Hal Roberts has had an amazing journey as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and educational consultant. He focuses on leadership and the relationship with wine. Yes, I said, wine. Hal is the author of Make Waves! and started Safe Harbor Academy as a school for kids with incarcerated parents.
Background, where you grew up
Born and raised in Dallas, I was the baby of three, one brother who was very intelligent, one sister. My mom would tell you I was the favorite. I was a very average student, but a strict rule follower…maybe a few classes, I was the teacher’s pet.
Above is the group picture of my family on Thanksgiving 2019. I am married to my beautiful wife, Susan, who is an AVID consultant. We have two grown daughters. My older daughter, Colleen is Vice President of Proactivate, a search firm for C-suite candidates. She has two kids, Tatum and Bryson. My younger daughter, Emily is a teacher in Brownsboro ISD. She has two sons, Drew and Kyle.
My wife and I are currently serving in the Re|Engage ministry in Lakepointe Church in Rockwall, Texas. It is a marriage ministry to enhance, improve, repair, or heal any marriage regardless of where it is on the marriage journey.
Your journey as an educator
In 1974, I played for the St. Louis Cardinals. After I was placed on waivers in the NFL, I began my teaching/coaching career. I began as 7th-grade health, history teacher, and coach.
My goal was to coach in college one day. I quickly moved to varsity football assistant, eventually obtaining an Athletic Director position/head football. In Texas, it is all about winning, and I didn’t win enough so, after 20 years of coaching and teaching a wide variety of subjects, I got my first campus administrative job as principal in a 3-5 grade campus…it was me and 33 women! I will not add anything to that.
I then served as HS principal in two districts, then moving to an Asst. Supt. and finally superintendent in a small k-8 district with approximately 350 students. The board wanted a high school so we created/built a High School. When I left/retired from the district we were K-12 with over 750 students with a new high school. That was a dream come true in building/creating a school.
Below is the video of my presentation at the National Title 1 conference in Long Beach, CA. The presentation is entitled “The Neurocardiologist Teacher/Leader” It focuses on brain-friendly teaching strategies and keeping students engaged.
Author: Make Waves!
Make Waves! is all about leadership with the foundation of service, trust, integrity, humility, and of course building relationships. I tell people it took me about three years to write, six months to type it, put it on paper, and save it on my computer. I signed a contract with EduMatch Publishing for my book Make Waves! The quote in this image is in my book and in one of my presentations talking about leadership. In short, the life of the leader is on the other side of the desk.
Story of Safe Harbor
Safe Harbor is a school for kids with an incarcerated parent. We will have a curriculum that is heavy in SEL, Christian foundation, and kindling hope for our kids. These kids have faced trauma and toxic stress in their young lives and will have all sorts of emotions which we will teach them how to identify and manage and self-regulate. We will also teach them about the brain and the three parts/functions of the amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex. My teacher has 18 years of experience and a great background in music, movement, ASL to name a few of her unique skills. We will begin this school year with 10-12 students and two aides to assist our teacher.
Contributed a Chapter
The latest publication I had a small part in writing Chapter 3 “100 No-Nonsense Things that All Teachers Should Stop Doing.” The chapter title is “Stop saying that some students just can’t learn.”
I would love to present a TED talk on comparing producing wine and teaching & leading, which originates from the first chapter of my book “We are chosen to produce fruit!” I like to say that vines do four things, crawl, cling, climb, and cluster. So you can see rather quickly how easy to compare teaching and growing grapes and turning grapes into wine.
I love to speak on leadership, neuroscience/brain-friendly teaching strategies, and lesson design. I like to create unique presentations ex. Teach/Lead like Dorothy and Elphaba using video clips from Wizard of Oz (my fav movie of all time) The Wiz, and the musical Wicked.
Hal’s contact information
Interested in checking out more of the Rethinking Learning podcasts, click on the podcast tab at the top, the logo below, or go to https://barbarabray.net/podcasts/
For more information about Barbara’s book, Define Your WHY, go to this page or click on the new image of the book for resources, questions, and links.