Taking Charge

The gods are best served by those who want their help the least“. This quote is from the classic film of Jason and the Argonauts. In the film, the hero Jason has the opportunity to meet with the gods on Mount Olympus. When they ask him if he wants a ship and a crew for his voyage, he shocks them all by declining their offer.  He shares that he will rely on the courage and skill of men.  He will announce that the ship must be the strongest ship every built and that the crew will be selected from an Olympic contest and only the bravest and strongest will be allowed to share in the great adventure. At this point, Zeus says that he has chosen well with Jason and shares the quote above. As educators, I feel that we are best served when we follow Jason’s example and take charge of our own development in the following areas.

Professional Learning Networks (PLN): There was a time when educators were limited to connecting with only those they worked with in the same building. For some, this meant being the only person at a grade level. It can be challenging to be isolated in your own classroom or building and not have the collaboration that educators so desperately need to grow. Fortunately, with the advent of social media, teachers are only as far away from other educators as their mobile device. Through blogging, Twitter, Voxer, and a host of online educational resources, teachers can connect with like-minded professionals across the district and across the globe. If you are fortunate as I have been, many of your online PLN members will develop into support networks and even friendships as you meet in person at conferences!

Professional Development: Throughout the year, teachers are offered building and district PD sessions. While they are great opportunities for growth, they are rarely individualized and may or may not be relevant to all the professionals in the room. Fortunately, teachers today have a myriad of options for professional development, literally at their fingertips. Through Twitter, TED talks, podcasts, and online resources, educators can access information on any topic they desire. In addition, they can connect with their PLN through Skype, ZOOM, or Google Hangouts to discuss topics and seek advice. Even book studies (both online and in person) can be done anytime by those who wish to know more about a subject. We truly live an amazing time for individualized learning!

Attitude: There are many things that we don’t have control over in the world of education. Fortunately, we DO have control of the most important thing: our attitude. We can choose to look at obstacles or find solutions. We can choose to dwell on our failures or celebrate our successes. We can choose to succumb to negativity or rise above with optimism. Every day we have a choice!

Education is a calling and it’s a tough calling. It’s exhausting, challenging, and ever-changing. It also can be the most important and rewarding profession in the world. If you’ve answered the calling, remember when things seem overwhelming that you have control over the most important factors and never hesitate to take charge of your relationships, your learning, and your attitude. The power lies within you! 

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“People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.” – Thomas Sowell

“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in five years there would be a shortage of sand.” – Milton Friedman

“Take charge of your life! The tides do not command the ship. The sailor does.” – Ogwo David Emenike

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  • Monday, December 16: REED (Trantham) 8:15 AM, Students of the Month Assembly (EMPATHY) 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, December 17: REED (Ringler) 8:40 AM
  • Thursday, December 19: Staff Holiday Celebration 8:00 AM in the LMC
  • Friday, December 20: iReady Window 2 closes

WINTER BREAK!!

 

Reflections on MEMSPA 19

We do not learn from our experience – we learn from reflecting on experience.” – John Dewey. In keeping with Dewey’s advice, I have always tried to share out my reflections after a conference or professional development event. My reflection process usually starts with a swirl of positive energy and excitement and then settles into concrete strategies and ideas that I can implement or share. This year, rather than focus on particular speakers or ideas, I wanted to share out some of the common themes or threads that I see demonstrated by my MEMSPA colleagues.

A desire to improve: Perhaps the dominant trait I see in those that attend the MEMSPA conference is the desire to be better. Everyone is there to improve their craft, find new ideas, and push their thinking. Even those that present are there to attend other sessions and share in the learning. Principals attending the conference aren’t trying to be “the best”, they are trying to be “the best they can be”.

A need to connect: Participants at MEMSPA conferences have a desire and need to connect with others. Some come from districts where they are the only person in their position and others come from large districts where they attend with their colleagues. They know that the best principals are those that collaborate with others who bring different experiences and viewpoints. We need people to push our thinking as well as support us. At MEMSPA, we get both!

A wish to be a part of something bigger: When an educational leader joins MEMSPA, they become part of more than an organization, they become part of a movement. One of the beautiful things about MEMSPA is that it supports principals locally, while making changes nationally. From regional gatherings across the state, to influencing policy decisions at the national level, members are invited to act locally and nationally. Together we are better, and together we make a bigger impact for our profession.

A longing for inspiration: We all know that you can’t pour from an empty vessel. One of the most important roles of a principal is to inspire those we work with. MEMSPA is a way to “fill our bucket”, so that we can continue to help motivate and encourage our building teams. I’m often amazed to learn that those that I seek out to gain inspiration from are also seeking inspiration from others. Those that provide inspiration at the conference also receive it. What a powerful example of synergy and making us better than the sum of our parts!

An example of humility and kindness: The attendees of the MEMSPA conference are movers and shakers. They are transformative leaders who impact their communities and our profession. They are also humble and kind. As I hear the accolades and the introductions of the presenters and award recipients, I’m not so much in awe of their accomplishments, but their humility and examples of servant leadership. Perhaps the best example of this, was the announcement of the 2019 Principal of the Year, Amie McCaw. As they read the description of the many ways she serves her students, staff, community and profession, it was inspiring. Even more inspiring was her humble and kind and acceptance and nearly disbelief of being recognized for the award. Having known Amie for many years, I know how modest and humble she is. She exemplifies the best traits that I see in our greatest servant leaders of MEMSPA.

As I reflect on #MEMSPA19, I ask myself three questions. “Am I better after the conference?” Yes! “Did I help make someone else better?” I hope so. “Did I come away with something that I can share with other educators?” Yes, and my attempt to do so is in this post. I’m thankful for those who inspired me at the conference, I’m thankful for my district who supports my efforts to grow, and I’m thankful to my building team who make it possible for me to attend, by their leadership at the school while I am gone. The MEMSPA conference may only happen once a year, but the inspiration and ideas it provides will continue impact our team throughout the year!

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“A leader is best when people barely know he exists. When his work is done, his aim is fulfilled, they will say: We did it ourselves.” – Lao Tzu

“I want to say that I contributed more than I criticized.” – Brene Brown

“I suppose leadership at one time meant muscles; but today it means getting along with people.” – Mahatma Gandhi

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  • Monday, December 9: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05, REED (Williams) 2:30 PM, Santa Shop begins, iReady Window 2 opens 
  • Tuesday, December 10: REED (Mcguigan) 8:15 AM, REED (Ringler) 9:10 AM, Grades due in by midnight
  • Wednesday, December 11: IEP (Kaufman) 8:15 AM, IEP (Adams) 10:35 AM, Elementary Principals Meeting 12:30-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, December 12: No Staff Meeting, 3/4 Winter Concert 6:00-8:00 PM
  • Friday, December 13: Stevenson Winter Choir Concert (all students in the gym) 9:30-10:15 (Thank you Byron!!), Santa Shop closes, Report Cards go home

 

  • Monday, December 16: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, December 17: REED (Hurula) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, December 19: Staff Holiday Celebration 8:00 AM
  • Friday, December 20: iReady Window closes

WINTER BREAK!!

Hope

This weekend, I was putting the final touches on my presentation for the #MEMSPA19 conference. My slides on “Leadership Lessons from the Man of Steel” were nearly complete (or so I thought). As I thumbed through the church program on Sunday morning, I noticed the sermon was going to be on “Hope”. As the sermon progressed, I kept thinking of all the ways that educators give hope to our students and how perhaps it is the most important thing we can instill in those we work with.

In education, it’s easy to get bogged down with all the things we can’t control in the lives of our students. We can’t control the trauma that may have impacted our students. We can’t control the environment they go home to each night. We can’t control the decisions they make when we aren’t around. What we can do, is provide them with the skills to help them deal with trauma, teach them techniques to adapt to other environments, and serve as role models to help them make good decisions. Most importantly, we can give them hope that no matter what their situation is, they can rise above it and that we will never give up on them.

I’m always keeping my eyes and ears open for inspiring messages to share with educators and this week’s sermon was just what I needed to hear. Oh, and how did it tie in with my presentation? I realized as I listened that the symbol that Superman wears on his uniform means “hope” on Krypton. I had forgotten that bit of information and perhaps the most important lesson that educators can learn from the Man of Steel!

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“We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tunes without the words and never stops at all.” – Emily Dickinson

“All kids need is a little help, a little hope, and somebody to believe in them.” – Magic Johnson

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  • Monday, December 2: Celebrate Monday Assembly (Empathy) 9:05 AM, Jon at C.O. in afternoon for secretary floater interviews 12:30-4:30 PM
  • Tuesday, December 3: Achievement Team (Hurula/Parent) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, December 5: Staff Meeting hosted by Katie Dodge & Sarah Jacobson 8:05 AM
  • Friday, December 6: Records Day (Optional Report Day)

 

  • Monday, December 9: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, iReady Window Opens, Santa Shop Begins
  • Tuesday, December 10: IEP (Mcguigan) 8:15 AM, Grades due at midnight
  • Thursday, December 12: No Staff Meeting, 3rd/4th Grade Winter Concert 6-8 PM
  • Friday, December 13: Stevenson Choir Winter Concert in the gym for all students 9:30-10:15, Santa Shop Ends, Report Cards go home

 

  • Monday, December 16: Student of the Month Assembly (Empathy) 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, December 17: REED (Hurula) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, December 19: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM
  • Friday, December 20: iReady Window Closes

WINTER BREAK!!!

Simon Says

In his popular TED Talk, Simon Sinek discusses the importance of finding our “Why”. In the talk, he uses Apple as an example of a company that knew their Why and reaped the benefits of it. He also gives examples of companies that did not know their Why and instead focused on their What (or product). He gives a compelling argument that until we focus on our Why (purpose), our What and How are irrelevant. I agree with him. It’s our purpose, our mission, that is important. Once people know that and a trusting relationship is formed, we can accomplish anything!

As an educator, I often contemplate my “Why”.  For me, it’s about making a difference in people’s lives and everything I do should be able to stem from that purpose. Why am I in education? To make a difference in people’s lives. Why am I a principal? To help support teachers and provide an environment to help make a difference in people’s lives. Why am I in a meeting? To discuss ways we can help create a system that supports learning and makes a difference in people’s lives. Why am I administering a standardized test for students? Because it’s a mandate that I must follow to keep my school in compliance that allows me to continue to create a structure that supports teachers and make a difference in people’s lives. Yes, some of my tasks are necessary to help me continue doing the important work of my Why even when they are not pleasant.

Knowing our Why is essential if we want to reach our full potential and achieve our goals. If you don’t know your Why, how can you share your passion and dreams with others and make them a reality? Worse yet, you may end up just serving someone else’s Why and never aspire to your own. My guess is that most educators can sum up their Why in a few words: To help others, to teach and inspire, to change a life, to change the world. Think about your Why and how your thoughts and actions help you carry it out. Better yet, teach your students to find their Why and help them develop the skills to carry out their mission and reach their dreams!

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“Listening is active. At its most basic level, it’s about focus, paying attention.” – Simon Sinek

“Great leaders don’t need to act tough. Their confidence and humility serve to underscore their toughness.” – Simon Sinek

“If you have the opportunity to do amazing things in your life, I strongly encourage you to invite someone to join you.” – Simon Sinek

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  • Monday, November 25: Students of the Month Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, November 26: Achievement Team (Benson) 8:15 AM, Battle of the Books planning meeting 8:20 AM
  • Wednesday, November 27 – Friday, November 29: Thanksgiving Break!

 

  • Monday, December 2: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, December 3: Achievement Team (Hurula) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, December 5: Staff Meeting at 8:05 AM (Resilient Classrooms presentation by Katie Dodge & Sarah Jacobson)
  • Friday, December 6: Records Day (Optional Report Day)

 

  • Monday, December 9: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM, Santa Shop Opens, iReady Window 2 Opens
  • Tuesday, December 10: IEP (Mcguigan) 8:15 AM, Grades due by midnight
  • Thursday, December 12: Winter Concert Grade 3 at 6:00 PM/Grade 4 at 7:00 PM
  • Friday, December 13: Report Cards go home, PTA Skate Night 6:00-8:00 PM

The Cardigan

Superman’s cape, Thor’s hammer, Captain America’s shield. Each of these iconic items brings to mind strength, courage, and goodness. They are symbols that represent the best qualities in each of us. Recently, a new symbol made its way into the pantheon of heroes…the cardigan! This was the outfit of a different kind of hero, named Mr. Rogers. His strength didn’t come from cosmic rays or specially crafted weapons, it came from his boundless ability to show kindness. Mr. Rogers’ trademark cardigan has now become a worldwide symbol for kindness and last week, people from around the globe wore cardigans to celebrate World Kindness Day.

When I first heard about #WorldKindnessDay and #CardiganDay on Twitter, I thought it looked fun and posted several promotions for it on social media. Then, I started hearing people talking about buying cardigans to wear in their schools. Choosing not to be a bystander, I decided to jump in and participate myself. A few clicks on Amazon and my new cardigan was on my doorstep the following day. My family got a chuckle out of seeing me in a cardigan. The next day at school, I enjoyed sharing with the students why I was wearing the cardigan and about Mr. Rogers. One parent told me that I looked extremely comfortable in it and another told me it should be my new look.  To be honest, it was very comfortable and felt like wearing a uniform that radiated kindness.

The next day, I saw a post on Twitter that stated “#CardiganDay does nothing to fix the world“, but that those who wore them were the “helpers” in the world. I guess that’s true of many of our symbols. It’s not the costume, the tools, or the technology that change the world. It’s our attitudes and our actions that make the difference. Wearing a cardigan didn’t make me a hero, but it was a good reminder of the difference a little kindness can make in the world!

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“One of the most important gifts a parent can give a child is the gift of accepting that child’s uniqueness.” – Fred Rogers

“It’s not the honors and not the titles and not the power that is of ultimate importance. It’s what resides inside.” – Fred Rogers

“Young children can spot a phony a mile away.” – Fred Rogers

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  • Monday, November 18: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, November 19: Achievement Team 8:15 AM, REED (Trantham) 9:50 AM
  • Wednesday, November 20: All Admin Meeting at Johnson 8:00-12:00, Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, November 21: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM
  • Friday, November 22: School Improvement Committee 8:15 AM

 

  • Monday, November 25: Students of the Month Assembly (Responsibility) 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, November 26: REED (Benson) 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, November 27 – Friday, November 29: Thanksgiving Break!

 

  • Monday, December 2: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, December 3: Achievement Team 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, December 4 & Thursday, December 5: Jon at MEMSPA Conference
  • Friday, December 6: Records Day (Optional Report Day)

Waiting in Line

When I was eleven years old, I waited in line with my friends to see Return of the Jedi at the movie theater in Ludington. It wasn’t just any line, it was longest line I had ever seen in my life.  It went out the front door of the theater, down the sidewalk, and past the book store around the block! Nobody was complaining or upset. In fact, we took pride in the fact that we were among the dedicated movie goers ready to wait in the long line to see our beloved film. There have been many times in my life, where I gladly waited in long lines for a special event including meeting William Shatner (aka Captain Kirk), getting my driver’s license from the Secretary of State, and taking my daughters to their first circus. Some things are made more special by the anticipation of waiting in line.

Then there are things that aren’t so special and don’t give the same exhilaration by waiting in line. Sunday night grocery shopping doesn’t give quite the thrill when waiting in line. Nor does waiting in line to get gas or an oil change. Don’t even get me started on waiting in a line of cars to get on or off the expressway during rush hour. Waiting in line can add excitement or frustration, based on the activity or event that you are waiting for.  Standing in line on Black Friday shopping is my idea of a nightmare, but my daughters gladly stay up all night to do just that. It’s all in what is meaningful to us.

As educators, we are used to waiting. Waiting to go to the bathroom, waiting to meet with parents, waiting for staff meetings to end:) The biggest thing we wait for though is to see the effects of our efforts with students.  Sometimes we wait 10 to 20 years to see the fruits of our labor and sometimes we never get to see the end result. The point is that we continue to do what’s best for students not knowing the end result or how long we will wait to see them be successful.  It’s well worth the wait though, just like all things that have a special meaning to us!

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“Patience is not simply the ability to wait – It’s how we behave while waiting.” – Joyce Meyer

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Sharon Begley

“I grew up with six brothers. That’s how I learned to dance – waiting for the bathroom.” – Bob Hope

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  • Monday, November 11: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Thursday, November 14: PLC session 7:50-8:50 AM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM, Social Committee Event 7:00 PM
  • Friday, November 15: Pizza Party with the Principal for top fundraisers

 

  • Monday, November 18: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, November 19: Achievement Team 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, November 20: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, November 21: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM

 

  • Monday, November 25: Students of the Month Assembly (Responsibility)
  • Tuesday, November 26: Achievement Team 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, November 27 – Friday, November 29: THANKSGIVING BREAK

 

Possibilities

 

In the short advertisement above, the creators do a great job of showing that every big success starts with many smaller successes and originates with an idea. The idea that the current reality can be better. Not just looking at what is, but what could be.  It’s about seeing the possibilities and working to make them a reality.

Great educators are able to see the students they work with each day as well as see all the possibilities they can achieve. Like the video above, our students may not see the potential in themselves. This is where teachers can step in and help them dream big and give them the tools and the strategies to help them reach those dreams.

Looking at our current reality is important. But so is looking at the possibilities and dreaming big. It’s also important to recognize that there is no overnight success. Success comes from small moments and building on victories and reflecting on failures. Thank you to all the educators in our building and in classrooms around the world who help students see the possibilities and give them the support to make them realities!

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“When you have no fear, the possibilities are endless.” – Jeffree Star

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.” – Mark Twain

“The vast possibilities of our great future will become realities only if we make ourselves responsible for that future.” – Gifford Pinchot

 

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  • Monday, November 4: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM (Responsibility), Jon presenting at Rotary 12:00-1:15 PM
  • Tuesday, November 5: District PD in morning / Building PD in afternoon (No Students)
  • Wednesday, November 6: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, November 7: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM

 

  • Monday, November 11: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, November 12: Achievement Team (Benson) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, November 14: PLC Session 7:50-8:50 AM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM, Staff Gathering with Social Committee 7:00 PM
  • Friday, November 15: Pizza Party with the Principal for top PTA fundraisers!

 

The Real Deal

Chicago: I was attending my first national conference. I was nervous and worried about not knowing anyone.  Actually, I knew many people, but it was from Twitter or reading their books. As I stood in line to register, I heard someone call my name. It was Jimmy Casas, who I had only connected with online. He greeted me like an old friend and also stopped by to say hi to me several times throughout the conference, making me feel right at home.  He had always seemed genuine online, but now I could see in person that he was the real deal.

Traverse City: It was the MEMSPA annual conference and Jimmy was giving the closing keynote address. Before he gave his inspiring presentation, I presented him with one of my school shirts and asked him if he would be willing to make a video when he returned to Iowa for my students. In true Jimmy fashion, he immediately put the shirt on and said “Let’s do it right now!” Soon after, our students and staff were enjoying his video and would see that he was the real deal.

Livonia: We were preparing for the start of the school year and over a thousand staff members gathered to hear Jimmy spread his message of Culturize and remind us why we decided to become educators in the first place. After the presentation, I was giving Jimmy a ride to the airport and we were discussing the day. He mentioned how impressed he was that our superintendent, Andrea Oquist, had attended both the morning and afternoon sessions. Most superintendents would not dedicated that amount of time to building culture and spending the day with her team. In Jimmy’s words, “She’s the real deal“.

This month, the #CompelledBloggers are writing about something we have learned from a conference, book, podcast, or presentation that we have experienced recently. My lesson was from Jimmy Casas. Not from his book or even his presentations. I learned from his example that what makes a true leader is authenticity and being genuine. People don’t want perfection, they want “the real deal!”

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“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The greatest way to live with honor in this world is to be what we pretend to be.” – Socrates

“Nurture your minds with great thoughts. To believe in the heroic makes heroes.” – Benjamin Disraeli

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  • Monday, October 28: Students of the Month Assembly (Respect) 9:05 AM, REED (Hurula) 3:20 PM
  • Tuesday, October 29: REED (Mcguigan) 8:15 AM, IEP (Hochkins) 8:45 AM
  • Wednesday, October 30: REED (Kaufman) 8:15 AM (Jon out building from 8-10 AM)
  • Thursday, October 31: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Kindergarten Costume Parade 11:00 AM, 1-4 Costume Parade 2:45 PM
  • Friday, November 1: REED (Trantham) 8:15 AM

 

  • Monday, November 4: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, November 5: No Students (District PD in AM/Building PD in PM)
  • Thursday, November 7: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM

 

  • Monday, November 11: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Thursday, November 14: PLC Meeting 7:50-8:50 AM, PTA Meeting 7:00 PM, Social Committee Night Out 7:00 PM

Kintsugi

Recently, I learned about Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by filling in the cracks or broken areas with a precious metal. As an art form, it creates beautiful pieces of pottery. As a philosophy, it teaches us that breakage and repair are part of our journey. Cracks, chips, and breaks are things to be celebrated and add beauty and character to the pottery.  In the same way, our struggles, fails, and setbacks in life add to our character and if we look through the correct lens, adds beauty to our lives as well.

As educators, it can be easy to fall into the trap of trying to be perfect for our students, our supervisors, and our community. Perfection is a myth and the truth is that students don’t want a perfect teacher. They want a teacher who is kind, who is patient, and who is fun! Those teachers have learned from their own mistakes and have turned their flaws into a way to help others. I don’t want teachers who never make mistakes, I want teachers who take risks, learn from their mistakes and are always willing to learn more. Hopefully, they want the same from me, because that is what I strive to do each day.

In a world where we share perfection on social media and do our best to hide our flaws, the art of Kintsugi is a good reminder that the real beauty lies in our character. That character is often formed through our hardships and the times when we feel broken. Fill in those cracks with the lacquer of optimism, forgiveness, and hope and you will have something beautiful to share with the world!

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Japanese Proverbs

“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” 

“He who runs after two rabbits will catch neither.” 

Fall seven times, stand up eight.”

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  • Monday, October 21: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, October 22: Achievement Team 8:15 AM (Trantham)
  • Wednesday, October 23: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, October 24: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Picture Retakes in East Commons
  • Friday, October 25: BOO BASH 6:00-8:00 PM

 

  • Monday, October 28: Students of the Month Assembly (RESPECT) 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, October 29: REED (Mcguigan) 8:15 AM
  • Thursday, October 31: Halloween Parade(Kindergarten)11:15 AM,(1st-4th)2:45 PM

 

  • Tuesday, November 5: No Students, Building PD in AM/District PD in PM

 

Making it up as I go

I was nine years old at the drive in movie theater. The feature film was “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and I was in heaven. That was the first time I saw the film, but not the last. Nearly 40 years later, I still enjoy the film and it’s sequels and have watched it countless times with my family. One of my favorite lines in the film is when his fellow adventures ask what he is going to do next.  The memorable response from Indiana Jones is “I don’t know, I’m making this up as go.” 

Recently, I was watching a special about the making of the film and it was revealed that when George Lucas and Philip Kaufman were writing the story, they felt exactly the same way.  They had great ideas, but the story was very fluid and kept developing each time they collaborated into something neither one of them expected. The result was a classic movie and an iconic Hollywood character. His line about making it up as I go was really reflecting the process of making the movie, as well as his onscreen adventure.

As educators, we can often feel like we are making it up as we go.  In some ways, that’s a good thing. We start with great lesson plans and specific targets to reach, but we adapt as we go according to the needs of our students. Sometimes to places we didn’t expect to go. That’s the exciting and sometimes scary part of being an educator. We need to be able to change courses quickly and adapt to a million different scenarios that can come up each day in the classroom.  It’s just another reason that being an educator isn’t for everyone, but for those that answer the calling, it can be the adventure of a lifetime!

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“It’s not the years, honey. It’s the mileage.” – Indiana Jones

“X never, ever marks the spot.” – Indiana Jones

“Nothing surprises me; I’m a scientist.” – Indiana Jones

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  • Monday, October 14: Fun Run Awards Assembly 9:05 AM, Fire Drill immediately after assembly
  • Tuesday, October 15: IEP (Trantham) 9:50 AM
  • Wednesday, October 16: Dinner from Social Committee, Conferences 5:00-8:00 PM
  • Thursday, October 17: Students dismissed 12:10 PM, Conferences 1:00-4:00 & 5:00-8:00 PM (Dinner from PTA)
  • Friday, October 18: Students dismissed 12:10 PM (Lunch from Office) Conferences 1:00-4:00 PM, Growth Plans due in Pivot

 

  • Monday, October 21: Celebrate Monday Assembly 9:05 AM
  • Tuesday, October 22: Achievement Team 8:15 AM
  • Wednesday, October 23: Elementary Principals Meeting 1:00-4:30 PM
  • Thursday, October 24: Staff Meeting 8:05 AM, Picture Retakes
  • Friday, October 25: Boo Bash 6:00-8:00 PM