Personal Best Staff Bulletin

Vol IV, No. 1 September 9, 2015

Opening of School: Sharing your passions!

I want to thank and commend everyone for an excellent opening of school. Despite the heat wave that confounded our efforts to stay cool physically, you are the coolest group of teachers I know.

What struck me most as I visited classrooms these first two weeks of school is the way you shared your passion with your students. I have come to believe that “learning” is a powerful and natural human impulse. Everyone enjoys learning. In it is so exciting to learn new things. Personally, my passion for learning only grows as I get older.

This is equally true for our students. Anyone who has ever watched our kids work their way up the various levels of a video game, or struggle to learn a sport or a musical instrument can attest to the fact that our kids love to learn. The problem of course is that they do not always have a passion to learn the things we are charged with teaching them. So what is a teacher to do?

As I visited your classrooms on the first days of school, it was inspiring to see you share your passions with your students. If we are passionate about what we do, then this will become contagious for our students. Mathematics, literature, art, science, technology, physical education, history, languages… all of these disciplines come from our attempts to understand and explain our experiences of the world. Although a 12-year-old might not naturally feel compelled to jump into these areas, when we share our passion for these subjects and show them connections to their own experiences and the questions they struggle with, they will be eager to learn alongside us. I saw teachers doing this all over the building this past week and a half.

I look forward to another exciting year learning with you.

Best Practice

Joe Kuehn had a lesson going on with three activities simultaneously. Students were at the Vocabulary bulletin board, other students worked on vocabulary at the computer and a another group of students conferenced with Joe at the Big Table. Great differentiation!

Dyanna Lambe has two standing desks in her room. She has set up a Genius Bar for students to assist each other and for her to help individuals who are having difficulty. Also, kids can get up and work standing up when they need to do so.

Joe Wiener did a wonderful job with the Code of Conduct assemblies. Joseph and I have been talking about how deadly boring these assemblies can be. Joseph has a wonderful way of explaining things to kids in a way that is clear, firm, but most important, compassionate. The kids know that he is here for them whenever they have a problem or they are facing a challenge. It helps that he is also one of the funniest people in the building. The kids really enjoyed his line, "Oh, you like him, you want to have a thousand of his babies. "

Resources and Links

Great article that affirms why we have the best jobs in the world... (thanks to Carol DellErba for recommendation).
To help all students and parents achieve a common basic level of understanding, a Jericho History Day webpage has been created. This will be updated and improved upon throughout the year.
Aija Mayrock will be our first ever Grand Marshall at our Bully Prevention Kickoff this year!

Cause that's helpful

Carolyn Clarke did the "I wish my teacher knew activity" with her class. A student wrote, "I wish my teacher knew I love air conditioning"


Sorry... but it's gonna be tough to top Mike Pekor's "black stool sample" joke as best line of the year... and it's only the first week of SCHOOL!!!