Sunday Shakedown

Weekly Memo for Washington Elementary

Principal Post

This week you all have certainly worked to connect with each other (collaboration, RTI) and parents (conferences). Sometimes this intense level of communication and connection can be rewarding and exhausting all at the same time. At the end of the day Friday I found myself reflecting on the week and how these interactions can support our individual needs as well as supporting each other in growth with our school initiatives. It's easy to just see each other as colleagues, but we are mothers, fathers, daughters and sons, friends, volunteers, people of faith, and so on. I recently read an article by Heather Plett on the UpLift website on a term called "holding space". It was about a palliative care nurse and the difference she made to families and patients she supported. There were several key phrases that had me reflecting on who I want to be as a wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, and leader. I thought it might be meaningful to you as well. Holding space means:

... that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgement and control.

She goes on to say:

To truly support people in their own growth, transformation, grief, etc., we can’t do it by taking their power away (ie. trying to fix their problems), shaming them (ie. implying that they should know more than they do), or overwhelming them (ie. giving them more information than they’re ready for). We have to be prepared to step to the side so that they can make their own choices, offer them unconditional love and support, give gentle guidance when it’s needed, and make them feel safe even when they make mistakes.

She suggests a list of ways we can "hold space" for one another:

1. Give people permission to trust their own intuition and wisdom

2. Give people only as much information as they can handle

3. Don't take their power away-step in for difficult decisions when necessary, but otherwise give autonomy to make choices

4. Keep ego out of it

5. Make people feel safe enough to fail, help people reach inside themselves and find the courage to take risks

6. Give guidance and help with humility and kindness

7. Create a container for complex emotions, fear and trauma allowing a safe and non-judgmental place to allow feelings to surface that may otherwise remain hidden.

8. Allow others to make different decisions and have different experiences than you would and respect those differences.

I hope as we continue to see challenges in our work with all that is new, all that is expected and all that we want to accomplish, that we will remember that our relationships and support of one another is the basis for growth in students and adults. I very much value each of you for your unique gifts to our school and look forward to "holding space" for each other.

Week at a Glance

  • New SPED director Jacki Wolfe visits for SPED collaboration, please expect her in your rooms (8:30-9:30)
  • VIF Global Schools committee meeting 11:45-3:30
  • Faculty Meeting (2-5 in Auditorium/K-1 conference room)
  • Wolf's announced observation with Dr. Ailshie and Dr. Arnold ( both will be here three hours and will likely be traveling throughout the building)
  • 3rd grade ELA planning day at Jefferson (Bernard and Yarber, subs have been requested, but put your professional leave in Skyward)
  • BOE meeting
  • RTI meetings for LCD, LCE, LCC, LCF (remember celebrate, recognize, consider document with graphs entered)
  • Insurance task force meeting at the ASC at 3:30
  • 2nd grade planning day at Jefferson
  • Wolf at principal's collaborative at 3:45
  • Tailgate Thursday (see above for details)
  • LCE Literacy collaborative meeting
  • LCD Literacy collaborative meeting
  • Club day number 3!
  • RACE DAY! Gift of Reading to occur during RATS
  • K collaborative meeting, 1st collaborative meeting, second grade collaborative and third grade collaborative
  • Handle with Care training for Trent (all day) and Coffey and Philips (morning only)

Professional Musings

· DRA Training

· This training takes place at the beginning of the DRA window. This course will be helpful to new teachers and is a great refresher course for all teachers on administering the Developmental Reading Assessment.

· When: Tuesday, September 20, from 3:45-5:00

· Where: TN Room, ASC- 400 Clinchfield Street, Suite 200

Participants: K-5 Teachers

Number Talks Training

A professional learning opportunity about facilitating Number Talks in your mathematics classroom has been scheduled on Monday, September 19th (3:45-5:00) in the Tennessee Room at ASC. This optional learning session, facilitated by Theresa Feliu and Ashley Carter, is available to any K-5 math teacher, especially those who are new to the district, new to teaching math this year, who just simply want to get better at facilitating a Number Talk. No prior training is required! Teachers who have the book, Number Talks by Sherry Parrish, should bring the book to the session.

Pre-registration for the class is requested by Thursday, September 15th. Please click on the following link to register for the session:

Please contact me if you should have any questions. I hope to see you at the session!


For Your Information:

NIET Best Practices Portal

The National Institute for Excellence in Teaching (NIET) is a public nonprofit organization committed to improving educator effectiveness. The NIET best practices portal is an interactive web tool, available to ALL TEACHERS, that provides real-time access to individualized support in order to improve instruction and evaluation.

To login, please use your KCS email address (e.g.,, then enter your password. If you do not recall your NIET password, click "forgot password" and a new password will be sent to your email address.

From the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM)

"What Makes Music Education Great in Your School District" Recognition Program Kick Off - Beginning today, eligible school districts throughout the U.S. are invited to submit an online application with a link to an original one-minute student-produced and faculty-advised video on the theme, “What makes music education great in my school district?” Since 2014, The NAMM Foundation has hosted 13 residencies in communities throughout the U.S. celebrating music education, and students, teachers, school and community leaders that are creating music learning opportunities for all students. Your school district could be next!

Submit a Video to Win! - Review the official rules and submit an online application here. A link to your video is required. Winners will receive a two-day residency with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus, guided tours of the Bus as well as the opportunity for a group of students to work with Lennon Bus producers and engineers to create a music video for an original song. During the two-day residency, The NAMM Foundation will host a town hall event to showcase music programs in the district and feature performing groups, teachers and school administrators sharing their stories of the value and importance of music education for school and community. View the eligibility requirements and read the official rules by clickinghere.

Application OPENS: 9/14/16
Application ENDS: 11/18/16
Anticipated Award Notification: 12/1/16

2017 Best Communities for Music Education - "Save the Date” of October 11 and participate this year in the 2017 Best Communities for Music Education and SupportMusic Merit Award application, available here.

Subscribe to the "Talking Up Music Education" podcast - Talking Up Music Education is a podcast produced by The NAMM Foundation about music education. Download and subscribe today.

School Challenge - Good Sports Always RecycleTM (Deadline for Nominations is October 3, 2016)

Does your school like a little healthy competition? Are your faculty and students working to make your school and/or community more sustainable? Nominate your school for a chance to win money (and bragging rights) in this year’s Good Sports Always Recycle™ (GSAR) school challenge. GSAR will recognize 10 Tennessee schools for their outstanding environmental programs!

  • Eight schools will be awarded $1,000 for the GSAR School Competition
  • One exemplary school will be awarded $1,500 for the GSAR Sustainability Steward Award
  • One school will be awarded $1,500 for the Best New Program

Each winning school will also receive two tickets to the November 5, 2016, University of Tennessee vs. Tennessee Tech football game, a special tailgate celebration and on-field recognition during the game.

To nominate your school online, please click here or complete the Word document found below and mail it to Jennifer Wiggins,

For more information on GSAR educational resources, please click here.

Big image

Thanks, celebrations and appreciations

  • Thanks to Vicki and team for quickly responding to a repair need in ECLC
  • Thanks in advance to our global team that will meet Monday afternoon to learn and begin to plan our Global Schools implementation
  • Congratulations to Katie Tester, she found out that she is having another GIRL! We are full of girls lately.
  • Thanks to Susan Zaebst, you have fit right in and have been a wonderful asset to the LCF team
  • Thanks to all for a great week of conferences. You are the best!
  • Thanks to our PTA for the great team monetary thinking what you would like to order and let Michelle know
  • We appreciate DB and all teachers k-12 who helped us receive a 5 on our 15% measure (for those who chose graduation rate).
  • Thanks to Traci,Alex, and Lisa for sitting in on conferences with parents of SPED students
  • Remember to thank Jessica Koon for her work with our RTI teams.

Just for Fun

10 Things You Lose When You Become a Teacher