Friday, July 10, 2015

Mid-July thoughts

I'm checking back in with all of you as the summer continues to chug along.  Here are a few highlights.

  • I have a new look to my office and would love for you to stop in and check it out.  I can't share pictures yet as Jen and Lauren are still helping me with decorating and decluttering.
  • Ron and I have met to discuss the schedule for the upcoming year with all of the factors that must be considered.  We will be finalizing that in the very near future.
  • At this point, hiring staff is going well.  Ron and I will update you all further once final hirings have been approved by the school board on July 20th.  I am excited about the new staff who will be joining us this year and I have a plan for how we will get to know them when we first meet as a staff in August.
  • I am in the midst of reading four books at the same time.  This is a first for me.  I'm reading "Digital Student Portfolios", "Beyond the Bake Sale" (again), "It's Not Complicated" (helping struggling readers), and "Influencers".  Each of them is taking place on Voxer, Twitter, and a new social medium called Plushforums.  Jen sent me this funny photo recently that reminds me of my reading.  So, as the sign in front of school says, "What books are you reading?"
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Tweets, quotes, and blogs
6 tips for social media newbies (MiddleWeb SmartBrief)
"You have enemies?  Good.  That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life."- Winston Churchill, U.K. Prime Minister
"We are each given a block of marble when we begin a lifetime, and the tools to shape it into sculpture.  We can drag it behind us untouched, we can pound it to gravel, we can shape it into glory."- Richard Bach, writer
"We do not remember days, we remember moments."- Cesare Pavese, poet
5 elements of the connected classroom (SmartBrief on EdTech)
Strengthening Parent Partnerships (MiddleWeb SmartBrief)
"The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worse than it is, and the future less resolved than it will be."- Marcel Pagnol, novelist, playwright and filmmaker
"The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved; it is a reality to be experienced."- J.J. van der Leeuw, philosopher and writer

As I look forward to next school year, there are a few seeds I'd like to plant in each of you.

  • How can we better use data during our team meetings to both share our successes and share our struggles?
  • How can we share our passions with each other and our students?
  • How can we get to know our new staff and how can our new staff get to know us?
  • Who would like to replace Tracey on the Building Leadership Team (BLT) and are the current BLT members still interested in being on the team?
  • How can we improve upon our hallway supervision?
  • Who is interested in reading "Beyond the Bake Sale" with some of our families as well as a school from Missouri and a school from Connecticut? (We will be starting some time in October.)
  • What can be my new "Happy" for student assemblies?
That's all for now.  I'll be at #edcampldr in Chicago on Monday if you'd like to follow the hashtag on Twitter.  I'll be back in the office Tuesday through Thursday if you'd like to stop in.  Just email me to make sure that I'm there.
Have a great next two weeks.  I'll be checking in again at the end of July with a scheduling update before that.