What could be can be

“Every great leader and organization sees the world not as it is, but as it could be.”

My wife shared these words from “The Carpenter” by Jon Gordon with me over dinner recently and they have stayed with me.

We often get caught in the trap of trying to fix the multitude of problems we spend most of our time identifying – Things and events we feel that are stopping us from accomplishing our goals or keeping us from being happy or satisfied.

When we shift our focus away from principles and enduring beliefs to the negative complaints about situations, we box ourselves in a place where change for the better is not likely to happen. Gordon is reminding us to stay focused on what grounds us. What grounds me is moving education in a direction that better prepares our children for an ever-changing world. What grounds me is working to make our school culture a strong one that focuses on growing as a learner and taking responsibility for your response to events.

Sure, there are times when I get caught up in a small moment, but I do my best not to linger in that moment. Small moments aren’t everlasting, but the setbacks to the progress of our goals end up being everlasting if any of us shift away from what grounds us could be everlasting.

Let’s commit to staying focused on seeing what could be for our kids!

Have a great week!

Herb

Here’s the Staff Update for this week!

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“The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

Mid-October in schools is stressful. Conferences, kids are challenging our norms because they are feeling comfortable with school, staff fatigue — All are these are ingredients for a tough day or week. It’s also the time of year when we start to lose focus because we are too busy worrying about everything that is going on around us.

These are the times, however, where gratitude and focusing on what is working can help us get out of a “slump”. So what’s working? I know we could come up with hundreds of items, events, learning successes, professional successes, and small moments we could celebrate.  So, that’s what I want you to do: Celebrate everything that has gone well.

And gratitude? Gratitude is important because, as I have learned from Sharon Esswein, you can’t be grateful and unhappy at the same time. What are you thankful for? What is it that at the end of the day you can think about and truly be grateful for having in your life.

So, you have homework this weekend:

  • Keep the main thing the main thing. 
  • Celebrate what is working.
  • Seek out a personal sources of gratitude. 

 

Have a GREAT week next week!

Here’s the Staff Update for Oct 23-27.

Reflective Learners: Better Teachers?

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Late last week, I had the opportunity to guest teach in a 3rd grade classroom for a math lesson. The students’ task was to work on a situation-based problem where the students needed to be flexible with their thinking to solve a problem that did not involve simply finding the sum or difference between two numbers.

The kids paired up and began working through the problem. I asked them to check in with me if they got stuck or when they had the answer. Now, my goal in all of this was to ask the right question to support the students’ work. I knew that during this activity, there would be kids who:

  • Got the answer fast, but wouldn’t have anything that documented their thinking;
  • Worked hard on the problem but would need reassurance they were on the right track;
  • Would need to be extended because they were able to quickly solve the problem;
  • Were clueless as to what to do.

Anticipating how to support kids took me a long time to fine tune as a classroom teacher and, if I were still in the classroom, it would be something I would like to keep fine-tuning. One thing that helps me to continue to work on this is taking the time to reflect about how I take on new challenges and how I react to new learning situations. My hope is that this makes me a more empathetic teacher when it comes to supporting students.

I believe educators need to put themselves in situations where they are having to learn something new or where they need to apply a skill to a new situation. Having a self-awareness about what the learning experience feels like can help us support students. I also believe that being learners ourselves helps us anticipate how our students will tackle a learning situation. When this happens, we ask better questions that lead students to new understandings.

Hope you get to learn something new this week!

Herb

Worth Checking Out

‪10 Tips for Creating a Fertile Environment for Kids’ Creativity and Growth https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/10/03/10-tips-for-creating-a-fertile-environment-for-kids-creativity-and-growth/‬

How To Work Smarter – Not Harder – As A Teacher  https://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/work-smarter-not-harder-teacher/

 

Upcoming Dates

October

9 – PTO Meeting, 7pm
10 – School Improvement Team Meeting, 8:15am
11 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8:30am
12 – ADE Fall Tailgate, 6:30-7:30pm
17 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out
18 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out
20 – COI Day, No School
23 – Yearbook Cover Contest (through November 3)
26 – State of the Schools, 6pm Makoy Center
31 – Halloween

November

2 – Admin mtg, Herb out AM
6 – School Community Meeting, 10:45am; Student Picture Makeup Date
7 – PD Waiver Day, No School for Students
8 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out all day
10 – Veterans Day observed; End of 1st Trimester