As I was driving to school today I couldn’t help but laugh as I thought back to the first day of school! We started the year with a SOLAR ECLIPSE! It’s safe to say that none of us have ever started a school year like that before.
From day one, this year has been full of exciting events. I am so grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for pushing yourselves to your edge. Thank you for all of the hard work that you put in to R Factor, JW YOUniversity, JW Grows and all of the little things that you do for kids each and every day! Thank you for giving me grace as I continue to grow as a leader. I learn from you every day. My goal is to SERVE you!
Have a great summer! Relax, enjoy your families, oh and don't forget to order your staff shirt!
On Tuesday, I had the pleasure of attending the Iftar dinner at the Noor Islamic Center. This dinner is a celebration that occurs during Ramadan.
Ramadan is the Muslim Holy month at which time Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset. The Iftar dinner was a gathering of community leaders of all faiths from around Central Ohio. We celebrated by breaking the fast together at 8:47 PM when the sun set. There were many speakers including Mayor Ginther and leaders of the Muslim community. The Valedictorian of Hilliard Darby High School also spoke. The message was one of peace and empathy.
As I experienced this event, I couldn't help but be filled with a sense of pride! I am so proud of the way we honor and respect the cultures, heritages and religions of all of our students at J.W. Reason. Being with members of the community who feel the same way that we do only reinforces our mission to be advocates for families and supports of our students who come to us from around the world.
Here is your staff update for May 25th.
I’ve learned a lot about myself over the past few weeks. I always forget how stressful the end of the school year can be for all of us. Many changes come our way quickly this time of year. In just the past week I have experienced several significant changes in the teams that I work with in Hilliard and I wasn’t expecting most of them.
Here’s what I know about change-it’s going to happen-we can’t stop it!
Here’s something else I know about change-change is what we make of it.
Over the past few weeks I have seen changes thrust upon many people. It’s fascinating to take a step back and recognize how each of these people have responded to the changes they are facing. Many of my amazing colleagues have taken the changes in stride, they’ve stepped up and accepted their new challenges with grace and professionalism. Some people, however, have had a harder time with change.
I had the opportunity to speak to Tim Kight last week and was reminded of the important work we have to do to help ourselves stay Above the Line so we can Step Up to the adversity that we will inevitably be faced with in our lives.
Tim reminded me that:
What I know is that it’s very easy to immediately go Below the Line what change happens. I am making an effort to Build Skill when it comes to responding to change.
Have you experienced a change recently? How have you responded? Are you BCDing in your classroom? Are you digging in your heals and making excuses?
Or, are you responding Above the Line? Have you acknowledged that you’re uncomfortable and begun to face your new challenge with intention, purpose and skill?
You have a choice about how you RESPOND to change.
I have a choice about how I RESPOND to change.
Here is an excerpt from the R Factor Handbook. I encourage you to read it and reflect on your response to adversity. If you are like me, you may find that you have some skill to build in this area and that’s okay because “every day is a battle for whether we CHOOSE to live Above or Below the Line”.
What do you choose today?
"It's not magic, it's work."
-Quote from the Disney Leadership Institute
Have you every walked into a classroom or gone to a conference and seen something so amazing that you feel like you could never do it in your own classroom?
I've been there.
I've seen what looks like magic in so many classrooms throughout my career. However, today I had the pleasure of spending an hour and a half with Tim Kight. We talked about what's next with R Factor. Most importantly, Tim shared that we may be starting to feel like we've "done" R Factor long enough or that we need to find a new way to implement it. But, he cautioned us about moving on too fast and reminded us of the importance of REPS!
We have to practice and practice and practice our R Factor skills! There are no shortcuts. Just like those magical looking classrooms, nothing great or magical actually happens without HARD WORK, without getting our reps in! Nothing just "happens" because we want it to. But, we CAN have magic in any area of our life as long as we are willing to do the work! We have to keep doing the work of R Factor. We have to continue to get our reps in. There are no shortcuts.
Here is your STAFF UPDATE for May 11th.
It’s safe to say that we’ve all been stressed these past few weeks. Some of our stress my have been created by our leaders (wink, wink); some of our stress may just be because of all of the deadlines we have to meet as we close out the school year; and some of it is also because it’s very easy to get so focused on making it to the finish line that we aren’t doing our best to live in the now. No matter what the cause of our stress is, the bottom line is that this time of year we often begin to focus on the things we can’t control. We lose perspective. We forget why we do what we do. We didn’t become teachers so we could have summers “off”. We didn’t become teachers because we want to make a lot of money or become famous. And, we most certainly didn’t become teachers so we could have a class full of students with the highest test scores. Yet, at this time of year we get bogged down by end of year assessments, the prospect of promotions or changing job titles, and trying to make it to the last day.
Today however I was hit with a dose of reality. I was reminded of my why. I was reminded of the reason why I’m an educator and the reason why it is my absolute honor to serve as the leader of this school. Today our staff quite possible saved some children’s lives. One of you noticed something about a child that just didn’t seem right. You spoke up. Other staff members supported you and in the end authorities became involved and as sad as I am about it, these children were taken from a potentially dangerous situation. This is what matters. The reason the children are safe tonight is because of the relationships we built with them throughout the school year. The reason they felt comfortable sharing the truth with us is because we provide a safe place for them every day.
When you get stressed and when you find yourself sweating the small stuff I want you to remember how lucky we are to have each other. I want you to remember that the safety and security we provide our students means more than any test score, job interview or deadline that needs to be met. Tonight I was able to put things back into perspective. I’m sad that it took a very serious situation to do that for me. But, I needed this reality check. We are so important in the lives of our students and that is what matters.
Here is our staff update for May 4th.