‘Tis the Season

Maybe I am just getting old, or maybe I am old fashioned, but it seems that the holiday decorations and ads are coming earlier and earlier each year. Please understand that our house is decorated the day after Thanksgiving (which seems about right to me), and it stays up until the second week of January (maybe a hair longer than normal). And when I mean decorated I mean it looks like an airport runway. But I saw holiday decorations in stores BEFORE Halloween…that’s just not right (in my humble opinion). While not the point of this blog post, it helps to set the stage.

During these weeks of turkey dinners, holiday music, Macy’s Day parade and anticipation of some well deserved time off, our school focuses on community service and giving back to our community. We have conducted our annual Christmas Mother Sock Drive, we are in the midst of our Toys for Tots drive and we are just starting our Christmas Mother Book Drive. We concluded October with our annual Cancer Awareness basketball/soccer game, where we raised over $3200 for Catherine’s Fight, which benefited one of our families who has a student battling cancer. These are all outstanding events, and part of who we are as a school. But to me, there is more to it than that. When I watch our students dedicate themselves to making these events successful, I see so much more than pairs of socks, stacks of books and cash being donated. I see students who think about someone other than themselves. I see students who are grateful to be able to help others, and do it with a smile. I see students who put the needs of others before their own. I see hope and sacrifice and compassion and caring for others. I want to say that is what the holidays are all about, but that is wrong. It is the way we should treat each other all year long, and our students are wonderful examples of that.

We hear and read all the time about how this generation is so wrapped in their devices and screen time that they have no concept of human interaction. While there may be some truth in that, I also think we need to temper these types of remarks. We need to provide students opportunities to be contributing members of society, chances to see beyond themselves. When we do, they normally rise to the challenge. When they rise up like that, it give me hope for this generation. We should all be proud to be a part of that.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here are my weekly Diigo bookmarks for November 6. I have had some issues that have prevented me from contributing as much as I would like, but I am hoping that I will get back into the routine this week!

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What I have Learned this Year (So Far)

I am 55 years old, and I am in middle school. Well, not IN middle school, but I have started my 30th year in a middle school. My wife would tell you I have always been a slow learner. But the beauty of it is that I am still learning, every day, about my job, my school, and the educational journey I have been on now for 33 years. Here is what I have learned this year, my 33 opening week of school.

I have learned that kids are remarkably resilient. Yes, they are nervous (so am I the first day of every year). Yes, they are unsure of themselves to varying degrees. Yes, they fumble their way through lockers, more freedom and responsibilities, and 1500 kids in the hallways. But you know what? They figure it out. Some quickly, some take more time, but the vast majority of them learn and grow and spread their wings to fly. It is quite remarkable to watch.

I have learned that it is not perfect. Nothing is. There are issues, there are problems, there are bumps and bruises along the way. But it almost always seems to work out. I look at it like a project you’re working on, like if you were building a table for your dining room. You put so much time and effort into it, and you see every little flaw. But those little flaws are not what everyone else sees. They see a beautiful product in your dining room. That is what I chose to focus on.

I learned that new people in new positions bring a whole different perspective to the work. And that is a good thing.

I have learned that a great administrative  team is more valuable than anyone can possibly know. I am fortunate to have a team this year that works together, has each others back and can laugh every single day. No words can express how much that means to me.

I have learned that having a staff that is dedicated to kids and flexible in their approach goes a long way to creating a positive school climate and culture. I have heard it said that starts from the top and goes down, but I will admit they are wrong. Anything I do or say means nothing if you do not have a committed group of educators that believe ion the school and support you.

What have you learned so far this year?

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Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here are my weekly DIigo posts for the week of September 18. Hard to believe that this is the last week of September already. Time flies…make the most of it!

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Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here are my weekly Diigo posts for September 18, 2017. Working on a post for later this week so stay tuned!

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Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here are my weekly Diigo posts for the week of August 21. My staff reports back to school tomorrow, so I am hoping to get back into a routine starting tomorrow. I wish everyone a fantastic 2017-18 school year!

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Weekly Education Links (weekly)

Here are my weekly Diigo posts for the week of August 7. Hope you are getting ready for the new school year and that your plans are both innovative and exciting.

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