Friday, May 25, 2012

From atop the Soapbox

Next Week at a Glance:

Monday, May 28th:  No School Memorial Day!
Tuesday, May 29th:  Volunteer Luncheon, stop in and say thank you if you have time
Tuesday, May 29th:  Wendy Grant will be delivering AR prizes in the AM
Wednesday, May 30th:  FULL DAY, no more early releases
Wednesday, May 30th:  Last PLC assembly grades 3-5 in gym (CP awards to follow)
Wednesday, May 30th:  Grades PK-2 CP Federal Credit Union Awards assembly at 8:45 in cafeteria
Thursday, May 31st:  KDG to Potter Park Zoo
Friday, June 1st:  4th and 5th grade Field Day at SAU

Being Philosophical...

I must share with everyone that the month of May has been crazy.  I've been trying to analyze why.  A few thoughts creep into my head, class lists, teacher requests, building of choice, retentions, evaluations, being evaluated, student growth data, field trips, graduate classes, reading resumes, writing recommendations, parent meetings, end of the year parties, 5th grade graduation, ...okay, okay, I'm stressing myself out!  Needless to say May is crazy for me because I want to wrap this year up, be ready for next year, and be involved in as much as possible.  I'm finding it is too much.  If I lived at work, I might be able to accomplish all of it...but I must keep life in balance, and with that being said, I must prioritize my lists and let people know I will do it, but it may not be done immediately.  

All of this May craziness made me think it probably isn't just me.  I thought back to my days in the classroom.  Here were my top priorities as a teacher finishing the year:
1.  End of the Year letters to my fifth graders, personalized to every student and with words of encouragement and also a sprinkling of complete honesty to help them grow.
2.  My report cards (some may say I have those two in the wrong order, I disagree, my words meant more to my kids)
3.  Preparing the perfect field trip (I know it doesn't exist, but I tried!  I wanted everything to be smooth and I stressed to do it right)
4.  Having year end talks with parents, letting them know that I will miss their child, and that I've valued their support (these talks were important to both me and my parents)
5.  Making sure my checklist was complete for my principal so that I could be with my own family as soon as school was complete.

Thinking back on those memories is good, it helps me realize that we all have craziness, but it's our own craziness.  My wife has Real Estate two boys talk about their own craziness...if you think you are the only one with a hectic life, I'm sure reading this has helped you realize you're not.  It's in these days of crazy, hectic schedules, late nights, and fast food dinners that we need to step back and live in the moment.  

When I say live in the moment I mean:
1.  Be patient (be patient with friends, colleagues, kids, etc...)
2.  Prioritize (don't forget to tell your family you love them)
3.  Listen (when life gets crazy I listen less, I know this, and I need to slow down and about you?)
4.  Remember to rest (crazy schedules typically mean less sleep, this will create bigger problems)

To conclude, May is coming to an end, you've had a terrific year!  Enjoy these last days and be grateful for the memories that have been made.

Great Things Noticed or Heard:
-Listened to a nice discussion in Miss Hinkley's room.  Students were comparing and contrasting Stone Fox, the book and movie.  Details were terrific and the analyzing of fourth graders was impressive.
-Friday is Ritvik and Neha's last day at Warner.  Ritvik summoned it up with these words, "It's sad and exciting at the same time."  He has shared his nervousness with me these last few weeks, I don't think any of us will ever forget those two.
-Enjoyed spreading my ecosystem knowledge with Mrs. Hurt's fourth graders this week.  Loved watching the collaborative groups!
-Our Wednesday Fire Drill went extremely well.  Kids were quiet, respectful, and quick!
-Another great week of announcements and a new COLT!  Congrats Mrs. Trudell!!
-3rd grade at Greenfield Village!  
*  I've never been on the train...I'm so excited!
*  I didn't die on the Titanic, my girl lived!
*  Whoa that movie screen is huge!
*  I don't like this food, but I'll still eat it.
*  Michael Herrington was the rock, paper, scissor champion!
*  Only had to walk boys to the bathroom four times between 1-4:30am!  (Is that great?)
*  Very supportive parents on the trip!  Great comments, great chaperons, great helpers!
*  Everyone raved about the weather...both days 83 degrees and sunshine.
*  Watched Joey Ellis dance...just so you know, he was good!
*  Caleb is a junior SpiderMan.  He maneuvered through the lasers with amazing control.
*  Had a Greenfield Village employee approach me and comment on how polite the students were in the museum.  Made me feel proud.
*  Watching parents with kids that weren't their own.  Two Thumbs Up to the third grade parent group, patient and caring are the first words in my head!
*  Thank you to all teachers that assisted substitute teachers on Friday.  We had a few and they were very thankful for the help that was provided.

Articles Worth Your Time:

7 Keys to a Positive Learning Environment
Culture and Climate are not the same thing
Can TED talks really work in the classroom?
One minute is a loooooong time!
A great way to Thrive in the end of the year!

Videos worth your time:

If this is the future I'm ALL in!

Creative ways to make you smile!  I think even I could have danced in this video.

Love this video!  The longer I watch the more I smile.

Don't Forget Monday is ...

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