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The Braden Bin

What I'm watching:  Students react to being called important 

  • Thanks to @K1counselor for sharing this on Twitter!
  • It really is a powerful video.  It shows how the words we chose to use each and every interaction with our students really are impactful, both negatively and (hopefully) positively.  
  • We will be trying our hand at this in the upcoming weeks.  I hope to have a video to show soon!  
Website that has caught my attention:
  • Again, thank you @K1counselor for sharing this website with me!  
  • From the website:  "When people choose to accept that they matter and that their actions count, lives and learning change, and the world changes."  
  • I couldn't agree more!  
What I am reading:  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
  • I am really just getting into this book but I dig what I see so far.  
  • It peaked my interest because one of my favorite movies, Apocalypse Now, was "adopted" from this book.  I put adopted in parenthesis because Heart of Darkness takes place on the Congo River in Africa and deals with the ivory trade in the late 1800's while Apocalypse Now takes place in Vietnam during the Vietnam war.  From what I've heard, the central theme is the same and the message one can gain is consistent throughout both book and movie.  I cannot wait to dive into this some more this weekend!  
Song I am jamming to:  
  • @GCouros posted the following on twitter yesterday.

  • Mine was Drops of Jupiter by Train.  How could a high school graduation song be any better than that?  Feel free to find George on Twitter, if you don't already follow him (what are you thinking?) and add your high school graduation song.  Or, feel free to leave it in the comments on this blog!  
What I learned this week:
  • Maybe I should have said, "What was reaffirmed this week."  Either way, it was made evident (again) that we are in the business of relationships.  We all know that NOTHING can be done in the classroom without intentionally building relationships with your students.  Some of us take a week at the beginning of the year to just work on building relationships because we know that before content and curriculum comes love and trust.  Folks, this is the most rewarding job in the world.  Teaching transcends the traditional definition of "job" and is more of a lifestyle.  They mean a lot to us.  The future means a lot to us.  This is ok.  Sometimes we feel great from those relationships and sometimes we carry some of the pain from what our students are going through with us.  It's always worth it.  


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The Braden Bin - 3/4/16

What I'm Reading - Election Guide:  5 Education Takeaways From the Presidential Candidates 
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What I'm Reading (Bonus) -  So, Google's up to something again and this one I am VERY excited about.  Think of the implications this could have on education.  On igniting that fire in our kids for reading!  I can't wait to try it!  What I'm Watching - Plato's Allegory of the Cave by Alex Gendler

I think this video draws some very interesting parallels to our current political system.  I particularly like the quote, "Most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance but hostile to anyone who points it out.""As we go about our lives, can we be confident in what we thi…

Attention Seeker

As an educational leader, there are times throughout the day that I feel like if there were two or three of me, we could actually be getting some things done.  Whether it is responding to emails, attending meetings on and off campus, meeting with teachers or students and doing whatever else comes up throughout the day (I had to remove a dead cockroach from the staff bathroom last Tuesday), it becomes increasingly hard to attend to the task at hand.

Maybe it's just me as I've struggled with attention issues my whole life but I have to think there must be other educators out there who feel the same way.

You are in an ARD meeting, it's 2:00 pm and you know there's a parent phone call you HAVE to make before the bell rings and there's a teacher who needs your support with a student and the last time you checked your email, right before going to the ARD, you noticed Inbox 64, and you just got a call on your radio that there's ANOTHER cockroach in the staff restroo…

Identity First, Then Culture

First, allow me to get this outta the way, real quick like.  

I am, unabashedly, an Indiana University basketball fan to the core of my being.  I grew up in Indiana and in Indiana, if you were raised right, you were raised to be an IU fan.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of my lifetime, they haven't been that great.  I don't remember the national championship in 1987, I was only 4.  

Recently they hired Archie Miller from Dayton University who is known for defense and toughness.  A "grind it out" culture if you will.  He gave an interview  (here) and in the interview, he mentioned something about culture that struck a chord with me this morning.  

“The big thing is to create the first identity opportunity,” Miller said. “Not culture.” I stopped Miller there. Coaches love talking about culture – it might be the most popular buzzword in the profession today. What’s with the avoidance? “I think culture is earned,” he said. “You don’t start talking about culture four weeks …