A calling ...

"We are called to be architects of the future, not its victims."

"Make the world work for 100% of humanity in the shortest possible time through spontaneous cooperation without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone."

- Buckminster Fuller

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Pull Your Own Weight - Joe Lunchbucket

After a wonderfully wholesome cabbage and pork dinner with mom and dad, which as usual ended in a bit of an argument, which often happens between strong-willed, highly opinionated, creative individuals, after scarfing down the remainder of a bag of kettle chips followed by an ice cream sandwich chaser, then falling asleep on the couch for a few hours after unsatisfactorily not finding "Moneyball" on Netflix, before walking down the hallway towards my bed, so that I could use my Darth Vader apnea mask, at 3am, I glanced at the Rick Osborne's Pull Your Own Weight Organization video again and browsed the site for a few minutes. I wholeheartedly agree with Rick's simple method of building "intrinsic motivation." Love the concept! Two hours later, I am putting the finishing touches on a blog post in typically ADD fashion.

While the essence of Rick's message is brilliant, however, I am still not sure, specifically, about how I would implement a "pull up" at the door routine for a "traditional" classroom (for 6th graders) within a governmental agency, as an employee of the local school board. The videos and pictures I saw showed children doing their pull up in a gym with proper safety equipment or outside with equipment that "meets code," and properly trained staff. The devil is in the details. As Rick Smith wrote in Conscious Classroom Management, "Procedures, procedures, procedures"
I think an administrator might have a valid concern about liability and would probably shut me down if I simply installed a temporary over-the-door jamb pull up bar. I would be asked, certainly, "what if somebody had a heart attack, broke their wrist, got teased for being fat, patted a girl on the but, etc.? Whenever I install any component into my "clasroom management system," my procedures must be iron-clad. Otherwise I risk getting fired, getting sued, and losing my house. that is simply the rules of the waters within which I swim.
I've been warned by Dr. P about going the "easier to beg for forgiveness than ask for permission" route, which is exactly how I would have gone about it in 2008 when I was just getting started and viewed myself as a bit of a renegade. That renegade mentality, to which I am naturally inclined, I think, has held me back with every administrator for whom I have ever worked, with the exception of Dr. P, who has been extremely explicit about what not to do, which has kept me out of trouble with him. I think Dr. P is probably a "closet" renegade himself, which is probably what he likes about me.
That said, the summer is a great time to perform "research and development." and I will float the idea by Ms. England, my 6th grade administrator, who would love the idea and may have ideas on how I might borrow from Rick's concept (implement the core idea of building intrinsic motivation through a daily kinesthetic classroom, team building, life affirming daily routine. I might bring in Joe's pull up bar, since he is not using it, and sneak, do a pull up myself (lead by example) while entering my room at lunch or after school and sneakily allow anybody who might want to do it do it, provided I know it can be done safely without jeopardizing my job or attracting too much attention. Anyway, your question, why not try it, has gotten me thinking in another direction, sparking my creative imagination, which I definitely appreciate.

A life affirming, teambuilding classroom kinesthetic activity that I know I can safely get away with, and plan to implement, is calledBrain Gym (click the link). I would be open to talking with Mr. Osborne -- Joe Lunchbucket -- about his classroom management ideas sometime after I get a little traction going, possibly two to three weeks from now.

After Googling Joe Lunchbucket, I am left to wonder, exactly who is Joe Lunchbucket? I am reminded of a similar question, "Who is John Galt?"

One reference I found was to a reference to a Joe Lunchbucket cartoon character who ran for President, but I was unable to positively confirm the identity of this person or pinpoint a Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn Account. Naturally, I am a little skeptical.

Nothing in the classroom is ever "easy." The idea that incorporating a "simple" routine in a classroom "would be easy" is a misconception shared by most people when they offer suggestions about what to do in a classroom to do it better. Procedures, procedures, procedures.

On that note, I will send this post and put on my Darth Vader Mask. 5:24 am.