I love this staff so much. You truly are family to me. This week we are saying goodbye to two of our family members. Ann Lo, our super sweet, kind and humble Occupational Therapist began her retirement. Ann is one of those quiet souls who sees the good in everyone. I learned so much from my years working with Ann and will miss her dearly.
On Friday, we are saying goodbye to Ken Lissey who will also be heading out to retirement at the end of December. It’s hard to find someone who works harder than Ken. I don’t think many of you know that for years, Ken has come to work on the weekends to clean out the vents in classrooms. He takes the utmost pride in his work and is a true professional.
When things come to an end, it’s hard to readjust to a new normal and of course saying goodbye is hard. But, I am so happy and excited for Ann and Ken. After years of dedication they have earned the chance to enjoy their retirement. While Ann and Ken’s journey at J.W. comes to an end, I know that I am better in my own journey because of them.
Congratulations Ann and Ken! You will forever be part of our family.
It can be hard to focus this time of year! The anticipation of an upcoming break can distract us from doing the work. What I love about this staff is that no matter what time of year it is or what time of day it is we continue to get stuff done. I can walk around this building at 3:00 on a Friday and observe the same level of quality instruction as I do on a Monday at 9:30am. You all work so hard and you make me better every day. Today I saw this tweet from Tim Kight and I was reminded that we are so lucky to work with a group of people who make the choice to be better each day.
I want to be better because of all of you! Your choices raise my average! Thank you for the work you do each day. Let’s enjoy this last week as we continue to DO THE WORK!
This year we have the pleasure of having six first year teachers in our building. As I’ve watched them grow over the first few months of the school year I can’t help but be reminded of my first year. I remember it like it was yesterday. I had no idea what I was doing. Teaching felt like “work” and by “work” I don’t mean fun, enjoyable work; I mean miserable, torturous work. Now, 18 years later, I am grateful for the 180 days of struggle that I endured during my first year of teaching but there is not an amount of money in the world that could persuade me to redo that first year, even now.
Over the course of my next few years of teaching, I was able to settle into a grade level that I loved and find a support system to help me grow into the teacher I wanted to be. I am glad I didn’t give up during that initial year.
This week I completed OTES on our new teachers. They all worked hard to do their very best for their evaluations but what I love the most is that they chose to have me observe something that they wanted feedback on! Their growth mindset and willingness to be vulnerable and takes a risk made me so proud. Their decision to look at OTES as a growth opportunity says so much about them as professionals and it speaks to the culture of our building. Growing is what we do, we take every opportunity to learn from our experiences so we can get better. That’s exactly what our new teachers did this week. In a building where we strive to be ELITE our new teachers taught me a great lesson this week:
Take a risk. You might mess up, but you’ll definitely learn.
Take a few minutes to think about your first year of teaching. How have you changed as an educator? Who helped you along the way so you could become the teacher you are today?
Now, I challenge all of you to share some words of wisdom and encouragement with our new teachers! Make sure they know that it gets better and that they’re doing an amazing job!