The "goal" that helped me focus on what really matters.

Update for Oct 27-31


By Jrcla2 (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I didn’t quite understand the whole soccer scene until this year. Before I would hear about parents spending “so much time” at soccer practices, games and tournaments. I didn’t understand just how much time it really took to have one of you kids participate on a traveling team.


Here is what I have discovered since my older daughter joined a traveling soccer club:
  • If there is a practice, game or tournament, there’s a good chance it’s going to rain and be cold.
  • Soccer gear costs a small fortune.
  • Tournaments 1 hour away don’t sound bad at first, but then the reality of another weekend gone sinks in during the drive.


The last point happened to me this weekend. Sunday was day 2 of my daughter’s last tournament of the season. And when I thought about everything that I wasn’t getting to — those evaluations I needed to finish up, those emails I had put off too long, the mountain of laundry, the lawn, grocery shopping — the idea of staying home while my wife took my daughter back to the tournament was very tempting.


But I resisted the temptation and went. And I’m glad I did.


Ava made her first goal of the season, something she had wanted to do all season long. In that moment after she scored, everything that was on my mind vanished. I reached such a point of clarity that when I thought about all of that stuff again, it seemed insignificant and not so impossible anymore. I kept thinking to myself, “What if I had decided to stay home?”.  I am sure I would have felt miserable.


Today I had a reminder to keep what’s important at the center of my life because it helps me do the other stuff with clarity.


I hope as we move into the time of the school year when the little details begin adding up that each of us are able to stay focused on what’s truly important so that the details don’t seemed so daunting.


Upcoming Dates

Mon Oct 27, 2014
Yearbook Art Contest Begins (Ends Nov 7)

Tue Oct 28, 2014
Fall Concert at Bradley High School

Thu Oct 30, 2014
8am-9am Community Assembly Planning Meeting
5:30pm – 6:30pm Market Day
6pm-8pm Trick or Treat, Hilliard/Columbus

Fri Oct 31, 2014
Halloween

November
Tue Nov 4, 2014
Waiver Day – More info to come soon!

Fri Nov 7, 2014
Newsletter Home
Yearbook Art Contest Ends

Mon Nov 10, 2014
6:30pm – 7pm PTO Executive Mtg
7pm – 8pm PTO General Mtg

Tue Nov 11, 2014
Picture Retake Day
5:30 – 7pm Market Day Pick-up

Fri Nov 14, 2014
End of K-5 Grading Period

Mon Nov 17, 2014
Book Fair Week thru Nov 20
Wed Nov 19, 2014
3:45pm – 8:15pm Conference Night

Wed Nov 26, 2014
No School

Thu Nov 27, 2014
No School


Fri Nov 28, 2014
No School


Articles Worth Reading


“Are we doing what matters?” – Teacher at Heart http://teacheratheart.weebly.com/1/post/2014/10/are-we-doing-what-matters.html


“Visibility Creates Accountability” | The Principal of Change


“5 Behaviors That Can Sink Leaders” via


A Principal’s Reflections: The Story of Greatguy7: http://esheninger.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-story-of-greatguy7.html

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Update for Oct 20-24

The Most Important Voice




This week, we worked to define the key principles and beliefs we have as a learning community. The beliefs that we identified as a team reflected the positive focus we put on our students and the work we do with them. Our next step will be to connect these principles to statements that are easily remembered that will help us connect to our beliefs as a learning community.


As we discussed these principles, something amazing happened.  One of the members of the team suggested that in order for students to embrace the expectations we will have for them, they should have the opportunity to provide input as to what these grounding beliefs that reflect Alton Darby Elementary are. We came to the conclusion that we needed to organize a whole-school meeting where we could give students the opportunity to provide input into the beliefs that reflect our learning community.


I am excited that we are going to be giving students this opportunity to have a voice in a process that will eventually impact their learning community.  This is an important step towards providing students with multiple opportunities to have a voice and to have a choice in their learning.


Upcoming Dates —
Monday October 20 (A): 2/3 rehearsal & 4/5 rehearsal with props
9:20 – 10:20 4/5 graders
10:30 – 11:30 2/3 graders (we will take 2nd grade to lunch)
1st grade (no change)


Wed Oct 22, 2014
Data Team Half-Day Meeting — 5th Grade AM; 4th Grade PM


2/3 rehearsal & 4/5 rehearsal with props and in between acts
9:20 – 11:45 AM – 4/5 Graders
1 – 2 PM – 2/3 Graders
1st grade (no change)


3:35-4:20 ADE/DCR Staff Meeting at ADE


Thu Oct 23, 2014
Data Team Half-Day Meeting — 3rd Grade AM; 2nd Grade PM
9:15-10:45 AM – Building Visit, Mrs. McNaughton


Fri Oct 24, 2014
Whole school rehearsal – 2-5 grades no break this day
Teachers who do not have duties on B-Day… I wouldn’t care if you wanted help your teammates by watching their class (one teammate at a time) and letting them have a break.  
Come down to the gym as soon as your attendance & lunch count is done between 9:10-9:15
Rehearsal ends 11:45 (2nd grade leave out gym doors when it is time to go to lunch)
5th and some 4th graders in in-between acts may need to stay until 12:20.
1st grade (no Change)


Mon Oct 27, 2014
Yearbook Art Contest Begins (Ends Nov 7)


Tue Oct 28, 2014
Fall Concert at Bradley High School


Thu Oct 30, 2014
Data Team Half-Day Meeting — Kindergarten AM; 1st Grade PM


Fri Oct 31, 2014
Halloween


Tue Nov 4, 2014
Waiver Day – More information to come!

Wed Nov 5, 2014
5:30pm – 6:30pm Market Day


Fri Nov 7, 2014
Newsletter Home
Yearbook Art Contest Ends
8:00am – 8:45am BAC mtg
Articles to read
“How Can Students Have More Say in School Decisions?” | MindShift http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/10/how-can-students-have-more-say-in-school-decisions/ … via @MindShiftKQED




“Learning disability or learns differently?” http://feedly.com/e/U8phHXtv

Videos that inspire

All Smiles!

Update for Oct 13-17


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What happens when you give students choice in their learning? All smiles.


What happens when you allow teachers to share something they are passionate about with others? All smiles.


What happens to the leaders who see their students’ interests matched with their teachers’ passions? 

All smiles.


I will always remember Friday, October 10, 2014 as a day when I couldn’t stop smiling.  It was an amazing effort to coordinate 35 unique learning sessions and 900+ students, but it was even more amazing to see the excitement, to hear the conversation, and to feel the energy that morning.


I continue to reflect on our day and I keep coming back to the question “What are the implications for learning at school?”.  We are starting to get past assumptions and move beyond barriers in order to connect each child’s learning experience to something bigger.


Thank you so much for making Kids EdCamp such a huge success.  We talked, we dreamed, and then, we made it happen.  We are beginning to explore what is possible for kids and I can’t wait to see what can do next.


Upcoming Dates


Mon Oct 13, 2014   
3:35-4:20 ADE/DCR Staff Meeting at ADE
6:30pm – 7pm PTO Executive Mtg
7pm – 8pm PTO General Mtg


Tue Oct 14, 2014
8:00-8:45am Conversation about PBIS — This is a voluntary meeting. We will be discussing the guiding principles that will define the expectations for Alton Darby. We hope that you can join!


6pm Mr. Gill Concert for PreSchool in ADE Gym


Wed Oct 15, 2014
2:15pm – Lockdown Drill


Thu Oct 16, 2014   
Spirit Day/Crazy Sock Day! (Socktober)

Fri Oct 17, 2014

Central Ohio In-Service Day – No School for Students


Wed Oct 22, 2014
Data Team Half-Day Meeting — 5th Grade AM; 4th Grade PM
3:35-4:20 ADE/DCR Staff Meeting at ADE


Thu Oct 23, 2014
Data Team Half-Day Meeting — 3rd Grade AM; 2nd Grade PM


Mon Oct 27, 2014
Yearbook Art Contest Begins (Ends Nov 7)


Tue Oct 28, 2014
Fall Concert at Bradley High School


Thu Oct 30, 2014
Data Team Half-Day Meeting — Kindergarten AM; 1st Grade PM
5:30pm – 6:30pm Market Day


Fri Oct 31, 2014
Halloween


Tue Nov 4, 2014
Waiver Day – More information to come!


Fri Nov 7, 2014
Newsletter Home
Yearbook Art Contest Ends
8am – 9am Building Advisory Committee Meeting


Articles worth reading


“How Dream Coordinators at Schools Help Students Reach Goals | MindShift” http://feedly.com/k/1uCk9gA


“Balancing Opportunities for Children to Think and Talk About Text” http://feedly.com/k/1t4p0HF


“8 Characteristics of the Innovative Leader” http://feedly.com/e/MWFwblCm


“20% is Not Enough” http://feedly.com/e/djT1QJ4D


“How To Teach Math With LEGOs” http://edudemic.com/teach-math-legos/


Videos worth watching

Assumptions

Update for Oct 6 -10

During my junior year in college, I took a class on the history of U.S. diplomacy. Now, I am sure the title alone causes your eyes to glaze over, but it was an exciting course for me.  I enjoyed the discussions we had about the factors that caused major events in our country’s history and it was one of my favorite courses during college.  


The final exam for the course was to write a paper that argued a certain perspective on U.S. diplomatic history. I had drafted the paper, made my revisions and on the night before the paper was due, I started typing on my roommate’s laptop. Near the end, a major fail happened. It was a fail that is so cliche that I should have predicted it would happen.


The laptop went completely dead.


All of my work was gone.  I had nothing to turn in for the final exam.


I looked at the clock.  It was past midnight. What was I going to do? I felt anger, despair, anxiety, and nausea all within 5 minutes.


I decided that I needed to find another computer and try to write my argument from memory. I went to one of the 24-hour computer labs on campus and spent the next 5 hours trying to recall my line of thinking.  By the start of class, I had my paper written.  


I was tired; so tired I was jumpy and disoriented, but the paper was done. At the start of class, I went up to my professor to hand in the paper.  I knew that I should have said something to him like, “My laptop crashed on me last night. This isn’t my best work.  Could I (get some sleep and) have an extra day?”


Instead I just turned and walked away.


To my dismay, I got a C on the paper.  Too many mistakes and the line of thinking wasn’t clear. Both of those issues would have been resolved if I had asked for more time.


The problem was I didn’t want to bother the professor with my problem.  It wasn’t his fault the laptop crashed. Why would I deserve to have more time? Instead of just talking to my professor, I assumed he didn’t want to be bothered. He had never given me or any of the other students any indication that he didn’t want to help us. In fact, he made it quite clear he wanted to help.


But I still assumed that he didn’t want to be bothered.


I bring this story up because I am finding myself on the other side of that situation. I am getting this sense that others see me as unapproachable or someone that can’t be bothered. I’m not quite sure what to make of it yet. Maybe it’s because we are still getting to know each other as principal and staff. Or maybe I am just assuming everyone knows that I am willing to help.


So I want to take this opportunity to share with you, in print, that I am here for you.


I am here to listen, to help, to celebrate, to encourage, and to support you.  The work we do together for kids is so important that I want to do whatever I can to make that work excellent for every second of the day.


So if you are having a problem or you are worried about something, please let me know. Call me at 3:00am, I will answer.  If you want to meet me at 6:00am, I will be there.


Just know that I am here to lead and I am here to serve.


Upcoming Dates —


Tue Oct 7, 2014
3rd Grade Fall Reading OAA —
The assessment will take place in the morning, but some students may be working on the assessment throughout the day. Please help provide a quiet learning environment on this day.
  
8am – 9am Building Improvement Team mtg — Team members – Please be ready to share examples of PBIS in other buildings (A Google search will provide many examples).  We will be working on finalizing the “matrix”.  Thanks!


Fri Oct 10, 2014   
9:30-11:00am Kids’ EdCamp!


Mon Oct 13, 2014   
3:35-4:20 ADE/DCR Staff Meeting at ADE
6:30pm – 7pm PTO Executive Mtg
7pm – 8pm PTO General Mtg


Thu Oct 16, 2014   
Spirit Day

Fri Oct 17, 2014

Central Ohio In-Service Day – No School for Students


Wed Oct 22, 2014
3:35-4:20 ADE/DCR Staff Meeting at ADE


Mon Oct 27, 2014
Yearbook Art Contest Begins (Ends Nov 7)


Tue Oct 28, 2014
Fall Concert at Bradley High School


Thu Oct 30, 2014
5:30pm – 6:30pm Market Day


Fri Oct 31, 2014
Halloween


Tue Nov 4, 2014
Waiver Day – Half-Day Meeting at DCR


Fri Nov 7, 2014
Newsletter Home
Yearbook Art Contest Ends
8am – 9am Building Advisory Committee Meeting


Articles Worth Reading


“But why aren’t you hysterical?” by Seth Godin


The EdCamp Mindset – How An “Unconference” Can Yield An “Unclass” http://theasideblog.blogspot.com/2014/09/the-edcamp-mindset-how-unconference-can.html


Videos Worth Watching

EdCamp? Hope not…



The flipped household…