Winslow's Words

December 14, 2015

Merry Christmas

The pasta lunch today was my Christmas gift to you! I appreciate you all so much and wanted to thank you for your hard work and always doing what is best for our kids! I would love to get you each presents but can't really swing that but I can cook - so I hope you enjoyed it!


  • Please let Cindy and I know the time of your Christmas party on December 18th. We will have parents call and this will enable us to pass the word along!
  • We will not have grade level meetings again until the new year. We will have our first round of the eDirect testing completed and also up-to-date on ELA and STAR Assessments.
  • We are working on a Data Wall for the conference room for grades K-5! We hope to have it completed soon.
  • We will be going to the high school to practice for the music program on Wednesday afternoon. We will have more details to everyone soon!

Wednesday Practice

We will leave the elementary at 1:15pm on Wednesday to go to the high school to practice. The buses will load like this ---

1) Kindergarten and Mrs. Burle's class

2) First grade

3) Third grade

4) Fourth grade and Mrs. Gilpin's class

5) Fifth grade

We will finish at 2:20pm. At that time the car riders and walkers will load a bus to return to the elementary. The bus riders will get in bus lines and proceed to load the buses. Joyce and Robyn will remain at the high school to make sure all students get on the buses. Remaining staff will return to the elementary and then be able to get into cars to return to the high school for the staff gathering. No students should have any problems with their afterschool plans. All will be able to go to the normal places. We will chat more about this at the staff meeting.

Thought for the day-----

"I've learned from experience that greater part of our happiness or misery depends on dispositions and not on our circumstances."

~Martha Washington

Upcoming Events

Tuesday, December 15

~Joyce & Lorie at Drug Free Task Force Luncheon 12:00-2pm

~Elementary Staff Meeting 3:30pm

Wednesday, December 16

~Staff Christmas gathering - high school 2:45pm

~Elementary Christmas Program 6:30pm

Thursday, December 17

~Movie Day


Please note the changes to lunch time*****

9:30-11:10 = 2nd grade and 3rd grade

11:30-1:10 = Kindergarten and 1st grade

1:15-2:55 = 4th grade and 5th grade

*Classroom teachers ~ please make sure your students have used the restroom prior to the movie!

*You will need to bring and pick up your students.

*Please plan to come pick up your class 5 minutes earlier than the time scheduled and help with getting the students lined up and trash picked up. Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Lunch times have changed for a few classes....

Kindergarten = 10:50-11:15

1st grade = 10:55-11:20

The rest of you should come to lunch at your normally scheduled time.

Friday, December 18

~Christmas Party Day (you may have your party at whatever time you would like!)

~Dismiss at 12:30pm

~Painting Party at high school library

Monday, January 4

~School resumes

Wednesday, January 6

~PD Day - work on grades

Friday, January 8

~Grade cards will go home

Tuesday, January 12

~Grade level meetings 5th, 4th, and 3rd grades

~PAT Night - Wacky Winter Sports

Wednesday, January 13

~PD Day - TBA

Thursday, January 14

~Grade level meetings K, 1st, 2nd

Friday, January 15

~Homecoming basketball game

Monday, January 18

~No School - MLK

What Students Remember Most About Teachers by Lori Gard

Dear Young Teacher Down the Hall,

I saw you as you rushed past me in the lunch room. Urgent. In a hurry to catch a bite before the final bell would ring calling all the students back inside. I noticed that your eyes showed tension. There were faint creases in your forehead. And I asked you how your day was going and you sighed.

“Oh, fine,” you replied.

But I knew it was anything but fine. I noticed that the stress was getting to you. I could tell that the pressure was rising. And I looked at you and made an intentional decision to stop you right then and there. To ask you how things were really going. Was it that I saw in you a glimpse of myself that made me take the moment?

You told me how busy you were, how much there was to do. How little time there was to get it all done. I listened. And then I told you this:

I told you to remember that at the end of the day, it’s not about the lesson plan. It’s not about the fancy stuff we teachers make -- the crafts we do, the stories we read, the papers we laminate. No, that’s not really it. That’s not what matters most.

And as I looked at you, wearing all that worry and under all that strain, I said it’s about being there for your kids. Because at the end of the day, most students won’t remember what amazing lesson plans you’ve created. They won’t remember how organized your bulletin boards are. How straight and neat are the desk rows.

No, they’ll not remember that amazing decor you’ve designed.

But they will remember you.

<img style="height: 165px; width: 220px;" class="media-element file-content-image-w-caption picture-left" src="/sites/default/files/styles/content_image_breakpoints_theme_edutopia_desktop_1x/public/media/lori_gard-photo.jpg?itok=DgAd4zH5" alt="" />

Two of my former Kindergarten students enjoying a quiet moment together

Your kindness. Your empathy. Your care and concern. They’ll remember that you took the time to listen. That you stopped to ask them how they were. How they really were. They’ll remember the personal stories you tell about your life: your home, your pets, your kids. They’ll remember your laugh. They’ll remember that you sat and talked with them while they ate their lunch.

Because at the end of the day, what really matters is YOU. What matters to those kids that sit before you in those little chairs, legs pressed up tight under tables oft too small -- what matters to them is you.

You are that difference in their lives.

And when I looked at you then with tears in your eyes, emotions rising to the surface, and I told you gently to stop trying so hard -- I also reminded you that your own expectations were partly where the stress stemmed. For we who truly care are often far harder on ourselves than our students are willing to be. Because we who truly care are often our own worst enemy. We mentally beat ourselves up for trivial failures. We tell ourselves we’re not enough. We compare ourselves to others. We work ourselves to the bone in the hopes of achieving the perfect lesson plan. The most dynamic activities. The most engaging lecture. The brightest, fanciest furnishings.

Because we want our students to think we’re the very best at what we do and we believe that this status of excellence is achieved merely by doing. But we forget -- and often. Excellence is more readily attained by being.

Being available.
Being kind.
Being compassionate.
Being transparent.
Being real.
Being thoughtful.
Being ourselves.

And of all the students I know who have lauded teachers with the laurels of the highest acclaim, those students have said of those teachers that they cared.

You see, kids can see through to the truth of the matter. And while the flashy stuff can entertain them for a while, it’s the steady constance of empathy that keeps them connected to us. It’s the relationships we build with them. It’s the time we invest. It’s all the little ways we stop and show concern. It’s the love we share with them: of learning. Of life. And most importantly, of people.

And while we continually strive for excellence in our profession as these days of fiscal restraint and heavy top-down demands keep coming at us -- relentless and quick. We need to stay the course. For ourselves and for our students. Because it’s the human touch that really matters.

It’s you, their teacher, that really matters.

So go back to your class and really take a look. See past the behaviors, the issues and the concerns, pressing as they might be. Look beyond the stack of papers on your desk, the line of emails in your queue. Look further than the classrooms of seasoned teachers down the hall. Look. And you will see that it’s there- right inside you. The ability to make an impact. The chance of a lifetime to make a difference in a child’s life. And you can do this now.

Right where you are, just as you are.

Because all you are right now is all you ever need to be for them today. And who you are tomorrow will depend muchon who and what you decide to be today.

It’s in you. I know it is.


That Other Teacher Down the Hall