Whitford's Weekly Update


Neo stops bullets (HD-720p)

Neo was a Teacher

I am sure I am using an example that many of you are unaware of. I was a big fan of the movie, "The Matrix." There are many kinds of Superheroes in the world, but Neo had to be one of the coolest. A man who has figured out the power of the matrix and that this digital world was only limited by his imagination. In the clip above you see Neo had the ability to stop bullets. This is why I believe he must have been a teacher.

After all that has happened in Ferguson, MO and the tragedy that happened this summer in New York City with the choking death of Eric Garner, race relations have never been more strained. There is so much to this problem that we cannot be fooled into thinking there is an easy answer. Equity, race, oppression, profiling......these are all things that many of us will never fully understand. It is a complex issue and there will need to be loads and loads of empathy. It will take deep conversations, loads of understanding, and lots of repeated forgiveness. There will be many that are too emotionally charged to have thoughtful and reflective conversations. There will be some that want to move forward but won't understand the healing process that needs to take place and know that it will take time. This isn't a recent issue or a sudden concern, this has been percolating for decades.

So why do teachers make me think of Neo? Because teachers utilize these skills every day and who else is better equipped to start teaching kids these skills, and to have balanced discussions about subjects like this, other than teachers. Teachers can manipulate the matrix of the everyday world, and they have the imagination, caring and empathy to be the next Superheroes that can stop future bullets.

No Homework Monday - This was just an idea I had, but I hope you will agree to it. Monday night the Holiday Train is coming through town and I think it is a wonderful event that very few communities have. I would like to encourage students to go and enjoy it but to make it easier by having no homework to worry about that night. Just a thought.....

12 Days of Christmas - I switched Wednesday & Thursday this week. We will have donuts on Wednesday & Bagels on Thursday. Sorry for the changes.....

Educator Effectiveness - another new thing we discovered when using Teachscape is that mini-observation notes are not sent to you in an e-mail. You will need to log into Teachscape and scroll down until you see mini-observation #1. In that area you can check to see the evidence collected (those are simply my observations when I observed you and each piece is tagged to a Danielson Domain) as well as viewing the post observations notes I include which are the LANAG aspects of the lesson plan I witnessed. I may also add some other input or coaching points in that area as well. Remember that mini-observations are only 10-15 minute snapshots so I most likely will not see all of your LANAG aspects for an entire lesson. I will only include what I see and observe.

Deep Dive Mid Year Review - I am including the link below for the Mid-Year Review in case you would like to view the PowerPoint on your own. While I cannot be at the Staff Meeting on Tuesday, I am only planning to show the Deep Dive PowerPoint for all those that have not seen it yet and would like to watch it as a group. I have attached the link below so that you can access it whenever is best for you. https://media.dpi.wi.gov/ee/step4-moy/deepdive-educator/story.html

Winter Concert Rehearsal - There will be a K-2 rehearsal time for the students to work together and practice on the stage for the K-2 Winter Concert on December 11th. We have arranged for buses that day to take the kids down to the High School and back because we were unsure of the weather and we wanted to maximize practice time instead of walking time. There will not be K-2 Music Class on that day. However, since that is a loss of prep time, you can put in for the extra duty time that day. 3rd, 4th & 5th grade classes may be combined that day to allow Kendra time for set-up for the concert. She will contact you about any changed times.

Compassion Projects - just a reminder to keep thinking of ways that you and your students can use the compassion project funds to do something wonderful for someone else. Fill out the form that was sent out to everyone and then submit it back to Tim Gnewikow and copy me on the e-mail.

Rachel's Challenge - please keep encouraging students to fill out the Golden Rule referral forms for others when they catch them doing kind things for others. Our goal is to get our chain to go all the way around our building.

Calendar of Events


8 Tom Out in PM - SLATE Tech Conference @Wi Dells

Conversations w/Chocolate @Angie White's Room (3:30pm)

Holiday Train comes to Tomah

9 Tom Out all day - SLATE Conference @Wi Dells

Miller - Chinese Take Out Luncheon @Miller Library (11:15am)

Miller Staff Meeting @Miller Library (3:20pm) - watching Deep Dive Mid-Year Review & Sharon Seely

10 Tom Out - SLATE Conference @Wi Dells

Oak/Camp Staff Meeting @Oakdale (3:15pm) - watching Deep Dive Mid-Year Review

11 Tom - Lunch w/Oakdale Staff @Oakdale (11:30am)

Oak/Camp Staff X-mas Party @Deb Granger's New House (4pm)

Miller K-2 Winter Concert @THS Auditorium (6:30pm)

12 Tom Out in AM - Elementary Principals Meeting @DO (7:45am)

Smiles4Life @Miller Julie Zingler's Room

Tom - Lunch w/Camp Douglas Staff @Camp (11:30am)

Miller Messenger Articles Due to Vicki by 10am

15 Miller PBIS Meeting @Miller Library (3:20pm)

16 Tom Out - Ed Effectiveness Training @CESA 4 (9am - 3pm)

Camp Douglas Elderly Christmas Meal (11:30am)

17 New Day Residents & Handishop Residents Holiday Event @Oakdale (1:30pm)

18 Story Time - Tom Reads to Camp Kids @Camp Douglas (11am)

THS Honor Students to Oakdale for Stories & Projects @Oakdale (8:30am)

Tom - Lunch w/Camp Douglas Staff @Camp Douglas (11:30am)

Camp/Oak PBIS Team Meeting @Oakdale (3:15pm)

19 Miller PBIS Sing-a-long @Miller (1-2:45pm)

Oakdale & Camp Douglas Sing-a-long @Camp Douglas (2:00pm)

This is long, but an excellent story. Some language that is not appropriate for kids ears.

Blueprint for a Breakthrough: Shane Koyczan at TEDxYouth@SanDiego 2013

12 Days of Christmas

Just to get us a little more into the Holiday Spirit and because it sounds like fun, I thought I would celebrate the season with the following 12 Days of Christmas for the amazing staff at my 3 buildings. I hope you all enjoy!

Day 1 Thursday, 12/4 Mini $100 grand bars

Day 2 Friday, 12/5 Candy Canes

Day 3 Monday, 12/8 Minty Monday – Andes Mints

Day 4 Tuesday, 12/9 Training Tuesday*

Day 5 Wednesday, 12/10 Donuts

Day 6 Thursday, 12/11 Bagels

Day 7 Friday, 12/12 Flannel Friday**

Day 8 Monday, 12/15 Hershey’s kisses

Day 9 Tuesday, 12/16 Hot Chocolate

Day 10 Wednesday, 12/17 Gift cards

Day 11 Thursday, 12/18 Handwritten Christmas cards

Day 12 Friday, 12/19 X-Mas Sweater and Jeans Day

**Flannel Friday- wear Flannel shirts and jeans

*Training Tuesday- wear training (workout) clothes