Lessons from the Dream Team

As I shared in chapel on Monday, over the past couple of weeks, I've been learning about the 1992 Dream Team, and the dynamics of how so many stars with larger-than-life egos were able to work together as a team is fascinating me. Coach Chuck Daly certainly was masterful in the way he handled such large personalities, discussing the importance of being on time to his players during their first meeting (even though it wasn’t about being on time— it was about respecting each other*).

While I love the lesson about being on time, there’s another lesson Coach Daly taught two of his assistant coaches Mike Kyzyzewski (Coach K) and P.J. Carlesimo that’s applicable to teachers. At the time, Coach K and Coach Carlesimo were young, up-and-coming college coaches, so being around elite professional players was a new game for them. Daly’s advice— and advice for all us— learn to ignore.

Daly went on to explain that when you are able to ignore the minor issues, you can focus on what’s important. Whether players were grumbling about coaches or arguing about stats, it was important for the assistant coaches to “be hard of hearing" so they could stay focused.

In the book What Great Teachers Do Differently, Todd Whitaker says,
"Great teachers have the ability to ignore trivial disturbances and the ability to respond to inappropriate behavior without escalating the situation." In essence, great teachers know what needs immediate attention and what can wait for a better time.

Learning to ignore doesn’t mean negative behavior is overlooked and not addressed; rather, it means the teacher stays in control of his emotions and doesn’t allow his buttons to be pushed— whether that’s by a 7th grader in the classroom or by a 7-footer on the Dream Team.

*Click here and listen at the 10:30 mark of the Entreleadership podcast to hear assistant coach Brendan Suhr recount the story.

Positive Parent Contact Challenge

  • We are killing this month's Positive Parent Contact Challenge! Thank you so much for participating and encouraging our students and their parents. Today’s the final day for the challenge, and here’s where we stand:
    • 150 total contacts documented (134 different students)
    • 31 (out of 35) teachers have documented at least one positive contact (current leader with 25)
    • 8th Grade in the lead with 33 positive contacts

  • Last Friday, our Lights Up troupe went on a day-tour performing at Miss Selma’s, ACCESS, and both of our elementary campuses. The performances were fantastic! A big thanks goes to Jenna Thomas for her leadership with Lights Up. Also, thanks are in order for Andy Stewart for driving their bus.

  • On Monday, Angela Almond’s Stats class played egg roulette to study ratios and probability. In the game, teams were asked questions, and for every right answer, a member from the other team had to select an egg to smash on his/her forehead. Of the dozen eggs to choose from, 8 were hardboiled (no mess) and 4 were raw (lots of mess). As the game progressed, the probability of choosing a raw egg and ending up with egg on your face continued to change. Mrs. Almond was all-in and ended up with the final egg to choose— and it was a raw one!

  • Doug Killgore and Travis Kaye teamed up to sing the National Anthem at the State Golf Tournament on Tuesday. The duo did an outstanding job and are certainly deserving of a shout-out.

  • On Wednesday, Ashley Jamison and her Spanish III students attended a flamenco ballet at Wildwood Center for the Performing Arts in West Little Rock. The kids had a great time and the trip went very smoothly. A shout-out is in order for Ashley Jamison for organizing the trip and to Bradley Spencer for driving the bus.

  • The 8th grade students took a field trip to the Ron Coleman Crystal Mines on Wednesday as part of their geology unit. Upon arrival, students gathered for student-led devotional and then spent the day digging for crystals. A big shout-out goes to Sheila Killgore for organizing the field trip. Also, shout-outs go to Caroline Prestridge for chaperoning and to Keith Almond for driving the bus.

Upcoming Events
  • Monday, October 2— ELEOT Classroom Observations begin; Click here to schedule an observation with Mr. Collier or Mr. Stewart. Be sure to check back often as dates/times are added.
  • Wednesday, October 4— Monthly Faculty Meeting (7:30 AM; library)
  • Saturday, October 7— Ignite Youth Rally (auditorium, cafeteria, atrium)
  • Monday, October 9— Homecoming Week Begins
  • Wednesday, October 11— 2:00 Dismissal Day (click here for adjusted schedule)
    • End of Grading Period
      • 2:00 student dismissal
      • 3:30 teacher dismissal
      • Report card grades should be uploaded on RenWeb by noon on Thursday.
    • PSAT Testing (AM)
  • Thursday, October 12— The Math Show (adjusted schedule)
    • 8:00-8:35 1st Period (35 min.)
    • 8:40-9:15 2nd Period (35 min.) *MS Bell at 8:58
    • 9:20-9:55 3rd Period (40 min.) *MS Bell at 9:27
    • 10:00-10:40 4th Period (40 min.)
    • 10:45-11:45 Chapel & The Math Show (60 min.)
    • Regular bell schedule remainder of the day
  • Friday, October 13— Homecoming Friday (click here for adjusted schedule)
  • Saturday, October 14— CAC Golf Tournament

Responsibilities for Next Week (Oct. 2 - Oct. 6)
Week A
  • Cafeteria AM— K. Holland
  • Cafeteria PM— K. Allison
  • Parking Lot AM— J. Thomas
  • Parking Lot PM— L. Noble
  • HS Lunch— P. Smith, H. Cruce, & J. Gates
  • MS Lunch— T. Kaye, J. Teigen, & J. Wilhite
  • Chapel— K. Almond
  • Detention— E. Schramm
Remember, it is your responsibility to find a replacement if you are unable to cover your assigned duty. Click here for duty schedule.

Upcoming Meetings
  • Wednesday, October 4— Monthly Faculty Meeting (7:30 AM, library)

4 Values (in rank order)
  1. Model Christ
  2. Safety & Security
  3. School First
  4. Quality Instruction

Important School Documents & Links

Resources Worth Checking Out For Personal and Professional Growth
This is one of my favorite email productivity tools— check it out! To start using Boomerang right away, click here to download.

I heard the story about Coach Chuck Daly talking to the Dream Team players about being on time on the podcast below. You’ll need to forward to the 10:30 mark to hear the segment with assistant coach Brendan Suhr. It’s great stuff! Enjoy.

Book Recommendation

About the Book (from Amazon)

Acclaimed sports journalist Jack McCallum delivers the untold story of the greatest team ever assembled: the 1992 U.S. Olympic Men’s Basketball Team. As a writer for Sports Illustrated, McCallum enjoyed a courtside seat for the most exciting basketball spectacle on earth, covering the Dream Team from its inception to the gold medal ceremony in Barcelona. Drawing on fresh interviews with the players, McCallum provides the definitive account of the Dream Team phenomenon. He offers a behind-the-scenes look at the controversial selection process. He takes us inside the team’s Olympic suites for late-night card games and bull sessions where superstars like Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird debated the finer points of basketball. And he narrates a riveting account of the legendary intrasquad scrimmage that pitted the Dream Teamers against one another in what may have been the greatest pickup game in history. In the twenty years since the Dream Team first captivated the world, its mystique has only grown. Dream Team vividly re-creates the moment when a once-in-a-millennium group of athletes came together and changed the future of sports—one perfectly executed fast break at a time.

Click here for Friday Thoughts archive.