The Pillow Page
The Odds Are Against Us
I hope you've had a restful Spring Break! I got to enjoy some time with my family. We road tripped it to Oklahoma to visit my mom and step dad and enjoyed some golfing and attended an Oklahoma City Thunder basketball game, among other things. It was great catching up on missed time with Everett and Caitlin. I'm excited and ready to return to Pillow tomorrow! It's a short week, too, so let's take advantage of the limited time we have with he kiddos this week.
March is the time of year when many different things are celebrated, but for me, March Madness is something I look forward to every year. There is something about the NCAA tournament that gets me pumped up! I love cheering on my Longhorns, but I find myself watching any game that is on during the tournament. It doesn't matter if I've never sat and watched a game by this team that I know nothing about...when it's tournament time I can sit and watch games all day. I find myself cheering for teams that I otherwise never would. I love the underdog stories and pulling for the teams that really have no business beating some of the top teams in the country. But, without fail, every year there is a "cinderella team" that upsets a powerhouse school. This year, if you haven't been paying attention, there have been many. A 13th seeded Hawaii defeating a 4th seeded Cal...an 11th seeded Wichita St. defeating a 6th seeded Arizona...a 12th seeded Yale defeating a 5th seeded Baylor...an 11th seeded Northern Iowa defeating a 6th seeded Texas with a half court buzzer beater (that one hurt)...a 14th seeded Stephen F Austin defeating a 3rd seeded West Virginia...a 12th seeded Arkansas Little Rock defeating a 5th seeded Purdue...and the biggest upset of the tournament so far, a 15th seeded Middle Tennessee defeating a 2nd seeded Michigan State (who many had winning the whole tournament). Of the 32 first round games, 13 of them were upsets where a "weaker" team beat a "stronger" team. It's exciting and it's unexpected. That is, unless your the team that's labeled the "underdog." To them, they deserve to win just as much as any other team. They've worked hard all year long just like the big schools. They've won a lot of games just like the big schools. So why shouldn't they expect to win? It's a mindset thing. If all of the "underdog" teams walked into the tournament and said, "Well, we are the weaker team, so let's just see what happens" then none of them would win. They win, because they enter the game with the mindset that they are just as good as the other teams in the tournament. And many times they end up winning games that everyone else didn't expect them to win.
Now, why am I saying all of this? I'm not attempting to write a persuasive piece on why you should give up weeks of your time in March to watch back to back basketball games. I'm saying this because, in many ways, our students are the underdogs. Our kiddos have a lot of odds stacked against them when it comes to being successful in school. We could sit here and name them (unstable home life, lack of food, lack of sleep, lack of academic support outside of school, tardiness and absenteeism, etc.) And that means that, in many ways, our school is an underdog. We aren't expected to perform well on standardized tests. We aren't expected to offer a whole child experience because we are a Title I school and we can't afford to "waste time" doing that. And if we fall into the trap of believing those things, then we will never be successful. But, just like the Middle Tennessee State's and the Northern Iowa's of the tournament, when we believe in our students, when we help them to believe in themselves, when we believe in our abilities as teachers, we can "upset" the odds and come out on top. We can be the "cinderella team" that no one thought could make it, but did. As we gear up for the first round of STAAR testing in less than two weeks, and as we enter the last couple of months of school, let's not give in to the belief that the task is just too hard. The belief that some kids will make it and some kids just won't. Help your students overcome the odds to be successful. Look at each student as someone who can achieve great things. Be their biggest fan and coach. Because, when we do that, we create the "upsets" that we knew were possible all along.
Ms. Bennett's awesome kinder Panthers lead us in the pledges at assembly!
Ms. Bennett's kinder Panthers taught us about U Mass Amherst at College Bound Monday Assembly!
Ms. Bennett's kinder Panthers lead the school in mindful listening at SEL Assembly!
Awesome project created by our 2nd grade Panthers with their French teacher!
Thanks to Ms. Holm from @Austin Public Library for reading to our Panthers at assembly!
Coach leads Panthers in a healthy food relay in PE!
Love this shirt! Our Pillow teachers are awesome!
Coach leads Panthers in some Go Noodle fun at Think Fitness Thursday assembly!
Ms. Martinez's Panthers share cards with Ms. Balois for Parent Support Specialist Appreciation!
Our Pillow GT group...who can make the tallest structures out of certain materials?!
2nd grade Panthers enjoying some sunshine on the new playground before the break!
Kindergarten Panthers rehearing for their upcoming performance! Can't wait!
TELPAS Online Testing Begins
3:00pm - LPAC Committee Meeting
3/22/16 - Tue
3:00pm - 4:00pm - CST Meeting
3/23/16 - Wed
Happy Birthday Ms. Dragoo!
PreK Field Trip
3/24/16 - Thur
All Day - B. Hill Out
1st Grade Field Trip
9:00am - 10:30am - Building Blocks of Orchestra Presentations
1:30pm - Y. Cardenas & C. Chaplin Out
3/25/16 - Fri
Staff & Student Holiday