Grow Up

Posted in Funny, Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Grow Up dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educator1I was trying to get a little girl to move up closer to a couple of little boys in the lunch line. When I asked her if she would, she said, “No. They are nasty!” I told her, “Unfortunately, it will be a while before they outgrow that. Be patient with them.” She got this far away look in her eyes and said, “Some of them will never outgrow it.” Wow, out of the mouths of babes. She did not realize the truth of what she spoke.

Later that same morning in the lunchroom one of the custodians came over to me and asked me if I had kids. I shook my head yes. He said, “I can’t believe I was ever this brain dead!”  LOL. He had asked some kid why he had thrown food and the kid got this deer in the headlight look and just sat there. He had no good excuse.  Busted!

Here are a few things I have observed. They are broken down by age groups. See if you can identify any of these behaviors in adults you know:

  • Kindergarten kids. They are in your face all the time and very needy. They have few social skills, are very possessive, and expect you to do everything for them. They are learning the art of tattling.
  • 1st and 2nd graders. Slightly more skilled socially, but boys and girls do not respect the other gender. They have mastered the art of tattling and still want to be in your face and talk over you when you are talking.
  • 3rd and 4th graders. At this age they are starting to find their friends and become aware that they either fit in or don’t. They tend to listen better than the younger kids, but they are more opinionated and still easily offended. They are learning the art of blaming others or blaming their circumstances for their bad choices.
  • 5th and 6th graders. Wow. Not sure what happened to their judgment, but there is very little common sense at this age. If someone dares you, you do it. If someone pushes you or offends you in any way, you push back and at the very least give them your smack talk. Girls and boys are starting to be attracted to the other gender and there is constant giggling and whispering about each other. Neither gender understands the other one, but there is something that attracts them like the moth to the flame.

Unfortunately, you can probably think of adults that are still stuck in some of these behaviors. I think this explains why some kids can’t seem to adjust their own behaviors. Look at their role models.

I was laughing with one of my fellow 3rd grade teachers. I asked her, “Wouldn’t you love to have had ME as one of your students?” She rolled her eyes and said, “I would have had to be correcting YOU a lot!” I actually was a pretty good kid and seldom got in trouble. The times I did get in trouble were when I talked too much or was laughing about something. I found out in 4th grade math class that I could make people laugh just by burping.  LOL. That was funny for the moment, but I caught it when I got home with Dad.

There is a proverb that says: When I was a child, I spoke as a child, understood as a child, I thought as a child. When I became a man, I put away childish things. If you are a grown up, it is time to grow up.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

Quit Worrying

Posted in Funny, Motivational, Spiritual

Our Basic Needs dan skognes motivation blogger speaker teacher trainer coach educator

 

Have a little faith.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

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

Cooties

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?

Shalom!

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.

Shalom!

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.

Shalom!

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.

Shalom!

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.

Shalom!

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.

Shalom!

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.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes