One Impossible Thing at a Time

For the past ten weeks, I have been glued to the TV each Thursday evening to see the new Star Trek series “Picard” starring Patrick Stewart. In the series, we see the return of one of the series most beloved actors and starship captains after years of retirement. He struggles against an ongoing illness, the isolation of retirement, and of course an intergalactic threat. It’s a story of reconnecting with old friends and forging new friendships and realizing that the struggle and the fight are what keeps us alive and “young”. Throughout the series, when faced with staggering obstacles, Picard’s manta is “One impossible thing at a time“.

When I first heard those words two months ago, I thought it was a wise statement. When I heard those words again last week during the season finale, I thought, “This needs to be the mantra of educators during our current situation!“. Educators are literally doing one impossible thing at a time. When we found out we would not be able to be in the school for several weeks, teachers immediately went online and started sharing lessons via email and video. When teachers couldn’t collaborate in person, they learned how to use virtual settings and planned together remotely. When families reached out and said they needed assistance with technology and food (not necessarily in that order), we put together food distribution locations and arranged for families to receive devices for their home. When the governor made the necessary decision to close buildings for the remainder of the year, we came together to find new ways to make sure we are connecting and supporting ALL our students.

What new challenges will arise this year and how will we navigate these uncharted waters? I don’t know the specific answers to those questions, but I do know we will rise to the challenge by doing one impossible thing at a time! 

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“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

“Nothing is impossible. The word itself says ‘I’m possible’!” – Audrey Hepburn

“Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” – Francis of Assisi

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  • Friday, April 3: Post Lessons online for the week of April 13
  • Monday, April 6 – Friday, April 10: Spring Break!
  • Thursday, April 16: Virtual Staff Meeting on Google Meet 1:00 PM (optional)
  • Friday, April 17: Post Lessons online for the week of April 20

As always, you will receive updates from the district and myself as new developments arise! 

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Virtual Learning

Hi Everyone,

I’m skipping the blog format this week (unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions). I wanted to share how proud I am of this TEAM as we move into this uncharted territory. In the blink of an eye, you went from meeting the needs of students in the classroom to meeting the needs of students through distance learning. Many used virtual meetings to collaborate with teammates for the very first time and everyone has stretched themselves to meet the needs of our students. I think the hardest part is the uncertainty of when this will end and when will things go back to normal. I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know that we will get through this together. The governor said the other night that “Tough times don’t last, but tough people do“. I agree with that and I know our team is pretty tough (in a good way:) Below I will share out some of the things that are happening and a timeline of events, but first I wanted to share some levity to our current situation. Enjoy!

Video Link (16 seconds) – This was pretty much my experience with Zoom!

STORY TIME & CELEBRATE MONDAY

Each Weeknight at 7:00 PM I will be hosting “Story Time” and Each Monday at 9:00 AM I will be holding a virtual Celebrate Monday Assembly. Videos will be posted on our Buchanan Facebook page to help keep our students engaged during our time away from school.

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Regardless of our return date, our Spring Break will still be the week of April 6 – April 10. Staff will not be expected to check emails or collaborate during this time.

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I would like to welcome our newest member of our Buchanan Team! Bob Miller will be serving as our new Building Supervisor. Bob has been working at Niji-Iro Elementary and is thrilled to be at Buchanan. His only regret is that he has not been able to meet many of our staff or students yet, due to our current situation.

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The district is providing iReady instructional licences for Reading & Math for all elementary students. A letter about iReady and how to access from home will be sent to parents tomorrow in my family update!

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  • Monday, March 30: Elementary Principals virtual meeting with Central Office 10:45-12:00. Following the meeting, Kristen and I will call the no response parents.
  • Week of March 30 – April 3: The PTA has put together a virtual Spirit Week. It will be in the family update and on Facebook and Twitter!
  • Friday, April 3: Teachers will send out new learning activities to families for the week of April 13 (I know it’s a little confusing with the Spring Break schedule)
  • Week of April 6 – April 10: Spring Break
  • Return Date?? It’s Monday, April 13 on the calendar, but that is likely to change. As always, I will keep you updated on any new information as it becomes available

Madiba

As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of my goals this year is to read an autobiography each month. For February, I chose “Long Walk to Freedom” by Nelson Mandela. It was a daunting book that took me over a month to read, but it was worth it. If Mandela’s life was written as fiction, no one would believe it, because it’s so incredible. He was born into one of the most oppressive societies in the world as a minority with virtually no rights. He gained an education, became a lawyer and a political activist. He served 27 years in prison, but never gave up the fight. Upon his release at age 71 he continued to fight against apartheid and within five years helped achieve the impossible. He helped overturn the racist government and became president of a free South Africa, a country he had lived most of life as a political criminal or prisoner. He earned the Nobel Peace Prize and became the father of a free South Africa, long after he had earned the title of “Madiba” or father. Like the other biographies I am reading, I wanted to share some lessons from Mandela’s example that could apply to the world of education.

No task is too small: Throughout his life story, there are examples of Mandela doing “small” things to help others. Whether it was teaching someone to read in prison or helping a neighbor with legal assistance. He often remarked that the leaders he looked up to always found time to do the “little things”. As educators, the little things we do for students and parents can mean the world. A simple smile, a phone call home to check on their well being, and a helping hand can make positive ripples in the life of a child.

All people can change: Some of the most remarkable parts of Mandela’s story take place in prison. As I read the many chapters of prison life, I kept thinking that Mandela sounded like the characters of Red and Andy from The Shawshank Redemption rolled into one and that character rather than escaping, changed the world around him. He continually spoke of the importance of hope and that he never doubted he would get out and that his struggle would end in success. There were many instances in the several prisons he was confined to, where he would earn the respect of the prison wardens and would often educate the guards on South African history and about the goals of the African National Congress that he worked with. He noted that once fear and ignorance were removed, respect and trust were gained. As educators, we can NEVER give up on a child. No matter their past, their situation or even their attitude. When we can remove fear and replace it with knowledge, we will change the course of their lives.

It’s about the future and not the past: Mandela had a habit of planting gardens in prison and would often turn a dusty patch of land in a prison courtyard into a beautiful vegetable garden. He would even share his yield with the prison guards and their families as well as his fellow political prisoners. His gardens would often take years to cultivate before they bore fruit. It was a great example of how he lived his life. He wasn’t focused on quick fixes, but tended and cared for his garden to produce better fruit each year. When he rose to power and became president of South Africa, he used this same approach. He told his country that it was not about looking back at the past with an eye for revenge, but rather looking toward the future with an eye on hope. As educators, we may never see the fruits of our labors. We tend the garden of children in our schools and we nurture them and hope that one day, those efforts will bear fruit with happy and successful adults. It’s hard work and requires patience and one eye on the present and one eye on the future.

My goal was not to reduce the incredible life of Nelson Mandela into a few bullet points. However, I did want to share how educators can learn from people of all walks of life. Especially those who made the “Long Walk to Freedom“.

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“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” – Nelson Mandela

Saturday Shout Out – Dina Rocheleau

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  • Grades are due on Monday, March 23 at midnight
  • Report Cards will be visible to families on Parent Connect on Wednesday, March 25
  • The district will be sending out an update to staff (and then to families) very soon about how we are moving forward. As always, feel free to email or text me with any questions or clarifications.
  • I will continue to send out a staff post each week and also my weekly parent update to keep consistency for our team and our community.
  • Remember to take care of YOU and your family. Reach out to me or one another if you need assistance.

 

Strength from Weakness

Shortly after Kirk Douglass passed away (at the ripe old age of 103), I was listening to some of his old interviews on my way home from work. I had been introduced to many of Douglass’ films through my father who was an avid movie watcher. Kirk Douglass was known as a “tough guy” actor who played many strong lead roles, including the lead in one of my favorite films, “Spartacus“. He was also known to be courageous and firm in his convictions off the screen as well. But when speaking in the interview, he rebuked his image of a tough guy in films. He said instead that he enjoyed playing many different roles and emphasized contrasts whenever possible. When he played a strong character, he always focused on the weaknesses and insecurities. When playing a weak or timid character, he drew on their moments of strength and courage. It was finding strength in weakness that characterized his acting and also his life.

As brave as that approach to acting was, not everyone approved. His long time friend and frequent screen partner, John Wayne, once chided him for playing a weaker character. He said that people needed a strong model to look up to and that he could not afford to show weakness. Kirk disagreed with his friend and said that real strength came from courage on many levels and not just being the stereotypical tough guy. Again, it was finding strength in weakness that was key.

As an educational leader, it can be easy to get caught up in the idea that we need to be perfect, confident, and triumphant all the time. I don’t think that is what leadership is all about. I think it’s about always doing our best, not achieving perfection. It’s about being confident that things will work out, not just confidence in ourselves. It’s about triumph of the spirit as we pick ourselves up after each mistake. Let’s all learn from Kirk Douglass and always try to find strength in our weakness and not be afraid to share our weakness when we are strong.

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“Where there is no struggle, there is no strength.” – Oprah Winfrey

“There is not time for ease and comfort. It is time to dare and endure.” – Winston Churchill

“Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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Tune in to “Story Time” during our break on Facebook! A new video will drop at 7:00 PM each weeknight featuring a Caldecott Award winning book. 

The First American

One of my goals this year is to read an autobiography each month. I enjoy reading autobiographies, because I like to hear about people in their own words and from their perspective in their own time. My hope is to glean from the lessons shared from historical figures and apply them to educational leadership. My January book was the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin, who is often referred to as “The First American“.  Here are some of the lessons I took away from my reading.

He was a life-long learner: Throughout the story of his life, Franklin used every spare dollar he had in buying new books. In fact, he often bartered with friends to obtain new reading material and even helped found the first public libraries in America. He also tackled the task of learning new languages (plural) when he was in his thirties. Later in life, he also continued his scientific experiments, including his famous “Philadelphia Experiment” with electricity. He never stopped being curious and never stopped learning. Sounds like a teacher to me!

He was all about relationships: Franklin was famous for his art of compromising with people. One of his methods for doing this was eating and drinking with his “enemies”. Even when he had severe differences with rivals, he would often meet with them at their home and converse and even argue over a meal, but he never let it get personal. He kept things professional and realized that he often had to work with those he did not agree with and kept a civil demeanor. In education, we often have to deal with people who have different viewpoints and we can follow Ben’s example of working with people (even those we don’t agree with) towards a common goal.

He always put it in writing: One of the recurring themes of the book, was Franklin’s insistence on putting things in writing. Whether starting up a business or chartering a project he always made sure to put all agreements in writing. This was with both friends and strangers. He noted that many friendships disintegrated, because of disagreements that could have been prevented by simply formalizing things at the beginning of project. As a school administrator, I was once told that “the weakest ink is better than the strongest memory“. I have found that to be true and try to take Franklin’s advice of keeping things clear and in writing whenever possible.

He was full of wisdom: Many of Ben Franklin’s proverbs are still used today and his wit was legendary both in his own time and far beyond. One of my favorite pieces of advice that he gave was “One today is worth two tomorrows“. As an educator, I have always found this to be true. The student we have in front of us right now and the difference we can make each day in the classroom and in the school is what makes our jobs so special. We can plan for tomorrow, but what we do today is what makes all the difference.

Ben Franklin lived over two centuries ago. However, his life and lessons resonate clearly today just as they did at the founding of our country and serve as a road map to teachers, principals, and everyone who works in the schools. He may not have been an educator, but he certainly taught by his example and left lessons that are still relevant today!

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“Love your enemies, for they tell you your faults.” – Ben Franklin

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Ben Franklin

“If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing.” – Ben Franklin

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  • Monday, March 9: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, March 10: District PD 8:00-11:00/Building PD 12:30-3:30, Skate Night 6-8 PM
  • Wednesday, March 11: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, March 12: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Tornado Drill 1:30 PM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Friday, March 13: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM, Records Day in PM
  • Saturday, March 14: Pancake Breakfast

 

  • Monday, March 16: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM (Book Fair Begins)
  • Tuesday, March 17: Dennis Mathew/Author Assemblies in the PM, Grades due at midnight
  • Wednesday, March 18: Presentation by Andrea Oquist 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, March 19: PLC session 7:50-8:50 AM
  • Friday, March 20: Report Cards go home

 

  • Wednesday, March 25: Battle of the Books
  • Friday, March 27: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM / Building PD in afternoon

Don’t Let the Old Man In

Last week I had the pleasure of watching Englebert Humperdinck in concert in Detroit. This is the point where most readers are probably saying, “Englebert who?” and the rest are saying, “Is he still alive?” The answer to the first question is that he is a recording artist who has sold over 140 million records and has had decades of hits. The answer to the second question is that he is just shy of his 84th birthday. Being a music lover of all genres, I wanted a chance to see him perform while I could. Walking into the concert, I enjoyed being one of the youngest members in the audience. I was expecting him to come on the stage and sing his songs, tell some stories, and call it an early evening. I did not get what I was expecting.

The concert started with Englebert singing his songs while being projected on the jumbotrons on either side of the stage. After a few songs he took off his tuxedo jacket and unbuttoned his shirt to the excitement of the female members of the crowd. Throughout the performance, he was running across the stage giving high fives to the audience members, jumping up on the piano, and at the end of the show put on a boxing robe and strutted across the stage. Right about the time I was thinking, this guy does NOT act his age he told a story about that very subject. One day, Clint Eastwood and Toby Keith were golfing. While on the course, Toby asked, “Clint how do you keep it up? You jog everyday, you direct movies, and you star in movies. What’s your secret?“. Clint’s simple reply was, “I don’t let the old man in“. Toby immediately turned that phrase into a song (which was later used in Clint’s movie The Mule) and when Englebert heard the song he said that the words could have been written for him. He said he had lived his life by that philosophy and began singing it at every one of his performances.

Twenty-five years into my educational journey, I sometimes feel pretty old and run down. However, I have many mentors and people that I look up to that are older than I am, but still have the fire in their eyes and an energy that is contagious. I’ve learned from my educational heroes to draw on my passion as an educator and keep a positive and energized spirit. Now, I’ve also learned another lesson from Englebert Humperdinck’s example and will follow the advice not to let the old man in!

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“The old believe everything, the middle-aged suspect everything, the young know everything.” – Oscar Wilde

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” – Mark Twain

“True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.” – Kurt Vonnegut

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  • Monday, March 2: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM (with special guest Dina Rocheleau – Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction in Ferndale)
  • Tuesday, March 3: Achievement Team (Kaufman) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, March 5: (No Staff Meeting), 2nd Grade Debrief at Central Office 8:30-11:30 AM, Kindergarten Parent Orientation 6:00 – 7:00 PM
  • Friday, March 6: Jon in Lansing for MEMSPA Board Meeting

 

  • Monday, March 9: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, March 10: No School for Students, District PD 8:00-11:00 AM, Building PD 12:30-3:30 PM, PTA Skate Night 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Wednesday, March 11: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, March 12: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Tornado Drill 1:30 PM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
  • Friday, March 13: Students dismissed at 12:10 PM, Records day in the PM

 

  • Tuesday, March 17: Grade due by midnight

Frost Revisions

Several years ago, one of my colleagues was sharing how she had been exposed to drafts of Robert Frost’s poetry and what a profound impact it had on her. As a lover of Frost’s poems, she was used to reading them as a finished product in all their glory. Seeing the poems with words scribbled out, numerous corrections and edits, and frequent searches for the perfect word reminded her that Frost was not simply inspired by a muse as he sat down and composed beautiful poetry. Alas, he was human. A human who needed to scratch, scrape and claw his way through his poetry to find the perfect words. The lesson my friend learned was that Robert Frost had a growth mindset. He didn’t do one shot poetry; he worked and struggled to improve, revise, and grow.

The best thing about this realization from my friend was that she didn’t keep it to herself. Like all good educators, she not only learned from her experience, she shared it with others so they could grow too. I happened to be one of the people she shared it with. It made an impact on me and sparked my thinking. I wrote it down in my list of blog ideas and there it waited…until now.

As educators, we know the importance of having a growth mindset and that excellence doesn’t happen by chance, but by hard work, endurance, and grit. However, I think sometimes we forget that truth when we think of the “giants” of poetry like Byron, Angelou, Dickinson, and even Frost. We may think of them as people who had a natural gift for writing and forget that they put blood, sweat, and tears into their works to make them so great. When we share these examples with our students, we can show them that ALL people need to work for improvement. And when you are feeling frustrated with your own writing skills, perhaps this story of “Frost Revisions” will remind you that nobody is perfect…at least the first time.

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“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and thought has found words.”Robert Frost

Forgive me my nonsense, as I also forgive the nonsense of those that think they talk sense.”Robert Frost

“In three words I can sum up everything I’ve leaned about life: it goes on.”Robert Frost

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  • Monday, February 24: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05, Achievement Team Meeting (Ringler) 3:20 PM
  • Tuesday, February 25: Achievement Team Meeting (Mcguigan) 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, February 26: Bill Roberts in the Lounge 8:00 AM, Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, February 27: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, All Principal Meeting @ Churchill 3:00-4:30 PM
    • Math Theme: Problem Solving
  • Monday, March 2: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, March 3: Achievement Team Meeting 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, March 5: 2nd Grade Module Feedback Meeting in AM, Kindergarten Parent Information Night 6:00-7:00 PM
  • Friday, March 6: Jon in Lansing for MEMSPA Board Meeting 9:00-3:00 PM

 

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You probably know that this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences named “Parasite” the “Best Picture” of 2019. It is the 92nd time they selected a Best Picture of the year. What you may not know is that I collect the best picture winners from each year. My collection of 91 celebrated movies (soon to be 92) is very diverse. The movies range from war films to love stories, from violent to family friendly, from silent to musicals. Some have stood the test of time and some haven’t aged well. In fact the only thing they all have in common is that at one point in time, the Academy felt that it was the best film made that year.

Some of the films I love and have watched many times. Some of the films I don’t care for at all and wonder how they were chosen as Best Picture. However, I enjoy watching these films, because they each tell a story. Not only the story that is on the screen, but the story of what was valued and appreciated at the time of the film. If I simply watched films from genres I enjoy and the latest releases, I would be limiting myself to a very narrow focus and would have missed a larger world of film and experiences that have given me an appreciation for views and tastes different than my own. They also show me how the medium of film has evolved and grown through the years.

As an educator, I need to appreciate views and experiences that are different from mine. As pleasant as it sounds to be surrounded by teachers, parents, and even students who think like I do and respond the way I expect them to, it’s unrealistic and even egotistical. It’s going on the assumption that my way is the correct way, when in reality, I need to set the vision, but people should be able to work, learn, and grow in their own way. Differences in opinions and approaches in a respectful environment can be a powerful foundation for a unified, but diverse team. That’s how I view the movies in my collection; unity in their selection as best picture, but diverse in their themes and styles. Let’s create that same blend of unity and diversity in our school setting!

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“Fasten you seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” – All About Eve (Best Picture 1950)

“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.” – The Godfather (Best Picture 1972)

“I’m the king of the world!” – Titanic (Best Picture 1997)

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Click here to watch the six minute, award winning short film “Hair Love”

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  • Monday, February 17 & Tuesday, February 18: No School for Midwinter Break
  • Wednesday, February 19: IEP (Tanner) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, February 20: No Staff Meeting (all principals & literacy coaches at Central Office for training all day)
  • Friday, February 21: IEP (Banter) 9:30-12:00
    • Math Theme: Geometry
  • Monday, February 24: Students of the Month Assembly (GRIT), Achievement Team Meeting (Ringler) 3:20 PM
  • Tuesday, February 25: Achievement Team Meeting (Mcguigan) 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, February 26: Bill Roberts in lounge 8:00 AM, Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, February 27: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM
    • Math Theme: Problem Solving

Emergency!

Last week, my youngest daughter called me with an emergency. She needed me to pick her up from her mom’s house for an urgent mission. I was there in a matter of minutes and assessed the situation. It was just as she had described it….dead. Yes, her phone was dead as a doornail. We traveled to the Sprint store and fortunately the technician was able to restart her phone and in a matter of minutes it was good as new. My daughter was so happy and grateful that she actually treated me to a hot chocolate at the Starbucks next door. I was guaranteed hero status for a full fifteen minutes!

You’re probably thinking that a dead phone does not rise to the level of an emergency. However for a sixteen year old girl, it absolutely was. Her connection to her peer group, her access to information, and her pathway to entertainment were all gone without her phone. What would have been a minor inconvenience to me, was a major disaster through her eyes. I chose to approach the situation through her lens.

As educators, we are often approached with situations that are deemed “emergencies” by others. Teachers deal with student issues that may seem small in comparison with the needs of the classroom. Principals deal with teacher issues that may seem small in comparison to the needs of the school. Superintendents deal with principal issues that may seem small in comparison with the needs of the district. But the reality is that to that one student, teacher, or principal it may mean the world. Looking through the eyes of another is a skill that we NEED as educators. It can help us create trusting relationships and develop a global perspective.

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“One of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.” – Arnold Glasow

“The emergencies you train for almost never happen.” – Ernest Gann

“Real friends are someone who is right next to you in emergencies, not only in parties” – Hiroko Sakai

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  • Monday, February 10: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, parent meeting (Ringler) 3:20 PM
  • Tuesday, February 11: Achievement Team (Allmayer) 8:15 AM, Follow Up Meeting (Ringler) 9:05 AM, Parent Meeting (Hochkins) 3:20 PM
  • Wednesday, February 12: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM, Founders Day at Schoolcraft (Doors open at 5:30 PM)
  • Thursday, February 13: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM (facilitated by Theresa O’Brien and Jen Cory), PTA Meeting 7:00 AM
    • Math Theme: Measurement
  • Monday, February 17 & Tuesday, February 18: Midwinter Break
  • Wednesday, February 19: IEP (Tanner) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, February 20: Coaches Meeting at Central Office (all principals & literacy coaches)
    • Math Theme: Geometry

Perspective

One of my favorite pieces of art is “The Old Guitarist” by Pablo Picasso. It was done during his Blue Period and I’ve visited it many times in the Art Institute of Chicago. The painting depicts an elderly man hunched over his guitar with this head hanging down. He is wearing ragged clothes and is barefoot as he sadly strums the guitar in a sitting position that looks like he could be begging on the street. The piece has always spoken to me and brings up feelings of loneliness and despair. The last time I was there, I decided to purchase a magnet of the painting that I placed on our refrigerator.

One morning, when I came into the kitchen, I noticed that the magnet had been turned horizontally and gave a completely different impression. After years of looking at this tired and sad man hunched over his guitar, he now appeared to be lounging comfortably as he strummed his guitar. I stared at it for a while, because I had never even considered seeing it in that manner. When I asked my daughters about it, they said it just looked more natural that way and had adjusted it accordingly. Wow! What a difference was made by a new perspective.

As educators, our job can be pretty grueling. At first glance, it can look like an impossible task. We often struggle with behavior issues in the classroom. We are challenged with parents who can be demanding and impatient. We have too many duties and not enough time to do them. But when we look closer, we can see from a different perspective. The behavior issues are often from trauma or work avoidance and are a message to us that they need the patience and guidance that may only come from a dedicated teacher that they trust. The demanding parents are telling us that we have been entrusted with their most precious possession and they need reassuring. The mountain of duties that we have and the little time to do it in is the continuous battle that we will continue to fight as long as we have the passion and energy to do it, because it’s what our students need! Depending on your perspective, education can be the most grueling or the most rewarding career one could have. The reality is, it’s both.

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“You must look within for value, but must look beyond for perspective.” – Denis Waitley

“Not enough people in this world carry a cosmic perspective with them. It could be life-changing.” – Neil deGrasse Tyson

“It’s useful to go out of this world and see it from the perspective of another one.” – Terry Pratchett

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  • Monday, February 3: IEP (Jones) 8:30 AM, Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, February 4: Achievement Team (Hurula) 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, February 5: Math Assemblies in the afternoon 1:30 (2-4) & 2:30 (K/1)
  • Thursday, February 6: PLC Session (Data) 7:50-8:50 AM
  • Friday, February 7: REED (Medellin) 8:15 AM, VIP Dance in the Gym 6:00-8:00 PM
    • Math Theme of the Week: ESTIMATION (Estimation Jars & East Commons Activities)

 

  • Monday, February 10: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, February 11: Achievement Team (Allmayer) 8:15 AM, Follow Up Meeting (Ringler) 9:05 AM
  • Wednesday, February 12: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM, Founders Day Banquet at Vista Tech (Doors open at 5:30 PM)
  • Thursday, February 13: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM
    • Math Theme of the Week: MEASUREMENT 

 

  • Monday, February 17 & Tuesday, February 18: Mid Winter Break!!
    • Math Theme of the Week: GEOMETRY