Wolcott's Weekly "What's Up"

Office of Teaching & Learning Update 1.7.2014

Quote to Note

"One word can change your life!"

  • Jon Gordon


The One Word Challenge

Monday night is my PLN time. I usually spend the majority of the night participating in twitter chats with colleagues from around the world. One of my favorite chats is the #COLchat moderated by an incredible educator, @MicheleCorbat. During this week's Culture Of Learning chat, Michele challenged us throughout the night with the following questions:

  • "Q1 What one word did you/could you choose to create a Culture of Learning for 2014? Why?"
  • "Q2 How can your one word focus attention to learning?"
  • "Q3 How are you going to use your one word to keep your classroom, building, and district positive?"
  • "Q4 Describe how your one word will help you create action all year long?"
  • "Q5 Will you or have you had Ss or staff choose one word? What impact can this have on a COL?"

I found this topic of particular interest because of the timing. I had just seen one of my favorite authors, Jon Gordon, on the Today Show last week talking about this concept. Having struggled yearly caring out my New Year Resolutions, I was looking for something different. I downloaded the kindle edition of John's book and was actively thinking about my word. Having the opportunity to then read the words and comments of peers over the next hour was incredibly powerful. Michele even made a Wordle of the words mentioned throughout the night to capture all of the thoughts (see the picture on the right). Needless to say, it was one of the fastest and yet most meaningful twitter chats I have ever taken part of.

See the Storify transcript of the event if you are interested below.

NOW: Take the One Word Challenge... I double dog dare you!

So, as you saw above in Q5 we were asked if we will or have had students or staff choose one word? I thought this could be incredibly powerful. If you are up for it, I ask you to accept the One Word Challenge either personally or professionally. Pick that one word that will help you become a better person and/or better educator this new year. Use that word to help focus your efforts and actions this new year. Further, I ask you to entertain the idea of spending time during your next Principal PLC meeting to talk with and challenge staff members to choose a word.

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Meet Jon Gordon

Jon Gordon is a best selling, internationally known author of inspirational stories. His books are not only very engaging but also filled with invaluable lessons that can be easily applied to many aspects of work and life. After each read, I find myself reflecting on his words for days, making positive changes in my life, and feeling revitalized to meet the daily challenges we face day to day in our profession. I encourage you to take a closer look at his work. He promises not to disappoint.

PS. I have ordered us each a copy of the "Energy Bus" for our next admin book discussion.



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Upcoming Curriculum Writing w/Tom HIerck

January 9th

  • Elementary Math
  • Junior High Social Studies
  • District Physical Education

January 10th

  • Kindergarten
  • Junior High Social Studies
  • Junior High Science
  • District Music and Band

*As a reminder, please ask staff members involved in curriculum writing to send a letter/email/ or communique home to let parents know why there is a sub and why they are out of the classroom. We have model letters if you or your staff are interested.

Reminder: Sandye Brown Coaching Session

She's Back!!! Part 2 of our coaching development program will be held on January 22nd at the Professional Development Center from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm. All staff members who were in attendance this summer have been invited. Lunch will be provided.

Principal "To Do" List

  • Take time after our two and a half week break to rekindle your relationships with both staff and students.
  • Entertain the idea of spending time during your next Principal PLC meeting to talk with and challenge staff members to choose a word.

Stay Strong and F.O.C.U.S.ed!

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