Coaching Connection

Crosby Elementary * May 2020

Relationships First

We hear "relationships first" often here in Forney ISD. Never has that idea hit more home to me than a few years ago when I got the call that one of my former students had been murdered. This student was smart, outgoing, and a natural born leader. She was the kind of kid who had tons of potential and a lot of hard breaks along the way. Her life hadn't been easy to say the least, but she had seemed to overcome each hardship with an indominable spirit and energetic zest for life. And then she was robbed of it.

I took her death pretty hard. As I visited her wake, I thought back to the times that I had her in class and felt haunted by all of the little opportunities to speak life that I had likely been too rushed to take. I thought of the times I could have taken the moment to slow down and listened to her, but instead was so focused on TEKS alignment and data. I realized that, in the end, the moments that I spent with her as a person were more important than that knowledge that I was able to impart as a teacher. The experience was a sobering reminder of what's important in this career and the moments that really matter. Sadly, after that experience, I've had several other former students who have been shot, unexpectedly removed from home due to CPS, or others that simply moved away without warning. In each of these instances I was immediately taken back to that same line of thinking: What type of difference did I make? Was I explicit in my care and concern for the student? Did I speak life every opportunity I had? Did he/she know that I saw such great potential and had hope that that potential would be realized?

It's in these unexpected moments of change that we realize what's really important. I've seen it with each of you as we've moved to our virtual learning setting. I haven't heard a lot of talk about data and scores, nor about supplies or deadlines. What I've heard are thoughts that you didn't get to hug a student good-bye, that you wished you would have listened a little longer or shown a little more care. That you would have done that last day of school a little differently if you would have known it was truly the last day of school as we knew it. That you hope your students know how much you love them.

I encourage you to let these experiences during this pandemic continue to refocus you on what really matters--relationships. It is through relationships that you will make the most lasting differences in the lives of others. Time is a gift, and the presence of grief in the absence of our students speaks to the importance of the love that is shared. Continue to put relationships first and you and your students will benefit as a result.

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Meme of the Month

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Coaching Corner

Click the button to see Crosby's Coaching Corner website. You can find access to upcoming PD opportunities, coaching updates, CLC items, resources, and archived newsletters. Add the site to your bookmarks bar for easy access in the future!

Teacher Appreciation

Teacher Appreciation Week is coming up and I wanted you each to know how truly appreciated you are! I see the hard work you put each day. I know the passion with which you approach each task and the commitment you have to your students. Thank you for making Crosby such a magical place to work! Enjoy the two videos below and know that you are greatly valued.

The Teacher Appreciation Song
Thank A Teacher

How I'm Growing

Instructional Focus: Relationships

As mentioned above, relationships are an integral part of teaching. In this time of virtual learning you have a unique opportunity to continue to support your students through the relationships you've built. I love the 6 tips shared below to help build positive teacher-student relationships.
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May Challenge

You've been giving your best effort, working hard, and likely doing it around the clock. It's time to do something for yourself! This month's challenge is to take a break and indulge in some teacher self care. Find time to recharge, recenter your focus, and do something that makes you feel a little more like you. I would say I'd have a jean pass waiting, but, if you're anything like me, jeans are much more restricting than the stretchy pants that have become the pandemic work from home uniform!
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Upcoming PD Opportunities

FISD GT PD Offerings

Camp Forney: June 1-4

Also, Coaching Cohorts are going strong! Stay tuned for an update of the campus impact these have made.

Shelby Denman, M.Ed.

Shelby is the Learning Specialist at Crosby Elementary. She is passionate about partnering with teachers on their professional journeys, justice and equality in education, and making learning memorable and fun! In her spare time she can most always be found drinking coffee, reading, and hanging out with her husband and two daughters.