Monthly Archives: January 2016

Your Digital Reputation Precedes You


BLOG Happens on Campus

So did you get a chance to read the book penned by Erik Qualman? Did you consider your digital reputation? Did you consider your digital footprints? Unlike footprints in the sand, footprints in social media are not easily washed away.

Okay – so social media is not all bad. We completely agree with it having a useful purpose. Social media connects people. Some may argue that it may not do so in a completely authentic way, but it does connect nonetheless. And we all know how important it is to make connections with others in your field.

In the book What Happens on Campus Stays on Youtube author Erik Qualman shares 36 rules of “digital reputation.” Below we share a few of these rules from our perspective:

A few sweet-smelling petals for us two nutty professors using social media:

1 – Going public can make you stay accountable. This is so true. Last year when we did the low to no sugar, alcohol, caffeine, and salt challenge (SACS Challenge) and we went and told all of you about it via this blog – man oh man, did we stick to the plan knowing you were keeping track of us. Okay – so maybe you weren’t really keeping track or perhaps didn’t even care, but because we went public with the goal, we were motivated to stick to the plan.

2 – Networking before networking. Social media provides a platform to connect with the stars – the stars of our profession. And just a few years ago (plus a few more), this networking opportunity was simply not feasible before social media seduced us. Now, we’ve matured in this social media life and are presenting a break-out session at the ASCD conference in Atlanta, GA on this specific topic. Join us for our session on April 2 from 3 – 4 p.m. entitled Oh the People You’ll Meet if Only You’ll Tweet (shameless plug 🙂 ).


3 – Post it forward. If there is a feel-good tweet or blog that helps bring sunshine to our day, share it. Whether it be a quote, a comment from another educator, or maybe something we’ve posted. PLEASE share! Sunshine always warms the soul!

Along with the beautiful rose comes the thorns… it is true with social media as well. Be aware:

1 – An online presence is not free from consequence just because we are unseen. The virtual world can be confusing as we post from behind the screen. We need to remember and remind our students, family, and friends that the screen is invisible and permanent. Think twice before we post – would we be proud to share our recent posts with our grandmother? Tweet, Snapchat, whatever like our Grandma is watching.

2 – Admit your flaws. We are full of them. Those errors that we hate to fess up to but really need to. Admit your errors. Admit we are NOT perfect. Admit to failures. When we share we are full of flaws, everyone seems to respect us more. Like when we might have failed at any challenges and then turned it around and succeeded.

3 – Freedom of choice has no freedom from consequences. Our online presence can greatly impact our life. We may lose our privacy, BUT we still have the freedom of choosing right from wrong. Always remember that these choices may determine whether we are hired or fired, promoted or demoted, respected or shunned.

Please don’t let the negative get you down, however. Remember to focus on the positive and make connections that count and can be remembered. And as Erik so perfectly penned it, “preserve your most important asset, your reputation!”
Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.


What Happens in Life Stays on Social Media


BLOG Happens on Campus
My Life Stamp

As a youth with little a plan,
My dad oft asked,
“What footprints are you going to leave in the sand?”

It meant little then,
But with time,
This became a motivating line.

If up to me,
What will be,
My ultimate legacy?

Then I realized something you see,
It is up to me,
My ultimate legacy.

Social media, search,
Mobile, and more,
Leave digital footprints on the floor.

Digital shadows,
If you will,
Following all that I fulfill.

My grandchildren and great grandchild,
What will they see and think of me?
What is my digital legacy?

My legacy,
You see,
Is truly up to me.

That’s my view,
But, now I ask,
What will you do?

~ Erik Qualman

Author Erik Qualman recently addressed the NCAA DII delegates in San Antonio, Texas. He shared his work, What Happens on Campus Stays on YouTube, with his listeners – highlighting key pieces for success. The opening lines were from his poem, My Life Stamp where he shares about the importance of a digital footprint. Far too often living in the moment gets captured digitally and then not easily forgotten.

Qualman’s book is clearly relevant for our family, friends, teacher candidates – all of us really.   It is an easy-to-read book with real-life applications with noted Action Items and Learning Moments for the reader to consider. Look for our next post as we want to share a few highlights from Qualman’s book that stood out to us. In the meantime, we encourage you to read the book or at the very least consider your digital footprint.

“We don’t have a choice on whether we do social & mobile,
the choice is how well we do it.”
~ @equalman

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.



Classroom Management Lessons Gleaned from the Movie The Ron Clark Story

Blog Ron Clark Movie

The spring semester is in full swing and my ED 423 Classroom Management Course started yesterday. I began class with a movie…The Ron Clark Story. Yup, I sure did. Right or wrong…it is a great movie to teach lessons about classroom management. If you are an educator and you have never watched it, I highly recommend that you do.

Unfortunately, I am only able to show the students about 70 minutes of the 86 minute movie because my class time is 75 minutes. My teacher candidates are required to finish the rest of the movie on their own time. I stop the movie at the part where Ron unintentionally demonstrates gravity, and my students ALWAYS groan… “NO.” Those teacher candidates do not want it to stop. This is my guarantee that they will finish the movie on their own time. 🙂

As the teacher candidates watch the movie, they are instructed to take notes…take notes on what they see demonstrated as classroom management. NOT just discipline, but ALL classroom management ideas. I also hint at a few pointers that I believe are important and they may not catch while watching the movie.

Research shows that teachers leave the profession within the first three to five years of teaching, and one of the reasons they do leave is the lack of classroom management skills. Please don’t be that teacher.

Below are a few of the hints that I gave as we watched the movie together:

Dress Professionally: Ron Clark is ALWAYS dressed in a suit and tie while in the classroom…always. He may be wearing jeans or sweat pants on the weekend, or wearing his Robin Hood outfit while working his ‘second job’ as a waiter, but he is always dressed professionally while teaching!

Get to Know Your Students’ Names: Ron Clark visits his students and their families prior to the first day he is with his students. He calls his students by name…usually their first name AND their last name. We all love to be called by name, and he does a great job of demonstrating this.

Become Friends with the Cooks: Befriend the cooks and the custodians and the secretary and the nurse. They are key ingredients to school building success. How many times while I was teaching in the public schools, did I see my students thinking that the custodian was the principal. 🙂 These folks RULE the school.

Proximity: By making your teacher presence known can help change behavior. Ron is always walking close to Julio who sits backwards at his desk. Ron gently taps him on his shoulders and this signals Julio to turn around in a non-threatening way. It’s called a MBWA degree…management by walking around.

Use Humor to Defuse Tense Situations: Ron Clark has a great sense of humor in this movie. In one scene, two students are fighting and Ron breaks it up. One of the students gets in Ron’s face and says, “was I talking to you? You gonna hit me?” Ron replies with “no, but you did break rule number 2. You gonna hit me, SIR?” Then Ron tries to convince the student to go back to the classroom. When the student asks why, Ron states “because I would miss your glowing personality.” Humor CAN defuse intense situations. Just know your students and make sure to pay attention to what is appropriate and what isn’t.

Never Give Up On The Kids: You, dear teacher, may be the only hope that the kids have. Do NOT give up on them. Believe in them. Show them that you will not quite on them. Those kids would miss you. Turn it around for the kids. Give extra time for them…even if it is on a Saturday for extra teaching/studying time. Ron doesn’t leave like those students thought he would. He stayed with them to the end. No one wanted them but he did.

Hone Your Acting Skills: Ron Clark uses storytelling to get students’ attention. He uses a little exaggeration to get a point across. He challenges the students to listen by saying he will chug a chocolate milk every 15 seconds if they listen and NO ONE interrupts. He shows his ability to act when he acts as if he is going to puke after drinking that much chocolate milk. The students actually learn something too! 🙂 Ron has a lightbulb moment while correcting papers in his NY apartment. He was wishing the music next door would stop which gave him the idea to write the President’s Rap to help his students memorize the presidents. Ron performed it well and his students loved it.

Get Involved in the Students’ World: As Ron begins to earn the trust of his students, he is allowed into their playground world. The students teach him how to Double Dutch. Play with your students at recess time. Go to your students’ activities…their basketball games, their plays, their piano recitals! If they invite you…SHOW UP (a blog for another time).

Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff: One of Ron’s students is wearing his party hat sideways. We laugh when we see this scene, but in reality…does it matter? Who cares if the kid isn’t following what everyone else is doing. Go ahead, wear your hat sideways. Make a statement. If the behavior does NOT interfere with learning, it’s okay.

This is a partial list of those helpful hints given. There are many other lessons learned from the movie. Please watch it. I’m sure you will find some ideas that you haven’t applied yet to your current teaching. That’s okay. Just watch it. Make those decisions. Form your philosophy. And then go google the REAL Ron Clark and follow him on Twitter. Watch him Whip Nae Nae…in his suit and tie. Fun guy!! 😉 ~Wendy

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.

We Are Called to Honesty with Modesty

Blog Honesty

While watching a Beth Moore Bible Study on the book of James last Sunday, one of the comments she made was “we are called to honesty with modesty.” Not gonna lie, peeps…that one little comment made my mind swirl and twirl and somersault for the rest of the session 7 video.

I tried to wrap my brain around it. Since then, I have wondered many times, what does that mean?? Honesty with modesty? Hmm…so I asked a few friends over the next few days.

“Hey, I watched a bible study video the other day and there was a comment made by the teacher that was really thought provoking for me. She said we are called to honesty with modesty. What do you think that means???”

Shockingly enough…no one gave me a straight answer. So I went on a treasure hunt for definitions of the two main words, and here is what I’ve learned from this pursuit.

According to the on-line Merriam Dictionary, the definitions of honesty and modesty are:

HONESTY: fairness and straightforwardness of conduct; adherence to the facts.

MODESTY: the quality of not being too proud or confident about yourself or your abilities; freedom from conceit or vanity.

After spinning these definitions around in my mind for a while, I’ve landed on these applications of the words for ALL that I do in life; especially any new adventures in educational opportunities that may cross my path:

Be Fair: Be just, have integrity, do what is right, be open-minded, do what is good, be noble. Have high regard for all the members of your team. And remember…fair doesn’t mean equal.

Be Straightforward: Be transparent. Say it like it is. Try hard NOT to camouflage what you really mean. Call a spade a spade. Be direct. As Horton would say while hatching that egg, “I meant what I said and I said what I meant.”

Stick to the Facts: Just the facts ma’am, and gentleman. Be truthful. Stay focused on the issues and concerns at hand without assaulting anyone’s character. No sarcasm allowed. Sarcasm is not kind.

Be Humble: Be meek, never thinking more highly of yourself than others. Be unassuming…be modest.

While chatting with my best friend on the phone last night, I asked her the same question I had asked the other gals…BFF, what do you think it means when the teacher in that video said “we are called to honesty with modesty?” She immediately hit the nail right on the head, and summed it up perfectly in just a few short sentences:

“Be direct without being rude. Be firm AND fair.”

Brilliant! Well said, dear friend, well said! FINALLY…someone gets it.

I believe these simple truths hold a ton of value for all of us…educators, business folks, technology gurus, stay-at-home parents…ALL of us. The entire world would be a much better place if we would put these common-sense truths into practice this very moment. Wouldn’t you agree?

If you would take a moment to share with us in the comments below what YOU believe it means to be called to honesty with modesty we would be grateful.

We look forward to hearing from you. 🙂 ~Wendy

Blog Be Direct

Stay Calm & Lead On!
Profs Dr. C. & Dr. V.