Sunday, September 13, 2015

Family Is Not An Important Thing, It’s Everything

This past summer felt as if it never happened. From the moment the 8th grade students were promoted, and the staff left the building for the last time, the clock began to tick.  

My summer undertaking:

ISTE, Tomorrow's Classroom Today,  David Jakes, designed a new learning environment called Idea Street, co-created a new "experience" unlike any other, dealt with a bond referendum construction project, scheduled staff and students, ordered new furniture, and so much more!  

Let's not forget to mention presenting at EdTech Fest, being a part of the NJPAECET2 steering committee, being in attendance at the EdCamp Foundation announcement at UPenn, and presenting at EdScape in October. 

Yet as Thomas Edison once stated, "I never did a day's work in my life.  It was all fun." Hence, the reason as to why it feels as if a summer break never occurred. 

Countless hours were spent day and night preparing for the return of our students and staff. When they returned, you could feel the positive energy radiating off of them.  For three days, before the students returned, the staff could not had been more enthusiastic to start the new year.  They embraced the design thinking process challenge, the changes to the building, and shared their own new ideas with each other.  Together, as a team, we could not had asked for a better start to the year.

Then when the students arrived, the students felt the love, energy, and respect being sent their way from our staff.  What a first week it was!

Then the excitement began to turn up even more: 

Kevin Jarrett and I were invited with scholarships to attend the FabLearn conference at Stanford University's d. School!!  After much research, reading, and focusing to develop our school to model after the d. School, this invitation still feels surreal. To have the opportunity with Kevin to share and collaborate ideas with some of the brightest minds in education, is a trip of a life time.

Then just a few days later, I received an offer to go to China, with a group of ten NJ administrators, through the Confucius Institute of Rutgers University (CIRU).  YES, CHINA!!  Thanks to Jay Eitner,  who informed Dr. Dietrich Tschanz about me, I will have the opportunity to visit, observe, study, and converse with multiple schools and universities in China. Yes, there will also be sightseeing while in Beijing and Changchun, but think of the relationships and potential possibilities that are waiting to be created for all of the educators and schools involved!

HOWEVER, HERE IS THE MAIN PURPOSE OF THIS POST- Without the amazing support of my incredible wife, and wonderful son, none of this would have been possible. Day in and day out, their love, encouragement and belief in me is more powerful than anything in this world. They know what I am trying to accomplish, and that I am trying to be the best possible father and husband as well.  

Countless hours waiting for me to arrive home late, only to arrive after they have fallen asleep. Countless hours caring for each other, while I attend conferences, workshops, and other educational events.  Yet, they always continue to support me and we always find time for the three of us, and we make it count!  

I am truly the luckiest man alive to have them in my life. They are my everything. Thank you Abby and Henry for being amazing! Frankly, words alone do them an injustice.