Thursday, February 11, 2016


I am one fortunate guy.  I have made connections with some awesome people.  The most awesome of connections are the ones that I make with each of you, the students, and their families on a daily basis.  There was one picture from last Friday that really made a connection with lots of people, especially on Twitter and Facebook.  Matt invited me to join the 7th and 8th graders cross country skiing so I took him up on his
offer.  All went well for a while until I took a selfie, lost my balance, and landed on my backside.
I am connected with an incredible group of principals on the Twitter hashtag #principalsinaction as well as a Voxer group by the same name.  We have challenges every week (so far we've gone down slides, ridden tricycles, and done hula hoop contests) and this week we have a "fitbit" challenge.  I don't have a fitbit, but I'm still walking about using an app on my phone to keep track.  Next week on Friday, we will all have a chance to connect with one of my Twitter connections.  I have met him in person, been involved in Twitter chats with him on Monday nights, and used his book for a book chat with some of you.  Stay tuned as there are more hints coming next week as well as an opportunity to purchase some of his books and get them personalized.
I had a chance to strengthen connections this week at the High School/Middle School Principals' Conference.  Connections that I have made on Twitter and Voxer are so much easier to extend face to face.  That may be why I like the school connections I have.  I get to visit classrooms, hallways, the cafeteria, and playground and sit down to talk with students and staff.  It's great getting to know each of you better.  Don't forget, we're getting together after school this Friday to continue to build our connections.  Any ideas of where we should go?

Monday, February 15th            BLT meeting 4:15PM (link to agenda)
                                                     Game at Merton 6:30PM
Wednesday, February 17th      Digital Learning Day
                                                     A-team meeting 1:30PM
                                                    Culver's Night  4-8PM
                                                    Game at Merton 5:30PM
Friday, February 19th              All day Professional Development (I am excited beyond belief!)

Student Showcase
Here's a chance to showcase our kids at the School Board meeting on Monday, February 29th.  This could be a grade level showcase, content area showcase, or activity showcase.  Anyone interested?  Just let me know by next Thursday at our grade level meetings.


They are all our kids!
In the last month or so, I've started to notice something, and it's a little concerning.  You know how I feel about our kids.  They are all our kids, regardless of grade level or label.  They look to us for advice and they listen even when we don't think they're listening.  Please take a moment to reflect on discussions about kids you've had recently, and instead of pointing out what others can or should do, think about what you could do.  This blog post, Our kids from @JoanneMaino1, is a great read and really made me reflect on what we can do for our kids.  It can at times be frustrating, but I also know that you never give up on our kids.

Tweets, quotes, and blogs
"Whatever you think the world is withholding from you, you are withholding from the world."- Eckhart Tolle, writer
Genius hour for the community (from SmartBrief on EdTech)
"You can't build an adaptable organization without adaptable people."- Gary Hamel, management consultant
"Having just the vision's no solution; everything depends on execution."- Stephen Sondheim, composer and lyricist
Why I Stay (from @sweetpcrabtree- Goes along with this video I sent out Sunday)
"The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings."- Okakua Kakuzo, scholar and writer
"Adaptability is about the powerful difference between adapting to cope and adapting to win."- Max McKeown, writer and leadership consultant
Fall in Love with Twitter (from #SocialSchool4EDU)
"Nothing gives one person so great advantage over another as to remain always cool and unruffled under all circumstances."- Thomas Jefferson, 3rd US President
"If you want to lead an extraordinary life, find out what the ordinary do--and don't do it."- Tommy Newberry, writer and motivational speaker
#mertonint on Twitter
@mertonint on Twitter
Merton Intermediate School Facebook page
Student assembly from 2.10.16- Success (By the way, did you all fill out 2 Mustang Medals this week?)
Family smore for 2.12.16

I should be back from the Principals' Conference some time this afternoon.  I'll check my voicemails and then I'll be out and about reconnecting with all of you and the kids.
Thanks for all that you do for our kids and for each other.