Friday, October 9, 2015

I wish my teacher knew...

I wish my teacher knew...
This week one of our teachers shared an activity that she did with her students.  She had the students complete this sentence-
I wish my teacher knew...
She shared these with me and boy, were they powerful!  She also slipped one in for me to read that said, you guessed it, I wish my principal knew...  Her response is just between us.  But I thought I would take it one step further, so here goes.
I wish our staff knew...
how incredibly lucky I am to have a loving wife and daughter who support and encourage me.
how awestruck I am when I see them working with our kids.
how the relationships you make with our kids has a lifelong impact on them.
how proud I am that when I ask you your thoughts or opinions about something you are brutally honest with me.
that I notice the look in your eyes when a kid really gets it.
that I notice the look in the kid's eyes when they have made a great connection with you.
every day I come to school is better than the day before because of you.
And now you know.

Calendar
Monday, October 12th              Community forum at NSMS 7PM
Tuesday, October 13th              CPI training 7:30-8:30AM
                                                    Practice 4:15-5:15PM (Anyone able to help? Bueller?)
                                                    7/8 conferences 4:30PM
Wednesday, October 14th         CPI training 4:15-5:15PM
Thursday, October 15th            RtI Thursday- staff in Little Theater 8:00-8:40 (see below)
                                                    Sam's Club assembly 8:45-9:15 in the gym (Sit with your homeroom)
                                                    Practice 4:15-5:15PM
Friday, October 16th                 Jay out all day at WGEDD

RtI "Thursday"
Due to being named School of the Year by Sam's Club, we moved our RtI Wednesday to Thursday.  We will meet as a staff from 8:00-8:40 in the Little Theater to discuss transitions from one grade level to the next.  Please bring your thoughts about what your expectations are for your grade level, what has gone well, and what needs to be adjusted.  You all do amazing things with our students to move them on their educational journey and we should celebrate that.
*Important!  We will be handing out staff recognition awards, too.  If you have one from last year, be prepared to pass it along!  Any questions, concerns, or comments, please let me know.

Great things I saw/heard this week
*A teacher working one on one with a student on his writing, and the student realizing that the teacher really cared about what he was writing about and how he was writing.
*Students actively listening and jotting during the read aloud (I saw this in more than one classroom and at more than one grade level.).
*A teacher walking about the room checking understanding of a new math concept (Again, I saw this in more than one classroom and at more than one grade level.).
*Jon sharing the first two notes of 5th grade band (It's in the smore and also here.).
*Students preparing songs for Veterans' Day in choir.
*The excitement I have seen and heard from staff regarding Veterans' Day.
*Honest and open conversations about tough topics during our grade level meetings.
*Parents in our Beyond the Bake Sale book discussion last night could not say enough about the great things you are doing with and for their kids.  Ask Janine for more specifics.  By the way, if you are still interested in joining the book chat, I have some extra copies of the book.

Tweets, quotes, and blogs
"He who rejects change is the architect of decay."- Harold Wilson, former UK prime minister
"Be not the slave of your own past."- Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer
Let's Be Four Again (blog from Jon Harper @Jonharper70bd)
"The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will."- Vince Lombardi, football coach
On Listening, or in other words, "care for" or "care about" (from practicaltheory.org via @Joe_Mazza)
"The only way to do great work is to love what you do.  If you haven't found it yet, keep looking.  Don't settle."- Steve Jobs, entrepreneur
 (from PixTeller)
Tech Tip: Be a connected educator (from ASCD SmartBlog)
"There can be no courage unless you're scared."- fighter pilot and business leader
"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away."- Vicki Corona, writer
(from PixTeller- I know that success is spelled incorrectly, but I like the saying!)
"The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do."- Walter Bagehot, journalist
"If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitude."- Maya Angelou, writer and entertainer
"When your desires are strong enough, you will appear to possess superhuman powers to achieve."- Napoleon Hill, writer
"The thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down."- Mary Pickford, Canadian American actress
(from @FitnessGandhi)

Merton Staff Blog
You all know the importance of reflection on our practice as an educator and as a person.  Many of you in the past have shared your thoughts on our staff blog.  It can feel risky to share your ideas with others, but this is truly a safe place to do so.  Heidi took the risk this week and posted her thoughts on our staff blog.  Here is the link entitled "Kids Are Listening".  If you aren't a contributor on our staff blog and would like to be, just let me know and I'll add you.

Have a great weekend!  I just found out Thursday that I'm going to go to the Packers game on Sunday.  Look for me in the crowd.  I'll be wearing a Green Bay Packers hat.
Jay