Bear Tracks

Weekly information for Bear Tavern - January 15, 2016

Our Time is NOW...

Note from the Principal

Happy Friday Bear Tavern Staff,

Congratulations on another great week! I am still so proud of our 4th and 5th graders for doing such a tremendous job at the Winter Concert. Bryanna and Britt were fantastic and certainly deserve a high five for their efforts and preparation.

We have talked a lot about the 'Growth Mindset' this year, with our students and among the staff. We've learned about the 'Power of YET' and that it is ok to fail as long as we are willing to work hard and LEARN from our setbacks and stumbles as they relate to our goals and plans. In this week's article, Carol Dweck provides a powerful and necessary reminder that praising students just for working hard is not helpful, we need to help them to reflect in order to see what to do next based upon what they have learned and then set a goal and work hard to do it. The focus and target of what we hope to accomplish become critical for our students AND for ourselves. I loved this week when Pete Nestler (the jump rope champion & world record holder) told our students that sometimes things are hard and that if things are hard we can either whine about it or work. He then said, "Do you think whining is going to make you a champion???" and went on to talk about how much he hated training for the world record that he has for jumping rope on one foot for a mile. While scary for some of our 5 and 6 year olds, it was funny and 100% true. We have to help our students find goals that are so important to them, they are willing to work, and even suffer, to accomplish them.

But I want to add a twist on this concept for our staff this week. I had a powerful conversation with a teacher a few days ago, in which she talked about how much she is learning and how much better she'll be next year at this time given her experiences. I agree with her 100%, but felt the need to ask her to pump the breaks for a second and to celebrate the wonderful accomplishments that she was having right here and right now - because she IS.

My challenge to everyone this week is to continue to reach forward with our arms and relentlessly strive to learn, improve, tweak and grow - because we can and because it's what great educators do, WHILE keeping our feet grounded where we are, celebrating the efforts we are making and the successes we are having. Equally as important - help someone else see the progress they are making or the influence they have had, but support their efforts for continual improvement. You will be amazed how great you will feel if you give five authentic compliments this week or tell someone else how much you appreciate him/her. In the short term you will get a smile that will make you feel great, but there is a good chance that moving forward you'll motivate that person to confidently stretch further than he/she may have thought possible.

Keep up the great work. We are building something special. Thank you for all of your efforts and passion.

Happy Friday.



Special Reminders & Upcoming Dates

Information & Reminders:

Next week (1/20) we will get report card training at BT in the Media Center. I will release the schedule (groups will be targeted for training - it will not be whole staff) ASAP. We'll be working with Katie Santini and Doug Brower.

Den Groups - We are working on having Brian Peterson from Mercer Street Friends visit for Den Groups. I will put out a list of items and activities for the next meeting, so that people have plenty of heads up and advanced notice. I'm planning on putting out a letter to families encouraging students to perform some service. Even if it means doing chores in their own home, or helping a neighbor, I'm going to put out a big challenge, then allow students to follow up in a discussion about it in Den Groups. We'll get some appropriate books & resources together as well.

Great Kindness Challenge - I'm also working on adapting the Great Kindness Challenge (which is a world wide week of kindness) so that it is great for our school. In a nutshell students are challenged to perform a number of acts of kindness from January 25-29, 2016. Some items on the official list don't fit, so I'd like to make it our own. Once we modify the list, we'll distribute it and students who complete a certain number of items from the menu (on the honor system) can write their names on a bear claw or something and we can line the halls. I'll send more information, but here is the website for basics (they have a lot of info if you poke around)


Saturday 1/16 - Saturday Enrichment

Monday 1/18 - School Closed MLK Jr. Day

Wednesday 1/20 - PTO Meeting

Wednesday 1/20 - Faculty Meeting

Thursday 1/21 - STEM parent night for current 4th and 5th grades (6 pm 4th; 7 pm 5th)

Friday 1/22 - Spirit Day (wear your favorite sports team)

Friday 1/22 - Preschool Colab Day

Friday 1/22 - Staff Breakfast

Monday 1/25 - RTI team meeting

Tuesday 1/26 - 90 minute Contracted Meeting

Wednesday 1/27 - TROUT RESTOCK DAY (our day of redemption!)

Thursday 1/28 - DEN GROUPS (Special Schedule AM)

Quote of the Week:

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Article of the Week:

Tweet of the Week (to highlight great ideas & people to follow)

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Tech Tip of the Week

Added bonus for MLK Jr. Day to use in any way you'd like