The Hal Bowman Story

“The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are only a few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today.”

Hal Bowman can see the future. And, he is determined to do all he can to change it for the better, one life at a time. He is certain that schools can be a key to a better world down the road. “Every school can be a great school” is his mantra and it shows in his actions. Most days you are likely to find him with his shirtsleeves rolled up and doing at least one thing to make it so. He is constantly mulling over the possibilities, designing programs and road maps and materials to help make it happen. He has captivated thousands of students and teachers with his powerful message of hope and what can be. His long hair and hip demeanor give him the aura of a rock star. He’d be the first to tell you he’s no rock star. But, he is solid, and his genuine concern for students shines through.

And, all his efforts are making a difference. His “Teach Like A Rock Star” workshops are creating a buzz in the education world, attracting sold out and enthusiastic crowds. These high-energy 1-day events are providing educators with exactly what they have been searching for their entire careers – profoundly effective tools, strategies, and resources for creating an extraordinary learning environment in their classrooms. But, don’t think for a moment these events are typical. Far from it, they’re different in every way. Filled with music, fun and energy, they are more like revival meetings that are designed to educate, entertain, inspire, and remind everybody in attendance why they started teaching in the first place. And, what prompted him to begin this seemingly endless quixotic quest? “It all started when I was in high school” he says. “I just felt in my heart that the experience could be so much better.”

From that day to this he has been a man on a mission.

Perhaps it all really began back in Camden, New Jersey when Hal would hear his mother talk every day about how her work as a teacher transformed lives and helped kids reach their expectations when almost no one thought it was possible. “Even at a very young age” he says, “it gave me goose bumps to think about that happening for someone.” He and his family would eventually move to Texas where Hal would finish high school. He would then head off to Lubbock to get his degree in music education from Texas Tech.

If the seeds of what would become Hal’s life’s work were planted back there during those childhood conversations with his mother, they took root and grew exponentially during his next life experience. Shortly after leaving Lubbock he landed a job in Pettus, Texas as a band director. “There were probably 100 kids total in the junior and senior high schools”, he admits “so everybody knew everybody else, and there was an incredible sense of community and purpose. I had graduated from a large high school and we didn’t have that. I wondered if it was possible to build this kind of environment in the large schools we build today.”

His tireless work through the years has proven that, yes, it can be done. He retired after 20 years in the classroom, most recently in Cy-Fair ISD where he was running groundbreaking student mentoring and leadership programs. In this role, he oversaw a very select group of high school seniors who served as mentors for kids at local elementary and junior high schools. Their goal: to make a lifelong impact on a child. The stories about this program’s work are simply amazing.

Hal has helped them and countless others see the future for what it could be.

Innovators and visionaries do that. They can’t help but see what’s ahead and shape it. In their minds, the work is never done.

To answer the demand from teachers everywhere, he is using his “spare time” to pen “Teach Like a Rock Star”, a resource for teachers and educators that is sure to stir the pot and challenge the reader. Hal really likes to challenge and move paradigms. It will publish sometime in 2015.

Even with all of this going on in his life, and all that he has accomplished in just a few short years, he looks with great enthusiasm to the future. “I feel like”, says Hal, “I am just getting started.”


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