Tag Archives: videos worth sharing

Coach’s Definition of Success

Life lessons are sometimes best told by others.

Our parents tried their best and perhaps later in life we learn to appreciate their intentions. Sometimes we don’t.

At the start of the academic year I outline classroom rules. Then I begin to share stories that best answer the question why we do what we do.

Why they’re sitting in our classroom. Why we’re at the front teaching those that are sitting.

Some years ago my colleague made a concerted effort to begin including videos that would positively impact his students. It was, naturally, a great idea that I too adopted. Students loved the break in the routine of academics, while I secretly plotted how I might make a difference in a way they weren’t expecting.

I included some of them in a past post about videos you should show your class.

One of those videos that I didn’t share was about a college basketball coach who just happened to have won more NCAA championships than any other coach before and since.

Yesterday while thinking about how to impart the lesson of doing things well to my students, I thought about the lesson this coach taught about teaching his freshmen players how to put on their socks and shoes during their first Bruins practice.

It’s a lesson about doing the simple things right. Doing right what you can control, so that the things which you can’t control have a better chance of being one’s success as well.

I looked up Coach Wooden knowing there must be more to learn and I am grateful to have found the following TED video that highlights the lessons he taught as a teacher, and not necessary what made his team a success.

Within the video are lessons that might inspire you, my fellow teachers, to continue in what I believe is our noble profession.

There are days in which it seems the classroom clock is moving much too fast as our year end assessments approach. This man has seemingly thought long and hard about what determined success in his English classroom.

Perhaps your definition and his are the same.

I hope you enjoyed it.

I’m curious what lessons he shared were impressed upon you. Which lessons resonated with you.

Please feel free to comment.

The Journey of Paul’s Boots

This is a story about Paul Evans as I learned from an article I came across in Backpacker Magazine and a USA Today article. After doing some more Google searching, I came across a film. His life and the life of his boots moved me to share them with my Scouts at our last Court of Honor a few weeks ago.

Perhaps Paul’s story will be worthy enough for you to share with your students. My Christmas wish is for you to read my short introduction, and watch the film below. I hope it moves you too.


Paul Evans, an Australian from Queensland, had always been an avid hiker. Every chance he had he had found him hiking along the trails near his home.

Later in life he moved back home to care for his ailing parents which occurred about ten years ago.

It was then that he met and married his wife M’Lynn who he had met online in a discussion group for caregivers. Together they took hikes around Australia whenever they were able to get away.

Sadly his Mom passed in 2010 of Parkinson’s and his father in 2011 of Alzheimer’s.

And then his health also began to fail.

During what became an ever worsening health condition, Paul had the dream of hiking the Appalachian Trail. In fact he did the research, bought all the gear and finally told his wife he was ready; setting three pairs of his size 13 boots next to the door.

Then, not much later in July of 2015, he had a heart attack at the age of 53.

He did not survive.

After donating most of his gear, his wife wondered if a part of him could still go on the AT. She put out a request on blogs and a favorite hiking podcast, Dirtbag Diaries.

She got over 400 responses.

And this is how Paul’s boots began their journey from Georgia to Maine, handed off from hiker to hiker. Each volunteer chosen agreed to complete a leg of the AT carrying them 2,189 miles through fourteen states and six national parks.

Some of those 40 people hiked along quietly, while others had conversations with Paul – a man they had never met, but whose four pound boots they were now willing to carry to help fulfill a dream.

It is now that Alex “Daddy Long Legs” Newlon enters this story.

An epileptic who was told he would never thru hike the AT, he was now four months into completing the goal, and now at New Hampshire’s White Mountains.

He was close to quitting.

He had been carrying those heavy leather boots strapped to his pack.

And during his moment of exasperation and doubt, Paul’s boots untied and whacked Newlon’s left elbow.

“I look up and there’s a deer standing in the middle of the trail staring at me,” Newlon remembers. “It was as if Paul was trying to tell me to pay more attention to my surroundings because, lost in my head and caught up in my own doubts and fears, I was missing the beauty of the world around me.”

Here’s the film that captures the trip that Paul’s boots took.

Seen well over eight hundred thousand times, there must be something about carrying someone’s else’s dreams upon one’s shoulders that sounds appealing.

Take a look and listen to some of those that self labeled themselves as Paul’s Protectors.

 

So the question that I asked myself when I read about the story of these boots, I now ask you.

How often do we miss the beauty that surrounds us? Are we taking the opportunity to do the type of things that Paul never could?

I am hopeful our Scouts see a world they may not have noticed before when each month we leave our church, and seek out a new adventure.

When we hit the trail or set up camp in the woods I hear the laughter of friends, the crackling of the warm fire, and the sizzle of a meal being made in a dutch oven.

It’s a time to spend some sweat equity arriving at one’s destination and in the process learn a little about ourselves in the process.

Hearing the birds begin their day shortly before the sun rises or the quiet of the woods around us has a way of adjusting our default setting back to reflection of what we do and contemplating why we do it.

This holiday season, I challenge you to take a day, or maybe more or even just a few hours, and spend time outside seeing the world our God has created.

Take a hike, a walk or a bike ride with those you love.

Let it be time away from the holiday rush and efforts to do it all.

Let it be a time in which we spend with our families seeing the world around us, perhaps differently than we have before.

Merry Christmas to each of you.

I hope you will do more than read these words and take up my challenge – doing something Paul’s boots were able to accomplish, but Paul never could.

12 Education & Empowering Videos You Must See

stars passing above

Ready to watch a video that will make you smile, reflect, laugh or sit back and say wow?

Here are a few videos about education or just worth watching to be inspired again.

They moved me to share them in the past and they’re no less impactful having seen them again in preparing to place them below.

Serious, funny, and insightful. There’s a mix of all below. Enjoy.

Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

From TED: Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

One of the most viewed TED Talks which has now been viewed over 38 million times. Hard to ignore that kind of viewership.

Can We Auto Correct Humanity?

From the video tagline: You need not delete your social networks or destroy your cell phones, the message is simple, be balanced, be mindful, be present, be here.

Here’s a take on cutting off the phone that we keep looking at. A good option to show to your class or others who can’t seem to put down their phone.

The Best Kindergarten You’ve Ever Seen

From TED: At this school in Tokyo, five-year-olds cause traffic jams and windows are for Santa to climb into. Meet: the world’s cutest kindergarten, designed by architect Takaharu Tezuka. In this charming talk, he walks us through a design process that really lets kids be kids.

Watch this and imagine going to or teaching at this school in Tokyo. If only architects and district planners got together and said: let’s build something unlike anything else.

A Radical New Teaching Method

Here’s a video that emphasizes the importance of kindness. Watch and if you’re a teacher – you’ll wish you were this good. As a parent – I wish my child was blessed enough to have this teacher in their lives.

Coach shows players the true meaning of respect…

Virginia Tech men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams apparently did not like the way his team behaved while the National Anthem played prior to Hokie basketball games so this is what he did to teach his team the meaning of respect.

Randy Paush: The Last Lecture

In 2007, Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch, who was dying of pancreatic cancer, delivered a one-of-a-kind last lecture that made the world stop and pay attention. This moving talk will teach you how to really achieve your childhood dreams. Unmissable.

Logan Laplante: Hackschooling Makes Me Happy.

From TED: when 13 year-old Logan LaPlante grows up, he wants to be happy and healthy. He discusses how hacking his education is helping him achieve this goal.I saw this and I thought to myself.

Wow, this is so different that when I saw it the first time that I went back and listened to it again. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” he asks. “To be happy.” In this TED Talk Logan outlines what education should contain – that current schools focus on making a living instead of making a life. I’ve listened to this again and motivated yet again.

Admiral McRaven Addresses University of Texas at Austin Class of 2014

The Head of the Navy SEALS explains why making your bed every day is the most important life lesson. The Admiral continues noting other lessons from SEAL training that will make you both laugh at times and listen with awe at what these soldiers endure by choice.

The kids clean their own classrooms… and have fun doing it

A short video of Japanese students cleaning up their school. A great one to share with your students when they don’t want to pick up after themselves at the lunch table or their classroom desk.

Kid President’s Pep Talk to Students and Teachers

Required viewing the first week of school. If you haven’t seen this little guy yet… prepare to laugh. Your students will appreciate your desire to start the year on the right foot.

Alan Watts: The Dream of Life

Take some time and sit back. Listen to Alan Watts lead you through some thought provoking thinking about why we’re on this Earth. Contemplative.

Key and Peele – Teaching Center

Here’s one to make you laugh, or is it cry? Boyd Maxwell and Perry Schmidt report on the latest developments in the exciting world of pro teaching.

I would love to see your favorite video links in the comments section and perhaps sharing them with my own students.