Monday, September 10, 2012

Back To School!

Back to School! Well, Children are back in school again! Isn’t it amazing how FAST life passes? Where does the time go?! We are back to schedules & early mornings & homework & sports. Life moves quickly. Enjoy your babies. Be present as your children grow. Watch every morning sky & know that you have been given another fresh, clean day that many haven’t been given. Life brings new friends & fresh starts & so many things to learn. My mother taught me as a child that there are very few BIG moments in life...that most of living is every day...ORDINARY moments...big lessons to learn...some ordained days but a lot of ORDINARY mixed in as well. I hope & pray that we can all learn to be content in the ordinariness of life, & truly celebrate when the beautiful surprises pop up...that we can make the most of our ordinary days by what we put in them... I also learned from my mother (who is the happiest person I know!) that we each CHOOSE whether to be happy or unhappy. Positive or negative...content or discontent...that it is all decided in our minds...that we can be happy anywhere if we choose to be. Kiss the face of a child...fix your favorite sandwich or dessert...Pull out a funny memory so you can at least smile while you cry! Today I celebrate ordinary days. We have many extraordinary days at Denton Creek, but not all days can be special...some days are by nature more ORDINARY...but each day I am reminded that the KIND of day I choose to have is largely up to ME! I hope we will create enduring memories for our learners this year...that we will help them grow & thrive in ways not even defined yet! That we can turn more of their days from ORDINARY to EXTRAORDINARY. I'm out to build bridges this year with our students...with families...with each person I meet. I hope you'll build bridges with me - even on ordinary days! -Mr. Mac

Monday, March 19, 2012


As many of you probably know, I am fascinated & haunted by words!

Not in the frightening sense, or even in that writing scares me. It bewilders, frustrates and confounds me at times, but the act of writing doesn’t frighten me.

But I am brought up short by words I’ve written, said or have not written or said and should have. There are some in particular I wish I could take back or certainly take another run at.

I’ve spent a lot of years writing articles, stories, even a book - just about every medium trying to come up with just the right word, the best turn of a phrase to convey my exact meaning. Sometimes the words flow as they should and it’s extremely gratifying. Other times, the words lay there, inert, awkward, not quite right and not at all what I envisioned.

See, that’s the thing about writing. Ideas are easy. It’s having a great idea and not screwing it up on the way to the page that’s the tricky part.

It’s kind of the same with life. I’ve written notes or letters to people and have caused hurt. Almost always unintentionally. Sometimes the hurt is inevitable because of the circumstances or the need to call out behavior that is harmful. But there are times when the words come out in a stream of emotion and what I thought I conveyed was instead interpreted as something else. And feelings were hurt. Distances created. Friendships tarnished.

It hasn’t happened often and only a handful of times over my life. But words are powerful and they can be heat-seeking missiles and once we fire them, it can be very difficult to undo the damage they have on impact; no matter how hard we try to clean up the mess.

This isn’t meant as a confessional. More like reflection and a renewed effort to handle words with greater care.

So, I am grateful that words fascinate & haunt me. By the power they carry to move, transport and change.

I also love words for the very same reason. They can be carrier pigeons taking possibilities in flight that can bring truth, healing and make the soul soar. Words like, friendship, joy, healing, hope and love.

May our words find the light that brings out the best of what they were meant to be!

-Mr. Mac

Monday, January 9, 2012


Happy New Year!

It's hard to believe we're already into 2012! I found these tips from Jon Gordon that I'd like to share with you as we begin a new year. There are some really good ones!

20 Tips for a Positive New Year

1. Stay Positive. You can listen to the cynics and doubters and believe that success is impossible or you can trust that with faith and an optimistic attitude all things are possible.
2. Take a morning walk of gratitude. I call it a "Thank You Walk." It will create a fertile mind ready for success.
3. Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out charge card.
4. Zoom Focus. Each day when you wake up in the morning ask: "What are the three most important things I need to do today that will help me create the success I desire?" Then tune out all the distractions and focus on these actions.
5. Instead of being disappointed about where you are, think optimistically about where you are going.
6. Remember that adversity is not a dead-end but a detour to a better outcome.
7. Don't chase success. Instead decide to make a difference and success will find you.
8. Get more sleep. You can't replace sleep with a double latte.
9. Don't waste your precious energy on gossip, energy vampires, issues of the past, negative thoughts or things you cannot control. Instead invest your energy in the positive present moment.
10. Mentor someone and be mentored by someone.
11. Live with the 3 E's. Energy, Enthusiasm, Empathy.
12. Remember there's no substitute for hard work.
13. Believe that everything happens for a reason and expect good things to come out of challenging experiences.
14. Implement the No Complaining Rule. Remember that complaining is like vomiting. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick.
15. Read more books than you did in 2011. I happen to know of a few good ones. :)
16. Don't seek happiness. Instead decide to live with passion and purpose and happiness will find you.
17. Focus on "Get to" vs "Have to." Each day focus on what you get to do, not what you have to do. Life is a gift not an obligation.
18. Each night before you go to bed complete the following statements:
I am thankful for __________.
Today I accomplished____________.
19. Smile and laugh more. They are natural anti-depressants.
20. Enjoy the ride. You only have one ride through life so make the most of it and enjoy it.

-Jon Gordon (used with permission)

My thanks to Jon Gordon for sharing these & my wish for you is that 2012 will bring you peace & prosperity!

Mr. Mac

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Denton Creek is TWEETING!

BIG NEWS AT DENTON CREEK THIS WEEK: We opened a Twitter account for our school & plan to use it as another communications tool to inform our parents of upcoming school events & to recognize & highlight the great things we see happening on campus.

I had been thinking about going this route for a couple of weeks & last week I attended a principals' conference where Alan November (see was a keynote speaker. In his presentation to principals November talked about the purpose of Twitter & the many different ways schools could use it. He explained that Twitter allows one to follow the greatest minds and his enthusiasm for it finally persuaded me. It all seemed overwhelming to me & somewhat silly to be honest, but now I think I finally GET IT!!!

My biggest reservation was the time factor. I barely have time now for Facebook - how am I going to squeeze one more minute in for anything else? I've wondered! And...what if it's addicting because of all the amazing people & tweets one wants to follow? We're all so busy as it is...

I don't care when someone went to the grocery store or what they had for breakfast & this is the part that has caused me to take a while to come to terms with signing up for Twitter.

So, all that to say that although it's taken me a while, I am finally on board & look forward to growing with this exciting tool that is common for so many of us these days.

I am excited about it & hope my enthusiasm doesn't wear off anytime soon.
I've already tweeted about Spring Creek Night & our upcoming Movie & Pizza night as well as the incredible things we're doing with technology on our campus.

I learned what a hashtag is...AND...I think I like being confined to only 140 characters! That way I won't get too verbose! Now, if I could only get some followers!!! :)

-Mr. Mac

Monday, October 17, 2011


Kids Love It When You...

* Look them in the eyes
* Listen to them
* Acknowledge their value
* Give them a surprise
* Take them on a scavenger hunt
* Play with them
* Let them choose the restaurant
* Invite them to a movie
* Laugh at their silly jokes
* Let them stay up late
* Talk in a funny voice
* Make fun of yourself
* Tease them
* Build them up
* Give them responsibility
* Hold them as able
* Believe in them
* Create challenges for them
* Dish out meaningful praise
* Encourage
* Practice what you preach
* Treat their mother well
* Pay attention to their friends
* Know their interests
* Do something that's unexpected
* Are spontaneous
* Show them your creative side
* Invest in their future
* Ask for their input
* Let them order what they want from the menu
* Set high standards
* Set a good example
* Make them do their chores
* Stand up for injustice
* Ride a rollercoaster with them
* Invite their friends to a movie
* Let them have a sleepover
* Attend their games
* Take them out for ice-cream
* Know what's going on with their schooling
* Get their sense of humor
* Don't nag
* Are fully present & engaged for their activities
* Are quick to forgive a mistake
* Let them lean on your shoulder
* Ask them questions that challenge their thinking
* Hear their insights
* Appreciate their diverse opinion opinions - even when they don't agree with yours
* Love them unconditionally
* Admit when you are wrong
* Empathize with what they are experiencing
* Show relevance to their world
* Apologize easily
* Keep standing in times of trouble
* Are there for them - no matter what!
* Remember their birthdays
* Teach them how to play a new sport
* Spend QUALITY time together
* Recognize the effort they put forth
* Reward their accomplishments
* Embark on an adventure together
* Let them sit in the front seat
* Know what their favorite color is
* Order their favorite food
* Ignite their passions
* Never blame them
* Question them in a way that shows you're genuinely interested in what they have to say
* Understand what they are going through
* Value them immensely
* Walk the walk
* Be a good Example
* Forget a transgression - show forgiveness
* Jam with their music
* Show them you yearn for new things too
* Make memories with them that means more than spending your money
* Do what you said you would do...Follow through
* Keep a promise
* Show them by example rather than by your words
* Tell the truth
* Try something new
* Act zany
* Appreciate their individuality
* Don't compare them to siblings
* Don't play favorites
* Make them feel like they are the most special person in the world
* Help an animal
* Show acts of kindness and compassion
* Do Random acts of kindness
* Clear your calendar for them
* Use good language
* Live your integrity
* Praise rather than criticize
* Demonstrate the ability to look at another perspective fairly
* Model good manners
* Listen without judgment
* Are actively involved in what matters to them
* Treat elders with respect
* Finish what you start
* Help them become mroe than they thought they could be!
* Develop their potential
* Believe in their dreams

-Mr. Mac

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thoughts on 9/11

It is hard to believe that the events of 9/11 transpired ten years ago. I think we were all shaken, outraged, & numbed by the events of September 11th. I'll never forget where I was when I heard the news: I was in a principal's meeting in HEB, & I'll always remember the look of horror, shock, & disbelief on the faces of the other principals in my group as we learned what had happened.

Our world has never been the same since. Our thoughts were with all of the victims who perished in planes, buildings, & on the ground & all of their families who struggled to come to terms with what happened after such a devastating senseless assault. I remember thinking that certainly many of our international friends cope with terrorism every day of their lives as just another part of their reality. With it striking so close to home, perhaps America will better understand what our friends live through daily. Perhaps this tragic event will galvanize the global community & provide the motiviation for swift & decisive cooperative effort to restore some sense of humanity & provide the motivation for swift & decisive cooperative effort to restore some sense of humanity to the structure of our ever increasingly desensitized world.

Our hearts & prayers went out to the families missing a parent, girlfriends who lost fiances, & parents missing a child who had just started a promising career. The countless stories were heartbreaking. I couldn't understand such atrocities & wondered what it must be like from a child's perspective.

In the days following the attack we had business as usual at school. The children were fine - excited, curious, only a bit frightened & only at times - from what I could tell. I think it was the adults on campus who were most fragile. It was the adults who better understood than the 10 year olds the staggering implications of what we were witnessing.

Our teachers continued in their profession & made their country proud. Learning continued, & the teachers did a wonderful job of balancing normalcy with the recognition that the world had changed & that children needed to process & learn emotions along with mathematics. We were a different place than we were, & yet we were the same as ever as well. There was a resiliency from the American people I had never witnessed before.

Our kids are too young, too precious, to be thoroughly soiled with terror. The mind of a child is an incredible, resilient thing. It will file the lessons of this page in history where they will mold a different better adult than they would become without this calamity. The heart & soul of a child is precious, & we can only hope & pray that something good will come out of that unspeakable tragedy.

Many of the kids we teach today weren't even born when those events unfolded. But it is important that they learn about that part of our history. May our country never have to endure this kind of terror again!

-Mr. Mac

Monday, August 29, 2011


Welcome back to school Trailblazers! We hope you enjoyed a wonderful summer & have gotten off to a great school year. One of my goals is to blog more frequently this year as I almost never run out of things to say! I look forward to highlighting the many achievements that our students & staff will accomplish this year.

My sweet grandmother gave me this "Letter of Introduction" written by a dad whose boy who goes off to school for the first time. I hope you enjoy it.


My young son starts to school's all going to be strange & new to him for a while, & I wish you would sort of treat him gently.

You see, up to now, he's been king of the roost...he's been boss of the backyard. His Mother has always been around to repair his wounds, & I've always been handy to soothe his feelings.

But now things are going to be different.

This morning he's going to walk down the front steps, wave his hand, and start out on the great adventure...It's an adventure that might take him across continents...It's an adventure that will probably include wars & tragedy & sorrow.

To live his life in the world he has to live in will require faith & love & courage.

So, World, I wish you would sort of take him by his hand & teach him the things he will have to know.

Teach him - but gently, if you can.

He will have to learn, I know, that all men are not just; that all men are not true.

But teach him also that for every scoundrel there is a hero...that for every enemy, there is a friend.

It will take time, World, I know, but teach him if you can, that a nickel earned is far more valuable than a dollar found...Teach him to learn to lose...and enjoy winning.

Steer him away from envy, if you can, and teach him the secret of quiet laughter.

Let him learn early that the bullies are the easiest people to lick. Teach him, if you can, the wonder of books...but also give him quiet time to ponder the eternal mystery of birds in the sky, bees in the sun, & flowers on a green hill.

In school, World, teach him it is far more honorable to fail than to cheat...Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong...Teach him to be gentle with gentle people and tough with tough people.

Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone else is getting on the band wagon...Teach him to listen to all men - but, teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth & take only the good that comes through.

Teach him, if you can, how to laugh when he is sad...Teach him there is no shame in tears...Teach him there can be glory in failure and despair in success.

Teach him to scoff at cynics & to beware of too much sweetness...Teach him to sell his brawn & brains to the highest bidders but never to put a price tag on his heart & soul.

Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob...& to stand & fight if he thinks he's right.

Teach him always to have sublime faith in himself.

Because then he will always have sublime faith in mankind.

Treat him gently, World, but don't coddle him because only the test of fire makes him steel...Let him have the courage to be patient...Let him have the patience to be brave.

This is a big order, World, but see what you can do...He's such a nice little son!

Thanks for letting me share that with you!

-Mr. Mac