What Happened?

Day 25: 31 Day Painting Challenge

Recently, I (wo)manned a booth at our school’s International Festival. We were making maracas using empty toilet paper rolls, duct tape and (uncooked) beans and rice. Kids of all ages and sizes came to make their maracas.

After just one hour, I realized something: six and seven-year-old girls came up confidently and chose their colors without hesitation. “I want blue! And red! And green!” They taped their rolls, scooped up rice, taped again and smiled radiantly.

Teenage girls, however, hemmed and hawed, wracked with indecision. “Ummmmm. I dunno. I dunno what to choose! Ummmm…” It took them far longer to decide and even after they decided, they second-guessed their decisions and did not seem entirely happy with their results.

What happens to girls?


Clean Up!


A group of Taiwanese elementary school students came to visit our school today. They wanted to play music for us and see how Americans learn in school.  Because our students learn some Mandarin, they were able to communicate – a  little bit – with each other. It was a wonderful cultural exchange.

One thing we learned is that these Taiwanese students dedicate some time in their week – every week- to clean their school!

Other schools clean up after themselves too. Here is an article about Japanese schools that dedicate time to housekeeping.

“The practice, which starts when students are in first grade and continues right through high school, involves floor dusting, furniture moving and cleaning the hallways.”


The rationale makes sense: if students are personally obligated to keeping their school clean, they will treat it with more respect all day, every day.

I wish our public schools did this. I see students scuff walls with their shoes and our custodians complain that students urinate on the floors on purpose!

Workshop Wisdom

by Roman Mager

I attended a workshop on educational leadership today. I walked away with lots of good stuff but one quote that stuck with me was:

Get what you want. Find a way.

Being a leader means helping others lead, really. Supporting others to be the best they can be is one of the biggest objectives and one of the most challenging.  One vital channel to this goal is to make others feel appreciated and help them in their jobs.

Make your staff feel valued by obtaining resources that they need or want for their work. Show them that you appreciate what they do and that you consider it important. “Get what you want. Find a way.”

This is really the secret to success, isn’t it? What do you want? How can you find a way to get it?