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)


  1. What a powerful post Ben and a great way to start the year: Informed, Inspired, and Ignited!!!

    Thank you and wishing you a wonderful first week!

    1. Thank you Angela. I'm very proud of the staff, lots of hard work and a dedicated bunch! I'm very confident this is going to be a fantastic year.

  2. Well said, Ben! Everyone gets ready in different ways...whatever works is clearly the way to go. I often get the same question and feel the same way...I wouldn't change it at all. Love what we do and how we do it. Best of luck in starting the year, my friend.

    1. Thanks Joe! I'm sure many Administrators get that question. I appreciate your support. Can't wait to start the year!