Attendance - 158

August 14, 2017


 Taking attendance is very important, but it shouldn't take you more than a minute or two. If it is taking you 5 or more minutes then you may be avoiding starting class.


3 Don'ts in taking attendance:

1. Don't take 5 or more minutes to figure out who is there and who isn't.

2. Don't let kids handle.

3. Don't trust your memory.


4 Do's in taking attendance:

1. Get it done.

2. Learn their names.

3. Create a way to speed up the process and not take away from instruction.

4. Insure that you have instructions for a substitute on how you handle attendance.


4 Main thoughts about attendance:

1. Learn their names.

2. Use seating charts.

3. Start class - get the kids "playing with the ball" - then take attendance during an activity.

4. Do not delegate this to a child.



Length - 21:43


First Day of School - 157

August 8, 2017


The first day and week of school and what you need to do to be ready.

Wow! Is it that time already?

The first day and week of school are so very important. Kids and teachers, believe it or not, worry about the first day and week. Now some of these concerns might be different from each other but both have anxieties about school that first day and week.

For example,

Teachers are thinking ...

There is so much to get done.

Kids are thinking...

Will I just sit and be told what I can and can't do?

Teachers are thinking...

Will the group of kids be a good mix?

Kids are thinking...

Will I have friends in the class or will I be by myself?

Today, I am giving my thoughts about starting right. Here is my list:

1. Be prepared.

    a. Procedures

    b. Start with content (Be engaging.)

2. Increase your energy.

3. Be positive.

4. Smile.

5. Greet the kids.

6. Start using their names.

Have an awesome day and start to the year!


Links for other resources:


Teach Like a Pirate

Starting Class


Length: 20:51


Not My Job, part 2 - 156

July 30, 2017


In episode 155, I introduced the idea that there are many aspects of our jobs as educators that we do not get paid to do. Instead, these details are expected. I talked about these three areas for example:

1. Connect with kids, parents, and the community.

2. Find your place in the organization.

3. Take time to grow personally and professionally.

Today, I am continuing the discussion about "Not My Job."

We are professionals who are expected to address things as they come up. Sometimes we may be operating way beyond what on an initial list of duties might appear as normal.

To be better at what we do as a professional we have to go beyond the norm.

As educators we are almost never finished with our work. There is always something that needs to be done.

Here are some things to think about...

1. When you discover something that needs to be addressed do you ignore it?

2. When you find down time do you seek out something that needs to be handled?

What do you think?

Thanks for listening.


Length: 16:57




Not My Job - 155

July 23, 2017


So what do we get paid to do as educators?

When you sign on to work in schools there may be things that you are expected to do that you didn't realize were part of the job.

Do we get paid to teach?

Do we get paid to be at work?

Do we get paid to prepare for school?

Do we get paid to run the school?


There are many aspects of our jobs that are expectations and really just come with the territory. Unfortunately, some of our colleagues don't think that they should have to do anything beyond just what they think is the general description of the job.


Today, I'm talking about the need for self-starters and those who show initiative. It is a requirement of our work with kids. We have to be proactive, trouble-shooters, and problem solvers. 

Something to think about.


Length: 21:49


Why do you do what you do? - 154

July 17, 2017


Why do you do what you do?

Have you thought about it? If so or if not, how could you use those thoughts to keep you focused on what matters?

I recently read Simon Sinek's book, Start With Why. Simon notes, "we say what we do, sometimes how we do it, but we rarely say why we do it." (p.39)

Do we rarely say why, because we are not really sure?

By the way, this question is deeper than to make money and to pay bills.

I am asking you to rethink about why you wanted to teach.

Simon made me think about Why we teach. Why we work with kids. Why we focus on helping kids achieve their dreams.

How would you answer if you were asked why you work with kids?

Once you answer this question, post it near your work space and see if you can use the answer to help give you that extra boost to get through those rough days.


Check out Simon Sinek's web site Start with Why