Why Are So Many People on LinkedIn?

damien-riley-linkedinI asked myself this question tonight after I had received invites to join networks from three different old work friends. I had to see what was up. When you sign in to your account on Linkedin it gives you pages of suggestions for people to join up with. It’s like a trip down professional memory lane. I was shocked to see a lot of people I know are happy in their jobs yet were on the website. After all, it is like a resume showcase right? I saw teachers I know along with principals. I even saw the superintendent of my school district on there. I guess the more you make, the more volatile the turnover. At least, that’s how it would seem in this economy. Why are so many humans in 2015 gravitating to make Linkedin profiles? That’s the question I asked myself today. I think many workplaces have become robotic. Most people know they will probably not retire in the place they are working now. The format of a business is also changing. Continue reading Why Are So Many People on LinkedIn?

Do All Things With Kindness

tumblr_n241n1trBr1qb8xoho1_500The hardest part about kindness is not the being kind but rather the being kind to the unkind. It’s one thing to emulate John Lennon in life. It’s quite another to be kind to the likes of which would shoot you in an alley as he was sadly taken from us. How do you be kind then? I am preaching kindness to my students all the time. They are 10 years old and already showing symptoms found in the Lord of the Flies. I teach them to say simple, positive things to one another. Years ago I played in aband so I bring my guitar sounds to the classroom at times. We have a song we sing that I wrote called “The Morning Positive Song.” I sing the song with them and then stop asking students randomly to say a positive to another student. Without fail, it puts a smile on the receiver’s face. This is a powerful lesson for my 4th graders but adults should try it too. Getting practice at saying positives makes it natural after awhile, like any discipline. In the same sense, it can take time to develop a habit. I got a call from a parent a couple days ago and I must say, I was not prepared for the corrosive attitude on the other end of the line. It was a fairly new family to my class and they had no background knowledge of my work or my wonderful school. In the interest of the caller’s privacy I will spare you the details. Suffice it to say it was a parent concerned about something that happened outside my classroom that I did not witness and yet, I was given all the blame. Continue reading Do All Things With Kindness

Digging Down Deep for What I Stand For


It isn’t until you come face to face with a threat that you realize what’s worth fighting for. A 16 year old kid doesn’t know how to ask for the manager and sell himself to get a job, Unless he’s hungry, then you will see the sense of urgency come out. A seasoned teacher won’t get involved in his union until a grossly unfair contract is foisted upon him, and on it goes. Continue reading Digging Down Deep for What I Stand For

How About Some Play?

tumblr_nj3xn0xKoe1tb0hfso1_500Even squirrels gathering nuts take a little time to play. If you don’t ever play, you forget what the game is about. I look at my laptop most of the time as a dull device I have to produce my posts on every day. When I get into the play mode, I see as this magical tool at my disposal to engrave thoughts on eternal walls. Well, maybe it’s not that fancy but you can fool your motivation muscle into just about anything when you’re in a state of play. Remember when you were a kid and you played with a toy stethoscope? How many doctors carry that wonder with them into their career? As a teacher, I’ll never forget the first time I got my own classroom. It was life changing. These days I seem all hung up in the demands of impossible curriculum. Time for some play. Continue reading How About Some Play?

The Whole World Lit Up

imageOn my 40th birthday, my best friend Eric gave me a globe that lights up. It’s nothing too fancy, just a standard globe with a small sized light bulb inside. He told me since I was a teacher I might inspire my students with it. He also hoped I would be inspired by it as well. I knew right away my kids would love it. I teach 10 year olds and anything that requires turning out the lights always seems to ignite interest. I recall so many lights that have lit up my world, everything from the telecaster in the music store window to the Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedia set in my house. Lights are so necessary to make sense of life when you’re young. I was lucky to have them. Continue reading The Whole World Lit Up