The Cardinal Way

Sharing and Learning at Southport Middle School

Student Success is a Team Effort!

IN THE MIDDLE OF IT - Honor People

Love people. Honor people. Serve people. Pursue excellence in everything I do.

I shared my personal mission statement a couple of weeks ago. Last week, I started breaking that mission statement down by sharing my thoughts on loving people. This week, I am going to move on to the next idea:

Honor people.

Webster’s Dictionary defines honor as: “a showing of usually merited respect.” This in turn, led me to looking up the definition of “merited.” Here is where I find the definition of honor becoming interesting to me. Merited is defined as: “a good quality or feature that deserves to be praised.”

As I discussed loving people last week, I made the statement, “Love means seeing people as people first and foremost - valuing each person as a unique individual who brings a special talent to the world.”

Every person, every single person, in our lives has unique talents they bring to the world. I want to make it my mission to focus on respecting each person for those talents. If I choose to honor people, I will do this by showing respect to them for their good qualities, or features, that deserve to be praised. Loving people is about valuing every person because they are unique; honoring people is respecting and praising that uniqueness.

I want to give an example from my personal life. I have come to realize that I do not love each of my children equally...I love each of them uniquely. They are not the same, they do not have the same talents or qualities, and therefore, I cannot love them equally. I have tried to find ways to honor what makes each of them special. I strive to praise and encourage that uniqueness in each of them, and make them feel valued because of their differences.

While I have come to understand this idea in my personal life, I need to find better ways to apply it to my professional life. How do I find ways to honor everyone with whom I work? How do I find ways to respect each person's individual talents and use those talents for the betterment of our school and community?

I believe I have grown a great deal in my efforts to love people, this seems to be a little easier to do, now that I have come to define what that means to me. Now, I need to work on honoring people. For me, loving people is about a mindset -- realizing that everyone is unique and has special talents. While I do believe honoring people will take an internal attitude of respect, courtesy, and reverence, it must also be accompanied by appropriate action. I must know each person I serve on an individual level, find ways to praise and celebrate their individual talents, and help them discover avenues to share those talents with others.

I cannot possibly honor the people with whom I work if I do not take the time to know each person on a personal level. I have a great deal of work to do on this one.

Love People. Honor People. The journey begins now!!

Keep learning; keep growing; keep sharing!

This is cross posted on my Principal's Blog


  • Thank you for working through another ISTEP stress test today and another altered schedule. I appreciate the flexibility in helping us get this done!
  • Thank you to those teachers who once again opened their doors to IUPUI interns. The extra time to work with future educators is always time well spent.
  • As always, thank you to those who are willing to fill in when we are short substitute teachers. The extra support is greatly appreciated and it helps our students to continue learning even in a teachers absence!


Week 22 Grateful Friday Challenge:

Write a gratitude haiku about Southport Middle School, your colleagues, or our students. Use the following link to access a Google document where you can share your masterpiece. I added a couple to get us started!

Grateful Friday Haiku Challenge


Growth Mindset: It's Not A Test


Each day we share a story of learning taking place at Southport Middle on our 180 Days of Learning Blog. Below are this week's stories of learning.

Mr. Mojo visits SMS

Around 300 students were able to attend the guest speaker Mr. Mojo, Travis Brown!

Mr. Brown travels around the nation speaking about anti-bullying and leadership to thousands of students and school communities. Check out his website:

Mr. Mojo engaged the students in a classic game of “Mojo Says” and then shared a testimonial about the importance of being a positive difference.

Here are a few quotes from Mr. Mojo:

"You matter! When you come here you will make a difference – Whether it is positive or negative is up to you!"

"Who are they (haters) to determine what you are and what you do?"

"You have a role everyday to help someone feel valued or to takeaway their feeling of importance – the choice is yours.”

Chuck Welch

Mr. Welch's 8th grade pre-algebra students are working on equations and expressions. Today, students were focusing on writing equations from sentences. Students first started by generating lists of math vocabulary words that were synonyms to addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students then used this word bank to write expressions from statements such as: "five dollars less than Jennifer" or "3 runs more than the Pirates."

Mr. Klopfenstein visits SMS

High school scheduling is quickly approaching for our 8th grade students. In preparation for the scheduling process, Mr. Klopfenstein, SHS journalism teacher, and Abigail Barrett, senior Editor-In-Chief, visited Ms. Mayorga's and Mr. Bailey's 8th grade advanced language arts classes today to promote high school journalism courses. By taking journalism students will have the opportunity to work on The Journal staff, SHS newspaper, or the Yearbook staff. Both of these publications have been recognized at the state level for the quality of work produced by the students. If you are interested you red the Journal Rewired online, or follow The Journal on twitter (@theSHSjournal). Thank you to Mr. Klopfenstein for taking the time to share these wonderful courses with our 8th graders.

Courtney Tucker

Ms. Tucker's 8th grade language arts students are learning about theme. During small group time today, student analyzed a story marking the important features and moments in that story. They then used this important information to determine the theme of the short story. While not in the small group setting, students work through rotations of reading time and computer stations that help them improve their reading ability.

Teri Reed

Mrs. Reed's 7th grade math students are working on calculating the surface area of three-dimensional shapes. Students looked at everyday containers such as a pop can or soup can and drew the two-dimensional net of the object. They then used the given measurements to determine the surface area of those items.


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