Odds n Ends

Vol. 4, December 5, 2014

Northwest ISD Vision

Northwest ISD Vision

To be the best and most sought-after school district where every student is FUTURE READY: Ready for college, Ready for the global workplace, Ready for personal success

Things to Note

  • TEA has announced that it will move the testing date for the STAAR mathematics assessments for grades 5 and 8 from March 30, 2015, to April 20, 2015.
  • Thank you to everyone who participated in the Author Study Twitter Chat. What a fun and interesting way to connect with others across the district. A special thank you to Sarah Thomasson for her hard work in preparing for and facilitating the event! #NISDAuthorStudy
  • Exemplar Educator Nominations:

    Nominations were opened last Friday and must be submitted by Dec. 18th. In case you missed it and want to nominate someone you can find the form here http://www.nisdtx.org/site/default.aspx?PageType=3&DomainID=1&ModuleInstanceID=4380&ViewID=047E6BE3-6D87-4130-8424-D8E4E9ED6C2A&RenderLoc=0&FlexDataID=74274&PageID=1

  • Don’t forget: We’re blogging! Join in on the fun! You may post or read. http://pvehawks.blogspot.com/
  • Please remember to keep doors locked at all times when room is not in use. We are finding unlocked doors frequently. Please be diligent about this as it is one of our safety procedures.

Upcoming Events

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December 2014 Teacher of the Month: Mr. James Brown

Mr. Brown is one of the first faces students see when they get off of the bus in the morning and he is always there to greet them and tell them good morning. His students enjoy his classes as he teaches them about the elements and fundamentals of art. His displays of student work show that he takes pride in the accomplishments of his students as well as encourages them to reflect on their work.

Don't forget to nominate a Teacher of the Month. Please submit your nominations to Amanda. Include WHY...

Professional Reading

This summer, a few of us had the opportunity to participate in the Visioning Conference. During the opening address, there was much talk about creativity, particularly student creativity and the role we, as educators, play in the development or squashing of that which to some degree is innate. I think of this often. I recently got the book Sparking Student Creativity by Patti Drapeau. Here's some food for thought from this text.

"I wrote this book for three very specific reasons: to help teachers reach more students, especially those who are disengaged in school and do not find what we teach interesting; to suggest strategies and tools that encourage creative thinking and creative products; and to show teachers how to intentionally use creativity in their classrooms" (pg. ix)

"Creativity is infectious; if you want to become more creative, surround yourself with creative people and seek out creative environments. Like mastering anything else, if you practice creative thinking, you will get better at it. The same goes for your students: practicing creativity will help students extend their thinking beyond the status quo. But to encourage students to become more creative, we must first consider how the teacher makes a difference" (pg. 14).

"My final tips include the following:

  • Think of yourself as a creative person; eventually you will believe it.
  • Do not let the blocks get in your way; they can be overcome.
  • Creativity is contagious; surround yourself with creative people.

And most important: Experience the joy of creativity...every day" (pg. 175).

There are so many things that you manage every single day: curriculum, student needs, assessments, documentation, parent communication, discipline - the list is on-going! In the midst of all of this, I challenge you to stop and consider which type of teacher are you. Do you find the opportunity to nurture the creativity in your students or confine them to the rigidity to think "inside the box"?

As you experience the joy this holiday season, take some time to nurture yourself and your family and friends. A teacher today said that we are teachers 24/7. So though you're on a break, during those thoughts of school and your students, consider how your students might "experience the joy of creativity...every day" as well!