Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's Not What You Say...

I often meet with kids that have had some sort of dispute.  What I quickly discover is that there has been a breakdown in communication.  Once I listen to the multiple versions of what occurred I then begin to play moderator as we all try to solve the issue.

It's interesting, so often problems arise from a breakdown in communication or possibly a person's tone.  Recently I met with a young lady, she came into my office and began to cry.  She informed me that her friends don't like her anymore.  I listened.  I had noticed a change in the girl and I was curious if she had any idea why she was losing friends.  As she talked about the year she deflected all responsibility and blamed others for being mean and not spending time with her and not listening to her.

I pondered my response and then I looked at her.  I said, "Can I share a story with you?"  The young lady fought back the tears and nodded her head yes.  

The story began with me as a youngster in church.  Growing up I honestly wasn't a huge fan of church.  But week in and week out my parents made me go.  One thing I looked forward to was the donuts afterwards.  I'll admit, getting to eat 2-3 donuts as a ten year old is always enticing.  With that as the backdrop I then told her about an unfortunate Sunday morning.  

I knew the routine...go to church, grab a donut and sit there while my parents talked for 30 minutes. This happened every week (or so it seemed).  On this day church ended and I scurried off to grab a large vanilla topped cinnamon roll!  I hopped in line right behind an older couple.  I was trying to peer around them and see which one I was going to grab, when suddenly the older lady looked at me and said, "You will wait your turn, young man!"  

At this point I looked at the little girl in my office and said, "that's what she'll wait your turn." She looked at me and said, that's it?  I then said, "Almost."

It's tough to truly describe this situation, but I must tell you, the lady didn't simply say, wait your turn, she said it in a very mean, snarly way.  I can still feel that was an angry, mean tone that made me feel awful.  

The girl in my office was looking down at my carpet.  (Personally I don't think my carpet is anything special, but she had her head down looking at the floor.)  She then said, "I know what you mean Mr. Gilpin, I've had people talk to me that way."  We then talked about her feelings and then I asked her if she ever talked to people she cared about in a mean way.  At this point the tears began to well up. I could tell she was beginning to see the point to my story.  She said, "Mr. Gilpin, I don't mean to talk that way, it just happens when they don't do what I ask."  I then told her that the way she was treating her friends was causing her to lose friends.  

Looking her in the eye that afternoon and telling her that she has the power to make it right was a nice way to wrap things up.  As she walked out she stopped at the door and told me thanks.  I could tell by her tone that she was grateful and that's all I was hoping for.

The point to the story is, It's Not What You Say, It's How You Say It!  I'm a true believer that your tone says a lot.

As educators we interact and communicate with kids every day.  Our tone can turn a kid on or off to a situation.  Kids are smart, they can tell if an adult cares.  You know how kids can tell?

They hear your tone.

When we think about tone, think of these three things:

1)  We're often unaware of what someone is feeling under the surface.  

2)  Be careful to engage in contentious conversations when you are in a foul mood.  

3)  Even the nicest of comments won't mean much if you say it with a negative or sarcastic tone.

This Week's Big Questions:  As your patience wanes does your tone get more harsh?  Are you always aware of the tone you give to kids?


Monday, October 27th:  AM Lockdown drill
Monday, October 27th:  4th grade to IndianBrook Farms
Monday, October 27th:  String Team 3:45-4:30
Tuesday, October 28th:  Admin Meeting 9am
Tuesday, October 28th:  Bible Release
Wednesday, October 29th:  Grades 3-5 Morning Assembly
Thursday, October 30th:  2pm Halloween Parade (outdoors unless rain)
Friday, October 31st:  No Students, Teacher Professional Development

Articles Worth Reading:

Making that redo/retake policy actually work @justintarte

Closing the Deal @Jeff_Zoul

How Teachers Can Motivate Students @MindShiftKQED

Change your wipers! @GenieneD

Hope with skin on @laughwithchad

I'm tired of hearing 'we are preparing kids for college and the real world...' @justintarte

Literacy O' Lanterns @GustafsonBrad

Plight of the Innovator @Venspired

18 Great Reminders When You're Having a Bad Day @marcandangel

Videos Worth Watching:

CNN Heroes (2 min)

Fergie & Ellen Play Heads-Up (2 min)

Stay in the Moment! (10 min)

#HalloweenFail (2 min)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Importance of Being Present

I remember the conversation as though it was yesterday.  The date was July 22, 2010.  I met with the Superintendent after being recommended for hire by the committee.  I was a bit nervous going into the meeting, I had never met Mr. Smajda and I wasn't sure how he would take me.  I sat down in his office and simply tried to be myself.  We talked philosophy, community and education.  I shared anything and everything and felt very comfortable.  As the meeting wrapped up I felt good about my potential new boss and I was fired up to begin a new chapter in my life.  Just as we were about to finish I mentioned to Mr. Smajda that I did not own a cell phone  (yes, this was 2010).  He told me that it wasn't a requirement, but that I may want to get one.

Up until that point my philosophy was simple.  If you can't reach me, I don't want to be reached.  I know, I know...I was young and naive.

What I discovered after purchasing my first cell phone was that I was distracted.  I went from never on a phone, to being on it constantly.  I had zero balance.

I will admit I still have moments that my connectivity is very high.  Some of my days involve putting out a "fire" or expecting a very important message.  Other days, I feel as though the balance is improving.

What I like about cell phones and similar devices is that the information is in the palm of your hand. If I need assistance I can get it in a blink of an eye.  I also like the fact that I can "share our story" through pictures, tweets, phone calls and emails.  This is an important feature in being transparent, relevant and positive.

What I don't like about cell phones and devices is that they can become a crutch.  For example, I began teaching in the year 2000.  At that time, I had no projector, no Smart Board, no iPads, no cell phones...nothing.  I had one teacher computer and one student computer.  And guess what...I was perfectly fine.  My lessons were hands-on, I utilized visuals through imagination, video (I would use a VHS recorder and bring in tapes) and drawings.  For years I didn't have resources in the palm of my hand and I was just fine.  I believe my students were fine as well.  

Then along came 21st Century Teaching!  I'll admit, I was excited for my first smartboard and projector in the classroom.  It revolutionized how I taught.  I felt as though I could "enhance" my lessons and truly help my growing number of visual learners.  I loved the technology and my students responded very well to it.  The interactive component to the Smart Board allowed for a new way to formative assess and the projector allowed me to ditch the old VHS recordings.  

But then came the day when my Smart Board wasn't working and then my projector began to overheat.  Oh dear!  I was in a panic, how would I teach?  What would I do?  I specifically remember calling the help desk and just being angry.

Later that night I was trying to figure out what to do the next day.  It was at this moment that I had my own self-talk lesson.  I told myself that for years I never had these tools and I was perfectly fine. I had become so reliant on the tool that it no longer was a was all about the device.  I pulled out a few old lesson plan books and note cards that I used in the past.  I reminded myself about the importance of Being Present.  Don't make it about the technology, make it about the individual!

Every now and then I have to remind myself to shut down.  When I walk into a classroom I may snap a few pictures and tweet out a cool moment, but I also connect with kids.  I don't want to be the adult that has his face in the device.

I say all this for a few reasons:  

First, why is the device out?  If you have a device out, I hope it has a purpose.  Are you posting on your class Facebook page?  Are you tweeting a cool picture that you just captured?  Are you fact checking information?  Are you updating assignments on Edmodo/Schoology?

Second, if your technology crashes should it be the end of the world?  For years most of us never had these tools.  We didn't have cell phones, iPads, tablets and more.  I get it, many lessons involve these tools, but I challenge you to remember the days before these tools.  I bet you did more than survive, I bet you had days that you flourished!  Keep those memories in your back pocket; they may benefit you in the future.

Finally, Be Present!  If you have a device out make sure you have a very specific purpose.  We must Be Present in front of our kids.  We are the role models and we need to set the example of shutting down and focusing on people, not devices.


Monday, October 20th:  String Team 3:45-4:30
Tuesday, October 21st:  TEAM Meeting 9am
Wednesday, October 22nd:  6:30pm 5th Grade Curriculum Night
Wednesday, October 22nd:  Mobile Dentist at Warner
Wednesday, October 22nd:  K-2 Assembly 8:45am
Wednesday, October 22nd:  String Team 3:45-4:30
Friday, October 24th: Staff Meeting 8am
Friday, October 24th:  5:30pm - 8:30pm Warner Fun Night

Articles Worth Reading:

Popularity Grows for Year Round Schooling @EdWeek

6 Keys to a Classroom Makeover @thomascmurray

The Science of Fear @edutopia

A veteran teacher turned coach shadows students... @grantwiggins

Start a Reading Revolution: Flip your class with blogs @edutopia

Empathy and Trust @TonySinanis

10 Reasons Why Non-Readers Don't Read - and how you can change their minds @scholastic

Connecting in your own building @Fearless_Teach

The Next Time You're Ready to Give Up On A Student @TeachThought

What if this was your districts grading policy? @justintarte

40 Things I want to tell my kids before they're too cool to listen @marcandangel

Professional Learning That School Leaders Need and Deserve @E_Sheninger

Videos Worth Watching:

He guessed what? (4 min)

She said what! (1 min)

Well done boys! (4 min)

How to learn from mistakes (10 min)

My Wish...great story! (7 min)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

I Choose To See Great Potential

Sometimes when you are really close to a situation you see every flaw.  As you analyze and critique the flaws you have the tendency to become discouraged or even pessimistic.

I have lived most of my life in Jackson County.  During this time I have witnessed a lot of memorable events.  

Truth be told I have not always enjoyed life in Jackson County.  As a high schooler I specifically remember being ready to get out of town.  It was during my time away that I began to appreciate Jackson.  During the last few years I have really come to enjoy many things that Jackson offers. Some of the events that I have enjoyed are:

- The Amazing Race Jackson, Michigan
- The Jackson Running Series
- The Jackson Rose Festival
- The Civil War Muster
- Cascade Falls
- Thought 1 Foundation Events
- Eve on the Ave
- Grand River Expedition
- Fitness Council Events
- Hot Air Jubilee
- Tough Mudder at MIS

This is just the tip of the iceberg, but the point is Jackson has some fun stuff going just simply have to look!

I say all that because sometimes when people get close to something they don't look at the positives...they focus on the flaws. 

Last year I was asked to be a judge for The Outstanding Teen Jackson.  I was honored, and so I accepted. I had never been a judge before, but I thought my experience with young people would really help. The first part of the competition was Q & A.  The question focused on how they would celebrate Jackson.  As I listened to twenty girls share outstanding ideas I couldn't help but feel pride for our youth and Jackson County.  A few of the young ladies talked about how they feel doubted by adults and how some of their peers frown on Jackson County.  I could tell the stress and pressure to be everything to everyone was weighing on them.

I have heard several times in the past few years that the kids of today are not prepared for the real world.  I feel the urge to share a few reasons why I believe in our kids and our future.

My first story is from 5th grade camp.  Each year the Western 5th graders head north to Mystic Lake Campground in Northern Michigan.  Each year we take 25-30 High School students to be Counselors, Mentors and Role Models for our students.  This year I was really impressed with a few of our outstanding high school students.  
The first day at camp is always filled with nervous excitement.  As I headed out to take pictures and check on the groups I noticed one of our groups located at the giant swing.  As I approached I noticed Julia.  She was talking to the students in her group about cheering for each other and being brave.  I took a handful of pictures, but what I really noticed was Julia's warm nature and ability to be the consummate positive force.  Over the course of three days I was truly impressed with Julia.  I don't ever remember seeing her on her phone...every image of Julia was her supporting kids.

Next comes two counselors that really stepped up!  I met with Nora and Jacob about a week before we left for camp.  I told the two of them that I was going to lean on them during camp. Those two didn't blink!  They both looked me in the eye and said, "no problem."  At the time I thought, well we'll see, once things become difficult I'll need to step in.  To my surprise those two never needed me.  I checked in with them a few times and each time they were in control. As 5th grade camp began to wind down I sat down and began to organize pictures.  Going through the pictures allows for reflection.  It didn't take long to stumble across pictures of Jacob and Nora.

When I hear negative comments about our youth I sometimes struggle to respond.  Just last week I had an adult tell me that the kids of today will not be as successful as their parents.  She went on to tell me that they are too dependent on technology and they don't understand what responsibility truly is.  These conversations make me sad, but then I think of Julia, Jacob, Nora and so many others. I remind myself that we have amazing kids all around us.  I won't give up on our youth and I won't give up on our community.

The next time I have someone talking negatively about our youth or about our community I'm going to ask them if they have ever heard of the group, Most Teens Don't.  I'm going to shift the conversation.  I urge you to do the same.  Speak up for what you believe in...I believe in our kids, I believe we have a lot to look forward to in our community.

This week's big question(s):  Do you focus on the flaws?   How do you show your community pride?


Monday, October 13th:  Spirit Week: Crazy Socks
Monday, October 13th:  MAISA Writing Visit
Monday, October 13th:  String Team 3:45pm
Tuesday, October 14th:  Admin Meeting 9am
Tuesday, October 14th:  Spirit Week:  Pajama Day
Tuesday, October 14th:  7pm PTO Meeting
Wednesday, October 15th:  Grades 3-5 Assembly
Wednesday, October 15th:  Spirit Week:  Hat Day
Wednesday, October 15th:  String Team 3:45pm
Thursday, October 16th:  Spirit Week:  Crazy Hair Day
Friday, October 17th:  Spirit Week:  Western Wear! Go Panthers versus Mounties!
Sunday, October 19th:  Red Egg Farm Fundraiser...proceeds benefit Warner Elementary

Articles Worth Reading:

A Letter to My Daughter's Kindergarten Teacher @pernilleripp

A Veteran Teacher Turned Coach Discovers a Sobering Lesson... @grantwiggins

The Wonderful Comfort of a Blanket Book @strohreads

Reflecting on the #Bammys

Be The Hope @coolcatteacher

How to Burn Yourself Out @TeachThought

After being told their son died, parents get the shock of a lifetime...

11 Ways To Let Go and Feel Stress Free @marcandangel

Consumers Energy App helps teach Warner Students...

Videos Worth Watching:

#Hashtag Humor on Jimmy Fallon (3 min)

Ellen from the backseat... (3 min)

What Play Can Teach Us... (11 min)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Reflecting on the #Bammys

The plan was to sneak out and sneak back in.  That was the plan...and I almost got away with it.

Before I get to that, I should start at the beginning.

Back in February 2014, I was invited to participate in the BrandED Podcast with +Joe Sanfelippo and +Tony Sinanis.  This was quite a thrill.  In the days leading up to the podcast I listened to all the previous shows and I tried my best to just relax and be myself.  The day finally arrived and Joe & Tony really made life easy.  I thought the podcast went really well...feel free to check it out:  Identifying the Best School Stories from Best School Storytellers

At the tail end of the podcast @TonySinanis had some very kind words for me and he also mentioned he would be nominating me for Elementary Principal of the Year.  I was honored, I'll admit, I was flattered.  At the time I didn't give it much thought, shoot how could I?  I was in the day-to-day grind mode and everything else was secondary.  A few months passed and I noticed the Bammy Nominations were up.  I made a point of nominating a few very deserving people, but I did not lobby for any nominations.  In fact I downplayed the entire process.  Some may ask why.  It goes back to the 2013 Bammy's.  I read a post by +Pernille Ripp titled: Dear Bammys, Where Did It Go Wrong? After I read this I reached out to some of my closest EDU friends.  I did not attend the 2013 Bammy's and I was sad to hear what had occurred.  After speaking to a few people I made up my mind.  I decided three things:

1)  I was going to give the Bammy's another chance.  I thought the intentions were good, and we all learn from mistakes.  I was confident the Bammy's would be a great event in the future.

2)  I was not going to promote myself, I was going to promote Warner Elementary!  I viewed the Bammy's as everything that is good in education.  Everyday I see great things at Warner.  My focus was on our school, not on me.

3)  If I had the chance to attend the Bammy's at any point, I had a tough decision to make.  Do I attend or not?  I was officially torn.

Towards the end of the school year I received notice that I was one of five finalists in the Elementary Principal category.  It's important to note that I didn't share this information with anyone.  I didn't tell a soul at school, I didn't even tell my wife.  I don't exactly know why.  I believe it was the fact that I didn't know if I would attend and the simple fact that I don't view myself as the best principal.  I see my flaws and I see what areas I need to improve.  I admittedly am my own toughest critic.  Maybe this is why I didn't share.

After a few weeks, I received an email from the Bammy's.  I inadvertently left the email open and my wife happened to see it.  It's safe to say she was more excited about the recognition than I was.  I couldn't help smiling when I saw her pride and enthusiasm.

In was now mid-summer, we had to finally decide whether or not to attend the 2014 Bammy's.  I didn't want to spend a lot, but fortunately my wife found amazingly affordable plane tickets.  Once this occurred I figured it was a sign.  How many times in your life is this opportunity going to be there?  I reserved two tickets to the Bammy's and Amy organized the rest of the trip.

The Friday before we left I had a few people ask me about my weekend plans.  I simply told them that Amy and I were going to get away for a quick trip.  I was intentionally vague.  The next morning we sat waiting out a delay at Detroit Metro.  As I killed time I received a handful of texts.  Most were from my teachers.  The cat was out of the bag.  My assumption was Amy shared the details with @PowerofPE and it turns out I was correct.  The well wishes were very kind.

Our plane touched down at Dulles International and the day was filled with family and fun.  Amy's aunt and uncle picked us up and took us through DC and to lunch.  The day was flying by.  After they left us for the day I decided to reach out to a few friends that I knew were in DC for the event.  Most of my friends were busy in one way or another, but my good friend +Todd Nesloney was available. Todd and I vox often along with +Brad Gustafson.  I was really looking forward to seeing Todd face to face.  We met in the lobby and chatted for about 45 minutes. I always enjoy spending time with positive people.  Todd is easily one of the most positive people you will ever meet!

The event finally arrived.  Amy and I walked across the street to wait for the limousine.  While waiting several people congregated around each other and began snapping photos and chit chatting. I took my fair share of pics, but I'll admit, I posted nothing.  Some may ask why?  I didn't want it to be, "Look at me!"  I wanted to celebrate all that was great in education.

We finally arrived and walked out onto the red carpet.  I got to meet +Rae Pica and +Holly Elissa Bruno.  This was very cool!  I enjoy their Bam Radio shows and now I got to meet them in person. After about thirty minutes of mingling we finally went in and found our seats.

The event was wonderful.  +Kristen Swanson & +Eric Sheninger were witty, funny and professional hosts.  The Junior Orchestra really impressed me and I felt truly uplifted.  This was exactly what I hoped it would be...Everything that is great in education!

My favorite part of the night had to be the 3i Talks.  Each one of these talks inspired, motivated and lifted me up.  The 2014 Bammy's got it right!  As I sat there I simply thought, if everyone got to see this, they would feel good about the place education is in.

As the event came to a close we all shuffled out into the main hall.  It was there that I got to have some of the best conversations.  I talked with +Victoria Day+Tom Murray+Salome Thomas-EL+Jeff Zoul+Joe Sanfelippo+Tony Sinanis, +Billy Krakower +Jason Markey+Erin Klein, +Laura Gilchrist+Amanda Dykes+Todd Nesloney and others.  To meet and talk with so many inspiring people really motivated me.  I constantly empower educators to "Be The Change!" Now it was on me...

Just before I was getting ready to leave I made a point to find Errol St. Clair Smith 
( @BamRadioNetwork ).  For those of you that don't know, Errol is really the brains behind the Bammy's.  He's the one that took an idea, a vision and created a reality.  I found Errol and told him that the 2014 Bammy's got it right.  I was so uplifted and inspired by the 3i Talks, the Junior Orchestra, the speeches and the atmosphere.  I told Errol that I wasn't sure what to expect and that I didn't share my nomination with anyone other than my wife.  I told him that I came because everyone deserves a second chance.  I ended the conversation by thanking Errol for celebrating the great things in education.  

I was wrong to not share this with my staff.  My intention was to not focus on myself, but in hindsight Warner is my family.  I should have allowed them to know that they were being represented at the Bammy's.  It wasn't about me, it was about the greatness that we all have achieved. Just like the Bammy's I continue to learn, grow and improve.  If you ever have the opportunity to attend I encourage you to go.  I bet you'll leave feeling good about what is happening in education.

The story ends with my attempt to sneak back into Warner Monday morning.  It was approximately 9:30am and I was hoping to pull in, get out and begin to assist teachers with our NWEA assessments. But that's not what happened.  As I turned the corner I saw the entire school lining the driveway. They were waiting for me.  I was shocked, surprised and blown away.  I got out of my car and walked towards the school.  The cheers, hugs, high fives and fist bumps will forever be a memory in my mind. The entire school was decorated with banners and music was playing.  I didn't return with a Bammy award, but that didn't matter.  I was proud to represent Warner Elementary, I was proud to represent The Western School District and I was proud to be an educator.  As I look back, the Bammy's were about much more than me.  It was about our staff, students, community and my supportive family.  All of these pieces help make me who I am.

Articles Worth Reading:

My Take On The 2014 #Bammy Awards @TechNinjaTodd

Celebration and Compassion in Education @amandacdykes

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Advocating for the Underdog

Who doesn't love the underdog?  The cinderella story? The improbable comeback? I have a soft spot for the underdog.  Growing up I loved the feel good stories, maybe that's why my favorite movie of all time is Hoosiers.  One of the best cinderella stories I can remember was in 2007.  The Fiesta Bowl featured The Mighty Sooners from Oklahoma versus the Blue-Turfed boys of Boise State.  For most of the game Boise State hung tough but it was obvious they were going to come up short.  And then this happened...

Boise State pulled off the improbable with the "hook & ladder" and the "Statue of Liberty".  This was easily an Instant Classic!  

Most people love the underdog...

This past week I had the opportunity to attend camp with our 5th graders at Mystic Lake.  I look forward to the three day trip.  To see our kids showing independence, courage and teamwork always gives me a feeling of pride.

This year was more of the same, but this year also had a couple of question marks surrounding our trip.  The question marks centered around our special needs students.  Ever since I volunteered at the Special Olympics as a teenager, my awareness, sensitivity and understanding have all been heightened.  In the lead up to this year's trip my concerns were two-fold:  One, how could we give ALL students the opportunity to enjoy camp?  Two, we needed to have multiple plans in place just in case things went awry.   

As educators we often use two phrases:

1)  What is best for kids?

2)  What is the least restrictive environment?

During the days and weeks leading up to camp I had several conversations with parents.  Discussions ranged from sleeping arrangements to bee stings.  One conversation that was of specific concern involved our special needs students.  The big question, could they handle it?

My stance going in was that we had to give them the opportunity.  Basically we had to give them our best effort.  We couldn't give up on a student before they even started.  During my educational career I have witnessed many adults lose perspective.  The focus shifts from "What is best for kids?" to "What is best for adults?"  During my sixteen years in education this has always been tough to see and hear. 

As we embarked on our annual trip to northern Michigan I felt cautiously optimistic.  I felt as though I had adults in the right spots, I frontloaded the Mystic Lake counselors, I met with a couple of our own counselors and I was honest and straightforward with parents.  The planning and preparation was done.  

The first day at camp is always an eye opener.  This year the kids started out with enthusiasm and excitement. It lasted until just after dinner.  Next came a bit of anxiety for some.  Several students got a bit homesick and our special needs kids needed a bit of down time. In the past some students have needed to call home, needed to be reassured by their parents and then they get right back at it.  This year was a little different.  A couple students needed some extended support...but that is what we do. We support our kids!

Day Two had a couple neat events.  Just after lunch I headed to the canoes & kayaks.  Once I arrived I saw Mrs. Chamberlain with one of our young ladies.  I talked with her for a minute and I figured the three of us would take a canoe and head out onto the lake.  Remarkably our young lady did not want to sit in the middle, she wanted to be in the front paddling.  So, we changed the plans and I ventured out with her.  I'll admit, in the back of my mind I had already told myself it was okay if we tipped.  I wasn't going to get upset, I was simply going to smile and chalk it up as a memory.  But we didn't tip! In fact we paddled around the entire lake!  We were out on the water for an hour and we talked, took in the sights and practiced paddling.  What a success!  After we finished canoeing the entire group headed to the open field for games.  Two young ladies began playing kick ball. This was pretty adorable to watch. 

Our Annual Trip to Mystic Lake felt like a success.  I always stress about the details, but as I reflect on the past few days I smile.  The smile comes from the opportunities we gave ALL students.  I'm not going to say it was easy, but that's why this is an underdog story.  The odds were not in favor of ALL students making it to Friday.  But just like a feel good story you'd see on television...we did it!  I'll admit, I learned a lot these past few days.  We will encounter challenging moments, but as adults we must find a way to help our students succeed.

As I wrap up this post, I challenge you to look inside yourself for two answers.  The first is, are you truly student-centered?  I'm sure you know someone in education that is not.  You know what that looks like.  The adult that is looking at the clock, checking the contract language and bringing down the climate of the building.  I hope you rise above and focus on kids first!  The second is, do you expect the best or fear the worst?  When we work with ALL kids we will encounter challenges.  Kids are human beings and often times can be unpredictable.  Yet the mindset of the adult is critical.  Each day I challenge myself to expect the best.  We have many champions in education, the people that love the underdog story and do whatever it takes for our kids to succeed!

This week's big question:  What do you stand for?  


Monday, October 6th:  1st String Team Class 3:45-4:30
Tuesday, October 7th:  PTO Meeting 7pm
Wednesday, October 8th:  K-2 Assembly at 8:45am
Friday, October 10th:  Staff Meeting 8am in the Library
Friday, October 10th:  AM Fire Drill

Articles Worth Reading:

Keep Driving @Fearless_Teach

Videos Worth Watching:

Food Fads with Ellen (3 min)

Family Feud...Good Answer...or not (1 min)

3 Questions that could change the World! (3 min)

Catchphrase with Jimmy Fallon! (3 min)

What are your true colors? (3 min) Inspiring!