This school year our One Word was PURPOSE.
You saw it every week at the top of our update and I hope you allowed this word to guide you this year. As I begin to reflect on this school year I look back at how we lived our word. It’s funny because for me the word purpose meant something different at the beginning of the school year than it does now. In August and September, when I thought about our word I thought about being purposeful with our meetings, purposeful with decisions and purposeful in how I used my time. As the school year went on and I began to dig into the needs of our kids, our word took on a completely new and more powerful meaning. Purpose began to be about others. I started to think about ways we could help our students find their PURPOSE. I looked at our work with R Factor and JW YOUniversity and thought about how the skills we were teaching our kids and the experiences we were giving them added purpose to their lives. I began to see a deeper purpose in the work we do and realized that we are so much more than teachers of standards and curriculum. And, I remembered that our PURPOSE as educators is to truly make a difference in the lives of kids.
The things we did this year are nothing short of amazing! We did incredible work with R Factor, created 24 courses for our kids to take during JW YOUniversity, expanded our knowledge of phonemic awareness and phonics, learned that love is an intervention, cotaught our ELs, coached each other during JW Grows, had a student become a finalist in a National Competition, took every child on at least one field trip, and welcomed 6 first year teachers into our school.
What’s even more incredible is that at JW Reason we know our purpose is not only to serve our students but to also serve each other. As a staff we covered classes and duties for one another, helped write sub plans for sick teammates, gave up assessment days, made phone calls to parents together, planned field trips together, dreamed big dreams and created awesome opportunities for kids. We built each other up and rooted for each other along the way. We lived our word! We did hard things together with PURPOSE.
Thank you for helping me along my journey this school year. Thank you for showing me what it means to live with PURPOSE each day as you cared for children.
Have a great summer! You deserve it!
I feel like I’ve written a lot of posts about my “rough week” or “rough day” or “hard school year”. This week really took the cake. It started with a broken air conditioner and a hefty price tag to replace it, with an allergic reaction to amoxicillin for Rosa next, followed by a lice infestation which nearly put me over the edge and cost $375 to remedy. And, it continued Thursday evening with yet another trip to Urgent Care for Rosa to get steroids because her hives will not go away. Sprinkle in Rocco’s confirmation on Tuesday, Gino’s end of year 5th grade party on Thursday and Rocco’s 8th grade graduation on Friday at 3:00 PM which is OUR FIELD DAY and it could be time for me to surrender.
Recently though, I’ve been trying to be exceptionally intentional as I practice my R Factor skills. It started with the broken air conditioner. I felt myself begin to get all amped up about it and instead I forced myself to choose an intentional response. I instantly calmed down and realized that not having air conditioning was really not that bad. Fast forward to the lice. This was a real test. Lisa, Anna and Karen can attest to the fact that I freaked but when I got home to get my family ready to head to visit The Dublin Lice Nanny, I put on a calm face which helped everyone else remain calm too. And, in the end, it was really not a big deal. As I was searching for some inspiration for tonight’s post, I came across this statement from Tim and Brian Kight-
“Doesn’t Matter, Get Better.”
This week I was faced with hard stuff. It doesn’t matter how hard the stuff was, I chose to try to get better. I didn’t always succeed, but in the events for which my response was intentional and on purpose, I did get a better outcome. I realized that I can press pause easily but then I usually still freak, so I focused on getting my mind right and stepping up.
I am going to get my reps in on R2 and R3 this summer.
Doesn’t Matter. Get Better.
I often equate the school year to running a marathon….I’ve never run a marathon, but if I did I think it would feel like a whole school year! We’ve reached the part of the year when the finish line is in sight and, we’re sprinting….FAST!
We’ve got a lot to do and it feels like there just isn’t enough time to get it all done. But, here is the thing about going FAST-we stop paying attention the little things, to the fine details and we get sloppy. I know that when I try to do too much too fast, I mess up, I slide into autopilot which means that my actions are below the line. I end up lacking PATIENCE, PRECISION and PERSPECTIVE for the events I encounter.
Take two minutes to watch this message from Tim Kight about disruptive emotion, which can happen easily this time of year. It is up to us to recognize our actions and respond to events skillfully and intentionally with PATIENCE, PRECISION and PERSPECTIVE. And remember, we don't control our outcomes we earn them.
I LOVE the time I spent with grade level teams on Wednesday. We had some amazing discussions around Mental Health and Wellness AND Social Emotional Learning. We were able to take some time to look at PANORAMA data. As all great data does, it left us with more questions than answers. And you KNOW I LOVE QUESTIONS!
We have work to do and we know it. Now it's time to do what we do best which is figure out how to get the results we want! One big take away I had from our meetings on Wednesday was that we actually are doing A LOT of GREAT things! A LOT!!!! In fact, we might do TOO MANY great things! What I mean by that is that sometimes in out attempt to plan lots of great lessons we forget to spend time GETTING OUR REPS IN! We need to give our kids time to practice the behaviors that we want them to begin doing independently....deep breathing, positive self-talk, compassion for others. We don't need to create lots of big elaborate lessons do to this. Less is more and reps help us build skill. Because we don't control our outcomes, we EARN them. And we earn our outcomes by getting our reps in.
I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes:
"The most powerful force is the cumulative effect of repeated behavior over time."
Let's help our kids get their reps in!
I love school! I really do. No matter how crazy it gets, it's seems that I just can't get enough. Over the years I've learned that I'll never be fooled into believing that I've seen it all. And, I've said it before but I'll say it again, I LOVE spending my days with all of you.
No matter how long I've been at this, the month of May always surprises me. I forget the intense sense of crazy that is the month of May in elementary school. This week May slapped me in the face and I just had to laugh at how soon I forget about what this time of year brings. The only way I can describe it is kind of like being on a merry-go-round with someone pushing me faster and faster. And as I spin, things are being thrown at me. I try to dodge them but it's nearly impossible.
Then Thursday happened and I realized that school isn't exactly like a merry-go-round but instead like Mark Jensen's family Christmas Special on SNL....you know, the one when Will Ferrell is on a rotating stage that spins him around and around as he sings and then he throws up everyhwere?...yep, that's what this time of year reminds me of.
But, I still love it. Every. Minute. Of. It.
Maybe we're spinning and throwing up but it's just so awesome!