Monday Message

11.16.15

I spend a lot of time thinking about things. I've been this way for as long as I can remember. Growing up as the oldest of three, I was dubbed "the worrier" by more than a few family members. In truth, I don't think that I will ever not be a worrier. If it wasn't in my DNA to begin with (thanks Mom), I imagine that my decades of over-thinking has probably caused some kind of irreversible superhero-like mutation in my genes. Instead of Adamantium claws protruding from between my knuckles like Wolverine or webbing shooting out of my wrists Ala Spiderman, my super power is dedicating endless amounts of thought-energy to anticipating every single possible pitfall of a given situation. My arch-nemesis would have the power to force meditation upon me at will. It wouldn't be pretty.


I say this because lately I've been considering the idea of response quite a bit lately: How I respond to students, how I respond to colleagues, how I respond to the challenges of a particular day at school. Was the feedback I gave to so-and-so during our observation post-conference meaningful, or did I take the easy road? Was suspension really the best response to that student's poor behavior, or would something else change their actions next time? Am I doing what is right for the building, or am I doing what is easy for me? Then I realize that there isn't a right or wrong answer to these questions. There is only room for reflection, post-processing with people who will give it to me straight, and an essential re-aiming when necessary.


Under the links section this week you will see a short blog post from Craig Vroom, a middle school principal in Ohio (@Vroom6), about this idea of thoughtful response being the main thing that shapes the outcome of a situation. I encourage you to take a look at it and reflect on how a response to a particular situation that you've been involved in has helped or hindered movement forward. There is power in reflection, and you don't even need to be a superhero-level worrier to do it.


Have a great week!

Calendar (AKA Where Will Tim Be This Week?)

Monday, Nov. 16:

  • 7th and 8th grade CCFW Substance Use Survey in PE classes (Computer Labs 109 and 211 being used periods 1,2,5,7, & 8)
  • District Technology Committee Meeting, 3:00 PM, HS LGI
  • BOE Meeting, 6:30 PM, Ballard ES

Tuesday, Nov. 17:

  • Admin Cabinet Mtg, 9:45 AM, HS LGI

Wednesday, Nov. 18:

  • MS ITL Meeting, Main Office Conference Room, 2:30 PM

Thursday, Nov. 19:

  • 7th and 8th grade CCFW Substance Use Survey in PE classes (Computer Labs 109 and 211 being used periods 1,2,5,7, & 8)
  • NYSED/NYSMSA Middle Level Liaisons Mtg Day #1, Albany (Tim gone all day)

Friday, Nov. 20:

  • Day 1 of 6th Grade Parent/Teacher Conferences, 6th Grade half-day dismissal
  • NYSED/NYSMSA Middle Level Liaisons Mtg Day #2, Albany (Tim gone all day)
  • Blue 7 at The Fun Spot, 5:30 - 8:30 PM

Other Important Upcoming Dates:

11/23-24- 6th Grade Parent/Teacher Conferences, Half-day dismissal

11/23- HSA Meeting, 6:30 PM, Library

11/25-27- Thanksgiving Break!
December

12/16- 6th Grade Teams participate in the Hour of Code (schedule to follow soon)

12/17- 7th and 8th Grade Teams participate in the Hour of Code (schedule to follow soon)


**If you're looking for me, don't forget to check the big calendar hanging on the wall outside of my office. This is the best I can do until someone forcibly implants a GPS device in my forearm.

Links That Spoke to Me This Week:

  • Believing in Our Students When It Is Hard to Do - Thanks to George Couros (@GCouros) for writing this piece that really made me think about my interactions with some of our most difficult students. From George's Post: "The one thing that I never considered was giving up on him, and as frustrated as I would get, your memory when it comes to students sometimes needs to be short. If we paint the future with the brush of the past, there often seems to be little chance of moving forward."

  • Empathy in Action: How Teachers Prepare Future Citizens - I am intrigued by author Dr. Marilyn Price-Mitchell's "6 Empathy-Building Habits of Great Teachers" contained in this @Edutopia article.

  • Press Pause - The "R" Factor - "...we are reminded that EVENTS are a given. Events are those daily interactions, decisions and directions of an individual and an organization. They are going to take place. For each of those events, there will be an OUTCOME. What that outcome will be is completely and entirely determined by one simple act, our RESPONSE to that event. "

Things I Loved Last Week

  • Feeling good about my long term historical fact retention while participating in a Blue 7 Social Studies review via Kahoot with some of Tom Sylvia's students
  • Going out to the best breakfast spot in Saratoga, The Triangle Diner, mid-week and only minorly regretting my carb intake - doesn't count on days off
  • Spending time with the Building Leadership Team as we continue to craft our school's vision based on the work we did as a large group in September
  • Observing several lessons where teachers stepped aside letting students work independently, and, in turn, those students rising to the occassion with responsible, self-directed peer interactions

Capital Project Referendum

As Mr. Patton stated during our faculty meeting on November 3rd, our voice as employees of this district are key to spreading the word about the importance of supporting the district's Capital Project. As you all know, the improvements set forth in the plan are essential to our district's continued growth academically and physically. I have included the newest video highlighting the improvements and the reasoning behind them. Please share far and wide as we quickly approach referendum day, December 8th, and remind friends and family in the community to vote.
South Glens Falls Capital Project

#OneNewThing

Please keep sending me those new things you are trying. It's more important than ever, as we head into the crazy holiday season, to keep each other energized by sharing innovative things that are working for you!


Click here for the #OneNewThing Google Form


New Things We Have Tried This Year: Pear Deck, Google Classroom, Kahoot, Poll Everywhere, TodaysMeet, Piktochart

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