Saving Space for Grace, Mercy, & Understanding

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My kids are dessert hounds. They love something sweet after dinner and will protest when we say no. When my daughter Ally was a little younger, she would say that she was full (with half the dinner still on her plate). When we asked if she was sure she was full, she would almost always say, “Yes, but I’m saving a little bit of space for some dessert”.

That always made me chuckle. She was always thinking ahead of time that she would need to eat dinner, but that she needed to leave extra room for dessert.

I was reminded of Ally’s quest for dessert today during one of our prayers at church. During a prayer, our pastor asked that we always try to save more than enough space in our hearts to have an abundance of “grace, mercy, and understanding” for ourselves and for others.

As educators who work with children, we know the importance of over planning and the importance of planning ways to engage our students in learning. We also know know that we can expect to spend part of everyday dealing with events that we never planned for in the first place.

So as we get ready to welcome over 500 students through our doors for the first day of school, I ask that we are over-planned for the magical first day. The day will set the tone for the rest of the school year. But in our planning for tomorrow, and each day, let’s remember to save a little space in our hearts and minds to also include grace, mercy, and understanding for ourselves and for our students.

Have a wonderful first day of school!

Herb

Worth Checking Out —

My 30-Second Classroom Norms Speech: http://robertkaplinsky.com/30-second-classroom-norms-speech/

There Is No Apolitical Classroom: Resources for Teaching in These Times http://wp.me/p53b7p-1Rn via @ncte

When Schools Forgo Grades: An Experiment In Internal Motivation https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/08/13/when-schools-forgo-grades-an-experiment-in-internal-motivation/

“14 Books to Inspire Kids to Follow Their Dreams”

Upcoming Dates —

August

23 – Mumkin Sale Kickoff

28 – First School Community Meeting, 10:45am, Gym

29 – Herb at CO until 1pm

 

September

1 – Board of Education Bldg Tour, 8am

4 – Labor Day, No School

5 – Mumkin Orders due

6 – Curriculum Night, 5:30-6:30pm

7 – Herb at Admin mtg, AM

11 – PTO Meeting, 6-7pm (Exec mtg); 7pm (General mtg)

12 – School Improvement Team meeting, 8:15am

13 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8:15am

15 – Building Advisory Committee meeting, 8:30am

16 – AD/DC Warrior Dash, 1-6pm

21 – Student Picture Day

25 – Pastries with Parents, 8am

27 – Herb at mtg off campus, AM; ADE Staff Meeting, 3:45pm; Mumkin Delivery, 1pm

29 – ADDC Culture Celebration, 1-3pm

“I’m about to go below the line…”

“I need to go below the line for a minute.”

“I know this is below the line, but…”

Last week, there were several times during a conversation when the person I was talking to knew they were going below the line, acknowledged it openly, and then went below the line.

Is this how it’s supposed to work?

Nope.

I’ve been right there with you, too.  I’ve learned that my most likely below-the-line-moments happen when I am needed to respond to something completely unexpected.

Huh.  I’m prretty sure that kind of thing happens every single day (sometimes every single minute), so I am also pretty sure I need to anticipate more and react less.

The last weeks will test our ability to adapt and adjust to situations.  We won’t get what we want.  We will have to switch our plans at the last minute.  We will need to step up and help out when it’s the last thing we have time to do.

What’s important is that we continue to recognize when we are about to react on autopilot to a unexpected situation.

The next step, the response, is important.

Before you take it, work to gain clarity.  See the situation for what it is and then see the next ten steps.

Think about how your next response will create events for others.

Have a GREAT week!

Herb

 

Worth Checking Out

Without a sail http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/05/without-a-sail.html

Owning Your Own Future https://nyti.ms/2pv36wK

Big Meta-Analysis Says Four Teaching Strategies Are Most Effective For Low-Income Students http://larryferlazzo.edublogs.org/2017/05/13/big-meta-analysis-says-four-teaching-strategies-are-most-effective-for-low-income-students/

 

Upcoming Dates

15 – Field Day, 8:30 – 11:30 am and 12:30 – 3:30 pm

16 – Focus fieldtrip to Falling Waters, 5:30 am – 9:15 pm; SLSP field trip to Tim Horton’s and Petsmart, 9:15 – 11:00; Fire Drill, 10:00 a.m.

17 – Staff Birthday Lunch

18 – Principal’s Meeting (Herb AM); Staff Book Talk, 8:00 am; See Kids Dream 5th grade field trip to Riffe Center

19 – Last day at preschool; 4th grade field trip to Zoo; SLSP fieldtrip to Get Air, 9:15 – 11:00

22 – BAC Meeting, 8:00 am; PTO Spirit Night at Dave & Buster’s, 4:30 – 7:30 pm

23 – 3rd grade field trip to Art Museum; PTO Family Luau, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

24 – 1st grade field trip to Art Museum

25 – Mental Health & Wellness meeting, 8:00

26 – Last Day of School

4 Takeaways from “Hilliard U”

Spoiler Alert: Kids today are different than we were.

Bonus Spoiler: We were different than our parents, too.
Three years ago, Alton Darby and Darby Creek started on a journey to see if the elementary learning experience could be different.  Many times we concluded “yes”, but there was and still is this struggle among us to accept that 1) Kids are different than we were and therefore learn differently than we did; and 2) The world is rapidly changing and therefore we need to retool and revise the learning experiences we create for kids.
We found ourselves wanting to change, but we battle ourselves over our own fears and against “but that’s the way we’ve always done it”.
We know that our fears and how we feel about the challenges that are before us won’t change kids and the way they learn and won’t cause the world to stop from rapidly changing.
We are left with one choice, which is to embrace the challenges before us and remember that what is consistent about our profession is our deep-seeded calling to help and serve children.
Last Tuesday at “Hilliard U”, many educators in our district shared the ways they are retooling and revising the learning experiences they create for kids.  Teachers shared stories about overcoming their own fears of new ideas and approaches and the positive results they experiences with their students.  Below are four of my takeaways from Hilliard U that stuck with me and continue to make me reflect on my role as an educator.

1. Our kids’ brains are wired differently.

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We could debate whether this is good or not, but the fact remains that our kids’ brains, how they experience the world, and the stimulus they receive from the world have created different neural pathways.  If we want to increase engagement and decrease negative behaviors, we need to consider how much instant feedback and social engagement plays a role with our students’.

2. Learning to read has changed.

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One of the sessions I attended focused on the different approaches to reading we all need to consider when reading digital content.  Scrolling, ads, linear format without pages are aspects of digital reading that we may be overlooking as teachers.  In the picture above, we rated our preference of reading format with traditional on the left and digital on the right.  It would be interesting and worthwhile to see how our students rated the two formats.  As you can see, most of the adults liked a balance of paper and digital.  I would argue that preference is one thing, but reality is another.  Stop and think about how much digital reading we do in one day.  Think about how differently we have to approach digital texts in order to understand them.  That experience should inform us of our instructional approaches in reading and the behaviors we need to teach, model and demonstrate for our growing readers.

3.  “My biggest roadblock was my own mindset…”

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It’s amazing the people who are creating amazing learning experiences for kids who will also say “I don’t consider myself tech-savvy”.  This is what the presenting teachers of the keynote on blended learning said of themselves as they amazed the audience with how they provided excellent instructional experiences for the students they work with each day.  We need to give ourselves more credit for what we are capable of doing.

 

4. “We are our own best resource.”

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I ended the day listening to a panel of teachers from two of our elementary schools who have piloted the One2One experience this year with students.  Their honesty about failing and persevering was comforting and inspiring.  What they revealed is that we need to give our students and ourselves more credit for what we are all capable of doing.  And when we get stuck, we have each other as resource to utilize.
As we move forward into next school year, and take on the changes we have in store for our students, I challenge us all to remember that we’ve got this.  We are on the cusp of something great and it was the talents, skills, and mindset of everyone in this school community that got us to where we are right now.
Finally, I’ll leave you with an ADE student’s letter to Ms. Bednar after attending a showcase of learning projects.  I hope it captures for you what our kids are wanting from learning:
3rdGradeLetter
The kids are ready to go! Let’s do this!
Have a GREAT week!
– Herb

Worth Reading

A Principal’s Reflections: Our Work is Our Message http://esheninger.blogspot.com/2017/05/our-work-is-our-message.html?spref=tw
Projects, Passion, Peers and Play: Seymour Papert’s Vision For Learning https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/05/01/projects-passion-peers-and-play-seymour-paperts-vision-for-learning/

Upcoming Dates

8 – Kona Ice Truck here; PTO Meeting, 7:00; Spirit Week

9 – BIT meeting, 8:00; Retirement Party, 3:45

10 – 8am Staff Meeting; 9:30-11:15am Grades 1-4 meet in Media Center data team meeting (see email from last week); 5th grade field trip to Art Museum; last day for Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

11 – Staff Book Talk, 8:00 am; Tornado Drill, 1:30 p.m.

12 – 4th grade field trip to Art Museum; SLSP Field Day at Darby H.S., 9:15 – 1:30; 5th grade Growth & Development, 1:30 – 2:30

14 – Mother’s Day

15 – Field Day, 9:30 – 11:30 am and 12:30 – 2:30 pm

16 – Focus fieldtrip to Falling Waters, 5:30 am – 9:15 pm; SLSP field trip to Tim Horton’s and Petsmart, 9:15 – 11:00; Fire Drill, 10:00 a.m.

18 – Principal’s Meeting (Herb AM); Staff Book Talk, 8:00 am; See Kids Dream 5th grade field trip to Riffe Center

19 – Last day at preschool; 4th grade field trip to Zoo; SLSP fieldtrip to Get Air, 9:15 – 11:00

22 – PTO Spirit Night at Dave & Buster’s, 4:30 – 7:30 pm

23 – 3rd grade field trip to Art Museum; PTO Family Luau, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

24 – 1st grade field trip to Art Museum

26 – Last Day of School!

Hitting the Wall

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Last October, I almost made my personal goal of completing a half-marathon in under 2 hours. My official time was 2’02” but I was just happy to have made it to the finish line.

After the race, I gave myself a couple of weeks off before I got back into keeping a regular run schedule.  Getting back into a schedule became more of a chore than a joy and so excuses not to run started to become more common.  I even started to think about giving up running altogether.

I remember asking myself OK, what’s really going on with me?

I had been working so hard to get to a point where I could complete a race that it became the sole reason for running.  What I lost along the way of training was the joy and the happiness running had given me before.  Things needed to change for sure because I really love to run.

So, I quit worrying about my pace and focused on mechanics like my strides, my breathing, and my heart rate.  I also stopped worrying about distance.  At the peak of my training I was running 20-25 miles a week and I think that was bumming myself out since I had backed that way down.  At night, I started thinking about the run I was planning on the next morning which made those 4:45 am alarms easier to wake up to.  I also started focusing on how I great I felt after running rather than starting my workout thinking about how I didn’t really want to do this.  

All of this points to the power of self-talk and what you tell yourself each day.  It made me remember to reflect on what I was saying to myself.  If my self-talk was a person, would I want to hangout with them all day?

This weekend, I ran over 6 miles in the pouring rain and thunder, farther than I had run in 2 months, and I loved every step. I had forgotten how much I loved running in the rain!  It’s silly but I kind of felt invincible, like nothing could stop me.  It was the first time in a while when I didn’t want to stop and I was happy the whole time I was running.

“Hitting the wall” is something that happens to us all throughout life.  I believe these moments are supposed to happen because they give you a chance to remember your “why”.  The work you need to do to get over the wall is hard work.  It’s reflective work that forces you to be honest with yourself.  You start thinking less about what you want to happen and more about what you need to do in order to get the outcome you desire.  

“Joy” sounds like such a simplistic outcome to work for but it’s complicated to obtain especially if you are creating your own roadblocks.  Take time to remember your “why”, especially when the going gets tough because it will get you closer to the outcomes you are working toward.

Have a GREAT week!

Herb

 

Worth checking out —

4 Essentials to Growing into Great Leadership https://leadershipfreak.blog/2017/04/28/4-essentials-to-growing-into-great-leadership/

My friend taught me…to seesaw http://myfriendtaughtme.weebly.com/1/post/2017/04/my-friend-taught-meto-seesaw.html

3 Misconceptions About Innovation in Education http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/7305

 

Upcoming Dates

May

1 – Bus Driver Appreciation Day; 3rd grade Music Performance, time TBD; School Community Meeting – “Make a Difference”, 10:45am;

2 – No School for Students (Waiver Day)

3 – Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

4 – Admin. Meeting (Herb AM); Staff Book Talk, 8:00 am; PTO Flower Sale Pick Up, 4:00-7:00; PTO Spirit Night at Chick-Fil-A, 5:00 – 9:00 pm

8 – Kona Ice Truck here; PTO Meeting, 7:00; Spirit Week

9 – KG/1st Data Teams; Retirement Party, 3:45

10 – 2nd/3rd Data Teams; SLSP field trip to Dare Equestrian; 5th grade field trip to Art Museum; last day for Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

11 – 4th/5th Data Teams; Staff Book Talk, 8:00 am

12 – 4th grade field trip to Art Museum; SLSP Field Day at Darby H.S., 9:15 – 1:30

14 – Mother’s Day

15 – Field Day, 8:30 – 11:30 am and 12:30 – 3:30 pm

16 – Focus fieldtrip to Falling Waters, 5:30 am – 9:15 pm; SLSP field trip to Tim Horton’s and Petsmart, 9:15 – 11:00

18 – Principal’s Meeting (Herb AM); Staff Book Talk, 8:00 am; See Kids Dream 5th grade field trip to Riffe Center

19 – Last day at preschool; 4th grade field trip to Zoo; SLSP fieldtrip to Get Air, 9:15 – 11:00

22 – PTO Spirit Night at Dave & Buster’s, 4:30 – 7:30 pm

23 – 3rd grade field trip to Art Museum; PTO Family Luau, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

24 – 1st grade field trip to Art Museum

25 – Mental Health & Wellness meeting, 8:00

26 – Last Day of School!

“Thin ice can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.” – Seth Godin

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“Thin ice can be a self-fulfilling prophecy.” — Seth Godin

This line from one of Seth Godin’s recent blog posts has stuck with me for a while.

The focus of his post was about always feeling like you are on thin ice and how that affects your behavior and your performance.  Deep down we all know Godin is right — “All that panic doesn’t pay off”.  When we spin our wheels in the wrong direction, we end up creating more work for ourselves.

The trick is to play the long game.  We need to act with the thought, This, or something like it, will probably happen again, so that means I need to learn from this, get better, and be willing to help others when they experience this too.

Managing my energy is always a challenge, but it’s been tougher to manage lately.  I knew I had to stop and think about what was different — I was spending too much time thinking about school, staying plugged in, and dwelling on what had happened rather than what is happening.

I started to make a change recently that is helping. I turned off my email and Twitter notifications, deleted the Facebook app from my devices, and started taking longer walks with the dogs in the morning.  It probably doesn’t sound like much, but these little tweaks have upset the negative habits I had and just enough to help me start to reduce my stress, calm my mind, and be more present.  The sleep thing, well…I’m being patient while that part gets better too.

The battle to be more balanced is not with others, it’s really with myself.

How often are we feeling we are battling what’s going on in our classroom, at our school or in our district?  How often are we putting ourselves on thin ice when we could be thinking about how to stay grounded and to have the patience to play the long game?  The last thing we need is more work for ourselves, so consider the habits that might be blocking you from staying away from the feeling of being on thin ice. Keep the main thing the main thing.  Stay true to your vision and to your purpose – This will go a long way in staying balanced.

Have a GREAT week!

Herb

 

Articles Worth Reading

How thin is your ice? http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2017/04/how-thin-is-your-ice.html

6 Essentials of a High-Quality Classroom Library http://www.booksourcebanter.com/2017/03/07/6-essentials-of-a-high-quality-classroom-library/

 

Upcoming Dates

 

17 – 4th grade field trip to Supreme Court & Statehouse

18 – 5th grade Math test; Fire Drill, 1:40 pm

19 – 4th grade Math Test; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30; PTO Spirit Day at Firehous Subs, 10:30 am – 9:00 pm

20 – Principal’s meeting (Herb, AM); 3rd grade Math Test; Garden/Compost Club, 3:35 – 4:30

21 – 2nd grade field trip to Art Museum; Tornado Drill, 9:35 am

22- Hilliard’s Earth Day Celebration, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

24-28 – Book Fair, open til 5:00 on 25th; open during Art Show on 27th; open 8:00-9:05 am on 28th

24 – Gifted model parent meeting, 6:00; Vidic’s Medicine Safety Presentation (4th=1:00 – 1:40, 5th=1:45-2:30)

25 – 5th grade Science Test; 4th grade Social Studies Test; Vidic’s Medicine Safety Presentation (2nd=1:00-1:30; 3rd=1:40-2:10; 1st=2:15-2:45)

26 – Staff meeting, 3:40; Walk-A-Thon, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

27 – Elementary Transfer meeting, 8:30; Staff Book Talk, 8:00 am; Compost/Garden Club, 3:35 – 4:30; Art Show, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

28 – BAC meeting, 8:00; fruit & veggies (grapes & snow peas); clean office lounge

 

May

1 – Bus Driver Appreciation Day; 3rd grade Music Performance, time TBD; School Community Meeting – “Make a Difference”, 10:45am;

2 – No School for Students (Waiver Day)

3 – Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

4 – Admin. Meeting (Herb AM); Staff Book Talk, 8:00 am; PTO Flower Sale Pick Up, 4:00-7:00; PTO Spirit Night at Chick-Fil-A, 5:00 – 9:00 pm

8 – Kona Ice Truck here; PTO Meeting, 7:00; Spirit Week (daily themes TBD)

9 – BIT meeting, 8:00; KG/1st Data Teams; Retirement Party, 3:45

10 – 2nd/3rd Data Teams; SLSP field trip to Dare Equestrian; 5th grade field trip to Art Museum; Lambright’s Math Mindset Parent Night, 6:30 – 7:30; last day for Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

11 – 4th/5th Data Teams; Staff Book Talk, 8:00 am

12 – 4th grade field trip to Art Museum; 5th grade Growth & Development, 1:30 – 2:30

14 – Mother’s Day

15 – Field Day, 8:30 – 11:30 am and 12:30 – 3:30 pm

16 – Focus fieldtrip to Falling Waters, 5:30 am – 9:15 pm

18 – Principal’s Meeting (Herb AM); Staff Book Talk, 8:00 am; See Kids Dream 5th grade field trip to Riffe Center

19 – Last day at preschool; 4th grade field trip to Zoo

22 – PTO Spirit Night at Dave & Buster’s, 4:30 – 7:30 pm

23 – 3rd grade field trip to Art Museum; PTO Family Luau, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

24 – 1st grade field trip to Art Museum

25 – Mental Health & Wellness meeting, 8:00

26 – Last Day of School!

Stuck in the mud

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When you’re driving for 9 hours in a car alone, you tend to have an ample amount of time to think.

So on my way back from my daughter’s cheer competition in Virginia Beach on Sunday, I got to do a lot of thinking about life, my career, my kids and my family, which is probably way too much time for me to be alone with my own thoughts.

I was listening to the audiobook version of 1776 by David McCullough, who has this rich voice that goes so well with storytelling.  I was inspired to revisit stories from our country’s past as we drove to Virginia Beach, passing such places as the Shenandoah Valley, Yorktown, Richmond and other sites made famous by battle.

McCullough’s storytelling included a humanizing of people like Washington and revealed some of their shortcomings as leaders.  The shortcomings revealed at times just how much luck played in the success of the Revolution, which was led by minimal military knowledge and supported by a ragtag army of men and boys of all colors, backgrounds and ages.

One story from the Battle of Brooklyn stood out to me the most.  Washington was retreating his men through a marshy part of the East River to try and escape back to Manhattan.  Those who got stuck or who couldn’t swim were captured while the rest were able to escape later on that evening by ship during a wild summer storm.  None of this had to happen either.  Washington had made a miscalculation and split his troops when basic military strategy says to not split your force when facing the enemy head-on (or so I learned from the audiobook).

So many times, the Americans were close to losing it all due to blunders or lack of foresight.  Yet, they seemed to come out in the end to fight another day in that all-important year of 1776. 

The one aspect that seemed to hold throughout the Revolution was the resolve of the people.  Change was in their heart.  It drove them to continue fighting for what was right.  Their resolve, what was in their heart, was what helped our Founders find success.

I am not trying to compare the work we do in education to fighting a revolution or going into battle, but there are some takeaways for me that I thought about as I drove home.

  • Change will happen not matter what.  Some of it will be small and manageable and much of it will be monumental and unforeseen.  Change is a predictable Event in education.  Our Response is key.  We get to learn from change and from our missteps in response to it.

 

  • Let your heart lead the way.  When in doubt, listen to your heart.  Sometimes we all know what must be done, but no one wants to say what needs to be done or even wants to act on it.  Leading from the heart is a powerful force — It could be what gave our country its freedom.  But it also is my driving force as an educator.  The relationships we build and the connection we have to kids will endure and outlast most of the knowledge we tried to impart onto them.  As George Couros says, we have to make a connection to the heart before we can make a connection the mind.

 

  • Dig deep and find the determination to keep moving forward.  This one has been a thought I’ve swirled on a lot this year.  I’ve been off my game a lot this year.  That’s not to say we haven’t accomplished many wonderful things for kids.  It’s more of a personal reflection. I’ve dropped habits that have helped me to keep moving forward and to stay idealistic.  I’ve stayed neutral in conversations when I should have pressed more.  I’ve not stayed as committed to lifting up our campus project like I have for the past two years.  And it sucks.  I’ve felt stuck in the mud at times. I hate feeling that way because this moment that I have as principal is it — There is nothing else for me to wait for.

It’s time to get unstuck!

Have a GREAT week!

  • Herb

Worth Reading!

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. – Life in Focus

These fifth-graders turned a class assignment into a massive service project – The Washington Post

These high school journalists investigated a new principal’s credentials. Days later, she resigned. – The Washington Post

It’s Time to Rethink How We Are Educating Our Children

Act Like You’re New – The Principal of Change

Completely Satisfied – Teacher At Heart

Upcoming Dates

10 – Preschool IEP meetings (Herb/Brian H), throughout day; PTO Meeting, 7:00

12 – Staff Meeting – Progress check on Data Team goal; KG ELL testing; SLSP Fieldtrip to Steak N Shake (morning); Urban Zen, 3:45 – 4:45; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30; Lambright’s Math Mindset Parent Night, 6:30 – 7:30; Full moon!

13 – Mental Health and Wellness Team meeting, 8am; One2One Principal meeting, 10am; KG fieldtrip to Franklin Park Conservatory; 2nd grade Wax Museum; Last day to submit requisitions; Staff Luncheon; Garden/Compost Club, 3:35 – 4:30; Interims go home, as needed

14 – Holiday, No School

17 – 4th grade fieldtrip to Supreme Court & Statehouse

18 – 5th grade Math test

19 – 4th grade Math Test; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30; PTO Spirit Day at Firehous Subs, 10:30 am – 9:00 pm

20 – Principal’s meeting (Herb, AM); 3rd grade Math Test; Garden/Compost Club, 3:35 – 4:30

21 – 2nd grade fieldtrip to Art Museum

22- Hilliard’s Earth Day Celebration, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

24-28 – Book Fair, open til 5:00 on 25th; open during Art Show on 27th; open 8:00-9:05 am on 28th

24 – Gifted model parent meeting, 6:00; Vidic’s Medicine Safety Presentation (5th=1:30 – 2:15, 4th=2:15-3:00)

25 – 5th grade Science Test; 4th grade Social Studies Test; Vidic’s Medicine Safety Presentation (2nd=1:00-1:35; 3rd=1:40-2:15; 1st=2:20-2:55)

26 – Staff meeting, 3:40; Walk-A-Thon, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

27 – Elementary Transfer meeting, 8:30; Art Show, 5:30 – 7:30 pm

28 – BAC meeting, 8:00; fruit & veggies (grapes & snow peas); clean office lounge

May

1 – Bus Driver Appreciation Day; 3rd grade music performance, time TBD; School Community Meeting – “Make a Difference”, 10:45am;

2 – No School for Students (Waiver Day)

3 – Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

4 – Admin. Meeting (Herb AM); PTO Flower Sale Pick Up, 4:00-7:00; PTO Spirit Night at Chic-Fil-A, 5:00 – 9:00 pm

8 – PTO Meeting, 7:00

9 – BIT meeting, 8:00; KG/1st Data Teams

10 – 2nd/3rd Data Teams; SLSP fieldtrip to Dare Equestrian; 5th grade fieldtrip to Art Museum; Lambright’s Math Mindset Parent Night, 6:30 – 7:30; last day for Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30; Full Moon!!

11 – 4th/5th Data Teams

Habit: The Double-Edged Sword

Before we were married, my wife Carrie once asked me, “Why are you so grumpy all of the time?”  I honestly had no idea why.  I had a pessimistic view of the world and thought there was nothing right with the world that couldn’t be broken by what was wrong with the world.

One day not too long after, Carrie gave me the book Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom, and said that I needed to read it.

It’s hard to explain what happened to me as I read and finished the book because it completely changed my outlook on life. Here was this beautiful person who was lying on his deathbed but who was also so grateful for everything he had throughout his life. It wasn’t the first time I had heard the life lessons Morrie’s shared – to live life to the fullest, to be grateful, and to love. But for some reason, his story connected with me and changed me for the better.

Most of us wake up either with a smile or ready to complain about the world around us. Both responses are habits of mind that have become ingrained inside of us over time.

If you stop and thought about the default responses you have to the predictable events of a typical day – the alarm going off in the morning, traffic, kids not following expectations – which side of the ledger would you see most of your responses?  On the positive side or on the negative side?

What does your balance sheet look like at the end of the day?

The bad news is that habits are hard to break.

The good news is that new habits can be made as long as we are committed to changing and forming habits that help our default responses be more positive ones.  It takes self-reflection, commitment, and finding people in our lives who will hold us accountable maintaining our goal to change.

I like this reflection sheet from our R-Factor training:

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What should we stop doing and what should we start doing to help make our lives more positive and happy?
Commit to putting more marks on the positive side of your daily balance sheet.

And read Tuesdays with Morrie. It’s worth every minute!

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

Worth Checking Out –

How Personal Learning Is Working in Vermont
http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar17/vol74/num06/How-Personal-Learning-Is-Working-in-Vermont.aspx

Upcoming Dates –

April (State Testing dates listed below)

3 – School Community Meeting – “Adjust and Adapt”, 10:45am; Board of Education meeting at ADE, 7pm

4 – BIT meeting, 8am; 5th grade ELA, Part 1; Staff Breakfast, 8:20 am

5 – IMPACT PD (K-2 Teachers); 6th grade transition meeting, 2:00 – 4:00; 5th grade ELA, Part 2; Newsletter items due; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

6 – Admin meeting (Herb, AM); Blue Jackets Choir performance (before game); 3rd & 4th grade ELA, Part 1; Garden/Compost Club, 3:35 – 4:30

7 – 3rd & 4th grade ELA, Part 2

10 – Preschool IEP meetings (Herb/Brian H), throughout day; PTO Meeting, 7:00

12 – Staff Meeting – Progress check on Data Team goal; KG ELL testing; Urban Zen, 3:45 – 4:45; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30; Lambright’s Parent Ed Camp, 6:30 – 7:30; Full moon!

13 – Mental Health and Wellness Team meeting, 8am; One2One Principal meeting, 10am; KG fieldtrip to Franklin Park Conservatory; 2nd grade Wax Museum; Last day to submit requisitions; Staff Luncheon; Garden/Compost Club, 3:35 – 4:30

14 – Holiday, No School

17 – 4th grade fieldtrip to Supreme Court & Statehouse

18 – 5th grade Math test

19 – SLSP fieldtrip to Steak N Shake; 4th grade Math Test; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

20 – Principal’s meeting (Herb, AM); 3rd grade Math Test; Garden/Compost Club, 3:35 – 4:30

21 – 2nd grade fieldtrip to Art Museum

22- Hilliard’s Earth Day Celebration

24-28 – Book Fair, open til 5:00 on 25th; open during Art Show on 27th; open 8:00-10:00 am on 28th

24 – Gifted model parent meeting, 6:00; Vidic’s Medicine Safety Presentation (5th=1:30 – 2:15, 4th=2:15-3:00)

25 – 5th grade Science Test; 4th grade Social Studies Test; Vidic’s Medicine Safety Presentation (2nd=1:00-1:35; 3rd=1:40-2:15; 1st=2:20-2:55)

26 – Staff meeting, 3:40; Walk-A-Thon, 9:00 am – 2:30 pm; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

27 – Elementary Transfer meeting, 8:30; Art Show, times TBD

28 – BAC meeting, 8:00; fruit & veggies (grapes & snow peas); clean office lounge