Thursday, January 27, 2022

The solution chatter

Sadly, PPS, by and large, fails to understand some of the basics of life.

What does PPS want? It says "safety" is the top priority. 

For many, to amp up the safety factors makes life feel more oppressed. Confinement, surveillance, oppression, ridged authority, supervision with gatekeepers and control is their rulebook guide.

“In order to get people to do what you want them to do, you have to understand what motivates them."

PPS doesn't always have a good grip on what motivates the youngsters.

You also have to know how to present yourself and your product to get their interest, their trust, and
ultimately their willingness to call you, visit you, or send you their talents, energy and enthusiasm. 

There are transactions to be made here. Money is a part of it with the citizens paying the taxes, of course. Others can choose to vote with their feet and depart the city. 

Human psychology has not changed in ten centuries.

As a coach, I don't wish for safety as a top goal. It seems to me that safety is an artifact of responsibility, learning, betterment, engagement, devotion and improving results. 

When we win, we are safe. When we win, we show up. PPS is losing the safety battle and losing in achievements in education and sports.

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Fwd: iConnection - Important information for instructors

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: American Red Cross Training Services <>

View Web Version

January 2022
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Updating Your Red Cross Instructor Account
This new year, resolve to update your Instructor account on the Red Cross Learning Center. Please take a look at your account to ensure the information is accurate and that your certifications are current for all courses you plan to teach this year. It's easy to do and will help ensure that your 2022 training year runs smoothly. As a reminder, if the certification for a course you are teaching is not current, Instructors/Instructor Trainers will not be able to set up, teach and report their courses. If you have questions or require assistance, please contact the Training Support Center (
Instructor Recertification Reminders

Instructor and Instructor Trainer certifications are valid for 2 years.

Instructors and Instructor Trainers must complete all recertification requirements to recertify every 2 years. This must be done prior to certificate expiration to remain currently certified. To recertify, Instructors and Trainers must meet the teaching requirement AND successfully complete a recertification course as outlined in the program Instructor's manuals and Instructor Trainer guides.

Teaching Requirements:
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Are You a Red Cross Aquatic Achiever?

We're getting close to naming our Red Cross Aquatic Achievers – recognizing the outstanding work organizations, their instructors, and instructor trainers achieved in 2021.

Join us virtually in celebrating our Red Cross providers, who despite the challenges of 2021, embodied the Red Cross Vision: "In an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives."

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Learning for All: Instructor Inclusion Training

The American Red Cross aspires to be an organization that reflects all communities we serve. That's why we've created Instructor Inclusion Training: Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment, a free online course on how to foster a space where all participants feel valued. We encourage all Training Services Training Provider Instructors and Instructor Trainers to complete this course as soon as possible as it will be a requirement prior to your next recertification date.

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Fwd: Please help the future of women in sports

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: SPIRE IA (Institute and Academy) <>

We just need five minutes of your time!



We just need five minutes of your time!




The Aurora Games was conceived as a platform to celebrate the power of women in sports and as a standalone event to showcase their influence on today's culture. It is opportunity for women from the world to meet to share triumphs and visions in women's sport past, present and future.
As a part of the vision for the Aurora Games, SPIRE is intended as the state of the art location for female athletes from around the world to train in an environment that is built specifically for women and caters to the specific needs of female athletes. The research on training and fitness techniques for women is woefully behind that of the men. The need for specialization becomes more apparent with every passing season.
SPIRE will fill this void and incorporate research, medicine, women's studies, and more to help make SPIRE and Aurora Games a world class hub for everything related to women in sports and culture.
Thank you,


SPIRE IA (Institute/Academy), 5201 Spire Circle, Geneva, OH 44041, +1 (440) 466-1002

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Letter to PPS from a teacher, posted on social media and sent to the board

Kristen Johnson posted

I am posting the letter I am sending to the board for tomorrow. I do not know if it will all be read because of time, but enough is enough! I ask each and everyone of you to write as well.
Pittsburgh Board of Education:

Good evening, my name is Kristen Johnson and I am a teacher at Brashear High School. I am writing to implore a sense of urgency in addressing our current situation within the district. This is a call to action for each of you and everyone who works at Central Office.

Five years ago I started working at Brashear high school as an English teacher. I have moved to the CTE department and now teach Personal Finance and Computer Fundamental elective courses. Working for PPS is a dream come true and Brashear is my “home” where I can show school pride, community pride, city pride, and PPS pride.

Nothing that has transpired over the past week, and frankly this school year, has elicited a sense of pride. We are all experiencing a myriad of emotions. I will keep this letter local and immediate to my experience, but I know many others share similar frustrations and anger.

When family and friends asked how I was doing at the end of last week I paused and said “I am disgusted”. I am disgusted that our district has experienced heinous acts of violence including the death of a 15 year old student. I am disgusted that many conversations end without closure or a plan for actual and effective change. I am astounded that my colleagues at Oliver do not feel secure in their building because of the number of exits without alarms. I am outraged that we continue “with business as usual” after the death of a student, staff injuries in breaking up a fight, and another young adult in the hospital as a result of a fight.

What is going on?

We, teachers, are fighting a battle much bigger than us individually. We are fighting a system that is not effective at educating or preparing students for a future. We are trying to instill a sense of self in students, develop self-confidence, empower students to achieve self-actualization and see themselves as an asset to our communities. We do this by building relationships with students and families so they can become the captains of their own destiny. We are doing this every day in every building, and we are emotionally exhausted because we are doing it alone.

Where are you?

I have not seen one of you, board members or otherwise, in our buildings unless is was a planned tour of a particular program. I ask again, where are you? You have to get in the trenches to understand our day-to-day struggle with high need students and their individual circumstances. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was jailed in Birmingham, Alabama, he wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail”. He began by addressing his fellow clergymen who called his visit “untimely and unwise”. Now is your time to see and be seen. We, teachers, feel we are doing this alone. We feel the support given by administration has been stifled because they are not willing, or able, to provide the necessary discipline to address minor student behaviors that perpetuate a climate and culture of disrespect for people and learning. Now is your time to come be substitute in our buildings, all buildings, but especially high school buildings and see for yourselves the profanity and disregard for redirection from staff. 

Where are you? 

Please come see for yourself what is happening. Not just once, take a week or two and sub in our buildings.

One year ago Amanda Gorman recited original poetry at the Presidential Inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. She was the youngest person to every do so. Her poem “The Hill We Climb” speaks to the challenges we have overcome in recent history, difficult challenges that tested our persistence and willingness to listen to each other. At the end she says “When day comes, we step out of the shade, Aflame and afraid. The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light, If only we’re brave enough to see it, If only we’re brave enough to be it.” I am “Aflame and afraid.” I beseech you to be brave enough to be the light so that we, teachers, may see it and share it. We must be the light and see the light to heal this district and our most precious asset, our students.

Norwin teacher who leads a middle school play is in hot water

Interested to see where this goes. 

Report says that the case is before the judge and half-way completed. 

Fwd: Seth's Blog : The control/responsibility matrix

----- Forwarded message ---
From: Seth Godin

Alert readers of my last two posts have probably guessed what this one is about. People make choices about their preferences for control and for taking responsibility. When we combine those choices, we end up with a simple matrix. In the top right is an ...
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The control/responsibility matrix

Alert readers of my last two posts have probably guessed what this one is about.

The control/responsibility matrix (click to enlarge)

People make choices about their preferences for control and for taking responsibility. When we combine those choices, we end up with a simple matrix.

In the top right is an ideal combination. Someone with control and authority who also takes responsibility when things go wrong. This creates a useful feedback loop, because they can actually do something about the problems they caused.

In the bottom right is a disaster waiting to happen. This is brittle megalomaniac, Robert Moses, the builder, who spent nearly a century paving New York while neglecting housing and other social justice issues, but never took responsibility for any of the effects of his work. People who grab control and avoid responsibility are often easily identified because they spend a lot of time whining.

In the top left corner is someone who truly cares. They bring huge empathy to the situation, and they help people feel seen. Alas, because they don't have power (either because it's been denied to them or because they avoid it), their willingness to take responsibility is sort of hollow. This is one reason that frontline workers that are required to exert emotional labor and empathy on the job so often burn out.

And finally, in most situations, most people are in the bottom left. The system pushes us to be cogs, to accept what's given in exchange for being let off the hook and not being held responsible for what happens next.

In many situations, we have the freedom to choose. We can choose a quadrant or we can choose not to participate. And if we're lucky or care enough, we can choose who to vote for, who to work for and where we're headed.