Sometimes academics don’t matter.
Sometimes the most important thing in the world to a child and to a family is for the child to feel loved at school. Sometimes all we need to worry about as teachers is providing the emotional stability a child needs to feel safe and cared for.
Today a new student walked through the doors of J.W. Reason. He is five years old. And, in his first five years, he’s experienced more heartache than some people have experienced in their entire lives. He needs us to understand that. He doesn’t need us to lower our expectations for him, but he does need us to help him feel safe, loved and comfortable so he can begin to learn and grow.
As the school year winds down and we all have a million things swirling through our heads, let us not forget why we do what we do. We are here for kids. We are here to make a difference. Maybe today we won’t accomplish everything on our “to do” lists and that’s okay. What really matters is that we take the time to make a difference in the life of a child.
If you haven't watched the greatest TED Talk of all time, I urge you to take 20 minutes to do so. This is Rita Pierson's TED Talk called "Every Kid Needs a Champion".
Here is your staff update for April 29th.
I love organization. I love things to be in neat piles and tidy rows. And, if things can be color coordinated, well, that’s even better. I always find myself straightening things and lining things up.
Obesessive compulsive? Maybe. But, what can I say, it’s how I was raised.
As a kid, I remember my mom and I cleaning out the basement, the garage, drawers, closets, kitchen cabinets and more. When I moved out on my own, the desire to keep things neat and purge the things I didn’t need continued. In fact, a few weeks ago, I found myself in the middle of a clean out. It started with just rearranging a few things in my basement and it quickly turned into a full-scale basement reorganization. About an hour in, I looked around my basement only to see what used to be a somewhat organized room, turn to complete disarray. Nothing was where it once was. There were piles of things to be thrown away; other piles of things to be sold; and still more piles of things that I couldn’t decide what to do with. In the midst of the mess, I wanted to run away or put everything back where I started and forget about it all. But, instead, I pushed on. I sorted, purged, reorganized, labeled, stacked, and packed. And the end result was a completely organized room with much less clutter than before. It was functional and everything was in a place that made it easily accessible. The moral of the story is that sometimes in order to get a really great end result, you need to make a big mess. In the middle of my project, my basement was messier than it was when I started, but I had to muddle through the mess to end up with my neat organized space.
Just like my basement project; as educators we often have to create a mess on the way to big change. Currently my staff is being challenged to redesign elementary education. At this moment we are in the messy stage.
We must push forward and keep working through the mess.
We must resist the urge to put things back where they once were just so we don’t have to deal with the chaos.
We must be willing to muddle through the mess so that we can come away with something that is better than we could have ever imagined.
Here is your staff update for April 22.
We've spent the year preparing for something new.
We've asked you to share ideas. We've asked what needs changed. We've asked you to dream. Now, it's time to act.
It's time to take the next step. Next week I will be asking for those who are looking to take a forward leap! I am looking for the early adopters who are willing to "try and fail, try and learn, try and succeed".
Is it you?
Will you be an early adopter. If so, we're ready for you!
Here is your staff update for April 15.
I set a goal for myself to write an inspirational, positive blog post each week of the school year. I’ve been proud of myself so far this year, until this week. This week has been rough. I’ve been in my office most of the week administering assessments to 3rd graders who are at risk for retention due to the Third Grade Reading Guarantee. As an educator who loves nothing more than seeing children passionately engaged in meaningful learning, it was difficult to watch them sit for hours on end taking a test that would ultimately determine the fate of their future.
This week I haven’t felt inspired. So, I’m giving myself permission to feel uninspired. I’m giving myself permission to feel annoyed. I’m giving myself to let some things go.
Next week will be a fresh start.
I hope you give yourself permission every once in a while, too.
Here is your staff update for April 8th.