Lincoln Lion's Local Buzz

September 13, 2019

Being Comfortable with Uncomfortable

We are entering the stage of school improvement where we need to take an objective look at our practices and be honest about what is working and what isn't. This inevitably becomes uncomfortable there is usually at least one thing that we are doing in our daily practice that has taken us down a path we don't want to travel.

We have already looked at and changed systematic practices--big ticket items--like the schedule, how we use IAs, lunch room practices. However now we need to get picky and look with intention at the small stuff that might be weighing us down. This could include looking at the nuances of the "big ticket items", but it could also be looking at procedures that are classroom based, like the resources we are using for a particular part of our day, or how we organize progress monitoring of our students. This process is not personal. It is not to single anyone one out. We all have things to reflect on and be honest with ourselves about what has worked, and what needs to be changed.

The process of self reflection is uncomfortable-- like trying on bathing suits in March uncomfortable--but it is necessary so we are able address what needs to be done to get better. In the coming year we will need to look at all kinds of practices in our building to make the improvements that will keep us from spinning our wheels. We will be looking critically at how we use our time at school. Are we starting on time, maximizing our time with quality, rigorous, grade level work, and not spending time on activities or work that doesn't get us where we want our kids to go. We will be looking at how we use resources--human and capital. I know I'll be looking at my practices to ensure that I'm getting feedback to teachers in a timely manner so you all can act on things that will help you in the classroom, and how I manage my calendar so I can be more present in classrooms. This kind of work is not fun, but can yield some great changes for the positive.

Be open minded in this process. Be willing to be vulnerable and open to change. This process is not to identify wrong or incorrect practices and place blame on how we got them or who caused them to be part of what we currently do. We are looking to make changes that will help us with our growth and meet our goals for Lincoln!

Big picture

Food for Thought

Last year and this year Lincoln has been included in the SPDG grant awarded to our district. This grant provide professional development to support teachers who are involved to think about how we can provide educational access to all students--regardless of any disability be it mental, physical, behavioral, or socioeconomic. All students, be they at Lincoln or any other school in the country, are changing and needing more support to be able to access their education. Here at Lincoln we have students identified with specific needs on IEPs and in 504s. We also have kids who don't have that documentation, but need supports daily to be able to access their education like their peers.

As educators we have to to be willing to see students as individuals and meet their needs, even if it is a different approach than what we would for other students. We need to not be afraid of the comment, "How come he/she gets _______?" and be able to respond with, "Sometimes a person needs something different to succeed. I want all my students to succeed." Just because we give one student something different does not mean we need to give the same accommodations to all. Everyone does not need that accommodation to be successful--but that one student does. It might be extra reminders. It could be that we allow a fidget item on the rug because the student can't pay attention as well with out something in his or her hands--even though the other students can't bring something to the rug. It might be that we provide extra reminders, give extra time, or give less work. It could be a whole host of outside of the box ideas to support students who are not "typical"--whatever that means these days.

Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is frustrating and does not work. The student becomes frustrated because they are not successful. Parents are frustrated because their student is upset that can't do what is being asked of them because they are not like everyone else. Teachers are frustrated because likely the child/children are acting out more because the approach of "square peg/round hole" isn't working.

Attached is an article that expands on this topic that I encourage you all to read and reflect on. Thinking about how we can level the playing field for all of our students to help them be successful is something that will yield success for all of us in the end.

Do The Math Training

**Math RTI is around the corner! We will need to begin to incorporate math support with more students once we get ahead of the literacy summer slide. If you have not been trained in Do The Math please attend one of the sessions indicated below in the coming weeks. IAs are welcome to attend the trainings during the work day if you would like to be trained. **

Do the Math Training Info: Six professional learning sessions are scheduled for Math RTI, specifically on how to implement the Do the Math (elementary) and Do the Math Now! (secondary) intervention programs. These sessions are appropriate for classroom teachers, special education teachers, interventionists, teaching assistants, or anyone who supports math RTI. The sessions are offered at varied times to offer flexibility with scheduling. The schedule is provided below:

Tuesday, Sept. 17 (3:45-5:00 PM) - ASC Tennessee Room

Tuesday, Sept. 24 (3:45-5:00 PM) - ASC Watauga Room

Thursday, Sept. 26 (3:45-5:00 PM) - ASC Tennessee Room

Thursday, Sept. 26 (9:00-11:00 AM) - ASC Tennessee Room

Thursday, Sept. 26 (12:30-2:30 PM) - ASC Tennessee Room

Friday, Sept. 27 (9:00-11:00 AM) - ASC Tennessee Room

Interested participants may register for a session using the link provided:

Shasta Support

What: DRA Progress Monitoring refresher

Where: Book room

When: Wednesday, September 18

3:30 - 4:30 (drop-in)

Elementary Principal Collaborative

This Wednesday all elementary principals will be visiting Lincoln for our monthly meeting. Visits usually start with classroom visits. Do not be alarmed if a passel of administrators enters your classroom between 8:25 and 9:30. These visits are great learning opportunities for principals and we all enjoy visiting other schools and classrooms. After our visit we will be in the conference room, solving all the world's problem....LOL!! OK, maybe not all of them, but the ones that pertain to KCS and elementary schools.

Upcoming Calendar Reminders

Tuesday 9/17--Leadership Committee--3:30-5:00, conference room

Wednesday 9/18--PTO meeting 5:30-6:30, Library

Thursday 9/19--RTI Meetings--Conference room

Thursday 9/19-- Fall Picture Day--Auditorium

Thursday 9/19--SMILE 3rd Thursday--4:30-6:00--Stir Fry Cafe (see master calendar for details)

Friday 9/20--Clubs-- 10:00-10:45-Various classrooms.

Monday 9/23 --Faculty Meeting