Saturday, December 28, 2013

Parents Sharing Careers in Class

A teacher mentioned to me that her class was about to invite parents into speak to students about what they do at work. I couldn't help it, but I immediately thought of the movie City Slickers

I can't resist offering you the clip from the movie that came to mind. (Warning: Rated PG-13).

Saturday, December 21, 2013

More on Happiness

"A Formula for Happiness" is the title of a recent front page article in the NYTimes Sunday Review section. Written by Arthur Brooks, the article presents many important points; here are a few that might interest you:
  • "After 40 years of research, they attribute happiness to three major sources: genes, events, and values. Armed with this knowledge and a few simple rules, (click on the link for a video of Brooks explaining his work) we can improve our lives and the lives of those around us.
  • Every other year for four decades, roughly a third of Americans have said they’re 'very happy,' and about half report being 'pretty happy.' Only about 10 to 15 percent typically say they’re 'not too happy.' 
  • For many years, researchers found that women were happier than men, although recent studies contend that the gap has narrowed or may even have been reversed."
For more good information on happiness, positive psychology, and well being, click over to Shawn Achor and Martin Seligman.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wisdom on Health and Happiness From a 13-year Old

From the eloquent perspective of a middle school kid, this video is priceless. Logan has the right idea about what is important in life. 

He quotes Dr. Roger Walsh "Much of education is oriented, for better or for worse, towards making a living rather than making a life."

Friday, December 6, 2013

Common Sense We Need to Hear Anyway

A good reminder I came across in an ASCD SmartBrief - David L. Hough’s article, "Students' happiness at school goes a long way in learning.”

“My research team discovered that classrooms could be new, old, high tech, low tech, large, small, near the principal’s office or far away. It didn’t matter. What mattered was (and is) the teacher. The teacher’s attitude toward students (in research lingo) accounted for most of the variance in students’ perceptions of safety, enjoyment and happiness”. . . MORE

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Children Understood

Upon arriving home from grocery shopping, I remained in my car riveted to this NPR story. The best part was when the Bishop said, “But I was most impressed with the children. The children definitely were very eager to want to reach out and try to help me in some way.”

“A Mormon Bishop in Taylorsville, Utah, went to great lengths last Sunday to teach his congregation a lesson. David Musselman disguised himself as a homeless person and walked around outside before the service. Then, in character, he walked up to the pulpit and asked to deliver remarks. He tells Ari Shapiro what happened next.”

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Head of School Notes Revisited

Because so many people have asked me about this post that originally appeared on September 7, 2010, I am posting it again.

Over my career as a head of school, I have enjoyed reflecting on the job and writing about my impressions on being a head of school.  I wrote articles for The Head's Letter and The Trustee's Letter, which are monthly publications for heads and trustees of independent schools.  Here is a library of those articles.  You can click on the article link to read the full article.

"Education Voucher System" (June 1994) - While offering opportunities, pursuing vouchers should be handled with care.  
"Effective Heads of School" (March 1995) - Klingenstein Fellows list their thoughts on qualities of effective heads.
"The Head Outside of the School" (November 1996) - The head's job often goes beyond her/his own school community.
"Head 'n Hand" (March 1998) - The best part of the job, greeting students, teachers, and parents each morning.
"Words Work" (October 2000) - Hearing a sermon on giving up summer time to helping others can inspire.
"Choices, Changes, Transitions" (February 2003) - Insights about moving on to the next opportunity.
"A Turn in the Barrel" (April 2004) - At some point every head is on the firing line.
"Transference Revisited" (December 2004) - A look into the mysteries of transference as presented by Dr. Ned Hallowell.
"A Head of Eeeshmail" (October 2005) - The challenges and nuances of using email can be daunting to school leaders.
 "Learning and Living Leadership" (January 2007) - Heads at an annual conference sharing their thoughts on leadership.
"Taking Care of Employees" (April 2007) - When trying to balance budgets, we cannot lose sight of taking care of faculty and staff.
"Whose Decision Is It?" (December 2007) - Board or head's decision?  Written with my Board Chair.
"When is it Time to Leave?" (January 2010) - Is there a perfect time when heads should leave their school?
"30% . . . Really?" (May/June 2010) - 30% of a head's time should be devoted to caring for the board?

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Moral Courage Project

I recently heard Irshad Manji, the Founder and Director of the Moral Courage Project. Learn more for yourself, your students, and your children. Start by clicking over to Moral Courage TV. The topic and videos would make for excellent faculty and staff professional development sessions.

To learn more about Irshad, her work, and thinking, check out her latest book Allah, Liberty and Love: The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Inspiration From a Ten-Year Old

Last Sunday I watched "60 Minutes" and a compelling piece on the "reinvented" Metropolitan Opera, but what really caught my eyes and ears was listening to the opera singers perform. Well, you can imagine my amazement and pleasure when I watched this YouTube clip.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

10th Anniversary of StoryCorps

Dave Isay, creator of StoryCorps, has a new book out in celebration of the 50,000 stories recorded throughout the Country. Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps tells of the origins, history, and some of the most memorable stories captured.

Listen to Wil Smith's story — one of the many tender, memorable stories that brings new meaning to parenthood and the pursuit of education.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

World's Shortest Intelligence Test

It's called the Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT). Here are the questions:

1) A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

2) If it takes 5 machines 5 min to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?

3) In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every day, the patch doubles in size. If it takes 48 days for the patch to cover the entire lake, how long would it take for the patch to cover half of the lake?

Don't look until you come up with your answers, but the answer to #1 and #2 are on the ball in the picture to the right.

Check out the link above for more information on this interesting test . . . and the answer to question #3.