Friday, November 14, 2014

Time

Each and every day is comprised of 86,400 seconds, 1,440 minutes and 24 hours. Regardless of how you choose to break down your day, we all have exact same amount of time at our disposal making time the great equalizer. In working with a wide variety of individuals over the years, I have met people who seem to magically add an extra hour to their day and others who simply waste an amazing amount of time each day. You can probably guess who the more successful individuals were.

In looking back at my experiences as a teacher, coach and administrator, one of my biggest pet peeves is when I hear the proverbial "I don't have time" excuse. Whether it is taking on a new commitment, trying something new or simply completing a needed task, the "I don't have time" excuse is one that comes up often. With that being said, I will be the first to admit that I too have been guilty of making this excuse on numerous occasions. As an example, I have wanted to start this blog for a long time but have procrastinated due to a "lack of time." Although I find myself making this excuse less and less as I have grown and matured over the years, it is still an easy trap to fall into when demands for our time seem overwhelming.

The fact of the matter is that we all ultimately make time for what is truly important to us. No matter how busy I am or how little time I seem to have, I always find a way to make time for the things I REALLY want to do. If we are truly being honest with ourselves, we all do this. The real issue then is not so much that we do not have the time to do something, it is that the activity or commitment in question is not a priority to us.

Coming to this realization can make a profound difference in the way we prioritize our time and take on new commitments. Taking an honest look at how our time is spent each day will typically reveal that we have more time available than previously thought. The fact that I am finally starting this blog is not due to having more time available, it because it is a priority to me and I am making the time to get it done. Moving forward, I encourage you to be honest with yourself and others in regards to what you really have time for in your personal and professional life. Remember, we always have time for what is truly important to us.
By Sun Ladder (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) via Wikimedia Commons


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Important Lesson Learned From Fatherhood

On July 4, 2014, I was blessed with the privilege of becoming a new father to a precious little four year old girl whom my wife and I welcomed into our home through the process of adoption. Our daughter, Chassity, is our first child so we are both very new to the role of a parent and all that this tremendous responsibility involves.


In the four months since Chassity came into our home, I have learned a great deal personally and have a new found appreciation for all that a parent goes through with a child. One specific thing I have been most surprised with is how observant children are of everything that their parents do. It is amazing how fast our daughter has picked up on habits and mannerisms my wife and I have and is repeating them regularly. It really makes you think twice about the things you say and do in front of your children.  

This experience has prompted me to rethink the powerful influence teachers and coaches have over children each and every day. With the amount of time that children spend at school and extracurricular activities, it is certain that they are carefully observing their adult role models at school just as much or more than their parents. If you are like me, I am sure you have found yourself (at least once) engaging in the very thing you hate to see your own children/students doing. With this in mind, it is incredibly important for all of us in education to consider the example we are setting on a daily basis. 

In my opinion, the greatest blessing of being an educator and coach is the opportunity to make a positive and lasting difference in the life of a child. The example we set is instrumental in determining whether this difference is positive or negative. This prompts us all (myself included) to ask some important questions such as...

What kind of example am I REALLY setting for the kids under my care and leadership?

Are my daily behaviors and actions ones that I would be proud of my students/athletes repeating?

Am I modeling, on a daily basis, the character traits I would want to see from the young people I lead?

Do I demonstrate a consistent and genuine love for each of the kids under my care regardless of their behavior or background? 

God has blessed all of us in education with a powerful platform to influence kids. Ultimately, what we do will be far more powerful than anything we say in determining how effective this influence is. As the old saying goes..."Actions speak louder than words." I wish you all the best in this ongoing challenge of making a positive difference in the life of a child. God Bless!