With Summer Dreamers in 2018, #SDA18, our regular, daily, Swim & Water Polo Team Meeting is going to include some circle time. This new program wrinkle comes on the wake of a school district push to Restorative Justice.
A few years ago, a friend, Richard King, PhD, helped to launch and lead a practice with circles with the students in a program he championed, Mindful Gardening. He is not leading any SDA activities in 2018., sadly.
Wishing for sanity and dialog in recent seasons
In 2017 as well as in the early part of 2018, I would have welcomed the on going use of restorative practices within PPS programs. The kids were fine. I needed the circles among a few of the adults who were going in different directions.
This offers a dramatic mind shift for some at PPS. With us at the swim pool, not so much. Sure, it is a new wrinkle. New touchstones are going to be needed. But we have always had an approach that gives students a voice, some choices, and builds upon respect.
Ideas and tools to implement the new circle time at Swim & Water Polo are welcome. We hope to document the process and offer more examples.
Nearly sixty years on and this video is still one of the most iconic sporting moments in history. Roger Bannister had intended to retire after the 1952 Olympics, but having only come in 4th in the 1500m final, he hung on for another two years to make an attempt on the holy grail of middle distance running, breaking the time of a four minute mile.
The video is a replay with the runner’s voice recounting the experience. He said twice, “he was full of running.” I love the quote, “I felt that a moment of a lifetime had come.”
Two other milers had the same intent of Bannister and were out to break that 4-minute-mile record: John Landy of Australia and Wes Santee of the USA. Bannister ran early in the season at the track called Iffley Road in Oxford, and, he was paced by his old friends Brasher and Chataway. He came home under the magical time, taking 2 seconds off of Gunder Hägg’s nine year old mile world record. Amazingly after all the hype, the Bannister record only stood for six weeks. Then it was to John Landy who ran 3:57.9 in Finland.
Bannister then went on that season to defeat Landy in the “Mile of the Century” in the Empire Games, before winning the European 1500-meter title and then retiring from the sport at the age of 25.
The psychology and deeper meaning of the new vision for Pittsburgh Public Schools has merit, if it is put into practice. The slogan is being put everywhere, such as on the web site, on stationary and on posters throughout the district. The slogan is getting plenty of practice, as it is repeated often. But is its message being implemented?
The motivational message makes sense. Furthermore, the actions need to speak volumes too. Words and deeds are both required.
Headline: Expectations leads to manifestation.
You get what you expect. Your expectations are the source code of your creative possibilities.
We are all swimming in a soup of sensory inputs. So focus is needed. Easy to understand that the leaders of Pittsburgh Public Schools are confronted with a seemingly endless set of challenges. The leaders are putting out fires on multiple fronts any given week, day and hour. But, what are they really hoping to accomplish and what is expected?
What the leaders pay attention to is what they see and hear. Sadly, it seems to me, the leaders do not pay much attention to the support of those who are expecting greatness.
Understanding the power of expectations comes with both opportunity and warning.
My mission and what I’m looking for with PPS builds upon the concept of “summer dreamers” and goes to “year-round achievers.” I expect great things and have always lead the struggle to bring brushes of greatness to the students, through sports and swimming programs. Our holistic approach offers championship competitive swimming, but it goes to personal improvements and building upon our shared community capacity of playing well with others.
Part 2 goes to leadership.
Our swimmers are intellectual bloomers. We have the magic sauce for the self-fulfilling prophecy that has proven itself every year, to a certain extent, with most of our student-athletes on the varsity swimming team.
Agents and management have to understand the power of expectation and also keep grounded in the real world. When we have coaches and principals with ordinary track records and below satisfaction results, be done and find others who want to reach and want to aspire to the performance high bar.
Message from Dr. Hamlet at the opening of the maker space at PPS Obama Academy in December 2017