Clear Out the Crawl Space

The Thanksgiving holiday was a wonderful opportunity for me to relax.

Instead, I cleaned out the basement, decorated the Christmas tree, strung lights around my landscaping, and cleaned out the crawl space.

Yes, the Thanksgiving holiday was an opportunity for me to relax.

I admit now that it feels good now knowing I completed a lot these chores. Doing the chores at the time?  That was a different emotion altogether.

While I was cleaning out the crawl space, I noticed how much school stuff we had in there — We could probably run a 3rd and 4th grade class out of our basement.  I wondered if any of the materials in the crawl space would actually help create a classroom for today’s student needs.

We also ran across a box of stuff that we hadn’t opened since we moved into our house 7 years ago.  We took a quick peak and saw that it was a collection of hand-me-down dishes, pots and pans from circa 1962, which helped us understand why we hadn’t opened the box since moving in years ago.  So in determining what we were getting rid of and what was going into the crawl space, we decided that if we hadn’t opened the box since we moved in, what was the point of keeping it now?

I know that I am not alone in this dilemma, either at home or in the classroom.  We educators tend to hang on to things long past their prime or relevance by using the justification of “You never know if you might need it again!”.

Honestly, I’m not so sure we should be going through our profession with the mindset of “you never know” as a means for hanging on to aspects of our practice.  Think about it from a student’s experience.  Students begin each school year ready to build off of the skills they have learned in the past.  They begin with an eagerness to learn something new and rarely are they bringing in materials or work from last school year.

Once again, the student experience is an inspiration to me in my work.  The experience is a reminder of the power of starting anew with new approaches and an eagerness to learn that keeps the crawl space open to new ideas and practices.

Have a GREAT week!



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Upcoming Dates

  • Watch for information about School Community Meetings throughout the rest of the year that focuses on R-Factor.

Nov 30 – ADE Staff Meeting, 3:45 (Building Safety Refresher)

Dec 6 – IMPACT Training, K-2 Classroom Ts; BIT Meeting, 8am

Dec 14 – ADE Staff Meeting, 3:45 (Mental Health & Wellness Team)

Dec 15 – 4th Grade Musical Performances – Schedule change

Dec 20 – Classroom Parties, 2:30 – Schedule change

Dec 21-Jan 3 – Winter Break

Jan 4 – Students return


With Gratitude

Saying thanks, giving thanks, and being grateful are all related to gratitude – The powerful state of mind that has profound effects on one’s well-being.

Research shows that including more gratitude in your life can improve your physical, psychological and social well-being.

Gratitude journals and other gratitude practices often seem so simple and basic; in our studies, we often have people keep gratitude journals for just three weeks. And yet the results have been overwhelming. – Robert Emmons

R-Factor training has helped us to consider a “mindset process” where what we see affects what we think, which affects what we feel, which affects how we act.

When we invest in gratitude, we cause a positive effect on all four influencers of the mindset process.  We see things in our lives that we should appreciate. We think about people who we are grateful for being in our lives.  We feel a deep sense of happiness when we consider what is going well in our lives.  These effects lay the foundation for a growth mindset.

I have been focusing on leading a more grateful life over the past month.  The letters by our 5th grade students to the staff that were shared during our staff meeting on Wednesday was a proud moment for me and the kids. I had a feeling that this was going to be a memorable morning for the kids to experience and I hope that it’s one they will never forget.

At the Veterans Day parade, I was inspired by two young kids who yelled “thank you” to all of the passing veterans and by the veterans who said, “Thank you – This means a lot to us that you are here”.  This is what’s amazing to me — I saw an exchange of gratitude and I ended up feeling great!  

Gratitude is a powerful thing!

I hope that you are starting your week filled with gratitude for the opportunity we have to work with kids.  We are apart of an amazing and challenging profession.  Yet, there are so many reasons for us to be thankful for what we get to do each day!

Have a great week!



Take a look —


Upcoming Dates —

Nov 14 — PTO Meeting, 7pm

Nov 14-22 — STAR Testing window

Nov 16 — Spec Ed Team Meeting, noon; RTI Team Meeting, 3:30

Nov 22 — Last day to enter data into Progress Reports; 5th Grade Talent Show

Nov 23-25 — Thanksgiving Holiday, No School

Nov. 29 — PTO Spirit Night at Skyline Chili, 5:00 – 9:00 PM

Dec. 2 — Progress Reports Available Online (after 2:00 PM)

Dec. 12 — PTO Meeting, 7:00 PM (child care provided)

Dec. 15 — 4th Grade Musical, 10:50 AM, 1:20 PM & 7:00 PM

Dec. 20 — Classroom holiday parties

Dec. 21 – Jan. 3 — NO SCHOOL – Winter Break

Weds., Jan. 4 — School Resumes