Sunday, September 30, 2012

Speaking the Truth

The Power of "your" word.  We've all done it, we've all stretched the truth, exaggerated, fibbed, even lied.  (Don't tell me you haven't, ie: Santa Claus, Easter Bunny, Tooth Fairy...) It is human nature, but at some point we all learn that, The Truth Sets Us Free.  I bring up this topic for a few reasons: 1) If people can't trust you, you are essentially no good to them 2) If you cannot be trusted it is likely that other parts of your life are "needing" to be fixed 3) You are only as good as your word.

We are moving away from September and into October.  I have met with a variety of students the past few weeks and I'm finding a theme.  The theme is dishonesty.  I'll admit, this is a very small percentage (probably 2% of the student population).  I still believe this is not a suspicious trend, rather an alarming societal problem.  

When I was younger I spent gobs of time with my grandfather.  As long as the weather was decent I would walk over to his house with my golf clubs and we would play golf until we literally couldn't see any longer.  I loved these evenings, I still look back very fondly on those years.  I never took our time for granted, I enjoyed the stories, the funny sayings, and mostly the companionship.  I'm fortunate enough to still have my grandfather, but life has changed for both of us.  The point to that is this, my grandfather taught me a very important lesson, he taught me that my word is my most prized possession.  I needed that talk, at the time I was a teenager, I never wanted anyone to think bad of me.  I learned it was best to admit faults, and try my best to not make the same mistake again.

Now, as a dad and principal I try very hard to teach the lessons I learned to my own boys and to all my students.  I often tell kids that being honest will save them from "max" punishment.  The book on me is, admit you're wrong, tell the complete truth, be remorseful, and I'll likely give you a second shot.  On the flip side, students that lie to me get a very irritable person.  I just can't put up with dishonesty.

This past week my word was put to the test.  I told a few people what I would do if... (we've all been there, you speak hypothetically), well the "what if" happened.  My first thought was I gotta follow through.  I did follow through, I believe everyone is in a better position for it.  I'm here to tell you that as principal I'm going to be in tough spots, I'm going to be in the middle of many situations, but I also want you all to know that I value the truth and keeping my word.

Society is changing, the world we grew up in no longer exists.  Every day we are asked to not only teach and guide, but to try and mold our students into better people.  The term that is often thrown around is, "teachable moments".  I believe "teachable moments" happen every day, and sometimes they are not warm and fuzzy, sometimes we must give the harsh truth.  We are now on the verge of October, you've identified the most needy students, be honest with parents, and take the time to utilize "teachable moments".

Things to make note of:

*  Brief after school teacher meeting on new special education procedures
*  MEAP begins October 9th
*  5th grade Camp for Warner is October 3-5
*  Mr. Baum will be joining the 5th graders at Camp, this will effect your RTI schedule on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.
*  Safe Schools Online Videos should be complete
*  If you are interested in a SAU tutor please let me know as soon as possible
*  Mileage Club begins Monday, October 1st.  Mileage Club will be every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during the month of October.  Challenge your class to get in laps!
*  Welcome to our new Spanish teacher Lisa Prichard!
*  NO assembly on Wednesday, I will be heading up north with our 5th graders.  Next week will be grades K-2.
*  Teachers please take an extra moment to make sure lunch counts are accurate, we've been 20-30 lunches off almost every day.

Next Week at a Glance:

Monday, October 1st:  Happy Birthday Mr. Lenhart
Tuesday, October 2nd:  3:45 staff meeting in the Library, I promise it will be brief
Tuesday, October 2nd:  After School Warner String Team 4pm-5pm
Wednesday, October 3rd:  NO assembly (next week will be K-2)
Friday, October 5th:  Happy Birthday to John Raymond
Friday, October 5th:  Happy Birthday to Jeff Kinney

Great Things Noticed or Heard:

*  Really enjoyed Johnny Appleseed Day with 1st grade on Friday
*  Fall Festival was a huge success!  The energy in the building was terrific.
*  The delicious smell pulled me down the hallway Friday.  Apple Crisp in Mrs. Soper's room and a wonderful birthday lunch.  Thank you to everyone that helped make the yummy lunch.
*  Talked to a tech guy Friday, our ticket count went from 34 to 8 in one week.
*  Enjoyed my time in Mrs. Oliver's room, very upbeat, positive and engaging.  : )
*  Lost the "m" challenge to young Eli H. in Mrs. Kline's class, he was able to name more "m" words than me.  Way to go Eli!
*  Caught Matthew reading in Mrs. Nash's class.  Always a good sign to enter a room unnoticed because kids are so busy reading.
*  Loved seeing all the 5th graders dressed for success.  CP interviews were Thursday and several students put on their Sunday best.

Articles Worth Your Time:

Videos Worth Watching:

Need Motivation...

The Future is now...

Fall Festival Fun!

Johnny Appleseed Celebration!


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