Measure twice, cut twenty times.

Update Oct 26-30

Home improvement projects have the potential to bring out the very best or very worst in people, me included.

We are redoing the treads on our stairs leading to the second floor.  A “tread” is the actual step you walk on as you go up or down the stairs.

My father-in-law and I worked together to prep the old steps for the new retro treads that will be going over top of it.  

Actually I just assisted my father-in-law because I evaluated my own skill set and knew from many other experiences that I didn’t have the skills required to go solo.

I won’t go into details about the project, but I will say that it involves a lot of measuring, sawing, sanding, power tools and more sawing.

Steps before we add the new treads.

One thing I appreciate about working on project with pops-in-law is that he is patient when it comes to measuring — He measures everything many times before making a cut.  

Again, this is where he shines and I typically falter because I measure once and then justify it with “No one will notice except me — and probably my wife. But I can live with that.”

We finally got to the end of one part of the project – Turning a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood into 15 individual 6″ risers (That’s the front of the step).  

We were working hard on figuring out the math because we were down to the cutting the last two.  Many calculations and conversions of decimals to fractions later and we did it!  Mission accomplished!

As Larry (father-in-law) went to check the last cut against the actual place we were going to be placing it, he realized something.  

Something horribly wrong.

We had done everything wrong.

Every single riser was cut 1/2″ wider than we needed them to be.

It’s too complicated to explain how this happened, just know that neither one of us intended on spending 5 hours doing something wrong.

So this is where “pressing pause” and slowing down to think of solutions instead of the problem came into play.

We teachers are faced with dealing with the unexpected every single day.  I secretly laugh at myself but mostly at others when we are surprised that things don’t go the way we planned them to go. 

We really ought to know after, let’s say, I don’t know, our second or third day of teaching that unplanned events will probably happen every single day of teaching.

Instead of being surprised, we should expect the unexpected and plan for how we will respond to help keep things moving forward when the unexpected happens.

“Pressing pause” and planning for the events we don’t expect to happen, but usually do if we are working in schools, are just two concepts I’ve had the great fortune to reflect upon because of a leadership training I was able to attend.

The training was provided by Tim Kight’s Focus 3 organization who explained how the “R-Factor” can help all of us navigate life and work in ways that produce great results.  

Our lives are filled with events, some expected and many that are unexpected.  How we choose to respond to these events will generate certain outcomes.  If we want a certain outcome, then we are going to have to respond in a certain way.

I am looking forward to sharing this with you all soon — I believe it is an approach that will help you get the results you desire in your life and at school.

Back to the project — Larry and I both pressed pause and brainstormed some ways we might be able to fix our mistake.

My daughter asked me earlier this evening if I was mad about what happened.  I said, “Nope!”.

When she asked why not, I said, “Because I know we can fix it.”

Have a GREAT week!


Articles Worth Reading —

Your Brain Is Primed To Reach False Conclusions

Lady Gaga and the Life of Passion

Math and Inquiry: The Importance of Letting Students Stumble

Can You KenKen?

More on Text Levels: Confronting the Issues | Lesley University Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative

Video Worth Watching —

Favorite line — “Quotations: The karaoke of ideas.”  Being misquoted stinks.  Take away — When you think you “heard” what someone else said, try to go straight to the source and get clarification. 

Upcoming Dates

**Make sure you are checking out the Progress Report timeline information that is on TAC.  See Joanne if you have questions. Start planning now!

10/26– 6:00 p.m. STATE OF THE SCHOOLS ADDRESS at Bradley HS
10/29 — CRAZY HAT DAY!

11/2–7:00 p.m. PTO meeting
11/3–Election Day–District Staff report ONLY–NO SCHOOL for students.
11/4 — Staff Meeting, 8am in the Media Center, KG Data Team Meeting, AM 1/2-day
11/5 — Steering Committee Meeting, PM
11/6 — School Board Building Tour. AM before school
11/10 — 1st Grade Data Team meeting  — All day
11/11 — Veteran’s Day — 2nd Grade Data Team Meeting — All day; 3:30 — IAT Team Meeting
11/12 — 3rd Grade Data Team Meeting — All day; 3:45 — Donna Farland-Smith PD: “Making Math Personalized”, DCR Media Center
11/17 — Team Connection Time w/ Herb — Let me know if you are interested!  I will be available.
11/18 — 4th Grade Data Team — All Day; 3:40 – Steering Committee Meeting, ADE Media Center
11/19 — 5th Grade Data Team Meeting, All Day

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