Sunday, September 7, 2014

Cooler Heads Prevail

Years ago my parents wanted to begin a new family tradition.  They concocted the plan of skipping family gatherings and going to the Thanksgiving Day Detroit Lions football games.  On the surface you would think this would be every sport-loving boy's dream...but then you take into account that I love turkey and I'm not a Lion fan.  Well, let's just say the idea was... okay.

So the first year we decided to go the Lions were playing the Redskins.  We sat in the end zone and I was pulling hard for Barry Sanders.  The first half was very competitive.  I found that the game was a little tough to follow from the end zone, but the gigantic big screen definitely helped.  One memory I cannot get out of my head was the number of fans that booed.  I sat amongst hundreds of Lion fans in the end zone and every poor play was booed mercilessly.  I sat back and thought, "These are Lion fans?"

As the game progressed it became obvious that Washington was going to win.  My brother was a few years younger and I could tell he didn't really care, but he did want a souvenir of some sort.  So we walked a bit and looked for various items he was interested in.  When we returned a group of rowdy fans sitting behind us began throwing anything they could get their hands on towards the field.  I was embarrassed to be associated with any Lions fans.  Then my dad turned around and instead of asking politely to stop, he got angry and frustrated.  The next thing I know there is a full out brawl in the end zone bleachers and I'm pulling people off of each other.  How about that for Thanksgiving?

I tend to reflect on moments like this with thoughts of, "How could this have been handled differently?" It always concerns me when I see moments like this or I read about a road rage incident. Our society reacts with violence and anger.  Everyone would benefit from being patient, understanding and simply choosing kindness.

What I have come to learn is that most people rush to judge, panic and lose their cool when life becomes stressful.

Nothing like that happened at Warner Elementary this past week, but what I did notice is that both students and adults were lacking a consistent routine.  The week was very good, but it did have some interesting moments.  Early in the year we all lack that routine and procedure, and the research tells us we have... The Need For Routines and Procedures.

I expect anxiety, stress and people feeling overwhelmed.  It's important to let cooler heads prevail.  I also try very hard to keep things in perspective.  I read The Last Lecture a couple years ago and it really helped me with perspective.

Here comes a new week. Let's focus on continuing to build strong lasting relationships and let's also focus on establishing the consistency that our students crave.  You should all be uplifted by the fact so many parents have raved about the mood and atmosphere of Warner.  Our kids are excited, we are focusing on the right things and we have each other!  This year is going to be great, so let's keep calm and stay positive!


Monday, Sept. 8th: Happy BDay to Jennifer Schaible
Tuesday, Sept. 9th:  First PTO meeting at 7pm
Wednesday, Sept. 10th:  First Early Release, dismissal at 2:35
Wednesday, Sept. 10th:  Grades 3-5 assembly at 8:45am
Friday, Sept. 12th:  8am Staff Meeting
Friday, Sept. 12th:  Happy BDay to Kristy Soper
Saturday, Sept. 13th:  Happy Bday to Colleen White

Articles Worth Reading:

How can we all keep the Kindergarten Spirit? +Amber Teamann @8Amber8

It's September. Don't Worry Teaching Gets Better. +Angela Watson @Angela_Watson

The Best Back To School Apps +Erin Klein @KleinErin

A Teacher's Impact +Jeff Zoul @Jeff_Zoul

Be The Dinosaur +Brad Gustafson @GustafsonBrad

Birthing a Revolution #nerdybookclub

Videos Worth Watching:

Bengals Show True Empathy (2 min)

Cracks me up!  Nice trick Ellen. (5 min)

It's not about the notes on the page.  We must help kids find their passion. (7 min)