 2023

Using Judgement in Life & Work


Great advice from Sarah Gardner in the January 27 Weekly JAM (Just A Minute).

"I think one of the things we struggle with the most is judgement. Judgement of ourselves, judgement of others, judgement of beliefs and ideas...honestly, judgement of life. It's important to try to be better and ask the world to be better but not when it comes from a place of judgement.

Judgement is born and bred from our ego. It's that voice in our head that says you have control over what is not in your control. It's the voice in our head that says you have control over what is not in your control. It's the voice that says you are not equal to others. It's the voice of the past and the voice of the future. Clearing the mind of judgement allows for calm and equanimity. 

Judgement is always self-absorbed. We judge because we are dissatisfied with how things are and we desire to have things be the way we want them to be. Remember: Life just is...we put the meaning to it."

Friday, January 13, 2023

Unstoppable Us — Yuval Noah Harari Talks to Young Readers

What a fantastic follow-up to his bestselling book Sapiens. Yuval Noah Harari wrote this book especially for middle readers and young adults. Unstoppable Us is written and illustrated to help them understand the evolution of humans and is currently number five on the NYTimes bestseller list for Middle Grade Hardcover books.

Here is a brief YouTube where he explains his newest book.

Friday, December 23, 2022


"The Voice in Our Heads, Why It Matters, and How to Harness It" is part of the title of the book Chatter—a book that gives a great deal of good information on how to deal with the chatter in our heads. View this brief interview to capture the essence of Ethan Kross and his powerful book. 

Friday, December 2, 2022

Five Mindsets

 JAM (Just A Minute) — the amount of time that it takes to read a weekly message that gives great, warm advice. Go to the JAM website to learn more. 

Check here to see a recent example of a great JAM that talks about five mindsets: Victim, Pessimist, Optimist, Realist, and Warrior.

Friday, November 11, 2022

Think Again With Adam Grant

Adam Grant is a superstar author. Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know is a must-read book. Here are a few quotes that just might entice you to get the book now:

• "It turns out that emotional intelligence is beneficial in jobs that involve dealing with emotions, but less relevant—and may be even detrimental—in work where emotions are less central." (pg. 176)

• "The power of listening doesn't lie just in giving people the space to reflect on their views. It's a display of respect and an expression of care." (pg. 159)

• "On average, students scored half a letter grade worse under traditional lecturing than through active learning—and students were 1.55 times more likely to fail in classes with traditional lecturing." (pg. 192)

• "When students confront complex problems, they often feel confused. A teacher's natural impulse is to rescue them as quickly as possible so they don't feel lost or incompetent. Yet psychologists find that one of the hallmarks of an open mind is responding to confusion with curiosity and interest." (pg. 199) 

Here is a great video to help you get to know Adam Grant.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Class versus Caste via a Middle Reader

"Class versus Caste" was my March 12, 2021 blogpost, highlighting Isabel Wilkerson's fabulous book Caste The Origins of Our Discontents

Class Act by New York Times bestselling author, Jerry Craft, is a follow-up middle reader to his 2020 Newbery Medal winning book New Kid, a book presented in my February 21, 2020 blogpost — "New Kid - 2020 Newbery Book Award."

Class Act is a terrific graphic novel that does an admirable job in helping students learn/understand some of the class issues they face in school and life, especially as they work their way through preadolescence.