What Life is About

@MrBrettClark 0 Comments

Wow...hard to believe that it's almost been a year since my grandmother passed away. Not sure I could say much more about her than the day I wrote Everyone Needs A Hero.

I can tell you that reading that post at her funeral was both the most rewarding and hardest thing I've ever been privileged to do.

I can tell you that I have often thought about how she would have responded to the news that I was named Director of Technology for Greater Clark County Schools. The only thing I could say for sure is that at some point in the conversation she would have said, "Oh Brett Alan, that's wonderful." My grandma is the only person on this planet that ever called me "Brett Alan", and the only person that ever will.

I can tell you that I think of her often and even put her number in my new cell phone after I moved. Even though if I called it now it would either ring somebody else or tell me it's been disconnected for the first time in who knows how long. I'm almost 100% certain it was the first 7 digit number she ever had and it also happened to be the only one she would ever need.

I can tell you that it put a smile on my face and a tear in my eye to see my wife using my grandma's old flour sifter while making a cake for my oldest son's 10th birthday.

I can tell you that one the best things about my new house is that I had room to get out the coffee table that used to belong to her and my grandpa. I can't remember exactly how I ended up with it but I'm glad it's sitting in my living room, covered with their great-grandchildren's toys. Although, I'm not entirely certain my grandpa would approve. :)

So why do I tell you these things? Why do I sit here with a box of Kleenex, cry my eyes out, and make myself type this post?

Because people are worth remembering. They deserve to have their memories passed on. In all the hustle and bustle of life we need to stop and remind ourselves about what's important.

Life is about preserving the memories of those who have passed on. My grandma was the keeper of my family history. Everything in her house had meaning and everything had a story. Her house didn't just tell her story but in many ways told the story of every member of my family. Going through things in her house after she passed was like watching a silent movie of the Clark/Haskell family history.

Life is about the people around you. Life is about belonging to a community and being part of a family. Life is about living and pursuing your dreams with reckless abandonment.

My grandma taught me so much. Even a year after her passing, I'm still learning from her.

Love you Grandma,

Brett Alan

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Putting my money where my mouth is

@MrBrettClark 6 Comments

Am I the only one who struggles with saying I want one thing but then not putting my money where my mouth is?

Got home from work yesterday and sat down on my couch. My wife brought me a couple of pieces of paper and told me this was my oldest son's homework. One of the assignments was a book report and the other was a scrapbook page. The book report was all laid out on what he had to write. Each paragraph had specific expectations and instructions. The scrapbook page was a "tradition" for this class and every student gets to have a page in the scrapbook.

Here's the thing: I'm not a believer in homework. You can read about some of my thoughts here. However, I'm not interested in ticking my son's teacher off. He loves to read but I'm not interested in forcing him to write about it when a five minute conversation about a book will give his teacher the same information. If it's about writing, then why can't he write about something he wants to write about, like becoming president. Just ask him (@3Clark_Boys) and he will tell you where he stands on the issues and why he should become the first kid elected president. If the scrapbook is something that every student gets to have a page in and it's a class tradition, then why make it homework? Why attach a grade to it? My new job keeps me busier than ever and I'm not sure I want to lose any more time with my son while he works on assignments that are not going to benefit him in the long run.

Let me be honest with you. These are easy questions to ask here in my space. This is actually a very safe place for me to express myself. I would say that the majority of you reading this have similar feelings on homework, test, and grades. However, I struggle with picking up the phone, calling my son's teacher, and explaining my stance on this issues?

Does that make me a hypocrite? If I won't stand up for my own family, should I stop taking such a strong stance against homework, test, and grades? Why is it easier to give advice to other teachers and parents but then struggle with the same advice for my own life?

The comment section awaits your response.

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Driving But Not Steering #leadership #edchat

@MrBrettClark 1 Comments


I was thinking about leadership last night as I was getting ready for bed and the role I play in it. Here I am in a district that I'm leading towards effective appropriate use of technology in our classrooms. I've been asked to help start a 1:1 program and we will be hosting an eLearning Conference this summer. I have certain things I want to see in our classrooms and more importantly in the lives of our staff and students. However, I think the journey of learning is a personal one.

I found myself asking this question: Can I drive our district without steering it?

Because that's what I really want to be able to do. 

I want to be able to help us accelerate by pressing on the gas sometimes. I feel like it's part of my role to continue to push us and stretch us.   I want to be able to brake as needed because there are times when we really need to slow down and think about what's ahead or just enjoy the view around us

However, I'm not sure how much I want to steer. I'm not here to take people where I think they should be but I'm here to make sure they get where they want to be. 

Eventually, I'd like to just be a passenger. Just along for the ride. 

Does this make sense to anyone beside me? How much driving/steering should leaders do? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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