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

 

April

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

Saying "No" To Stay Balanced

Update for April 6-10

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f7/Daniel_Hochsteiner.jpg

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.