Wednesday, July 08, 2015

What I love about Coach Mumm

is that he always says "yes."

Whenever I ask if he's interested in trying something new or willing to look at something for me or talk to a class or help with a project, he always says yes.

None of this . . . well, I'd love too, but I'm really busy.

The thing is we are all incredibly busy.

Don't hand me that busy line.  Or don't hand me the how do you find time to get all that reading done or to get all those papers graded or develop those presentations?

The simple fact is that I don't find the time.  I make the time.

Now, I'm blessed to work with many people at LHS and our district that - despite being busy - still find a way to help out with a project, help my kids design and teach a lesson, come in and give a book talk to my class, come in and talk to my class, or fill in for me when I need something.

But what I love about Coach Mumm is that he is always willing to make the time.  In fact, I can't think of a time when he didn't turn me down for something!

Yesterday, I got an email from Sara Olson, our curriculum director, asking if I'd be interested in developing and presenting a lesson (or two or three) on technology for our tech inservice day on MLK Day.

I immediately said yes.

But I didn't want to do the same old thing that I've done for quite awhile now.

So as I was thinking about what I'd like to present on (related to technology), my favorite topic came to mind: using technology (mainly social media) to create what I call "digital" culture in my classroom.

The more I thought about it, the more I began to recall Coach Mumm's ever popular presentation (he has given it at our Kramer Brown Fall Drive-In, to my UND class, to our school board, and last year at our MLK tech day inservice) "Teaching From The Heart: PE Style."

So much of what he does with his classes centers around building culture.  So much of what he does has influenced me.  So much of what I try to use social media for relates directly to what Coach Mumm does with his kids, so I thought, why not combine our forces and present?  

I thought we could tweak the title "Teaching From the Heart: Digital Style."

How cool would that be?

So I shot Coach Mumm a quick text asking if he'd be interested.  Within seconds I got a "yes."  Even though he is on vacation AND recovering from hip surgery, he still jumped at the chance.

Guy Kawasaki calls this defaulting to yes.

What that means is that whenever you are asked for a favor or to help with something, don't follow your gut instinct (which is to always say no . . . I'm so busy).

A 'no,' leads you nowhere. 

But if you say 'yes,' you never know where that opportunity will lead you.

I've tried to do just this - and it's lead me to teaching at UND, presenting on an annual panel with other administrators and professors at UND, to robotics, to attending and then presenting at TIES, to the amazing opportunities I had as part of the MNHS grant (free trips to Boston and Atlanta as well as some of the best learning opportunities I've ever had),  to numerous other chances to present (Kramer Brown Fall Drive-In, MLK tech inservice, for the RRVWP, for the AAUW, and for other community groups), and best of all it pushed me outside of my comfort zone and put me in contact with people I never would get the opportunity to work with.

And Coach Mumm never misses a chance to say 'yes.' 

And I greatly admire that.

I think this stems from early on in his coaching career here at LHS when he wanted to update his team's jerseys.  Here is my recollection of the legend -

The AD at the time kept telling him no.  No. No. No. No.

There was no money.  

There was going to be no fundraising.

No. No. No. No.

Coach grew so tired of that answer, he decided to just go ahead and order all new jerseys and pay for them himself.

(Gotta love his moxie!)

Then one summer day he got a call from the AD.

"What are all of these boxes that just came in?" he demanded.

"Oh," Mumm said, happily, "those must be the new jerseys I ordered."

"You never got the okay to do that!"

"I know," Mumm said.  "I went ahead and did it anyway."

"You can't do that."

"It's okay.  I'll pay for them myself."

"You can't do that! It's illegal."

"Well," Coach said.  "We'll have to find a way to pay for them because they all say Thief River Falls Prowlers in our school colors.  So we can't send them back."

And he found a way.  "Yes" found a way!

I love that.

So think about saying "yes" instead of "no" the next time an opportunity is presented to you.

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