Friday, July 28, 2017

The excitement builds!

I am so excited for the school year to begin.  I feel like it's my first day of school all over again.  The building looks awesome, the classrooms look new, and I've got so many ideas to help us get to the next level as a school community.  But it's not a one person job, that's for sure.  I'm going to need each one of you to take us there.  No one person is more or less important than the other.  We're all in this together!  (Did anyone else just start singing that song from High School Musical?)  Before the school year begins, I'd like to meet with each of you individually.  I just want to catch up from the summer, talk about your family, and ask you these three questions-
  1. What should I continue to do for you to help make you better for our kids?
  2. What should I start doing to help make you better for our kids?
  3. What should I stop doing to help make you better for our kids?
I'm in Mondays-Thursdays in the mornings but I'd be more than happy to stick around in the afternoons or come in on Fridays so that we can connect.  I'm so looking forward to starting our school year on a very positive note and I can't wait to meet with each one of you.

Blogs to consider before the school year starts
Take Advantage of the Blank Slate (from George Couros)
The Education "Bat Signal" (from George Couros)
Who Tells Your Story? (from Ryan Sheehy)
We Are Stories (from Pernille Ripp)
Tips for a New Teacher (from Danny Steele) and don't let the title fool you. We can all learn from these tips.
But Not for the Kid (from Pernille Ripp)
Turn Back-to-School Anxiety into Real Enthusiasm (from Angela Watson)
Serendipity (from Jon Harper)
Sharing the Ups and Downs of Learning (from George Couros)
For the Kids Who Show Up (from Pernille Ripp)
An Open Letter to the Parents Worried My Son is in Their Child's Class (from is a great resource for families and educators.
How Will the Kids Remember You? (from Danny Steele)

Update on Room 120E (in library hallway)
This room is going to be used for 4 purposes.
  1. Storage for NJHS, Student Senate, and Merton Theater
  2. Storage for all kleenex and wet wipes collected as part of supply list
  3. 6th grade refrigerator and microwave
  4. Possibly green screen room for student videos
If you have any questions or concerns about this, don't hesitate to ask me.

You have an assignment!
I have come across a new tool that I would like to use with all of you.  It is painless, I promise, and could actually be a little fun.  It's called flipgrid (Heidi shared it with all of you) and I'd like to have you take a 30 second video of yourself sharing two things- the best part of your summer and what you are most looking forward to this year.  Flipgrid is a great conversation starter (You can learn more about it here.) and if you'd like it for use with our students, there is a discount for 10 class subscriptions.  Here is the link to your flipgrid assignment.  Happy recording!

Will and Grace
I just saw an advertisement about Will and Grace, a television show that ran from 1998 until 2006.  It was one of those television shows that Jen and I watched almost every week.  You just never knew what would happen to make the next episode better, or at least different, than the one before.  It made me think about our school days.  Bear with me a moment while I explain.  What do we do every day to make the next day better than the one before for our students?  For each other?  For ourselves?  How do we build and foster relationships?  How do we have conversations that make each other better for our students?  Let's keep this in mind as the school year progresses.  I'm sure the reboot of Will and Grace will be alright, but I know that our next school year will be awesome!

Be the one!
Take care of the kids.  Take care of each other.  Take care of yourself.- John Gunnell