2013 Brings Hope to ATL

So how does this look Atlanta? Apparently the Braves aren’t ready to bow-out to the Washington Nationals as the best team in the division, today’s move according to some MLB exec’s make them the best team in baseball. One thing is for sure, the Braves organization and its fans surely have something to be excited about for the upcoming season, a sense of hope…again, for a city that certainly needs it. Three 5-tool outfielders, a dynamic, young & extremely athletic lineup, great starting pitching and arguably the best bullpen in the majors. Will this translate to wins and not another first-round playoff knockout? time will tell, but 2013 looks bright for the Braves heading into spring training. One Thing We Learned… Frank Wren is a go-getter, he has continued to be aggressive on the FA market and has pulled the trigger on several big deals in key situations. I can appreciate the moves he makes in an attempt to win NOW, not make deals that fill seats or are made in attempt to build a pretender-contender (see the Atlanta Hawks). What The Best in The Business are Saying: “The team that got (Upton) might be the best fit after all; the Braves suddenly have one of the most dynamic outfields in the NL all under control for the next 3 years.” – Ken Rosenthal “By adding Justin Upton, the Braves got younger, added much-needed power, upgraded their outfield defense and set themselves up to have one of the most talented young outfields in baseball in place for at least the next three years. (The Braves) won this trade, We surveyed seven big-league executives and scouts Thursday; all but one of them would have made this deal without blinking. The pairing of Justin and B.J. Upton in the same Braves outfield will be a fascinating thing to watch in 2013.” – Jayson Stark “The Braves didn’t specifically need Justin Upton to be contenders again in 2013, but having him certainly helps. Because they got him for about 50 cents on the dollar, they should be over the moon about the deal they wrapped up Thursday. Arizona’s return boils down to this: one year of Martin Prado, six years of a fifth starter in Randall Delgado, two fringy prospects and one non-prospect. If that sounds like a good deal to you, I have some beachfront property in Phoenix to sell you.” – Keith Law “Every day must be marvelous when brothers are teammates. The Upton brothers will get to experience that in Atlanta.” – Tim Kurkjian “As of today, The Nats & Braves may be the two best teams in baseball.” – Jon Heyman “Love, love, love this for Atlanta, Any time you can trade for a player like that, an All-Star-caliber player who’s that young [25], it has to improve your team.” – NL Exec “It’s a scout’s dream, It’s three five-tool players; that’s what you’ve got in one outfield.” – NL Exec “If somebody had said three years ago that you could have those three guys in the same outfield, people would have been going nuts. Right?” – NL Scout Projecting the 25 Man Roster

Rest of The Story

In 2011, they fired our athletic director. Employee and myself were at same level, but they were promoted as interim AD because they had recently graduated; I was still in school. I had been there since 2006 and she had only been there since 2009, although I have never wanted that job I took it as a slap in the face for the work I had done and wasn’t angry but disappointed, I took it as a sign it wasn’t where I needed to be anymore and I resigned after the director said I would leave on ‘good terms’ even without a 2 weeks notice. A lot of people were angry and called/emailed higher ups, 2 days later they offered me a substantial raise to come back to just be over soccer. It was never about the money, I have money and it could have been a 10 cent raise, but the reason I left in the first place was just not feeling that appreciation for all the work off the clock I did, not for personal gain but because I am so passionate about these kids in the community I grew up in too. the new AD didn’t like that, I believe felt threatened, even though the only sport I wanted to work was soccer anyway, I had no real desire to do that job, it was all principle. A couple months ago, we had 4 staff working a basketball game and I wasn’t doing anything so I went to the shop to work on some inventory; the next day they talked to admin, recommended me be terminated immediately for walking off job and emailed me the that I was put on admin leave. I met with HR the next day, they actually praised me for being proactive and said although I should have called them about me working on something else since I wasn’t needed in the gym that I wasn’t in the wrong and I wasn’t even written up (I wasn’t even once in 6 years), I got a verbal warning and was back on the job the next day. Again, they didn’t like that, again I believe they felt threatened. THEN they fired our Lumpkin Exec Director and brought in interim, a good guy but old school and really pushing to cut money off our budget, he saw cutting off GA Soccer as a money saver. I was willing to take the fall for the kids because it was likely my last season anyway (since I grad this semester and have teaching job lined up), I wrote a long email to commissioners with my views on why we needed GA Soccer and how the funds could be saved or raised in other ways. He didn’t like that as people started agreeing with me. After that my hours were slashed to 2-3 a week down from 25-30 and him/AD both wanted me out at that point. The YMCA wouldn’t have let me go, but once things switched back to the county they knew they could, I knew the writing was on the wall. I asked new director if he planned to go in a different direction and he said yes, so I resigned, I was very appreciative of him being honest with me and have no bad feelings towards him, not everyone is going to like you and I am fine with that, I respect people that are honest and will say it to your face instead of being your back, that’s just life, you can’t see eye to eye with everyone. The problem was: (A) they couldn’t pay a PT person the money I make to do the same things I did, I did multiple peoples jobs, but I enjoyed it. (B) even baseball and football parents will tell you soccer was hands down the best ran sport in Lumpkin, I was there 9 seasons and we increased registration numbers (fall-fall, spring-spring) for 9 consecutive seasons, it was the only sport in the green financially because it was inexpensive to run. The only way they could justify cutting me loose was to outsource the program, but the funny thing was that is what I have always wanted ANYWAY. The new program has the resources, staff, stability and growth potential that I could have NEVER provided, my biggest fear was seeing everything I had worked to build be destroyed overnight by losing GA Soccer’s affiliation. It was a very smart move by them, and ultimately the best thing that could possibly happen for Lumpkin County, its not about me, it has never been about me, it has been about the kids and providing a program that they can be proud to be a part of. I don’t believe directors POV was the general consensus of the feelings of parents and people I had worked with for years on a daily basis. They saw the truth, and that was all that matters to me.

4 Things We Do

#1 We are going to be in good shape. We’re going to be fit, we are going to be able to play the whole game and we’re not going to give out. #2 We’re going to play with a lot of effort. We’re going to play with full effort on every play the entire game. #3 W’re going to play very smart and we’re not going to beat ourselves. If the other team is better than us and they just out execute us and play better then we can live with that, but we’re going to play smart and give ourselves every opportunity to win the game. #4 We’re going to play like winners, play game the way it’s meant to be played. Don’t get full of ourself if something good happens, don’t get too depressed when something bad happens. Steve Spurrier

Class Management

My philosophy is going to improve and adjust from year to year. I want to learn from great teachers that I deal with and become someone that is known for dedication, honor and fairness. I will be a teacher that is willing to compromise, listen, learn and do what is best for the community and school family. I want to be a piece of a positive educational process and not a dominant force that only believes in his personal goals. I want to constantly listen to other peers and parents on what they believe will lead to success in the big picture. I want to prepare myself to succeed, actively communicate and become an instructor that demands respect by properly handling each aspect of a teaching career. I believe the purpose of education is to allow each student the opportunity to display their talents in a positive manner and to prepare each of them to become a productive member of society. I also believe that each student should be encouraged to live up to their own potential, by giving one hundred percent effort in the classroom, sporting arena, and in the home. A student should prepare themselves for success by being punctual, attentive, respectful, fair, honest and responsible. When a teacher sets goals or guidelines for a class, a student should expect to meet these quickly and assist other peers in doing so as well. A productive student will expect to lead by example, and no handicap such as race, religion, sex, orientation, background or family income should impede this process. Learning is achieved with planning, teaching appropriate content and disguising education by having fun. My main goal is to have my students enjoy lessons while learning, this can be done by learning from mistakes, seeing success, and practicing the correct points of emphasis. A student should place themselves in a positive environment for success by choosing good friends, being a leader, and taking initiative to do positive things before being instructed. I believe a good classmate respects themselves, their peers and their instructor on a daily basis. Each student should be an encouraging and uplifting member of a classroom and a team. An elite student will use prior experience, good judgment, intuition, and guidance to make positive choices consistently. I believe as a teacher your primary focus is to allow each student a fair opportunity to achieve as much as they possibly can. A teacher should be prepared, focused, consistent, and give equal opportunity to each child they instruct. A teacher should be dependable, trustworthy, and committed. Students should know that I do not care about one of them more than another. I should be on time, attend meetings, keep appointments, and build trust within the staff, administration and parents by doing so. I want to be able to give positive advice to each of my students and keep any private information discussed between me and them. I want anyone that entrusts me with private information to feel confident in the fact that I will keep private information to myself. A teacher should have a plan for success and stick with it, but a teacher should be willing to learn from mistakes and take constructive criticism to adjust this plan when necessary. Being highly committed to the best interest of each child will allow everyone involved to see that you take success seriously. By setting high standards early students will see that you expect individual greatness and responsibility from day one. A teacher should become well trained to handle different types of problems they encounter. I should become certified in areas that I feel benefit my career path and I should be ready to face any obstacle I may encounter head on. A teacher should be inviting and prepare a warm and positive environment for each student to feel comfortable in. I want to be a teacher that never gives up on a particular student. I want to push and encourage students that have no confidence in themselves and show them that I support and will uplift them no matter how many times they fail. I want to be able to teach students things that I feel I would enjoy learning. Putting myself in someone else’s shoes will allow me to see how exciting and productive my lessons can be. Keeping a good pace, meeting academic standards, and sticking to my lesson plans will keep energy levels high. A teacher in the community should be a role model, productive and law abiding citizen, and professional example. A teacher should not participate in habits that will lead to negativity in the workplace, especially one that deals with students that can be easily influenced. A teacher should not become someone that believes what they do is the standard of excellence but rather someone that is a guide for positivity and self expression. A teacher should practice what they preach and set a good example but also allow others to express themselves in ways that they are comfortable with as long as it displays excellence. I also feel a teacher should speak and write properly, dress well, and display good manners so that others can learn good traits and be classy individuals. I believe a good teacher has a plan of action for punishment and treats everyone with the same actions when handling it. A teacher should in many ways treat each student like their own child by encouraging success, handling punishment productively, and allowing every opportunity for success to occur. I also want to display pride within my classroom by supporting unity. I should be a proud supporter of my school and its academic and athletic teams. I want others to see my pride for the states sports teams and for the country of the United States of America so that they feel pride is an important part of life. I want to be a supporter of diversity and different academic and learning levels as well. I want to be prepared so that each child, regardless of IQ or handicap has an equal chance to gain knowledge within my learning environment. I want my equipment to be fair for everyone’s use and classroom material to be equally distributed for everyone to enjoy. I believe that children will learn by feeling that the material is important to their future or fun to discover, as a physical education teacher I want to teach knowledge of games, historical appreciation, rules, and strategies for success. My classroom will be inviting and colorful and I will be a teacher that represents the school in a positive way by displaying its logos. I want to have a classroom that recognizes great athletes and sports teams with posters and displays the schools achievements from newspapers, pictures, or trophies everywhere. I have a passion for teaching because I believe that positive concepts, fundamentals, morals and practices in sport and in life are taught from a very early age. Bad habits and attitudes are hard to break when they become overlooked or consistently encouraged. The purpose of my job is to direct each student and to allow them to recognize what works and what doesn’t in the gym and in life. I want to show them people that have succeeded and have used their talents to achieve greatness. Children best learn by trial and error and not by adults telling them there is only one choice or right way to do something. I want to allow my students to see that that no matter how you shoot a basketball or how you swing at a baseball a basket or hit can occur. Students in a wheelchair or with one eye or arm should see that they can do these things with modification and be just as productive. I won’t let my beliefs handicap anyone that disagrees with them. I will allow anyone the opportunity to achieve by using their own techniques. My entire class will take priority over a single individual, but I will get assistance so that a child that learns in a different manner can enjoy the lesson as well. I will modify my lessons so that everyone is able to participate and no elimination games are practiced. My goal is that every student gets equal time to enjoy physical education and domination doesn’t occur on a regular basis. I also will have regular office hours for students to discuss any issue they may have. I will also send a welcoming email to each of my student’s parents to update them on plans for the semester and to inform them on my willingness to communicate. I want to have good working relationships with my co-workers and administration and allow them to understand that I am willing to assist them anyway possible for the betterment of the school in general. I want to be a passionate and committed team player of a school and work family. I will adjust and always keep an open mind to learning new ideas and concepts. I will plan far in advance and prepare myself to be a very organized and confident instructor. I plan to practice good habits of a success coach and physical education teacher. I will treat students, coworkers, and administration with respect and fairness. I will treat others how I would like to be treated and allow each student regardless of ability or handicap the chance to meet their potential. I will be focused, pleasurable and punctual and treat each member of the school staff as an important team member for the success of our school. My behavior approach will be the same for every student no matter the history he or she may have. Everyone will have a fresh opportunity and clean slate in my classroom and I will make this known quickly. I will have a list of expectations and when these are not met jogging around the gym, being sent to higher authority and parent contact will follow. Positive behaviors will be encouraged with verbal praise and recognizing it to the entire classroom. Students will be made aware of what positive traits this student is demonstrating. I will decrease inappropriate behaviors by magnifying it to their peers without humiliation. I will meet individually with students that misbehave to inform them that I support, encourage, and demand their best effort. Inappropriate behaviors will be enforced by doing things they do not enjoy and will differ from student to student. These may include separation, sitting out, an alternate activity, or separate assignment. Rules in my instructional space will include self/peer respect, no verbal teasing or negativity, giving your best effort, taking initiative to help others, and displaying pride and punctuality. Having a positive environment and allowing each student to see that I am fair should increase participation and enjoyment in my instruction.

What do YOU want?

Greatness in football, basketball, soccer, whatever it may be has to start with that COMMITMENT from YOU, first and foremost. It can be fueled by your parents, coach, friends, teammates, etc. but it CAN’T originate there. If someone has to tell you to get out and get to work then I would question your personal motivation/dedication to it, and that is fine! but don’t be upset by the results you didn’t get with the work you didn’t do; and don’t try to find an excuse or reason why things went against you, the only person you can blame is staring at you in the mirror!! Great story about personal commitment to greatness: http://bit.ly/VDMFvF