To the Point
Prairie Point Staff Newsletter
Volume 2, Issue #3: Tuesday, September 1, 2015
Myth: If you are prepared, everything should go as planned. Logically, we know that it doesn't. We all want and strive for a controlled classroom where we are able to present our most confident selves and create an appearance that we have everything together at all times. Who wouldn't want that? And, it's one of the things that makes a new curriculum so scary, especially for those of us who are planners. But I've also found that sometimes, my need to have everything planned to the detail is paralyzing. I start to feel as though I'll never be ready. As Rami says, "It creates a huge burden, which can overpower even the best teachers." I almost didn't teach a unit that I created because I was afraid of some of the kinks I might run into with students, and it turned out to be one of my best experiences as a teacher. There are a lot of unknowns with our new ELA curriculum. Don't be afraid to begin. Have a plan, but don't become mired in it. Give yourself time and permission to figure some things out along the way. And if something you have planned is a disaster, well then, you can refer to the next myth...
Myth: Perfection is the goal. This is the one that bites us most often. I love what Rami says here - "We create conditions in our classrooms that allow our students to find resiliency and a new opportunity to learn when they fail at a new skill or task. However, we do not extend this kindness to ourselves. Because our actions and planning impact the lives of our students, it is understandable that we feel an immense pressure and duty to do right by them. However, instead of feeling inadequate, we should be humbled by the task before us, and let go of the expectation that we can perfect every lesson, every interaction with each student, and every conversation with a parent." (p. 66) From me, you have permission to try something new and fail. You have permission to improve your craft and become a little better each day. Take risks with purpose and intention - what's best for kids - and you can't go wrong. You have that permission from me, but you need to give that permission to yourself.
Myth: Administrators have the final say and they shouldn't be questioned.
Please, question me and have that conversation with me. Sometimes I'm lacking in perspective and I need another point of view. Sometimes I don't have the right answer. Sometimes, I am so completely off base you would wonder how I ever got here to begin with. I make mistakes. Those of you who were here my first few years as principal know that I made a lot of them. Let's work together through some of the things that are difficult this year - one of my core beliefs is in collaboration. In collaboration we can professionally question one another, discuss points of view, and ultimately create a stronger partnership and stronger school because of it.
Thank you for all you do...I admire each and every one of you.
Senior Center Partnership
Classroom Readers, Listeners, and Partners
PLEASE LET ME KNOW ASAP IF YOU ARE INTERSTED IN A SENIOR PARTNER. :-)
Last spring, we were fortunate enough to establish a community partnership with the Oswego Senior Center. Some of you had a senior come and read to your class, or have students read to them in the hallway.
The goal of this program is to develop a two-way relationship across generations.
We will be continuing this again this year. I am meeting with interested Seniors on September 14th at the center. Please let me know if you would like to have a classroom visitor weekly to partner with your classroom as a volunteer, read to your students, or listen to your students read.
Wednesday Morning Meetings
Wednesday Morning Meeting Schedule
Agenda for this week's meeting
FOR THIS FIRST MEETING:
- Make sure to choose your PLC Agenda and share your notes with me and others who need the information.
- Spend some time talking about your collective commitments, or norms, that will allow your team to function as a high performing team. Page 138 in the organge PLC Book - Learning by Doing is a great resource.
- Decide what you will discuss and address at your next collaborative meeting which will take place next week.
- Enjoy this time with one another.
PLC Agenda Options
The video below shows you how to save the agenda templates to your own Google Drive.
News & Info
ReadyGen Rev Up
Kate and I are signed up - who's joining us? I'm signed up for the 5K, Kate for the 10K.