Walking a Round (187:365)



I’ve been playing golf since I was 16 years old. When I first started, I walked every round. Step by step I walked and tried to get better (which is not an easy task). As time went on, and I graduated high school and college my focus with golf changed. I began driving the cart. This transition coincided with my increase in salary and my desire to “enjoy” golf more…. Or so I thought.


Today I was golfing with my brother-in-law and his colleague. They asked if we could walk the round. At first I was a bit taken aback… driving the cart saves time, energy, and well…. I haven’t walked a round for 20 years! My brother-in-law said that he has been walking rounds lately, and he ensured me that I would cover about 6 miles. Even though I was a little reluctant, I did it. Ironically, our round was not any slower. I didn’t necessarily play better, but I certainly enjoyed the experience.


I had a few take-aways from walking the round:

  • As you get older, it is extremely important to get exercise whenever, and wherever you can
  • Walking the course gave me a deeper appreciation of the rolling hills, sand traps and fairways
  • I walked about 6 miles and burned about 1500 calories 
  • Each step is as important as the last, and all propel you to the final destination
  • It’s cheaper to walk the course, and that makes it easier on the wallet 🙂
  • Take chances, risks, and the rewards will be forthcoming!


I am now looking forward to my next round… walking!


The @Principalcast Summer Series (186:365)

GKvIx1N7This summer the Principalcast Crew will be continuing the learning process with some of education’s greatest minds. We are making a few changes to our schedule. Our Summer recording time will be 8:15 PM EST on Teachercast. Since it is the summer, we are planning to take some Sunday’s off to spend with our family.

The Principalcast Podcast is  weekly round table discussion about current topics in educational leadership. The concept was developed by Theresa Stager, who at the time, was a first year principal seeking ways to learn from others. Theresa reached out to Jessica Johnson, and they invited Spike to join. Principalcast began podcasting in September of 2013.

Each week we interview teachers, principals, superintendents, authors and presenters to learn about how to become more effective educators! We are dedicated to being the lead learners in all that we do. During the first year we had 32 episodes that are available on YouTube, Itunes, and at Teachercast.

Make sure to connect with the co-hosts Theresa Stager, Jessica Johnson, Spike Cook, and our producer, Jeff Bradbury!

Check out the schedule below and we look forward to connecting with you!

All Times 8:15 PM EST
July 6 – (Episode 33) Peter DeWitt – Life After the Principalship
July 20 – (Episode 34) Kelly Tenkley Want to start your own school?
July 27 – (Episode 35) Daisy Dyer Duerr Summer Learning Opportunities

August 10 – (Episode 36) Ben Gilpin: #Edcampleadership
August 24 – (Episode 37) Chris Wejr Preparing for the New School Year
August 31 – (Episode 38) Special Mystery Guest (s) Preparing for the New School Year Part 2

Tune into Teachercast to catch all the action. Follow us on Twitter and check out the Principalcast website


Happy 4th of July! (185:365)

source: www.us-days.com

source: www.us-days.com

Today is a special day for our country! All the way back in 1776 we declared our Independence and began our quest to be the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. We celebrate this holiday by honoring those who have protected and served the country! Most Americans enjoy parades, family barbecues and fireworks on this special day.


Our position in the global landscape has grown and changed over the years. We continue to debate at the local, state and federal level. Thankfully, our voices, votes, and ideas matter. We have a unique opportunity in this country to challenge the process, ask questions, and ensure that our values are protected.


In researching for this post, I found an article that listed 25 Fascinating Facts about America and USA Fact Slides 

Here are a few I found interesting:

  • Did you know that Alaska has the highest percentage of people who walk to work?
  • 27% of Americans do not think we landed on the moon
  • Montana has 3 times as many cows as people
  • The Declaration of Independence was written on Hemp paper
  • The Liberty Bell has been  cracked (and silent) since 1846
  • Virginia has 8 Presidents who were born in the state making it the most in the country
  • 7% of Americans claim they never bath
  • 1 in 8 Americans have been employed by McDonald’s
  • 8 Billion Chickens are consumed in the US each year
  • Every tweet Americans send is being archived by the Library of Congress

Are we making creators? Or Conformists? (184:365)

source: http://izquotes.com/quote/259283

source: http://izquotes.com/quote/259283

Here is a great quote from Piaget that I saw on twitter today. It really struck a chord with me because I often wonder if we are simply educating kids into the society we have, as opposed to providing opportunity for them to create something new.


I’m convinced that the emergence of the standardized assessment movement is clearly dedicated to thwarting creativity, and innovation. Without “getting those test scores up” your school is viewed as a failure and treated as such. Those with high test scores fear taking risks could impact those same scores…. What a conundrum we have bubbled ourselves into….

Principalcast to host @petermdewitt (183:365)

Source: www.emmawillard.org

Source: www.emmawillard.org

The Principalcast Crew welcomes Peter DeWitt to the show on Sunday, July 6 at our new (summer) time of 8:15 PM EST. Peter will be discussing his tenure as a Principal, his new position as a Visible Learning Trainer, and the upcoming Connected Educator Series which is anticipated to be released in the fall of 2014.

Peter is an author, speaker, and presenter. His blog, Finding Common Ground, is published by Education Week. He is a freelance writer for Vanguard Magazine. Peter published his first education book, Dignity for All: Safeguarding LGBT Students in 2012. He contributed a chapter in Peter Lang’s Authentic Alternatives to Accountability and Standardization. He has two forthcoming books to be released this fall: School Climate Change (co-authored with Sean Slade) through ASCD Arias, and Flipping Communication Doesn’t Have to Mean Reinventing the Wheel, through Corwin Press.

Peter spent 11 years as a K-5 teacher and 8 years as an elementary Principal. As a principal, Peter was named the 2013 Outstanding Educator of the Year by School Administrators Association of New York State (SAANYS). He recently resigned from his Principal position to focus his efforts on writing and his new position as a Visible Learning Trainer.

Peter has presented at local, state, national and international conferences. Most notably, Peter presented at the NAESP, ASCD, ICLE’s Model Schools, and was a panelist on NBC’s Education Nation.

Once again, join us on Sunday, July 6 8:15 EST on Teachercast!


Half-way there! (182:365)

source: www.statenet.com

source: www.statenet.com

So today marks the HALF WAY point of my Blog 365 challenge. I started this journey on January 1, 2014, and haven’t stopped yet. There have been some good days and some rough days…


There are days when I have blogged a few times to catch up or plan ahead, and other days where I have simply waited and waited for inspiration. Luckily, I have always been inspired by something, or someone…


Here are some of the sources for my inspiration:

  • The Leadership Journey (there is always something to reflect on)
  • My family, friends and co-workers
  • My Personal/Professional Learning Network – Fortunately, through being a connected educator, I have the ability to connect anytime, anywhere through social media! It’s all a click away
  • Life, observations, musings – You never know what lessons life will teach you
  • Readers, and interactions on this blog

Although this challenge has not been easy, I can thank those listed above for all of their help…. Now, back to planning Blog #183 (tomorrow is almost here)

Why we do what we do! Thanks @ChrisWejr (181:365)

source: Chris Wejr

source: Chris Wejr

I saw this quote on Facebook from my friend Chris Wejr. I consider Chris a friend even though I have never met him in person, and only skyped with him one time in 2012 (for this blog post).

Chris and I have a lot in common even though we are literally thousands of miles away from each other. Yet, from his posts, his videos I feel like I know him. None of this would have been possible without our participation in Social Media.

As connected educators, we learn from each other all the time, and we are always seeking to be better, do better! When I saw this quote, I asked Chris if I could post in the blog, and of course he said, “Go for it!”

Social Media provides excellent opportunities to share! Want to get connected? Come on board… we have been waiting for you!



How do you teach your kids? (180:365)

Our first night match

Our first night match

Ok, I think it is safe to say that I have taught many children in my life…. But when it comes to my own, it is certainly not as easy! For instance, I just purchased Tennis rackets for the kids so we can play one of my favorite sports. I want them to like it, maybe even love it. I’ve always enjoyed playing. I can remember playing with my mom, my friends as a kid. I played all the way (never in a league, just for fun) through high school, college and into my 20’s…. Then, like a lot of things, it just stopped. Fast forward to being 40, wanting to get back into it, and trying to get my own kids interested.


So, how do you teach your own kids? Well, I teach them the way they learn! I know that each of my children are their own person, charged with their personal learning style. My son wants to learn everything and then just “play.” He is hands-on and asks a lot of questions. My daughter, on the other hand, needs to see an example (which is usually why the ball goes right by her as she watches the other players on the other courts). Yet, once she understands, she can repeat, adapt and have fun with her new skills.


I know Dad’s can be tough on their kids, and I try not to. I never want to live vicariously through my children, as often is the case… I just want them to enjoy it, or not.

Summer Colds (179:365)

source: beearl.blogspot.com

source: beearl.blogspot.com

Summer Colds are the WORST! I can understand getting sick in the winter, or even in the spring when all the pollen is in the air…. but the summer? Ugh! While everyone was recharging their batteries, swimming, exercising, etc. I have been coughing, aching, and sitting on the couch… Luckily, there is the World Cup to watch.


I did some research on the summer cold phenomenon… Turns out that the summer is the “real” time for yucky colds! According to a Wall Street Journal article, summer viruses can last longer, and wreck more havoc! Sometimes people feel that they can sweat out the cold, and this may lead to symptoms worsening.

Here is my advice, pay attention to your body! Just because we are in the summer doesn’t mean you can’t get sick…

Do We Know Enough About Differentiation? (178:365)

source: ascd.org

source: ascd.org

One of the hallmarks of the modern learning environment is the “differentiated classroom.” To the causal observer, a differentiated classroom may appear as if students are in groups, talking, or working on busy work. If done properly, differentiation allows teachers the ability to accomplish more then they could have ever imagined.


I saw this info-graphic on ASCD’s web site and it really struck a chord with me. The info-graphic highlights the common misconceptions of Differentiation. Here are the things that Differentiation is NOT:

– Incompatible with standards

– Dumbing down teachers

– Something extra on top of good teaching

– A set of instructional strategies

– synonym for group work

– IEPS for ALL


So what is Differentiation? According to Carol Tomlinson (2014):

– An environment that encourages and supports learning

– Quality curriculum

– Assessment that informs teaching and learning

– Instruction that responds to student variance

– Leading students and managing routines