Friday, February 24, 2017


I was thinking about connections over the weekend and realized that there are a number of connections we make as educators.  We connect with our students.  We connect with our colleagues.  We connect with our students' families.  We connect with our families.  We connect with our friends.  We connect with our professional learning networks.  I encourage you to pause and think about what makes these connections vital for our school, vital for our families, vital for our lives.  These connections are always changing with an ebb and flow to them that make them exciting.  We must always work on our connections, making them stronger and more positive than they were yesterday.  One of my favorite responsibilities is connecting with you about your classrooms and what your students are learning and accomplishing every day.  Those midyear meetings that we finished up this week were more important to me than you know.  Your reflections and our conversations make me proud to be your principal.

Great things I saw this week...

  • Students teaching students.  If you can teach it, then you must understand it.
  • The beginning of the week's weather made for some great recess time.
  • Michael and Heather's work on the Arrowhead Choral Consortium.
  • Invitation conferences for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade were a success.  Conversations with families and students have set a path for success.
  • Staff stepping up for one another again this week.
  • Your true concern for my brother in law, Steve, and his road to recovery.
  • Grade level meetings to talk about kids and share some great things.
  • IEP meetings that showed a true partnership between families and our school.

Monday, February 27th
  • 7:30-8:15  coaching meeting
  • 5:30PM  basketball game at Erin
  • 7:30PM  School board meeting
  • 8:00PM  #PIAchat on passion for education
    • Join a group of fired up principals for this half hour chat.
Tuesday, February 28th
  • 7:00-8:15  practice
  • IEP meeting  3:00 (off site)
  • 4:15-5:15  Homework Club
  • 7:00PM  #edprep chat on classroom management or infusing technology
    • Join students studying to be teachers, teachers, and admimistrators for this hour long chat.
Wednesday, March 1st
  • 7:00-8:15  practice
  • 2:30-3:00  PTO meeting
  • 7:00-7:30 #msteach chat on relationships
    • Join other Middle School teachers from Francis Howell Middle School in Missouri for this half hour chat.  I'll be here in the library if you want a tutor.
Thursday, March 2nd
  • 7:00-8:15  practice
  • team meetings (except 6th grade)
  • 4:15-5:15  Homework Club
Friday, March 3rd
  • 7:00-8:15 practice
  • 4:00  carnival
Saturday, March 4th
  • 5:30  Trivia Night
Tweets, quotes, and blogs
The Ideal Class-Perhaps You Already Have It (from Pernille Ripp)

(from Pinterest)

Facilitation: It's Not Data Gathering; It's Teaching (from Dr. Nancy Sulla)

(from Pinterest)

Working on "Meaning" (from George Couros. This is good, especially the first quote.)
Problem Finders or Problem Solvers? (from Pernille Ripp. A good reflection on assumptions.)

@mertonint on Twitter
#mertonint on Twitter
Merton Intermediate School Facebook page
Family smore for 2.24.17

Our job as communicators
This week seemed to be a week of communicating with parents.  I had emails, phone calls, and face to face communications every day.  I have this unwritten rule.  If I receive an email that is longer than a paragraph, I either respond with a request for a phone or in person conversation or I just pick up the phone and call.  Skyward is a tool for communication but it's just that, a tool.  Not everyone is proficient using that tool so reach out via email or phone or face to face meeting.  We are a team when it comes to educating our students, and by we I mean the family, the educators, and the student.  Missing out on one of these elements can cause issues regarding a student's success.  There are three months of school left and those three months can either build stronger relationships or weaken them.  Let's do our part, every day, to make these relationships stronger.
Be the one!
Take care of the kids.  Take care of each other.  Take care of yourself.- John Gunnell