Monday, January 11, 2016

The Magic of the Secret Handshake

Loving My Job: Like many of you, I played the Powerball; and lost. People think I am kidding, but if I win I still plan to work. I love my job, I will just be able to get to it more quickly helicopter.

Back when I was a math teacher I tried an experiment with the regular New York State Lottery. I created a spreadsheet and kept track of the lottery numbers for a month. I then tracked all of the numbers that had been picked and played the ones that had yet to be selected. For several days I won $4, the prize at the time if none of your numbers are selected. It was a neat use of math and statistics, and passed the time like a hobby would.

I then watched a video about how the ping pong balls are made for the lottery. They make sure that the weight and shape of each ball is exactly the same even if the number in the ball is a single digit versus a double digit. The bottom line? There is definitely a greater chance of being struck by lightning than winning the Powerball. Don't quit your day jobs, and please remember your favorite superintendent if you happen to win. Thank you.

Connecting with Children: As parents we always try to find different ways to connect with our children. It is certainly easier to do this when our children are younger, but it can be a challenge as they become teenagers. In a perfect world, when they grow up they will come back to us and are friends forever.

When my kids were very young, probably around first or second grade, we created a secret handshake that we used when they were in little league. I cannot tell you or show you what it is because it is a secret (actually if you went to graduation last year you were able to see it when I gave my son his diploma).  It was, and is to this day, "our thing".  It is how we connect. Over all of these years it has created a special bond that has survived through good times and bad.

A few years ago I noticed that when one of my boys and I would give each other the secret handshake, others would watch and want a secret handshake as well! I have a kid who is almost 21 years old and if we do not do the secret handshake or if we rush it when we are together before he leaves for school, he is irritated.

We often think about ways to keep our children connected to us, and we often think about what we can buy them or get them to keep them coming back. Creating a secret handshake (or even a special fist bump) is free, unique to you and your kids, and will work for a lifetime. Try it out!

Talk With the Superintendent: If you have time, this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. join us at the annual "Dialogue with the Superintendent". It is held in the West Genesee High School Large Group Instruction Room.

I give a quick State of the District and then open the rest of our time up to the audience (it usually ends by 8:30 or 9:00 p.m.). Audience members anonymously write questions on an index card which we collect. I then read every card sight unseen and answer those questions.

It has been a great way to interact with people who prefer not to use phone calls, personal visits, e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter to reach me.  I want to thank the West Genesee PTA/PTO District Council for sponsoring the evening, and I hope to see you there!

Enjoy the week!