Friday, December 4, 2015

December is here

December is here.  How did that happen?  Honestly.  One third of our school year is over.  Whenever I turn the page on the calendar, I reflect back on how the month has gone.  November had two big moments, one personal and one professional, for me- the NYC marathon on November 1st and Veterans Day on November 11th.  The marathon was an awesome experience because I spent 4 wonderful days with Jen and Lauren.  We had a great time even though my marathon time wasn't the best.  But that's OK.  Veterans Day was over the top.  The staff and students of our school put on a first rate celebration of veterans that will be difficult to beat next year, but I have a feeling next year will be better than this year.  What are your two big moments from November?

Did anyone feel like this on Monday?
The day after Thanksgiving break video

Calendar
Tuesday, December 8            4:15-5:15  Practice
                                                 5:30 and 7:00  Holiday Concerts
Wednesday, December 9       8:00-9:15  RtI Wednesday
                                                 12:45-4:00  Math Committee
Thursday, December 10         Grade level meetings
                                                 1:30  Epi-Pen training
                                                 2:01  Coaches meeting
                                                 4:15-5:15  Practice
Friday, December 11              Lunch on Jay and Jen
                                                 7-9PM  6th grade Youth Night

Tweets, quotes, and blogs
"Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise."- Sigmund Freud, psychoanalyst
Crack the Code (blog about coding written by my friend, Adam Welcome (@awelcome)
7 courageous quotes to help you dream big before you go to bed (from @NancyTerryMath)
Teacher Harriett Glickman and the Integration of the Peanuts Cartoon (How a school teacher had an impact on potentially the most famous cartoon- from @coolcatteacher)
"I am not a teacher, but an awakener."- Robert Frost, poet
What's the worst that can happen? (from @jon_wennstrom)
Embrace what you don't know (my latest post with help from @JPo1992 and @jon_wennstrom)
"Everyone sits in the prison of his own ideas; he must burst it open."- Albert Einstein, theoretical physicist
"We cannot build our own future without helping others to build theirs."- Bill Clinton, 42nd U.S. president
"None of my inventions can by accident.  I see a worthwhile need to be met and I make trial after trial."- Thomas Edison, inventor
"You're never a loser until you quit trying."- Mike Ditka, football coach and commentator
"The mediocre teacher tells.  The good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher inspires."- William Arthur Ward, writer
"When you study great teachers...you will learn much more from their caring and hard work than from their style."- William Glasser, psychiatrist
A simple way to encourage creativity (from @RACzyz)
"Our chief want in life is somebody who shall make us do what we can."- Ralph Waldo Emerson, writer
Principals' report for the 11.30.15 school board meeting
@mertonint on Twitter
#mertonint on Twitter
Merton Intermediate School Facebook page
Family smore for 12.4.15

Looks can be deceiving
As we continue to move through the holiday season, I have taken more time to really look at my surroundings and the people that I encounter.  I used to go shopping to go "people watching" and rarely stopped to think about the circumstances that others encounter on a daily basis.  I am blessed with a wonderful and loving family, friends who always are there, and a school community that gives me strength every day.  One of my PLN colleagues from twitter and voxer posted this video on Facebook.  Tell me you wouldn't think twice before opening the door, just like the woman in this video.

Innovation
As I prepared for this, the first week in December, I happened to see this blog post from Bethany Hill (@bethhill2829), a principal I met face to face in Chicago at the end of October. The Time is Now, a great blog about innovation.  I began to wonder, how often do I try to innovate?  How often do I encourage each of you to innovate?  How often do we allow our students to innovate?  So I began to think about the opportunities we provide one another and our students on a daily basis.  We give ideas and suggestions, and sometimes that's as far as we or the students can go.  What if we just said, "Here is the content I need you to learn this week.  I'll be here to support you and guide you, but I need you to take charge."  As Jon said in his post, "What's the worst that can happen?"  I would instead say, "What's the best that can happen?"  We've got three weeks in December to give it a try.  Anyone want to join me?  And speaking about innovation, sometimes it just takes using something old in a different way.  Just ask Jimmy Fallon, Adele, and the Roots.  We've got three weeks in December to give it a try.  Anyone want to join me?
(from Pixteller)
(from Pinterest)
(from Pixteller)

Have a great weekend, enjoy the holiday decorating weather, and I'll see you on Monday!
Jay