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!

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

Inefficient energy

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I loved physics in high school.  We did so many great experiments and had many conversations that challenged assumptions we had about science.

I remember my teacher, Mr. Mackey, telling us that heat is one of the most inefficient energy sources we have.  He had us think about how the sun’s light heats the Earth each day and how most of that energy all around us during the day slowly starts to transfer to lower forms of energy as soon as the sunsets.

I thought about this lesson this weekend as I thought back on the week that was.  There were a handful of times at home and at school when I was reacting to the heat of the moment.  In those moments, I reacted with default behaviors instead of disciplined ones.  I ended up spending more of my time and energy having to go back and clean up my own mess.

“Heat” is certainly an inefficient source of energy. 

This week was a great reminder to stay focused on behaviors and habits that have helped me stay disciplined in the past:

  • Meditating and running in the morning to keep balanced all day.
  • Getting plenty of sleep to keep my head clear.
  • Building 5 to 10 minutes in between projects and activities to get my mind right.
  • Continue to celebrate the positive and being grateful for the great things in life.

E+R=O is easy to say and hard to implement with 100% efficiency.

This week was a great opportunity for me to remember that culture and leadership is the experience you provide for others.

Heat is one of the most inefficient sources of energy, and it’s certainly not an efficiency energy source for delivering a culture or leadership experience.

I hope you reflect with me this week — How are others experiencing our culture through you?

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

Worth Checking Out –

What Works Can Hurt: Side Effects in Education http://zhaolearning.com/2017/02/17/what-works-can-hurt-side-effects-in-education/

A new way to measure the benefits of school recess http://brook.gs/2lxMoLy via @BrookingsInst

 

Upcoming Dates –

February

21 – 4th Grade / 5th Grade Data Team Meeting

22 – Gifted Cluster PD (Cluster teachers); Staff Meeting, 3:45

23 – Fire Drill, 10:20am

24 – BAC, if needed, 8am

27 – Spring Flower Sale Kickoff

March

1 – School Community Meeting – Step Up/Build Skill, 10:45; Spec Ed Team meeting, noon

2 – Admin mtg (AM)

4 – ADE Family Fun Day, 10am-3pm

7 – BIT Meeting, 8am; 3rd Safety Drill

8 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8am

10 – Principals’ One2One meeting, 10am

13 – Spring Flower Sale Orders due

15 – Olive Tree Spirit DAY; Spec Ed Team Meeting, noon; RTI Team meeting, 3:40

16 – 5th Grade Musical: 10:50, 1:20, & 7pm

20-24 – Spring Break

2016-17 Testing Calendar

 

“Working The Gap”

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Last week, I wrote about “the edge” — The point where you can either give up or push forward; the point where you realize that failure is likely to happen.

This week, I had the opportunity to hear a Brian Kight talk about Building Skill at the last Community R-Factor meeting.

“Growth mindset”, “the power of ‘yet'” —  We’ve heard time and time again that being willing to have an open mind to new situations makes us learners who are eager to want to learn something new and to build new skill.

Brian Kight’s focus for the evening went deeper than this though.  Kight’s message emphasized the mechanics and the emotion it takes to move from being Automatic (Good) to Exceptional (Elite).

Here’s a summary of Kight’s message on the difference between Good and Elite:

Good = Comfortable, automatic, where 80% of people perform.

Elite = Exceptional, learning mindset, where few people choose to perform because they think it’s too much work or too risky.

Think back to the first two years of your teaching career (or to the first teaching experience you had if this is your first year). Think about the excitement you felt each day because everything was new and how that excitement is different now that you have experience. I know that we all still get excited about teaching, but the excitement is for different reasons. As experienced educators, we spend more time excited about a favorite unit or lesson and less time excited about learning something new.

See the difference? With experience, we exchange the excitement of learning something new and trying something that puts us way out of our comfort zone for the comfort of the familiar.

Which of the two descriptions match the energy level and curiosity need to be “Elite”? Which description match what is needed to be “Good”, comfortable and automatic?

This is why most of us, whether it has to do with our job or something that has to do with our personal life, resist change.  Resisting change is a reaction to having to walk away from the experience we have built over the years. That experience took hard work and, over time, has granted us comfort.

Seeking comfort is not necessarily bad. It could be argued that it’s human nature to seek comfort.

However, we also need to recognize that the world is ever-changing and because of that we must adjust.

Go back to the feeling of resistance to change.  Let’s say you agree that this resistance is a natural reaction — You’ve worked hard to build the skill that has given you the experience necessary to be successful.

How do you convince yourself to accept that our world changes whether we like it or not and that we too must change?

When I think about how I would respond to this question, I think about what it was I did to get where I am now. 

What did it take for me to reach my goal of being a building principal?

Hard work.

Practice.

Vulnerability.

Facing adversity.

What has been needed of me to perform as a building principal?

Hard work.

Practice.

Vulnerability.

Facing adversity.

So, what is it exactly that I would be giving up if I embrace change?

Nothing.

I’ve realized that “change” is just an opportunity to learn something new using skills that I have gained through experience.

This not only provides me with comfort, but it helps me take on new challenges.

This is how I need to approach work that is in the “Gap” — The space between Good and Elite.  I need to have a Beginner’s Mindset and view the world and work I do with fresh eyes and with excitement.

We have very little to lose staying “Good” at what we do; we also have very little else to gain.

Let’s commit to being Exceptional at a skill or habit that directly impacts the work we do for kids.  Let’s get great at change and work hard in the Gap between Good and Elite!

Have a GREAT week!

-Herb

Articles Worth Reading

Upcoming Dates

October

24 – Design Team Meeting, 8am at DCR; State of Schools (Darby), 6-9PM

25 – 3rd Grade Data Team day; FIRE DRILL, 2:15pm; State of Schools (Davidson), 6-9PM

26 – 4th Grade Data Team day; ADDC STAFF MEETING, 3:45 at ADEState of Schools (Bradley), 6-9PM

28 – BAC, 8am if needed.  Please send your agenda items to me or Karen O by Wednesday!

31 – Hilliard Trick or Treat night

 

November

1 – Building Improvement Team meeting, 8am; Kindergarten Data Team day; RIMP Deadline; SLO Deadline

2 – 1st Grade Data Team day

3 – 2nd Grade Data Team day

5 – Lit Drop, pick-up lit at Heritage MS between 9-11am

7 – 2nd Grade Culture Show, 2pm

9 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8am

10 – Mental Health and Wellness Team meeting, 8am; 5th Grade Data Team day

16 – Spec Ed Team meeting, 12 noon; RTI Team meeting, 3:30pm

22 – 5th Grade Talent Show, 1:20-2:20

23-25 — Thanksgiving holiday

 

Click here for the Elementary Assessment Calendar for 2016-2017.

 

IMPORTANT HCSD DATES

 

Board of Education Meeting – October 24, 7pm at Darby High School

Community Information Meeting – October 27, 7:30pm at Tharp

Community Information Meeting – November 7, 7:30pm at Station

Saying "No" To Stay Balanced

Update for April 6-10

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I recently asked a teacher if she would be willing to participate with me in a summer workshop on creativity.  Knowing the teacher, I thought it would be right up her alley.

Before she answered, I saw the hesitation on her face.  Then she considered what she might have to say no to in order to attend.

So, I encouraged her to tell me “No”.

The look of apprehension was replaced with a look of relief.

“Ok…no,” was her answer.

I celebrated her healthy response and moved on.

This teacher knew her plate was full.  And she didn’t want to add anymore to it.

It’s important to go above and beyond for kids.  But it’s also important that we have balance in our life.

I believe that truly living life is some of the best professional development than anything else we could do.

Remember that it’s OK to say “no” to something that might tip your balance away from good professional development.

Have a great week!

-Herb

A Must Watch Video!  — “This Is Genius”

Brutally honest monologue from a high school student.  A good reminder to listen to the students’ voice.  Be brave and seek their feedback. As seen on Seth’s Blog (Thanks to Jane for sharing!).

Articles Worth Reading

Upcoming Dates

April 6
Tech PD with Kelly Riley, 7:45am


Apr 7
BIT Meeting, 8:15am (Moved for IEP meeting)
6th Grade Transition Meeting (Spec Ed Team), 3pm
**MEDIA CENTER being used after school, 3:30-7:30


Apr 8
School Community Meeting, 8:50am
PTO Brainstorming Meeting, 7pm — Please come if you can.


Apr 9
Market Day Pick-up, 5:30pm


Apr 10
Building Advisory Meeting, 8am → May cancel if no agenda items received this week. If we have a meeting, it will need to wrap up by 8:25.


Apr 13
Dave & Busters Spirit Night, 5pm
PTO Meeting, 7pm


Apr 14
Student Housing Committee Meeting (Herb), 4:30pm


Apr 15
Walkathon Kickoff — (Video with the news)


Apr 16
Admin Meeting (Herb), 8am
**  ADE Parent EdCamp! ** 6-8pm


Apr 17
K-5 Interims — A good chance to update parents before the end of the year!


Apr 20
4th and 5th Grade ELA EOY State Assessments


Apr 21
3rd Grade Spring OAA Reading


Apr 22
3rd, 4th, 5th, Grade Math Unit 1 EOY Assessments
*** Garden Dedication, Celebration *** 2:00ish — See Becky and/or Meredith for details for how the kids can help this BIG DAY!


Apr 23
3rd, 4th, 5th, Grade Math Unit 2 EOY Assessments
*** ART SHOW *** More to come!


Apr 27
Board of Education Meeting at Alton Darby, 7pm


Apr 28
Tech PD with Kelly Riley, 7:45am


Apr 29
ADE WALKATHON — During each grade’s Related Arts Time — AM/PM KG will combine with a grade-level.  Details to come!


Student Housing Committee Meeting (Herb) 4:30


May 1
Team Connection Meeting with Dr. John/Board Member, 8:00am — Meet and greet, breakfast provided. Your chance to talk with Dr. John.



** Last Data Team Dates — End of the Year / Class Lists **

Tentative Dates — I will confirm by week’s end


Thu Apr 30 — KG AM / 1st PM
Thu May 7 — 2nd AM / 3rd PM
Thu May 14 — 4th AM / 5th PM


CREATIVITY WORKSHOP — June 16-19, plus 3 additional sessions throughout the school year. I can take two more. Let me know soon!

AD/DC Project Dates


4/8—OPTIONAL Mixer Staff Meeting at Cindy’s house at 4:00 pm  Small group steering committee members lead.
4/13–Teacher Steering Committee meeting–Jennifer is going to ask Marcy McNight from Norwich to come and present to the committee regarding the PBL design in 5th grade she has helped to create.
4/14—4 Teacher Steering committee members from each building (Tricia, Bobbie, Donna, and Carolyn represent DCR) to visit 2 STEM schools in Reynoldsburg with CT and Herb.  This was originally scheduled on 5/8, however, Reynoldsburg couldn’t accommodate us on 5/8.
4/21–Staff Meeting with ADE/DCR staff at 3:45 pm at ADE–Teacher steering committee small group explains the vision/design for next year’s extension opportunity to the staff as a whole
5/6–OPTIONAL STAFF MEETING–work time to collaborate/meet/plan with the people who are teaming up for the extension/design opportunity next year for students.
5/8–Teacher steering committee site visits and work session…
6 of the committee members from each building (those who didn’t go to Reynoldsburg) will go to Wickliffe with Herb, CT and Jennifer.  This team will see a Town Hall meeting that is completely run by students from 8:30-9:30 and then meet with, talk with, and tour the school with the principal until 11:00/11:30.  We will then meet back at CO at 12:00 with the ENTIRE Teacher Steering committee (the 4 who went to Reynoldsburg will need to put in for a ½ day PD request for the afternoon) to debrief and have lunch (provided and to be ordered through Aramark).  We will engage in conversation with the group regarding how to shift our practice as we continue moving forward with our design next year towards students defining their learning path through the options/opportunities that teachers can create/provide for them as experiences.  Could these/are these options/opportunities connected to the networks? This would support students defining the voice and choice in their learning and becomes the heart of student ownership within the design.
Additionally one GOAL for the day is to NAME IT…not pedagogically…or programatically….but based on our Guiding Principles.  So the IT that is named represents the way we do things grounded in those principles–the mantra of “Who We’d Like to Be”.  We will be showing the teacher videos one more time and identifying how these ideas align to the principles established in our Guiding Principles and how these ideas can become opportunities for next year.  

5/13–last teacher steering committee meeting for 2014-15​–The purpose is the thank those who were on this committee and touch base/listen to their perspective of the buildings from which they represent, what they think is necessary for next year to move forward.  We will share with them our “list” of what needs to happen and ask them for their “list” in order to bridge the perspectives to move forward with SOME implementation of SOME ideas for the 2015-16 year.