Weekly Staff Memo – Week of Sept 29th

Great Things I Noticed

albert_einstein_art_202This week I was inundated with loads of positive parent feedback – feedback that their kids love their teacher, love learning, and love coming to school.  As a principal, this is music to my ears.  As a mommy, this is music to my soul.  Knowing what lies ahead for my Jack-Jack in middle school fills my heart with gratitude.  I want you all to know that you ARE making magic each and every day.  Todd Whitaker states, “The teacher’s goal in class should be to make students more excited about learning tomorrow than they were today.”  Based on what I’m seeing and hearing, you all are knocking it out of the ballpark.  Below I am including a few snippets from some lovely emails I received this week.  Go into this week knowing that you are loved and adored by many!  Thank you for the countless hours you put into making learning come to life for your students.  You truly are changing lives on a daily basis.

I want you to let XXXX’s team know that he is home this morning reading a book a bought him this summer about Greek Mythology! I have heard more about school that I have his entire career! Between excitement about the dance production (he comes home dancing and practicing) creating a Greek play in drama where he was proud his story got chosen (from a kid that struggles in written lang, that’s huge), to learning in the core subjects: language arts learning the value of organization and truly the best paper he has ever written and care about in my opinion, he loves geography and history and tells me everything…he loves map skills. I so hated those, but not at CSD!  He is excited about science experiments (I helped him study for his assessment and I was amazed in how much he knew and understood from class…from kid with processing issues…that’s a big deal)
To math and feeling powerful in being successful and being terrified of xtra math and facing his fear and now rocking it out!… to taking a risk playing the flute and finally getting solid sounds, to pe where he is appreciating his body and how to strengthen it and he sings all the songs they workout too! He is excited about Spanish and mentoring younger kids as well; he came home and showed told me all about ‘the acting’ on what not to do in a kindergarten class…he was laughing so hard!!!! To an amazing advisor that takes such good care of him to his ec teacher who goes the extra mile for him and his crazy mama!  I am eternally grateful that XXXX loves school and loves learning and is inspired!  Thank you all…you inspire me!!!
 
Tonight I listened to my son rave about his teachers.  I listened to stories told by each of you throughout the day.  I listened to stories about you and your younger lives.  I watched him laugh and smile and entertain us with the craziness of middle school and teachers who know how to enjoy what and who they teach.  We listened intently and it was truly as if we were sitting in the classroom  today learning with our son….more importantly, learning from amazing, magical teachers who are making a lasting impression on the lives of all your students.  As I go to bed tonight it is with a heart full of gratitude for what you share with my son and all of your students each day…far more than the content you teach, you share yourselves.  Thank you for giving us, as parents, a gift that I bet few middle school parents get very often.  Thank you!
 

 Nut/Bolts/Reminders/Tips:

Please ensure that students return outside PE equipment back to the storage bins.  Remember, it is the kids’ responsibility to pick up after themselves, but it our responsibility to remind them to do it. 🙂  Thank you!

Upcoming Events:

Tuesday, Oct 1

Dani’s workout after school

Wednesday, Oct 2
11:30-12:15 – LASS Vertical Team Meeting in Juli’s office
3:30-5:00 – MS/HS Vertical Staff Meeting at the HS – Joy will do a presentation on the 8 Core Commonalities and then we will branch off by discipline to discuss.  Please head over to the HS as soon as MS carpool concludes so we can get started as close to 3:30 as possible.  Thank you!  Click here for a brush-up on the 8 Core Commonalities.

Thursday, Oct 3
Sara Keys is “Admin on Call.”  Go, Sara!
Sign up for Juli’s Sacred Classroom Time by clicking here.  Please use me!  I would love to be of service to you!  I will do anything that helps you….from running small groups….to one-on-one pull out…..to grading papers….to copying/pasting/laminating.  Also, if you’ve been dying to get into your colleagues’ classrooms but can’t ever seem to find a time, this is the perfect opportunity!  I will cover your class!  Use me!

October is a busy month!  Lots of important dates coming down the pike….
10/7 – Parent Advisory Monthly Meeting at 7:30p.m. at HS
10/8 – K-8 Lottery Open House
10/9 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon; Ed Leadership Seminar Meeting at 3:45 in MS Media Center
10/10 – MS Pep Rally at 2:00 – We will run on a modified schedule this day….more to come….
10/18 – Jupiter Grades due for admin editing
10/24 – 1/2 day – Only 8th Graders report to school this day for Explore Test – Parent/Teacher Conferences
10/25 – No School for Students – Parent/Teacher Conferences; Fresh Take Conference (Day 1)
10/26 – Fresh Take Conference (Day 2)

Professional Development Corner

Instructional strategy – Visual Cues

We’ve all heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  How true this can be in the classroom!  Have you ever had the experience where students were not successful in following your directions because they were getting lost in your words?  Have you ever felt dog-tired from explaining the same thing over and over again?  Then this is a strategy for you!  I am a big fan of Rick Smith and Grace Dearborn.  In their book, Picture This, they show how educators can use the simple power of visuals to help with classroom management.  Here is a sneak peak to give you a few ideas.  I have a copy of this book, so if you would like to borrow it, let me know!
http://www.consciousteaching.com/web/wp-content/uploads/PictureThis_SelectPages.pdf

Inspirational

A few years ago, I read a book that changed my life.  Over the course of the next few weeks, I plan on digging into each of these ideas in more detail, but for this week, I leave you with this visual – The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz.  I hope you find this train of thought as uplifting and transformative as I have.

four-agreements2

Have a GREAT week!

Much love,

Juli
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