ASCD Express

April 2014

All Aboard

Seemed like a long winter?

-No matter how long winter is, spring is sure to follow. Proverb

What does spring mean for you? New beginnings? Blossoming life? Love in the air?

Spring has officially sprung. STAAR testing season is here. Our students are READY! Thank you for continuing to motivate them and help them believe that they can do it. Positivity is the KEY! We have to BELIEVE and MOTIVATE our students and teachers to BELIEVE that all things are possible.

As we transition from this………

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To, perhaps, this…..

Whatever your spring is—enjoy it!

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Successful Journeys


Miller won first place overall at the Academic Pentathlon and took 1st place in the Super Quiz! Ms. Kelly reports excitedly, “5 trophies, every student won a medal, and we are taking home the big one! A huge thanks to our sponsors, Aislinn Clinch and Sara Roby. They are simply phenomenal teachers!”

“Sister” Schools (Queens and Jackson) Team Up for some camaraderie and friendly competition—Queens and Jackson continue to plan, collaborate, and, of course, have a friendly rivalry. Queens 7th and 8th grade got 2nd overall and Jackson received a 1st and 3rd. Students from both schools wanted to take pictures together. Ms. Jones and Ms. Sword report, “It was a cool moment!!! Our efforts to be in each other’s school and at tournaments and games cheering for each other is paying off. They will be excited about being at Pasadena High together in the future.”

Science Fair

Kruse student wins Top Scientist at the District Science Fair--

Gladys Gonzalez reports science fair was a success. We heard positive feedback about their experiences that included the level of organization, preparation, and the welcoming environment of our elementary campuses. They saw connections to physics, biology, and other content that prepare our students for high school AP courses! Judges were also impressed with the level of comfort of our elementary students as they presented their projects.

Upcoming Excursions

Taking excursions to classrooms? Documenting walkthroughs in eduphoria? Please be sure to have an electronic signature attached to all walkthroughs, observations, and summatives.


Board Meeting

April 22, 2014

Instructional Leadership Depot


To keep with the “Spring has Sprung” theme—let’s keep in mind and remind our teachers and students—even though spring has sprung and testing has started and you may feel pretty “done”—we must stay focused with bell to bell engaging instruction. Engaging lessons will help with the restlessness and excitement of Spring Fever.

Organizational Leadership Link


Graduation time is getting closer and we wanted to let you know that PISD High School Graduations are on Thursday, June 5, 2014. These are scheduled for the last day of school because of the venue change to Reliant Stadium. Therefore, we need your assistance in excusing any student who is arriving late/leaving early from school or not in attendance because of graduation. We ask that you work with parents to accommodate our younger students in being able to attend their older sibling and/or family member graduation.

Electronic Signature (Repeat Reminder)

Please remind your faculty and staff members to electronically sign all PDAS observations and walkthroughs. There is a report that can be run to indicate unsigned documents as well as calculate the number of observations and walkthroughs completed by each appraiser. If a document is not signed by both parties, then it will not show up in your overall appraisal and walkthrough report.

End on a Positive

9 Ways to Be a Great Team Member

The fact is no one achieves success alone. We all need a great team to accomplish great things. We are at our best when we are surrounded by those who want the best for us and when we are bringing out the best in others.

1. Set the Example - Instead of worrying about the lack of performance, productivity and commitment of others you simply decide to set the example and show your team members what hard work, passion and commitment looks like. Focus on being your best every day. When you do this you’ll raise the standards and performance of everyone around you.

2. Use Your Strengths to Help the Team - The most powerful way you can contribute to your team is to use your gifts and talents to contribute to the team's vision and goals. Without your effort, focus, talent and growth the team won't accomplish its mission. This means you have an obligation to improve so you can improve your team. You are meant to develop your strengths to make a stronger team. Be selfish by developing you and unselfish by making sure your strengths serve the team.

3. Share Positive Contagious Energy - Research shows emotions are contagious and each day you are infecting your team with either positive energy or negative energy. You can be a germ or a big dose a Vitamin C. When you share positive energy you infectiously enhance the mood, morale and performance of your team. Remember, negativity is toxic. Energy Vampires sabotage teams and complaining is like vomiting. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick.

4. Know and Live the Magic Ratio - High performing teams have more positive interactions than negative interactions. 3:1 is the ratio to remember. Teams that experience interactions at a ratio equal or greater than 3:1 are more productive and higher performing than those with a ratio of less than 3:1. Teams that have a ratio of 2:1, 1:1 or more negative interactions than positive interactions become stagnant and unproductive. This means you can be a great team member by being a 3 to 1’er. Create more positive interactions. Praise more. Encourage more. Appreciate more. Smile more. High-five more. Recognize more. Energize more.

5. Put the Team First - Great team players always put the team first. They work hard for the team. They develop themselves for the team. They serve the team. Their motto is whatever it takes to make the team better. They don’t take credit. They give credit to the team. To be a great team member your ego must be subservient to the mission and purpose of the team. It’s a challenge to keep our ego in check. It’s something most of us struggle with because we have our own goals and desires. But if we monitor our ego and put the team first we’ll make the team better and our servant approach will make us better.

6. Build Relationships - Relationships are the foundation upon which winning teams are built and great team members take the time to connect, communicate and care to build strong bonds and relationships with all their team members. You can be the smartest person in the room but if you don’t connect with others you will fail as a team member. It’s important to take the time to get to know your team members. Listen to them. Eat with them. Learn about them. Know what inspires them and show them you care about them.

7. Trust and Be Trusted - You can’t have a strong team without strong relationships. And you can’t have strong relationships without trust. Great team members trust their teammates and most of all their team members trust them. Trust is earned through integrity, consistency, honesty, transparency, vulnerability and dependability. If you can’t be trusted you can’t be a great team member. Trust is everything.

8. Hold Them Accountable - Sometimes our team members fall short of the team's expectations. Sometimes they make mistakes. Sometimes they need a little tough love. Great team members hold each other accountable. They push, challenge and stretch each other to be their best. Don’t be afraid to hold your team members accountable. But remember to be effective you must built trust and a relationship with your team members. If they know you care about them, they will allow you to challenge them and hold them accountable. Tough love works when love comes first. Love tough.

9. Be Humble - Great team members are humble. They are willing to learn, improve and get better. They are open to their team member's feedback and suggestions and don’t let their ego get in the way of their growth or the team’s growth. I learned the power of being humble in my marriage. My wife had some criticism for me one day and instead of being defensive and prideful, I simply said, "Make me better. I'm open. Tell me how I can improve." Saying this diffused the tension and the conversation was a game changer. If we're not humble we won’t allow ourselves to be held accountable. We won’t grow. We won’t build strong relationships and we won’t put the team first. There’s tremendous power in humility that makes us and our team better.

Jon Gordon