Cardinal News

October 11th - 17th


At East Central Junior High we are committed to preparing students academically and socially to be self-sufficient, contributing members of the community with plans for a successful future.

Happy Sunday,

I hope everyone has had time to relax and recharge over the weekend and if not I hope you have plans to do so over this upcoming break in order to recharge for the next leg of our journey together.

Personally, my family and I spent the weekend camping on the lower Illinois River at Marvel Trout Resort. For me, there is no better way to relax than camping (except of course being on a beach). This presented an opportunity for me to reflect on this school year and on my time here at East Central Junior High. I reflected on where the journey began and where we have progressed in this journey together. I also reflected on all of the people who have been a part of the journey and all of the changes we have made over the past few years. I can honestly say that it feels like all of the pieces are falling into place I am honored to be the leader of such a fantastic team of people who dedicate their lives, their effort and their time to changing the lives of our students.

I consider myself a reflective person, but to be honest I sometimes get so caught up in what we can improve on next, that I forget to pause and look back at where we started and all of the progress we have made. For the most part, my reflection centered around three areas: 1) student culture; 2) staff culture; and 3) PLC’s. I won’t go into details of my reflection because there is not enough room for it, but I do encourage you all to take time out of your busy lives to reflect on these three areas, or other areas of your professional lives.

It is hard to believe we are already approaching the end of the first 9 weeks of the school year. We still have a lot of work to do, but it has been the best 9 week start that I can ever remember having and I owe it to each and every one of you. You are amazing teammates.

10 Reasons To Focus Your Workforce On Value Of Teamwork

Achievement through team effort

Nearly everything worthwhile we’ve achieved has come about as a result of team effort.

H.E. Luccock may have said it best when he pointed out, “No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.” Few people remember Luccock today, but in the mid-20th Century, he was an influential theologian and a shining light of the Methodist faith.

He spent years at the Yale School of Divinity as a Professor of Homiletics, the art of preaching and writing sermons. He also wrote quite a few books about religion, surely one of the grandest team adventures in human history.

Why we bother

By cooperating, teams achieve what individuals cannot. Indeed, this may represent the greatest advantage of teamwork.

Making our own goals secondary to our group goals may seem difficult, but it pays off for everyone in the end. Need other reasons to instill effective teamwork as one of your team’s core values?

I have 10 more good ones:

1. It’s more efficient

While individuals can do separate pieces of a project in isolation and then wiggle those pieces together at the end, the process can prove to be more efficient (and effective) when the team works together closely throughout the process.

Many tasks have no clear-cut edges, so when people work separately, significant overlap and duplication may occur. On a team where the members inform each other of their progress, you can more easily avoid this.

2. It takes advantage of multiple skill sets

Even in specialized fields, the constant evolution of knowledge and increase in information makes it impossible to know everything about the field.

An archaeologist I know specializes in the very First Americans, for example; while he knows a little bit about all things archaeological, he would fail as an Egyptologist. Even as a First Americans researcher, he focuses on North America and has little knowledge of very early Central and South American cultures.

The point is this: it would take a lot longer to complete a project if one person was required to know everything necessary to accomplish it. Instead, you put together subject matter experts on different aspects of the field and have them tackle the project as a group, leading to our next point.

3. It’s faster

As the old saying goes, many hands make light work.

This assumes you, as leader, make your desire for speed known and divide up the work in a manner appropriate to the team structure. If you tried to slog through something yourself, it could take hours over what someone else could do in 15 minutes.

4. It promotes friendly pressure to get done on time

Deadlines motivate individual team members to work harder and invest greater amounts of their discretionary effort, thus buttressing and accelerating the process.

In general, people don’t want to let others down.

5. Productivity doesn’t depend on one person

When one team member is sick or on vacation, another cross-trained team member can pick up the slack and still get the work done on time.

If only one person is working on a project and holds the keys to the kingdom, it suffers until they return — and may even die in their absence.

6. You CAN take advantage of ongoing feedback

Even in projects that one person can handle, team efforts can increase the quality of output due to immediate feedback during the planning, design, and implementation stages.

You might let one person manage the lion’s share of the administration, but the result is more robust with multiple perspectives.

7. It increases learning opportunities

When you find yourself in regular contact with those who have different skill-sets, you can’t help but learn from them occasionally.

Back when desktop computers were still fairly new — the ancient days of the early 1990s — a colleague of mine learned from a co-worker how to create a small program that automatically backed up his important files to a separate server every morning. It came in handy more than once.

Have you accidentally picked up beneficial tips and tricks from your colleagues occasionally? If not, you’re not listening.

8. It can solidify accountability

Being part of a team encourages a sense of belonging, which often translates to greater sense of ownership and accountability for the work — especially when team members respect each other and don’t want to let the team down.

Even if you disagree with a decision, you were part of the decision-making process, and you leave the room as a united front.

9. It lets people share the lows and highs

Misery might love company, but so does jubilation. When you share experiences, you strengthen that sense of belonging and shared accountability that pushes you to excel.

It may be fun to celebrate alone, but it’s always better when someone else celebrates with you, someone who knows where you’re coming from; and suffering alone is just demoralizing and depressing.

A teammate can alleviate those lows — sometimes it’s nice to commiserate with someone who understands you.

10. It promotes synergy

Teams may prove greater than the sum of their parts, in such a way that the results can be out of proportion to the number people involved. Consider Gilbert and Sullivan, Jobs and Wozniak, and Brin and Page.

This week on Twitter

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Cardinal Spotlight

Jeremy Willis

  1. What is your favorite movie? Pirates of the Caribbean
  2. What do you do to relax? Write some, but mostly read. I'm part of a writers group that meets every Monday where we bring 10 pages or a chapter of something we have been working on and discuss it as a group.
  3. Who inspires you? My sister, Tina. She stays so busy keeping up with my nieces but still has time to call and discuss what is happening with me. People who can stay busy and still be remotely sociable with friends and family amaze me.
  4. If I could travel anywhere it would be...I've always dreamed of getting a sailboat and disappearing in the tropics.
  5. My favorite music/artist is... AC/DC and the Eagles.
  6. Who would you like to interview next? Natalie Honkala

Week at a Glance

Sunday, Oct. 11th, 7:30am to Saturday, Oct. 17th, 9:30am

12121 East 21st Street

Tulsa, OK

Saturday October 11th -

  1. Lesson Plans Due

Monday October 12th -
  1. Science PLC in Library
  2. POD Meeting @ 3:30 - SBG & Explore
  3. JUNTOS - 5:30-8:00
  4. Volleyball Playoffs

Tuesday October 13th -

  1. Lang. Arts and Social Studies PLC's in Library
  2. Detention/Tutoring @ 3:30
  3. Football @ Monroe @ 6:00/7:30

Wednesday October 14th -

  1. Reading and Math PLC's in Library
  2. School Picture Day - Science classes
  3. SBG Action Planning Meeting @ 3:30 in 134

Thursday October 15th -

  1. Fall Break - 10/15-10/19

Friday October 16th -

  1. Fall Break - 10/15-10/19

Upcoming Events

October 19th - No School

October 20 and 22 - Parent Teacher Conferences 4:00-7:30

October 23rd - RTI Friday *Details to come.

October 26-Nov. 6 - Tripod Student Survey Window

October 27 - ELL Parent Workshop @ 6:30

October 29th - Parent Workshop @ 6:30