farmington-schools-logoOk. Not exactly.

Farmington Schools recently hired me to motivate their administrators. We brought them together for one huge team-building, morale-building, humor in the workplace fiesta. Ok, seminar is the proper term, but hey, “fiesta” sounds like better marketing.

We did Laugh-O-Nomics: my session for folks who really wan to create lasting change in their work culture.

It went great: check out the reviews in this very short video:

Are you looking for a motivational speaker for your school district?  Want to inspire and motivate your staff, your classified staff or your administrators?  I’d love to be your guy.

The main take away for me:  I was struck with how important it is to these educators to make their job fun.  They were craving both tools and techniques for bringing levity and lightheartedness to the workplace AND permission to use them.   In other words, one of the biggest things I provided by being there was encouragement and permission to bring the concept “enjoying ourselves at school will help us with our mission as educators” to each of these fine educators.

Many of them new HOW to lighten up;   they just had forgotten how important it was both to them AND to the superintendent.

It was a great day in Colorado.  (Which was weird, because the school district was over the border in New Mexico!)

Learn more about this educators speaker here.

Brad Montgomery
Education Speaker, New Mexico Speaker, Fan of Farmington!

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One of my best pals from way back when (we both had hair) is Craig Young.  He left a hefty salary by jumping off the corporate ship to follow his passion.  He was a big deal at Accenture and decided that he wanted more.  He wanted to be a high school teacher.   I speak pretty often…. Craig speaks to high school “audiences” every day.

In this photo, Craig looks like he is a little bit cazy, a little bit sick — and a little bit scared.   I’m totally jealous of him.  Here’s what he said about this flight:  

In Sept. I had a chance to go on a parabolic flight to experience weightlessness – the same type of flights that NASA uses to train astronauts for weightlessness.  This week, I finally received the photos and videos from the event.  Attached is one of the better photos of me being “weightless”. 

The weightless flight was a deal for science and math teachers sponsored by Northrop Grumman (a CA defense contractor).  Their goal is to inspire teachers who can then inspire students to pursue math and science…and turn into nice little engineers working for defense contractors.  Anyway, I applied in the spring and found out in August that I’d been selected.  We
got together in early Sept to design some experiments showing the effects of weightless.  The flight was on Sept 18.  It was basically an all-day event, but the flight was only 90 minutes.  We flew out of San Jose over the Pacific Ocean.  Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, the plane started doing these crazy roller-coaster-like hills – climbing at a 50-degree angle then putting the engines in neutral and letting Earth’s gravity pull us through a parabola.  We did that 15 times and got about 20 seconds of weightlessness each time.    It was a phenomenal experience!

My teammates and I had planned only 4  experiments we wanted to perform, thinking that it would take a while to get acclimated and to collect our wits.  I never collected my wits!  Every time we went into freefall, I got giddy and could barely concentrate on what we were doing.  It was such a different sensation than I had imagined.  We did get our experiments completed but the video I took was a complete waste – fingers in the way, pictures of feet, backs, floors, ceilings – everything but the experiments.  Luckily, the company had a professional photographer and mounted video cameras so we got some great footage from them.  As I said
before, if I needed another reason to be a science teacher, that was it.

My students all got 2 days of weightlessness discussion – 1 the day after the flight and another when the videos came in.  I also got to keep the flightsuit so I wore that both days to school and on Halloween.

My pal Craig worked hard, made extremely tough choices, and in the end found his passion;  he’s found his home. 
I’m proud of him…and am inspired by him.   But never more than when he sent this photo.     

My point: Are you following your passion?  Are you making sure that fun is driving you?  That you are driving fun?   Can you find “great reasons” to be doing what you are doing?

Way to go Craig!
Brad Montgomery
Motivational Speaker, Educator, Fan of Folks with Passion
PS.  I want a flight suit too, but I’m afraid I’d barf all over the place on my way to earning it.

Ok, not exactly. While doing a motivational seminar on humor in the workplace at a school in the Farmington Unified School District, (New Mexico) I met a ton of principals and other administrators who really liked the idea of “play” at work. We looked at ways humor and levity can make any environment a little lighter — resulting in better productivity, morale, and retention. As leaders, it was there job to lead the way to humor for their staffs (and eventually their students).

Fun is NOT just for the kids. Really.

I posted one of their cool ideas here.

Here’s another great idea that came out of the break out session:

A principal made “fake announcements” over the PA system. He announced the winners of the “Catch a Raccoon” Contest (naming students who don’t exist winning a contest that didn’t exist), talked about the lunch menu for the next day (Which of course he made up with gross foods), ….you get the idea.

The results? First, the kids and teachers actually listened to the announcements. Can you say the same thing about your lousy announcements? But even better, this principal enjoyed his job, had fun at his job, and helped pass that passion to his team and his students by having fun in a public way.

Give it a go: maybe your staff will listen closely to the announcement before they sing happy birthday FOR THE THIRD TIME IN A WEEK to one of the teachers! (Yes, that DOES happen all the time.

What’s my point?  Have fun at work. Not because you’ll get others to laugh or smile. Not because you want them to listen closer — though both of these reasons are good enough for me.

Have fun at work because it will make you better at your job. These educators were better administrators because they actively made their work more fun for them.  Simple, yet genius.

How you YOU actively have fun at work today?

Hey Teachers, Administrators and Educators! What stunts have YOU done in your schools? COMMENT!