"What’s your word, Mr. H?"

Update for Dec 8-12

This weekend, I ran across the journal pictured above and I had to buy it.  I like that it’s a great reminder for me to stay focused on what really matters in my life and at school. Words are so powerful and can be used to lift ourselves and help us remember to stay focus on what’s important.

This week, we held our second School Community Meeting to share out the words we felt best completed the statement “At Alton Darby Elementary, We Are __________!”

While all of the words used were different, they all reflected that students feel that our learning community is a welcoming and positive place to be.  This is to the credit of the staff and families who have helped to create and nurture a positive culture.

On Tuesday, I was out and about in classrooms and during a conversation with a student, she asked “What’s your word, Mr. H?”

This was something I struggled with during this little project.  It’s hard for me to choose just one word to represent what I feel reflects our school.  But it was a struggle for others so why shouldn’t I struggle too?

But honestly, I think the best way for me to complete the statement is by using all of the words that were generated.  And that’s exactly how I answered the student:

“I didn’t actually pick a word because it’s important that I represent and support all of the words that were used. I pick everyone’s word because I am the principal for all of you.”


Was that the easy way out? Maybe. But what will be the real challenge for me is making sure the work we do supports and encourages the words our kids and staff used to reflect how they feel about our school. Because at Alton Darby Elementary, We Are…

Community, Diverse, Resolvers, Strong, Together, Family, Team Players, Hard Workers, Love, Democracy, Smart, Teamwork, Believers, Creatives, Yummy, Individualized, Turstworthy, Together, Powerful, Higgenbawesome, Kind, Possibilities, Poised, and Unique!


Videos that inspire


Students’ Voice: Empowering Transformation

Worth a watch/listen — Good conversation about student voice in the school day. Pernille talks about what is possible and what is reality.  I think she will affirm many of our thoughts and beliefs about school.


Also — Pernille wrote a book that I am reading called “Empowered Schools, Empowered Students” that is also apart of the Corwin Connected Educator Series

This series includes books by mostly practicing teachers and principals and they are terrific as far as driving new ideas (And they are about 70 pages each).  I am enjoying them and I thought you might too: http://www.corwin.com/books/Book245107?subject=C00&seriesId=Series2504&fs=1

Schools that work for kids — My favorite line from this is “We’ve made school work really well for us [teachers].” Thanks to Cathy Mere for sharing!

Upcoming Dates — 

Tuesday, Dec 9 — 
8:00-8:45 — BAC Meeting
9:00 — Community Outing with Mrs. Shively

Fri Dec 12, 2014 — 
7am – 9am Board of Edu Bldg Tours – HMS, ADE/HPS & DCR

Tues Dec 16, 3:40 — Tchr Steering Committee meeting

WEDNESDAY, DEC 17th — DECEMBER KIDS EDCAMP!

  • Course catalog’s are scheduled to go home with kids tomorrow (12/8).
  • Students and parents will pick their session through Signup Genius (No paper registrations! Yay!)
  • Rosters should be ready on Friday (12/12).

Fri Dec 19, 2014 — Holiday Parties

Dec 22, 2014-Jan 4, 2015 — Winter Break


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