Weekly Staff Memo – Sept 22, 2013

Staff Meeting Recap

Since many folks were not able to make staff meeting this week, I thought I would recap the message since I consider it to be a very important one.  Take a moment to ponder this quote.  

“What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

The staff meeting was based off of the middle portion of this article, “Strategy 2:  Be the Most Positive Person on the Faculty.”  http://www.veanea.org/home/1949.htm Teachers were asked to mentally identify the most positive person at our school.  Keep in mind no names were used – only anonymous descriptions.  After a brainstorming session, we came up with the following attributes:


After discussing the attributes of positive people, we were asked why we didn’t name ourselves.  From there, we set some goals going into the coming week, the coming month, and the coming year for becoming the most positive person at our school.  Imagine the collective power we hold in our building if all people are working towards this common goal!  Talk about awesome!  As Todd Whitaker states in his book, What Great Teachers Do Differently,

“Effective educators understand that one of a teacher’s most important tasks is to model appropriate behavior.  With all the challenges we face in school, and sometimes at home, being nice to each other may seem trivial; but if our classrooms and schools can have that as a foundation, many of the other challenges become less daunting.  Teachers who consistently (meaning 10 days out of 10!) model their expectations for how people should be treated give their schools a valuable gift – a gift that in time, everyone in the school can give to each other.”

The truth is that all of us are imperfect and we all are allowed to have bad days.  But the reality is that we have been charged with an awesome responsibility, and it is up to us to continually strive to be the very best we can be on any given day.  As Matthew Kelley reminds us in The Rhythm of Life,

“Everything is a choice. This is life’s greatest truth and its hardest lesson. It is a great truth because it reminds us of our power. Not power over others, but the power to be ourselves and to live the life we have imagined. It is a hard lesson because it causes us to realize that we have chosen the life we are living right now….Learn to master the moment of decision and you will live a life uncommon.”

In closing, Laura Collander brought up a great point.  She said that she actually had a hard time just focusing on one person for this activity.  Then several other people chinned in and expressed the same difficulty, including myself!  Isn’t it great to be surrounded by such uplifting sources of support?  In the staff meeting, I brought up the quote about becoming like the five people you spend the most time with.  I can only hope this is true because I truly feel like I am surrounded by the best of the best on any given day.  So in closing, let’s never lose sight of our many blessings here at CSD.  That doesn’t mean the hard days go away, but it certainly makes them more bearable. 🙂

Nuts/Bolts Reminders & Tips:

Please do not pull students from arts classes to make up work in core classes without first clearing this with the arts teacher.  Oftentimes, especially in ensemble settings, a student’s absence significantly hinders the progress of the group.  So it is very important that we not put students in a situation where they are letting their classmates down.  Thank you for your help with this!

I am in desperate need of help in the gym on Friday mornings.  If you are a Practicum Leader who is not preparing for a full day of classroom instruction, I need you to show up in the gym by 8:00 to help with supervision both in the gym and in the hallways.  It takes at least three folks for adequate supervision – one adult supervising gym door on 6/7 hall, one adult supervising gym door on 8th grade hall, and at least one adult (although two or three are preferable) circulating inside the gym.  Thank you for your help with this!

Please make every effort to attend bi-monthly Staff Meetings (1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month).  We understand when folks have to miss on occasion, but since these meetings are an important part of preserving (and building) the morale and community amongst our staff, it takes a toll on our sense of community when folks routinely miss.  Also, if you are taking a planning day on a staff meeting day, please know the expectation is that you will return to school for the staff meeting.  Thank you for understanding!   We love you and miss you when you aren’t there. 🙂

Upcoming Events:

Both Dani Angell and Dan Hurlbut are chaperoning the 5th Grade Barrier Island Trip this week, so please check in on their subs regularly to offer assistance and support.  Your presence makes a difference.  Thank you!  *Have a great time, Dani and Dan. 🙂

11:30-12:15 – Electives Team Meeting in Juli’s office.  Click here to add to the agenda.

Dorothy is “Admin on Call” all day.  Gooooo, Dorothy!

Other half of 6th Grade Ropes Course (4 Advisories out of the building)


Be a fountain not a drain Thank you, Beth Knight, for reminding us of this in staff meeting last week.  Love it!  Let us remember these wise words as we head into the upcoming week.


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