Category Archives: Motivation

Gifts for the Gifted – Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome

With all of the political shenanigans going on in the world today, it’s comforting to know that we have a completely non-partisan president who is more concerned with dancing than making newspaper headlines – Kid President.

Kid President

If you want to give a gift that will inspire and make its recipient laugh, Kid President’s Guide to Being Awesome is the perfect book.

KP's Guide to Being Awesome

I first wrote about this book in April, and I don’t think that I can improve on the ecstatic review I gave it back then.  So, I will direct you to that post for more details.

You could also watch this fun promo video for the book, starring Kid President as himself.

Do yourself a favor if you buy this book, and read it along with the child/ren you choose to favor with this gift.  It will be much more meaningful if it’s shared.

There are a few more pieces of KP merch available here if you are interested in pairing your gift with a shirt or poster.

Want some more gift ideas?  Check out my page of links to all of my past “Gifts for the Gifted” suggestions. 


What if All the Action Heroes Were Girls?

The newest Goldieblox ad makes me want to save the world! Enough with waiting around for someone else (a man) to do it.  Girls can take care of business, too!  In this case, Ruby Rails (named after the programming language) shows the power of a smart woman.

Screenshot from Goldieblox Ad
Screenshot from Goldieblox Ad

From Service Dog to SURFice Dog

Joelle Trayers’ blog is a frequent resource to which I often refer. She works with gifted Kinders, and shares fabulous lessons and student work examples that never cease to inspire me.

In her recent post, “Not Giving Up on Your Dreams,” Joelle recommends a book that I have just placed in my Amazon shopping cart.  (Read her post to see the title and her summary!)  As a tie-in to the book, Joelle recommended this video, which I had never seen.

Piggybacking on Joelle’s take-away from the book and the video, I would say that both remind me of one of my favorite Zen Pencils posters based on an Einstein quote:

poster by Zen Pencils
poster by Zen Pencils

Except in this case it would be a judging a dog by its ability to ignore the temptation of gloriously exciting birds.

Who could easily stay safe in trees, but apparently prefer to ramble around and tempt dogs.

I’m pretty sure a fish would not have that kind of audacity.

Anyway, have a Kleenex ready when you watch the video.  (And, if you’re one of those odd people, like me, who enjoys crying over inspirational videos, you can fly, swim, or surf over here for more.)

When I Grow Up

While I was searching for a short video to show my 2nd graders to motivate them to go above and beyond what is expected, I came across this little gem by Colin Hesterly.  It’s 2 minutes long (the perfect length for my 7 & 8 year old audience) and the lovely animation and creativity deliver the message without being heavy-handed.

For more inspirational videos for students, check out this Pinterest Board.

from "When I Grow Up" by Colin Hesterly
from “When I Grow Up” by Colin Hesterly

Help Kid President Become Less Awkward!

Apparently, Kid President is a bit awkward when it comes to girls. He doesn’t really understand them.  So, his latest campaign is a request for tweets, images, etc… celebrating awesome girls with the hashtag #kpawesomegirls.

From Kid President
From Kid President

I know so many awesome girls!  But I’m careful about putting my students and my daughter on social media.  So here are some of my awesome girl shout outs to some of the incredible women (and 1 man) in my life:


I’m going to try to tweet some more in the next few days. Because wow! I know a lot of awesome girls!

You can read more about the campaign on CoolCatTeacher, along with suggestions for how educators can get involved.  Also, you can click here for more inspirational videos for students!

Don’t Quit

Lately, as I work on keeping a growth mindset,  I’ve been wondering how fine the line is between persevering and being foolishly stubborn.

As I was preparing for our Parent/Teacher meeting tonight during which we will be discussing Mindset, by Carol Dweck, I came across a video clip on Larry Ferlazzo’s blog that reminded me that the line may be a fine one – but it’s usually much further away then I imagine.


I’m not a huge football fan, and I’m not particularly fond of people yelling at me as a method of encouragement.  But this scene made me wish I could have a coach that would push me past my imagined limits with as much love and determination as the man in Facing Giants.

It also made me wish I had a script writer who could help me create inspiring dialogue for my classroom ;)

For more Growth Mindset Resources, check out this Pinterest Board.

Star Stuff

The Kuriositas blog posted this beautiful video that was inspired by the life of Carl Sagan.  It’s nearly 10 minutes long, but well worth showing to your students if you want to encourage curiosity and following your passion.

Star Stuff
from Star Stuff, written and directed by  Ratimir Rakuljic