Sunday, November 29, 2015

Mindlessness

I just started reading a book by Chip and Dan Heath titled Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. Here is an excerpt from the book:


"One Saturday in 2000, some unsuspecting moviegoers showed up at a suburban theater in Chicago to catch a 1:05 p.m. matinee of Mel Gibson’s action flick Payback. They were handed a soft drink and a free bucket of popcorn and were asked to stick around after the movie to answer a few questions about the concession stand. These movie fans were unwitting participants in a study of irrational eating behavior. There was something unusual about the popcorn they received. It was wretched. In fact, it had been carefully engineered to be wretched. It had been popped five days earlier and was so stale that it squeaked when you ate it. One moviegoer later compared it to Styrofoam packing peanuts, and two others, forgetting that they’d received the popcorn for free, demanded their money back. Some of them got their free popcorn in a medium-size bucket, and others got a large bucket—the sort of huge tub that looks like it might once have been an above-ground swimming pool. Every person got a bucket so there’d be no need to share.


The researchers responsible for the study were interested in a simple question: Would the people with bigger buckets eat more? Both buckets were so big that none of the moviegoers could finish their individual portions. So the actual research question was a bit more specific: Would somebody with a larger inexhaustible supply of popcorn eat more than someone with a smaller inexhaustible supply? The sneaky researchers weighed the buckets before and after the movie, so they were able to measure precisely how much popcorn each person ate. The results were stunning: People with the large buckets ate 53 percent more popcorn than people with the medium size. That’s the equivalent of 173 more calories and approximately 21 extra hand-dips into the bucket. Brian Wansink, the author of the study, runs the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University, and he described the results in his book Mindless Eating: “We’ve run other popcorn studies, and the results were always the same, however we tweaked the details. It didn’t matter if our moviegoers were in Pennsylvania, Illinois, or Iowa, and it didn’t matter what kind of movie was showing; all of our popcorn studies led to the same conclusion. People eat more when you give them a bigger container. Period.”



Now you might expect that this post will be about eating or over-eating, especially during the holidays. But, the first thing that came to mind after I read this passage was that the people in this study ate simply because they had something to eat, and the more they had to eat, the more they ate. They didn't eat because they were hungry or because of they enjoyed the taste of the popcorn. But, what's more interesting than the fact that people with the most inexhaustible supply ate more than others with a less inexhaustible supply was that people ate the popcorn at all. After all, it was purposefully made to taste awful, yet people still ate. You would think that people would have thrown the popcorn in the garbage or just set it aside. But, no, they ate it. My theory is they ate the popcorn, even though it tasted awful, because they were at the movie theater and had popcorn. It is the norm, the custom, almost a reflex, to eat popcorn at the theater. These people were just going through the motions, behaving mindlessly, as the author of the study put it.


Among other things, the study accentuated that when we are put in familiar situations and environments, we are prone to go through the motions and to forget to be intentional about our behavior; we act mindlessly. This isn't such a bad thing at the movie theater. Sometimes, we go to the movies so we can be mindless; we get a mental respite. But, if the subjects of the study would have taken a moment to stop, think, and evaluate what they were doing, instead of being swept up with familiarity, they would have realized that eating the stale, "wretched" popcorn wasn't a good idea.


I wonder if we aren't swept up by familiarity and fall victim to mindlessness is other aspects of our lives. Because much of our lives are familiar, predictable, and scheduled, if we're not careful, we'll find ourselves just going through the motions: we'll have just another Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas morning with our family. In our daily lives, we'll just spend another day with our spouse and children; we'll have just another day at the office, as the cliche' goes. I'll bet no one in that theater wanted to eat that popcorn, and none of us want to go through the motions with our families or at work - it just happens. We have to remind ourselves to be intentional with our behavior, to improve everyday, and to make a positive impact on others. If we don't, we won't just get stuck eating a bad bucket of popcorn, we will miss out on having the type influence we're capable of having.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Neil DeGrasse Tyson's Greatest Achievement

You might be familiar with Neil DeGrasse Tyson. But, if you're not, here are some of his accomplishments:

  • He's an astrophysicist and cosmologist
  • He has a degree in physics from Harvard, a master's degree in astronomy from the University of Texas, a master's degree in philosophy and a doctorate degree in astrophysics from Columbia University
  • He's on staff at Princeton University
  • He's the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space in New York City
  • He's the author of numerous articles and books
  • He's the host and presenter in the 2014 documentary Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey
  • He's the host of the television series Star Talk
  • He's the recipient of numerous awards, including the 2015 Public Welfare Medal from the National Academy of Sciences
  • He was voted by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world (2007) and voted by Discover Magazine as on the the 10 most influential people in science (2008)
  • He's been awarded 18 honorary doctorate degrees
So, I think it is safe to say that he's a pretty accomplished person, wouldn't you agree?

On my drive home from work, I like to listen to ESPN Radio, and my favorite podcast is from The Dan LeBatard Show. It's irreverent and funny, and many of the guest aren't your normal talking heads. Last week, Neil DeGrasse Tyson was a guest on the show. Dan LeBatard and his co-host Stugotz asked him a variety of questions, one of which was, "What is your greatest achievement?" Now, before I give you his answer, let me direct you back to Tyson's achievements listed above. He's no slouch. But, here was his answer, and I'm paraphrasing:

"I know this sounds cliché, but I'm still growing intellectually and personally. I think my greatest achievement in still ahead of me. If my greatest achievement is not in front of me, then what am I doing? All of us should constantly be trying to improve what we know, do, and how we help others. I think my greatest achievement is still in front of me."

OK, so that is a bit cliché, but I found it to be profound. Here you have a man that has accomplished and achieved so much (and he's only 57 years old) still striving to become better, to improve, and to accomplish more. His answer revealed his mentality and the way he approaches life: he doesn't look back at his achievements and bask in his own glory; he's not satisfied. He focuses on continual personal improvement, and at 57 years old, having accomplished more than most people ever will, he chooses to live his life thinking that his greatest achievement is still ahead of him.

He even asks, "If my greatest achievement isn't still ahead of me, then what am I doing?," almost to say that if he somehow knew that his greatest achievement is in his past, that he wouldn't want to continue working; he wouldn't be as driven or motivated; he would lose a little of his purpose. Who knows? Perhaps his greatest achievement is in his past, but that's not the point. The point is he believes that his greatest moment still awaits him.

Consider the possibilities if we all thought a little more like Neil DeGrasse Tyson, convinced that our greatest achievements are still ahead of us, regardless of age, stage of life, past accomplishments or lack thereof. Imagine that if instead of resting on our laurels or, even worse, dwelling on our lack of accomplishments, we believed our greatest achievements are ahead of us and acted accordingly. I bet we'd all be a little more excited and motivated; we'd all live with a little more purpose if we had such a mentality and belief.

But, here's the best thing about being a principal, a teacher, and parent (and most of you reading this blog are at least one of these 3 things): We get work with and raise kids. And, what's awesome is their greatest accomplishments are truly ahead of them. While we should live as if our greatest accomplishment is ahead of us, it entirely possible that it isn't, and that includes Neil DeGrasse Tyson. But, each and every one of our students and children have their greatest achievements ahead of them - that is a fact. What an awesome opportunity we all have; what a great responsibility. Everyday, we get to work with students and kids that are approaching greatness; everyday, we need to remind ourselves of that fact.

-BK


Sunday, October 18, 2015

Our Greatest Fear

Francis Chan once said, "Our greatest fear should not be of failure but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter." I read this some time ago, and it stuck with me.

Our lives are full of "stuff." We are all very busy and it seems we are all pulled in 100 different directions. We also live in a world where everything is at our fingertips. We can access things and contact other people so quickly. It seems that life moves so fast; it is difficult to keep up with its pace. We all have things in our lives that if we succeed with them, we will have been successful at something that matters. We all have families and friends and opportunities to have a positive impact on other people. The fact is most of us know what matters in our life. And, the truth is if we spend enough time and effort on something, chances are we'll be successful at those things. So, the question is, are we spending time on the things that matter?

Chan's words remind me to slow down and evaluate what I'm spending my time on.

There's nothing wrong with a little leisure activity. But, now everything is so easily accessible and entertaining. Watching one episode of your favorite TV show on Netflix turns in to watching a whole season. Watching one 3 minute video on YouTube turns into 30 minutes. Our phones notify us of every new tweet, email, Facebook post, etc., and even when we tell ourselves that we are only going to look at one post, one email, one tweet, we end up getting pulled in, spending more time than we should.

As I said before, deep down, we all know what really matters - our family, our friends, our children, and the people we see everyday at work or in our daily activity. For me, Chan's words made me realize that if I'm not spending my time with the important people in my life, then I'm probably not being successful at the things that really matter.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Two Plays and a Book

Here are some things that have made me think over the last couple of weeks...

At some point, I was perusing my library thinking about what I remembered about the different books I've read. When I do this, I'll normally take a book off the shelf and thumb through the pages looking notes I'd made and pages I'd dog-eared. I like doing this periodically; I'll come across passages and glean something new as I've had new experiences. Two plays and a book stuck in my mind.

The book that caught my eye was Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline. This a classic piece. Senge has a way giving his readers a fresh perspective, forcing them to reconsider the way they have thought about the organization for which they work and lead. At the crux of The Fifth Discipline is systems thinking and how to become a "learning" organization. One of my favorite parts of the book is an explanation of what Senge calls "learning disabilities" - mindsets and beliefs that keep people and organizations from learning and continually improving. One "learning disability" is the belief that "I am my position."  People with this mindset and belief have a difficult time seeing and thinking about how their actions, responsibilities, and role in an organization impact the entire organization. People with the "I am my position" learning disability are extremely myopic; they have a hard time seeing the "big picture." In an organization, in a community, in a family, it is important for all of us to realize that we are all connected to each other; our actions not only impact ourselves, but they also impact other people, probably even more people than we realize - a ripple effect, of sorts. No one in an organization is simply "their position." We are all more than than our job description, and when we do the right things in our organization, treat people the right way, focus on what matters, and become the best versions of ourselves, it doesn't just mean that we did a good job in our "position." It all spreads throughout the organization; consequently, one person's laziness, lack of effort, or poor attitude also spreads. And, unfortunately, it seems such negativity spreads more quickly than all the good. As I continue to ponder Senge's thoughts on "learning disabilities," two things came to me: 

1. The first is fairly simple. I understood even more that I, as we all do, have a choice in how I act, how I treat others, and the attitude and I have. And, because the choices I make ripple into the lives of others and the organization in which I work, I need to choose wisely and build good habits. 

2. When I realized that I'm not my "position," the stakes get higher, situations become more complex, decisions become more difficult to make, what appears to be black and white gets over run by grey. What did I learn from such a realization? I need other people - we all need other people - to help make decisions, the right decisions, the kind of decisions that when they inevitably ripple through the organization and spill over into the lives of others, they make the organization better, closer to realizing its vision. Unilateral decisions stem from the learning disability "I am my position." Collaborative decisions happen in learning organizations - "we are all connected." 

This led me to two others plays I read a long time ago - Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett and Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. Waiting for Godot is a tragicomedy and it is absurdist and existential. In the play, two men, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for another man named Godot, though Godot never arrives. Vladimir and Estragon are two characters that have no idea who they are, they have no vision, they have no purpose. The two men reminded me of Willy in Death of a Salesman, which is a tragedy and existential in its own way. Willy didn't know who he was, either; in fact, in reference to Willy, Biff, another character in the play, says, "He had all the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong. . . . He never knew who he was. . . . the man never knew who he was." But, here's the passage in Waiting for Godot that struck me (and, it is a relatively well-known passage): 

Vladmir, one of the main characters in the play says, “Let us do something, while we have the chance! It is not every day that we are needed. Not indeed that we personally are needed. Others would meet the case equally well, if not better. To all mankind they were addressed, those cries for help still ringing in our ears! But at this place, at this moment of time, all mankind is us, whether we like it or not. Let us make the most of it, before it is too late!"

For the entire play, Vladimir's purpose was in waiting for Godot - he didn't even know who Godot was, which makes Vladimir's purpose so absurd. Vladimir's entire reason for existence rested firmly in someone else, someone outside himself and thus Vladimir never quite feels human; there is an emptiness, a huge void in him. In Death of a Salesman, Willy had "all the wrong dreams. All, all, wrong" and thus "never knew who he was." Likewise, Vladimir had all the wrong dreams in waiting for Godot and thus never knew who was. However, in the passage above, Vladimir finds some meaning, some purpose for his existence, he gets a sense of his own humanity, if only for a moment, and it all comes when he realizes that he is "needed;" he has a responsibility to act, to do something productive, not wait aimlessly for Godot, for nothing, essentially. Moreover, Vladimir finds meaning for his existence when he realizes that "all mankind is us." He becomes aware the he is mankind; he is meaningful because he is human, he has the power to act, and meaning is embedded in his own humanity, not assigned to someone or something else outside of himself - Godot. Vladimir realizes that Godot's arrival or absence is irrelevant; Godot has no more power to do anything than does Vladimir. Vladimir has what it takes to accomplish his goals, whatever they may be.   

Before we think too little of Vladimir and look down on him for doing something as absurd as waiting on a person he'd never met, has no idea actually exists, and doesn't even know what good will come if Godot shows up, let's look to ourselves. What are we waiting for? What external objects do we use to assign meaning to our lives? Let us understand, like Vladimir did, that "all mankind is us." We are here to act and we have everything it takes to accomplish what we want to accomplish. 

Herein lies the conundrum as I go back to Senge's learning disabilities. In today's complex world and in a learning organization, we can't get so swept away with the notion the "all mankind is us" that we forget that we are not merely our "position." Yes, the power to effect change is certainly within us, but we should also realize that more power and more meaning comes when we see that what we do impacts others. When we all come together, collect our individual power, and direct it all toward a common purpose, what we can achieve is far greater and far more meaningful that what can be achieved by just one individual. 

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Where Are the Stars?

Walt Whitman is an American poet, and to say he is "famous" doesn't quite cut it. He's best described as an American icon, and as anti-establishment, non-conformist, and fiercely independent. No wonder he represents America, especially 19th century America.

Whitman's elegy to Abraham Lincoln, "O Captain! My Captain!," is one of the most recognizable poems in American history. If you remember The Dead Poet's Society, then Whitman's "O Me! O Life!" may come to mind. Or, you may recall Apple's iPad Air commercial that quoted the poem, with the famous line "that the powerful plays goes on, and you may contribute a verse." But, today's post will be about a lesser known Whitman poem, "When I Heard the Learned Astronomer." Here is the poem:

When I Heard the Learned Astronomer

When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide,
  and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with
  much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

The speaker in the poem is listening to a respected "learn'd" astronomer try to explain the mysterious physics and chemistry of the universe - the stars, the galaxies, planets, moons - with "the proofs, the figures . . . ranged in columns." The astronomer had his "charts and diagrams," wanting his students "to add, divide, and measure them." Apparently impressed and amazed by the astronomer's ability to explicate the universe with mathematics, charts, and diagrams, the astronomer's audience applauded him, with one exception. Without really knowing why, the speaker became "tired and sick." The inexplicable feelings, which we can assume are a reaction to the astronomer's lecture, force the speaker to glide out of the lecture room to wander alone outside in the "mystical moist night-air." And, then, in the last line, the speaker's angst seems to be resolved, looking "up in perfect silence at the stars."




Whitman's classic romanticism shines in this poem. And, the poem gives us the contrast between learning passively and through experience. As I read the poem, especially when the speaker decides to leave the lecture room, I imagined the speaker sitting confounded as the other students applauded the lecture. I imagine the speaker was thinking, "Here I am looking at diagrams and charts, adding and dividing, to understand the stars, when right outside is a night sky full of them. Why look at charts, figures, and diagrams, when I can look up in awe at the stars?" It's as if the speaker couldn't help but go out, see the stars, and experience the universe, if you will. The speaker wants to make the astronomer's numbers, charts, and diagrams REAL, to make a PERSONAL connection to the subject matter of the lecture room.

The stars, the night skies, the planets, the moons, and the universe are full of beauty and wonder; the speaker wanted to experience this beauty, not listen to a lecture. In the world of education, and in an era where state exams require so much attention, it is easy to focus on "the proofs, the figures" and to reduce subjects to diagrams and charts. Let us not become too focused on the charts and figures. Let us not forget to allow students to experience the beauty of the subjects we teach. We all have a bit of the speaker in us, itching to go out and look up in "perfect silence at the stars," to go and experience the world, and I know we have students in our schools that are exactly like the speaker, longing for that personal connection to what they're learning. In the midst of curriculum guides, textbooks, and state exams, let's remember to make our subjects relevant to students. I've no doubt that before the learned astronomer became so learned, he was once compelled to walk in the "mystical moist night-air" and look in awe at the stars.

 

Monday, September 7, 2015

Growth Mindset

"Good job!" "Way to go!" "Well done!" "I knew you could do it!" Is there anything wrong with directing these phrases toward students? Absolutely not! Positive phrases and praise such as these motivate students and make them want to continue to do good work.

1. Students do good work. 2. We provide praise. 3. Because students like the praise, they continue to want to do good work. Seems simple enough, but here's what happens over time. We begin to provide very generic praise; providing praise to kids has become such a habit and so common that it has lost its power. The following example is somewhat unrelated, but it provides a good illustration of the point: For many of us, it has become habit when we greet someone to ask, "How are you?" Most of the time, we're not really all that curious about how the other person is doing. We just say, "How are you?" out of habit. The question isn't authentic; we are just going through the motions. It's the same with praise; when we just say, "Good job!" out of habit, the praise isn't very powerful, especially when we are praising a student that normally does a good job and has heard "Good job!" 36 times before lunch.

However, over the years, sound research and theory has revealed that with a few tweaks, praise can regain its power - and praise, specific and authentic praise, can increase students' academic achievement.

Years ago, Robert Marzano, a rockstar in the field of education, pinpointed 9 strategies that positively impacted student achievement. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition was one of the nine strategies. Reinforcing effort is a way to show students the link between effort and achievement. Descriptive feedback to a student where the student's effort is acknowledged is the type of praise that is most effective and can lead to the most academic gains.

Teacher to student: "I noticed that you were focused and listening when I worked the practice problem on the board today. I also noticed that you worked through one problem 3 times today before getting the correct answer. What a great effort! You did a great job today!" This is a great example of reinforcing effort and recognizing progress. This shows a student a direct relationship between their effort, their success, and the praise from their teacher. And, because their effort was specifically recognized, the student is far more likely to exert the same effort in the future. Ultimately, through recognition and reinforcing effort, the teacher (or whomever is doing the recognizing and reinforcing) is helping students build the habit of giving effort and showing the student that their effort is what is making them a successful student.

Beside showing students the link between effort and success and conditioning students to give their best effort, recognizing and reinforcing effort creates a mindset for students that will benefit them long after they are in school. This mindset is called "growth mindset." Carol Dweck is responsible for coining the phrase "growth mindset" and has done a great deal of research on growth mindset.

Dweck contends that most mindsets fall into two different categories: fixed and growth. People with a fixed mindset believe that innate talent and intelligence -or lack thereof- accounts for a person's success or failure. Essentially, people with fixed mindset believe talents are set in stone, we are born with a certain amount of potential, and success is evidence of innate talent or intelligence and failure is evidence of a lack of talent or intelligence. Students that say things like "I'm just not good at math" have a fixed mindset toward their abilities and math. Others will say, "Some people are just good with numbers." This type of thinking reveals a fixed mindset, which leads to giving up and impedes improvement. Those with a fixed mindset typically don't like challenges, especially in areas of their life they feel they are weak; before they even attempt to conquer a challenge, those with fixed mindset have often already concluded that they will fail; their effort and resilience will not help them conquer the challenge because they feel they don't posses the requisite talent and will not be able to acquire it; after all, we are born with talent; it is not something to be acquired, or so says the fixed mindset. Sometimes, it is easier to chalk failure up to a lack of innate talent and intelligence.

Conversely, people with growth mindset believe that if they work hard enough, they can attain the talent necessary to be successful or to master a certain set of skills. People with growth mindset believe they can actually become more intelligent; intelligence is malleable and pliable. When students with growth mindset are presented with a challenging math problem that they don't know how to solve, they believe that if they practice the right strategies and spend enough time on the problem, they will solve the problem. Even if they get the problem wrong the first few times, they will continue to actively seek a solution. When a student with a fixed mindset (I'm just not good at math) is presented with a challenging math problem they don't know how to solve, they will likely attempt the problem, but after they get it wrong a couple of times, they are more likely to give up.


The main idea with this mindset thing is this: it may very well be true that some of us are born with a certain talent and a certain amount of intelligence. And, it may be true that no matter how hard we work, we may never be the best at certain task or be able to master certain skills. Though I don't agree, perhaps some students are born good at math and some aren't; perhaps some are born writers and some aren't. What we are born with doesn't really matter; how we approach challenges and problem solving does. Maybe we can't become more intelligent or more talented, but it is to our never-ending benefit to live as if we can. The growth mindset at least pushes us to always attempt to overcome challenges, attempt to get smarter, attempt to become more talented. More times than not, through the attempts, we will find that we were more talented or intelligent than we first thought.

Who of us will go through life and never be confronted with a situation, challenge, or task we are not yet equipped to overcome and conquer? If you and I live on the same planet, then we can agree that life constantly presents us with challenges, but we rarely already have the right amount of talent or intelligence to overcome and conquer the challenge. Those with fixed mindset will avoid challenges or give up much too soon and thus fail to learn new things and grow as a person. But, those with growth mindset will confront challenges, even though they know they don't have the right amount of intelligence and talent. Through effort, resilience, and spending the right amount of time, they will overcome challenges, learn new skills, and grow as a person, always looking for the next challenge.

We don't want to reinforce effort and provide recognition simply because Robert Marzano's research revealed that it will improve academic achievement. We want to reinforce effort and recognize students' progress because we want to foster growth mindset. When students leave our school, we want them see the link between their effort and their success; we want them to believe that if they want to achieve at high levels, but don't have the right amount of talent and intelligence, they can can work hard and practice long enough to be as successful as they want to be.

-BK

Saturday, August 22, 2015

To the Parents of BBJH

The first and most important goal for the faculty and staff of Bear Branch Junior High is to build meaningful relationships with our students. Sure, we have other goals; for instance, we want to help students to become more skilled writers, to be better listeners, to strengthen their numeracy, to be empathetic, and so on. But, the truth is these goals will never, ever be attained without positive, meaningful relationships with our students. We will greet students with handshakes and smiles; we will compliment them; we will make them feel welcome at our school, in our classrooms, and at school sponsored events; we will do all we can to ensure their success.

One reason for writing this blog is to connect with students and parents. I love my job, but, for me, one of the most difficult parts of being a principal is I don't have a classroom where I see my students everyday, where I get to spend hours each week learning and interacting with them. I see students in the hallways during passing periods, at lunch, and before and after school. It is hard to get to know students in 5 minute increments. So my hope is to connect with students and parents and to let them get to know me and to better understand BBJH through this blog. I'll write weekly (I hope!) on a number of different topics, but as with most things in my life, I'm sure I'll find a way to circle topics back to education, learning, and how to make BBJH a better place to go to school.

Enough with the introduction; let me leave you with the following thoughts - and this is directed at BBJH parents. I have a six-year-old daughter that will start 1st grade at Bear Branch Elementary on Monday. When I drop her off on the first day of school, I will literally be giving the faculty and staff at BBE the most important thing in my life. I could give the staff at BBE my car, and they wouldn't be getting my most important possession; I could give them my house, and they wouldn't be getting my most important thing; I could empty my bank accounts and give every cent to BBE, and, still, they wouldn't be getting what is most important to me. I am giving them my daughter, the most important thing in my life. So, yes, I have high expectations. I expect for my daughter to valued, challenged, comforted, respected, and to be held accountable - nothing special, just what every kid deserves. I have absolutely no doubt that the faculty and staff at BBE will meet my expectations. But, I'm writing this so that you, parents, understand that I know that when you drop your son or daughter off at BBJH, you are entrusting my staff and I with the most important thing in your life, your most prized possession, and we intend to treat them as such. We understand you have high expectations, and we want nothing more than to meet your expectations.

Please don't ever hesitate to contact us. I won't ever blame you for caring about your child. We'll need to work together to make sure your child get the best possible education.

Check out this video for another glimpse into BBJH's philosophy on education: http://tinyurl.com/lp7e6ne

-BK