To the Point

Prairie Point Elementary Staff Newsletter

Issue #21: May 18, 2015


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I always call May the "vortex of crazy." We have so many wonderful and fun ways of closing down the year, and several busy and time-bound tasks to start the next. When things are moving so fast, it's easy for that time to go by too quickly. As the year comes to a close, take some time to breathe, and look back on the year - what you accomplished, what you loved, what you hope to do next. My favorite one of the ideas above, in addition to the "10 Highlights" (aka What's on YOUR victory list?) is "The 3 Things You Focused On." Often, we celebrate the victories of others and minimize our own. It's part of the altruistic nature of our jobs, I think. But this one doesn't give you the option of focusing on anyone but yourself. What did you focus on this year? What were your goals? Where did you spend the most time, and see the most payoff?

I'm going to share two of the things I focused on this year. For me, a large bulk of my time was spent on evaluation - learning the new process, working through the (many) challenges, and finding my rhythm. My goal was to make it a collaborative and worthwhile process for those I worked with this year. I want to help teachers grow and support their goals, and make this a non-threatening endeavor. Did I meet my goal? Honestly, I'm not sure, and I'll be looking for feedback on those very things from those I evaluated. But I know I changed my practice and stretched myself. I became more comfortable with being uncomfortable, and learned to accept that I may not live up to my own standards for a (probably long) while. I know I still have a lot of growing to do in this area.

The other area I spent a lot of time on was personal. In January, I set a goal to become healthier, and more physically fit. This is hard for me. I like to eat all the wrong things and I have always struggled to see myself as someone who could actually be fit. I have never been naturally athletic, and didn't enjoy exercise. I was always that kid - the last one picked for teams, the one who was lapped multiple times when running, and the one who was the least coordinated. Let's just say, Sue Warren was not my PE teacher. Had she been, things may have been very, very different. :-) This year, I decided to take a huge risk and try to change this about myself. By setting a goal, and making the time to focus on it, I've come to find exercise and nutrition as something I value. And I've learned to act on the mantra "go slow to go fast." I've signed up for my first race ever - the Brookfield Zoo 5K on September 20th.

I encourage you to take some time to reflect on one or all of the above statements, either now or throughout the summer. I'd also love to chat with any of you about your reflections if you'd like to share. Maybe over margaritas? :-)


Staff Changes for 2015-2016

We have some staff changes for next year that I want to share with you.

The biggest change is at the 5th grade team. Sara Studer will join the team from fourth grade, and we have Heather Bailey transferring to us from The Wheatlands, as they have reduced their number of sections. We appreciate all that Audrey Le Tourneau did joining us mid-year, and wish her all the best as she looks ahead to new adventures.

Laurie Zemanek has been our part-time ESL teacher this year, and will be with us FULL TIME next year. Yay, Laurie!

We also say goodbye to Nikki Reese, who has supported the DHH program throughout this year. She is remaining in the program at the Jr. High and High School levels.

And we say a fond farewell to Jen Osman, as her family is moving to North Carolina. We wish her all the warmth and sunshine she can handle!

End of Year Checkout

Please click here for the End of Year Check out Sheet. Several things have changed, so please review closely.

Wednesday AM Meetings


Topic: End of Year Celebrations and Math Vertical Articulation

All of the agendas and information for Wednesday morning meetings will now come in this newsletter. :-) Provided below is a link to the schedule, as well as a link to the agenda.

Please review the agenda prior to each meeting. Wednesday meetings will be held in the Community Room. We will begin promptly at 7:35 a.m.

If you are unable to make it to a meeting, please let us know in advance, if possible. Please see Heidi or Jen as soon as you can after the meeting to find out what you missed.

Coming Events

Institute Day Agenda

Please click here for the May 29th Institute Day Agenda.

This agenda is for Classroom Teachers, EL, AT, Special Education, Reading, and LIteracy Specialists who will be participating in the ELA Training.

Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, May 26th, 7:30am

Community Room

Topic: Essential Elements of Writer's Workshop - How do they fit with a new ELA curriculum? PART II

RSVPs are enabled for this event.