The Mug

Two years ago, I had the privilege of coming to Buchanan Elementary. As a new administrator to the building and knowing that we were blending staff and students,  I had one primary goal…Build a unified school community.  In the past two years, we have celebrated the birth of children together, we have mourned the loss of loved ones, we have participated in weddings, and supported one another through struggles. We’ve laughed together, cried together, and dreamed together. In some ways, the two years have flown by and in other ways it feels like we’ve been together for much longer.

Recently, something happened in the staff lounge early one morning. One of our teachers dropped her favorite coffee mug. In a moment, the mug (along with the hope of a piping hot coffee) was shattered. However, the next day one of our teachers brought in an identical coffee mug for her colleague. Here’s what made that act so special to me. The two teachers aren’t grade level partners. They are not even close friends. It was simply an act of kindness between two professionals and two kind human beings. When I heard about this event, I was taken aback. It summed up in one simple gesture, what I have been hoping for our team these past two years.  Coming together as a caring and supportive community.

As we draw to a close of another school year, I see the connections people have made with one another and the support that is given both in the school setting and in a personal setting. Do we still have disagreements? Yes. Do we still have times of short tempers and frustration? Of course. Do we still have room to grow and learn together? You bet. But, can’t that be said of every family?

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“The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other’s life.” – Richard Bach

“You can never go wrong when you have a great team to work with.” – Kubra Sait

“Without a sense of caring, there can be be no sense of community.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

Books worth Reading

Jimmy Casas

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Blank Pages

Last summer, I was in a comic shop to pick up my new arrivals to add to my Superman collection. While I was there, the owner asked if I wanted a copy of one of the blank Superman comics on sale that month. They were designed for children to draw their own comic art in. At first, I declined the offer and was ready to make my purchase, but then I thought it would be a nice addition to my office collection and provide an opportunity for students to doodle while they were in my office.  I purchased the blank comic and brought it to school.

Once the school year began, I decided to invite one student from each classroom to draw a picture for the book. An artist corner was created in the office with coloring materials and Superman artifacts to inspire the imagination. When students arrived to create their art, they were given two simple parameters. They could draw anything they wished as long as it pertained to Superman and they had to fill in the entire page with color. Students were called into the office each week to add their contribution to the book.

From the first student who came to my office to the last, I was amazed at the vivid imagination that was displayed on the pages of the book. Some drew a classic pose of the Man of Steel, some drew Supergirl and other comic characters, and some drew themselves as superheroes. My favorite part of the project was taking the picture of the students with their finished artwork as they beamed with pride. As the pages began to fill up, I realized what a special project this had become and that it was destined to be a keepsake to remember this year at Buchanan. I hope this book will be something our current students will look back on with fondness and something that will inspire our future students as well!

 

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“For me, the blank page to draw on is a window to adventure.” – Eduardo Risso

“Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage.” – Julia Cameron

“I enjoy the freedom of a blank page.” – Irvine Welsh

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Melissa Haapala                                        Syndie Canterberry

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  • Monday, June 10: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, 4th Grade Celebration at Rec Center
  • Tuesday, June 11: Kindergarten Concert (Outside) 1:30 PM
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day, Student Reports sent home (IRIPS, Reading Proficiency Reports & Math iReady Parent Reports)
  • Thursday, June 13: Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM, Lunch provided by the Social Committee in the lounge
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drum Assembly 10:00 AM, 4th Grade Clap Out 11:30 AM, Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM
  • Monday, June 17: Optional Teacher Work Day

We Are The Warriors

“You can’t change what you really are….you and me, we don’t even have a choice….We have to be right in the middle of the action, because we’re the warriors.” With these words, Apollo Creed convinces his friend Rocky Balboa that he needs to support him in one last fight. Now, while this speech is intended to describe the nature of a boxer, it could easily be used to describe the nature of an educator.

Teachers have a heart of giving, they are always in the middle of the action, and they fight for their students each and every day. Now, while I don’t believe that great educators are born, but are created through hard work and training, I DO believe that they are born with a warrior’s instinct…an instinct to never give up.

One of the biggest compliments I believe someone can get is to be told they have the heart of an educator. For me that means a rare combination of love and toughness, patience and determination, optimism and realism. Like Rocky and Apollo…we are the warriors!

Rocky vs Apollo Painting by Leroy Neiman; Rocky vs Apollo Art Print for sale

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“If you’re a true warrior, competition doesn’t scare you. It makes you better.” – Andrew Witworth

“Any great warrior is also a scholar, and a poet, and an artist.” – Steven Seagal

“I’m a warrior for light.” – Thomas Kinkade

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Amanda Williams                                   Lisa Pisko

 

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  • Monday, June 3: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05 AM, IEP (Stromberg) 2:15 PM, F&P Data in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up
  • Wednesday, June 5: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, June 6: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Garden Day (during your designated time), PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Friday, June 7: Service Safety Squad Color Run 2:30 PM in Garden Area, IRIPS sent home with students
  • Saturday, June 8: 2nd Annual Buchanan Karaoke Night!! 9:00-???
  • Sunday, June 9: PTA Tiger’s Game

 

  • Monday, June 10: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, 4th Grade to Rec Center
  • Tuesday, June 11: Kindergarten Concert 1:15 PM (Outside)
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day
  • Thursday, June 13: Students Dismissed 12:10 PM
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drum Assembly 10:00 AM, 4th Grade Clap Out 11:30 AM, Students dismissed at 12:10 PM

Critics Make Us Stronger

Recently, I was watching a documentary about the controversial Swiss author, Erich von Daniken, who wrote the best selling book Chariots of the Gods. In his 1968 book, von Daniken asked the question, was the earth visited in the past by extra-terrestrials? His provocative ideas have become known as Ancient Astronaut Theory and is now a world wide phenomenon with conventions, an entire genre of books and films, and the impetus for the History Channel’s top rated show “Ancient Aliens“. Although the concept is far from revolutionary now, when the book came out 50 years ago, it was attacked on every front from the scientific community, and so was its author. What surprised me about the special, was that von Daniken welcomed his critics and even went on to say that they helped make his case stronger.

In a world of attacks and counter attacks and never admitting one is wrong or giving an inch, it was refreshing to hear someone say, “Sometimes I was wrong“. Erich von Daniken shares an example of an “ancient pole” that he found in India. The local people told him it had been there for centuries and had never shown a sign of rust. Intrigued, he included it in his book as an example of possible alien technology. Not long after, von Daniken noted that “the damn thing started rusting!“. It was a learning experience for him and he also noted that several other of ideas did not hold up. However, his book was not intended to give answers, but to pose questions, explore new ideas and possibilities, and to question the status quo. He often refers to the fact that his book has over 200 question marks in it. He wasn’t claiming to be the expert, but he was questioning the experts. His openness to critics is something that actually allowed dialogue and the discussion of new ideas and not “camp mentality”. When laughed at, von Daniken would often refer to the German philosopher, Schopenhauer, who said there are three stages for any new idea. In the fist stage everybody laughs at it. In the second stage, nobody wants to talk about it. In the final stage, everybody says, “Oh, we always thought that!“.

As educators, we can learn from Erich von Daniken. We can explore new and original ideas even if they go against the status quo. We can ask provocative questions of ourselves and others. We can embrace our critics as those who help us refine our ideas and practices and can even help make us stronger. In an age where it’s heresy to admit a mistake or show weakness, it’s the truly confident and wise person who can be receptive to new ideas, reflection, and even criticism. Our profession and our students deserve educators who are willing to question ideas and have their ideas questioned. In the end, it makes us all stronger and better!

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“The need to be right all the time is the biggest bar to new ideas.” – Edward de Bono

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” – John Cage

“I’m fascinated by the truth – all the different versions of it.” – Martin Henderson

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Click this link to listen to “Educate The Heart” podcast

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Sue Stromberg                                        Donna Ringler

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  • Tuesday, May 28: Final Achievement Team Meeting (Jones) 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, May 29: New Furniture Delivery, Final Fire Drill 1:30 PM
  • Thursday, May 30: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, SHS Clap Out 11:00 AM
  • Friday, May 31: Spring Fling! 5:30-8:30 PM

 

  • Monday, June 3: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05 AM, F&P Data due in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up
  • Thursday, June 6: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Final PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Friday, June 7: IRIPs Sent Home (more info to come), Service Squad Celebration

 

  • Monday, June 10: Final Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, 4th Grade Celebration at the Rec Center
  • Tuesday, June 11: Kindergarten Outdoor Concert 1:30 PM
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day!
  • Thursday, June 13: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drums Assembly 10:00-11:00 AM, 4th Grade Clap Out at 11:30 AM, Students dismissed at 12:10 PM

Kissing the Blarney Stone

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to visit Ireland. While I was there, I made sure to visit Blarney Castle and make my way up the tower to kiss the famous Blarney Stone. Legend has it that anyone who kisses the stone will receive the gift of eloquent speech. The word Blarney was described by Irish politician, John O’Connor Power, as “flattery sweetened by humor and flavored by wit“. It’s also called the gift of gab. To be honest, I had the gift of gab long before kissing the Blarney Stone, but it took me many years of experience to realize the power our words can have on others.

As educators, the main tools of the trade are our words. We use words to teach our students, communicate with our parents, and collaborate with one another. Our words inspire children to reach their dreams and find their own words. With social media, our words are no longer confined to our classroom or school, but can be shared with educators around the world. That’s a lot of power to be able to tell our story and share our beliefs about education. Like all tools, we must be careful in the way we use our words.

With our words, we have the power to lift people up or knock them down. We have the power to build relationships or cause a rift. We have the power to spread the positives or echo the negatives. Our words have an impact on our attitudes and our students. I’m not suggesting that we all need to make a trek to Ireland to kiss the Blarney Stone, but I do feel that we all need to choose our words carefully as educators. Our words can help make a student’s or colleague’s day a little brighter, if we chose them wisely!

 

 

 

It’s a lot of work to kiss the Blarney Stone! (yes, that’s me:)

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Being Irish, he had an abiding sense of tragedy, which sustained him through temporary periods of joy.” – William Butler Yeats

We have always found the Irish a bit odd. They refuse to be English.” – Winston Churchill

Being Irish, I always had a love of words.” – Kenneth Branagh

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Kathleen Trantham                        Nan Kaufman

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  • Monday, May 20: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, May 21: IEP (Kaufman) 8:15 AM, IEP (Duff) 10:35 AM
  • Wednesday, May 22: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM, Kona Ice Truck here for Staff Treat at 4;15 (compliments of Andrea Oquist)
  • Thursday, May 23: Volunteer Breakfast 8:15 in the LMC, All Admin Meeting 3-4:30
  • Friday, May 24: Staff & Students Dismissed at 12:10 PM

 

  • Monday, May 27: No School for Memorial Day
  • Tuesday, May 28: Achievement Team 8:15, Library Talks in Gym 1:30 K-2 & 2:00 3/4
  • Wednesday, May 29: New Furniture Delivery, Final Fire Drill 11:00 AM
  • Thursday, May 30: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, SHS Clap Out 11:00 AM
  • Friday, May 31: Spring Fling 5:30-8:30 PM

 

  • Monday, June 3: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05, F&P Data in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up!
  • Thursday, June 6: Final PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Friday, June 7: IRIPs go home, Service Safety Squad Celebration 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 10: Final Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05, 4th Grade Celebration at Rec Center
  • Tuesday, June 11: Kindergarten Concert Outside 1:30 PM
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day!
  • Thursday, June 13: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drum Assembly 10:00 AM, 4th Grade Clap Out 11:30 AM, Students dismissed for Summer Vacation 12:10 PM
  • Monday, June 15: OPTIONAL work day for Teachers

I Will Survive!

Gloria Gaynor has been inspiring people with that song since 1978 and its message of resiliency and courage during tough times is a message that educators need to hear during the hectic time of the end of the school year! Recently, my friend Allyson Apsey and I recorded a video to help teachers and principals finish the school year strong. Here are some of the strategies that we shared out:

Tips from #EncourageEDU: Break down your “To Do” list into manageable chunks. What needs to be done today? This week? Before the end of the year? Prioritize your schedule and spend your time accordingly. Learn to delegate! If a student can do a task, let them take charge. If a teacher or a partner can assist, let them. We can’t do it all on our own. Use the expertise around you! Keep the positive energy flowing. Take a dance break, use a jammy pack, ask yourself “What would Allyson do?”:)  Finally, just be there. Listen to your students and staff, hear their stories, be fully present.

Tips from Jennifer Hogan: Recognize when you are in “Survival Mode”. Ask what is important and what is necessary? Do some of these things each day: Get outside! Try a new recipe. Read something that inspires you or listen to a podcast that inspires you. Call a friend. Take a walk. Do a random act of kindness. Notice that these are small things that have a big impact! Check out Jennifer’s entire blog post here: The Compelled Educator.

Tips from “Through the Lens of Serendipity“: In her latest book, Allyson shares out the acronym of HANDLE. It stands for “Hope is everything, Assure safety, No Shoulda’ needed, Do things differently, Listen to understand, Establish trust.” These are important things to do all year, but especially during this hectic time of the year. For more tips, check out the book for yourself!

I want to stress that encouraging educators to finish the year strong is NOT intended as an insult to teachers or insinuates that educators get lazy toward the end of the year. Rather, I believe that we all need to lift one another up during an exhausting and grueling time of the year and share ideas to keep students engaged during this time of assessments and culminating activities. Thanks for all you do and let’s finish strong together!

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Link to #EncourageEDU episode

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“It’s not how you start the season, it’s how you finish.” – Albert Pujols

“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.” – Oprah Winfrey

“If you’re brave enough to start, you’re strong enough to finish.” – Gary Blair

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Shayna Gruenewald                   Jennifer Medellin

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  • Monday, May 13: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, May 14: Grouping Meetings (K-3) 8:15-9:15 (Rotating Subs), 4th Grade to Riley
  • Thursday, May 16: No Staff Meeting, Art Fair (K-4) & Music Concert (1-4) 6:00-8:00

 

  • Monday, May 20: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, May 21: IEP (Kaufman) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, May 23: Volunteer Breakfast 8:15 AM
  • Friday, May 24: Students & Staff Dismissed at 12:10 PM

 

  • Monday, May 27: No School for Memorial Day
  • Wednesday, May 29: Furniture Delivery, Final Fire Drill 11:00 AM
  • Thursday, May 30: Stevenson High School Clap Out 11:00 AM
  • Friday, May 31: Spring Fling 5:30-8:30 PM

 

Turn! Turn! Turn!

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

These words, attributed to Solomon, were written thousands of years ago and set to music several generations ago by folk singer, Pete Seger. If you’re close to my age, you may recognize them from the music of “The Byrds”. The words ring just as true today as when they were first put down in verse. They are timeless, because we all go through seasons in our life and we gain wisdom when we recognize not only our own seasons, but the seasons of others.

As a principal, I try to recognize the seasons that my staff and students are going through and support them accordingly. Those with young children may find it difficult to make early morning meetings. Those caring for aging parents may need to leave promptly after school to become a caretaker. Those adding to their family or getting married are focused on new family ties. Those with children graduating high school or attending college are navigating ways to support their children from afar. Those suffering the loss of a loved one or the end of a relationship may need comforting. Going through these seasons does NOT make an educator less valuable, it makes them more valuable, because they are better able to connect with students and colleagues as they go through pivotal life events.

As educators, it can be easy to beat ourselves up as we go through the various seasons of our life and feel that we can’t always give 100% of our hearts and energy to our students. Don’t feel bad, it simply means your human. And our students need all the human connections they can get from caring adults who recognize and support them through the seasons they are going through!

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“Every new season of your life will be an opportunity for you to learn and grow.” – Theresa Lewis

“Everything is in the process of either coming into being or expiring.” – Kilroy J. Oldster

“You can’t enter into a new season, until you’re willing to leave the old one.” – Joe Joe Dawson

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Michelle Adams                               Sandra Benson

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  • Monday, May 6: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, iReady Window 3 Opens
  • Tuesday, May 7: Achievement Team 8:15 AM, Talent Show!
  • Wednesday, May 8: IEP (Kurtjian) 8:15 AM, Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, May 9: CLT 7:50-8:50 AM (Bring Yellow Sheet)
  • Friday, May 10: Jon to Lansing for MEMSPA Board Meeting, Laura & Dan Wedding!

 

  • Monday, May 13: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, May 14: 4th Grade to Riley in AM, Grouping Meetings K-3 (Rotating Subs in AM)
  • Thursday, May 16: No Staff Meeting, Art Showcase (K-4) & Music Concert (1-4) 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Thursday, May 23: Volunteer Breakfast 8:00 AM
  • Friday, May 24M-STEP EndsStudents & Staff dismissed at 12:10 PM

BIG DATES

  • Monday, May 27No School for Memorial Day
  • Thursday, May 30: Stevenson Clap Out 11:00 AM
  • Monday, June 3: F&P in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up
  • Friday, June 7: Service Safety Squad Celebration 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 10: 4th Grade Party
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drums Assembly 10:00 AM

Fighting a Gorn

The original Star Trek series had many groundbreaking special effects and story lines. It also had several cringe worthy scenes and special effects. One of the most notorious scenes involves Captain Kirk fighting a giant reptile called a Gorn. The creature’s costume is laughable and he looks like he’s wearing a shower curtain taken from my late grandmother’s bathroom. While the episode is actually fun and contains a good moral lesson, the fight scene is downright ridiculous. In fact, I have even come to calling any ridiculous battle “Fighting a Gorn” after the episode.

Throughout my life, I have fought many ridiculous battles. As a husband, I have gotten into more ridiculous arguments than I can count. As a father, I have witnessed ridiculous battles between my daughters and have been drawn into more than I care to admit. Even as a teacher and principal, I have been pulled into ludicrous situations that would rival Captain Kirk’s battle with the Gorn.  Fortunately, the older I become, the less I am drawn into silly and destructive battles that don’t benefit anyone.

As educators, it can be easy to be pulled into “Fighting a Gorn” as we have a power struggle with a student, argue with a combative parent, or even get into workplace gossip or cliques. When you feel this happening, take a step back, breathe, and walk away if possible. We have enough real battles to face as educators. Make sure you are spending your energy on the important things and remember that nobody looks good fighting a Gorn…not even Captain Kirk!

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“Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.” – Mark Twain

“Raise your words, not your voice.” – Rumi

“The test of a man or woman’s breeding is how they behave in a quarrel.” – George Bernard Shaw

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Becky Hurula                             Kellie Stark

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  • Monday, April 29: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05 AM, M-STEP Window Opens
  • Tuesday, April 30: Achievement Team (Duff) 8:15 AM, 2nd Grade Talking Zoo
  • Thursday, May 2: #MEMSPAchat 8:00 PM (Chance to earn a 30 min. break card:)
  • Friday, May 3: Fire Drill 3:05 PM

 

  • Monday, May 6: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, iReady Window 3 Opens
  • Tuesday, May 7: TALENT SHOW! 
  • Thursday, May 9: CLT 7:50-8:50 AM
  • Friday, May 10: Jon in Lansing for MEMSPA Board Meeting

 

  • Tuesday, May 14Grouping Meetings in AM (Rotating Subs)/4th Grade to Riley
  • Thursday, May 16: Art Fair (K-4) Music Concert (1-4) 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Friday, May 24: M-STEP EndsStudents & Staff dismissed at 12:10 PM
  • Monday, May 27No School for Memorial Day
  • Thursday, May 30: Stevenson Clap Out 11:00 AM
  • Monday, June 3: F&P in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up
  • Friday, June 7: Service Safety Squad Celebration 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 10: 4th Grade Party
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drums Assembly 10:00 AM

Walk Up Song!

Several years ago, I was asked at a PD session what my walk up song would be if I had one. The question was asked by Syndee Malek and was described as the soundtrack that would be playing as I walked into the school. I had to think about it, because soundtracks are very important to me as a music & movie lover! I finally settled on the theme from “The Greatest American Hero“. The song is optimistic and about a person who can’t believe how lucky he is, and he’s also a bit of a goof…sounds about right:)

As we shared out our songs and why we chose them, the common themes were optimism, energy, and excitement! I heard songs like Eye of the Tiger, Fight Song, and Don’t Stop Believin’. By the time we had finished the activity we were all pumped up and ready walk into our schools with our walk up songs blasting away!

Being an educator can be grueling at times, especially near the end of the school year. When you’re feeling a deflated and spent, think about what your walk up song would be and the energy you can draw from it. Every action hero needs their own song and in my book, all educators are heroes!

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“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles.” – Christopher Reeve

“Don’t forget, you are the hero of your own story.” – Greg Boyle

“The difference between a hero and a coward is one step sideways.” – Gene Hackman

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Kelsey Duff                Laura Kurtjian

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  • Monday, April 22: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, April 23: Achievement Team (K Retention) 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, April 24: PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, April 25: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, YMAD at CHS 6:30 PM
  • Monday, April 29: Student of Month Assembly 9:05 AM, M-STEP Window Opens

 

  • Monday, May 6iReady Window 3 Opens
  • Tuesday, May 7: Talent Show
  • Tuesday, May 14Grouping Meetings in AM (Rotating Subs)/4th Grade to Riley
  • Thursday, May 16: Art Fair (K-4) Music Concert (1-4) 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Friday, May 24: M-STEP Ends, Students & Staff dismissed at 12:10 PM
  • Monday, May 27No School for Memorial Day
  • Thursday, May 30: Stevenson Clap Out 11:00 AM

 

  • Monday, June 3: F&P in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up
  • Friday, June 7: Service Safety Squad Celebration 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 10: 4th Grade Party
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drums Assembly 10:00 AM

Reinventing Yourself

My father was an artist and while I didn’t inherit any of his artistic ability, I did grow up with an enormous appreciation for art. One artist that I struggled with early on was Picasso. I thought his work was strange and even simplistic. I dismissed him for years. Then, I had the opportunity to see some of his very early work while in Spain. By the age of 13, he had mastered realism and had created beautiful “traditional” paintings. Also, during my trip through Spain, I was exposed to the several different periods of his art and how he literally invented new forms of artistic expression as he evolved as an artist and I learned how these stages correlated with his life experiences. Here are some samples from some different periods in his art:

 

Realism                    Blue Period              Rose Period      African Period

 

Classicism                Cubism                 War Years                Surrealism

The more I learned about Picasso, the more impressed I became with him. Not just for his artistic abilities, but for his continuous desire to expand his skills and reinvent himself. When he mastered a style, he would move onto the next and when he ran out of styles, he created his own. Picasso never settled for the status quo, even when the status quo was considered master level. He pushed boundaries, took risks, and continued to explore his craft for his entire life. His groundbreaking work left a legacy for future artists to follow and his constant reinventions challenged future artists to blaze their own trails.

As educators, we can learn much from Picasso. Great teachers don’t just master their craft, they continually seek ways to expand their knowledge, learn new techniques, and challenge the status quo. I think that process begins with always keeping a spirit of curiosity and remaining life-long learners. Change can be scary, but nothing great was ever achieved by playing it safe. As you reflect on your growth as an educator, consider if it’s time to transform some of your practices and attitudes and never be afraid to reinvent yourself!

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“All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once they grow up.” – Pablo Picasso

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” – Pablo Picasso

“I paint objects as I think them, not as I see them.” – Pablo Picasso

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Jennifer Hogan                            Craig Vroom

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  • Monday, April 15: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, April 16: Achievement Team 8:15 AM, IEP Planning Meeting (Kurtjian) 1:00-2:30 PM
  • Wednesday, April 17: M-STEP Training Meeting 8:20 AM
  • Thursday, April 18: AED Training with John Raymond 7:50-8:50 AM
  • Friday, April 19: No School for Good Friday
  • Monday, April 29: M-STEPS Begins

 

  • Monday, May 6: iReady Window 3 Opens
  • Tuesday, May 7: Talent Show
  • Tuesday, May 14: Grouping Meetings in AM (Rotating Subs)/4th Grade to Riley
  • Thursday, May 16: Art Fair (K-4) Music Concert (1-4) 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Friday, May 24: M-STEP Ends, Students & Staff dismissed at 12:10 PM
  • Monday, May 27: No School for Memorial Day
  • Thursday, May 30: Stevenson Clap Out 11:00 AM

 

  • Monday, June 3: F&P in Illuminate
  • Tuesday, June 4: Kindergarten Round Up
  • Friday, June 7: Service Safety Squad Celebration 3:00 PM
  • Monday, June 10: 4th Grade Party
  • Wednesday, June 12: Field Day
  • Friday, June 14: Island Drums Assembly 10:00 AM