Will you scream or enjoy the ride?

These days since October 10 when Hurricane Michael hit have been a challenge. Not just because of roof problems or the lack of central heating and air. Pretty much everyone down here in South Georgia has troubles. And pretty much everyone else in the rest of the country is shocked to find out that piles of trees still line the roads, homes are still damaged, and people are struggling and will be for months to come.

While the news cycle makes most disasters seem like a week or so long, that isn’t reality. Those impacted by disasters have long battles to fight and stresses that those not in the messes cannot comprehend.

And yet, even in the storm there is joy. Joy to teach. Joy to laugh. Joy to giggle over something with a friend.

I go in the teacher’s lounge and people are bringing awesome snacks for Christmas. Kids are excited about their performances. Today, some of my students were literally squealing over their newfound ability to edit in Adobe Premiere on the Mac.

Perhaps I’ve not been willing to write so much because of the microscope. While to my friends around the world, many wouldn’t know I had changed schools – people near me do. Sometimes it has felt as if every tweet or social media post was hyper-analyzed for meaning or reading things into it. So, perhaps I’ve been reticent to post or write much.

But my calling is to encourage — even when I’m struggling. Sometimes it does get to me when I get emails from people wanting a response within hours who perhaps don’t know I teach much less don’t know (or care) that my front yard looks like a construction site.

And other things in life could weigh me down. But in the end, for me, I serve an awesome God and these things shall also pass.

And along with these things… so will pass the time.

As I get older, I realize just how precious and sweet each day is in life and am eager to get the most out of each of them.

Nowadays, I get up and wash my face and brush my teeth and thank God for running water. I flip on the light in the den and thank God for electricity. Even tonight as I blog this, I’m not cold because Kip has a roaring fire in the den and I am warm.

Tomorrow is not always better than today. And yesterday is not always better than tomorrow. We cannot judge our days by our circumstances but rather, we should judge them by our joy amidst any circumstances.

For truly, life is short and the ability to find joy in the rollercoaster of life is a measure of the awesomeness of the ride.

Life is so short, so, dear friends, hold up your hands, feel the wind in your hair and decide that you’re going to let out a big old “Yaaaaaahoooooo!” for a change, will you?

Atomic Habits for Teachers and Students

James Clear on Episode 381 of the 10-Minute Teacher Podcast

atomic habits

James Clear, author of Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones, talks about healthy habit building for students and teachers. Project Pals has a useful classroom collaborative platform that lets you create and manage projects for your students. Right now, my students are creating and managing a […]

Inside the Mind of a Teacher Who Reads Body Language

Microexpressions and Relationships Matter


No one ever said I was omnipotent. I can’t see into the minds of the children I teach nor can I understand them sometimes. But I can figure out how to make them laugh while they learn. I read the thousand tiny microexpressions that reveal the little things that make a big difference in our […]

What To Do When Someone Hates You

You Can Overcome

“There is one way to avoid criticism: Do nothing. Say nothing. Be nothing.” says Aristotle. Criticism comes with breaking new ground. Criticism comes with putting yourself out there. But how do you respond when that criticism turns to hatred? Listen to This Blog Post Listen to the show on iTunes or Stitcher Stream by clicking here. Sponsored by Advancement […]

Taking a Break to Focus: Sometimes We Need All Need to Take a Break

Day 73 of 80 Days of Excellence

The last few weeks have been very difficult. While I’m not going to go into the reasons, it has been a combination of personal and professional stress in many ways for me. So, as I started thinking about the need I have for a “spring break,” I realized that sometimes it is important to stop […]

Is Anybody Listening?

Day 70 of 80 Days of Excellence

Does anyone listen any more? Has someone ever asked you about your day and you changed up your usual response? I always say “I’m awesome” or “I’m great. How about you?” But there have been times I’ve admitted, “I’m kinda having a rough day.” About half of the time, the other person responds like an […]

All That Steams Is Not Delicious

Day 69 of 80 Days of Excellence

The coffee cup steamed in the hand of the mother behind me. As we sat watching the humorous interpretation competition at state literary today, I admit I was a tad jealous. I fingered the warming water bottle in front of me. It was water. But it wasn’t a hot, steaming cup of delicious coffee. Wow. […]

Making the Most of the Moment

Day 68 of 80 Days of Excellence

There are times you go. You just do. So, after spending the weekend between the hospital and helping take care of family, I was “worn slap out” as we say here in the Southern US. However, my son has state literary competition tomorrow and I wanted to go. Last night as I debated, I could […]


Day 67 of 80 Days of Excellence

5 Ideas for Teaching Fire Prevention and Safety facebook

You THINK you have problems, then your Dad goes in the hospital. You THINK you’re tired, then you pull a couple of all-nighters. You THINK you have a disagreement with someone and then a much bigger issue happens and you realize it was more about preferences than actual meaningful differences. Big deals always seem big […]

If You Won’t Cry With Someone, Don’t Expect an Invitation to the Victory Party

Day 66 of 80 Days of Excellence

Yesterday’s post didn’t happen. An emergency that took precedence did. While the contents of the emergency aren’t for public consumption, I have one important observation for those of you who aspire to excellence. When crisis hits, be there. Pitch in. Do what you can. Care. Words can mean something. But there are times when actions […]