Instructional Innovations

MCHS Newsletter: Week of November 16

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Avoiding the Burn (Out)

The week before Thanksgiving is always a hard one for teachers. We've been in school for a large block of time, and we are so ready for a week to spend with our families (well some of our families anyway). In honor of next week's break, I'd like to talk a little about teacher burn out and how we might avoid it.

Conway's Advice that She Stole From Much Smarter People Than She

1) Enjoy your time away from school. Go home and BE home. Pick up that hobby you've always wanted to explore. Read a book. Find a way to experience Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theory of flow, "joy, creativity, the process of total involvement with life."

2) Don't grade everything. This especially goes for all you ELA peeps. Students do not need every piece of work they do graded. They might think they do, but they don't. And having an abundance of grades is not a best practice anyway as it waters down the importance of the grades you do give. Make a plan for how many grades you'll be taking up: by unit, by week, or by standard. Then stick to it. Give kids other, less stressful, forms of feedback without overly assessing everything they do. Learning is in the process. Let kids work through the process before you formally assess them.

3) Don't take yourself so seriously. Have fun in the classroom. Enjoy your time with the kids; enjoy your time with your colleagues. Let them make you laugh. Let yourself laugh at yourself. Life is too serious to be taken so seriously all the time. Seriously.

I hope you have a great break week and come back ready and refreshed to tackle these next few weeks before Christmas! I will be giving thanks for working beside so many great people. You have done so much to make me feel at home here at MCHS, and I cannot begin to tell you how much it means to me.

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Caught in the Act...

In case you've been living under a rock this last week, EOC scores returned and we were green (meaning we beat both RESA and the state) on five of eight testing areas: Ninth Lit and American Lit, Coordinate Algebra, Analytic Geometry, and Physical Science. Our US History scores were good as well, scoring us a yellow on CCRPI. We also increased our graduation rate to 89.1%.

Because of all of these celebrations, this week's "Caught in the Act" is all of you. It takes a village and you should be so proud of the hard work evident in these scores. As I always say, test scores do not say everything, but when they're good--it's oh so good. Come walk around with me one day and you will see what I see: so many great teachers going above and beyond to educate our kids. To celebrate our scores, MCHS is giving the district next week off (hehe). So bask in the joy of these good test scores, eat another piece of pecan pie, and rest up. You deserve it!

Did You Read This? that's probably a yes. Email me with the statement: I am a superhero, and I will give you a goodie. :)

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