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San Clemente, CA, United States

Friday, November 20, 2015


I had an important talk with my principal today.  I've been trying to see him.  Invited him out for a beer even, but noooooo, he had a "family to raise".  Like that should take precedence?????  

I've been carrying the weight of my department on my shoulders.  Every "disappointment", I wear.  Everything.  If our percentage of failures in Algebra 1 edges up, it feel it eflects upon me, even though I don't teach Algebra 1.  If a long-term sub isn't performing like Jaime Escalante it eats at my soul and I truly feel responsible.  I feel like any data we collect is a measure of me.  Intellectually I know how absurd and egotistical I am.  Still....

Since becoming my department's Chair, I've been WAY overestimating my importance.  Today I had a chance to talk with my principal and he helped.  

He helped because he sees good.  He can walk into a class and see a boring lecture and find the two engaged kids.  He reminded me that for every disgruntled parent, there are 2600 others that are thankful for what we do.  I think he sees good because he is good.  My principal inspires me to see the good not just the "disappointing".

I've never been that guy.  I'm the guy screaming because you are too lazy to use a turn signal.  USE THE TURN SIGNAL IDIOT!!  I'm the guy that gets angry when you bring your dog into the store.  I'm the guy that forgets a student volunteers at the Library when I bark at her for being late to class.  I'm the guy that sees the bad.  I think that makes me bad.  I'm tired of being bad.  I want to be good.  I want to see good.  

My department is stuffed with good.  And if I am in ANY way judged based upon their performance then I am stuffed with good.  I am reminded that the best thing I can do as the department Chair, is  be a great high school math teacher.  If I inspire them with my effort, then all the better.  I can't and won't wear every detail.  I can't be that egotistical.


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  2. To Live the Life:
    I love your blog posts. I struggle with many of the same issues you talk about and always have to force myself to remember this quote that put things into a different perspective for me (i must admit I pretty much always fail at it and realize my failings mostly upon further reflection.

    To live the life:
    "To be no cause of grief to anyone.
    To be kind to all people and to love them with a pure spirit.
    Should opposition or injury happen to us, to bear it, to be as kind as ever can be, and through all, to love the people... To be silent concerning the faults of others, to pray for them, and to help them, through kindness, to correct their faults.
    To look always at the good and not at the bad. If a man has ten good qualities and one bad one, look at the ten and forget the one. And if a man has ten bad qualities and one good one, to look at the one and forget the ten.
    Never to allow ourselves to speak one unkind word about another, even though that other be our enemy.
    To do all of our deeds in kindness.
    To cut our hearts from ourselves and from the world.
    To be humble.
    To be servants of each other, and to know that we are less than anyone else.
    To be as one soul in many bodies, for the more we love each other, the nearer we shall be to God ; but to know that our love, our unity, our obedience must not be by confession, but of reality.
    To act with cautiousness and wisdom.
    To be truthful.
    To be hospitable.
    To be reverent.
    To be the cause of healing for every sick one,
    a comforter for every sorrowful one,
    a pleasant water for every thirsty one.
    a heavenly table for every hungry one,
    a star to every horizon,
    a light for every lamp..."

  3. Thanks for this post Queader! Now I've got to get on and implement more thank you..

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