Todd Roberts | Fatherhood from one educators perspective

Thank you for viewing this site! I had the pleasure to interview Todd Roberts from Fort Wayne Indiana School district, recipient of the Oustanding Teacher of the Year award. Todd has his hands full with his three children Zeno, Sam and Juju! Love the names! He talks about growing up with good role models and the impact it had on shaping his life as well as certain traditions and ways of growing up that he is continued with raising his children. He covers servant leadership, sneaking out of the house, video games and many other topics that may face a father or any parent for that matter!

He also speaks to reading books and how parents can help out their schools and their children with their school work. This one is for you!

Todd can be reached at

Todd recommends:

Thank you Todd for taking the time to speak to this amazing audience, I know that you have impacted my life many students lives and now the audience of this podcast as well!

#fatherhoodmovement machine output transcript below


Or three to one hey they’re all here with Todd Roberts an associate of mine and Todd you are a coach and a teacher out in Indiana’s on the mistaken. That’s true I’ve been teaching for fourteen years now I’ve been years out of middle school the last three years at a high school for winning you know nobody coached pro ball I’ve coached. Baseball if I even know even though I didn’t play in high school I coached tennis now as well. It’s nice it’s got to be it’s got to keep you got to keep your hands full right especially and you’ve got your three children yes I do ever three kids Sammy due in Xeno Sam’s eight years old or seven years old juju is five years old and you know was eleven months old so we have it is full right on I’ve got to myself that are that are a seven and five so I know what you can with just two you got your hands hands on. As a full. So could you tell us a little bit and this is a pocket for a father who could salsa what about maybe your background how you grew up what kind of relationship you had with your dad. I was a great relationship I was when I was fortunate people that always had mom and dad around all the time they lived together. You know not only that but I always had you know my mom is from a family of eight kids and so there’s always a little as an answer around as well you know both sets of grandparents were together as well so I always had good role models and good people to look to when it when it came to just you know how to relate to kids every everyone really you know they all my own business my mom and dad always teasing. Always giving us what we needed you know my dad was you know they were they were considered strict by other kids. But I say live a really were I mean they had they had certain guidelines that we had to follow but certain rules of that we had to follow but they were always in the best interests of us and it wasn’t in terms of like yelling and screaming to get us to do things like read on we say sure to say what is it what you mean by not well using it I made fun of a bit because the moment about night force we would only let be allowed to have pop one night a week one can of one night a week on Fridays you know we didn’t do the. I would eat a lot like other just did we didn’t have the you know we were in a lot of play video game systems. You know we use is more like Get outside and do stuff we just. We weren’t allowed to watch certain T.V. shows certain movies. In you know some time to seem harsh at the time but as you become a parent you start to understand all the things that they were you know protecting us from certain outlasts. And just jump on that. From that what are some good things that avi you would take from your parents that you would apply now or have applied. So I is scary. How much I see their influence and how that I raise my kids and you know even sometimes in the phrases of how I say things to them it sounds just like my dad would say things. And but we are my wife and I are really big on not giving our kids too much pop or juice or anything like that where we just like my parents had one of that US Just watch any type of thing or play video games all the time where the same you know we don’t have a video game system at our house we you know do allow them to play video games in their other places but we really want to make sure that they’re reading and active and doing things instead of just having a T.V. screen do things for them we don’t want them. Like that we don’t let them watch any type of T.V. show that they want and we don’t want to watch every type of movie that they want something. Then just the idea of like getting outside and you know what I want to it’s someone I said with here it’s your outside you’re not inside doing things nice. Which you say has less scheduled time play as war and it just kind of let him get out there and play or is it like next or both. It just depends you know it’s you know we’re both my wife a stay at home she’s extremely active doing this that everything ends and. I’m working frequently so. When I’m home it’s more organic let’s go do this do that and we’re trying to teach them more lately how to play by themselves or how to you know. Just with each other the. Seven If I. You know I just said Just so you know I go outside and you know and they can figure out the fun and how to do things by themselves you know being curious and explorers by themselves so there are times where we do have kind of scheduled You know this play this game or let’s go to these people’s house and do this type of thing but we’re more and more going to the route of you guys are getting older now let’s find some friends for you and let’s let your brains do the work. What would be some examples of. How you’re teaching them to play with them selves just out of curiosity. Well you know when you teach them the flame of self it’s really a lot of times it’s saying. You know. Just like yesterday they are a couple days ago I was nice enough for them to go outside so I was I go outside and they kept saying well you come out and play with us till you come home but it was two and it was I had a couple things that it take care of inside first and wash the little one too so I said no just so I had to go out there in. My daughter took out a sketch pad started drawing these up in my lesson was a reluctant at first but then I said I think you can take some your Star Wars guys outside with you he takes a Star Wars guys outside and then they have an adventure that they never had before like it they have does he have a yeah favorite stars. I think it looks guy like is it obvious. Course So yes and I think that you brought back and you and you contain a do everything they. Take forward with you that you had when you’re gone out that you just keep on making Oh my. I do I’m trying my best to set a culture where. Where my kids are very open and what they talk to me about. And you know sometimes growing up back in the eighty’s you know it was. As it was if you had to promise tough it out and I had to figure out a tough it out so I do want to be able to I still want them to be able to tough it out or solve their problems on their own the same time I want them to be open with me so I can help them in guiding their leader and guiding their brains and making the right decisions. So being I mean the chair coach and a teacher. Right now what are some of those things that you’re able to is it like you get extra. I know you got a how did you get all the kids now right like you you’ve had all kinds of experience. Can you repeat the question again like us or being being a coach and a teacher getting like actual experience and dealing with children and kind of knowing what’s coming up is that helping a lot being a behemoths a parent that’s more scary than any of us. You know you do get to see all the different personalities and all the potential friends that they might have been and all the potential problems that they might face and everything and so you you try to. Predict ahead of time how things might be and try to guide them there but really all that a parent can really do is just provide a very strong safety net of values if you have that strong safety net a values we know that. Kids are going to fall and your children are going to fall I know. During my college time such like that I made some really big mistakes during that time but the safety net the my parents had. Put out there for me based on the morals and values that they taught me when I did far then that was there to catch me and I could use those values and morals to climb my bay way back out and so I can help now is just to see where where the things are headed in just provide that safety net for my kids as well. So. Just think what the school going up like that looks like I was able to find online that you know just first years were pretty tough and later I made it and you were a lot of up for a Dream was it instead of the end of teacher of the year yet graduations on that process that was like the first year in fact that it was noted it was after my third year that I became forming community school teacher of the year and then runner up for the state of Indiana teacher of the year but yeah the first year was absolutely miserable from the worst year of my life. I don’t mean to laugh but I mean. I read about it now I think about it back then like that we laugh about it now writing this article read as from the Herald Times and I guess one of the things that it cites was the lack of mentor ship that was available then has it improved as I just out of curiosity Well there’s always the first year teaching is difficult for anybody because you know when you’re a doctor they don’t give you the toughest cases right away and when you’re a lawyer they don’t give you the toughest cases right away but when you’re a teacher you have your toughest case toughest year that very first year. Students are like the velociraptors from dressing. Going to test every single part of the fence to see where it’s going to break at and when they do find the part that breaks I don’t I don’t understand why students are so tough on first year teachers but they are. In a good portion is just because they know what’s going on in the school better than the teachers know what’s going on at the school and but it’s a very difficult year but you know even in that regards my parents were there for me at that time as well actually live with them at that point and you know my Dad’s the one that you know sitting crying on the back porch. And I’m going to miss that I think that has appeared on occasion but he just came out there was. You know my mom try to console me and do a workout to let. Just came others. Here’s the deal you’re going to quit we’re going to make something happen we’re not going to cry anymore and at that point I started making stuff happen. In just something so simple as a quote that much from a man that I respected changed my perspective on pretty much the rest of my career. At last that’s you know that’s I think as a dad that’s what we strive to do have an impact especially on on our on our children like that. So. What one thing that I always wonder about is what’s what’s the future going to hold for our children right. What is something you know most afraid of that your children will have to face and how you can transfer that. The one thing that that I am excess strongly worried about these days is just I sound like an old person when I say this but is there momma cell phone use that parents allow their children to have I mean. To think about giving even a teenager a full data plan you’re giving them access to the entire world. Good and bad without any set thing to monitor what they’re seeing and what they’re hearing and taking in and I am a big proponent of the concept of the idea that garbage coming in is in the garbage coming out at some point and it’s just for to give that much freedom to to people who aren’t good at making decisions at this point it’s a very scary thing. That makes sense I guess you don’t get the keys of a car to a ten year old either right but you don’t. Know I mean just no instruction and it’s just here is this and I mean it just doesn’t make sense to me to prove I mean you want to sit your kid down and say you’re some pornography go ahead. View it for. But with a phone they can just have quick access to it right away you know even when I was younger you know I I remember when I was in sixth grade our seventh grade I snuck out and bought that Dr Dre chronic tape cassette. But the thing was that I didn’t have something like a cell phone where you could turn it off quick or you could or that was the only purpose of it so I remember that that tape was hidden in my drawer and I could only listen to it when you know mom and dad were out of the House both to get the same time. Doing whatever and I could only sneak it in and by that sneaking factor I had to have that feeling of guilt and I do think that guilt is something that’s kind of missing these days and people shouldn’t well and things nation and feel shame to do things about things but but I think guilt is important for letting us know that things aren’t necessarily right and when you had to sneak behind your parents back to do things even if you’re doing it wrong at least you were feeling that sense of guilt I know this is wrong whereas when you have your cell phone on you at all times you really lose that sense of guilt just due to the repeated behavior exactly exactly the more you do something the more you internalize that as something that’s right in the first time you do something you you do feel guilty about it but as you do that wrong action over and over you start to internalize that you get rid of that guilt and you start finding excuses for acceptance for it and eventually you just accept it as well this is the way that I was that I do things so it must be right. You know that’s not a there are certain moral truths to this world that we should still try to adhere to certain makes us now. Go off on Ted there for one second what was your favorite song from the album. Nothing but I do think it has to they. Call. What are a couple things that make you nuts is that. My son is like the he’s a cone of me not only with his physical appearance but also with his the way his brain operates him way he reacted things and so. For me to see some of the things the way he reacted things that are the same way I didn’t me trying to find ways to prevent that because I know where his brain is that it’s been very frustrating for me not to be able to press the right button sometimes made it happen for instance he can sometimes when he loses a game or something that he discos into this absolute funk in the world’s armor and I can’t stand it and you know. It’s all these things there and I then even though I’ve been through it mentally I can’t get him out of this funk sometimes and this is so it’s like watching myself when I was little knowing how I felt back then and still not having any control over you know manipulating the thoughts or behavior right and I see that as well with my youngest doppelganger Yeah it’s a straight up a gang or pretty much the same attitude that I grew up with and behaviors. And trying to find the right buttons like buttons like you said is it can be difficult and trying and trying me on the opposite side that what are some of the best things that you get from being a parent and being a father how do you feel. I guess it’s just. A By day feeling special that you have these people who love you so much. It’s so only a simple sometimes when I walk in the door my son is only eleven months old just starts jumping you know bounciness seeing the big huge smile comes on his face. You know when they jump in bed the morning him snuggle you up in the morning it’s just those simple things there are really special to think that there’s people out there that they care about you that much. And then. When my kids are happy to see me it’s like a hero’s welcome in common how yeah yeah right I mean go out there have a can hate out their world but when you come out here when your children see and love on you and you feel happy to come home that’s a change that’s huge to me anyways. So what would you tell somebody that’s expecting like a father that’s expecting to tell I look out for. Well the one thing I heard from someone else when when my wife and I were expecting the first time is one of my friends said you know if I asked him kind of what it’s like to be a dad he said would you know how it feels to be an uncle I said yes and he said being a dad is like one million times better. And so I would tell them that but I’d also tell them that I mean just the idea of like servitude I think so many times these days we think leadership or the spoils of my for everybody giving us stuff for everybody serving us really I think human beings crave the idea of being servants to others and. You can do is the proof of the servant attitude it is when you have kids because you become an absolute servant right away and for some reason being such a servant is just such a wonderful thing. I feel a lot of I I feel a lot of joy from it that I can agree with that perspective. Now what if your children want to pick this up ten years from now what is the message that you might tell them. I’m always proud of you. It’s. I just love the way that they. Approach the world I’d say tell them. You know have a plan work your hardest and and I’m going to be proud of you for what you do treat people nice and be constant servant leaders all the time and there’s going to work out for you like it. So I can actually see you kind of the final here. And I didn’t watch too much T.V. gone up I’m sorry if I’m chasing silence that now was enough. And there was fear there was saved by the Bell marathons when we teenagers had probably caught just about all of them. And that’s not a given we did much to use just that you know there was we just weren’t always doing it and there was limited in. And definitely the types of T.V. shows were monitors well so I think that this question is going to kind of take some of the I would take some of this into play is if you could pick one or two fathers of succumbs talent up which ones do you think best represent you know. Welp He’s obviously been maligned for good reasons and in recent years but you know Bill Cosby because you know Cliff Huxtable I guess with just the way that he was just so playful with with all those kids. In there possibly to the Tillman tailor to the both of those guys just the way that they mean they were goof balls and you know people ridicule them for they they’re there for their parent you know their wives are always correct which is probably right as well I mean. Just the way that they had such a playful nature with their kids like it was a significant ice one thing that escape over here so be a teacher out there what is like a something that. Parents you feel could be doing better or helping their children a little bit more five school. Parents could one just try to find ways to participate more if the school is not actively asking you to join in and volunteer do this press the issue and say hey how can I help out the school what can I do and most importantly is just develop a relationship to kids where you can just have conversations with them about the school day even my son me being an educator when I say how is your school day how’s your day to day going to say what you do we said I don’t know I don’t remember but I got just but I just kind of press the issue in and I think I get specific with my instructions I’ll say my question say well what do you do during recess today and start with something easy like the SAS or lunch figure and then once that talking a started and just kind of go through the day and ask specific questions about what would you do in math what you do in reading but the more questions you had that the better off going to be also just. Putting a cell phone down yourselves and having a book in your hand because even if you’re not reading a book and you said they’re taking a nap when you go and kids see that you have a book on him and that you value a book they’re more likely to read books as well. And just create that environment you know my mom is a preschool. Facilitator in Fort Wayne She’s been working in the schools for forty some years and she basically said that from the time the year South was born you know just a couple months in start reading three books and I to a kid and if you can do that and by the time that they’re in kindergarten they’ll be reading and for my first kid it worked out exactly that way he was reading and you can a garden in most Yeah my daughter does next year some of us WHAT I GOT favorite children’s book. Oh yeah the bear snores on their system classic yes. Love it. And. Todd what we’re working people reach out to you out of there if they’re looking for you or if there’s no place that they can really reach out to you what was recommend them to do that they could you know help help help their fellow teachers out. You know it’s always best for me I met Todd dot Roberts. At F W C S Dr K. twelve not I am not us oh but the letter is there. But I do like time being so I’ll get back to them soon. Todd thanks a lot I really appreciate you taking the time today to go through this with us and I know there’s going to be some parents out there fathers to get some really nice introspection on this is going to help somebody out there so thanks for taking the time to hang out with us today and I thank you for thank you for let me share my thoughts man appreciate it absolutely

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