Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Teachable Moment?


I was at the park recently when I heard a young child ask her mother why the lady in the park was picking up trash.  The youngster didn’t recognize the lady as a park employee. I didn’t hear the mother’s response.  I wonder what the best way to respond was.  In this employment market, people who have lost their jobs are happy to secure any employment. Was the person picking up trash a former corporate executive?  Was it a wife returning to work because her spouse lost a job – and any job was better than no job?  Was this a teachable for the parent to talk to the child about the respect for any job well done?  Was this the time to talk about the importance of education?  The child appeared to be about five years old. Certainly the conversation with an older child would take a different direction.  Was this a teachable moment?  I would love to know what you think.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Toxic Waste

To the participants in my workshop, here are the directions for the Toxic Waste game.  If you would like additional information, please don't hestitate to contact me directly.  And finally, I do  have a twitter account @askaprincipal.  If you do this activity at your school, I would love to hear about it.




Toxic Waste (a communications game!)


Materials needed:

·          Four pieces of string attached to a bungee cord

·         Roll of toilet paper

·         Paper plate (or small garbage pail to make it more difficult!)




There has been a terrible toxic spill in (your) city.  A team of workers and one supervisor is being sent in to clean up the spill.  The toilet paper represents the toxic waste and the paper plate (or garbage pail) is the safe receptacle.  The supervisor will guide the workers so that they are able to pick up the toilet paper and safely deposit it on the paper place. The supervisor may only use words and may not touch any of the participants.


The workers will wear blindfolds while the supervisor gives directions.


Processing questions:


·          As the supervisor, what was the most difficult part of giving directions?

·         How might you give directions differently the next time?

·         What real life school situation can you relate this to?


·          As the team member, what was the most difficult part of following directions?

·         Is there something you wish the supervisor had done differently?

·         What real life school situation can you relate this to?


Important points:


·         team members must share a working/common vocabulary

·         everyone on the team must understand the goal


















Thursday, November 7, 2013

Check It Out!

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is sponsoring a Leadership, Education and Development (LEAD) conference in Denver this weekend, Nov. 8-10.  The opening keynote speaker is Ed Gerety.  Ed has been a dear friend for over 20 years, and I encourage you to check out his website.  All you have to do is Google Ed Gerety.  There will be links to videos where you can see Ed in action.

These LEAD conferences are held around the country.  If you are an educator, I strongly urge you to check out the dynamic opportunities for your students.  If you need help convincing the administration for funding, let me know, and I will help!  If you are a parent, I urge you to contact the school administrator to see how your school can get involved.

I look forward to leading several workshops this weekend, and I will be back with more information to share.

In the meantime, check out Ed Gerety.  I promise you it’s worth the look.  I’ll be anxious to hear from you.  Feel free to post a comment or write to me at marshahirsch@gmail.com