Monthly Archives: November 2016

PMP Bonus Track: Focusing on the Simple Joys of Life

Today I’ve decided to take a break from a focus on school leadership and share some simple joys of life.

Photo by Muffet – Creative Commons Attribution License https://www.flickr.com/photos/53133240@N00


During Thanksgiving Break, I took time to record a couple of songs that I decided to include in today’s bonus podcast track.

My wife and I have four children: 3 girls and 1 boy. This Thanksgiving we hosted some of my wife’s relatives including her cousin, Joy, who is one year older than our oldest daughter. When the girls were little, we wrote a song together called “3 Little Girls,” and we decided this past week to sit at the kitchen table with a microphone and my guitar to record it.

Here are the lyrics and a direct link to the recording of the song: Continue reading

PMP: Encore 04 Thankfulness (And the Bacon Story)

This week’s podcast episode is an encore recording of one of my favorite growing-up stories.

As you listen, I hope you take time to remember your own good memories. As we approach Thanksgiving, I hope you are taking time to recharge your batteries and invest time with friends and family. Thanks for doing what matters!

Here are the shownotes for PMP: Encore 04: Continue reading

PMP:044 How Challenges Help You Grow

I remember my first year of teaching when I walked into a boy’s bathroom that was reeking of smoke.

Photo by Paul Keller – Creative Commons Attribution License https://www.flickr.com/photos/18259771@N00


A couple of boys were standing at the urinals when one of them dropped a lit cigarette at his feet.

I didn’t know his name, but I told him to grab his bag and follow me to the office. All the way there, he was talking.

“I don’t know why you are taking me to the office,” he complained. “It wasn’t me. I don’t know whose it was, but that cigarette wasn’t mine.”

“I saw it drop right at your feet,” I said. Continue reading

PMP:043 Lessons from a Comet Landing (What Can We Accomplish Together?)

The European Space Agency’s historical comet landing of the spacecraft Rosetta in 2014 was an amazing feat I share about in this week’s podcast.

Photo by yasutani – Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License https://www.flickr.com/photos/96369622@N00


First of all, imagine organizing a team of scientists and space engineers who design and launch a spacecraft with the goal of intersecting with a comet 500 million kilometers from Earth. Then imagine ten years later, your findings show the spacecraft is indeed crossing paths with the targeted comet.

From 500 million kilometers away, your Earth-bound team maneuvers the activation of the spacecraft’s previously inert power source, it orbits around the comet, and it attempts a landing. Continue reading

PMP:042 The Future of Education (A Conversation with Undergraduates)

Recently I was asked to be a guest presenter for an undergraduate education class at Bartlesville Wesleyan University, a college not too far from my high school.

girl-looking-telescope_shutterstock_49000765

“What do you see?” Wonder Image Source: wonderopolis.org


At the end of my presentation, I asked four students if I could interview them for a podcast episode.

I had two goals in this conversation:
1. I wanted to hear from prospective educators their motivations, dreams, and challenges in choosing this career.
2. I wanted others to be reminded why investing in training, recruiting, and supporting strong teachers is so essential.

I’m indebted to the generosity of Dr. Jeffrey Keeney for allowing me to present to his class, and to the four students who agreed to participate in this podcast: Shelby Totino of Spearfish, South Dakota; Karley Baker of Fredonia, Kansas; Kelly Tjon of Houston, Texas; and Kirsten Fisher of Bartlesville, Oklahoma.

If you’ve ever wondered why we should be committed to investing in education—why we should be finding ways to better compensate teachers for their hard work and dedication to children—then listen in to the responses of these four young people. Continue reading