#DBCBookBlogs: TeamMakers

When is the last time you worked with others as a team to achieve a goal? How far back to you have to think? Are you lucky enough to be part of a terrific team right now?

I love the focus of the 81st book in the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc line! TeamMakers: Positively Impacting the Lives of Children through District-Wide Dreaming, Collaborating, and Change is written by Laura Robb and Evan Robb. There is a clear emphasis on creating sustainable change as a district. I’m blown away by the way Laura & Evan take on this topic, which has the potential to create scapegoats for educators on every level. They address each level head on – central office administration, building administration, and teachers – and share how each of us as a role to play in the betterment of our schools for students.


Some of the quotes that really resonated with me are:

“…in many classrooms technology is simply an ornament. How students learn hasn’t changed.”

“…when staff and administrators share with students dreams and personal stories about their teaching and learning lives, students feel safe to share theirs. Sharing dreams and stories builds positive relationships.”

“…risk-taking can initially raise fear and uncertainty but ultimately produce enthusiasm and courage.”

“…no one role is more valuable than another.” -Marc Ferris, EdD

I also truly enjoyed Chapter 8: Mentors and Coaches! The interludes from current educators at various levels was enlightening and terrific examples how it looks when true teamwork is happening everywhere in a district. There is so much to take away from this book, and it presents the perfect literature to create a district-wide book study! The whole idea is that we can’t make it happen unless we are willing to put in the work and create a team that has one another’s backs. We must all share a vision and a mission to move education forward in a system.

I am so blessed to work in a school system where this idea of TeamMakers is a reality. There is always room for improvement, but my school system is frequently leading the way and as a whole, we function as a pretty impressive team.


Valuing the work of every individual in a system is vital to a team achieving its goals.

My oldest daughter plays softball, and she has played right field in every season. After playing softball for many years myself, I knew what playing “right field” meant – or so I thought I did. I jokingly said something to one of her coaches about Bailey playing right field because she was still learning and had a l.o.n.g. way to go in coordination, speed, processing the play of the game, etc. He (rightfully) put me in my place by telling me she’s in right field because we can count on her to always back up the play on first base. She’s in right field because she’s got a decent arm on her. She’s in right field because when a ball gets by her, she’ll go chase it down. Every position on the softball field is important because every position has their own role to making sure the team achieves success.

My implementation is to make sure that every person I come in contact with feels valued. Sometimes our custodians, nutrition workers, nurses, front office staff, assistants, etc feel as though they aren’t as important as the classroom teachers. In education, the focus, unfortunately, is on test scores – so unless someone is a classroom teacher in a tested subject area, it can be easy to overlook their importance to the team. Every person in the building has a purpose and a value to the overall dream. I have no idea what this will look like, but I’m going to come up with some way to help others feel valued, and continue to feel valued throughout the year.

Check out the Sneak Peek video from the authors (link here)! You can also get a free preview by visiting this website (scroll to the bottom)!

Follow along with the conversation using #TeamMakers and be sure to pick up your copy of Laura & Evan‘s book! I believe you’ll enjoy it & it will help you look at each role with a new lens.

#EduEyeExam Information

Good evening, friends! We interrupt this irregularly scheduled blog site to bring you some pretty awesome information! Well, at least I think it’s pretty awesome!

This blog fulfills the implementation of several books from #DBC50Summer!

In the very first #DBC50Summer book post (Teach Like a PIRATE by Dave Burgess), my implementation was the quote, “It’s not supposed to be easy, it’s supposed to be worth it.” I had no idea how that would be played out, but I knew that I needed to remember that when obstacles made something difficult, it would be worth it on the other side.

In the post for Stories from Webb by Todd Nesloney, I shared that I knew I needed to write & share my own story.

When I finished The EduNinja Mindset by Jennifer Burdis, I knew I wanted to create my own mission statement.

Later on in #DBCBookBlogs, Run Like a PIRATE by Adam Welcome inspired me to start now and try big things!

Shortly after that blog post, I did a thing. I started and definitely decided to try big things! It wasn’t easy! I wrote more than a mission statement. I nailed down my educational philosophy, my vision; I wrote my story and talked to Shelley Burgess about having Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc publish it.

Here we are almost 9 months (to the day) after that conversation with Shelley. I received an email early this morning letting me know that edits were finished and the final files were being sent to DBC, Inc for publishing!!!

Screen Shot 2019-08-27 at 7.46.26 PM

If you’d like more information about the release of Educational Eye Exam: Creating Your Vision for Education, along with information about book signings and more, subscribe by completing this form.

I can’t wait to hear your thoughts! Please share using the hashtag #EduEyeExam on Twitter and Instagram!

Education According to Hamilton: Wait for It

Education According to Hamilton Wait for It

Another amazing song from Hamilton the Musical is “Wait for It”. Aaron Burr makes you catch all the feelings in this song. There are so many moments in this song that I cannot get enough of, so many things that make it exceptional! To be honest, I really just want to clap this one out every time it comes on! Beware, it will get stuck in your head! Check it out below, or for an edited version, click here.

Love doesn’t discriminate

As educators, we must not discriminate against any student in our classroom. I know this may seem obvious, but in some places in the world, this needs to be explicitly stated. No matter what, we must love every single student who walks through our doors. Period. Find a way to love every kid. Love doesn’t discriminate.

We keep loving anyway

Even when our students do things that are against our norms/rules and when they are tap dancing on that very last nerve we have, we simply must keep loving them anyway.

We laugh and we cry and we break and we make our mistakes

Creating a family atmosphere is so important in our learning environments. There will be days we laugh together, and days we cry together. What’s most important about the family atmosphere is the safety of making mistakes. This is when learning can truly happen. The sense of resiliency in making mistakes and tweaking our iterations until we experience success creates life-long learners and students who are ready for anything.

I am in the one thing in life I can control

I cannot control standardized tests. I cannot control the budget (or currently the lack of in NC). I cannot control a student’s home life. I cannot control the attitude of others. I am the one thing in life I can control. By being positive, kind, and being a place of stability for those I serve, I can take some of those things I can’t control and make the best of them, for myself and for others.

What is it like in his shoes?

Be empathetic. Let’s teach our students empathy through modeling and conversation. Point out moments of empathy when you see them. Celebrate those with students. The reality is that we don’t have to agree with everyone we meet; we don’t even have to like everyone we meet. However, if we take the time to show empathy to others around us, we give ourselves the opportunity to better understand those we don’t agree with, and yes, even those we don’t necessarily like. Imagine what the world would look like if we all just practiced a bit more empathy.

What other educational truths do you find in “Wait for It”? How can you apply the lyrics to this song in your profession? I can’t wait to hear your thoughts!