August (Yes, August)
Your Thoughts Become Your Actions
I recently read a great story about a replicated study that was performed based on the work of psychology Professor, Robert Rosenthal. A few scientists invited some people to observe a rat and they asked each individual one question- Do you think your private thoughts can influence how a rat will perform on its ability tests? The answer was the same… No. People did not think that their thoughts could impact a rat’s behavior. It is the only sensible answer; however, they we are wrong.
In Professor Rosenthal’s study, he went to his lab early one morning and placed average lab rats in individual cages. He then hung signs over each cage. The signs stated things like, “This rat is incredibly smart,” or, “This rat is incredibly dumb.” There was no truth to the signs; Dr. Rosenthal randomly placed the signs above cages. When his students arrived to the lab, he explained that some groups would be getting these incredibly dumb or incredibly smart rats, and they would be recording how well the rats perform on various tests, like their ability to get through mazes. Can you guess where this is headed?
Remember, these were all average lab rats- there was no actual intellectual difference in the rats; however, the results were so dramatic that people did not believe Rosenthal. The rats that were labeled “smart,” were drastically outperforming the rats that were labeled “dumb.” In fact, they were recorded as going through the mazes in HALF the time it was taking the “dumb” rats. Rosenthal explains that the rats weren’t any different, but the expectations of those observing and handling the rats were very different. Those with the “smart” rats were handling them gently and showing greater care for them. They were more likely to give the rats more opportunities to perform, or more generous with their scoring.
The expectations work the same for people. How we convey our expectations to our students impacts how they perform, their effort, their actions, etc. High achievement takes place when expectations are high. Our expectations must remain high for our students and for ourselves.
Speaking of high expectations… Our PSSA scores are in. We had high expectations for our students last year, and it paid off. I am very pleased with our scores. I am not going to post them here, because I want to contextualize them for you. There were many changes made to the assessment, as you are all well aware. We cannot compare this year’s scores with previous years, because of the assessment changes and cut scores; however, we can compare our scores with other schools in the state as well as evaluate how our students performed within our own school. All of that said, you all did a great job, and it showed. Do we have areas to work on? Of course… and we will. We will review our strengths and needs in detail when you are all back in September; however, if you would like to see or go over any of the aggregate or disaggregate data, just let me know. I will be happy to talk with you about it.
Some of you noticed that you are able to see homeroom lists in e-school. These lists are currently confidential. Please do not share this information with anyone, especially our students’ families. As you know, these lists can and will likely change in some fashion.
Baby Rooke is here! Asher is doing well, and we welcome him to the Sabold family! A picture is below... While , Allison is taking care of Asher this year, Dana Mondevergine will be teaching second grade in Room 7. We are very happy to have Dana back at Sabold next year.
Also, joining the second grade team is Capri Tilghman. Capri is excited to be at Sabold, and we are just as excited to have her as part of our team. Welcome, Capri!
In fourth grade, Jennifer Archie will be in Room 17. Jennifer is going to be a great addition to our team. In addition to her elementary certification, she is also certified in special education and as a reading specialist.
Melissa Christensen is going to join our special education team. Melissa has great experience in a variety of settings as a special education teacher. Melissa, we are excited to have you join our team!
We are also excited to announce that Lauren Smart is our new fifth grade teacher next year. Lauren will be in Room 22 next year as we add our section of fifth grade. Lauren taught sixth grade last year, so she will have good knowledge of where our students will need to be at the end of fifth grade.
Welcome to all of our new additions to the Sabold family. We have a great school, and we know that you will all be great additions!