Friday Focus

Mashburn Elementary Oct 3, 2014

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From Tracey...

October is an amazing month- with its cool breezes, colorful leaves, and blue skies. The humidity is low, which means a good hair day for me. You would think this would be a time of year to which we all look forward. Not so for teachers. This is the time of year when the burden of opening another school year weighs us all down. This is when we are working as hard as possible to implement curriculum, assess learning, and prepare to execute the first round of report cards . This is when we feel overwhelmed, exhausted, and wonder if the local Walmart is hiring. October tends to always bring this professional pattern of thinking and it appears to occur at most schools. My fellow principals and I often talk about the unique nature of this time of year and have lovingly named October the "arsenic" month.

The best way to deal with a month like October is to lean into it and know that everyone is feeling the same way. Encourage each other and laugh as often as possible, in fact....be silly, act crazy, and work to make each other laugh. Remember, sometimes it doesn't feel like everything is O.K.., but it really is. Do not buy into the lie that the "morale is low". Mashburn has one of the most professional, talented, and caring group of teachers. Our staff is made up of dedicated work horses who have accomplished so much and strive for excellence everyday. Now, indeed, we may complain a little here and there, but we pop right back up and go to work. That's called RESILIENCY and that's what makes this school such an incredible place for everyone, most importantly our children.

So, smile a lot and get out of the building when you can. Focus on the wonderful things going on around us. Join me in making a commitment to have an attitude of gratitude throughout the beautiful month of October. Here's to an awesome month of great hair days, the fair, and fun times as the weather turns a bit chillier.

What's coming up! (please share relevant dates with your parents)

Oct 2nd - National Custodians Day

Oct 6th - faculty meeting GA Milestones update

Oct 7th - Tie and Tutu Tuesday

Oct 10th - House Meeting

Oct 13th - PLC meetings

Oct 15th - Fall pic retakes

Oct 15th - Dinner for staff at 5:00 (late night for ER conferences)

Oct 15th, 16th - ER parent conferences

Oct 17th - Professional Learning day - am district day, pm school based

Oct 7th - Tie and TuTu Tuesday

Oct 20-24th - School Bus Appreciation Week

Oct 20th - Leadership meeting

Oct 21st - Reflections Awards, 6:00 PTA, mindset night, 2nd/3rd grade singing

Oct 27th - BYOT tour (this is another date change), PLC meetings

Oct 31st - Happy Halloween! Bring your favorite treat to share.

Nov 3rd - Faculty meeting - WIDA and can do descriptors

Nov 4th - Tie and Tutu Tuesday

Nov 10th - 14th - School Psychologist week!

Nov 13th - Book Fair starts

Nov 17th - Leadership Team meeting

Nov 19th - LSC meeting

Nov 20th - County Reflections Night at Mashburn

Nov 24th - 28th - Thanksgiving Break!!!!!

4 C's in technology - thoughts to remember!

1. Kids know more than we do when it comes to technology - let's lean in on their knowledge and learn from them.

2. It’s NOT about technology – it’s an instructional initiative. It’s about what the technology can do for instruction.

3. Let it go – We need to allow students to own their learning. We are facilitators of learning and don't have to be in front of the classroom all the time.

4. Everyone does NOT need a device. Research shows that kids retain more information when they learn through collaboration.

5. The 4 c’s are NOT just for technology– Creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication – it has to be the way we do business. It’s our MISSION – RER.

Some TKES thoughts

Here a some "truths" that I want you to know and remember:

1. Jennifer and I love this school, the students, and the staff. We are so proud to work by your side. You are bright, talented, and courageous professionals. Regardless of what feedback you receive, you must always remember that we value you and that our feedback has NOTHING to do with judgment.

2. Jennifer and I TRUST YOU! We believe that you are an exceptional group of teachers who have do remarkable things in your classrooms

3. Jennifer and I want to talk with you about what we observe in your room. Reach out and set a time to come by and visit. We can discuss observations, set goals, and, if desired, schedule a time for another walk-through visit.

4. Jennifer and I want to provide real feedback so that you can be as successful as possible in reaching and exceeding the professional expectations of our state. We want to challenge and inspire you. Do not let this process become overwhelming. Accept our observations and questions as reflective input.