Saturday, August 31, 2013

Never Been Better...

I, like many of you, have heard the constant bashing of education for years.  There have been times that I've felt beaten down or unappreciated.  The nay sayers point to test scores, violence/bullying, social media, school finances and management.  I've heard it.  Oh yes, I've heard it!

Then this past Tuesday I had the opportunity to listen to my Superintendent Mike Smajda - @Smaj40 and then Dr. John Draper (  Mr. Smajda made a comment that immediately made me reflect.  He said, "Education is better today than it was when I (he) was in school."  I pondered that statement.  So often we hear about the "Good Ol' Days".  I thought about Mr. Smajda's comment and I thought about my own education.  I remembered my favorite classes and teachers.  I'm blessed to have learned from some great educators, but Mr. Smajda was absolute spot on!  Education is FAR better today than it has ever been.  The World is different now.  We move at a much faster pace, to teach and learn the way we did 10, 20, even 30 years ago would be a great disservice to our students.  

Next came Dr. John Draper.  Dr. Draper is an accomplished educator and speaker.  I valued three things from him.  The first was his humor!  He had just the right blend of humor and substance.  When he needed to lighten things up, he did.  The second was his facts.  I'm a very factual person and I appreciated seeing the "data".  The third was his unending message that schools today are doing an excellent job!  Dr. Draper is a data collector and often speaks to government officials.  He understands the need for a positive message.

After I listened to Dr. Draper I thought:

Why is it that so many people talk about the negatives?  

There are a lot of great things happening in education, here are my reasons why I believe education is stronger than ever!

1)  Safety is the #1 Priority!  I can confidently say that every school views safety as the top priority.  Schools across the country have missions and visions, but at the end of the day we MUST get all students to and from school safely.  I believe all parents/guardians hope their child learns and grows on a daily basis, but they EXPECT that their child will come home every day.  Schools practice drills, have plans in place and are very diligent to protect students.  The awareness of school safety has never been higher.

2)  Parent/Teacher Partnerships.  Years ago parents spoke to the teacher at conferences, occasional phone calls and if something very bad or possibly very good occurred.  Nowadays it is common practice to receive daily emails, newsletters, phone calls, text messages and even home visits.  Educators of today understand that it is a partnership.  We need parent support to help students meet their true potential.  The partnership between parents and educators is stronger than ever!

3)  The Educational Arena Embracing Technology.  There is truly no comparison to the past.  I take myself back to high school and I can remember taking keyboarding class on a typewriter.  You read that correctly...a typewriter!  I can also remember that none of my teachers had a computer at their desk. If we walked into a classroom today we would see a variety of technology.  Classrooms today have Smart Boards, iPads, iPods, MacBooks, PC's, Chrome books and more.  The accessibility to technology is stronger than ever.  Educators understand that we must embrace technology to best prepare our students for the future.

4)  Connected Educators!  Teachers have always talked on some level.  When I was in school I can remember seeing teachers stop each other in the hallways and chat for a minute or two.  I also remember seeing some of them in the lounge when I'd walk by.  I'm sure collaboration to some degree was happening.  Education of today is different, I believe it is stronger than ever.  Today teachers learn the value of PLC's (Professional Learning Communities), the importance of a PLN (Personal Learning Network), the unlimited resources online and the positive power of social media.  I unequivocally believe being a Connected Educator is stronger and more important than it has ever been.  Educators have unlimited resources and connections to help them be their best.

5)  Project Based Learning/Genius Hour as tools of creativity, learning and engagement.  True story: I had some teachers, let me rephrase that, I had many teachers that I could predict the lesson plan on a daily basis.  I remember the days of entering the classroom on Monday and opening to page 74.  I knew that when we finished page 76 that day what would be coming on 77.  To some degree I thought I could teach that class.  I remember saying to my friends, "what would the teacher do if we took the teachers manual?"  Some education looked like this.  I see less and less of that now.  I watch teachers dive into Project Based Learning assignments, I listen to students brainstorm during Genius Hour, I witness teachers becoming facilitators and allowing students to direct some of the learning. This excites me!  I don't believe education has ever been better!  Teachers are trying new things and relinquishing ultimate control.  Education is heading in an exciting direction.

6)  Standard Based Grading system.  I believe the days of student GPA's as the end all say all are dying.  I have talked with University officials and many are telling me that GPA isn't what it once was. I believe a students extra-curricular accomplishments, volunteer work, application to college, SAT/ACT and portfolio will be a collective tool for colleges to dive deeper into incoming students.  Standard Based Grading is a healthy system.  Students are meeting standards and learning to share their knowledge.  The old system of grades was based on averages, it was punitive and hurt students that willingly took risks.  The new system points to student growth, failure as a learning tool and healthy risk taking.

7)  Differentiation in today's classrooms.  Growing up I knew my friends who were the brightest and which one's struggled.  Yet we would enter a classroom and sit in rows  and all learn at the same pace.  My friends that were very bright would answer the majority of questions and finish their work in a timely manner.  Others that struggled would copy and just scrape by.  This was the "one-size fits all classroom".  Education today is different, it's better!  I walk into classrooms today and I see students in cooperative groups, I see individualized learning, I watch intervention specialists assist students that are struggling, I see teachers sending an enrichment group to create an iMovie!  Education is far better today, we now differentiate, we individualize and we don't allow students to fall between the cracks.

Education today is different.  One thing that will never change is that relationships are the core of what we do.  Without the development of relationships we won't connect with students.  Educators of the past and Educators of today realize relationships matter.  Our country is doing amazing things.  I'll not soon forget a visit to Warner last November.  I had the opportunity to give a tour to six Chinese delegates.  I took them to three classrooms.  They spent 10-20 minutes per room.  We then returned to my office they asked questions for over an hour.  One delegate's comments really struck me, he said, "How do you get your students to be so happy?"  I knew right then that we were doing amazing things!  We talked for some time and the discussion centered around creativity, deeper thinking, individuality and technology.  But the love of learning was what they noticed first and foremost.

What we must do as educators is share the positives, we cannot get caught up in bureaucracy.  When a parent, community member or politician tries to get you to say something negative about education I challenge you to switch the conversation and share the great things going on around the country!  I learn from educators across the country every day and I aim to share the amazing stories.  What message will you share?

Next Week At A Glance:

Tuesday, Sept. 3rd:  First Day of School!
Wednesday, Sept. 4th:  8:45-9:15 Grades 3-5 Assembly in cafeteria
Wednesday, Sept. 4th:  No Early Release, dismissal at 3:35
Thursday, Sept. 5th:  Happy BDay to Jenny Shearer
Sunday, Sept. 8th:  Happy BDay to Jenn Schaible

*  Reminders
- sign up for CP Fed. Credit Union
- schedule goals meeting
- complete safe schools online training

Articles Worth Reading:

Why Instilling a Love of School Should Be Your Highest Priority shared by +Eric Sheninger @NMHS_Principal

5 Bad Education Assumptions the Media Continues to Recycle  shared by @klnielsen74

PPLN - Powerful Personal Learning Network by +William Powers @MrPowersCMS

Joining the Dark Side  by @happycampergirl

Only Cosmetic? I don't think so...  by +Suzanne Gibbs @Suz_Gibbs

Back To School With iPads shared by +Shannon Degan @shannondegan

Standards? Yes! Current Implementation? No!   by @grantwiggins

I Am A Nine by +Tony Sinanis @Cantiague_Lead

Our Future is Bright  by +Jay Dostal, Ed.D.  @jaydostal

Connected, Semi-Connected and UnConnected Educators  by +Tom Whitby @tomwhitby

Tired or Inspired?  by +Brad Waid  @techbradwaid

I'm Not Ready Yet  by +Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp

One Question You Should Ask Everyone You Meet  by +Marc Chernoff @marcandangel

We Need More Misfits  by +Justin Tarte @justintarte

Afraid of Twitter?  shared by +Joe Sanfelippo @Joesanfelippofc

Great Edmodo Cheat Sheet  shared by @medkh9

Videos Worth Watching:

I wanna see you be BRAVE! (4 min) How do we get our kids to be willing to take risks?

Tyler DeWitt: Hey Science Teachers - make it fun! (11 min) Love this reflection...

My Wish Series! This is sure to make you smile. (7 min)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A little pride goes a long way...

It's funny how some conversations stick with you.  I remember working in the bagroom at the local Country Club as a teenager.  I was in my first year and being low on the totem pole meant I had range duty.  The range was no fun.  In fact it was dreadful.  People would intentionally hit golf balls at your cage and others would hit until dark.  One evening I was agitated and I came in off the range to get a drink and vent.  I walked in to the bagroom and began to vent my frustration.  Within seconds one of my bosses came out of the pro shop.  I was not a big fan of him.  He used his size to intimidate and he talked down to most of us.  On this night he was being very sarcastic.  He began to give me a hard time for not being finished.  I then spouted back, "I would be done if the range ever closed."  Big mistake, I should have just kept my mouth shut.  He then proceeded to give me lip service, I stared him straight in the eye and just wished for the night to end.  He did say something that stuck with me.  He said, "Ben, take a little pride in your work!"

I grew up loving my hometown.  I always envisioned myself getting married and raising a family in Jackson.  I grew up with a lot of pride in my community.  I learned the history, the legends and the significant events.  I loved to listen to my grandfather share stories about Jackson.

Then I went through a phase, or I guess you could say, I fell into a rut.  While in this rut I wanted nothing more than to get away and get out of Jackson.  I chose to go away to college and for some time I believed I would never return.  As I got away I started to appreciate some of the things that I took for granted.  I appreciated the lakes, the activities available, the little diners, but most of all I missed the individuals.  I missed the characters that I thought for a stretch of time bothered me, yet in reality they made my experience special.  I began to realize that the connections are what make all the difference.  I began to take more pride in how I interacted and connected with people.

I have learned throughout time that pride is a vital trait.  As I reflect back on my tongue lashing as a teenager to now, I truly believe pride can make a huge difference.

It's human nature to remember the painful memories before the positive ones.  To this day I can remember the one negative comment better than the nine positive ones. As I reflect I think about why these people have been so negative.  In most cases I believe something is lacking.

How do you get someone to take pride?

1st) Individuals that take pride connect in some way

2nd) It becomes personal to the individual

3rd) Individuals need a level of unselfishness.  Believing that the good of all is more important.

Several events have recently occurred that have brought pride to the forefront.  Last week I attended our Jackson Ed Tech Kickoff.  The Jackson ISD did a tremendous job putting this together.  I had a moment at the Kickoff that stuck with me.  As I walked into the commons I saw more than 200 educators.  The room was buzzing!  You could feel the positive energy and enthusiasm.  I leaned over to @shannondegan and told him, "This is what is great about education! How could anyone say a negative word about educators if they walked in this room?"

The very next day I had the privilege to judge the Outstanding Teen Jackson.  What an amazing experience.  Nineteen talented young ladies!  Several moments stand out, but I was awed by the talent and the level of unselfishness.  Two moments hit me. The first was by a young lady named Ashley. She spoke about closing the Generation Gap.  I listened to her for several minutes and her story about going to retirement homes and playing dominoes, checkers and cards, plus listening to stories and taking the time to invest in individuals was powerful.  I looked at Ashley and I smiled. I said, "No matter the outcome I truly believe you will continue to do this."  She smiled and said, "Yes. Yes, I definitely will!"  The second moment was one of pure joy!  A young lady named Alyssa was asked how she handles stress. Alyssa confidently stated, "I exercise to relieve stress, I spend time with loved ones, but most of all I enjoy desserts!  You're supposed to enjoy desserts when you're stressed because desserts is stressed backwards."  I laughed out loud and applauded!  

I also participated in and attended other functions recently.  My wife Amy and I competed in the 2nd Annual Jackson Amazing Race.  I had a blast doing the challenges and teaming up with my wife!  We are sure to compete again next year.  

Last night, I attended the Thought 1 scholarship dinner.  What a great cause!  Noah Nagy has created a scholarship for local teens that have had a loved one taken by cancer.  I had the privilege to listen to three powerful stories.  Noah has pride in Jackson and he's doing something that helps give back.  

Finally, I walked through our building the other day.  I'm so proud to be at Warner.  Our entire staff has gone the extra mile.  I don't believe I've ever seen the building look better.  As I walked a young second grader through the halls the other day, I counted 6 "wows" and 1 never ending smile!  The pride that everyone has in Warner is inspiring.

I reflect on all of these events and think back to my boss's comment.  The truth is, I have a lot of pride. In that moment as a teenager picking range balls I simply wanted to be done.  I was tired and ornery. After participating in these recent events I feel a strong sense of pride in my community!  Sometimes the one negative comment we hear sits with us the longest, but trust me, so many amazing things are happening all around us!  I believe pride is a crucial trait.  You can't fake pride, it shows up in your work ethic, your drive and most importantly, your attitude.

This week's big questions:  Do you have pride in your school?  Do you have pride in your community? How will you inspire your students to have pride in their classroom?

Next Week At A Glance:

Sunday, August 25th:  Our Local Police Dept. will be conducting safety trainings for police officers at Warner El. from 2pm - 4:30pm.  The building will be closed during this time.

Monday, August 26th:  8-9am Staff Breakfast
Monday, August 26th:  9-10:30am Staff Meeting in the Library
Monday, August 26th:  11-11:40am CCSS Writing
Monday, August 26th:  12-1pm Lunch (Provided by our PTO)
Monday, August 26th:  1-3pm Inter-Grade Level meetings
Tuesday, August 27th:  District Breakfast 7:30-8:30 in MS
Tuesday, August 27th:  Welcome Back message and speaker 8:30-11am
Tuesday, August 27th:  Air Server/Doceri training with Mike MacGuinness 1pm at Warner
Tuesday, August 27th:  5-7pm Open House
Wednesday, August 28th:  RTI/Assessment discussions (attendance optional) 9am
Thursday, August 29th:  Technology questions, App support (attendance optional) 9am

Articles Worth Reading:

Making a Positive 1st Impression with Parents  by +Joan Young @flourishingkids

Cult of Personality  by +David Culberhouse  @DCulberhouse

Are you Ready to Stand Behind Your Words?  by +Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp

Waiting on Amazing  by +Daisy Duerr @DaisyDyerDuerr

Learning Experience  by +George Couros @gcouros

9 Tips for Teachers That Just Got iPads  shared by +Amber Teamann @8Amber8

Recess & Brain Breaks are Needs not Rewards  by +Chris Wejr @ChrisWejr

What Teachers Eat For Lunch Matters  shared by +TeachThought  @TeachThought

Ode To Paul  by +Tony Sinanis @Cantiague_Lead

On Being Perfect...or Not  by @ShutUpRun

10 Ways Happy People Prioritize Their To-Do Lists  by +Marc Chernoff @marcandangel

Who Comes First  by +Tom Whitford @twhitford

Why I Lead  by +Jimmy Casas @casas_jimmy

A Digital Footprint For a Beast  by +Amber Teamann @8Amber8

Designing Your Classroom Space  by +Erin Klein @KleinErin

5 Ways To Use Technology To Engage Parents  shared by @Seguin_B

Videos Worth Watching:

I have a new appreciation for Ashton Kutcher.  Powerful message! (5 min)

The Value of a Teacher.  Will you make the difference? (3 min)

WOW! Wonderful Ted Talk on the importance of being happy! (11 min) Worth your time!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Cheering you on!

This week many teachers will return and the true feelings will be mixed.  We all love educating kids, that goes without saying. The mixed feelings will come from feeling stressed or sad to see summer ending.

I've learned that educators come in many shapes, sizes and mentalities.  Some work all summer and love the continuous learning and others get away and recharge.  There is no right or wrong.  

I've been so impressed with our staff this summer.  The building has received a positive facelift. I am the biggest Cheerleader!  I've been taking pictures, listening to ideas and flat out bragging to anyone that would listen about how great the staff is!  The hallways, lobby, classrooms, gym and restrooms look amazing.  

As I say all that, I also know that not everything is complete.  Some staff members are still enjoying needed family time and haven't had the opportunity to come in and spruce things up.  The last thing I want is for people to return and feel guilty or bad that their space doesn't compare.  We're all different and that's what makes us great!  I do feel like the cheerleader and the coach, I'm cheering loudly for the people that have invested a ton of time and have gone above and beyond.  I'm also cheering loudly for the people that haven't.  

When I was teaching 5th grade my summers were filled with continuing education classes and family time.  That was it.  Sure I would run and golf and travel, but the main parts of summer were classes and family.  This was exactly what I needed at the time.  As time has passed I've evolved.  My summers are now a mixture of managing the building, leading the building, spending time with family, maintaining my fitness and continuous learning.  I'm often asked if I've had the chance to get away.  The answer is no and that's okay.  I know my family and I know myself.  I know when I need to plan a getaway and I know when we're good to stay put.  Don't feel bad for me, I wouldn't have it any other way.  With that being said, not everyone is like me.  While it works for some to dedicate and push themselves during the summer, others need to rejuvenate.  

So now staff are returning.  I'm cheering for you loudly!  Maybe you've transformed your hallway or classroom, I love that!  Your dedication is noticed, appreciated and wonderful!  Then again maybe you've gotten away and you return feeling anxious and maybe even stressed.  I'm cheering loudly for you as well!  I know we all need to find the balance that helps us be our best.  I don't compare, I hope you don't either.  

I didn't always feel this way, but my thinking has changed.  Years ago as a young teacher I thought of myself and my space first.  I didn't see the big picture.  As I've grown I now see a bigger picture. When someone does something amazing it's good for all of us.  

As you begin to trickle in this week check out the building.  I believe you'll be impressed, I know I am!

As your biggest Cheerleader I'm rooting for you, I'm rooting for you in your own way.  We are all different.  Sometime in the next week or two I'd love to sit down and talk about summer, family, goals and wishes.  Preparing for school to begin is always stressful...but fun.  I'm confident we will be ready and that our students will love being back!  Remember I'm cheering you on!

This week's big questions:  How important is it to return to school with a positive attitude?  Do you see the bigger picture and realize what is good for our school is good for all?

Keeping you Informed:

*  August 15th at Baker College is the Jackson EdTech Kickoff! Register - EdTech Kickoff
*  August 19th at 8am, New Teacher Orientation
*  August 22nd at 10am, Warner teachers receive training on iPad deployment
*  August 22nd Warner Back 2 School Getogether at Suzanne's house details to follow
*  August 23rd at 10am, Make-up date for anyone that missed for iPad deployment
*  Our new custodial crew is waxing during 3rd shift, I have been told the building will remain open on a daily basis.
*  Carpets are scheduled to be cleaned at the end of the week.  Please put some type of identification on the carpet you are wanting cleaned.

*  Back to School Schedule:
 August 26th: 
8am Staff Breakfast
9am Staff Meeting
10:30am Break
11am CCSS Writing discussion
12pm Lunch Provided
1:30pm Class List Breakout

August 27th:
7:30am Bkfast in HS (All-Staff)
8:30am Welcome Back in the WCAC
10am Guest Speaker
12pm Lunch on your own
Afternoon is scheduled for room preparation
5pm Open House (New Parents & KDG)
5:20-6pm KDG/Young Five's Open House
6pm-7pm Grades 1-5 Open House (5th grade begins in Cafeteria)
7:30pm Guest Speaker discussing Crucial Conversations about American Schools (optional)

August 28th:
Attendance Optional
9am-12pm Discussing Assessments, RTI and CCSS
1pm-3pm Goal Setting individual meetings

August 29th:
Attendance Optional
9am-12pm Technology get-together discussing - 
-web pages
1pm-3pm Goal Setting individual meetings

Articles Worth Reading:

The Only Rule in Kindergarten: Be Brave!  by +Angela Maiers  @mattBgomez @AngelaMaiers

Perception Builder  by +Tony Sinanis  @Cantiague_Lead

Videos Worth Watching:

Why Twitter? (3 min)

Back To School Video created at Elkhorn Crossing Schools (6 min) @CurtRees

Poor Guy! (41 seconds)

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Mile Wide & An Inch Deep

Since I can remember I have always pushed myself to be perfect.  Growing up the son of a golf professional I often would walk across the street and proceed to chip & putt until it was dark out.  Deep down I knew that nobody's perfect, but I still chased it.  I was the consummate goal setter, I would have short term goals and long term goals.  I was driven to grow, improve and strive for perfection.  

Along the way I realized how ridiculous perfection was.  Some of my best memories are from how I have dealt with circumstances that have gone awry.  I'm not saying we shouldn't set goals, what I am saying is that we need to set a small number of goals and aim for mastery.

Throughout my time in education I have witnessed the Mile Wide and Inch Deep approach.  I despised this as a teacher, I rarely felt that ALL my students "had" it.  I desperately wanted to slow down and work on the essentials that would benefit them in the now and the future.  I see the same mistake being made in business and in sports.  The Mile Wide and An Inch Deep approach gets lost to administrators and leaders.  As the "Boss" you probably see all the flaws of your company and you want to correct them.  As a "leader" it is likely that you see a problem and want it fixed.  The problem with this mentality is that there will always be flaws and issues.  You cannot attack every issue all the time.  It is better to choose a couple areas that you want to improve on and make them strengths.  

For me it is being a better #EduCoach and being stronger with curriculum support.  There is a part of me that wants to wave the magic wand and make things perfect, but as I was reminded last week by my good friend +Jimmy Casas it's not about the result, it's about the process.  I completely agree.  Pushing to improve and grow is the important aspect.   I can relate it to my training and running the Grand Rapids Marathon a couple years back.  I trained my tail off!  I was logging 40+ miles a week and I was running at 4am many days.  Those quiet hours pounding pavement, alone with my thoughts, that was the process.  When the marathon day arrived it was anti-climatic.  I enjoyed the race (until mile 21, then I hit the proverbial wall).  The result was important, but not nearly as significant as the process.

Goal setting is about the process, my personality will always have me shooting for perfection.  I think the chase for perfection is part of "my" process.  I've reflected on some of my best moments and I've tried to pinpoint common denominators, what helped me be at my best?  In some ways I relate it to the athlete that is, "In the Zone."

So what was the common denominator?  I believe I have it narrowed down...

1) Confidence:  When I have been at my best I have been confident and secure in my surroundings.  I feel knowledgeable about my topic and I understand if I make a mistake it'll be okay.

2) Patience:  Each moment that I've felt at my best I've been surrounded by a strong sense of calmness and patience.  I've felt as though everything around me slows down and the world seems less hectic.

3) A Clear Mind:  Any time that I've felt at my best my mind has been clear and I've been able to concentrate on the task at hand.

4) Feeling a Sense of Mastery:  As I reflect, the sense of mastery has always come when I have felt knowledgeable, confident and prepared.  When I feel prepared for a situation I tend to be on top of things.

This coming year I want depth, deeper learning, critical thinking, creativity and risk taking.  These goals will not be accomplished with a Mile Wide and An Inch Deep approach.  Instead I say, "slow down and master content."  

What truly pushed me into this thinking was a series of events and conversations that occurred each school year.  I can vividly remember teachers sitting around tables and talking about what the students were doing.  

Every single year I would hear a teacher say, "Oh I taught that, they should know how to do that."  OR "We covered that as a class. They did struggle a bit with it, but we covered it."  

These conversations bugged me.  The pressure of covering so many GLCE's made it difficult for teachers to slow down and master anything.  But I'll be, at least everything would be covered (sarcasm)!  NO, this is wrong!  It wastes everyone's time to cover everything and master nothing.  I challenge you to slow down and teach to mastery.

What does all this mean?  My goals for Warner will not be watered down, I aim for mastery over mediocrity.

I have not finalized my goals, but this is my initial thought - 

*  Improve our RTI system.  My hope is for an improved organizational system and more effectively meeting student needs.

*  Develop a common language with staff & students of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (Leader in Me).

*  Increase collaboration and communication.  With the CCSS shift it is essential to work together and "open our doors".

*  Provide and Engage in meaningful PD.  As we transition to Standard Based Grading, integrate technology throughout the elementary and immerse ourselves in the CCSS it will be vital that everyone feels knowledgeable, prepared and confident in what they are doing.

These goals will help us continue to move forward and keep us focused.  I still view Our Vision as the main goal.
We must continue to be student-centered, caring, compassionate and engaging.  This mentality will foster Life Long Learners!

This week's big questions:  As you begin to formulate your goals, will you be honest about your areas of growth?  Will you be bound and determined to get through the entire book? OR Will you set your sights on student mastery?  Ultimately, will your goals push you to improve?

We are one month away from the greatest time of the year!  

Keeping You Informed:

*  RTI position recommendations have been submitted.  The recommendations do not become official until the Board takes action.

*  We have a delay in classroom iPad pickups.  Mike MacGuinness will be contacting you with more information.

*  The building is really taking shape!  Our new custodians are doing a nice job and the painting is phenomenal!  Huge thank you to our dedicated painters and workers.  I'm so impressed with the family atmosphere, we are truly a team!

*  August 15th is Jackson EdTech Kickoff at Baker College please go to the site and register.  I'm confident you'll find the day very fulfilling.  The cost is $10, and I will make sure you are reimbursed.  I'm hoping our Warner turnout is very strong!

*  August 27th will be our Warner Open House Night.  I will notify everyone with times in the next couple weeks.

*  To date we have 13 staff changes at Warner.  This is a lot, some of the changes are small and others are big.  I believe it is crucial to get together before school starts and have a staff social.  We are a family and we need to welcome all of our new faces.  More information will be coming soon.  (If you have thoughts or suggestions please email or call me.)

*  Our new Custodial Crew is doing a terrific job!  I've been extremely pleased with Steve and Jewel.  I think you will be pleasantly pleased.

Articles Worth Reading:

Personal Learning Network (10 Tips)  shared by @shannondegan

Top Apps for PE teachers  shared by @mrrobbo

Connections Change the Game  by +Tony Sinanis  @Cantiague_Lead

Videos Worth Watching:

Is Twitter Accelerating Innovation? (4 min)

#TeamJXN (1 min) shared by @dreambition @runfardvs @shannondegan @sschuhtech

Key to Success...Grit! (6 min) Shared by +Becky Ince  @Ince22

Take a risk! I love this individuality. (2 min)