Week 15: 11/28/11 – 12/02/11

I see the school year as a marathon, not a sprint. There are long stretches at the beginning and end, then those long days where winter’s cold temperatures (especially in Chicago) and lack of sunlight drain us. When viewed within the scope of an entire school year, 18 days isn’t really that many. However, 18  is the exact number of days that we have with our little Kennedy Kubbies before Winter Break.

  • For some of our students who will say “it’s almost break” and lack motivation, it is time to push them & keep them excited and eager to learn.
  • For our students who come from challenging circumstances at home and are feeling anxiety about not being at Kennedy for over two weeks (and acting out because of it), it is time to show them how much you care & make the most of these next 18 days.
  • For our students that just keep smiling & working hard each day, it is time to pull them aside and tell them how much you appreciate them (Positive Postcard?)

In these 18 days, we have a lot of work to do & lots of wonderful learning experiences to provide our students.  We’ll continue to persevere as the professionals that we are! No matter what your title is, what grade you work with, or what you do at Kennedy, please look at these next 18 days as times to deliver the highest quality service to our students, parents & community.

Be proud of what we’ve accomplished with our students so far this year, but please keep your ‘eye on the ball’ and keep the focus on learning in your classrooms as we return from Thanksgiving Break. In addition, I’d encourage you to:

  • Take a second and tell a colleague that you’ve noticed how hard they are working and that you appreciate them working so hard.
  • Make time to reflect on some of the positives that we’ve had this year that may have been overlooked as we have overcome the challenges of not having enough time.
  • Set a tone for your students that regardless of how much time is left before a long break that all of us will work hard and make the most of our school days.
  • Celebrate being a member of our Kennedy School family

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, November 28th:
Welcome Back!
Please turn in any parent/teacher conference surveys to the office.

Tuesday, November 29th:

Wednesday, November 30th:
Common Plan (TAPS)

Thursday, December 1st:
Happy Birthday Lindsay Zinkann :)
Kennedy Singers @ 2:20pm
Mentor Meeting @ 3:45pm (LMS)

Friday, December 2nd:
Pre School Screening
District Holiday Party

(12/4) Happy Birthday Michelle Miro :)

**Just a friendly reminder to schedule 2nd round of observations, as they must be completed before Winter Break**

Week 14: 11/14/11 – 11/18/11

“When asked to identify what made the school so good, every person, without fail, said it was the people of the school: the children, the families, and most importantly, the staff. Nobody said, ‘We have a really great computer lab’ or ‘a brand new reading textbook.’
(Eaker, DuFour, & DuFour, 2002)

With the Thanksgiving holidays quickly approaching, I thought it was a great time to simply offer heartfelt thanks to all of you for enriching the lives of our students & me. Whether you are a returning teacher, a teacher in a new role, or a teacher new to Kennedy School, I am sincerely thankful that you are here. I have the best job in the world because I am surrounded by the best teachers in the world. In the above quote, Eaker & colleagues have clearly stated what makes our own school great: It is not our pristine facility, or our curriculum, or technology; instead, it is each of you performing great deeds day in and day out. THANK YOU for teaching me so clearly what effective teachers do differently, and thanks for teaching with passion each day!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Happy American Education Week!
Parent Teacher Conferences (all week)

Monday, November 14th:

Tuesday, November 15th:
Happy Birthday Sandy Montes de Oca :)
Parent Visitation Day 9-10am, 1-2pm
NO Mentor Meeting (conferences)

Wednesday, November 16th:
SLC to McDonalds
Thanksgiving Feast in Lounge
No Common Plan (conferences)
PATS/PREK Thanksgiving Feast @ 2:00-3:30pm (cafeteria)
Board of Education Meeting @ 7:00pm

Thursday, November 17th:
Spirit Assembly (Integrity) @ 9:00am
No SLT Meeting this week (conferences)

Friday, November 18th:
No School

Thanksgiving Break 11/21-11/25 
Happy Birthday Emily Kronlage (11/21)
Happy Birthday Jill Geritano (11/25)

Week 13: 11/07/11 – 11/11/11

“Be positive with people and you’ll get positive results.”
(Blanchard, Lacinak, Tompkins, Ballard, & Blanchard, 2002) 

Fall (November) is officially upon us as we are surrounded by beautiful warm colors & cooler weather. I hope you had a refreshing, relaxing weekend and are ready for the week ahead.

As parent-teacher conferences are upon us, I wanted to share a blog post with some tips and principles to keep in mind. Parent-Teacher Conferences offer teachers and parents the opportunity to see, celebrate and support each child. Conferences have provided me with some of my most rewarding moments in teaching. Just as we appreciate praise for our efforts, parents appreciate praise for their efforts & their child’s progress. Our school calendar may set aside days for parent-teacher conferences each year; however, I believe great teachers like all of you at Kennedy know that parent-teacher conferences are held throughout the entire school year. A great teacher keeps the student, the team, and the parents informed at all times!

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, November 7th
SLC Swimming @ Elmhurst YMCA

Tuesday, November 8th
Happy Birthday Kellie Fazio :)
Pre School Field Trip to Kohl’s Children’s Museum
Faculty Meeting @ 2:30pm & 3:30pm <–click for agenda
CPI Training @ 3:00pm (Washington School)

Wednesday, November 9th
SLC to Super Low
Assessment Common Plan
CPI Training @ 3:00pm (Washington School)

Thursday, November 10th
Kennedy Singers Rehearsal @ 8:45am
101/109 Field Trip to Native American Museum
No Kennedy Singers After School
District Veterans Day Performance @ 7:00pm (LMS)

Friday, November 11th
Happy Veterans Day (Here is a Veterans Day Writing template if you’d like to use it!)
Happy Birthday Julie Fister & Becky Shoufer :)
Reading Room Plan

(11/12) Happy Birthday Sarah Mixa :) 

Here are some November Reminders/Upcoming Dates to Remember.

I hope you have a fantastic week! Enjoy our Kennedy Kubbies…..and as always, thank you for TEACHING with PASSION!