One in a Million

There are some people that come around once in a lifetime. They are truly one in a million. My best friend Brian is one of them. We met in college and when he called the other day it felt as if we had just graduated yesterday.

He was the kind of guy who would say, "Let's have a party" at lunch, and by that evening have our house filled with every different type of college student, all getting along and all getting crazy.

My little sister (the beautiful blond in the picture) would get up on the coffee table with me and help lead everyone in "bouncing the house".

One party, Brian playing darts in the basement, could see the floor bouncing up and down so much he seriously thought it was breaking. He rushed upstairs and right into the cops, who were now making their second visit to our humble home.

He is so good and so honest (and doesn't drink so also very sober), that even the law smiled and just asked us to keep it quiet enough so that all of Cleveland couldn't hear us.

He has been off in Hollywood for the past ten plus years making others' lives better every day in so many ways: giving free acting lessons to inner-city kids, creating kids' shows like Mighty Me and projects for the handicapped, and making children laugh everyday as the voice for several cartoon characters on channels like Disney, Nickelodeon and Toon Disney.

Wherever he goes, life improves.

You can honestly say this about only one out of every million people in this world.

More importantly, can others say this about us?

I am one of many that can say this about this man. And I am proud to say that I have been instrumental in Brian Donovan becoming who he is, VERY important (I say this in jest). Every time he has an audition for a "dumb guy" role, he thinks of me. I'm so glad I can help :-)

Brian is Skip (red cap) in this episode of Wings....You're welcome buddy! And thanks for being the best you. It is making the world a much better place.

Thank You Liz!

The day before Spring Break I was able to give the kids a HUGE surprise!

A block of 25 tickets to Wrestlemania donated by my very good and wonderful friend, Liz!

They were so excited I had to create an invisible door to my "office" to keep them out.

They used their inner strength to control their excitement and come to the ticket counter in an orderly fashion. (Nick, Florencia and Chad)

Sandria and Kelly getting theirs

And Kristen....oh wonderful Kristen. She is simply amazed that anyone would give her anything...constantly reminding me of what true gratitude really is

Sinatra (Drew) releasing some extra energy

Finding a note Taneicea had written in a storage room before she left

Which between this and being able to FEEL the happiness Liz had sparked within the kids from her thoughtfulness and generosity...I snapped the yardstick I was holding, again.....which is now in five pieces to date from the beginning of the year.

My birthday's coming up...maybe I'll get a new one :-)

Sandria, Amanda, Taylor and Courtney enjoying their self-created office setup. When I told them they should put something special in the middle, Taylor jumped up and said, "How about me?"

It's one thing to tell people they're all special....it's another to have everyone feel special. Her statement let me know I'm doing my job with her.

This picture makes me very happy...and my eyes a little misty

In order to have this freedom to create your own workspace, you have to earn it....you have to recreate yourself constantly. Now that the state testing is over, and with the momentum we've created all year, the rate of learning and growth is increasing.

The latest challenge is to succeed in all four areas of the AR reading program (passing percent, book level, tests taken and points earned). Kelly working hard and recreating herself, achieving what she hasn't yet achieved....yet will!

I rarely tell them what to do. Instead I ask them what they want, and then motivate and guide them in how to get it. Big Fun (Luis) and Little Miggs want the big table......Good.......NOW EARN IT!

Make it happen! Dream Big and Achieve your BIG Dreams with BIG Thoughts and Big Action!

Be MORE than you have ever been before....and do it with a BIG sense of PLAY!

It's so much more fun that way

(no animals were hurt during the making of this film....some students were, but no animals - LOL - just playing!!!)

(Oh! Andrew brought in a Frank Sinatra print that you can see in the upper left of the photo......Paint the picture of what could be....Get them to see it.....Teach them how to paint it themselves....And stand back in awe as they create it)


Trace Fights For His Daughter Tonight

Most people open their hands to take or receive something.

Some open their hands to give.

Trace Adkins is one of those people, and I was proud to shake his hand and thank him for what he's given the world to see......

That a good, honest person can have great, honest success smile on him.

I hope he wins it all tonight on NBC's The Celebrity Apprentice.

And to Brianna and his other two daughters,


I want you to know,

I became a fan of your father,

before I ever heard one of his songs.

As great as he is as a singer

as big as a celebrity he is,

He's already won the biggest prize,

and that is who he is as a man.

- Adam Stuart (March, 2008)

The Celebrity Apprentice

The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network
Education. Advocacy. Research. Awareness.

This is from their website:

Country music superstar Trace Adkins understands the effect food allergies can have on kids and their families, especially parents. Trace’s daughter, Brianna, has severe food allergies. “When she was 18 months old, she licked the lid of a peanut butter jar; her face immediately got swollen. We had no experience with food allergies at the time, and it was terrifying. We later learned she is allergic to several foods including peanuts, milk, and eggs,” says Trace.

Learning about her allergies has “been a struggle and a learning process. We are very careful about our food now. We have peanut butter in the house, but it is on the top shelf of the pantry, and none of us wants to eat it. I don’t like to eat what she can’t eat,” he says. “My wife is the world’s best at managing our daughter’s food allergy. It is her mission in life to enable Brianna to have just as normal a childhood as others. We don’t isolate her but are vigilant and watch over her. It’s all about education.”

With Trace and his families help, Brianna is coping with her food allergies. “She is a mature little girl. It is both amazing and heartbreaking at the same time to see how mindful she’s learned to be about her food allergies. She has had several reactions which required a trip to the hospital, so she knows how careful she has to be. She knows to ask first before eating any food,” says Trace, words that could only come from a proud father.

It was because of his daughter’s experience that Trace was motivated to join with the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN). “I know firsthand how important FAAN’s efforts to increase funding for food allergy research are,” says Trace. He and his family turn to FAAN for help managing Brianna’s food allergies, and now Trace is helping FAAN as their national spokesperson.

He is currently on “The Celebrity Apprentice” to raise awareness for FAAN, and in 2008 is reprising his role as the honorary chairman of Walk for Food Allergy: Moving Toward A Cure, which raises money and awareness for food allergy education and research. “I’m so pleased to be able to lend my name as the National Honorary Chair,” says Trace.

“I don’t think many people are aware that so many children are developing food allergies these days.” To all parents of children with food allergies Trace says, “Be aware that food allergies are serious. We are not talking about a simple rash. Let’s work together to figure out what is causing the increase in food allergy and take care of it.”

For more information about food allergies visit www.foodallergy.org.

Food Allergy Facts

  • Food allergy is a growing public health concern in the U.S.
  • The incidence of food allergy has doubled in the U.S. over the last 10 years and scientists don’t know why.
  • More than 12 million Americans have food allergies. That’s one in 25, or 4 percent of the population.
  • The incidence is even higher in young children – one in 17 among those under age 3. About 3.1 million children
    in the U.S. have food allergies.
  • Allergic reactions to milk and egg affect more children in the United States and throughout the world
    than allergies to any other foods.
  • There is presently no known cure for food allergy.
  • Strict avoidance of the food allergen is the only way to prevent a reaction.
  • To download a complete list of FAAN Food Allergy Facts Click Here

    SOURCE: The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network

    For more information about food allergies visit www.foodallergy.org.
    For more information on being a part of the Walk for Food Allergy visit http://www.foodallergywalk.org
    For more information about Trace on Celebrity Apprentice visit http://www.nbc.com/


    Forget Your Rules

    music player
    I made this music player at MyFlashFetish.com.

    Take me,

    and let me in.

    Don't break me,

    and shut me out.....

    I want to be part

    of something.

    This is just the story of

    a broken soul......

    As days goes by

    my heart grows cold

    I can't seem to let

    this stuff pass me by.....

    I'm burning in the heavens

    and drowning in a hell

    And my soul is in a coma.....

    Don't shut me out

    I'm reaching out and getting nothing.

    Does anyone around me feel the same?

    Put your fist up and vent your pain!

    - "Take Me" Papa Roach

    Since reading a bulletin from Colton's sister asking for people to sign her brother's guest book a few days ago I have been very bothered. I've never met him but from what I've read on the blogs and his mother's emails I really like this kid. He has an abundance of energy and sense of goodness....along with an extreme case of ADHD and Autism.

    And it seems society at large is just pushing this kid away as an uncontrollable nuisance, as it does many others. After listening to the lyrics above from "Take Me" is it any wonder how some children grow up to be such angry and dysfunctional adults...and making the world a worse place because of it?

    And we're letting it happen....And we CAN stop it

    I have had at success with all types of students, including those with severe ADHD. And the greatest source of this success has come from giving them great amounts of love and a willingness to teach them they way they need to be taught, even if it means "breaking the rules".

    But going outside the box in order to reach any student is almost a certain death sentence in the teaching world.

    I am very fortunate to have been led and believed in by my past two principals, but even with this kind of support the teaching profession is still a difficult and dangerous job.....that's only getting worse.

    I don't judge any "normal" teacher, as I'll explain below. But one day we're going to wake up and wonder what happened.....asking ourselves, "What went wrong?????"

    As teachers most of us are given orders as to what to teach and how to teach it, and put our jobs in jeopardy if we even appear to question these commands.

    The system uses kids as seat fillers for state dollars. And the very ones we try to help are often the same ones whose parents try to get us fired. In an effort to reach the greatest amount, we're basically asked to pretend we're trying to reach every student by covering our rear ends on our lesson plans......while in reality sacrificing those who are labeled too difficult and disruptive to our teaching....as well as numerous students who don't really learn from our way of teaching (which often is sit, listen, remember, regurgitate). We teach the way we were taught.

    As long as you sit quietly, behave yourself and do well on the tests, we don't really care if you believe in yourself or can really think. With all we're asked to do and told not to do the effort is just too great....and the pay is the same either way. So why waste your energy and risk your job? It just doesn't make sense.

    As a result many teachers don't dare venture out of the teaching box constructed for them. Many children are not reached and are simply asked to sit on the bench until they're traded away like baseball cards to the next teacher after the year is over..........a 13-17 year game, all for the "greater good" of the education system.

    Many teachers hope to reach that "one" student a year, not because they are lazy....but because their hands are tied by the rules of the game from really reaching any more than that.

    And the result is a massive dropout rate while graduating massive numbers of "successful" 'A' students who are unable to think for themselves, solve problems and function successfully in the real world.

    And good people...good teachers...are left wondering what we're really doing....working in a profession that's getting harder and more demanding every year.....For What?!?

    One mistake, the slightest error, a tiny risk.....and we're in trouble with somebody........We give extra attention to Colton who is not scum and we get in trouble for taking it away from others. We teach to the majority of the students and we get in trouble for not teaching to Kristen.

    It is a complex and confusing career...and if we just follow the rules and cover our butts we will save our livelihood......no matter if ANY child, let alone ALL of them, really learns.

    So we allow the dreams of the children to die...even murder them with our unspoken messages that they're just not worth the extra effort, risk and unending searches for how to reach each one of them.....how to show each one that they are truly special......truly important......

    Thanks for playing though. Sorry it didn't work out for you. There's a wonderful consolation prize at the end of life called "death". Just be a good boy and girl for the rest of your life and you'll gain ascent into an everlasting heaven. You'll just have to settle for a modified hell on earth for the rest of your life since we're asking you to stop dreaming and start settling.

    And we allow the dreams of our people to die as we send wave after wave of them out into a world needing super-thinking and super-confident problem solvers. Not one civilization has ever lasted forever as a world power. Rome lasted for 2,000 years....and is gone. America the Beautiful has held the title for less than 100 years....and is going, going, and will be gone.....as long as we keep throwing away the Coltons, Kristens, Taneiceas and everybody else in between.

    Taneicea hasn't shown up for school anymore. I'm glad I ran down her van to shake her father's hand the day before. He hadn't returned any of my phone calls or come to the school all year. I shook his hand and told him how very, VERY special his daughter was and all she's accomplished and overcome this year

    ........As I was getting yelled at for holding up traffic I looked him in the eyes and told him I knew he was going to take good care of her because she was so important to this world. He looked at her with surprise and stopped trying to crush my hand, then smiled at me and said he would.....I think he meant it.

    I smiled and waved to Taneicea as she drove away while being told I couldn't hold up traffic like that........Sure I could, and did......To make a difference in someone's life. Man's simple rules don't apply to man's great spirit.

    After coming home and reading an email from Colton's mother, I was too fired up to study so I listened to Papa Roach and then watched Spy Game.

    Please go back and read the post from the beginning after watching this scene from the movie, and then watch the video again. It's impact will be a lot greater......(just remember to pause the ipod played at the top)

    And if you've been reading, commenting and even giving to my students over the past year or two (something that blows me away)......You'll understand how VERY important it is what you have been doing.

    I copied the comments left on "Taneicea's Encore" to show them to her, and then she didn't show. I was too late. I won't make that mistake with any more comments left for a student. You ARE making a difference and your love, support and energy ARE part of the solution......the solution to keeping teachers inspired....the solution to SAVING DREAMS, to SAVING LIVES

    (Kristen wearing my helmet and asking me if I think she's weird like students in other classes tell her she is. I told her she's beautifully unique and perfect, and that we're going to develop her talents so much that she will be free to be whoever she wants in the world, because she will have the tools to successfully operate and thrive in the world.

    She placed among the top four speakers in class during a contest yesterday. Oh the places she will go....as long as we don't give up and have the strength to hold onto her UNTIL she gets there.)

    WARNING: This video contains strong language that may be offensive to some

    I've often been told to follow the rules and just do what I am told...and not to go off the reservation anymore. But if it means the child gets pushed aside, forgotten, thrown away....my response has always been the same.......Always very respectfully......But always very clearly...........

    I don't work for you.

    I work for the child.

    Forget your rules!


    Taneicea's Encore

    Yesterday I meant to take the day off now that testing is over to get some rest. I forgot to, and I'm glad I did. I got a huge surprise when I let the zoo animals...I mean students....in at the morning bell.

    Somehow Taneicea talked her parents into staying in Orlando for one more week until Spring Break (This foto was last Wednesday when she first told me she was moving. I was too affected to look at the camera so I gave my evil eye to someone who was goofing off.....probably Luis or Chad :-)

    Before she left last week something told me to write a quick chapter during lunch from an education/adventure book I'm sloooooooowly working on. After I shared it with the class Taneicea started writing her own story. You have to read it. Now that she's back I'll try to get it scanned or I'll ask her to type it......It's good and speaks volumes.

    This is the first draft of a new book from the series, Once Upon a Tree


    Brosden, Bella and Sofia have been transported back in time once again. They find themselves in the year 1274 a.d. where they meet Marco Polo on Asia's Silk Road. Mr. Polo has just arrived himself, and he looks very tired.

    "Why are you so tired, Mr. Polo", Brosden asks. He was very polite for an eleven-year-old boy.

    "Call me Marco. I'm only 20. My father, uncle and I have been traveling for three years to get here. We came on a ship, wagon, horseback and now on foot."

    "It took us on-wley three minutes", says Sofia. Even though she was six, she still had twouble, I mean 'trouble', pronouncing some of her letters.

    "Sofia, shhh! He won't understand", Bella quickly said as she took off her jacket. It was really warm here.

    "Why won't he undahstand? Is he not vewry smart?"

    Brosden interrupts the two by stepping between them. "Mr. Polo, er Marco, sorry....you're a lot older to me than you think."

    "Yeah. Like by almost 800 years", Bella said under her breath.

    Brosden shushes his sister by covering her mouth before saying, "Marco, why did you travel so far? What's here?"

    "Oh my, little guy! This is the famous Silk Road of the continent, Asia. We are merchants from Venice, Italy. We have come to bring rare and exotic goods back to Europe."

    "Ware goods? Ware awre wat goods?", Sofia wondered aloud.

    "Rare, Sofia, rare. It means exotic, strange, very different."

    Brosden liked when Bella explained words to Sofia. That way he wasn't embarrassed when he had to ask. He didn't like it that his younger sister did better in school, but he tried not to let it bother him. "What kind of different things are here that aren't in Europe?"

    "Well, things like gunpowder, coal, and paper money. We're headed to Shangdu to meet Emperor Kublai Khan. Would you like to join us?"

    "Sure!", replied Brosden, who was always up for an adventure.

    "What's a kwoobly kwan..."

    "Don't even try it Sofia. He's a ruler with a name that's impossible for you to say."

    "I too can say it, Bella. We have woolers in school. See, 'wool-lers'".

    "Not 'rulers'. Oh, never mind! Let's go before they leave without us", and Bella, who could be a little bossy, took Sofia by the hand.......

    ***And these are some of Taneicea's recent comments on the blog I write for them, called Stuart's Spectacular Students.

    I would not only say she's been reached, but confident and smart enough now to believe in and start creating the gifts she hears within her heart.

    ***From "Fossil Results"

    hi mr.stuart this is taneicea and that when i read that i think that when people have ideas and i can listen to them and then i can and my ideas to them and then it can even a better idea then it was before. Also that I will find a way to get more then what i have already in classworks. And it was great to have the class call me and care so much about me and call me just like mr.stuart would and that they are all great and that I like to thank them so much I think this is the best class ever and then mr.stuart. love taneicea

    hey mr.stuart this taneicea last week was not that so good so i came back to have a better week than before and I could not leave without saying good bye to flo in our class I know when I leave you guys will or might miss me.

    i love you and i would do anything to have you.
    love taneicea.

    7:30 AM
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    And these are from "Good Day or Bad Day?"

    hey stuart this is taneicea again and thank you for everything that you done for me and that i would not be what i am today and it is because of you. thank you.
    roses are red volits are blue
    being with you there is nothing else I would want to do. I love you and thank you without you I dont know what my life would be like if I did not have you and i am not like i am with you. love t

    8:30 AM
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    hey mr.stuart this is taneicea and i do not know what to do for my land form and that is is tommmorow and i have lots of things but they are already taking and i do not konw what to do and i really want to do this but i cant without a speach to do and i want you to help me pick what i might be the best at and what can help me face my fears the most so by the time i have to go at the end of the week i will be feeling better than i was last week and that once i try to face my fear and that when i leave hopefully that the fear that i have of this will be no longer inside me and that is another step closer to living my live and it will all because of you. Ilove you [as a teacher] THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR HELP AND BELIVING IN ME AND CARING IN ME. I LOVE YOU. Taneicea