Sunday, January 26, 2014

Hope & Expectation

Growing up the son of a golf professional created some lofty expectations.  As a junior golfer I remember standing by scoreboards and putting greens and hearing people mention my last name.  At first, people only knew me because of my last name.  I distinctly remember standing by a scoreboard after posting a decent score.  A group of people approximately 15 feet away were talking about me. One comment will always stick in my head..."You know Gilpin's gotta be a good player, just look at who his dad is."  I remember chuckling to myself.  I didn't typically get bothered by the increased expectation. In fact, I sorta liked it.  The expectation that I was good, just based on my last name, pushed me to work hard and live up to it.

My point is this, expectations are a mindset.

I learned at a young age that I can only control one person...myself.  I remember life lessons from my grandfather, my dad, and one of my first bosses, Wally Sierakowski.  I'm grateful for all the lessons I learned from them.  I also found life experiences to be a valuable learning tool.

During my freshman year I remember talking to my dad.  I was blaming one of our losses on a senior.  I cited his poor round and the closeness of the match.  My dad told me, "Bologna. You win as a lose as a team."  Simple as that.  Once again I was learning life lessons.  

My experiences growing up have shaped who I am today.  I do believe we are all shaped by our experiences.  I feel as though I look for the best in all people, but it's important to say that I truly hope for the best, not necessarily expect it.

As an adult I expect many things out of myself, but instead of expecting them from others, I always hope for the best.  For example...

I hope teachers will prepare strong lessons that engage all students.

I hope staff will reflect on the day's events and look for areas to celebrate and grow.

I hope students will ask questions and put forth their best effort.

I hope parents will take an interest in their child's education.

I hope all staff will help foster a love of learning.


Those are my hopes, but I do have one expectation for others to follow. I expect professionalism.

What does it mean to be a professional?


following an occupation as a means of livelihood or for gain: professional builder.
of, pertaining to, or connected with a professionprofessional studies. 

This is the dictionary definition of a professional.  I can only speak for myself, but I view Educators as Professionals in a layered view.
I realize professionalism can be a lot of things, and that's okay. 

Being professional is general; in a way, vague. It can include attire/dress, conversations with parents, dealings with colleagues, what we post on social media and even disposition.  This is why I see it as layered. Professionalism is a critical piece of who we are and what we do.

We've all heard the saying - 

Educators can take note.  As professionals our words say a lot.  What we say in the lounge matters, what we say to substitute teachers matters, what we put in emails and newsletters matter.  

I didn't always realize the impact of words and disposition.  Some time ago I was approached by a volunteer.  She asked to meet with me.  She began with a compliment.  She shared a compliment about a teacher.  She said, "I don't have any students at Warner, but I'm so impressed with __________.  This teacher loves kids!"  She went on to talk about stumbling upon a conversation where the teacher was talking with another teacher and they were sharing student successes.  As we continued to talk in the office she then said to me, I volunteer and work in many schools, most of the time I hear dissent and negativity...but I love being here because I see staff members that are all about kids. 

Our words matter.  You never know who is listening or watching.  

I don't think all educators look at themselves as professionals.  I wish they did.  Educators are professionals and because of this we should take pride in all things education.

I have always tried to be positive, honest and dedicated.  It's true, I hope for a lot of things...but I have always and will always expect professionalism.

This Week's Big Question:  Do you view yourself as a professional?

Next Week At A Glance:

Monday, January 27th: 1pm 1:1 Tech Meeting
Monday, January 27th:  Little Caesars Pizza Kits due
Tuesday, January 28th:  TEAM meeting beginning at 9am
Tuesday, January 28th:  Mobile Dentist visit
Wednesday, January 29th:  Grades 3-5 assembly with SAU basketball team in gym
Wednesday, January 29th:  TAT at 2:55
Wednesday, January 29th:  Sarah from Time For Kids will be hear to speak with all grades during lunch or in classrooms.  Look for a schedule on Monday.
Thursday, January 30th:  iCreate Assembly/Field Trip to Westwinds for grades 3-5
Friday, January 31st:  Western High School Open House
Friday, January 31st:  Staff Meeting in Miss Howey's classroom (8am)
Friday, January 31st:  4th graders are singing the National Anthem at our home Basketball game!
Friday, January 31st:  Last Day of Music until after Spring Break...gonna miss you Mrs. Fitz!

Articles Worth Reading:

New Family Tours: What do they expect? +Jimmy Casas @casas_jimmy

Immortality of Stories +Angela Maiers @AngelaMaiers

27 Ways to Respond When Students Don't Pay Attention +Terry Heick @TeachThought

44 sunsets @Jonharper70bd

Why Do We Need To Learn This? @edutopia by Dr. Allen Mendler

The Oasis Within: Mindfulness practice for teachers @edutopia by Lisa Flook

7 Signs You Are Hanging With the Wrong Crowd +Marc Chernoff @marcandangel

She's Stealing My Thunder +Daisy Dyer Duerr @DaisyDyerDuerr

Snow Day +Tony Sinanis @TonySinanis

Improvement is the goal +Shannon Degan @shannondegan

The Thinking Wall +Josh Stumpenhorst @stumpteacher

Digital Citizenship: Not Just For Kids @PetticrewC

TMI - The Glove @ShutUpRun

Videos Worth Watching:

Educational Tour Bus...what a creative idea! (8 min)

Digital Youth Portfolios...I like this idea. (9 min)

Michelle Obama photobombs the Miami Heat! (1 min)

Finding My Voice: Inspiring Youth TedX Talk (12 min)

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