Monday Minutes

April 11, 2016

The Bethany Community values the lifelong learning of each child by supporting individual social, emotional, ethical, and academic development

Each of you are THE difference

We have officially entered the final six weeks of the 2015-2016 school year. I'd love for each of us to take a moment, close our eyes, and think back to the first day of school. Many of us had a restless night's sleep as we anxiously awaited the opportunity to meet with our class for the first time. It was a new start for each of us and the kids whose lives we would impact. So much excitement ahead.

Now, I want us to think back a few years (or many years as they case may be) of the days when we attended school. Were we excited for school to start? Did we look forward to all the new learning that was going to take place? Did we get the teacher that everyone wanted to have? Did we feel a sense of loss as each year ended because of the incredible experiences we had or were we simply excited for summer to arrive?

With those thoughts in mind, jump forward to today ... in your classroom ... with your current students. Can you hardly wait for the year to end because "so and so" is "driving you to drink" or are you already starting to mourn passing along your students to what you hope is an equally caring and wonderful teacher for next year? If I have to be honest with myself, as a principal I feel a little of both. There may be a parent or two that I am excited to see moving on to middle school. There is probably a student or two that I no longer feel a strong level of empathy towards and instead simply want them to do the right thing and stop making life so difficult on the rest of the students and incredible staff that it is here on campus.

We are all human. We find it easier to associate with some students and adults. To say otherwise is simply not being honest. But, as educators, the trick is to see the best in everyone and treat them as they can become (especially students) instead of what they are today. In other words, that boy that keeps interrupting your class, the girl who refuses to do work, the children that are unkind to others, and the child who just can't manage her behavior needs the same teacher from the first of the year to be their advocate and champion. Yes. It is hard to see the best in students who continue with the same destructive pattern. Are the kids misbehaving so that they can have OUR attention? What is the reason behind the behavior? The question that resounds in my mind, though, is if each of us are not the adult who connects with the troubled student and helps to effect positive change, who is it going to be? It has to be us --we can't count on Mom and Dad changing, friends to change, or other outside influences having the positive impact on students that we can.

As I mentioned recently to team leaders, we are THE folks that have an opportunity to make a difference in how each child feels about his or herself. When we visit with students, do we use a mom or dad voice or do we speak to them as real people. For those of us with our own kids, would we be pleased to have our children's teachers speak to our kids with the tone of voice and message we sometimes send to our neediest children? Before speaking please consider the following questions. "Is this the location and manner that I would want Bryan or Kristen to talk to me about a concern they have with how I am performing?" Take that one step further and put yourself in the shoes of someone a staff member who may not be confident in their performance and already has been "written up" multiple times for poor performance. Would the time, place, and my tone of voice encourage improved behavior or humiliate the staff member? By placing ourselves in the shoes of our students BEFORE reacting, I believe that we will act (instead of react) more appropriately and ultimately move closer to our goals for the students.

Each of you are wonderful! I'm grateful daily to work at such an incredible group of teachers and truly believe that we can become THE best school anywhere as we continue to keep students first and foremost in our decision making. In so doing, we will continue to fine tune our skills and improve our time on campus together.

Have a great week!

Upcoming Events

April 12th All Pro Dad's Breakfast -- 7:00 a.m.
April 14th Dallas Zoo Adventure for 3rd Grade
April 14th Bluebonnet Breakfast
April 15th Names due to Dalia and Bryan for Volunteer Appreciation
April 15th PTA Color Run -- 5:30 p.m.
April 16th Bethany Night at the Roughriders
April 19th Cub Scout Flag Raising
April 20th Staff Meeting -- 3:00 p.m.-4:30 p.m.-- Discuss T-TESS and
Bond Election
April 21st Money Due to Dalia for Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast
April 21st Bond Meeting 6:00 p.m.
April 21st -22nd Security Audit
April 23rd PISD Job Fair -- 9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
April 27th PLC Meetings
April 28th Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast
April 28th Bethany Bear Beginnings -- 5:30 p.m.
May 2nd -6th Scholastic BOGO Sale
May 9th -11th STAAR Testing
May 7th Bond Election
May 13th PTA Carnival -- All Staff Should Plan on Participating
May 13th Last Day to Turn in Requisitions and Wish List Requests

Thought For The Week


“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” they shout at me, and plead.
“There’s just too much against you now, this time you can’t succeed.”

And as I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will, as I recall that scene,
For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.

They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race.
Or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
And fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his son,
And each boy hoped to show his dad, that he would be the one.

The whistle blew, and off they went, young hearts and hopes afire,
To win and be the hero there was each young boy’s desire.
And one boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the head, and thought, “My dad will be so proud!”

But as he fell, his dad stood up, and showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win the race.”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit, that’s all,
And ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
His mind went faster than his legs; he slipped and fell again!
He wished then he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”

But in the laughing crowd he searched, and found his father’s face,
that steady look that said again, “Get up and win the race!”
So up he jumped to try again, ten yards behind the last,
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to move real fast.”

Exceeding everything he had he gained back eight or ten,
But trying so to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.
“There is no sense in running more. Three strikes, I’m out, why try?”

The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had fled away.
So far behind, so error prone, a loser all the way.
“I’ve lost, so what’s the use,” he thought, “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up!” an echo sounded low, “Get up, and take your place.
You were not meant for failure here, get up and win the race.”
“With borrowed will get up,” it said, “You have not lost at all.
For winning is no more than this: to rise each time you fall.”

So up he rose to run once more, and with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
Still he gave it all he had, and ran as though to win.

Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he’d rose again,
Too far behind to hope to win he still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner, as he crossed the line first place.
Head high and proud and happy, no falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster crossed the finish line last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer for finishing the race.

And even though he came in last, with head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he won the race to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad, he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me you won!” his father said, “You rose each time you fell.”

And when things seem dark and hard, and difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy helps me to win my race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all,
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.

“Quit! Give up! You’re beaten!” they still shout in my face.
But another voice within me says: “GET UP AND WIN THE RACE!”

By Dee Groberg

Make A Difference Movie -