10 Ways For Adults To Make A Difference in Teen Lives

Originally posted on John Gardner, Virtually Speaking:

By John Gardner

Large group of smiling friends staying together and looking at camera isolated on blue backgroundTeen years can be trying times.  Parents may be fighting, separating, dating and remarrying, which means the teen now has to not only deal with a break up of a foundation in his/her life, but often now has to live in multiple households. Some have to adjust to step-siblings, job losses, financial struggles and more. Then, there are the complexities of school with seemingly unending pressures to perform, trying to get through the dating games, often without an anchor or example to follow. Influenced by increasingly negative social standards, or lack of standards….. teens can get caught in the rise and falling tides. Most learn how to negotiate life’s trying currents, but can turn the wrong way, make a miscalculation or poor decision — and find themselves high and dry on the beach…..and they need help. Not every student needs, wants or will accept a teacher’s help…

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Should Music Booster Groups Accept Credit Cards?

Originally posted on PRIORITY Fund Raising:

By John Gardner

For years, we’ve paid by credit card at department and grocery stores, at restaurants and gas stations. Now that we are handing our cards to the order-takers in fast food drive through lanes — is there anyone NOT accepting credit card payments? Oh yeah, MUSIC BOOSTER GROUPS! Should music booster groups accept credit cards? I say yes – and my three recommendations can be found here.

ps – these might be good options for your business as well… (click the pic)

Credit Card Processing Word Wall

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Originally posted on John Gardner, Virtually Speaking:

Static vs Dynamic Web design

I don’t want to have to keep paying [designer] ever time I want to add, delete or change a product….but I don’t know anything about programming.

I keep reading about “viral marketing” and marketing across multiple platforms and I’m sitting here with the same design I’ve had for years. I want to blog, but I don’t want to pay someone every time I write something.

I understand that keeping things updated and posting regularly are vital, but I just don’t have time for that. I think I need something more user-friendly than what I have, but to collaborate with someone who knows both small business and the education market.

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They almost make me want to buy a gun

A football player uses a gun to murder a woman and then kill himself….and a news professional argues for more gun control, “if he hadn’t had a gun….”. Really?

ENOUGH! But wait! A couple disclaimers:

  1. I am NOT a gun owner. It is okay if you are and should be that I am not. My dad was a hunter and owned several shotguns, rifles and even a cool little over/under combination of .410 shotgun and .22 rifle that he bought my short 4’11″ mother.We went to the gun range periodically and I enjoyed, and became moderately proficient at shooting clay pigeons and long range targets. I did not enjoy hunting.
  2. I am NOT an NRA member. It is okay if you are and should be that I am not.

I have not formulated, nor am I prepared to articulate a high-level attack or defense of “assault” weapons, except that I question what makes them offensive vs defensive. Are they assault weapons if the Secret Service has them at the ready in case of attack? It seems to me that the same gun can be used in either an assault or a defense, to rob a bank or to stop the bank robbers….and that’s all I’ll say about that.

There are people much more invested in the gun fight, but I just wanted to rapid fire some thoughts and return fire. Read more…

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Band is family

This story, posted on the VirtualMusicOffice.com site, was inspired by a scene at a recent football game where a student, having just travelled 3.5hrs from her father’s funeral, came to be with her band at the football game. A week prior, her father was killed in a car accident on the way to pick her up from a band rehearsal …. and she wanted to be with the band in competition the following day. What happened when she arrived at the game was moving. And hers is but one example of the famliness of a marching band. Read more…

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Volunteer for a Marching Band

In a quick search on variations of “teen school behavior”, “teen behavior” and such, I found links to a number of behavior modification schools, advertisements for parental survival guides, places that want to segregate teens onto ranches or boarding school type setups, medical and mental solutions….. wow. If you watch much TV, you hear about how current teens are falling behind academically or lacking dedication and commitment. I hear from people who ask how I can be in a room with so many teens or why I would want to spend all that time with them. They inspire me with their youthful enthusiasm, but why rely on second-hand information? Volunteer with a local marching band organization and travel with the group to a marching band competition. There’s a lot of good stuff happening, academic, artsy and otherwise. Here are 7 ways to volunteer for a marching band to appreciate and applaud what is good about teenage America. Read more…

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It is not about putting out fires, but about being READY to put out fires

My dad was a 32-yr career fighter, retiring as an Assistant Chief for a moderately sized full-time department that had about 10 stations throughout the Covington, Kentucky (Cincinnati area). I recall a childhood time when my siblings and I were visiting him at the firehouse. When the alarm sounded, he abruptly pointed to the wall, said “Stand right there ’til someone comes for you.” Immediately, 10 doors (5 front, 5 rear) open, the intercom is announcing location and status, and people are hustling from every direction. Twenty seconds later, the building is open, empty and quiet. One of the dispatchers invited us into his area while our mother scrambled to come pick us up.

As an Assistant Band Director, I believe some of my Dad’s Fire Department practices could help Music Teachers when it comes to putting out fires. Here are 11 things Music and Fire Departments should have in common. Read more….

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7 C’s Students Deserve




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When all else fails, pull the plug

In this case, it was a remote and a classroom projector trouble-shoot. But it could be your computer, your phone, software….. sometimes you gotta just pull the plug. Read more…

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