Ivy's Insights

Sharing tips, techniques, & thoughts...

Happy New Year! Welcome 2014!

I hope you enjoyed the holiday break and spent time resting, relaxing, and recharging. The new year and beginning of a new quarter is a great time to start fresh...a clean slate...a rebirth. I plan to take advantage of this new start and hope you do too!

Tips...Starting 2014 off strong!

As your students enter your classroom for the first time in 21 days (yes 21 days!), here are a few tips to start the year off right.

*Greet each student personally...either when they enter the classroom or when walking around the classroom. Take time to talk to each student during your class. If everyone commits to do this tomorrow, each of our students will have had 6 adults talk with them. Just this small act of smiling, saying hello, welcoming them back, acknowledging that you are glad they are here will make a huge impact for our students!

*Communication...during homebase or at the beginning of your block, ask students to write on a piece of notebook paper 3 things they would like you to know about their holiday break. It could be what they did, who they spent time with, what they liked best about the break, what they didn't like about the break...very open ended. Collect and scan through their responses. Any of them stick out to you? Any that might need a chat to check in on?

You can model the same thing for them as a way of sharing about your holiday break...what would be your three things to share with your students?

I'd share the following...

1. Played several games with my kids

2. Watched A LOT of football! some good games, some not so good games...

3. Had fun seeing family and visiting with friends.

*Reviewing Expectations...with so many days off, it is imperative that you spend dedicated time reviewing expectations. Be sure to review common area expectations...hallway, restroom, arrival, dismissal, cafeteria, etc. as well classroom routines. Your review of routines is critical to maximizing your instructional time for the next several months. As you talk with students about their new Success Trackers, take time to specifically state your expectations for classroom behavior. Please know that any of the principals would be happy to stop by to support your discussions and reviews. I will be spending time on morning announcements reviewing some handbook items, so feel free to continue those dicussions during homebase.

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“What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” —Vern McLellan

Thought to Ponder...You are Your Lens

Who you are determines the way you see everything. You cannot separate your identity from your perspective. All that you are and every experience you've had color how you see things. It is your lens. Here's what I mean:

A traveler nearing a great city asked an old man seated by the road, "What are the people like in this city?"

"What were they like where you came from?" the man asked.

"Horrible," the traveler reported. "Mean, untrustworthy, detestable in all respects."

"Ah," said the old man, "you will find them the same in the city ahead."

Scarcely had the first traveler gone on his way when another stopped to inquire about the people in the city before him. Again the old man asked about the people in the place the traveler has just left.

"They were fine people: honest, industrious, and generous to a fault," declared the second traveler. "I was sorry to leave."

The old man responded, "That exactly how you'll find the people here."

The way people see others is a reflection of themselves: If I am a trusting person, I will see others as trustworthy. If I am a critical person, I will see others as critical. If I am a caring person, I will see others as compassionate.

If you change yourself and become the kind of person you desire to be, you will begin to view others in a whole new light. And that will change the way you interact in all of your relationships.

~excerpt from Winning with People by John C. Maxwell

Choose to start your New Year off strong! Make each day of 2014 count!

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