Saturday, December 30, 2017

Are we that different?

This blog is going to make no sense if you don't watch the video and stop reading it from the asterisks on.  I just included the transcript for myself.  It is not intended for anyone that is not a #cddolphins student (alumni), staff member, or anyone that might know me.  I like being both behind the camera and in front of the camera, just like our students.  I was just given these recordings over the holiday.  This is proof that there was musical.ly, flipagram, snapchat, and youtube in 1989!  Here is the proof!  I made music videos with my brother - HAHA!  This is more though, this is an explanation to my students that I am like them, I was them.

I want this to show them that, although at times I may be goofy, I failed many times, here (snowboarding) and succeeded many times, here (goalkeeping).  Both took a lot of work, I gave up on snowboarding, and lip singing, but I continued to practice at soccer.  It allowed me to form relationships with others that will last forever, and have contributed greatly to who I am.  It doesn't have to be soccer, it just has to be something...

I wish I had clips of me reading for hours, but who would do that?  I wish I had clips of me struggling with math problems, but again... no one does that.  So here is what I got.

I narrated the video with a little song interlude.  Again to read from here will make no sense.  Just play the video.



*********************************************************************************


This video was created to show you who I was, not unlike you, I recorded myself, played sports, tried new things, and just tried to be a kid.  I involved my brother, who many of you know from last year's visit.  We did goofy things, all the time, we made lots of videos, we played video games, we fought, I got in trouble sometimes, but always made amends with apologizing and realizing my consequences.  I also continued to push myself to try new things and practice those things I loved to do so much.  I found a passion, I worked at it night and day.  My passions were writing, reading, and soccer.  It was not lip singing as you can clearly see here.

It takes two was my song in 1989 when I was 11 years old. 

I realized early snowboarding was not my thing either, but I tried it, it made the moments at home more enjoyable, because I knew I pushed  myself at something, anything I was not comfortable with. 

Then I got to high school.  This is from my senior year as I prepared to play beyond.  I had to practice really hard, I was exhausted days on days.  I never allowed being sore prevent me from continuing to work.  I know many of your passions will not be soccer, and I understand that.  What I want you to know is that you can not realize any of your passions without working at it all the time, sweating, and sacrificing some things to get to where you want.  I found these videos and I immediately thought about how I could reach out to you.  You are my passion now, I am a believer in whatever it is you try, success or failure.  I know your teachers are as well, we are here to make sure that you do not give up, you do not quit, and most importantly we are doing it all together.  I was 5 once, I was 7 once, I was 9 once, and I was 11 once.  We all know how hard it is, it is up to you to show us how easy you can make it.     

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Quality Over Quantity

I see so many go short form
The norm can not become
It can't reform, quality can't mourn
Quantity seems to be the taste
Waste, your now 280, your who cares
You pay six for a thousand likes
You grab the empty mic, the drop
You lost, you quit, you fell
Smell it a mile away
A steady stream, I go to dream
Upset that educators have fallen for the gleam
Come back to the team, the ones that matter
Sadder, for not helping him or her
Worried about next, next 10 years
Not next 10 hours, your power is
Without a doubt the local smiles and tears
Find your purpose, not a roadmap
Create, evaluate your spot, like I said
It is not always about a mic drop
Put it down slow, take some time
Think, make it count, hesitate
To regurgitate, without a regulate
Only negates your ability to dream
Your means, like the OZ man made of tin
Without substance no one wins

BPM 123 "Good Old Days" (feat. Kesha) - Macklemore, Kesha

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Is it the People or the Experiences for kids?


Parts of this post have the appearance of being really negative.  It is only meant to make you think...


We all want to be them.
We all want to feel it
We all want to be that definite
The purposeful, specific
Separate, singular, unique
I am it, I know all
That definition of the sole
A rockstar, a superhero
In the Matrix that character named NEO

I challenge you to ask and reflect?
Was it the people or experience effect
Was it a set of names and things, or moments and spaces
What are your own 10 most powerful events and faces
That which put you, where you are now
Go ahead, do it, I did mine
Immediate family, then only 2 names, it took a little time
My 2 are not heroes, they were at the right place, at the right moment
Guided me, that is all I needed, but other 8 have no faces
Or maybe too many to recall, like that brotherhood of the team
That week I was crushed, declined application, the end it seemed
At one point I had a Coast Guard dream
Time spent overseas
That day I learned my place
Dodge ball, during 3rd grade recess
Bottles being thrown New Year's 2000 in Paris
That stampede that followed and the police
The summers spent with a friend, I don't now know
Being trusted to just go, go, go

In school I reminisce over projects, I became Johnny Trumane
I wrote a series of books about a bird, I forget the name
There was that assignment to map the school
That group challenged my primary leadership tools
Before the internet, before creating links forever
There are so many names I don't remember

Teachers did mean a lot to me, I don't want to forget
My point is experiences more than people, my memory dominate
I think we put too much pressure on who we are as individuals
When the pressure should be on creating lasting memories and rituals
Your students may not remember your spelling
But they can certainly remember that year, that moment eternal
Your a tour guide on a bus, maybe Disney at night
Hold a handle bar and show them the sights
Just acknowledge, you are not the show
It is about what you do, not what you know
You bring your style, you bring your voice, your lessons need traction
But mile after mile, let them rejoice, your ideas should bring the reactions
If you create an experience for students, they will always remember your influence.
Not because of who you were, but because of what you did, growth continuous

BPM - 125 "Rich...." J. Cole

As a profession why do educators through socially media feel a need to call themselves superheroes, gladiators, rockstars, etc.  I don't see other professions with this same self-branding.  I know many people in other professions and their acknowledgement of the sacrifices we make is tremendous.  I hear all the time, "I could never do that," and "You probably really are making a difference." 



I wonder than, at least through social media, why do we need to continuously name ourselves something?  Do you feel disrespected, is it a sense of wanting to feel like an underdog at all times needing to fight an invisible opponent.  This then helps and allows us to bring a passion to our work that is not the same as other jobs. 

Are we self-conscious, self-doubting our influence, maybe we feel like our work will be forgotten or dismissed?  At the end of it all, will anyone write us a letter thanking us for our work and service.  If I have a retirement party, will anyone show up.  Can I be replaced and forgotten by the time snow hits the next year?  At the physical basic level we aren't "producing" anything.  We can't at the end of the day say we necessarily "fixed" anything.  Our ability to show growth is so incremental and has so many factors, that it is almost impossible to have really good consistent measurements. 

What do we have to show for all of our hard work?  When the year is over, the students move on, they might never acknowledge you again.  You will probably not know or hear about 90% of your students after they leave you.  Matter of fact, you probably only hear about the poles.  The ones that are doing great and the ones that make tons of mistakes. 



What if our students don't remember us as individuals?  Isn't the point to be remember for the change, the growth, for the setting up a human being with an advantage or catching them up to be successful. 

I am just expressing feelings others may have.  I may have some of them as well and they probably come and go.  I do think, as I am in my 17th year in education, I am more and more passionate.  I am also realizing that we are all forgotten, but I am okay with that.  I am okay with knowing I was a cog in a massive wheel of humanity.  I am okay with my contributions up to this point, my influence over all the younger people I have known.  I am going to continue to be okay as I move into the second half of my life.  I am going to be okay with not giving myself a label that I need to live up to.  I am going to be okay with students that forget me, parents that don't necessarily like me, staff that question me, and anything and everything in between. 

I am not a superhero, I am not a gladiator, I am not a rockstar, I am not doing impossible things.  I am Doug Timm, a principal, a caring principal, a hard working principal.  Just like if I was Doug Timm the tax adjuster. 



My point is that my chosen profession defines how I feel and what I do, but no label will define who I am. 

My only straight A's in school ever:  6th grade first marking period.  Remark 17 is "demonstrates inconsistent effort"  That is the Doug Timm I strive "not to be."  I want to be consistent, at the minimum, I owe myself and others around me at least that. 



My 2 people in my top ten gave me these 2 pieces of advise that I remember all the time:

"The only conversations really worth having, involve students and our future"

and 

"You have to live now, so that when you are old like me, you will have something to remember"












Monday, December 11, 2017

#my100words

My 100 words... Well plus 1.  Sorry!

Not usually my thing, but liked the challenge! 





My 100 words, I don't want to waste 
Not a teacher, but I educate
Asked once what to do in retiring
Work with kids, there is no ending
Yearning to learning, longing to help
Live on the feeling, this is all I have felt
Good days and bad, we don't win them all
Can never replace a feeling of fall
New beginning, each and every year
Every day I walk in classes and halls
People counting on me big and small
Energy from the building, 
Tears and chuckles, 
If they all could see
I need them more than they need me



Thanks to Justin Schleider who turned me on to the original challenge posted by Jesse Boyce and taken up by Dene Gainey.


Friday, December 8, 2017

Creating Part 2

To write or not,
The white page with the black letters
Never thought I would be at like 50 poems in, still wondering
Pondering the reason, the needing, creating, even if this one has no true meaning
Keyboarding, never with the pencil and pad, notes all in the revisionist tab
Read through drafts, have more than some, they look good
Just not ready, just not feeling
Hoping we don't lose the internet of things
For it would be lost forever in web space
Okay with that, as this is the release, the moment
Not doing this to document, but to keep me honest, while trusting the process
Believer in thinking, having thoughts, and creating
Pushes my heart, my life, towards that higher rating

Friday, November 24, 2017

RESPECT

What I used to say - I say that students need to earn my respect.  It is given when it is received.  That is how it has been and how it ought to be.  

However when it comes to love we tell them it is "unconditionally" and I believe this to be true.

I will now challenge my own previous statement about respect.  I have been reading a book called "Love and Respect" by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs and I think it applies to so much in education.



The premise of the book is simple.   It is that girls have a natural feeling to be "unconditionally loved" and boys have a natural feeling of needing to be "unconditionally respected."  Not something that has to be earned, but should be guaranteed like love.  Think about that a second.

*********************************************************************************

Feeling loved and feeling respected are different emotions and feelings.  I think they mean different things to boys and girls.  I think each gender holds them up to different levels of importance.

Ask yourself; Would you rather be loved or respected?  It is a hard decision, but if I had to choose, I would rather be respected in any relationship.  That is just me.

I think, we as educators, especially in elementary do a wonderful job with "unconditional love."

The author would argue that our girls' number 1 emotional need is to be "unconditionally" love... We as educators have mastered this, in my opinion, because our passion to teach is rooted in our love for our students.



He would then argue our boys' number 1 emotional need is to be "respected".  This is not as easy as an educator.  Don't they need to "earn" it to make sure they are taught a lesson?

Respect is often not given out freely, but why?  I think because we tie respect to trust.  Trust must be built, I would agree, and it can be broken or damaged.  If I can't trust you, can I respect you?  Love is not tied to trust, I can love someone without totally trusting them.  Why must respect be contingent on trust?  How can we separate them?  How can we give unconditional respect if we lose trust?  I think it is in our actions I will list below.   

Respect is also many times taken away in different forms.  Sometimes our "love" even becomes the excuse for disrespect.  How many times have you said or thought, I am doing this because I love you?  Even though it is disrespectful, but you have sold yourself on the idea that it is good for them to learn this lesson.  The thought is that if you are disrespected effectively you will grow and learn to persevere.  Would you ever unlove in order to push your understanding and growth?  I would say no.

Think for a second in your classroom when that student misbehaved, how did you react?  Did you look down on them?  Did you embarrass them, maybe without intention, did you maybe even tell them that they had to earn your respect back in some way.  Did you force them to stare at you when you scolded them for their behavior?  Did you demand that they show you forms of respect in appearance, even if your approach, mannerisms, tone, words, etc. didn't show respect back?

Have you ever told a student that they need to earn your love back?  That just sounds ridiculous.



Think about how many times you have said, "I will respect you when...." Or  you said at a parent/teacher meeting "Respect is earned when...." and the parents agree with you.  "You will not get or be a part of this until you...."  "I love you...., but...." "Show me..., then you can..."

This is about our boys, and I know...  Boys let down over and over again.  They do, I did, I was always fighting the battle of "respect".

What if all educators gave "respect" unconditional to our boys?  What would that look like?  It would not look like talking about them within ear shot of others, it would not mean asking them "how old are you acting?"  It would not sound like, "What were you thinking....?!"  It would not sound like, "In 4 weeks I will respect you again when you have done..."

*** Full disclosure, these are all things I have done, and although I am aware, will unfortunately in the heat of the moment, probably do again. I strive to be better and improve! ***

This should not be confused with statements like, "you have disappointed me" or "I expect more from you."  I believe these types of statements are honest, truthful, and allow a boy to feel shame without feeling disrespect.  It is nuance, place, audience, tone, and the relationship you have built that sets apart a healthy feeling of shame for wrong behavior vs. disrespect.

We boys learn from shame - we get angry from disrespect.  Then we blame others.

For female students they know their teacher loves them no matter what mistakes they make.  That is what they need, that is what keeps them feeling safe, no matter if they make mistakes or do something wrong.  For boys a mistake or wrong doing brings on a threat of disrespect, which attacks our number one need.  Love is important to us, but I would argue for most boys (the author has research to back this up) respect is more important.  In other words to say to a male student, "I love you no matter what..." and then disrespect them does damage that is not understood until you have felt it. 

As a male I make mistakes repeatedly with my male students.  I know better but I try to live by these rules:



  1. Keep conversations private.  With an audience, you will immediately see male students shut down.  Sometimes I know this is unavoidable, and in these cases, put up your hand or book, to block your mouth, turn around and have them face you, not other classmates making faces.  
  2. If you don't believe a male student, don't call another student over to debunk them in that moment face to face. This will almost always guarantee a fight and feeling of disrespect.  Talk to that other student privately and report to the first student your findings.  Then get them together if that is what is needed in an equal manner and place.
  3. Keep conversations or check-ins quick.  This is not when you are holding them accountable for something, just being proactive.  
  4. When noticing behavior or trying to correct minor things, use looks, hand motions, smile first to let them know you see what they are doing. 
  5. When addressing more serious things, keep it open ended, not demanding responses, allow them to process and come back to it later if needed.  Keep them accountable, but understand the pace of this might be different than what you had wanted.   
  6. Don't demand they stare at you.  If they have been trained to do that, let it go, but don't demand it.  Personally, it is hard for me to stare at someone I have wronged right away.  I need to say it and then I can look at them eye to eye.  It does not mean I don't own up or am a coward, but the shame prevents me from looking them eye to eye to start.  By forcing me to do that, you are in essence "disrespecting" my shame and feelings.  With students, it might mean that you and he know he did wrong, but he needs to "get back" some dignity before he will open up.  Allowing him to drop his head allows that sense to come back to him.     
  7. Get to their level by bending over if needed.  Boys are physical beings and just the sense of being shorter has inherent feelings before anything is spoken. 
  8. Put a hand on their shoulder, if they are okay with it, when you talk.  Don't grab their hand or arm, a gentle hand on the shoulder works much better.  
  9. Whisper whenever possible, you can't be sarcastic and your tone is always hidden when you whisper.  It is almost impossible to come off wrong when you whisper.  
  10. Use "I notice statements" instead of, "You were doing..."  For example:  "I notice you were distracting your classmates, or I noticed you weren't working..." vs. "You were talking or you were not working on anything." 


Those are just a few things I have tried to put into practice, I am not perfect, or is this an all inclusive list. 

When addressing behavior be prepared!  Boys may need to push out their chests a minute, a sucking of the teeth, a rolling of the eyes, or that head down in talking.  These things never bothered me, I am a man, I know where they are coming from, I know I can bring them back, I know I have built a relationship and I have their respect.  Don't find yourself getting caught up and saying, "Then he shrugged his shoulders! He sucked his teeth!" 

It is going to be hard to believe me on this, but these examples are not usually disrespect directed at you, although it appears that way.  Unless of course you have no relationship or a bad relationship with a particular male student, then it may be directed at you.  Assuming the relationship is solid, it is a lack of respect they feel for themselves in that moment, it is personal, not about you.   

When I taught, my parents would tell me their children always felt respected and they respected me. This book I am reading now, just brought me back to it.  Here is my rhyme.  This is important!


Our girls need unconditional love, our boys need unconditional respect! - Dr. Eggerichs


Conflict makes most men feel disrespected- Dr. Eggerichs

Keep this second quote in mind whenever you have to address male students, we don't need love as much as we need to feel respected, I know we are a pain, but the more I read about it, the more I think it is just natural, sorry ladies!



My thoughts from writing this: I suggest you listen to the youtube clip as you read along.  Just helps with my somewhat spotty flow...



Respect is basic, some think it should earned,
Something gained, We've been trained, plain and simple
It's elemental, no trick, no manipulation, what we want
Most think it comes when you give, take it away,
And watch them fall, based on what you say
This male need can't be taken lightly
Awaken early thinking about this nightly

Respect creates the handsome knight, the sweat stains
Hard at work, got get it right
The provider, we hold this high, with regard
It is the code we know... always on guard
Tribute to our esteem, our well being
Like a mother's assurance.. her love
But what do we want from dads our fathers?
A role model and strong figure, a backbone, go figure
Needs not unconditional, those are actions
Relations not as emotions
Not quite as integral

Respect is needed from boys to men
From lanky tallies, shorties, heavy, and the wise
That are fast, slow, weight lifting, creating
That song was actually written by Ottis Redding
Need to be able to keep their heads held high
Rich, poor, credit needed, not a card

Give me dignity, Give me death
Not man up but who am I,
That is the challenge we manage
Fight and shove, punch to brawl, get me a scar
Thought that would make me a rock star
So we have society telling us we need to earn it
Lean into it, show it, and be a part of it,
Challenge that thought, been at it hours, days
Years counting the weeks
Hazing the idea that man needs to earn respect
What if it was unconditional like the air we breath
What if we gave unlimited, unequivocal, a basic need
That stuff that matters its magical
Like love, like caring, stop staring, start daring

No matter your game, we respect the 4 quarters
Every shot you throw up, every time you step
Every time you speak, every time you mess up,
No embarrass and cherish the difference
This is for the Mr. not the Mrs.

As an educator, how many times you speak about "them"
About "him" where he could see and hear,
You claim to love, but did not matter
You preach in an effort to change behavior,
But deranged your words were not heard
From the 5 to 18 year old larger gender,
We sometimes refer to as Johnny
Maybe you just told yourself it would be better,
To call out, sometimes in a shout
But damaged the meter of respect every time,
Lower the volume to increase the honor
Trust me, as a needer, a speaker of esteem,
A male in fear, I recognize this effect
I know the side eye, the public talk,
Something I have done a thousand times
Don't contribute to the dismissal of the male mentality
Allow us a feeling of respectability

I challenge to treat respect as unconditional
We claim our love has no bounds
Why does respect get the whistle
What we claim to mean
Is often lost in the translation of their dreams
Respect should not be earned, it should be given
Not a donation, commit to an approach, not a hand out,
No doubt, It's how boys get validation
Boys don't need love as much as they need recognition
Especially in mostly female driven education systems.
















Thursday, November 23, 2017

Create

There is something you want to create
Your idea,  you want to make

You want it great, but it is hard to wait
Not ready, steady, idea needs to marinate

Tried it out, not quite, there is this doubt
I'm not about to put it out

Come it will, head will fill
Idea is there, just need time and patience

Maintain the process, relentless
"The man in me" respect is the topic






Friday, November 10, 2017

You would think it would get easier

You would think it would get easier
Currently failing, finishing a project with poetry

This seems to be the one medium that gets compressed
Smarter I may be in the process, but words are less

I struggle to find a new flow, a new mood
Few, new, flew away, the day, putting together

Never the problem, but how to make it
Fake it now, as I try to find a purpose a reason

Listening at 115 BPM to get me started
It is just interesting, as I get involved

You would think it would get easier
Seems opposite, means are just not flowing

Bonus is that next one is up, thoughts flood
Rain, thunder after lightning, there is an order

Need a beat for me, to write the way I see
Through the ear, the drums seem so near

Guess it is easier when in the flow
Know the sense, tense while waiting

Stating this and that, delete, backspace
Replace "That" as a word never to be used

Then it hit me, song 4 tonight, dropped me
Left me wondering, where or how did this mean anything

Going to try new style now, right here, this minute

Here is the plan, drawn in the sand, under a fan
This one man band, wondering if I can, here I am

Just trying to be creative to push myself, maybe try to prove
Improve, admonishment and the punishment of self

Happened again at song 8, was feeling the weight, and the hour late
Had a moment, put on repeat, needed that, there's the word, I execute

Headphones on, most asleep, just me and my thoughts
Trying to improve, steady incremental, keeping it mental

The need started with Wilkie, year or more ago
Reminded me of the love I had with poetry

Thanks friend, your influence was never stated, but your karma
Of a love always had, held down, and now is forever my mantra

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Future of... Well anything...

What if the future did not require us to read?  



Many books are intimidating anyways!  And there are so many of them, how could I possibly read them all!

I am using this absurd question as I thought of it today looking at road signs and emojis.  Then I watched a video on Youtube that had no written words to read. 

I am not promoting or suggesting we should not read, teach reading, or do less of it.  I would say we need more of all of that.  Just using this question, because reading is the basis of everything, to make you think a bit... Maybe...

I am no reading historian, don't know the origins of reading, but I think it started with symbols, evolved to letters, and a way to communicate ideas, thoughts, and information without needing to actually be face to face.



Reading is a tool you learn, it is not something you are born with.  Most of us are all born with the ability to see, hear, smell, touch, etc.  We eventually learn to walk, grasp, taste, etc.  I would also not call these tools, but learned natural skills, that would probably happen without any outside influence or interference.   

Reading is something that definitely needs outside influence or interference. 

What if we could find a way to communicate ideas more efficiently without reading? 

Would we need to learn to read in this scenario, would we want to spend so much time learning to read? 

I would argue that reading is not the most efficient strategy to learn many things and is definitely time consuming.  You have already read this for a minute or two and have you learned anything?!  Probably not (HA), you are probably just gathering thoughts in your head to blow up my ridiculous question.

Learning to change the oil in a car, something I did today, is not best done by reading.  Learning to mix songs together with turn tables, something I did today, is not best done by reading.  Both of these examples are certainly not reasons to abandon reading.  I enjoyed a few videos and many songs for entertainment without any words being read at all! 

What if there was a way to get information or learn something quicker and with better comprehension? 

In 1923 you had to either read, hear (live), or be face to face with someone to learn something or be entertained.  Not today, today I learned multiple things as I needed that information.  I had unlimited access to multiple approaches to learning what I needed to learn today. 

Many people don't read books anymore, they just listen to them.  I am not one of them, but I know a few people that have made this switch. 

Reading is important because it also trains your brain to identify patterns, think, decipher, interpret, and all sorts of other important skills to keep your brain healthy. 

What if, there was some other way to do that? 

What if reading turns into what hand writing has basically become for me?

Besides the occasional post-it and recording of ideas on a poster at a meeting, I have virtually eliminated all handwriting and I could probably eliminate the post-its and posters if I had to.  Think about that, I could probably go months, maybe even a year if needed, without much sacrifice, without handwriting anything beyond my signature, which is becoming less and less as well.

Again, I am not even for a second promoting that we should not read, or teach reading.  I think it is the most important skill we learn.  I am just wondering if there is a better way to get what reading does for us, without having to read. 

Makes no sense, I know, but that is where reading gets you.  You are forced, if you have read this so far, to read what I wrote, and make your own meaning from it and it still might not make any sense!  You can't fast forward reading, you could skip or skim, but then you miss so many words that need to be read for comprehension! 



You may not get what I want you to get from this post?  I will never know, I put the words down, you read them, and now you feel some sort of way about what I wrote and maybe who I am...

Is that good or bad?  I will never know and don't really want that feedback! 

So here is the main idea, the objective, the reason for me to write. 

What if what we have always valued to be the "most important" is no longer the "most important"?  

What if you have to re-evaluate everything you thought?  

What if because of your current mindset, your "most important" is not in line with what others around you are thinking or what is socially acceptable and correct?  

You thought this was all about reading... No way! See that is where reading will get you!

Well read on!  Read lots! It is important until we figure out a way to read without reading anyways... I am just hoping for driving without having to drive soon!  Or cutting the grass without cutting the grass!  Or folding laundry without folding laundry!  Or.... You get the point, maybe...


Friday, November 3, 2017

Start slow and end fast... Really not the explanation.

Sometimes you start slow, sometimes you start quick
Not a sound and sneak from the 90's Pete Rock, CL Smooth clique

Worth, truth about what, the needing of a leader feeling
#cddolphins to feel the love and what we are breeding

Ridiculous, non monotonous, words at a time, for mine
Are the 1st, 3rd, 5th, all the peeps, Bus court to class needs

High five to the lean down, from eye to eye, to Sunday time
We #cddolphins protect "our kids" those we call mine

Here it is, the leader as with words, to describe what is meant
This school, this group, this staff, these students, every day

Pushed to their limit, the quit we don't except
Reject the ABC of the test, to reach to achieve

Receive what we want, eventual, the message
within the pace clock, what about the opposite?

Students telling, explaining, some sort of feelings
The end is the seeing, doing, and motivation of circling

Back to the forward, reverse the tendency to reject
Ignorance and platform to push secondary, I will reluctantly....

"Devil's Pie" BPM 92 D'Angelo on repeat.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

In the Rain

Sometimes it is fun to run in the rain.  Today I ran about 3 miles as I am trying to get back into running after losing consistency over the past few weeks.  I was excited, it was fun, just a steady run in a steady rain.  I found some puddles and stomped a little harder in them.  I ran under some trees and had those larger balls of rain fall on my head and shoulders.  These larger drops were colder and I could feel the difference from the rain falling from the clouds.  I kept my head up and felt the drops go off my eye lashes and into my eyes.  This slight annoyance did not bother me this morning.  It was an experience, not life changing, or overly inspirational, but an experience anyways.

If you would have asked me 5 years ago, well maybe even a year ago, to run in the rain I would have said, "No Way!"  I don't know what changed, but I have run in the rain a few times over the past couple of years and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.  So get out today and do something in the rain, or plan to do something outside the next time it calls for rain.

 

Friday, October 27, 2017

Who am I...

No one knows but you, how you feel
Deal with you every minute, second, of every

Delivery room to eulogy, you are with...
Truth is voice, relativity of thoughts since birth

Introvert or extrovert to the ambivert
What is that, Tony Hawk vert is what I knew

At some point as a leader you will be expected
Respected, but thought should know everything

Thought that I am a superhero
A person that has lived since 1852

A person that lives past 24-7
I text you at 10:42, where were you?

I am just like you, I am no different
I live every day one second at a time

I grew from my mother's oversized womb
Not bit by a spider, found a ring or found sword in a tomb

Not Trump, quoting what I did, or who I am
Just trying to explain my job is contingent

Relinquish myself to your needs, diligent
But miss some, rank based on global disruptive

Repetitive without supportive gets attention
Retention in the motivation to create retention

My kids, "our kids" turns to the commiment
Obligation of urgency, while leading an insurgency

Embedded academic to push positive feedback
Something we can't pull back as that is the essence

The reason we are learners, teachers, educators
Of the next generation of movement takers

"Almost Famous" BPM 124 G-Eazy while writing.... Repetition. 




Thursday, October 26, 2017

Complacent

The T to the R to the U and E
Why does complacency start with C

Why not K, CH, or QUE all sound similar at times
Another rhyme to help this principal sort out his mind

We all become it, we all strive to overachieve it
We all let our guard down after the first
We all know in December we look forward to Christmas

These students are not like.... both good and bad
Different, doesn't matter we become complacent

So how do we fight this inevitable and I think fightable being
This ghost in the closet, never would tweet
Never gonna admit to having this feeling

Recognize, accept, acknowledge, realize
What does my 5, 10, or 17 year student deserve

A champion, a fighter, a forgiver of all sins
All that you are, no question, what you set up on the drive

Hit you, yell, disrespect, not meant, because they love
Their teacher, you the one, every day for six point five

Hours we spend are unique, we force and demand
Work, not your favorite, tough, do it, I give you choice

But sometimes you have to wait to use the bathroom
Raise your hand just to speak, the way it has to be

No matter, I greet you every day with a hug, a smile
A "I want you in my class" because my mission
My vision was to make a difference 20-40 students
Some 100+ to make an influence, might never be known

Know their extrinsic and intrinsic motivation
The notion we don't understand hurts us to the core
This is not a job, but a passion, it is something more

For all that say those that can't do it, teach it
My complacency is temporary until motivation strikes me

Leave you with this, for the meetings, for the ones that tweet
Complacency is a speed bump in the world of achieve
For my students will never feel I left them high and dry
My mind is made up to fight my issues to make sure their lives
Their enthusiasm, their tears, their laughter, all the good
Will never be drowned out by my complacency, my feeling of tired
My need to re-wire, never question "why" just "how" so for now
I find that place, with music in my ear to prepare for another
Another day to stare them in the eye and tell them I am here forever.



The song I listened to on repeat as I wrote this... The L.O.X. "Recognize" WARNING there is some inappropriate content and lyrics.  Not explicit,if you listen to the clean version, just questionable content.  Just sharing as this is my process, not condoning anything said in the rap.  

Challenge - Reread while playing this in the background loud.  That is how I write... Just saying...




Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Coaching students vs. productive struggle

I was asked recently, "how much did you coach them?"  My answer, "a lot" and I was unapologetic as I think they got to where I thought they could, but they weren't getting there on their own.  There is a lot of talk about productive struggle and I agree with the concept, unless it leads them without a full understanding of where you want them to go.  Two boys got involved in a conversation about characters in a story and their character traits, but the color of their skin was a barrier.

I started with a simple question, "who is more like you?"  This final video is cut down from about 8 total minutes of conversation.  Now let's be fair, I am a principal, I can have 8 minute conversations with 2 students and not worry about management issues.  The teacher in the room was taking care of that.  I just wanted to push them, as I thought they could get there.  I hope these young men can transfer the idea that someone that may not look like them can actually act just like them.  At the very least who they want or think they are.  If they think about this conversation one more time in a moment of decision or to self check themselves, my job was done.  I just will never know... The beauty and horror of being an educator.

Also pay attention to how each both thinks they look, in comparison to the characters in the book.  Interesting and revealing.  These two boys are amazing thinkers!

The final result after much deliberation.  One character is more like me, although he looks a lot less like me...  Wow!  self-actualization achieved!


Friday, October 20, 2017

Back at it again...


Video is less than 2 minutes, and reason for blog.

Read this at about 128 BPM:

Recognize, realize, missed a hobby
Sloppy, 6 months, risk, maybe not

No attempt at making or creating
Djing, losing that 1-2 wheel sighting

Basement dwelling, equipment dying
Dusting, cleaning, practicing

From 8 to 9, now 10 pm something
Just a session, nothing to mention

Finished product 2-3 days out
listen, self, feedback, practice, perfection

I love the process, love the Sixers
Embid, or embed no easy fixes

New content, reason for feeling
Emotional dealing and needing

Have to work through new program
New set-up after the update

Work ahead, this not good
11 rhymes joined together

Telling my current story
Don't worry, for me only

Self-care, shared development
Only to help, allow others to accept

Your different, others thoughts
Your or my, take the tie off moments

Can allow you to smile
Miles and miles I will listen

Reason for the project
Reflect on run mile 3 to fix

Trick is how I go from formation
To finished product, my final creation

Will be something, not for public
For me to conquer any self doubt








Friday, October 13, 2017

When you Think

When you decide to think and not recall
Tall you stand, slouch the sit, not an option

Levels of thoughtful, recalling, metacognition, self, creating
Meditating, flexing, mindful stretching, the power of all

Not a walk in the mall, fallin, stalling, the mark
Iota, a brain quota of planned doctrine, not the one

Later on dark, the horse, brain filled
thrilled to be able to express

This quick thought, may not mean much
For such is often better left open to interpretation


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Transparency

I may have written about this before, I am just being transparent.  I am being open to what I have done, isn't that the essence of transparency?  I would argue no in leadership...

Being transparent is being open with your ideas from the beginning, not the end. Not presenting a finished product and looking for affirmation. We often wait until we have  finished product, therefore setting ourselves to disappointment when others don’t see what you see or the idea is slightly or fully rejected.  Put it out their early, then you show you are willing to get and receive input.  Work through it together, improve it together, that is transparency.  When you put something out early before your opinions and biases can be shaped, you help to try and keep some of the emotion out of decisions, which is always a good idea.

It is not just sharing your ideas or the budget and saying, "see".  


It is also not getting ideas to say you got ideas, knowing full well you are going a different direction. You may not be able to make everyone happy or go in the direction of everyone's ideas, but you must take them into consideration.


Here is my art analogy - Being transparent is not a window into your art work or opening your gallery, but a pottery class where everyone has the opportunity to shape the work if they so desire.  


Now this analogy in regards to leadership falls apart when shaping is all you do and you never go to the kiln.  At some point shaping stops and you go make it more solid and move forward.  When to do that and how to do that is a feeling or directed by calendar or dates.  Allowing this process will help ensure that once you go to the kiln and fire your work, the finished product is as close to acceptable to all, as you possible can get, even if it is not beautiful.  


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Excuses and Mistakes

Been making a lot of mistakes lately
Excuses follow they shouldn't unfortunately

Can't figure out why, overwhelmed, aren't we all
Apologize I need and appreciate, that is general

But often starts to change the tone
Feel like I created a space not within a good zone

Sorry, not just apologizing, also promising
I need to improve, hashtag cddolphins

Think it is a lack of understanding
A forgetting of the problem standing

Maybe a frustration and kick in the confidence
I am writing this now to change my cardinal points

Reminder to work on my face, no matter what
That is first expression, and that you won't forget

It is internal, it is self-actualization, cognitive target
HAHA! self improvement has a start

Where is my sentence starter, my scaffolded clue
For you all do deserve more, I've known for a while

Felt I have been a leader with a sneeze
Therefore we all have a cold

Gonna decide now, to change my mood
Apologize for the short response, my attitude

Maybe turning 40 adulthood finally...
Reality, the probability generally never bothers me

I think it is between the ears, not the years
Just know I am working to be positive

It will come, you all have been great
2017 has started fantastic!
Can't wait for the two thousand one plus eight

Have a great sleep, whatever night it is
For our #cddolphins family is no joke
We have each others backs from the moment we woke












Thursday, September 28, 2017

Things happen... You deal with them

The first part of this blog that is yellow is my dumping to get to my point in the white part at the bottom.  I needed to go through this, as I have realize this works for me right now.  I do a lot of writing I don't post, in an attempt to leave something for someone after I pass to maybe think about.  Not to be grave, I plan to live into my 100's, I work out all the time, but I know it will occur at some point.  Hence my title "Things happen.... You deal with them" - HAHA!

As a principal things happen and you are not prepared.  Things happen that you are never prepared 

I constantly spend my days saying, "I never saw that coming" both positive and negative.  You constantly question if you have ever seen this before, over and over you just don't know.  

That is the beauty and beast of the day.  

What I have begun to learn and I think poetry and an attempt at being creative has helped me, is that I need to see things as they are.  

Not as what they could.  Growing up I did physical, but interestingly "self thought" did escape. 

What does this mean? I was a doer, what did tomorrow bring, just need to blink, with a wink and REM sleep, I forgot, moved on, not wasted time.  

I needed to think in reality, not in fantasy, understanding my limits, and understandings that I can't help anyone, certainly not all, key was helping myself first. 

For example, listen to the song I can't repeat here, but repeat now over and over, heard long ago, just rediscovered now, on replay day after day.  That kid only knew one speed until he was way past Swift's 22. Now I need 2, just 2 from time to time, to make sure my mind is ready and steady. 

Analogy -  Down under slice from the "Belly", you figure that riddle, you come see, we will share a moment and a time, music has always meant the most to me.   

All of this has just allowed me to speak to what I want to write and what is the topic.  I think you need to figure out who you are, what you are comfortable with, and most importantly, what your needs are that need to be satisfied before you can lead.  Without satisfying your own needs, you will never be able to help others satisfy their needs.  I think I have learned this from some great people that I have surrounded myself with, and a lot of deep self reflection during exercise, running, and quite frankly monotonous tasks like cutting the grass. 

I truly feel that we are only as good as we are right now.  I did not always think this, I actually never thought this for a long time, so two thumbs up to growth!  Still working on it and still know that I have room to grow, which actually is beginning to excite me as a personal challenge like getting a better time at a race.


Saturday, September 23, 2017

Inclusive Culture

To be inclusive is to see what others are
It is to be open to difference, not making inference

Welcoming to the one, the all, freedom
It is an inclusive mental conundrum

Include, precludes the notion you will deal
Be real with your feelings, dealings, and needings

To be inclusive means and seems to be the dream
But to be inclusive means you have to sacrifice something

Nothing you can't handle, just take the old thoughts off the mantle
Change the sheets, inclusion is not where we all meet

It is within, a call for reflection, why you alive
To keep out? To include, what are you willing to compromise

The promise that together we achieve, we are the power
Leading, learning, access, innovation, early in our childhood

Get the idea of segregation out of the thoughts
Drop the idea of doing it alone, need to embrace the referendum

Uncomfortable is the adjective and directive of the narrative
Verified by a stance of admittance of your bias to embrace





Sunday, September 17, 2017

Timing, Medium, Method, and Message of Communication

Communication is the ability to know when to deliver the right information at the right time. Effective communication is the difference between get to this spot on your own and being given a map.  There are things that need to be repeated over and over, there are things that might come off as enabling, and there are things that just need that at the right time feel.  When you communicate it is important to know what is coming up next week, but also next month, and 3 months from now.  The better you are at letting people know at the right time the more effective communication will be.  


For example, sending an email on Friday at 10:00 pm about a new assignment spot, is probably not a good idea.  Giving people their new assignment spot, when they already had an assignment 5 minutes before they need to be there is a good idea.  They probably would have forgotten otherwise. They were already coming, they are just shifting their position.

I have talked to many and seen many leaders do the “I put it out there…” and nothing was communicated because timing and delivery method was not thought through.  Try to be deliberate in message, when, and how.  Not claiming to be perfect here and there are many methods I need to improve in, but I think I am starting to see the power in timing, method, medium, and message.  

Friday, September 15, 2017

The fix... What is the fix?!

I am reminded over and over again that there is no way to fix it
Fixing it actually relies on our ability of acceptance

Acceptance relies on our ability to understand where we are
Understanding where we are is dependent on experience

Experience is only gained through time and events
Time is one thing we have no control over, the one thing that never stops

Events are those things that happen to us, being there when it drops
The only part we have control over, is how you feel about them

How you feel about them then becomes your fix of the situation
The situation where you can only control your feelings and emotions

Emotions and feelings are what drive so much of our work
Our work is what drives us to find a fix, the paradigm and the trick

So back to my point, that I have not made very clear
Clarity gained when you realize the fix is no where near

The fix is you, the fix is how you react, the fix is what you do
The fix is who you are, the fix is how you shape your perceptions
The fix is showing up every day, the fix is seeing the incremental growth
The fix is realizing to truly fix something, is acceptance of who you are

The fix is you, not them, the fix is gained when you understand
For understanding there is no fix, frees you to find a way

For a way is a path, a direction, a drive, a passion
There is no fix, so give up looking
Just rely on what you set as your vision and your mission




Thursday, August 31, 2017

Not feeling it...

Started to force a post about a penny, which will eventually make the "publish".  Well maybe not...  It is a bipolar attempt at describing importance of experiences through the lens of a really beat up penny.  I found it on the ground walking down the street.



Fifteen minutes in I realized that it was just not what I was feeling.  I felt it at the moment I found the penny, but not feeling it now.  In my head that day, it was so good!  I had a whole poem written in my head, now lost forever!

How and why does this happen?

How could I have been so committed to this project 10 days ago and now barely want to read what I wrote.



I both love and hate this feeling.

I love that I have had a passion for a penny! haha! I can pivot and now write self-aware about my feelings at the time I wanted to write about the penny.  The constant is a drive to write and share my feelings to put them out.

I have developed a habit, a habit of writing, like checking email or taking the same way to work.  It makes me feel good, like working out, making my bed, or finishing a book.  No matter how long or how short, going from draft to publish is a big deal for me.  Lots in draft, and probably will always stay there, but as long as I write, I don't care if they stay their forever.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Too much today!

I did too much... And I know better, I know PD days are days.

Here is what I tried...

  • Deliver an Equity PD using a technology tool, already created. Not bad, get people thinking, although probably could have taken 20 slides out and made it better.  Even though I reviewed it 10 times, upon delivery, it did not hit the mark I was hoping.  We have all felt this! haha! 
  • Tried to confuse staff in order to build a sense of intrigue and help them understand how some of their students may feel by delivering 2 identical thoughts in 2 ways.  (one was text, the other was audio).  Wanted them to think metacognitively about this task.  What did he mean...  
  • Show the video with a confusing explanation and discussion.    
  • Discussions on collaboration vs. partner work with a twist with teachers not being allowed to talk for first 10 minutes during a collaborative exercise.  They then discussed, made decisions and some built consensus with a share out.  The importance of pre-thought was stressed for lower students in their room and how powerful this idea is.    
  • This was done in a round about way with each teacher having a job and rotating.   Confused yet...
  • Addressing the idea of "color blindness" and it's negative effects and asking teachers to take the opposite argument of the TED talk to better understand their feelings about the topic.  
  • All of this was after a sharing of who you are (each staff member) and my current, with past feelings, about who we are as a school.  I wanted them to hear from me, honestly and unapologetically, without reservation.  It was a thought out practiced presentation.  I think this was my best part of the day... My observation. This was 5 minutes total! haha! 
  • This was all done under an umbrella where I wanted teachers to be creative, reason, analyze, be metacognitive, and self-actualized with minimal comprehension and hopefully no retrieval. 
I tried to do this from 8:52 am until 11: 57 with a 10 minute break, but we did get up from time to time to share, talk, etc.  

It was too much, I am at fault.  I did not do an hour long power point, but I did jam down 5 days worth of PD in 3 hours.  

I hope that we pull these main concepts out of it:
  • We need to continue to push how students think.  Cognitive Growth.  
  • 21st Century skills are as much face to face with technology enhancements as they are technology based products.  They are a marriage.    
  • If we allow students to process some of their thoughts in advance, even just minutes, they will be better contributors to collaboration.
  • True collaboration is producing a better product, not just working together to produce something one student could do on their own.  
  • We need to not be color blind and not only recognize, but celebrate our differences.
  • We need to continue to push the #cddolphins way.  We are great, not apologetic about it, and this is okay.
  • We need to find different ways to deliver content both with technology and without, in order to get a meaningful engaged experience for students. 
Those are the main objectives.  I think my abundance of energy and ideas may have diluted them just in their magnitude as an idea, and magnitude in number.  

I will learn from this, as this is not the first time I have done this, but I really realized it today.  I wish I learned things the first time I did them.... UGHHH! 

Here is what I am happy about:

I am happy that I believe we continue to push our way of thinking.  I am happy that we continued dialogue around a common language.  I am happy that I think our mindsets are evolving.  I am happy that my staff were awesome in their participation and engagement.  I am happy that I believe people were a little uncomfortable at times and dealt with it.  I am happy that although I am not happy about the day, I am also not disappointed.  Take it in perspective, not the end of the world, but this is one of my leadership struggles and seems like a forever problem.   

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Your Face Means Something

You may be good looking, you may be not
You may be serious looking, you may be not
You may be cute, you may be not
You may be joking, you may be not

You may have thought you looked a way you did not
You may have thought you looked a way, then all for nought

You may have wished your look showed a different feeling
You may have wished your look showed a different  meaning

Your looks matter as a leader
Your looks matter for those you are leading

I do look in the mirror constantly to practice
I do look in the mirror as I know it matters

How I look sends a message every time
How I look sends a message more than this rhyme

Here are my looks, still working on them
They will evolve, I think I have about ten


This is my happy all is good in the world!



This is my, great idea, all is good!


This is my you got something, go for it.


This is my, not so sure, better think a minute.


This is my thought, as I go into contemplation.


This is my "aha", you had a great explanation.


This is my trust you, with a little hesitation.


This is my not quite understanding your idea or view?


This is my, I try to keep this one most prevalent for you.

It is important the faces we make
It is important the faces we take

It is important for those we lead
It is important for those we need

Our faces are what we dare to be
Our faces are what we want others to see












Friday, August 18, 2017

Leadership is recognizing who you are...

I wrote this in 10 minutes as a tangent... It should be kept as that... A tangent, but a thought. Not even saying I do this, but what I strive to be...


We can all be leaders, but only some can lead. By this I mean that anyone can be selected to lead, but only some can be trusted to lead.  This is a different feeling.  Those that are selected to lead, gain compliance, they gain a sense of order, but there is a ceiling.  Those that are trusted to lead, well they are never quite sure they are leading.  They are not really in control.  At least they don’t want to be, they want to guide, they want to keep normal, they want to address problems, they want to push a vision, but they are not the one.  They keep the bottom up, they keep them in check to push and show the best, they got their back.  They understand the struggle, the time, the sacrifice of good work.  The leaders are out front, they have to be, they have to be the voice, the one that pushes, but also knows when to pull back.  This is hard, it is a struggle, it is a passion, a lifestyle, not a job.  

New School Year

No one word, have many to bring
Without a trick or say what we have done

It is a wipe on the desk of life
Erase the dust, we have done a ton

We have the advantage of a reset
Beset upon us a new group that trust

Get the upgrade, we got appeal
For real, they came to a new grade

Unsigned contract to improve
Unsigned contact to prove

Time is on the forefront as it is limited
permitted to influence the young

Our next generation, our next drummers
Step up, be ready, 2017-18 is upon us

Remembering the light of my first
Thirsting for the energy of that day

May I educate, influence, inspire
Not tired, years building stuff

Ready to do, try, take a chance
Dance, maybe sing, find our why

#cddolphins







Management can build relationships

As educators we talk about relationships... Relationships, relationships, relationships.

Get to know them, tell them about yourself, share, positive phone calls, discuss, trust, open up, favorites, two things you didn't know, my first dog's name was.... and on and on.  These are all important and should be done.

There is one other very important time, and space where relationships should be started and impression/perceptions created.

It is a simple word, one we all know.... REGISTRATION

This is when a guardian, parent, or multiple guardians and parents come to the school to fill out paper work to make sure their children can attend.  This is something that has to be done face to face.  Our process is pretty simple, but often parents are nervous anyways.

I never understood the importance of this until a year or two ago.  I now greet, welcome, shake hands, share excitement, answer questions, go on tours, share our videos on youtube, and make sure they understand that the principal of the school wants their children to be successful and is available.  I don't make it a sales pitch, as each conversation is a little different.  I just want them to get a feel for me, that is it.  If they leave with a good first impression of me, they will have a good first impression of the school.  

Now of course this is not a perfect system, I go on vacations, I am at meetings, registrations come in all the time, but I would encourage any other school leader to make sure they are notified when new registrations come in and are standing in the office whenever possible.  It is the best way to set a great first impression with new students and parents to hopefully set them up to be successful.  It is so easy, it is worth the 5-10 minutes it takes.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

Power and Influence

Charlottesville showed me the difference between power and influence.  It was about 2:30 pm and my my son was watching the news with me.  He said, "why do they do that?"  His "that" meant, "fight, hurt, and hate."  His "that" was white people that look like him, then yell, scream, and fight, other people that do not look like him.  His "that" was signs that our country had reared it's ugly head again and he did not fully understand.  He knew it was wrong, he knew he should have a reaction like mine of disgust.

He needed to be given permission to be disgusted, I had that power.

He also needed to be given the words to use, he needed to be showed by a person of power over him how to feel and what to say.

He needed to be told what he would say to people who think like "that", if he ever encounters them. He needed to be given his own power over himself.  

He needed to be reminded he did not think like "that" and if he ever did, he needed to come talk to me.

He needed to be instructed if he ever needed to have a conversation with another white person and disagreed with their bigoted stance, I would support him and have his back.

I have power over him, I can control his thoughts to an extent, he loves me on a different level, I love him on a different level.  Our relationship is stronger than I have with any other male on the planet.  I know what this responsibility means to me.

Not much was said while watching the news, not much was needed.  He clearly understood where his mother and I were coming from when we responded to his "why do they do that?" question.  Without hesitation and with true conviction, there was no grey area.


 
It just so happened that we had a 30 minute car ride soon after watching the news. He and I rode together, just the two of us.  He had never seen news like this, he had never seen white people act with so much hatred like this.  We have talked about other situations where black, hispanic, muslim, etc. have been damaged and targeted, but never a large group that looked like him, fighting like this, with so much hatred.

This was somehow different, and he is going into 4th grade, so he is much more aware of his surroundings now.  For the 30 minute car ride, he did not talk, which is NOT like him, he stared out the window, he looked forward, he stared at me.

He was thinking...  I did not ask him about what.  I am sure a lot of it was about what he saw before we left the house.

I have power over one.

I have influence over a lot of other young people, staff, and to some extent as I go into my 4th year, the community at large.  There is a responsibility to influence them to use their power over who they are able.  This influence is not just to treat everyone with love, fairness, open arms, etc., but also to address comments, hatred, and bigotry every time they hear it.

I was forced to realize when I saw my son's reaction and our subsequent short interaction that power and influence are different.  They are so different.

I wish I had more power, I wish I could change minds, ideas, and thoughts with just my relationships and words.  I know I can influence thoughts, ideas, and minds, but only if I allow them to tell me how they are feeling and for them to ask questions like, "why do they do that?"

Allow those conversations, allow the questions, allow the feelings, then use your influence and if you are lucky, your power.  I hope that I can influence others to use their power in this way.  I hope I can influence the younger easily influenced and those that work with them.  We have to influence them now, so that when they have power, it is used the way I have chosen to use mine.