E-Staff Weekly for 9.28.15

"Personalizing Education"

Locking Doors at the End of the School Day

Since all classroom have a number of technology devices, I would ask all staff members to make sure your classroom door is closed and locked when you leave for the day.

Please indicate this on your substitute plans too. It is expected that this new procedure is followed everyday.

Volunteer Tea Luncheon

On Monday, September 28th our annual Volunteer Tea Luncheon will take place in the library. Please remember to arrive promptly to begin planning the school year with your homeroom coordinators. One of the many strengths of our school is spirit of volunteerism. If you have willing parents to assist with "managerial" types of activities, please use them!

All volunteers must have clearances and TB test results. Please check with Tina before allowing them to volunteer.

After School Professional Development - 21st Century Learning/Tech Goals

Wednesday, Sep. 30th, 4pm


Agenda is forthcoming.

Parent Visitation - October 6, 7, 8

  1. Parents/Family Members are required to sign in. We will have documentation of all custody issues so they are followed appropriately. All checked-in guests will have a colored wristband. Each day will be a different color.
  2. All staff will park in the back lot (Callowhill Road side).
  3. If a visitor doesn't have a wristband, please notify the office immediately.
  4. Parents/Family Members are to visit during the schedule times only. An announcement will be made for our guests to leave the school campus the event is over.
  5. I will be checking each classroom to make sure our guests have left the campus.

Fall Festival Celebration Planning

This year’s Fall Festival Parade and Parties will continue to be a fun-filled event for our students. However, due to the increased security measures, the following will be implemented:

  • The Fall Festival Parade and Parties will happen on Friday, October 30th.
  • The parade will start at 1:45pm.
  • The parade route will form in the school.
  • Spectators may observe the parade route on the playground at the back of the school.
  • There will be one parade entry and exit point from the building for students/staff.
  • Parade observers will be asked to remain off the black top.
  • Homeroom parents and 3 additional volunteers will be allowed to assist teachers during the party. A sign-in table will be located in the main lobby.
  • Any parents dressing up are asked not to cover their face.
  • A more detailed letter will be distributed in the Wednesday Communication Folder in the coming weeks.

2015-2016 Building Goals Reminder

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Reserving Cafeteria and Gym

Please contact Tina Hulshizer via e-mail about availability. Using our Seylar Building Calendar she will reserve the room for your needs.

Duty Coverage

It is the responsibility of the faculty member assigned a duty to find coverage if he/she is not able to perform their duty. During these instances, the main office/Principal should be notified via e-mail.

Poster Printer is Ready!

Documents can be printed by emailing them to the Principal. The documents must be in PDF format. In addition, graphics are permitted but their should be no color background or large photographs. Please expect a 1 week turn around for completion.

Happy Birthday to You!

CATHY CUSH - October 12


KENDALL JONES - October 29

Teaching Resources, Inspiration, and Sometimes a Good Laugh!

Handling Confrontations with Particularly Challenging Students

When teachers are on the verge of giving up, Dearborn suggests an unusual strategy: “Imagine that all your students have an invisible subtitle running along in front of them that is communicating to the adults in their lives what they really need. Everything else – the nonsense that comes out of their mouths and bodies during difficult interactions – is just noise, interference meant to get in the way of our reading and responding to their subtitle.” For example, what the student says is, “This is stupid! Why we gotta do this?” The subtitle reads, This is hard for me. Help me to succeed and let me save face, too. Responding to the subtitle, a teacher might say, “Yes. I know this is hard and sometimes hard things feel unnecessary and we want to avoid them. But I’m here to help. Let’s work it out.”

Dearborn admits that students’ outbursts and resistance often tax our patience. “When that happens,” she says, “it’s harder for me to stay calm enough to remember to look for the subtitle, especially if I feel personally attacked.” At such times, she conjures up several default subtitles:

- Please help me!

- Don’t give up on me!

- What can I do right now to behave better?

“Any one of these helps me stay calm and respond productively to their misbehavior instead of unintentionally escalating the confrontation,” she says. “Remember, my baseline assumption is that student outbursts are tests to pass, not a show of disrespect. Consequently, it’s not personal; it’s a cry for help.”

Dearborn recommends a six-step process when a student irrationally resists a request to do something (or stop doing something):

  • Assume the best. “I can pass the test by being safe, structured, and consistent,” she says. “The student wants me to pass the test.
  • Soft eyes, soft voice. Be calm, Dearborn advises. “I need that calm to be expressed in both my verbal and body language. If I concentrate on keeping the muscles around my eyes soft, or neutral, my voice will naturally follow.”
  • Offer a choice. Kids need to know that they can comply or continue to resist, and whatever they choose, there will be a consequence.
  • Respect the choice made. This is not personal, says Dearborn. “I am not being attacked or disrespected. It is just a test.”
  • Give the consequence. This can be positive or negative, depending on the choice the student makes.
  • Escalate the choice. If the student chooses not to comply, another more uncomfortable consequence is calmly proffered. This continues until the student complies – or is temporarily removed from the interaction or class.
Classroom Technology at Seylar

M. M. Seylar Elementary School

"Personalizing Education"

Education is a very personal thing. We at Seylar believe that every child has the right to achieve their highest potential and for them to be inspired, to dream, to be excited, and to have pride within themselves and for their school community. Our mission is to combine these beliefs with your child’s innate passions and love for learning to bring together a mind’s on approach, where students are engaged, challenged, and supported so they can achieve their personal best.