Fishy attitudes

Once in a while, we get the perfect answer to what seemed to be an absurd question.

This week. I asked the new Okoboji High School Principal about the significance of the colorful paper fish that found a spot behind his desk. I thought maybe it was a gift from a voungster in his life, maybe a grandkid or a godchild, but I didn’t imagine his answer would reveal his philosophies on life and education.

Principal Mike Schmitz told me the fish reminds him that his attitude is important, that having fun makes work more enjoyable and that every day is a chance to listen and make someone’s day.

I guess this Seattle Fish Philosophy is pretty common knowledge among educators, but in case you were a little behind (like I was) here are the basics:

The Fish Philosophy is based on the work attitudes at the Pike Place Fish Market in Seattle. The employees at the market knew the job of selling fish could be stinky and grueling, but they decided that, if they had a good attitude about their work, it would be enjoyable.

The Pike’s Place employees came up with the following steps to improve their hours at work (and not at work):

  1. Choose your attitude,
  2. Have fun.
  3. Make someone’s day, and
  4. Listen to others.

It’s easy to see how the fish philosophy would fit into a classroom setting. It’s also easy to see how these four steps could improve any workplace or home situation.

I’m sure we all see some aspects of our life as being “stinky and grueling” at some time or another. Maybe we should all take a chance and try on a “fishy attitude.”