Cougar Connection

Week of August 22-26, 2022

Week One Wrap!

You all successfully made it through the first full week of school with students, so give yourself a pat on the back! The 2022-2023 school year is definitely off to a great start, and I can't wait to see all the growth that takes place for us this year!


Take some time to relax this weekend, and spend time with your family to help you recharge for the week ahead. Sometimes, it's so hard to shut the "school brain" off, especially at the beginning of the year when there are so many things going on. However, it's SO important to keep your cup filled, whether it's getting into a good book, having a Netflix binge, or doing something outdoors...you can't pour into others from an empty cup! (I have to remind myself of this often!)

Team Time Tuesday

We will begin having our weekly team meetings this Tuesday from 7:20-7:50 in your team leader's classroom. Be sure to sign in, and I will be communicating with team leaders about the agenda.

PLC

We will begin meeting in PLCs this Wednesday during conference times. I am currently working on a PLC schedule to get out to you, and I will be communicating with department heads about agenda items for this week.

SEL Mondays

Mondays are set aside for student SEL during Cougar Time. (8th grade students will be doing this with Mrs. Garner.) Although this is something new, I am thrilled to see so many of you already implementing this with your students! Social Emotional Learning is such a critical component of our students' success. I think it often gets overlooked at the secondary level because we expect kids to have it "figured out" by now. If you've spent any amount of time with a junior high kiddo, you know it is QUITE the opposite! Our students still need guidance and tools to help them navigate the ever-changing world of adolescence. These SEL lessons are tailored specifically to our junior high students, and I challenge you to make this a priority during your Cougar Time every Monday. If your students see that it is important to you and you are involved, it will also become important to them. I guarantee if you stay consistent, you will begin to see some amazing things happen with your students! Mrs. Ceballos and I are more than happy to come in and assist you in any way as you begin to implement this with your students. Don't hesitate to reach out!

Pit Stop #1

I don't know if any of you have had a chance to delve into "The Energy Bus" yet, but I would like to make a "pit stop" each week and reflect on how our own Energy Bus is moving!


This week, I'm going to focus on Chapters 1 & 2. Have you ever had a day like George? A day where its seems like literally everything and everyone is against you? You spill your coffee, there's no milk in the fridge for breakfast, the kids are arguing, you're running late, you forget your lunch...you get my drift! Oftentimes, it's easy to end up in a funk before we even make it into the school parking lot, and this "funk" can be contagious. Pretty soon, we find ourselves spreading our negative energy to our coworkers, and it certainly doesn't take long for our students to pick up on it.


So, how do we combat this negative funk on those days when life just happens? We must CHOOSE. Choose joy. Choose positivity. In Chapter 1, Joy, the bus driver, tells George, "Everything happens for a reason. Don't forget that. Every person we meet. Every event in our life. Every flat tire happens for a reason. Every problem has a gift for you in its hands...You can choose to see the curse or the gift." In every situation, we get to choose how we respond and let it affect the rest of our day, as well as those around us. Is it easy? I will be the first to tell you - absolutely not! But the more we practice choosing positivity, the more second nature it will become. As a team, we can help hold each other accountable and pick each other up when we know someone is struggling. It's ok to have a bad morning or a rough afternoon...we just can't let ourselves stay there and camp out!


Many of you may have worked on (or attended) the elementary campus when Mrs. Kathy Gish or Dr. Julie Motomura served as counselor. Each of them used to always end the morning announcements with, "Make it a great day or not. The choice is yours!" These words have stuck with me over the years, and I now find myself sharing these words of wisdom with my own children on a daily basis. This next week, I challenge us all to choose wisely!

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Cougar Character

Each month, teachers can nominate students for the monthly "Cougar Character" award. These are students who have been seen demonstrating exceptional character in class, in the hallways, on the field/court, or even in the cafeteria. If you have a student you would like to nominate during the month, please let me know!

Door Contest

Don't forget! Our classroom door decorating contest will end on Friday, August 26th. Doors will be judged that afternoon, and winners will be announced by the end of the day!

Shout-Outs!

Everyone loves to get a pat on the back, so I'm excited about this addition to the newsletter! Every week, I would like to include staff shout-outs from other staff members!! If you want to shout out a colleague for a stellar lesson, going the extra mile, or making a difference for a kid, send me an email and let me know! I will shout them out in that week's newsletter!

Upcoming Events

8/23 - Team Time Tuesday

8/24 - PLC (during conference)

8/26 - Door decorating contest ends

8/30 - Progress reports go home

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