Sunday, May 10, 2015

Call for Consistency

"You cannot control what happens to you,
but you can control your attitude toward what happens to you,
and in that,
you will be mastering change
rather that allowing it to master you."
- Brian Tracy

Recently I met with a student and we discussed why he has been a frequent visitor to the office.  The response got me thinking...

He said, "Mr. Gilpin, I've been doing the same thing all year, but now I get in trouble for it."

Hmmmm.  He wasn't completely owning his actions, but he had me thinking.  Had he changed or had the expectations changed?  

What I have discovered is over the course of days, months and years it is quite normal for people to expect more.  Basically our expectations increase over time.  But do we communicate this to our students/staff?

Years ago as an elementary education major I had a professor that stressed to us the importance of beginning the year very strict.  This professor told us it was always easier to lighten up later, rather than try and get back a class you've lost.

These words have stuck with me, but I also knew my own personal style and I had to be true to myself.  What I've always tried to pride myself in is consistency.  It has always been about these main factors - 

  • Attitude - We can't choose what happens to us, but we can choose how we react.
  • Disposition - Body Language and the way you carry yourself matter.  Remember the famous saying, "Never let 'em see you sweat!"
  • Communication - If a student is beginning to go sideways, stay away from the phone call or parent meeting where you have a laundry list of things the child did wrong.  Be specific and reach out to parents just as though it was November.
  • Routine - Back in the days of my own classroom I always had a visual schedule on the board. To our kids the end of the year brings uncertainty and excitement.  If we can provide stability and structure we are putting our students in a spot to succeed.
  • Follow Through - I come from a place where your word is your most important possession.  As an educator if I said I was going to do it, I did it.
  • Relationships - I found that I had more classroom meetings in May than I did in November. We often would discuss friendships, effort, attitude and finishing strong.  
We are now in the closing stretch of our school year.  I urge you to finish stronger than you started. Now is the time to rise above, show patience, be compassionate and end the year with a positive impression to all of your students and families.


Monday, May 11th:  Today marks the beginning of Transportation Week 
Monday, May 11th:  3rd Grade Begins M-Step
Monday, May 11th:  4pm Boy/Girl Quest
Tuesday, May 12th:  9am Admin Meeting
Tuesday, May 12th:  Panther Pride Luncheon
Tuesday, May 12th:  Incoming KDG Observations in the PM
Wednesday, May 13th:  K-2 Assembly at 8:45am
Thursday, May 14th:  Breanna Davey BDay
Thursday, May 14th:  4pm After School Art Club
Thursday, May 14th:  4pm Boy/Girl Quest
Friday, May 15th:  AM incoming KDG IEP's
Saturday, May 16th:  10am Boy/Girl Quest Spirit Run 5K at Parkside

*  Once again our Intervention Specialists will be assisting 3rd grade with the M-Step.  Please plan accordingly.

Articles Worth Reading:

Preparing for the Season @Fearless_Teach

Modern Learning Questions @PrincipalHowell

Videos Worth Watching:

Dedication Game (15 min)

Ellen's Prom Friends Go To Prom (2 min)

Jimmy Fallon Thank You Notes (4 min)

Social Media Experiment... (3 min)

The education revolution and our global future (13 min)


  1. Good reminders for all of us. Thanks for pointing this out and reminding us of these main factors. Have a great last couple of weeks!

  2. Craig,

    Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. I truly believe the number one characteristic that people "lose" at the end of the year is patience. I wish I could give all people, (parents, staff, name it) a shot of patience. Do you think they have that at a doctors office?

    Thanks for the warm wishes,