(Author’s note – I changed the names of the student in this true story.)
Way back, a long time ago, when I was a teacher, I had a student named Beth. One day in class, during a discussion about Pre-Columbian America, Beth shared that she was of Native American decent. That prompted me to bestow a nickname on her. (I gave happy nicknames to lots of kids.) From that day forward Beth was “A Shining Light in the Sky.” Beth loved the nickname. She came to class every day with a warm smile.
Beth was one of those kids who was easy to like as a teacher: She was happy, enthusiastic, a hard worker, and team player. A model student, Beth was the type of kid who makes teaching a joy.
Continue reading “A Shining Light”
Often times we say, “I can’t do that” or “I’m not good at that.” (I am as guilty of this as anyone. There’s a lot I sometimes believe I can’t do.)
When we say the words, “I can’t,” we are limiting ourselves. As a result, I believe that some of the most damaging words in our language are “I can’t.”
When we say we can’t, we make our own lives poorer – not richer. When we say we can’t, we eliminate the possibilities and the learning that comes with and from new experiences. When we say we can’t, our world becomes smaller, our interests become fewer, and we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to learn more about ourselves.
Continue reading “Limits”
(The following is a modified (slightly shortened and less school specific) version of the message I sent to my teaching staff as we begin to prepare for the opening of the 2017-18 school year in a few weeks. The message applies to all individuals in all walks of life and all professions.)
When I was a child growing up in the late 1970’s, the Houston Astros had very cool uniforms.
I was a Yankees fan (that is deep-seated in my blood), but there were times when I wished the Yankees could at least be a little more colorful. I, of course, love the Yankees’ midnight blue pinstripes and the interlocking NY, but for a kid, that Astros rainbow uniform was a lot more eye-catching!
The Astros also were also a pretty unique team. They played in the only domed stadium (The Astrodome), they played on fake grass (Astroturf), they had exciting players like Nolan Ryan, J.R. Richard, and Cesar Cedeno (pictured above). The Astros were even featured in one of the Bad News Bears movies!
None of that influenced me enough to be an Astros fan, but it is undeniable that there was a certain appeal to rooting for the Houston Astros.
Continue reading “The Houston Astros and You!”
My book of motivational, inspirational, and (sometimes) funny essays is now available on Amazon and other book retailers.
If you enjoy my blog writing, you will certainly enjoy this book.
The feedback has been tremendously positive.
Please take a look!
Impossible is an Illusion by Dr. Paul Semendinger
I came across a passage that suggested that we should always “maintain a sense of wonder” in our lives. I love the idea of seeking wonder, or magic, in the mundane.
Life isn’t always about the things we have to do, and even when it is, that doesn’t preclude us from seeking the good and something special in every situation. This is important to recognize and acknowledge because there can be good everywhere and at any time. It’s simply about maintaining that sense of wonder.
Continue reading “A Sense of Wonder”
(This passage comes from my upcoming book of essays, “Impossible is an Illusion” which will be published by Ravenswood Publishers in May 2017.)
There is a Latin phrase that reads, “Crede quod habes, et habes.”
This can be translated as, “Believe that you have it, and you have it.”
Continue reading “A Little Lesson in Latin”
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.”
The quote above is absolutely true. 100%. Great teachers leave a lasting impact on the students they teach. That positive impact can last forever.
Continue reading “This is Why We Teach”
This is NFL Playoff Weekend. There are two big games coming up on Sunday. The winners of each of the games will go to the Super Bowl in two weeks. I am a casual football fan, but I am excited about the playoff games this weekend. They promise to be exciting…
(If you click on the highlighted words before each section, you’ll have even more fun with this blog post.)
Continue reading “NFL Playoffs – Being Great”
January 21 will be here soon. It’s a big day for some people. Many famous people were born on January 21.
Charles V, King of France, born on January 21, in 1338
Ethan Allen, a famous American general, in 1738
John C. Fremont, “The Pathfinder,” in 1813
Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson, the Confederate General, in 1824
Christian Dior, fashion designer, in 1905 Continue reading “Birthdays”
The first published collection of my motivational writings is titled “Impossible is an Illusion.” This work contains more than 40 of my best essays and has been published by Ravenswood Publishing. This book is now available!
Link to Purchase – Impossible is an Illusion
The title for the book comes from the following essay which is featured in the text. Enjoy this FREE preview of Impossible is an Illusion!
Impossible is an Illusion
I’m an optimist. I always believe that good will prevail. I look to the bright side. The glass is half full – even when it is half-empty. I believe in miracles. Hope springs eternal.
I believe I can do anything. I believe we all can.
Continue reading “Impossible is an Illusion”