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Last night I went to a concert, I saw Colin Hay, the lead singer from Men at Work, an 80’s mega group. One of my favorites from the 80’s. I have followed his career from the band to his current solo work. Great stuff, but that not the point, the point is what he had to say, with his songs and with out.

Mr. Hay uses words and music to relay his message, his dreams and nightmares are played out for us in songs we tap our feet to and sing along with. But what really impressed me was what was not sung, what Mr. Hay did not say with words or music.

For all who don’t know, Men at work shot in to stardom with there big début album “Cargo” with the smash hits “Land Down Under” “Who can it be now” and “Over Kill” the follow up album did ok and there last did nothing.  they went from the top to the bottom in a matter of 3 years.

Mr. Hay, a talented singer and song writer went on to  record 2 solo albums than was dropped from the major labels leaving him to ask himself “what now”. As he tells the story, we decided he needed something to do after he drank his morning coffee, so he decided to play in small clubs and record his own music. The result was a man willing to accept what he was compared to what he use to be.

Over the years I have worked with ex-rock stars, and the reason they remain part of the past is because they remain in the past, they refuse to let it go and to embrace the present. My. Hay decided differently, he understood that men at work was a part of his life, but now it’s Colin Hay with out the band. He let go the part to embrace the now.

Mr. Hay may have let go of the past, but he has not forgotten it, his songs often times are reminders of what use to be, looking at the past with new eyes. Sure there is regret and sadness in some of the past, but there is also joy and happiness. But the same is true for the now, we experience sadness and joy all in a matter of a few moments.

Now I do not know Mr. Hay beyond his music and from what I saw last night on stage, but from what I can tell, Mr. Hay has not only accepted his life, he has embraced it. Sure he wish for the success that once was, he is looking for the fame that use to be, but he is also enjoying the moment that is.

We all can learn a lot from this ex-rock star, and enjoy the music that the lesson is at the same time. As Mr. Hay himself states, “My My My what a beautiful world”. I would have to agree!

Paul

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The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life.
    One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education.
    He argued, ‘What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided
His best option in life was to become a teacher?’
    He reminded the other dinner guests what they say about
Teachers:
    ‘Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach.’
    To emphasize his point he said to another guest; ‘You’re a
Teacher, Bonnie..
   Be honest. What do you make?’
    Bonnie, who had a reputation for honesty and frankness replied,
     ‘You want to know what I make?
    (She paused for a second, then began…)
    ‘Well, I make kids work harder than they ever thought they
Could.
    I make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor.
    I make kids sit through 40 minutes of class time when their
Parents can’t make them sit for 5 without an I Pod, Game Cube or movie rental.
    "You want to know what I make." (She paused again and looked at
Each and every person at the table.)
    ”I make kids wonder…
    I make them question.
    I make them apologize and mean it.
    I make them have respect and take responsibility for their
Actions.
    I teach them to write and then I make them write..
    Keyboarding isn’t everything.
    I make them read, read, read.
    I make them show all their work in math.. They use their
    God-given brain,not the man-made calculator.
    I make my students from other countries learn everything they
Need to know in English while preserving their unique cultural identity.
    I make my classroom a place where all my students feel safe..
    I make my students stand, placing their hand over their heart to say the
    Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, One Nation Under God, because we live in
The United States of America .
    I make them understand that if they use the gifts they were
Given, work hard, and follow their hearts, they can succeed in life.’
    (Bonnie paused one last time, then continued.)
    ‘Then, when people try to judge me by what I make, with me knowing money
Isn’t everything, I can hold my head up high and pay no attention because
They are ignorant… You want to know what I make?
I MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
What do you make Mr. CEO?’
His jaw dropped, he went silent.

 

Me, I am a teacher, in my daily job an din all I do. I have always practice the concept of using every moment as a teaching moment. Now please don’t get me wrong, I don’t quiz or question the youth about everything we do, I don’t spend time looking for the hidden teaching moment, but I approach all I do as a moment to teach and to learn.

I do make a difference because I choose to, If I was that Mr. CEO in the story above, I could have held my head high and stated that I to teach, but also if I was that Mr. CEO I would have never equated money with usefulness, I understand that the two do not go together.

Can you say you teach, for that sake of our children and of this nation I pray that you respond with a yes.

Paul

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