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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The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment

Eckhart Tolle 2010
Read: 2022
Non-Fiction, Reading Now

I’m not sure why I haven’t added this book until now. I’ve been reading it and re-reading it for years, and it has helped me through many a stressful time. I love the references to all of the world’s major religions. The main premise is rather Buddhist in nature, seeking the end of suffering through […]

Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention and How to Think Deeply Again

Johann Hari 2022
Read: 2023
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction, Reading Now

My friend Jenn loaned me this book. That means I read it as a paperback, instead of Kindle-ing it. I read less than 10% of my books in hard copy. This was a perfect one to choose to be part of that 10%. This is a book about why we are distracted, and the forces […]

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 […]

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

Stephen Covey 1989
Read: 2010 or before
Education/Leadership, Non-Fiction, Reading Now, Recommended for Young Adults

This is another one of my bedrock books. Stephen Covey has had such an influence on my personal and professional life. The seven habits: Be Proactive Begin with the End in Mind First Things First Win-Win Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood Synergize Sharpen the Saw From “Beginning with the End in Mind” which […]

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