August Edition 2014
A Few Simple Words
I read a powerful piece of writing a few weeks ago, and I have thought about it often. It was powerful enough to be one of those pieces that you could reread a few times, but I didn’t have to do that. I could probably rewrite it from memory right now. The story itself was not dramatic. You wouldn’t be on the edge of your seat. It wasn’t a rags-to-riches, root-for-the-underdog type of story; however, a few powerful words in the story reminded me of the best compliment one could receive.
The story I read was a reflection of a man named Jimmy Casas- a brilliant, successful, nationally-renowned principal who recognizes the value of some simple words and acts of kindness of his cab driver one weekend. I won’t retell the story, but I will say that the cab driver was a kind man… kinder than is necessary- something we should all aspire to be. The author of the story paid this man a compliment in the story. In my opinion, it is one of the most powerful compliments one could receive. Someone once paid me this same compliment 17 years ago. I can still remember where I was and how I was standing. I can picture his face saying it to me. I can remember how I felt when he said it, which was a feeling of, “that’s not true… I wish it was true. It is probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, but it isn’t true.”
Before I divulge what the compliment was, I will provide you with the background. My senior year in high school a classmate/ teammate/ someone I knew went through one of the hardest things imaginable for a kid. I didn’t refer to this person as a friend because quite honestly, we weren’t friends. We didn’t hang out. We didn’t sit together at lunch. It wasn’t because we didn’t like each other, we just weren’t friends. Sometime in the early days of summer of my senior year in high school, this boy’s mother, a single parent, passed away fairly suddenly. For the sake of this story, I will refer to the boy as Kevin. Kevin had a tough exterior. He rarely showed even an ounce of vulnerability. Understandably and justifiably so, Kevin went through a number of struggles after his mother passed away. He distanced himself from his friends. He had a few breakdowns. He got into some trouble… I didn’t know all of this at that time, but in a small town, it didn’t take too long to hear about his struggles.
After hearing about the struggles, the next time I saw Kevin I extended my hand and said, “I’m sorry. If you need anything… anything… let me know. I mean that.” The truth is, I was 17. I didn’t have any money. I didn’t have a car. I couldn’t offer him a place to stay. I couldn’t even offer advice because I could not ever imagine what he was going through. I could offer sympathy. That was it. If he asked for help, I would have done anything I could for him. Honestly, I didn’t expect him to reach out for help, but if he asked, I would have.
A few months later, I saw Kevin at your typical high school party… you know, a night of Diet Pepsi and Connect 4… eh hmmm… It was the first time I had run into Kevin in a while. A few of us were standing in the kitchen. Kevin looked much better. He was much more emotionally and mentally stable. He looked at me and said, “There should be more people in the world like you… I didn’t need the help when you offered, but I just want you to know… There should be more people in the world like you.” Those were the words in the story I read that struck me-There should be more people in the world like you. I didn’t deserve that compliment, but I’ll never forget it.
The reason I am telling you this story is because if anyone deserves that compliment, it is you… all of you. There should be more people in the world like you. Our staff at Sabold is unparalleled. You are the kindest, most selfless, hardest-working staff I have ever met. You come in over the summer to work on curriculum and classrooms. You offer extra help to students at no cost to parents. You have driven to the homes of our students to pick them up to give them a ride when they miss the bus. You dig into your own pockets to help them celebrate their achievements. You stay up late preparing for the perfect lesson and what to do if one or two of your students do not understand the concept. I imagine that some or many of you have received that compliment at some point in your lives, but if not, here’s yours… There should be more people in the world like you. Thanks for all that you do.
Try These Sites this Year!
Glogster EDU- http://edu.glogster.com/ Instead of your traditional writing assignment, have your students blog safely. Watch the motivation soar.
Edmodo- https://www.edmodo.com/ Create a safe, online learning community to foster collaboration, creativity, improved communication, digital literacy
Remind- www.remind.com A safer, faster, more convenient way for teachers to get messages to parents.
Vimeo Video School- http://vimeo.com/videoschool Make videos for your students to remediate, reteach, or remind them of steps/directions.
"If Opportunity Doesn't Knock, Build a Door."
As most of you know or have heard, we have a number of changes as we enter the 2014-2015 school year. Let’s start with a few personnel updates. We can’t thank Anthony enough for his service at Sabold. He will be sorely missed; however, we are fortunate that he won’t be too far away. Anthony will be working with Kristin and Jeff in a TOAA position. While he will be working throughout the district, we will try to keep the leash short on our end as he continues to help with our BST and Leadership Group.
I can almost use the “find and replace” feature as I mention the next change. Lori, like Anthony, will be in a TOAA role with Cindy and Tony. This is a great opportunity for Lori and for SSD. We will miss Lori very much this year, but we aren’t going to let her stray too far either…
We are very fortunate with how we have been able to fill and change the rest of our positions. We have an outstanding team moving into next year… truly outstanding. I can’t help but have the highest of expectations… No pressure ;)
· Kristen Heal will move into the role of Reading Specialist.
· Sharon Ferry will be working with Andrea as part of our Title 1 team. Welcome Sharon! We are happy you are joining our team.
· We welcome back Becca Murray with open arms as our guidance counselor. We are so fortunate to have you back!
· Jackie O’Hanlon will be back this year in third grade. Welcome back, Jackie! I am looking forward to working with you!
· Tam Perry is also joining our third grade team. She is a steal (literally and figuratively)!! We are ecstatic to have Tam and her tremendous experience join our Sabold community.
· Joe, Jaime, and Steph will all have new grade levels and curriculum next year. I want to publicly thank them for their approach to these changes. I can honestly say that each of them approached the change with true professionalism and excitement because they are doing what is best for our students. That is why we get into teaching… to always do what is best for our students. Thank you for being great team members.
· The Reading Specialist Suite is now in the old Bridges/Fast ForWord Lab.
· The old Sensory Room/Chill Zone is now the Small Group Lab (SGL) used for computer-based interventions, or small group work.
· The Sensory Room will now be part of Room 29.
· Anthony’s old office will be our conference room. I will create sign-out system in Outlook. We can use this room for IEP, CST, BST, etc. meetings.
There are lots of other changes to talk about- PBIS, Math and Reading Goals, Intervention changes, Instructional changes, Race for Education, a new copier/copier codes, Teacher Observation and Evaluation Systems, Pre-assessments... but this edition of the Sabold Scoop is long enough! Please be on the lookout for the Staff Summer mailing that is coming home in a few weeks. It will have information regarding the first two professional development days (and probably another long-winded message from me).
Enjoy the rest of your summer. I can’t believe it is August!!