Sherman's Commercial Breaks

Chronicles of an AP

Howdy and pardon the interruption for the debut of Sherman's Commercial Breaks!! I have toyed with the idea of sending out some form of encouragement/motivation via a newsletter for some time now and have finally decided to take the plunge and just do it. I hope these words will serve to inspire and motivate you but to also cause you to stop and reflect on where you are, where you are headed and how you will get there.

One of my favorite educational author's is Ron Clark. A couple of years ago I had the privilege of traveling to Atlanta with members of my administrative team to visit the Ron Clark Academy. This single experience forever changed my outlook on teaching and has had a lasting impact on my life as an educational leader. It taught me that you can't put a price on a moment. In life, we view the past in broad strokes, but there are certain events that stick out that we will never forget. There are instances that touch us so deeply and that will stay with us forever. In many ways, those moments help us become who we are, understand what we believe in, and shape how we see the world. It is our job to do all we can do to make special moments for our students that they will never forget and I hope that somehow, through this correspondence, I can do the same for you!

Jason Mraz - 3 Things [Official Audio]
Have you heard this song before? The tune is light and catchy but when you pay attention you begin to see how attitude, perspective and outlook can make all the difference in the world. Think positive, be positive and positive things will happen :)


Don't be the Hare, Be the Tortoise

It's finally May and many of us are starting to have those end-of-the-year feelings. I know that many of you understand that finishing out the school year is a lot like finishing a race (it's extremely physically and mentally draining), so I am here to challenge you to finish the school year out strong! I promise the finish line will be here soon but until then, don't waste time under the shade tree. Don't give up yet. You only have a few more weeks to impact your students and to use this precious time left to make a HUGE difference. Here are some suggestions to help you find your stride:

How to Finish the School Year Strong

1. Don't coast; instead, be more intentional. Don't allow yourself to go on autopilot. Instead, choose to be intentional about making these last weeks count. Set one or two end-of-the-year goals and make it a priority to do all that you can to influence your students during these last few weeks together.

2. Keep first things first. When you're overwhelmed and there are a million things to do, remember to keep first things first. Focus on what really matters and realize that the rest will get done eventually.

3. Draw on relationships you've built. You've spent a whole year building relationships with your students and their parents and as a result, you likely have more influence now than you ever did before. Take advantage of every opportunity to speak the truth and impact their lives.

4. Communicate with parents. Don't just turn in your final grades and walk out the door. Take the time to have one last communication with the parents of kids who have struggled in your class. Give them suggestions of things they can do over the summer to help prepare their student for the next year. Even if you don't think they 'll heed your advice, taking a few moments to make a final contact shows them how much you really do care about their student.

5. Take time to reflect. Take a few moments to jot down notes for yourself on what worked this year and what didn't. Are there areas of classroom management that you could approach differently next year or maybe areas of the curriculum where you need to incorporate more choice and/or rigor? The more prepared you leave things now, the smoother and easier things will go in the fall.

6. Decide to enjoy these last few weeks. Simple but profound. Instead of counting every moment till you're done, choose to enjoy these last few days you have with this group of students. It will soon be over and you'll be relaxing. But this opportunity, your time with these students, will be done. So choose to enjoy these days while you have them and to view them as a gift. This one mental decision you make will impact everything else you do.