Mike Matthews

My thoughts after 62 years on this planet on family, public education, cooking, and life.


One Year Into Retirement: A Progress Report – Part I

Click Here for Podcast Version I’m not a big fan of report cards. They are so . . . final. A progress report is much more helpful – it’s a check in on how it’s going, and guidance on how to be more successful. As a teacher, one of my favorite projects was the five […]

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The Allure of Liberty and Fireworks

June 29, 2024

Growing up, July 4th was always a big holiday in our house. We did not call it Independence Day. Just July 4th. The main focus for my siblings and me was getting to the amazing fireworks stands that magically popped up in June. The red, white, and blue banners lured us in, but it was […]

The Most Important Day of the Year

June 15, 2024

You can count on it coming in early June. My Dad will reach out to all of his kids and say, “The most important day of the year is coming this Sunday. You do remember that Father’s Day is this Sunday, right?” Yes, Dad. We remember. I heard those words this week from my 85-year-old […]

Songs of Kindness Ringing in my Ears

June 1, 2024

Click Here for Podcast Version Do you ever feel like the world is bombarding you with a message, and that wherever you turn, you keep hearing that same thought? Kind of like Kevin Costner’s character Ray Kinsella in Field of Dreams hearing, “If you build it, they will come.” Or like when people saw images […]

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Make Your Bed: Little Things that Can Change Your Life … and Maybe the World

Admiral William H. McRaven 2017
Read: 2021
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction, Reading Now

I’ll get to the title of the book later. This is written about the trials and travails of life. It’s about how life can kick you in the teeth, whether or not you deserve it. He writes about Naval SEAL training and the strength you need to get through that. SEAL training prepares our young […]

The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up

Marie Kondo 2011
Read: 2018
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction, Reading Now

I was listening to an architect who specialized in building new schools talk about what classrooms should be. One of his pet peeves was all of the nonsensical and nonpurposeful clutter that occupies many classrooms. He thought that every classroom should contain only those items which are useful for teaching and learning or inspirational for […]

Keys to a Successful Retirement: Staying Happy, Active, and Productive in Your Retired Years

Fritz Gilbert 2020
Read: 2024
Non-Fiction, Reading Now

After I finished my first year of retirement, I found this book. Mr. Gilbert’s book is thoughtful and introspective in his analysis and reflections. His advice would be to read this book and start thinking about all of this at least three years before you are considering retiring. I would say that anywhere from one […]

Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Richard Kiyosaki 2000
Read: 2010 or before
Non-Fiction, Reading Now, Recommended for Young Adults

It’s been on the best seller list since it came out. It’s corny and very simply written. But as a parent and an educator, there’s not better book to give you the big picture of money. We educators don’t think about money. We think about how overwhelming our job is, how wonderful it is to […]

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