Scott Staff News

Staff Mini Pack Update 1/15/2016

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Principal's Pen

Dear Scott Staff,

You plan. You assess. You network. You collaborate. You create CFA's, differentiate, administer literacy assessments, scour 504s and IEPs, use technology, and inspire thinking.

And for all of this, you’re given bar graphs on tests to show if what you’re doing is actually making a difference. But there are other data points you should consider as well.

Signs You’re Actually Making A Difference As A Teacher

1. Your students are asking questions, not just giving answers.

Critical thinking does not mean thinking harder before giving an answer. It means being critical of all possible answers. If your students are asking more questions, and feel comfortable doing so, you can rest assured they will continue the habit outside your class.

2. You have used your authoritative role for inspiration, not intimidation.

Monkey see, monkey do. One of the greatest lessons in life that we can teach our students is humility. We build relationships and nurture confidence in all we do.

3. You have listened as often as you have lectured. Another lesson in authority.

Your students are giving you their time and showing up for your class; the least you can do is respect them by listening when they share their own ideas and ask questions. This is the ultimate form of empowerment.

4. Your shy students start participating more often without being prompted.

Cold-calling on students may keep students on their toes, but it never creates an atmosphere of collaboration and respect. When the quiet ones feel comfortable enough to participate with their peers and share their ideas on their own, you know you’ve made an impact.

5. A student you’ve encouraged creates something new with her talents.

The simple act of creating is so personal, memorable, and gratifying that you can rest assured your student will want to make it a habit.

6. You’ve been told by a student that, because of something you showed them, they enjoy learning outside of class.

Even if it becomes a short-lived interest, your student will realize that learning outside of class doesn’t have to mean doing homework.

7. You’ve made your students laugh.

People like and listen to people who make them laugh. Showing you have a sense of humor about a topic will pave the learning path for your students.

8. You’ve tried new things and/or improvised.

Your students will remember these things...especially years down the road when all their other classes, so similar to one another, blur together. Respect and inspiration result from going out on a limb and trying something new, whether the limb breaks or not.

9. You have taken a personal interest in your students.

The chances that your students will succeed and grow are infinitely higher simply because you have showed an interest.

10. You’ve let your passions show through in your lessons.

It’s hard for your students to stay animated when they don’t know why your lessons should excite them. Showing your passion and excitement for your teaching excites and inspires your students. Never forget this.

11. You’ve made students understand the personal relevance of what they’re learning.

Psychologists have proven time and time again that people remember things much better if they are personally relevant.

12. You have cared and shown that you cared.

Researchers have proven that students assign the most authority to teachers who care about them. If this is true, then you are demonstrating a wonderful principle: that respect comes from kind behavior.

13. A parent approaches you with kind words.

Sometimes you have no idea your student listened to your words until a parent comes forward to thank you.

14. You mentor students when they are struggling.

Many students suffer from major obstacles to learning in the form of emotional conflict, learning difficulties, or turmoil at home. Learning is not independent from feeling, and this is something you can demonstrate to your students.

15. You practice strength and patience.

We’ve all reacted to current situations with emotions left over from the past, whether it’s trouble at home, personal strife, or simply previous student behaviors. The ultimate lesson, at the end of a rough day, is not blaming anyone but yourself for your reactions. Students are always watching. Remember this and learn how to reset yourself as needed.

Educators exist to produce successful people, not successful test results. The true measure of our success is often hard to record on paper but easy to recognize in a student’s behavior. Look for the signs and be open to improvement.

This article is based on a post first published on; Other Data: 20 Signs You’re Actually Making A Difference As A Teacher; image attribution flickr user horizontalintegration

You are an amazing staff that is making a difference every day, not just in the lives of your students, but with your parents and within our community.

Enjoy your weekend. Refuel. Renew. Relax. Come back refreshed on TUESDAY!!! is a 3 day weekend!

We appreciate you all!

Paige and Leanne

Special Shout Outs

  • Shout OUT to Cindy Sutterfield for offering to take Kathy Stroud's morning duty--just because! We appreciate you.
  • A HUGE shout out to Karlyn Mann! She has been mentoring one of our students--Mother Henning' him! We LOVE you!
  • Thank you Sabrina Holbrook! We appreciate your wisdom, knowledge, and sweet spirit!
  • We are proud of Natalie Scott! She has been so helpful and welcoming of our SLC friend!
  • We appreciate Kristi Taylor! She instills the LOVE of reading and books into all our students. She works to build a special connection with our Scott students!
  • We love Julie Coalson! She has a special way with her friends! She knows just the right thing to say!
  • A BIG shout out to Kim Kiser! We appreciate you helping out with morning duties to relieve staff from the cold temperatures! Thank you.
  • We are SO proud of our KINDERGARTEN Team! They met their first SMART Goal a month early! They had 31 students move up an entire DRA level! CELEBRATE!!!
  • Shout out to all the classrooms that continue to make class meetings a priority! Last week I saw class meetings in Eva's room! This helped the students transition back into class routines and refocus on their social and academic goals. As discipline heightens, make sure you are using class meetings to get ahead of the behavior.
  • A BIG thank you to Christa Gardner! She reached out to a new Kinder parent that is nervous and has many questions!
  • We are going to miss Emily Parchman and Evelyn Piechocki! Emily is going to the Peace Corps and Evelyn is moving to Arkansas!
  • We are grateful for Jenny Clemens! She is making a difference in a student's life by helping him make choices that will benefit him in the long run! She sees his potential!
  • Have you had a chance to visit with Katie Stafford? That girl is ROCKING ELAR! Who would've thought? She has a student that started on Tier 3 and now she is Tier 1! She is working on her DRA and I can't wait to hear all about it!
  • Shout Out to Whitney Zorn representing Scott at the Music Curriculum Writing! The Elementary Music Writing Team will be presenting at TMEA Convention in San Antonio in February! We are proud of you!
  • Shout out to our KN-2nd grade teachers! The learning that took place Wednesday at the staff meeting was AMAZING! We calibrated our assessing with one another!
  • BIG HOLLER to our 3rd-5th grade teachers! They had some deep discussions about their strategy groups! Good things happening at Scott Elementary!
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3rd-5th Grade Tracking Their Learning!!

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