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Friday, March 25, 2016

The Braden Bin - 3/25/16

What I'm Reading:  The Massive Difference between Negative and Positive Leadership

  • Great article from Fortune.com that I would HIGHLY suggest reading, leader or not.  I will highlight some of my favorite quotes below...
    • "Weak leaders focus on all the things that are going wrong.  Great ones bring out the best in us."
    • "Authentic leaders, by contrast, try to bring out the best in people.  They aim to see others' potential, to empower people to take responsibility for their actions, and to work together to make things better for all people."  
    • "...recent scientific research shows that positive approaches to empower people is a must-have leadership trait."  



Tweet of the Week:  


  • It's been really windy this week.  Yesterday we supposively had 40mph wind gusts and today I thought they were the same.  I even sent a buddy of mine, who graduated from Purdue University with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering the same picture I posted above and then said..

"How awesome is this!?  I wouldn't want to fly in 49mph wind.  By the way, I don't know what they are talking about with the whole 25mph wind speed thing...it's WAY windier than that!" 


to which he replied....

"Ben, you are a Twitter juggernaut.  

The DAL weather says:  KDAL 231953Z 20013G28KT 10SM FEW037 BKN250 27/16 A2968 RMK AO2 PK WND 17028/1948 SLP045 T02670156

This is the wind part:  20013G28KT  Which means its 13 knots gusting to 28 knots.  Which means you are not good at judging wind speed, but you are good at Twitter.  Which is nice."

Honestly guys, this is what I imagined Dallas Love Field or DFW Airport looked like yesterday....


  • Ohhhhh John Hart.   But once again, the power of social media!  I'm a naturally curious person.  I was the kid in class who asked WAY too  many questions.  No matter where I'm at, I always find myself seeing something that I want to know more about.  If I can't find an answer on Google, I just find an expert on Twitter.  Sometimes I hear back, sometimes I don't.  When I do, let's be honest, it's usually David Finfrock himself.  Your my boy Dave.  

  • This is one of the reasons I think having a class Twitter account can be so powerful.  Use Twitter to reach out to experts.  Then, see if said expert would be willing to Skype or Facetime with your students.  NEVER, in human history, has there been such a frail fence between the outside world and our classrooms.  It's time to take down the rest of it.  








Friday, March 18, 2016

The Braden Bin - 3/18/16


What I'm watching:




  • It's March and being that March is my favorite time of the year, I thought I would post an old high school basketball video.  Thanks Coach Otis for posting this in your Facebook!  
  • This was my freshman year of high school.  This is a HUGE game every year because it is between two county rivals, Michigan City and LaPorte.  LaPorte is my high school.  
  • Guys, this is a HIGH SCHOOL REGULAR SEASON basketball game.  Look at the people!  That is Indiana High School basketball at its' finest.  When I compare Texas High School football with Indiana High School basketball, most of the time, I just get eye rolls.  Really?  Look at that video and tell me that's not crazy! 
  • Greg Tonagel, who hit that game winning shot, was my idol.  He was every young Slicer's idol.  Slicers are my high school's mascot.  What's a slicer?  Good question.  Anyways, he went on to play at Valparaiso University and now is the head coach at Indiana Wesleyan University.  As a matter of fact, Indiana Wesleyan just won the NAIA National Championship! Not only was Greg a GREAT player, he was and is a great person.  You will hear about him again one day, I promise.  
Bonus video:  

Greg Tonagel kind of doing the same thing at Valpo....


Bonus video plus:  

Think you have heard of Valparaiso University?  If you are a March Madness junkie like myself, you probably remember one of the best shots in tournament history by Bryce Drew to beat Ole Miss in 1998.  By the way, Bryce is now the head coach at Valpo.  






Jam I'm Jamming to:


  • Nothing says 1983 like One Shining Moment.  Nay, nothing says March Madness like One Shining Moment.  Hopefully, they will be playing that when the Hoosiers cut the nets down this year.  A man can dream, right?  



Website I am frequenting:  http://www.greatschools.org/

  • What a great resource for the community!  If one can find reviews of practically anything but public schools on yelp, google, etc, why not have the option of rating and reviewing schools?  
  • One of the things I like most about this website is their section titled GreatKids!  What a great resource for parents or anybody who spends time with kids! 
Some random thoughts:  

  • I like Fridays.  Who doesn't?  My big thing during the week is to work hard enough to feel like I deserve the weekend.  If I have, then Friday is like a celebration.  An ending to a well worked week and a beginning to a well deserved little break.  
  • Do we celebrate Friday too much in schools and if so, what message does that send to our students?  That we really can't stand being here and we actually get two days without you and then we show up on Monday with the "Monday blues" and are on the complete opposite mood spectrum than we were on Friday?  What does that say about us?  
  • I like Fridays.  I love spending time with my family over the weekend.  I also love my job and I love coming to school everyday.  I like making a difference in the community and in the lives of the students who I am lucky enough to have contact with on a daily basis.  I won't lie, I like Fridays but I'm always a little sad when the building is empty on a Friday afternoon and I know I wont see the amazing people I work with and the amazing students I work for, for the next few days.  
  • Let's not stop celebrating Friday.  If you've worked hard enough to feel like you've earned the weekend, then by all means, celebrate.  Just think about the impact your celebration may be having on those students.  If you don't want to be here, why should they?   


Friday, March 4, 2016

The Braden Bin - 3/4/16

What I'm Reading - Election Guide:  5 Education Takeaways From the Presidential Candidates 
  • Juuuuuust in case you are as confused as I am on who to vote for, EdWeek put out a nice election guide for us education minded folks.  When it seems as if the candidates speak about everything other than education, it's nice to know that each has their own version of a "plan".  

What I'm Reading (Bonus)
  • So, Google's up to something again and this one I am VERY excited about.  Think of the implications this could have on education.  On igniting that fire in our kids for reading!  I can't wait to try it!  
What I'm Watching - Plato's Allegory of the Cave by Alex Gendler

  • I think this video draws some very interesting parallels to our current political system.  I particularly like the quote, "Most people are not just comfortable in their ignorance but hostile to anyone who points it out."
  • "As we go about our lives, can we be confident in what we think we know?  Perhaps one day, a glimmer of light will punch a hole in your most basic assumptions."  I hope you find that glimmer of light and I hope you find it soon!  
  • As educators, it is our responsibility to show our students "reality" or the Forms.  That means digging deeper than anything that can possibly be tested on a state mandated standardized test.  That means taking the time to dig much deeper than most textbooks can possibly dig.  That means taking risks and taking time it takes to peel back the layers on seemingly simple concepts.  Facilitating children's exposure to shadows is easy, how are you going to make sure they receive reality?  
Music I'm Jamming To - Fire and the Flood by Vance Joy
  • Sometimes I'm going to get personal on this blog.  Sorry.  I've got something heavy on my heart right now and this song brings it out.  My Avery is going in for her 4th surgery on Monday.  After the previous 3 surgeries and 10 cycles of chemotherapy, the cancer still isn't gone thus our journey continues.  Doc found another spot, this time on her left lung.  This is going to be it, right?  She's 3 and has fought harder for her life than I have ever had to fight for anything, and it's not even close.  Baby girl, I've had your back through all of this.  Anywhere I've gone, there you are and anywhere I go, there you are.  You are the fire and the flood.  #OwlsForAvery 
  • UPDATE:  I wrote this earlier in the week when we were set on surgery.  We have had some reservations and may go with another option.  Such is life when your daughter is fighting cancer.  Surgery is scheduled for Monday morning, it's Friday morning and we don't know what we are going to do.  It doesn't help that the 4 doctors we have reached out to for another opinion are also split.  I'm confident that we will make the right decision.  The best decision we can.  
Just in case you ever wanted a mini donkey, 20 of them are looking for forever  homes
My question for you is, why would anyone NOT want a mini donkey?