the Winskill Weekly


"NFL 2016: Part One" — A Bad Lip Reading of the NFL

It's All About Perspective

"It is all about perspective, and we can either let our reality define us, or define our reality. Somebody, somewhere, is doing the same things that others say they can't do. What perspective we choose could determine the future of education." George Couros, author of Innovator's Mindset

As I was considering all of the tasks on my To-Do list, I opened read a recent blog post written by George Couros. It felt as if George was speaking directly to me. I can either look at that list next to me as a never ending litany of items to be checked off, or I can see it as continual opportunities to grow and learn. I can decide that I can't get everything accomplished, or I can decide that I can. My mindset determines my outcome. Those observations that waiting to be tagged? Each one is an opportunity for me to thoughtfully consider all of the positive things that I witnessed while in classrooms. They are opportunities for me to connect and learn from teachers who genuinely care about their learners. The observations themselves? Having the opportunity to be in the classrooms, to witness what the students are doing, hear the questions they ask, and how they interact with one another, is special. I enjoy watching the interaction between students and teachers, the quick smiles, the shared laughter, the response that a brief glance from the teacher can gain from a student who is testing the boundaries, the moment when a student "gets it" and the excitement and pride they and their teacher feels when that happens....The post-observation conferences? Those are one of my favorite things: time set aside to talk with teachers, learning about what is going well, what they would like to work on, how I can help support them... I love the stories that are shared and the opportunity to get to know them better, both as an educator and as a person. I love being able to tell them about the really great things that I have seen and heard in their classrooms. I appreciate the trust that they give me and the reaction when they realize that I am not there to judge, but to witness and support. The meeting agendas that need to be created? Those meeting are opportunities for me to listen to what the members of those leadership teams are seeing within their own grade levels, as well as around our school. They give me a chance to reflect on where we are as a school and how I can support staff in order to help us get where we need to be. Lunch duty? That's an opportunity for me to re-connect with the most important reason- truly, the ONLY reason- why we are here...the children. I love having the chance to talk with them, hear their stories about lost teeth, birthday parties, basketball tournaments... and to teach them little things like how to properly open a banana, or how to use a napkin to wipe ketchup from their face. Even creating this Winskill Weekly each week gives me the opportunity to do things I might not do otherwise, like reading blog posts, watching funny videos, or considering quotes that might speak to certain things that are happening in our community or our school. Adding the #Highfives & #FistBumps gives me the chance to hear about the special things that all of YOU are sharing about your colleagues and students.

I had a conversation recently with an educator I greatly respect and trust and he reminded me that we must always ask ourselves this important question: WHY? Why am I doing this? Why am I asking a teacher to do this? Why are we having this meeting? Why are we having our children do this? If we begin with WHY and consider the intention, the purpose, the goal behind each item on our list, then we can better prioritize where our time and focus will go. Knowing my WHY also helps to keep my mindset positive and focused.

How do YOU handle all that is on your To-Do list?

#HIghfives and #Fistbumps

#Highfives, #Fistbumps and #JazzHands to our very own Missy Sperle and Tiffany Helmke (once an Arrow, always an Arrow)for her work in making Saturday's A Cure Among the Stars at Doolittle's such a huge success! Jim Addison on guitar and Patrick Ralph on mic, along with a rowdy group of Winskill staff, joined in to make this night such a huge success! This event raised over $1900 for cancer research! #Wowzers

#JazzToes to all who helped to make our "I Chose to Warm Some Toes" campaign so successful! We were able to collect over 500 pairs of socks to share with Family Promise of Grant County as we welcome them to Lancaster. (Please send any socks that straggle in down to the office.) #WeCanMakeADifference

#SilverServingSpoons to everyone who participated in Friday's Super Bowl Luncheon! Such a delicious smorgasbord to choose from... we definitely have a talented crew of chefs!

#Highfives and Thanks to Danielle and Chelsea for helping out during our crafting crisis! We are back in business making our fusible bead creations!! -Angie

#Fistbumps and Thank you to Kristie W. for the beads and new forms donation to our classroom. What a wonderful treat to our creative 5Kers!! Our class is so very thankful!!! -Angie

#Highfives to Cassy, Brandy, Missy for taking my kids at the end of the day while I left early to basketball games. They have challenges in their rooms and to then take on more than a handful of kids each and give me updates on them was most helpful!- PDiddy

#Fistbumps to Tracy, Missy, Morgan, and Zach for helping me think of some creative solutions for a student who has had "sticky" fingers as of late in my room. -PDiddy

#Highfives to LouAnn for making a special Crossing Guard trip at the end of the day last week for a late-to-leave student. Thank you for helping to make sure our kids are safe! -Leah

#Fistbumps to Miranda, Chas, and Tina for stepping in and helping in the lunchroom last Monday while I was gone. Your help was greatly appreciated! -Leah

#Highfives to Miranda, Trish, Jen E, Niki, and Tracy for being a part of our first Behavior Evaluation Team (BET) on Friday. #Fistbumps also to Jen I, Patrick, Missy, Brandy, Brenda, and Faye for meeting with us- Thank you for the incredible efforts that you make to support students every single day. The solution-focused attitude of the entire team is greatly appreciated! -Leah

Looking Ahead... Please send important days my way so they can be added!

Monday 2/8/16 Mr. Addison's 4th grade Pledge Leaders

ELL mid-year check in meeting

Specials Team mtg @11:20

4K PLC @1:00

K-2 RtI mtg @3:30

FOW mtg @6:30

Tuesday 2/9/16

1st gr PLC @11:00

5th gr PLC @2:15

Homework Club @3:15

5th gr. Family Skate Night 6:30-8:00

Wednesday 2/10/16

#WinskillPride PBIS assembly @8:15

3rd gr PLC @9:15

Kdg PLC @10:45

Faculty Leadership @3:30 Library

POPS @3:30 Computer Lab

Thursday 2/11/16

Thoughtful Thursday with 2nd & 3rd @8:15

Thoughtful Thursday with Kdg & 1st @ TBD

2nd gr PLC @10:20

2nd gr (Schaefer) to Orchard Manor @1:45

5th gr CASH Ski trip 2:40-9:10

Homework Club @3:15

Friday 2/12/16

*Proposed All-School Read-In: We LOVE Books!

*Valentines Day Parties

Saturday 2/13/16

EdCampIowa- those who wish to caravan/ride share, plan to meet at Winskill at 7:15 am

Monday, 2/15/16 Mrs. Bussan's 4th gr class Pledge Leaders

Opera For The Young- The Magic Flute performance @1:30

3-5 RtI mtg

Tuesday 2/16/16

1st gr PLC @11:00

5th gr PLC @2:15

Homework Club @3:15

Wednesday 2/17/16

3rd gr PLC @9:15

Kdg PLC @10:45

Instructional Leadership Team @3:30 Library

Thursday 2/18/16

Thoughtful Thursday with 4th/5th @9:20

2nd gr PLC @10:20

2nd gr (Hinderman) to Orchard Manor @1:45

Homework Club @3:15- CANCELLED

FOW Wild, Wild West Event @5:00

Friday 2/19/16

Early Release @11:45

Monday 2/22/16 Mrs. Sperle's 2nd gr Pledge Leaders

Specials Team mtg @8:15-9:00

Admin Mtg @9:00

4K PLC @1:00

K-2 RtI mtg @3:30

Winskill Elementary School

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." Margaret Meade