MS Staff Weekly Memo – April 19, 2015

What’s On My Mind:
This parent blog post went out right before Spring Break, but because of the timing, I worry that it may have been missed (link below).  This is important stuff from our fearless leader, Joy.  Please take a moment to read.  She raises excellent points that we all should heed.
I’m still moved by the notion of “being in the here in now.”  It seems so simple, yet it is often so hard to accomplish, let alone maintain.  Maybe it’s our need for control that drives our focus to the future.  Maybe it’s our doubt and insecurities that keep us hung up on the mistakes of our past.  I’m not really sure why being fully present can be so elusive, but I do know this: by worrying about the future or dwelling on events of the past, we are missing the only thing that is absolutely certain – the here and now.  One of my favorite spiritual teachers, Marianne Williamson, puts it this way. “To the extent that we use the present to focus on past or future, we disempower ourselves.  The tennis player doesn’t have time to think about the ball he or she just missed because it would take way from the effort to hit the next one.”  When things are uncertain and change is upon us, it is natural to wonder how things will all play out (the MS restructure being a perfect example).  But I know from my own personal experiences, my concerns and worries often stem from fear and uncertainty rather than genuine curiosity.  Being reflective is hugely important, and for that reason, it is highly effective to look back and analyze various situations.  Being prepared is also hugely important, and for that reason, it is essential to look forward and identify what will be needed to be successful in future endeavors.  But to be happy and productive, we often need to look nowhere other than the present moment, for in essence, that’s really all we have.  Let’s try to keep these thoughts in perspective as we travel through these final few weeks of school.  Rather than projecting into the future and into the unknowns (How will my kids do on this test?  What will next year hold for me?), let’s dive deeply into the here and now and unwrap the gifts that are right in front of us and waiting to be discovered.  Our students deserve that.  WE deserve that.  After all, we never know what we may find.  #bepresent #whatmatters
Upcoming Events:
Monday, April 20th
Pep Rally during Explore Electives.  Please eat in 4th block class.  Students will be called to gym around 11:30.
Tuesday, April 21st 
8:30-10:00 – Miles to Go Drug Prevention Parent Lecture – 8:30 and 7:00 – Elem Gym
Wednesday, April 22nd
MS 7/8 Dance Sharing
Thursday, April 23rd 
Juli Out – Dorothy Pagan Teacher Leader
Friday, April 24th
6th Grade Field Trip to UNCC Botanical Gardens
CSD Golf Tournament
Juli out – Chris Hoover Teacher Leader
Looking Ahead….
4/29/15 – Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
4/30/15 – 6th Grade Dance Sharing in MS Black Box
5/1/15 – UNCC Botanical Gardens Field Trip – 6th Grade
5/2/15 – Spartan 5K
5/6/15 – MS Drama and ShowChoir Show Case in MS Black Box
5/7/15 – MS Band Concert – 6:30 in MS Gym
5/8/15 – Teacher Workday – Kindergarten Screening
5/14/15 – Last day of MS Electives classes
5/15/15-5/16/15 – CSD Staff Retreat (arrive by 10 on Friday and leave at dinner time on Sat)
5/18/15 – 8th Grade Science EOG
5/19/15 – Reading EOG
5/20/15 – Math EOG
5/22/15 – Math 1 EOC for 8th graders taking Math 1
5/22/15 – Practicum Sharing Celebration
5/25/15 – NO SCHOOL – Memorial Day Holiday
5/26/15 – 5/27/15 – 7th Grade Ropes Course
5/27/15-5/29/15 – 8th Grade Kanuga Trip
5/27/15 – 6th Grade Holocaust Museum
6/1/15 – 7th Grade Change Project
6/2/15 – State of the School Address and Volunteer Appreciation 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. at HS Black Box
6/3/15 – Last day of school!
6/4/15 – HS Graduation
6/4/15 – 6/6/15 – Teacher Workdays
Nuts/Bolts/Reminders/Tips:
We will be finishing up “formal” observations over the next two weeks, so expect Juli in and out of your classrooms.  And as always, feel free to give me a job!  I love interacting with the students, so I would be delighted to help in any way possible.
Go ahead and begin to think about year-end close out.  The close out list will come to you soon but the NUMBER #1 challenge is collecting all EOG books, novels and calculators.  It is critical that you begin to figure out NOW if students have lost things so that they can be paid for before school is out.
Professional Development:
Don’t Quit: 5 Strategies for Recovering After Your Worst Day Teaching
The Heart of Teaching: What It Means to be a Great Teacher
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