Black Bob Staff Memo

Week of May 2-6, 2016

Dear Teacher on the Tired Days

Dear Teacher on the Tired Days,

Posted on April 27, 2016 by Petals of Joy

I get it.

I had a student hurt my feelings today. Words that cut deep and wounded because there is always an element of truth perceived by the one being sarcastic.

And I’ve been icing my bruises all afternoon.

The school year is winding down, and I’m tired. I know you’re tired, too. Exhaustion is seeping in. We’re wondering if we’re going to end better than we began, or if our students will be dragging our limp bodies across the finish line.

My seniors may have three weeks left, but they checked out a month ago. Some days I wonder why I even bother to have a lesson. I could just assign a reading passage and the questions to answer from the end for the next fifteen school days.

There are teachers out there who do that…

I understand why.

I spend days and weeks begging and pleading, attempting to try anything that might, just might, get my students to read the books I assign.

I craft lessons and talk about stories and show video clips in every attempt to get my teens to think outside of themselves—to see the world and its nuances. Then I spend lunch wiping the tears of the one bullied and outcast.

I stay up to grade essays and comment on ways to improve their writing. Hours spent away from my family only to wonder if it makes any sort of difference when I see those same essays in the trash.

So by this time of year, I’m ready to call it quits. Every year wondering if I can do it again.

I know you understand. I know you feel the same. I know you have nights you wonder why you chose this profession, this teaching, this pouring out of your life into hearts day after day after day.

But really? You didn’t choose teaching.

It chose you.

For me, college was spent denying the very thought of teaching. It was only a far-in-the-background safety net if the writing thing didn’t work out.

The only job I could get right out of college?

Yep. Teaching.

By Christmas that first year I said never again.

I’ve been teaching thirteen of the last seventeen years, and now there’s no other job I’d enjoy more. (Unless being a travel writer for Condé Nast was an option…Are they hiring? Tahiti sounds like heaven right now.)

It is my calling. It is my purpose.

Because that kid with the bitter sarcasm? He or she may still need your smile that you might not want to give.

And your class after lunch with 20 big teenage boys and only five girls, all hyped-up with sugar, dyes, and processed foods and IEPs and 504s? They need to know they’re worth the effort even when they themselves show none.

And those children from broken homes with parents who shatter each other with words or fists? They need a quiet heart to stand beside them, even though you know politicians only see their test scores and not their homes.

And those students with apathy so thick you fear they will never feel anything? For anyone? They need to see that transparency breathes a beautiful life. They need to see it in you, even when the see-through heart leaves you an easy target.

Teaching was never about us. If this profession has called your name, you’re only ever in it for the students.

That’s why it hurts so much when they act like they don’t care or when the disrespect slaps us hard across the face, and the sting burns for days.

I know you’re tired. You’re battle weary with wounds seeping and scarring. But they still need you.

They need to see your fight.

Don’t give up, my friend. You can’t. I can’t. The stakes are too high. This calling, this profession, this teaching—it changes the future.

Our students are worth starting new tomorrow. They are worth giving it all we have one more day again and again and again.

Because there are students listening. There are students learning. There are students caring. We must refuse to allow the loud voices of a few to drown out the soft voices of teachable spirits.

Let’s fight together, friends. Let’s end this year better than we began. Let’s cheer each other on tomorrow and the next day and the next until we hear that final bell ring.

This is our calling. These are our students.

They deserve our fight.

- See more at:

Upcoming events

Teacher Appreciation Week!

Monday, May 2 A Day

8:30-11:30 STUCO field trip (2nd Semester Representatives + Officers)

1:00-2:30 5th Grade visit to FT

Tuesday, May 3 B Day

Collaboration Team Meetings

5th grade MAP test

9:00-12:00 Trisha at Elementary Principals Meeting

3:00-3:30 Written Round for Battle of the Books

6:00 BB Site Council Meeting

Wednesday, May 4 C Day

5th Grade MAP test

9:00-11:00 Trisha at Administrative Staff Meeting

4:00 Faculty Meeting

Flower pick up from PTA fundraiser

Thursday, May 5 D Day

5th Grade Field Trip

3:00 BRAGS (due to field day)

4:00 Amy's Shower

Friday, May 6 E Day

Happy School Lunch Day! Thank you, Mia!!

FIELD DAY (schedule and packet coming soon)

Sunday , May 8

Happy Mother's Day

Next Week

Monday, May 9 A Day

9:00 2nd Grade Safety House

6:30 5th Grade Celebration

Tuesday, May 10 B Day

Collaboration Meeting Day

5th grade to Wildwood (Trisha out of the building)

Wednesday, May 11 C Day

National school Nurse Day

AM Kindergarten Eat at School

4:00 BLT meeting

Thursday, May 12 D Day

4:00 Battle of the Books 1st Round

7:00 PTA meeting

Friday, May 13 E Day

Wacky Hair Day--Spirit Day

Free Car Wash

Green Lantern Car Wash is providing classroom teachers a free basic car wash next Tuesday, May 3, 7 a.m.-8 p.m. in conjunction with National Teacher Appreciation Day. Please show your district ID badge. See attachment for locations.

Purchasing Visa Cards

Purchasing cards will be expiring on June 30. In order for a new card to be reissued, each cardholder must complete the 2016-2017 Purchasing Card Cardholder Agreement

Staff Leaving the district

The protocol for staff iPad check-in for all staff who are leaving the district is as follows:

Staff who are leaving the school district will need to contact the Apple Team at to establish an appointment to check in their iPad at the Technology Support Center, located at 14250 Black Bob Road, Olathe, KS 66062.

The staff member should follow the steps outlined below before their appointment time:

1. On the iPad go to Settings > iTunes & App Store > Tap on the Apple ID on the top right > tap Sign out

2. Go to Settings > iCloud > Swipe up on the right to and tap Sign Out > Type in your Apple ID Password

3. Go to Settings > General > Reset - on bottom right > Erase all Content and Settings

4. Pick up your Technology Checkout Contract from your Administrator and bring it with your device to the TSC

5. Please have your iPad, case, charging cord and charging cube available at check-in, a fee may be assessed for any missing accessories or damages.


 For staff being reassigned to another district building at the same level, the iPad will follow the teacher.

 For staff being reassigned to another district building at a different level, the staff member must check-in the iPad using the protocol above and arrange for a new iPad to be reassigned.

Safety and Security--Bond Information

Bond 2016 Safety and Security Projects

The safety and security of students and staff in the Olathe Public Schools is vital to the success of the district. To ensure additional safety and security of the district’s schools, a portion of this proposed bond would support school safety enhancements across the district.

While numerous large-scale security projects have been completed in recent years, the district needs to put the finishing touches on the security of its buildings. The proposed security projects include upgrading the district’s keyless entry, interior and exterior camera replacements and upgrades, front door audio/visual equipment and door access control systems for the high schools, and door hardware throughout the district. The proposed safety projects include resilient gym floorings for all elementary schools.

“The safety and security of our students and staff is a priority in the Olathe Public Schools,” Superintendent Marlin Berry said. “Completing necessary improvements to our security systems at all school, upgrading keyless entries and camera systems are an important part of our efforts to keep students and staff safe.”

For more information about Bond 2016, visit

Assessment Reminders and Updates

District Writing Assessments

· Student papers (grades 2, 9, and 12) from the district writing assessment will be returned to your building this week.

EOY Kindergarten Assessments

· A spreadsheet was sent to all kindergarten teachers for recording their end-of-year (EOY) assessment data. The spreadsheet should be emailed back to Nicole by May 16. Do not send any paper copies of the kindergarten assessment data.

QRI / Rigby Assessments

· Nicole mailed out a spreadsheet to teachers in kindergarten through fourth grade last week. The spreadsheet will be used to record the QRI / Rigby results. It will have instructions on how to fill out the spreadsheet.

· Data to be recorded on the spreadsheet. PLEASE give Trisha a copy of your spreadsheet.

o Kdg. – Rigby level only

o Grade 1 – Rigby level or QRI level depending on the student’s reading ability

o Grades 2, 3, 4 – QRI level only

· Testing windows

o K-2 – May 2nd to May 13th

o 3-4 – Now until May 13th

Updated Portfolio guidelines were placed in your mailbox last week.

Fall MAP Window

August 29th through September 23rd

End of Year events

Teacher Appreciation Week!

May 2 2nd semester STUCO field trip 9-12

May 3 BB Site Council 6:00

May 5 Amy's Shower

May 6 Field Day

May 9 Fifth Grade Celebration

May 10 5th grade to Wildwood

May 12 Battle of the Books Battle--Round 4:00-4:30

May 13 Wacky Hair Day--Spirit Day

May 16 Mary Lu's Retirement Celebration 4:00

May 16 Writing Celebration 3:00

May 17 Battle of the Books--Final Battle 8:30-9:00 (Grades 3,4,and 5 invited)

Have a BLAST this week! What a fun week PTA has planned for you!