The Cardinal Way
Sharing and Learning at Southport Middle School
Student Success is a Team Effort!
IN THE MIDDLE OF IT - One Word for 2016
I have discussed in the past my dislike for New Year's resolutions and goals. Too many times goals are used as crutches in our lives; we either set them so high we ultimately cannot control the outcome, or we set them so low (and safe) that we can’t really refer to them as goals. In one scenario we sometimes have to give up control and rely on others to help us accomplish things that are beyond our current means, or we play it safe and never push ourselves as much, or as far, as we could. Joshua Medcalf, author of Burn Your Goals, describes this idea in a blog post on Changing the Game Project. He states: “I know that for many of you removing goals is like taking away your training wheels or your ‘blanky’, but it’s long overdue. At some point your training wheels are more of a hindrance than a help. You can’t make sharp turns around the bend, you can’t hit the brakes and power-slide, and you cannot fly off of jumps! No one has ever competed in the X-Games with training wheels. Though training wheels may give you balance and security, they strip you of the opportunity to experience the full potential of riding a bike.”
Over the past year I have found that these ideas hold a great deal of truth. Josh Medcalf goes on to state in his new book, Chop Wood, Carry Water: “Goals actually allow you to shrink responsibility. But a mission? Only the person in the mirror can stop you from living that out.” For me, focusing on a mission based life, rather than a goal based life, has changed my approach to almost everything. Ultimately, it has changed the way I perceive and value different aspects of my life. Therefore, I am choosing to take the One Word challenge again this year.
One Word That Will Change Your Life (by: John Gordon, Dan Britton, and Jimmy Page) is book that challenges you to simplify your life by focusing on ONE WORD for the entire year. I appreciated the concept of clarity and focus that refining things to just one word provided. One Word tells us, “Clutter and complexity lead to procrastination and paralysis, while simplicity and focus lead to success and clarity.” Last year, my word was INSPIRE. I feel I found a great deal of success by keeping my focus on a one word mission last year. It helped me push myself to “inspire” myself by inspiring others.
As I searched for my One Word for 2016, I knew fairly quickly the idea behind what I wanted to focus on, but struggled with putting a word to it. I wanted a word this year that was more focused on personal improvement in multiple aspects of my life where I feel I am lacking. As I took time to reflect on my successes and struggles, evaluated where I needed to grow personally and professionally, and examined new ideas from recent books, I came to the word SIGNIFICANCE. I looked up definitions from multiple sources as I was making my final decision about this word for 2016. All definitions contained the concept I was looking to improve upon in 2016. Google defines SIGNIFICANCE as: the quality of being worthy of attention, importance.
I want to make sure in 2016, I am putting SIGNIFICANCE on the right aspects of my life. I want to make sure I put first things first and let much of the rest go. Too many times I feel I sacrifice certain aspects of my life to: doubt, regret, worry, or meaningless tasks. I add significance to problems or situations that should have no SIGNIFICANCE in my life. I take small issues or frustrations with others and turn them into more than they should be. I stress or worry about insignificant problems and therefore carry their weight. They are not truly problems until I make them issues in my own head. These unimportant aspects of my life then begin to impact things that are very important to me. They steal my precious time. So, in 2016, my mission will be to place my focus on what should have SIGNIFICANCE and let the rest of it go.
It reminds me of the Serenity Prayer I have heard so many times. “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.”
So this year I am going to strive to:
- Live one day at a time with the mission of finding SIGNIFICANCE in the things that are important to me,
- Not make unimportant things more important than they are, and
- Look at everything as an opportunity to learn and grow
Keep learning; keep growing; keep sharing!
This is cross posted on my Principal's Blog
- Great first week back! Thank you to everyone for your patience and hard work as we get kids back in the grove after a two week break.
- Thank you to Amy Gaisser, Georgina Mayorga, and Melinda Wiess for all the hard work they put into planning and organizing for the upcoming WIDA test.
- Congratulations to Sharon Ancelet. She recently found out that she received a Lily Grant to retrace her father's foot steps while he was in World War II.
Teacher of the Month
GRATEFUL FRIDAY CHALLENGE
Week 19 Grateful Friday Challenge:
If you had thirty seconds left to live, what would you tell my children/spouse/best friend are the three most important things you learned about how to live a happy life?
Now, find a way to incorporate these three things into your life every day for the next week.
Today Mr. Burkhardt’s had new students in his 7th grade art class! The 7th graders were taught and modeled what procedures look like in Mr. Burkhardt’s class. Students saw what supplies they will be using and had a chance to ask questions about art class. Students then began to practice the art of looking and then drawing. Mr. Burkhardt said, "I will not be teaching you how to draw, anyone can draw and be given a marker. I am going to teach you how to look at things, and then draw what you see.” Students then started their first draft of drawing shapes in 3-D.
Mr. Fleenor's students are working to improve their writing skills. Today, students were focusing on planning before they write. Students discussed their favorite restaurant. Mr. Fleenor asked students to expand upon details. When students offered suggestions like: "I like it because it's good," the class went into more depth about what makes a restaurant good and used those ideas to structure the planning for a essay about why they like their favorite restaurant.