A 26-Day Teacher Challenge…

As I write this, we have 27 days of school left. By now most students (and some teachers) are in what I call “The Hook Slide.” They have already rounded third base and can see and smell home plate. State tests, AP tests, dual-credit tests, end-of-year finals… ugh!

These 27 days are as important for the teachers as for the students. Maximizing time and effort is at the forefront of classroom instruction; I agree. I would also say that maximizing your relationships with your students is just as important. Many students need a cheerleader near the end of school. There are many who are not involved in anything at or out of school, and they can somewhat get “lost in the crowd.” I believe these students need to be recognized and acknowledged, for it might be the only time they are. School just might be the only outlet some students have.

So, with only 26 days left (starting today, Friday), what will you do as an educator to help ALL students? It is easy to gravitate to the students we “like” and those who “do well.” But we must make an intentional effort toward the others as well. We might not never know what it will mean or do for a particular student. So, a 26-day challenge…

Identify a few students every day (they don’t even have to be the ones you teach) and say a positive comment to them. We cannot know which students are involved in stuff and those who are not, but if we focus on ALL, we will catch everyone. It’s not hard. I bet some will be shocked they were spoken to and acknowledged.

A small gesture to help someone feel better about themselves. A value worth your time. A smile on their faces, maybe? What we do and do not do matters. For 26 days, be a difference-maker and see what the difference will be for others.

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2022 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts? Follow me on… Twitter @thebookchamber or follow the blog directly.

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The Victory of Christ

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If you would like to download a printer friendly version of this with the above picture as a washout watermark, click here: The Victory of Christ

The Victory of Christ


Eden's thorns twisted into a crown,
A cruel symbol of death,
Placed upon His head - in mockery.
The crowds calling him King,
Not knowing that He really is.

A walk none of us could make,
A walk to the wondrous cross.
A cross none of us could ever carry,
A cross to death…
Into the presence of God.

Knowing He would face death,
The Lamb, slain before the foundation of the world.
Doing something we could not do,
Taking back life from death.
Because He lives, I live!

We search for peace…
A peace the world cannot give.
A peace found only in Jesus,
"Peace be with you..."
For it is.

His sacrifice,
We are made Holy.
Our trust in Him…
Gives forgiveness of our sins.
Drawing near to God without fear.

Losing much because of sin,
Gaining more because of Christ.
His death, His resurrection…
The restoring power of God's grace.
…The Victory of Christ…

Happy Easter

© J Clay Norton, 2022


For previous Easter thoughts, click the link…

2021 resurrection-morning2

2020 The Lamb’s Precious Blood

2019 The Cross I See…

2018  The Cross and The Grave

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2022 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts? Follow me on… Twitter @thebookchamber or follow the blog directly.

Want to share this leadership thought with others? Click on one of the social media sharing buttons below and help spread the good…

Leadership Manipulation Only Wants Yes or No Answers…

Have you ever been caught in a situation where someone wanted to “catch you” in your answer? Everything seems fine one-on-one, but let an audience form, and then the true intent comes out; the trap. In their smugness, they ask a question, only wanting a yes or a no. Any other answer response is not what they want? Why?

You see this happen a lot in leadership. People want an answer by manipulating you and the conversation. Think of spin control… Instead of getting into that trap, you could throw them for a loop and answer their question with a question for them. Keeping the topic the same allows them to possibly fall into their own verbal trap.

I would dare say that most people who demand a yes or no answer have fudged and twisted the truth of the question anyway. Some just lie from the onset. What’s funny here is that if they knew half of what they were actually asking, they would know that others see right through their facade.

ONLy-yes-or-No-696x583

Leaders who ask loaded questions… you know any? They put those who are to answer in a lose-lose situation. Answer yes, answer no, they got you. When this happens, truth becomes irrelevant. Once someone has their mind made up, it does not matter if the truth is told or not. They want the answer they want to hear.

This leadership manipulation comes down to tautology logic, where a statement is true by necessity or by virtue of its logical form. The Latin for this is tertium non datur – as if there is no possibility of a third answer. I would say beware of people who ask questions in this form. They are only out to help themselves.

Insecure, weak leaders do not like to be challenged. Agreeing to disagree is nonexistent in their world. When they do not get the yes or no answer they are looking for, they are challenged on a much deeper level. They take it personally, and then you become the problem.

I would say that the leadership lesson here is not to be manipulated. However, we all know that we cannot control others’ thoughts and actions. Sometimes… But a lesson I believe that is helpful is to make sure we are firmly planted with our convictions that others would dare not try to manipulate us. We will be less likely to be manipulated when we are.

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2022 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts? Follow me on… Twitter @thebookchamber or follow the blog directly.

Want to share this leadership thought with others? Click on one of the social media sharing buttons below and help spread the good…

Leadership Courage Is Imperative

Courage is something that we all hear a lot of nowadays. The courage to speak up, or sometimes for me, the courage not to say something. I have recently thought that courage, like faith or confidence… is courage a thing? Can you have more or less of it? I’m sure you have heard the statement, “You have to have more courage.” Well, I figure you either had it or didn’t; more or less is a non-factor. I will say this, in our society, the courage to do and stand up for the right ideals is needed more than ever.

Every month, I receive the magazine Acts & Facts from the Institute of Creation Research in Dallas, Texas. For March/April, one of the articles was titled Christian Courage Is Imperative.¹ As I read the article, I thought that there are many leaders who need to have courage. In what ways, you ask? That becomes subjective, but in the article there is a section, Biblical Courage: Five Practical Truths (I’ll keep the actual points but will add my thoughts as to how they could pertain to leadership…)

Courage is proportional to preserving what we deeply love. 

Love of self destroys leadership. If we are not willing to love others, how can we ever ask them to believe in the path we want to lead them? 

Courage is proportional to commitment.

Today, our commitment only lasts long enough as long as everything is going well. We see it every day, the waffling of leaders.

Courage is proportional to hope.

A great quote by Napoleon is, “A leader is a dealer in hope.” One ideal that I’m passionate about is that you have to give hope to the people you lead. Small victories here and there, finding ways to foster success.

Courage is inspired by other courageous people.

For me, courage is contagious. This is why it is so important to be around like-minded, kindred-spirit people.

Courage is given as divine enablement.

There are many examples in the Bible where God equips people to be courageous. But… those same people must trust that God will keep his word. I think the same can be said for us as leaders. Are we enabling others to have courage and, at the same time, know that they can trust us to help them?

I really believe you could take these same truths and apply them to any leadership level and use them as a template for the thought of “Leadership Courage Is Imperative.” I see the courage to lead becoming less and less. Those afraid to lead need to see great leaders who model courage. Let that be us…

¹ Guliuzza, R. J. (2022, March/April). Christian courage is imperative. Acts & Facts, 51(2), 4-6. https://www.icr.org/article/christian-courage-          is-imperative/

Go be a great educator and leader today… Our future needs it…

Remember… Think Leadership and Be For Others…

©2022 J Clay Norton

Want more Leadership Thoughts? Follow me on… Twitter @thebookchamber or follow the blog directly.

Want to share this leadership thought with others? Click on one of the social media sharing buttons below and help spread the good…