MS Weekly Staff Memo – January 26, 2014

Great Things I Noticed This Week

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Upcoming Events

Monday, January 27th: (Tacky Spartan Day – wear crazy socks and hats)
5th Grade Arts Visit – 9:00-11:00
Charter Peer Review w/ NCDPI and Corvian – 1:00-4:00
Writing Workshop w/ Dr. Brian Kissel – 3:30-5:30 (Collander/Pagan’s room)

Tuesday, January 28th: (Blue Spartan Day – wear Spartan wear)
Alternate Schedule this day…Click here for details.
Lottery Open House – 9:30-11:00
Pep Rally – 2:15-3:00
*No Advisory

Wednesday, January 29th: (Helpful Spartan Day – dress as a super hero and bring canned good)
Joy registering 8th graders for HS all day in Juli’s office.
Cyber Safety Parent Workshop – 6:30 p.m. – *Adults only – no kids please.

Thursday, January 30th:  (Sleepy Spartan Day – wear p.j.s)
Joy registering 8th graders for HS all day in Juli’s office.
Kathleen McMillan Teacher Leader
6th Grade Band Performance for Parents – 9:30 a.m.

Friday, January 31st:
Joy registering 8th graders for HS all day in Juli’s office.
8th Grade Practicum – Souper Bowl Fundraiser

Looking Ahead….
February 3 – MS Report Cards due for admin edits today
February 3 – Parent Advisory – 7:30 at High School
February 4 – Joy registering 8th graders for HS all day in Juli’s office.
February 5 – MS Staff Meeting
February 6 – 1/2 Day; 1/2 Teacher Workday
February 7 – 6th Grade SLC’s; Teacher Workdays
February 10 – Jupiter Report Cards emailed home today
February 10 – Writing Workshop Session 2 w/ Dr. Kissel – 3:30-5:30 in Collander/Pagan’s room
February 12 – Ed. Leadership Seminar  Meeting – 3:30-4:30 at MS
February 17 – No School – President’s Day Holiday
February 20-23 – Les Miserables Performance at HS
February 24 – CSD Lottery
February 26 – Admin Team Planning Day
February 26 – NWHTYS Book Study (last one)
Feb 28-March 2 – MS Musical – Dear Edwina
March 3 – Parent Advisory – 7:30 at High School
March 7 – MS Show Choir Competition
March 21 – Teacher Workday; 7th Grade SLC’s
March 28 – 8th Grade Dance
April 3 & 4 – 8th Grade Finance Park
April 11 – 1/2 Day; Early Dismissal – Spring Break begins
April 11-22 – SPRING BREAK

Nuts/Bolts/Reminders/Tips

Report Cards are due for admin edits on Monday, February 3rd.  Please send me your trimester narratives asap so I can load them into Jupiter.

Thank you for helping me to hold kids accountable for treating our building and other school items with care.  I thought our student body talk went well, so hopefully things will improve.  Lots and lots of supervision is the key.  Thanks so much for your help with this!

Cell phones… I keep hearing that cell phone use is rampant in the student bathrooms.  Can you please address this with your advisees in morning attendance and remind them that phones are to be off and stored in lockers (or book bags that ALSO should be stored in lockers) until 3:15.  Thank you!

Thought-Provoking:

A few years ago, I discovered the work of Brene Brown.  For those of you who don’t know her, she is a self-proclaimed “researcher/storyteller” who has spent her career studying the causes and effects of fear/guilt/shame and most importantly, vulnerability.  Her work is outstanding and has had a big impact on me, both personally and professionally.  This weekend, I ran across this short video snippet where Brene talks about the difference between empathy and sympathy.  It struck a chord with me as I think it ties right back into the backbone of Dr. Boyer’s work.  In the Basic School, Dr. Boyer states, “After completing our research, we concluded that the most essential ingredient of a successful school – the one idea that holds it all together – is best described by the simple word ‘connections.’  An effective school connects people, to create community.  An effective school connects the curriculum, to achieve coherence.  An effective school connects classrooms and resources, to enrich learning.  An effective school connects learning to life, to build character.”  Connections.  That is what it all boils down to.  So as I watched this video clip and listened to her explanation, I was struck how connection plays into the determining factor between empathy and sympathy.  As you watch this, think about how this principle plays into your relationships, not just with your students, but also with their parents and your colleagues as well.  Alfie Kohn has often stated the the single most important thing we can teach (thereby meaning model) for our kids is empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.  This is easier said than done, but it’s certainly worth a shot.  So let’s all be mindful in the upcoming week, and in these moments let’s ask ourselves – Am I feeling sorry for that person (and perhaps harboring judgement) or am I consciously trying to feel what that person is feeling and then looking for a way to help them (without judgement)?

 

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