Monday Minutes

January 11, 2016

We, the Bethany Community, are dedicated to provide an excellent education and to instill a life-long love of learning that will maximize each student’s success in a competitive 21st Century World

Off to Another Great Start

Happy New Year! Not only did we make it through the first week back, but each of you did an incredible job of teaching students!! Thanks for your energy and efforts last week.

As we head into week two, I want to encourage you to keep up the improved questioning that I saw last week. Carefully consider how you can ask questions that challenge students based on their current understanding of the learning concept. Provide students an opportunity to "re-teach" each other the learning objective. Another great strategy is to have students come up with questions they think may stump you, as the teacher, and then work together to come up with appropriate responses to those questions. Continue to make sure that all our instruction is intentional and well thought out. At the same time, don't miss opportunities of inspiration that come up to build on students understanding.

I posted on Bethany Twitter this morning and found the following from the district while online. "Have you ever found a great website to use in your classroom and it has been blocked by the PISD filter?" Follow this link ( and you can see how easy it is to "unblock" the site for your use.

Last Monday, in our training, one of the things I asked of you was to look at your instructional practices from the fall semester and determine what you could abandon for this semester. It is in all our DNA as teachers to do more. The struggle with doing more all the time is that eventually there is no time to do more and we have often moved away from what is most effective. I would love to hear from you the things that you have abandoned in order to focus on what you do best and that has the highest impact on student performance.

Finally, as we move forward during this semester I invite each of you to carefully look at your work / home balance. Being a teacher requires a lot!! Yet, as you know, too much of even a good thing is not great. Set time limits on how much work you will do and then stick to those limits. My practice is to finish work by 5:00 four of five days each week. On the fifth day, I stay as long as needed to make sure I have things in order at school. I rarely work weekends (aside from e-mails). Doing this has helped me not only at home, but also to set priorities at work and spend time on those things that I feel make the most difference for the students, staff and community. Some days and weeks I get to leave earlier than 5:00 and others the plan doesn't quiet work as hoped, but all-in-all, it has helped me enjoy both work and home much more!

Thanks for all you do and I hope this is an AWESOME week for each of you!

Upcoming Events

  • January 12th -- Science Fair at Bethany
  • January 13th -- Schimelpfenig Music Visit -- 5th grade
  • January 13th -- Team Leader Meeting
  • January 14th -- Fifth Grade to Visit Schimelpfenig
  • January 15th -- Bethany Spelling Bee -- 1:00 p.m.
  • January 16th -- Bethany Night at the Texas Legends (Choir Singing)
  • January 18th -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday
  • January 20th -- Staff Meeting
  • January 21st -- Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration -- 6:30 p.m. -- Williams High School
  • January 27th -- First Grade to Outdoor Learning Center
  • January 27th -- PLC Meetings
  • January 28th -- Kindergarten PACE Placement Meeting -- 3:00 p.m.
  • February 1st -- Monday Morning Assembly
  • February 3rd -- Dining for Dollars -- Buffalo Bluez
  • February 10th -- Team Leader Meeting

Thought For The Week

“It requires courage to make good choices, even when others around us choose differently.”

~W. Craig Zwick

Kid President AWESOME YEAR Challenge!