I’m going for it…

How my week felt in a nutshell…or in the back of a pickup.

20+ scheduled meetings in one week seems like a lot of meetings. After living through a week of 20+ meetings, I can confirm with you that it is.

This week felt like I was doing a lot of things all at once. I saw the truck packed with furniture in the picture above on my way back to school from, you guessed it, a meeting. I laughed because of how incredibly unsafe it looked. I guess it’s not actually funny, I just couldn’t believe what I saw. You know someone at some point said that they shouldn’t move furniture like this. The driver obviously had enough bungee cords to prove otherwise.

Strangely enough, after a full week, I felt great on Friday evening. I still had enough energy to spend time with the family and stay up late after everyone went to bed.

There’s a reason I still felt great at the end of the week that I’ll get to in a minute.

Fast forward to Sunday to me waking up at 4:45am to get myself ready for a 10 mile race later that morning. On Friday, we race participants had received an email from the race organizers warning of the dangers of running in heat that was in the forecast for the race. They reminded us that “no records are going to be made” in this kind of heat, so take it easy and be safe.

While I was driving to the race that morning, I had already started telling myself not to run hard and to play it safe. Despite the forecast and the warnings, the morning still felt pretty cool while I was standing at the starting line. We would be running on a trail that was fairly wooded too, which would keep the air cool.

3 miles into the race, I was feeling pretty good. I didn’t feel as hot as I thought I was going to feel. I was passing some of the other runners I had started the race with and I told myself, “just go for it”. I ended up having a pretty good run and it became a confidence booster for me as I head into the last few weeks before the half marathon I get to run.

I bring up the packed week and my race this weekend because everything that happened this week reminded me how important my self-talk is.

I felt great on Friday not because the week was over with, but because those 20+ meetings led to better things for the kids we serve. I said yes to all of those meetings after all because I said to myself that I can do it. I also reminded myself to have gratitude for a great team of teacher to work with and I celebrated the work that was accomplished.

I felt like I ran a good race because I decided to stay tuned into how was feeling during the run. I’ve run enough to know when I’m dragging and when I feel like I could run all day. I pushed out the pessimism of the race organizers and went for it.

I know that every week won’t go this way for me. But when you feel like you can take on a challenge, what are you giving up by not going for it?

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

Upcoming Dates —


25 – Pastries with Parents, 8am
27 – Herb at mtg off campus, AM; ADE Staff Meeting, 3:45pm; Mumkin Delivery, 1pm; Mumkin pickup 4-7pm
29 – ADDC Culture Celebration, 1-3pm


2-6 Conference Week
5- School Community Meeting, 9:25am; Fall Conference Late Night 4-8pm
7 – Cardboard Challenge
9 – PTO Meeting, 7pm
10 – School Improvement Team Meeting, 8:15am
11 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8:30am
17 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out
18 – District Leadership Institute – Herb out
19 – ADE Fall Tailgate, 6:30-8:00pm
20 – COI Day, No School
23 – Yearbook Cover Contest (through November 3)
26 – State of the Schools, 6pm Makoy Center
31 – Halloween



Your Unfair Advantage

Over break, I read Embracing a Culture of Joy: How Educators Can Bring Joy to Their Classrooms Each Day, by Dean Shareski and was struck by the phrase “unfair advantage” that Shareski uses: 

Finding your unfair advantage is not about competition but rather an internal sense of confidence and purpose. It speaks to Pink’s (2009) and Schwartz’s (2015) notion of mastery and autonomy. While teacher satisfaction research can vary, many studies indicate that the lack of autonomy is growing in education (Sparks & Malkus, 2015). If teachers were told to embrace what makes them unique, to find and foster their unfair advantages, I can’t help but surmise that it would make a significant difference to job satisfaction. The unfair advantage of schools is the diversity of students and teachers.

Shareski explains that, if given that all things are equal – resources, time, etc., we all have something unique that we bring to our work and that gives us an unfair advantage over others.  Shareski goes on to say that this isn’t about being competitive.  It’s about recognizing a talent or passion you have that others in the building do not have and how that leads to a culture of joy in your classroom and throughout the building.

The problem, as Shareski points out, is that we often can’t see our own unfair advantage because we spend most of our time in our own classroom, our own building or our own district.  However, that shouldn’t stop any of us from knowing or finding out what our own unfair advantage is.  We should continue to look for opportunities to gain an outside perspective that will allow us to discover what it might be.  Discovering our own unfair advantage allows us to embrace what makes us unique and leverage these strengths in our work.  Recognize your strengths. Be proud of what you bring to the classroom and to our kids!

Finally, how powerful would it be for our kids if we help them think about their strengths and how they can grow them and use them as they continue to develop as learners?

EnJOY the GREAT week back!

– Herb

Worth Checking Out —



Upcoming Dates –

27 – Class Panoramic Pictures

28 – Legend Group (403b) here during lunches

29 – Staff Meeting, 3:45 – One2One Pioneers to present; Get Fit Girls, 3:35 – 4:30

30 – Mental Health & Wellness meeting, 8:00

30-31 – Herb in DC

31 – Fruit & Veggies (pineapple & carrots); Staff school supply orders due; PTO Parents Painting Night, 6:30 – 8:30 pm



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

5 – IMPACT PD (K-2 Teachers); 6th grade transition meeting, 2:00 – 4:00; 5th grade ELA, Part 2

6 – Admin meeting (Herb, AM); Blue Jackets Choir performance (before game); 3rd & 4th grade ELA, Part 1

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; Lambright’s Parent Ed Camp

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 Lunch

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

20 – Principal’s meeting (Herb, AM); 3rd grade Math Test

21 – 2nd grade fieldtrip to Art Museum

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

27 – Elementary Transfer meeting, 8:30; Art Show, times TBD

28 – BAC meeting, 8:00; fruit & veggies (grapes & snow peas); clean office lounge

This Incredible Opportunity

My goal as an educator has always been to help change the world and help make it a better place for all.

We who teach have been given this incredible opportunity to help lead a community of learners.  Our work empowers students with the skills and knowledge they will need to be the leaders we will need in the future.

When I feel down or stressed, I need to remember to be grateful for this incredible opportunity I have to make a difference – to keep the main thing the main thing – and then act with as much positivity, optimism, and joy as I can every single time I walk through the doors of this great community of learners.

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

Articles Worth Checking Out

Can Personalized Learning Flourish Within A Traditional System?

Lazy but talented

Using Math Menus: Some Nuts & Bolts | Marilyn Burns Math Blog

Upcoming Dates


7 – BIT Meeting, 8am; 3rd Safety Drill, 10:45 am

8 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8am — Check in on Students’ writing performance since last month (Counts as monthly Data Team check-in for literacy)

10 – Principals’ One2One meeting, 10am

13 – Spring Flower Sale Orders due

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

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

20-24 – Spring Break

29 – Staff Meeting, 3:45

30-31 – Herb in DC

2016-17 Testing Calendar

Ohio State Assessment Schedule at ADE (Grades 3, 4 & 5):

Tuesday, April 4 — Grade 5 English Language Arts, Part 1

Wednesday, April 5 — Grade 5 English Language Arts,  Part 2

Thursday, April 6 — Grades 3 & 4 English Language Arts, Part 1

Friday, April 7 — Grades 3 & 4 English Language Arts, Part 2

Tuesday, April 18 — Grade 5 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Wednesday, April 19 — Grade 4 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Thursday, April 20 — Grade 3 Mathematics, Parts 1 & 2

Tuesday, April 25 — Grade 5 Science and Grade 4 Social Studies, Parts 1 & 2

Permit and Promote

“If you permit it, you promote it.” – Todd Whitaker, What Great Principals Do Differently

This quote was referenced by Todd Whitaker in the context of building culture and establishing expectations.  He explains that the culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate.

As we recognize and commit to the need to journey into uncharted pedagogical territory in education, this quote actually may be the key to moving forward. That is, if we flip the focus of the quote from negative outcomes to positive outcomes.

What if we permitted more in our classrooms in order to promote more of the kind of learning experiences our kids need?

What would happen if we permitted more projects, more collaboration, more reflection, and more student control?

If we permitted more of the kind of learning that will allow more inquiry, authentic application of skills, and opportunities for kids to reflect on their learning journey more often, we will promote a dramatic shift the learning culture in our classrooms.

As we move into Act III of the school year, think about what you might intentionally permit in order to authentically promote.

Have a GREAT week!

– Herb

Worth Checking Out —

Love this video by Apple —  As we move to providing students with a One2One iPad experience next year I challenge you to think less about the tool and more about what’s possible with it:

What Makes a Master Teacher http://georgecouros.ca/blog/archives/267


Upcoming Dates —



27 – Spring Flower Sale Kickoff


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, 10:45 am

8 – ADE Staff Meeting, 8am — Check in on Students’ writing performance since last month (Counts as monthly Data Team check-in for literacy)

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 Performances: 10:50, 1:20, & 7pm

20-24 – Spring Break

2016-17 Testing Calendar

Roll With It!

Update for April 18-22

The first beautiful Spring weekend led me and many others to hours of yard work.

Once upon a time, I used to look forward to getting outside and scaping the land with shovels, rakes, and garden sherers.

Today, I still enjoy being outside; it’s the yard work that I have come to dread.  Mowing, edging, and pouring chemicals on my yard all take hours of time to do.  Time seems more precious these days and I’m to the point when I’m ready to just buy a goat.

However, today while I was getting sunburned and overusing muscles I don’t normally use, I came to the conclusion that my outlook on yard work is my problem and I needed to own it.

I needed to remind myself that this happens ever year.

It’s all about my mindset and how I framed the work ahead.  

I got to be outside on a beautiful sunny day.  I got to work at something that I would be able to appreciate for months to come. I got to get exercise.  I found myself slowing down and taking my time to notice what’s around me.  I even started getting creative and imagining how I was going to redo some of the landscaping.  

I share this because if we’ve been teaching for more than a year, we all know what happens in May — discipline increases, we (kids and us) are starting to focus on summer, things get busier as we try to wind down.

This happens every year.  It probably always will.

Anticipate it.  Adapt to it.  Adjust to it.

Change your mindset — We get this opportunity to use the excitement of the school year ending. 

We get to give kids the chance to put all of the skills they have learned from us this year to do something truly amazing.

Roll with the energy and excitement!

Have a GREAT week!


Articles Worth Reading — 





Upcoming Dates — 

Apr 4-May 27 — Spring Literacy Assessment window (Grades K to 5)

***State Testing Dates ***

Apr 19 — Grades 3, 4, 5 Math State Assessment

Apr 26 — Grade 4 Social Studies State Assessment
Apr 26 — Grade 5 Science State Assessment

Apr 19 — ADDC Staff Meeting, 3:40 ADE Media Center
Apr 21 — Herb Meeting AM
Apr 21 — ART SHOW!
Apr 18-22 — Book Fair
Apr 21 — New Kindergarten Parent Night, 6:30-7:30pm
Apr 22 — K-5 Interim Reports
Apr 27 — ADE Walk-a-thon
Apr 28 — Herb mtg AM
Apr 28 — Grow Together Thursday

May 2 — ADE PTO Meeting, 7pm
May 3 — BIT Meeting
May 4 — ADE Staff Meeting, 8am
May 5 — Flower Sale Pick-Up
May 6 — BAC Meeting
May 2-6 — Teacher Appreciation Week
May 5 — Spring Flower Sale Pick-Up (This date may change.)
May 11 — Spec Ed Team meeting
May 14 — AD/DC Warrior Dash
May 18 — ADDC Staff Meeting, ADE Media Center, 3:45
May 19 — Herb Mtg AM
May 26 — Grow Together Thursday
May 30 — Holiday, NO SCHOOL
May 31 — ADE PTO Family Luau

Jun 3 — Last Day of School (Students)

Being Comfortable with "Stuck"

Update for Oct 5-9


When I started writing this update, I was stuck.  I didn’t know what to write or what the focus would be this week.  I thought about the topics I had written about already – culture, learning, shared vision – but was still stuck.

So I just went with it.

We go through each day at school as prepared as possible and ready to make decisions on the fly.  A website called busyteacher.org claims teachers make 1,500 decisions each day.  I think that’s a low estimate — 27 to 30 students, a litany standards, and schedules all demand fast decision-making. Thankfully, it’s a skill that is strong with most teachers.

But there are times when we are just stuck. 

We don’t know what to do yet and we have that uncomfortable feeling of ineptitude.

That feeling of not being able to do something is just part of being stuck – It comes with the process of learning.

The good thing about being stuck is that we get the opportunity to grow and get stronger through the process of getting unstuck. 

Figuring out how to proceed often leads to collaboration, reflection, investigation and seeking clarity. Those are pretty remarkable outcomes from not knowing what to do next.

So the next time I am stuck, I am going to remember that it’s part of learning.  We don’t have all the answers (I doubt we ever will).  But accepting that getting “stuck” is part of learning will help us be more comfortable when we don’t know what to do next.

Have a great week!


Articles that pushed my thinking —

Leadership is a Choice http://esheninger.blogspot.com/2015/09/leadership-is-choice.html?spref=tw

Three Things We Need To Remember When We All Hit “The Dark Side” http://www.inc.com/betty-liu/three-things-to-remember-when-we-all-hit-the-dark-side-.html

Learner-Centered Vision Will Frame Next Generation Learning http://gettingsmart.com/2015/09/learner-centered-vision-will-frame-next-generation-learning/

Innovation… Just like your mama used to make: http://eepurl.com/bAfcR1

Video that made me chuckle —


Upcoming Dates

Oct 5-9 — Fall Conference Week, Conference Night is Oct 7.

Oct 5 — PTO General Meeting, 7pm

Oct 6 — Building Improvement Team meeting, 8am; I-Time Begins!

Oct 9 — Fire Prevention assemblies (See email); Interims due if no P/T Conference

Oct 10 — Community Cardboard Challenge, Heritage Middle School, 9-12pm

Oct 14 — IAT Team meeting, 3:30

Oct 16 — COI Day, No School for Students

Oct 23 — Staff Meeting w/ Dr. John

Oct 26 — Yearbook Cover Contest begins / State of the Schools @ Bradley H.S.

Oct 28 — IAT Team meeting, 3:30

Nov 2 — PTO Meeting, 7pm

Nov 3 — Hilliard U Day, No School for Students

Nov 5 — Steering Committee Meeting in PM at CO

Nov 6 — Board Building Tour, AM before school

In It Together

Update for Sept 29 – Oct 3

I don’t like to make promises, but I promise you I will try to show gratitude for the work you do for kids day in and day out. So let me start by saying thank you. Thank you for helping me throughout the entire week. Your help and support made a huge difference for me.

I have to be honest. Last week was one that took a lot of my time and energy. However, the best part of last week was actually how “busy” it really was. Last week helped me see that we have folks within our learning community who will step up and say, “How can I help?”.

It’s that kind of response to challenges and difficult situations that allow us to realize our potential for taking on future challenges.  I am confident that, together, we will be able to continue our work in creating a learning community that works for the kids we serve.

Thank you for a great week!

Reminds / Upcoming Dates —

EdCamp Logistics –
On Monday, I will be contacting students who have yet to turn in an EdCamp Session choice or students who will need to make a 4th choice due to sessions being full.  I hope to get session confirmations to student by Tuesday.
Data Team Dates –
We will be starting our half-day release times for Data Teams on the following dates:
·       Oct 22 – 5th Grade, half-day AM; 4th Grade half-day PM
·       Oct 23 – 3rd Grade, half-day AM; 2nd Grade half-day PM
·       Oct 30 – KG half-day AM; 1st Grade half-day PM (This is a switch in order to coordinate 1/2 time teachers’ schedules).

More information will be coming to you in the near future. I just wanted to get these dates out to you.
Interims – Oct 3
I would like for you to take this opportunity to communicate with parents how their child is doing so far with the material you are focusing on at this time in the year. Just like you, I believe that supporting the growth and success of each of our kids is the most important aspect of the work I do. Please turn your interims into my mailbox by Wednesday, Oct 1 so that I have a chance to review each of the interims.  I appreciate your support. Please see me if you have any questions.
Why is he in here? — 
I’ve had a couple of folks ask my why I am in classrooms nearly every day.  I appreciate that others may be wondering too, so I wanted to share with you my response.
The work that teachers do is the most important work that is being done within our learning community. Seeing the instructional best practices and strategies that are being utilized by teachers is the best way for me to support the work you do. It’s like checking the heartbeat of the building.
When I walk into a class and stick around for a bit, I always try to see things from the students’ perspective. I use a framework of four questions that I ask from the perspective of the child that helps me form an understanding of the learning experience:
  1. What is important for me to do in today’s lesson? (Learning Target)
  2. What​​ must I learn to be able to do it? (Lesson-sized chunk of content knowledge & skill)
  3. How will I be asked to show that I can do it? (Performance of understanding)
  4. How well will I have to do it? (Success criteria or “look for”)
Upcoming Dates –
Mon Sep 29, 2014
Submit items for BAC agenda to Herb by the end of the day.

Wed Oct 1, 2014
Interims due in Herb’s mailbox
12:30-1:30 Special Education Department Meeting

Thu Oct 2, 2014       
Mumkin Delivery
5:30pm – 6:30pm Market Day

Fri Oct 3, 2014       
K-5 Interims Due
Newsletter Home
8am – 9am Building Advisory Committee Meeting
After school – ? Setup for Warrior Dash

Sat Oct 4, 2014
Warrior Dash! 10:00am – 2:00ish (Grade-specific start times).  Here is more information about Warrior Dash — DASH INFO

Tue Oct 7, 2014       
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
6pm – 8:30pm Tailgate Party

Fri Oct 17, 2014        Central Ohio In-Service Day – No School for Students 

Videos That Inspire-

Articles Worth Reading — 

“What Our Fear Actually Inhibits”via +George Couros

“Lead with the heart” via