Friday, May 30, 2014

I bet you aren't alone

What a week!  I can't begin to explain the roller coaster that was my week.  What I can tell you is, I bet I wasn't the only one that had a stressful week.  I imagine many of you had a week that made you scratch your head or leave feeling exhausted.

It is very easy to get stressed or overwhelmed this time of year.  I don't believe I've encountered one educator that isn't feeling the end of the year crunch.  This time of the year I try to do a few things to help myself remain sane.  I'll admit I'm not always successful at doing them...but I try.

First, I try to slow down and live in the moment.  For those of you that know me you know I'm analytic and reflective.  I often reflect on situations and conversations that occur during the day. This is my chance to keep it in the moment.

Second, I try not to work in absolutes.  By nature I'm not an extreme person, but this time of the year I hear things like, "I'm done!" or "If I never..." or "This year has been..."

These statements lead to extreme feelings.  This week I had a few parents contact me with both fantastic comments and not-so fantastic comments.  I love to celebrate the greatness, but I also realize I have to listen to the constructive.  The negative conversations typically lead to a discussion, and during these discussions I try to focus on a few shining moments.  By shifting the focus I have changed the tone.  As we look back on the year, many of us would have a mixture of highs and lows.  Let me whisper something to you...that's life...rarely is everything perfect, or on the flip side, terrible.

Third, I try to praise those around me.  This one is my favorite.  The more I praise the individuals around me the better I feel inside.  In fact, when I feel down and out the quickest way for me to get back on my feet is to do something for someone else.  If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed I encourage you to take the time to write a colleague or friend.  Let them know they matter to you.

Four, find a release.  This is another one that I struggle with, but it is crucial to my own mental health.  All people need an outlet, a getaway, a release.  For me, I run, I exercise, I golf, I spend time with my family, I read, I try to laugh and I focus on my faith.

Finally, (and this is my toughest) I ask for help.  This time of the year I fully realize I cannot be everywhere.  I often times don't have all the answers.  Thank goodness I don't have to.  I'm surrounded by fantastic people that will support and assist at a moments notice.  This time of the year it is imperative to not try and do it all.  (Special thanks to my #eduvoxer friends for talking me off the ledge this week.)


Everyone is different when it comes to dealing with stress and anxiety.  Here's a story to sum it up.  As many of you know I enjoy running and I occasionally dabble in local races.  Some time ago I was finishing up intervals (speed work) with my good friend Eric.  I was absolutely whipped.  (Oh you know the feeling...hands on knees and gasping for air.)  Eric slapped me on the back and said, "Nice job." I heaved out, "I feel awful."  He then responded, "Good!  Don't you know every one hurts in a race?"  I didn't respond, but I thought about this.  He was right. Anyone running for a strong time was clearly in a spot of bother.  I relate this to education in this way...right now everyone is stressed and feeling overwhelmed.  Adults are running low on patience, kids simply want to be out for the summer.  These are the days that we must slow things down, stay in the present and enjoy our final days.  I guarantee students will feed off of your attitudes, if you shut it down, they'll shut it down.  If you maintain high expectations they will continue to give good effort.  Attitude is everything!

Our time is dwindling with students, I hope you will choose to go out smiling and remembering the greatness that has occurred during the year.  I, for one, know the good times have far out weighed the stressful ones.

This week's big question:  How do you best deal with stress and anxiety?


NEXT WEEK AT A GLANCE:

Monday, June 2nd:  Kathy Sharp retirement breakfast
Monday, June 2nd:  Turn in names for Volunteer Lunch
Monday, June 2nd:  1pm 1:1 Tech Meeting at Admin
Tuesday, June 3rd:  3rd Grade to Mackinac
Wednesday, June 4th:  3rd Grade returns from Mackinac
Thursday, June 5th:  2nd Grade to Impression 5
Friday, June 6th:  Grades 3-5 morning assembly 8:45am

Panthers Podcast:

Episode 4 - Nicole Kelly

Panthers Podcast Blog


Articles Worth Reading:

Should Educators Talk About Summer? +Justin Tarte @justintarte

What drives You? +Eric Sheninger @NMHS_Principal

The value of everyone else +George Couros @gcouros

This is what learning looks like +Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp

9 Videos for Teachers to laugh, cry and feel inspired +Erin Klein @KleinErin

Much More Than A Field Trip +Daisy Dyer Duerr @daisydyerduerr

What do you LOVE about teaching? @PrincipalHowell

The goal should be: Not To Finish @ugafrank

30 Lessons to Excel in Life in your 30s and Beyond +Marc Chernoff @marcandangel


Videos Worth Watching:

Nerdcamp is coming July 7 and 8 to Western high School...have you signed up? (4 min)




Brian Regan talks flying... (7 min)




A speech that will surely make you think... stay hungry, stay foolish (14 min)





Friday, May 23, 2014

Teaching versus Learning

Let's take a walk down memory lane...

During my fourth year teaching I remember sitting in a MEAP debriefing meeting with my fellow fifth grade teachers.  I sat at the table and we went through the entire item analysis.  It was a tedious process that was designed to have us adjust what we were doing in the classroom.  What I reflectively remember is the conversations.  I remember our principal sharing what areas we did not do well.  I remember saying, "I taught that!"  I remember listening to my colleagues and the conversation was very deflective.  We blamed parents for the lack of support and we even pointed the finger at the kids.  Our meeting was all about what teachers taught...not about what students learned!

Truthfully, we could not have been more wrong.  The number one factor in student learning is Tier 1, general education instruction!  Teachers are the number one influence to learning.  The next step is ownership.  Let's think about two mentalities...

First, the old school approach:  I must cover everything! The key word here is cover.  Teachers often feel pressured to cover all materials.  This approach simply does not work.  I refer to this as, Mile Wide and an Inch Deep.  At one time I attempted to cover everything.  I'll admit, I felt good when I was on page 231 and my fellow colleagues were on page 197.  I felt as though I was doing great.  Boy was I an idiot!  It isn't about teaching material, it is all about STUDENT LEARNING.

Second mentality, every student does not learn it the first time.  This mentality is thought of as, Check Your EGO at the Door!  It's critical to have a support system for students.  The number one support system is the teacher.  True story, during a particular tough school year I had one student named Travis.  Travis lived on a farm, he was athletic and he was an all-around nice kid.  Travis struggled with reading and writing.  When it came to helping Travis I tried a plethora of strategies.  I pulled in his mom to heighten her awareness.  I worked with Travis after school.  I supported Travis in a one-on-one setting.  I went to his baseball games and tried to let him know he was a priority.  Nothing was working.  Travis continued to struggle with reading and writing.  I finally opened myself up.  I went to two teachers I deeply respected and I asked them for help.  It was now not about me, it was about Travis.  I needed new ideas, fresh perspectives and support from my fellow teachers.  The good news, Travis made gains, he was below grade level, but he showed growth, he was making progress.  I miss Travis, but I know that we all have a Travis in our classrooms.  We all have students that we don't always reach.  Are you willing to seek assistance and admit you haven't reached every student?  Will you check your ego at the door?

How do we begin to improve?  Let's listen to Becky DuFour point out the four points of a PLC. I hope you'll choose to listen to the two-minute video.


This week's big idea is focusing on student learning.  We are all at the time of the year where we assess student learning.  Let me say that again...assess student learning.  We aren't assessing what was taught.  I had a nice conversation with a couple teachers this week, they both shared the fact that they felt their students were ending the year with gaps.  Let me share a secret...gaps will always be there.  No person is perfect.  Students will not be 100% on every standard.  So now how do we move forward?

First, I hope you watched Becky DeFour, if you didn't please check it out.  Becky DuFour talks about being clear on what we want students to know (Essential Standards).  I believe we must be focused on our teaching.  This will create focused learners.  When I was in the classroom I simplified my teaching.  I taught multiplication one way.  If I had a student not understand I pulled the student aside and tried a different approach.  What I learned is that teaching multiple strategies often confused students.  We need to simplify the process.

Second, are you a lone ranger or a team player?  We call ourselves a PLC, but yet we rarely discuss data and we rarely call ourselves out on the carpet and try to get better.  A true TEAM encourages and empowers teammates to improve.  What I appreciate about my #PLN is the simple fact that they are honest with me.  They push me to improve.  Do you push your colleagues to improve?  

Third, let's state the obvious:  EVERY STUDENT CAN SUCCEED!  Over the last few years I have listened and watched students not receive support.  We have justified it by saying, "They're a resource room student."  OR "I don't want this student to receive support because they are taking away from others."  Our mission is to educate kids.  
- 80% or more of your students must learn through Tier 1 General Ed. Instruction!  
- Our intervention groups must only be focused on ESSENTIAL STANDARDS, with no more than five students per class.  If it is more than five something was wrong with Tier 1 instruction.
- Review the data and be a reflective PLC team player.



This Week's Big Question:  Do you believe we are a Professional Learning Community?


NEXT WEEK AT A GLANCE:

Monday, May 26th:  No School, Memorial Day
Tuesday, May 27th:  Grades 2/3 Envision Math at Admin
Wednesday, May 28th:  Grades K-2 Assembly 8:45 (Jackson District Library)
Wednesday, May 28th:  Jackson District Library visits individual classrooms (gr. 3-5)
Wednesday, May 28th:  Anne and Jeff from the Middle School visit 5th grade in the PM
Thursday, May 29th:  Field Day grades 1-5 at SAU
Thursday, May 29th:  Grades K-1 Envision Math Training at Admin
Friday, May 30th:  CP Federal Credit Union Assembly 2:50pm

Panthers Podcast:

Panthers Podcast 3 - Nancy Pack

Panthers Podcast on iTunes

Articles Worth Reading:

Personalized Podcast with Voxer +Joe Mazza @Joe_Mazza

But that won't help test scores... +Justin Tarte @justintarte

5 Reasons To Embrace Change +Justin Tarte @justintarte

One Last Day... +Tom Murray @thomascmurray

What is Your Vision? +Tony Sinanis @TonySinanis

If you work in a school... +Brad Gustafson @GustafsonBrad

Why My Students are Connected +Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp

Changing Landscape of Professional Learning +Brad Wilson @dreambition

Agree to Disagree +Spike Cook @DrSpikeCook

I was just a girl in a dial up world +Krissy Venosdale @venspired

9 Things Happy Couples NEVER Think +Marc Chernoff @marcandangel


Videos Worth Watching:

Sure to make you laugh!  (4 min)



Are we truly a PLC? (4 min)



Transforming School Culture... (2 min)



Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe... (12 min)



Hilarious! (3 min)







Saturday, May 17, 2014

Something to work on...

Over the past several weeks I've read several articles that have focused on how to end the school year on a positive note.  These posts have made me think, reflect and share with others different ways to flourish rather than survive.  As I say that I also think about how we end the year on a positive with staff, and not just students.

For many, the final stretch of the year means observations and evaluations.  This is familiar territory for me as well.  This year I had noble intentions of finalizing evaluations earlier...but it hasn't happened as I hoped.


I also have my own evaluation coming up in the next few weeks and I've been reflecting on what has gone well and what I need to improve on.  I'm definitely my own toughest critic (I think).  Let me begin by saying that my own philosophy is that everyone has room to grow.  I know my mindset is to continually improve.  With that being said, I'm personally looking at a couple areas that I've got to get better at.

First, I need to learn to say no.  This week I had two really great conversations about this topic. The first was with my wife.  I appreciate the way she tells me the truth, but she always follows it up with a positive. Our conversation centered around me always trying to be there for everyone. She was spot on...and I needed to hear it.  The second conversation was with my friend Brad Wilson ( @dreambition ).  Brad and I chatted on a Google Hangout this week and we were discussing conferences and events.  I then shared my struggle with saying no.  I told Brad that it is not uncommon for me to have several people ask me to help in one way or another.  Rarely is it the same individual asking all the time.  My biggest challenge in this respect is that I don't want to let someone down or let an opportunity slip away.  My fear is that by saying no I will shut a door or let someone down.  I realize this probably isn't the case, but it is still a fear of mine.

Second, I need to improve on analyzing data.  It is critical to balance relationships, content, differentiation, joy and data analysis.  These five areas need to be present in the learning process. I feel pretty good at relationships and joy.  I'm improving on content and differentiation.  Yet the area that I need to spend more time in is data analysis.  This will allow our building to pinpoint our areas of need and our areas of strength.

Third, I'm always looking to improve on overall consistency.  I feel we need a more consistent building-wide behavior plan.  I also believe I can always improve on parent and community relations, and the final area of consistency is with professional development choice.  I need to become more consistent in these three areas.

I say all this because I feel everyone has room for growth.  When I have a conversation with a student, friend, parent or staff member and I simply ask, "What areas are you hoping to improve?" The answer usually tells me all I need to know.  Does the individual have a growth mindset?

The school year is winding down, and I enjoy sitting at lunch with students or stopping in the hallway and just asking them what they think went really well this year and what they hope to improve on next year.  Kids are usually pretty honest, and just last week I had a 5th grade girl share a story with me - 

The young lady got hit by a ball at recess and she was not feeling the best.  I asked her if she wanted to eat lunch in my office.  She quickly responded with a, "Sure.  Thanks Mr. Gilpin."  As we sat there and she ate her chicken nuggets and I enjoyed my pretzels I asked her about her year. The conversation was positive.  She told me how she wished she had science and reading all day long!  She shared her favorite stories and experiments.  I loved how she talked about getting her hands dirty and learning by trial and error. She had that glimmer in her eye as she shared her experiences.  Then I shifted the conversation to what she is nervous about in middle school.  It came down to two things:  First, she was most worried about the amount of homework.  She admitted that she needs to be better organized and to not put things off.  The second area to improve on was very cute...she mentioned her fear of the locks on lockers.  I chuckled, walked over to my desk and pulled out a lock.  We sat in the office for ten minutes practicing.  It's these moments that I won't ever forget! As I sent her back to class she began to walk out and then she turned around and said, "Mr. Gilpin, thanks."

As I think about the year coming to an end, I think about the willingness to honestly reflect.  It all comes down to each individuals mindset.  When you sit down for your evaluation, will you go in open-minded and looking to get better?

This week's big questions:  What has been a real strength this year?  What do you feel you can improve on?


NEXT WEEK AT A GLANCE:

Monday, May 19th:  1:1 Tech Meeting at 1pm
Monday, May 19th:  PM Firedrill
Monday, May 19th:  Lego Club 4pm
Tuesday, May 20th:  Kids Hope Teacher Luncheon
Tuesday, May 20th:  Lego Club 4pm
Wednesday, May 21st:  Grades 3-5 Assembly 8:45am
Wednesday, May 21st:  MAISA PD Discussion 4:30pm
Thursday, May 22nd:  RTI Conference at JCISD
Thursday, May 22nd:  Envision Math Training grades 4 and 5 (8:30-3pm)
Thursday, May 22nd:  Last Day of Lego Club 4pm
Friday, May 23rd:  RTI Conference at JCISD
Friday, May 23rd: 8am Staff Meeting in Mrs. Archer's room
Friday, May 23rd:  Mrs. Holton's 3rd grade to visit Pen Pals
Saturday, May 24th:  Happy BDay Pat Rouse

Check out the Panthers Podcast:

Panthers Podcast 1 - Ryan Tripp

Panthers Podcast 2 - Steve Kim

Articles Worth Reading:

One Last Day +Tom Murray @thomascmurray

Confessions of a Grade Inflator shared by +Nick Gilpin

Not How...But Will You Be Remembered? +Amber Teamann @8Amber8

Refuse to be a Boring Teacher +TeachThought @TeachThought

The Grading System We Need To Have shared by @Suz_Gibbs

Positively Push For Good Behavior +Charity Preston @theOCBlog

What's Your Class Story +A.J. Juliani @ajjuliani

9 Defining Ways Educators Can Tug Education Back in the Right Direction +Vicki Davis @coolcatteacher

5 Ways To Influence Change +George Couros @gcouros

You Matter Day 2014 +Todd Nesloney @TechNinjaTodd

20 Great Free Apps for Elementary +Matt Gomez @mattBgomez

12 Rituals Happy, Successful People Practice Every day +Marc Chernoff @marcandangel


Videos Worth Watching:

Awesome Skype Session in @Suz_Gibbs classroom  (1 min)




Nerdcamp JR! (2 min) @dreambition




Note to self: Never invite Ellie to Warner! (4 min)



Bad Prom Photos! (4 min)



Tom Thum Beatbox amazement! (10 min) WOW!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Shifting the Culture (part 2 of 2)

You never know when you may be truly inspired.


I'll admit I can be a little different in my internal inspiration.  I typically take a bunch of pieces from several areas (people/books/articles/videos) that I believe are great and I blend them together.  

When it comes to culture I have a clear vision of what I desire.  I believe this has come from experiencing poor culture.  

Twenty plus years ago I remember playing Little League Baseball.  I loved playing ball as a kid until a series of incidents occurred.  We were playing our arch rivals from Concord on a sun drenched evening after school.  I started the game on the mound.  The coach often put me in for a few innings because I threw strikes (not heat).  On this day I was my normal self, but the umpire had a pretty small strike zone.  The first three innings I listened to several adults yell and berate the umpire.  After three innings I was moved to shortstop.  The score was 1-1.  The game stayed close and then in the 6th inning one of our players was on third base.  A wild pitch later and it was a play at the plate.  The call didn't go our way and the parents began to really give it to the umpire.   The next thing I know the coaches are toe to toe and they've got fingers in each others faces.  In a word...ugly!

It was at this very moment that I said in my own head...I'll never be that parent.  It's just a game.

As I reflect back, the parents and coaches created a tension filled atmosphere that eventually pushed me and others away from baseball.  The joy had been sucked out of the game.

So how does a little league story relate to organizational culture?  I think we can all agree that when we walk into a room or building we "feel" something.  What we feel is the atmosphere.  It doesn't matter if you walk into a classroom, office, school or ballpark...the atmosphere says a lot about how you feel in and about a place.  We as adults need to create an atmosphere that allows students to take risks, explore and know that adults truly care.  

Last week I talked about Culture Reigns Supreme. This week is going to focus on creating that culture and steps you can take to shift the story.

My belief is that you need to do a few things really well...not a bunch of things average.  With that being said, I'm going to share my three big points to shifting the culture.

Number 1:  Relationships Must Come First!  
 - First and foremost trust needs to be established.  As you begin to build trust throughout the organization it is important to do the little things.  Learn names, learn spouse names, learn kids names and listen to the stories.  This step will begin the process.  Next is to appreciate a job well done. Whether it is giving a hand written note or having an uplifting conversation, it is important to notice the greatness that occurs in the organization.  These minor steps will show individuals that they are valued and appreciated.

Number 2:  Shared Vision that Everyone Believes in.
A unified vision that is represented in a logo or visual really unifies an organization.  I also believe in transparency and honesty.  For over two years I have blogged, with my primary goal being to share with the Warner staff.  I try to share current trends, personal thoughts and areas that make me a life long learner.  Often times my posts will reflect on things I've felt and experienced during my life time.  The two main areas that convey vision would be blog posts and our Warner logo:

When all parties embrace the vision, the culture begins to shift.  It no longer is about one individual. It is now about the organization.  For us, it's simple: We are student-centered!  Shortly after the visual came out I began hearing a lot of positives and the overall atmosphere was shifting.

Number 3:  Attitude is Everything.
I'm a true believer that we cannot control what happens to us, but we can control our reaction and attitude.  Each day I pride myself in greeting students at the front door and participating at recess.  While I do these small things I try to always be positive and student-centered.  To help kids start their school day on a great note and to look forward to playing with them at recess is just a small way I can bring joy to their school day.  Each day we will be confronted with moments that we can't predict.  I try very hard to not let these moments ruin my day.  My mindset is to, Be the Change You Wish to See in the World!


As I wrap up part two of Shifting the Culture I encourage you to find people that lift you up. There was once a time that I chose to associate with people that I allowed to drag me down, no longer is that the case.  My advice, cherish the people that make you laugh, lift you up and challenge your thinking.  We are all on a journey, our attitude about the path we choose can make all the difference.

This Week's Big Questions:  When you walk into your organization, what does the atmosphere feel like?  How does that make you feel?


NEXT WEEK AT A GLANCE:

Monday, May 12th:  1:1 Tech Meeting at 1pm
Monday, May 12th:  Minecraft/Lego Club 4pm
Tuesday, May 13th:  9am Admin Meeting
Tuesday, May 13th:  9am Bickle Jazz Assembly
Tuesday, May 13th:  Panther Pride Lunch
Tuesday, May 13th:  Minecraft/Lego Club 4pm
Tuesday, May 13th:  Final PTO meeting 7pm 
Wednesday, May 14th:  K-2 Assembly 8:45am
Wednesday, May 14th:  Happy BDay to Breanna Davey
Wednesday, May 14th:  Minecraft Club 3pm
Thursday, May 15th:  Lego Club 4pm
Friday, May 16th:  Miss Howey Middle School Trip 
Friday, May 16th:  Martial Arts Assembly 2:40pm
Friday, May 16th:  Warner Lock-In 5pm - 9pm


Articles Worth Reading:





Life is not a race shared by +Jimmy Casas @casas_jimmy









Videos Worth Watching:

Earth Day and Funny Signs... (4 min) +TheEllenShow 



Fatherhood Project...(7 min)




WOW! Must watch this (3 min)






Sunday, May 4, 2014

Culture Reigns Supreme (part 1 of 2)


I recently read a post titled, Does Culture Eat Strategy For Lunch?  I found this both enlightening and reflective.  Let me begin by saying, the culture I envision and believe is best is one that is caring, kind and continuously learning.  This culture will devour strategy!

I speak from experience.  I have been a part of both healthy and poor cultures.  Experience has taught me that, you learn a lot from a poor culture.  You see a side of a people that defines the inner character.

Years ago playing on the Tri-State University golf team I experienced a very unhealthy, bordering on poisonous culture.  We had a large squad and our coach had his top 5-7 players and then he had another 6-8 that were fighting for their chance.  The culture of our team bordered on poisonous because several players were very selfish.  It was all about me, in their eyes.  I witnessed it first hand at one of our Spring Invitationals.

Approximately ten days prior to the tournament our coach held a practice and playoff for the final positions.  Tri-State was going to have two teams in the Invitational, a blue team and a white team.  We were all smart enough to realize the blue team was the "A" team and the white was the "B" team.  For the next nine days the "B" team rallied together, ate dinner together, practiced more than ever and then on tournament day they beat the "A" team by a few strokes.  As I witnessed this I immediately grew angry.  These guys for the last nine days took on an attitude of teamwork, togetherness and improvement. They accomplished their goal, they beat us.  But I was angry, why were they not working hard for the BIG TEAM?  We were all Tri-State golfers, why couldn't they take this attitude and approach all year long?  I was ticked!  I felt as though they were only motivated to prove a point to our coach. Unfortunately I was right.  After that tremendous display some of those players got more chances, but none of them ever put in the time or effort that they did during that nine day stretch.  The culture on our team was interesting.  Several players belonged to a Fraternity and they were very close, others who did not, felt like outsiders.  To be candid, I always thought the core of the team got along great, but the team as a whole never truly meshed.  Some players were only out for themselves and others were focused on the team.  Looking back, we weren't healthy, and maybe that is why we rarely lived up to our expectations.

Because I've experienced both good and bad culture I feel very confident in saying that the culture at Warner Elementary is definitely on the rise!  This is a direct reflection on the staff.  We have all taken on a mentality that is student-centered.  I'm proud of the culture at Warner, I think I'm most proud because it hasn't always been healthy.  I remember contract negotiations, change and turmoil during my time.  I think that is why I appreciate the healthy culture now, more than ever before.  Each day I walk up and down hallways, into classrooms and meet with teachers.  Positive attitudes are contagious and what amazes me to no end is that we all pick each up.  I had a meeting and couldn't be at Minecraft Club...two teachers stepped right in...no questions asked.  Our very own secretary Mrs. Powers was out sick...Mrs. Rouse stepped up and did a fantastic job in her stead.  A couple teachers experienced personal tragedy and the entire staff rallied around them.  This is a team mentality culture!

As I share the good and bad I now feel it vital to share why Culture Reigns Supreme.  Here are five reasons why it is critical to have a strong culture:

1)  People are loyal to culture...not to strategies and standards.  I can't put it any simpler, being student-centered and focusing on relationships is much more important than the overall standardized test results.

2)  A culture of continuous improvement is infectious throughout the community.  The ultimate goal is to spread the culture to students and community.  By modeling a life-long learning mentality we begin to shift mindsets.

3)  Strategies and standards come and go, but culture defines an organization.  My good friend told me last week, people always remember how you treated them, but they don't always remember the outcome.

4)  Culture motivates and encourages everyone to be at their best.  Scare tactics and discipline lead to an undercurrent and divisive feelings about the organization.  I much prefer positive peer pressure over the iron fist!

5)  Culture shapes the future.  Show me a student that looks back at their schooling and talks about standards learned.  Tough to find, isn't it?  The culture of an organization lifts everyone up.  Simply put, a Rising Tide Lifts All Ships.


I'm blessed to have a wonderful staff and strong culture, but like I mentioned early it hasn't always been that way.  This week is our Staff Appreciation week, I know who is in the trenches each day working with students and making lasting impacts.  I'm confident we all have memories of teachers that impacted our lives.  It's important to remember that healthy cultures depend on dedicated professionals, I'm lucky enough to work with so many!

Next week will be part two of Culture Reigns Supreme.  Part two will discuss suggestions to strengthen your organizations culture.  This week think about your organization, is the culture healthy?  If it is, be grateful for the people that help make it that way.  If the culture is not, it will be important to analyze why.  Are you willing to be part of the solution?

This Week's Big Question:  Do you believe culture is more important than standards and strategies?


NEXT WEEK AT A GLANCE:

Happy Staff Appreciation Week!

Monday, May 5th:  Cinco de Mayo
Monday, May 5th:  Incoming IEP's 12 noon
Monday, May 5th:  1pm 1:1 Leadership Tech Meeting
Monday, May 5th:  4pm Lego/Minecraft Club
Tuesday, May 6th:  8am TAT
Tuesday, May 6th:  AM Firedrill
Tuesday, May 6th:  4pm Lego/Minecraft Club
Tuesday, May 6th:  Incoming IEP's
Tuesday, May 6th:  Afterschool Art Club
Wednesday, May 7th:  Grades 3-5 assembly with SAU track team
Wednesday, May 7th:  3pm Minecraft Club
Thursday, May 8th:  5th grade Band Fitting in the AM
Thursday, May 8th:  SIP Meeting 4pm
Thursday, May 8th:  Kids Hope Graduation at SAFM
Friday, May 9th:  5th grade Chicago Trip


Articles Worth Reading:

21 Quote Salute to Teachers +Daisy Dyer Duerr @daisydyerduerr

It's that time of the year again... +Justin Tarte @justintarte

They are someone's child +Pernille Ripp @pernilleripp

Imagine IEP's and IEG's everywhere +Tom Whitby @tomwhitby

#428 @jonharper70bd

What are you selling? @PrincipalHowell

18 Reasons to Give Up Trying to Live Up to Everyone's Expectations +Marc Chernoff @marcandangel

Things You Take For Granted @ShutUpRun


Videos Worth Watching:


Teacher Appreciation Play List  -