21 Things You Don’t Want To Lose

Posted in Funny

21 Things You Dont Want To Lose dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educator


Posted in Funny, Motivational, Relationships

Cooties dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educator1The other day I had two 3rd graders come up to my desk as I was working on the next lesson for the day. They immediately pointed fingers at each other and started blaming one another for starting it. I looked at both of them and said, “I know what is going on here. You LIKE each other!”  LOL.  “Ewwwwwwww. Noooooooooooo” came the cry from both of them. They looked at each other, shrugged, and went back to their desks.

The teacher that was working with me laughed and said, “There is a lot of truth to that.” That is when I realized that Cooties are really a GOOD thing. We were always led to believe that if someone had Cooties, we were to avoid them like the plague. The truth is, we ALL have Cooties. Too bad it takes hormones to kick in for us to realize that what I am saying is true.

I watched a couple of 6th grade kids in the lunchroom. They were giggling as I walked up and she whispered to me, “We are holding hands under the table.”  It was sweet and reminded me of that age and Darlene Willis, my first crush. Darlene had this long red hair and she had this magical way of making my stomach flip…in a good way. We held hands in church (under the hymnal…of course). I sweat bullets getting the courage up to do THAT.

Once the Cooties truly start to grow, those things in the opposite sex that made us mad now make us crazy.  LOL. A guy can be standing outside, looking off into the distance (probably wondering what his Mom is making for dinner tonight), and he runs his hands through his hair. The girls nearby swoon and giggle at how “dreamy” he is.

Or, take the girl who is walking down the hallway past a person of interest. She stops for a moment, casts a sideways glance and grins just slightly as if to say “Hi.” This, of course, hits him like a thunderbolt. He is like the deer in the headlights and he does not know how to respond except to give a nervous wave and a slight smile in return.

And so the dance begins. The attraction was there all along, we just did not know it was Cooties. Next time you have two young kids arguing and blaming one another, try pointing out to them that they really LIKE one another. It immediately stops the argument and gives all of you a great laugh. Cooties….who knew?


Dan Skognes

Funny Things Kids Have Said To Me

Posted in Funny

Superman dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educator1

As you probably know, I go by Superman at school, so many of the remarks made to me have to do with my claim to be a Super Hero.

  • “Isn’t Superman supposed to be young?” To that I replied, “Hey…I am 111 years old. What do you expect? But I look good, right???”  Once kid replied to me, “I didn’t think you were over 80!”  Thanks a lot, Buddy. LOL.
  • “Isn’t Superman supposed to have Abs?” I just looked at him sideways and said, “What are you trying to tell me???”  I puff out my chest…but it does not help much. LOL.
  • “Isn’t Superman supposed to have hair?” To that I show them the hair on the back of my head.  “See…I have hair!!!” LOL.
  • “If you are Superman, FLY!!!!” To that I reply, “I NEVER fly without my cape.” Then they ask, “Where is your cape???” I tell them, “It is at home being washed by my wife….Wonder Woman.”  Then I give them the double thumbs up. LOL.
  • “If you are Superman, use your laser eyes!!!” To that I reply, “I did use my laser eyes recently. I was looking in the mirror and look what it did to my head!!!”  LOL.
  • “Show us some super powers!!!” I show them two things. One is I thump my cheek and make this sound like water dripping. They are amazed that I can make this sound for some reason.  LOL. Then the other thing I do is twist my arm around to where it is turned completely around. Not sure why I can do this.  It is a gift.  LOL.
  • One kid came up to me when I was sitting at the teacher’s desk reading over some of the assignments. He poked my belly with his finger and asked, “Are you pregnant?”  LOL. As my mind was swimming on how to respond properly to this child, one of his classmates came to my rescue when he exclaimed, “Boys don’t have babies, GIRLS do!” Whew!  I dodged a bullet with that one.  LOL. That comment gave me incentive to go on a diet and I lost 25 lbs.
  • I play music for the kids regularly and one kid asked, “How do you know about OUR music.”  I just looked over my glasses at him and said, “Do you know who I am???” Then I revealed my Superman T shirt….LOL. The funny thing is, I really do know their music better than they do. It freaks them out when I can sing the lyrics to some of their songs.

One thing I know for sure about kids, you NEVER know what they are going to say.


Dan Skognes

Girls Rule

Posted in Funny, Motivational, Relationships

Girls Rule dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educator1When I am talking to little kids, sometimes I will say things to shock them. It is hilarious!  I ask them, “Are you married?”  LOL. Or, I ask them, “Is this your boyfriend?”  They squirm and shout, “NOOOOOOO! Ewwwwwww!!!”  LOL.

The little kids haven’t quite figured it out yet. Girls rule. There was a great quote from My Big Fat Greek Wedding that went something like this: “The man is the head, but the woman is the neck, and she can turn the head any way she wants.”  There is so much truth to that.

Another favorite line of mine was from Jesse Jackson.  He was being interviewed and asked about his marriage of 25 years to the same woman and what he attributed his successful marriage to. He said, “In my marriage, I make ALL the important decisions. However, let me add that in 25 years we have yet to have an important decision to make.”  LOL.

Funny how girls go from having cooties to making guys go crazy over them in the matter of just a few years. I was telling a young boy this the other day. I told him, “You want her to treat you like a king?” He said, “Yes!”  I said, “Then treat her like a queen.” This is the problem with so many relationships. The boys / men have not recognized the queen.

I intervened in an argument that a little boy and girl were having at lunch in the cafeteria. The little girl complained how rude the boy had been to her. I looked at him and said, “You had better treat her right. When you mess with her, you mess with me.”  She smiled and gave me a high five.  LOL.

Let me just say that my wife is the queen. I admit it. She rules my heart. I love her and serve her gladly. I am fortunate to have her in my life and I recognize the gift that she is to me. She is like a delicate flower….beautiful, unique…and with a funny way of talking (she IS from Arkansas…LOL). The day I met her, she had me at hello…..to borrow another famous movie line. She batted those big brown eyes at me and I melted.

So, if you are a guy….wise up and serve the queen. It sure makes life more exciting when you rule together….loving each other, serving one another, and facing the issues of life together. There is a proverb that says a house divided cannot stand. Let the queen know you will be there to serve her and you will have her attention. Stand up to defend her and provide for her and you will have her heart.


Dan Skognes

Warning Signs

Posted in Business, Funny, Motivational, Relationships

Warning danskognes motivation blogger speakerA little boy was in the checkout line at Walmart with his Mom. Right ahead of them was a woman waiting to pay her bill. All of a sudden her phone began to beep. The little boy got a panicked look on his face and blurted out, “Look out Mom, she’s backing up!”  LOL. Paints quite a visual….doesn’t it?

There are all types of signs that warn us to stop, yield, slow down, etc. Some of them are literal signs…and some of them are not so obvious. I have been doing intervention work with elementary school kids who are behind academically. We are trained to observe and document behavior that is abnormal. These kids have been diagnosed with learning disabilities already. They are the ones who are getting immediate help.

The kids I am really concerned about are the ones who have not been diagnosed yet and you can hear their silent screams a mile away. You can see the anger, the sadness, and lack of hope in their eyes. Those are the ones that as an educator and a parent I try to help in spite of the system.

Dr. Phil says, “When someone shows you who they are…believe it.” That is great advice in relationships. Pay attention to the warning signs. There are severe and sometimes life-long consequences for ignoring the signs. With children, kids have to learn early how to control their emotions. Some of this will come with peer pressure, but the majority of it comes from the parents and educators who set the standards. The sad part of this is that too many kids have no standards set at home…or they are so low they don’t matter.

Our role as educators is to recognize the warning signs and do what we can to help get them and keep them on the right path. It is a continual battle, it seems, but one that has great reward when you see the child that was isolated become fully functioning. My hope and prayer is that we as educators and parents not just recognize the warning signs, but that we do everything humanly possible to help kids learn to control their own behavior, actively engage in the learning process, and never lose hope.  We can’t expect them to do this on their own…and the schools certainly can’t do it without some support from the parents. Please pay attention and accept responsibility for the signs.


Dan Skognes

Follow Me

Posted in Funny, Motivational, Spiritual

Follow Me dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorSpringtime is the season for terrible storms in Texas. It is a roofer’s dream and a homeowner’s nightmare. We recently had a severe thunderstorm watch and they were predicting SOFTBALL size hail!

Our garage only has room for one car…so we had to do something to prepare for the coming storm. We decided to take my wife’s van to the local hospital and park it in their garage. Apparently half of Grapevine does the same thing as it was already getting crowded when we got there.

We were getting ready to leave and my wife said, “I’ll just follow you.” We start down the road towards the hospital and I look and see that my wife is not in the turn lane…she is going straight through the light!  She did not have a cell phone and I had no way of contacting her to see what she was doing.

I got to the hospital and there she was…coming from a different direction. After we got her parked in the garage, I asked her why she didn’t follow me and she said, “I did not like the direction you were going.”  LOL. It all worked out, but it could have been a real pickle to deal with. I told her, “If you tell me you are going to follow me…then follow me.” She said, “Well, I won’t tell you that again.”  LOL. Um-hmmm.

When we went back to pick up her car the next day, I dropped her off and she asked me, “How do I get out of here?”  I told her, “You are on your own!”  LOL. Of course, I got a good laugh as I was driving DOWN the ramp to get out and I see her driving UP the ramp! I pointed to go MY direction and I waited for her to catch up.

All kidding aside, don’t we do this with God? Don’t we say, “I’ll follow You,” and then we do our own thing because we don’t like the direction He is taking us? We need to follow God. He never makes mistakes. He always knows what to do and where to go. If you are not going to follow Him, don’t tell Him you are going to. He does not take vows lightly. Trust Him. Follow Him…and you will get to the destination you need to be.

P.S. The terrible hail that was predicted never came. God spared us.


Dan Skognes

10 Things That Make You Go Huh?

Posted in Funny, Motivational

10 Things That Make You Go Huh dan skognes motivation blogger speaker trainer coach teacher educator

  • A young man I knew was having an argument with his Dad and he stormed out of the house declaring, “Nobody is going to tell ME what to do! I’m joining the ARMY!”
  • Johnny’s dad had rather salty language. When he let a bad word slip, he would say, “Pardon my French.” You can imagine the look on the face of the foreign language teacher when he asked the class if anyone spoke French and Johnny raised his hand.
  • Bruce Jenner was named Woman of the Year?
  • Hillary???
  • When I was teaching a class of 4th graders and told them I was Superman, one of the boys in the back of the class yelled out, “Superman does NOT have a double chin!” I shouted back, “That is not a double chin…that is a TRIPLE chin!!!” (And I am on a diet…OK?)
  • Hillary??? (Did I say that already?)
  • In public schools you can talk about Buddhism, Hinduism, and the Day of the Dead celebration, but you can’t talk about Jesus??? Isn’t that what Christmas is really about?
  • Televangelists that have jets.  Jesus rode a donkey….just sayin.
  • The Dallas Cowboys can’t seem to have a consistent winning season. There is always next year, right?
  • A Powerball winner that won over $300 million and was $1.5 million in debt in 4 years!!! Whether we win $500 million or $1 million, about 70 percent of us lose or spend all our money in five years or less.


Dan Skognes

10 Commandments Of Elementary Education

Posted in Funny, Motivational

10 Commandments of Elementary Education danskognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educatorAs I have taught in a variety of schools, it has become evident that there are certain rules which are common to each campus.  I thought it would be not just beneficial but necessary to expound upon them:

  1. Thou shall expect the unexpected. I was teaching a first grade class and a little boy came up to my desk, looked me over head to toe, then poked me in the belly and asked, “Are you pregnant?”  My head was spinning on how to answer him when another boy came to my rescue and declared to him and the class, “Boys don’t have babies!” Note to self: I either need to lose some weight or sit up straighter. Maybe both! Be ready for kids to say the craziest things. They have no filters.
  2. Thou shall learn the children’s names as soon as possible. Everyone wants to be known by their name (including kids).  Make that a priority. Kids will ask you, “Do you know my name?”
  3. Thou shall never use the “S” word.  I was teaching in a class and said, “I don’t know why they did that. That was a stupid decision.” Simultaneously you could hear in unison: “Ohhhhhh….you said the ‘S’ word!”  I tried to explain that I was not calling someone stupid, just the decision….but the disapproving looks told me I had broken one of the 10 commandments and there was no redemption. So, I did what any teacher would do: I pretended it never happened and got them refocused on the task at hand. Note to self: Don’t say the “S” word again.
  4. Thou shall let kids be kids and not expect them to act like adults. Make learning fun, creative, and interactive. It should not be a chore or boring. Teach collectively, but always with the individual in mind.
  5. Thou shall not allow running inside the school.  The reason is: kids would run to their desk, run to the pencil sharpener, run to lunch, run to the bathroom, run to their next class, and yes, run over you. If one runs they all want to run, so it is apparently contagious. I wish I could bottle that energy! I would be rich!
  6. Thou shall have a secret word, phrase, or clap.  I ask them what their teacher does to get their attention.  I might try it if I like it, but often I just tell them that I do this: then I clap clap   clap clap clap, and tell them to repeat it.  We practice that a couple of times and make sure they get it. Sometimes I throw in some funny clapping just to make them giggle. This is a necessity to be able to get them to focus as a class. Whatever works for you: a bell, a series of claps, a train whistle, a funny phrase, or a duck call…you have to have something to help them refocus.
  7. Thou shall learn to not speak when others are speaking. Kids have a tendency to get in your face to get your attention, regardless of what you are doing or who you are speaking to. This is a hard habit to break since it goes to the core of everyone in wanting to be heard, but it has to be enforced if you expect to get anything accomplished. It makes perfect sense to them when you explain they will have your full attention when you are talking to them. Till then, they have to wait their turn.
  8. Thou shall learn to share. When kids won’t share something with one another, I have found this to be effective: I tell them, “Either you two figure out how to share this and work together quietly, or I will take it away from both of you.”  The look on their faces is like, “What just happened?”  LOL. It does get their attention and order is normally restored pretty quickly. Funny how kids learn to share at that point.
  9. Thou shall cure boo-boos. Band-aids and hugs cure about 99% of the boo-boos you encounter.  Give them both freely.
  10. Thou shall not fear. Little kids are very susceptible to letting fear devastate them.  Help them put things in perspective. I had two kids recently that showed me how powerful fear is in children. One boy was telling this little girl about the storm that was approaching the area and how flooding was expected. He was very good at painting a doom and gloom picture verbally.  Perhaps he has a future in being a weather forecaster. The next thing I know this little girl is boo-hooing.  When I asked her what was wrong, she said, “It is going to FLOOD!”  I assured her that was not going to happen here and she was perfectly safe. It took some effort, but she finally calmed down. Don’t let fear get a foothold in the kids’ hearts and minds. Fear is one of the greatest giants we each have to face. Show kids how to deal with it. Give them the courage they lack and they will never forget you.


Dan Skognes


Posted in Funny, Motivational, Relationships

Opposites dan skognes motivation blogger speaker trainer coach teacherRecently I was substitute teaching in a local high school. Guess what subject? Latin!  LOL. It was OK because the lesson plan was all laid out for me. What happened in the class was pretty funny.  At the end of the class as they were wrapping up, the talk around the tables turned to general things that were going on in their lives.

I happened to be sitting next to a table and could not help but overhear as a senior boy was confiding in two girls that his girlfriend had decided to “take a break in the relationship due to her heavy involvement in school activities.”  He went on to say that he found it odd that she had immediately gone onto Instagram and “Liked” some photos of some cute guys.  He was asking the two girls if they thought she had dumped him.

I felt like becoming Jeff Foxworthy and going over to the poor guy and saying, “Here’s your sign.” I also felt compelled to ask him if she had said the dreaded line, “We can still be friends.” That is like the kiss of death in a relationship and means you will never ever ever take her out again….unless, of course, she changes her mind.  LOL.

Life is full of irony like that. It is like words. You can say volumes by not saying anything, and you can say too much and mess up what you meant to say. Learning the language of other people is an art since each of us speaks a unique dialect.  Add to that the differences that occur because of gender and you can see why men and women have difficulty understanding one another.

If you are a woman trying to figure out men, here are some tips:

  • Don’t try to change us. We don’t like it and we may change for the moment but the first chance we get we will revert to being ourselves. If you don’t like the way we are now, do us both a favor and move on.
  • Try telling us what you REALLY mean. We don’t understand intuition. You have to dumb it down for us. We need to be spoken to like a child if you are serious about something. Not that we are children, but our brains don’t naturally connect the dots that your brain does…so help us. Be patient and we WILL eventually get it.
  • Praise us for the little things we do. We eat up praise…kind of like a dog…except we are a dog that does not like to be “trained.” So, don’t say, “Good boy.”  Say, “Atta boy!” We might just put the toilet lid down by ourselves every time if you do.
  • Respect is very important to a man, so make him think it is HIS idea even if it is yours. That way you both win. And don’t forget to praise him for HIS great idea!

If you are a man trying to figure out women, sorry, but you are on your own. Remember, I am a guy. What do I know?


Dan Skognes

The Blind Spot

Posted in Funny, Motivational, Relationships

Blind Spot dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coachI was teaching in an elementary school recently and having a discussion with a young boy about his homework assignment.  I noticed he was looking intently at my face.  He suddenly blurted out, “Ewwwww….you have HAIR in your nose!”  LOL.  It is a good thing I was not drinking my coffee because we both would have been drenched at that point. I said, “Buddy, you do too. Everyone has hair in their nose.” He shook his head in disbelief.  I am sure he was going to have a chat with Mom about that one when he got home. Hope she was not drinking coffee when he told her.

Isn’t that just human nature?  We tend to see flaws in others and never think it might apply to ourselves. I know for me because I am a writer it is very easy to pick out grammatical errors in the writing of others.  However, I know for a fact that I often don’t see the same mistakes in my own writing. I can’t explain it, but I guess that is why most writers require an editor before publishing. We know what we are saying and somehow overlook the structure or grammar problems in our own work.

I think it must be a defense mechanism that is built in naturally, but it is not necessarily a good thing. We can’t seem to see ourselves as others see us. That explains how people can struggle with things like anorexia. They see themselves as overweight and yet they are thin as rails.

To really “see” yourself clearly, there are a few things you can do to clear your vision:

  • First and foremost, you have to admit you have blind spots. If you can’t admit that, then don’t read any further. If you don’t think you have any, ask someone who loves you to tell you the truth. I have a feeling you will be surprised.
  • Ask people who know and love you to let you know when you are getting off the right path. It does not matter what it is, you just need someone who will speak the truth to you in love, not just tell you what you want to hear.
  • When you find yourself focusing on the faults of others, it is time to rewind and look in the mirror. Find the beam in your own eye before you start removing the spec from your brother’s eye. It is a lot less hypocritical if a huge beam is not sticking out of your own eye. Right?

Clearly seeing yourself can be both enlightening and disheartening at the same time. Sometimes we have faults that are toxic to ourselves as well as to others. You have probably known people who struggle with addictions. If they can’t break the addiction on their own, they need professional help. If you have a friend or a loved-one who is an addict, the worst thing you can do is ignore the problem. The second worst thing that hurts is when you enable them.

If you have a tender heart, I know how hard it is hard to confront and how easy it is to enable, but I guess that is what is needed: “tough love.” True love is willing to say no. It is willing to intervene. It makes the difficult decision that goes against your heart’s cry and the cries of those you are enabling. Really loving someone is making a decision for them that they can’t make for themselves.

P.S. Now that I am painfully aware of my nose hair, I have purchased a trim kit. It is the least thing I can do to minimize the trauma on the kids I encounter.


Dan Skognes