Monday, November 23, 2015

Thanksgiving thoughts

It's Thanksgiving, an incredible time to reflect upon all that we have.  I am so thankful for each and every one of you.  You always put the needs of the kids first, even when it's not the easiest thing to do.  Thank you for that.  You share with your colleagues in order to learn from one another.  Thank you for that.  You step up to help each other out, whether for something school related or personal.  Thank you for that.  Take the time to thank those near and dear to you this Thanksgiving holiday season.  They will appreciate it and it will make you feel really good, too.

Tuesday, November 24th           I'm facilitating #personalizedpd chat on Twitter at 8:00PM
Monday, November 30th           School board meeting (Did you get me names for the Showcase?)
Tuesday, December 1st             Practice 4:15-5:15
                                                    Merton tree lighting  7:00PM
Wednesday, December 2nd      A-team meeting  1:30-3:30
Thursday, December 3rd          Grade level meetings (regular times)
                                                    Practice  4:15-5:15
                                                    Beyond the Bake Sale book chat 7:00PM
Friday, December 4th               Half day (HG&D talks for 5th and 6th graders)
                                                    Where will you be? (Please complete this form.)

Tweets, blogs, and quotes
"Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet.  Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved."- Helen Keller, writer and activist
Brainboosts (from Jon Samuelson)
"Unthinking respect for authority is the greatest enemy of truth."- Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist
Presence- Our families might not tell any of us this, but know that it's true. (from @Jonharper70bd)
Let's change the world with our students (This could be something really cool! from @ajjuliani)
Good enough (Don't forget the Mustang Medals for our kids! They do things like this every day. from @Jonharper70bd)
@mertonint on Twitter!
#mertonint on Twitter
Merton Intermediate School Facebook page
Family smore for 11.24.15

Staff blog
Please don't forget about the form for our staff blog.  It's here again for your convenience.  It only takes a few minutes to add your thoughts, either as an individual or a group.  It's important to share the great things you are all doing with each other, with our families, and with the community.  Thanks for your consideration.

Social Emotional Learning chats
It was an interesting couple of twitter chats last week on Thursday (#mschat) and Saturday (#satchat).  Both of the chats were about social emotional learning.  They made me think of what we do here, especially in terms of building relationships and developing a positive learning culture.  Here is a link to a graphic from Saturday's #satchat.  Here is the reason I'm including this today.  The holidays can be difficult times for our students.  Let's keep in mind that for some of our students, school is the safest and most loving place they can be.  When students leave us for extended periods of time, they may start to behave differently before the long break.  It's still important to hold student expectations high, but please be aware that they may act out more or become withdrawn.  A couple of extra minutes, a kind word, or a warm greeting when they arrive to class may make all the difference in the world.
(from Jaime Casap, Google Global Education Evangelist)
Jen sent this to me.  She always sends me something to think about that has a connection to school.  She gets it and pushes me to be better.  If she was telling the story, she would tell you that she wants me to write a book.  I'm really thinking about it and may put together a draft proposal to share with you after Thanksgiving.  But that's a different story.  As we move forward this school year, think about the main point of the above quote- Don't ask kids what they want to be but instead ask them what they need to learn to be able to be what they want to be.  It changes the focus, doesn't it.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving.  Enjoy your time with family and friends, relax, take some time off from thinking about school, and just have some fun.