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:

Screen Shot 2017-04-03 at 5.52.05 AM

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

800px-171879main_limbflarejan12_lg

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

 

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.

A School’s Social Media Account Can Be More Than A Newsletter. #edad688

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8389/8470078968_41e2e803ef_o.jpg

This year Hilliard Horizon Elementary established a Twitter account (@HZNElemenary) for our school because we wanted to utilize this social media tool so that we could better communicate with our students, families and our community about the great things that are happening at our school each day.

Many schools use social media platforms such as Twitter to share information about important dates and events. This is a great way to communicate important information, but more can be done with this powerful communication tool.

We have been using our school Twitter account to share information, student learning in action, reflections from staff members and articles for parents that can help them help their child learn.

https://twitter.com/HZNElementary/timelines/420635157607886848
Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 3.08.01 PMScreen Shot 2014-01-07 at 3.09.26 PM

The point is that there can be many uses for Twitter that can help you not only get your message out there, but also share the great things you are learning about in your building. Just think of what that shows the community – That you value learning something new every single day, and that learning never stops!

Check out what some of our students and staff members have been learning about over Winter Break:

https://twitter.com/HZNElementary/timelines/420635157607886848

Screen Shot 2014-01-07 at 3.02.02 PM

What are some ways your school uses Twitter to engage the community?