Week 15: 11/18/13 – 11/22/13

How often do we pause & think why we are grateful? I challenge each of you to take some time each day to reflect on the things, events, or people you appreciate. Better yet….if it’s a person, let them know how thankful you are for their role in your life. THANK YOU are two simple words that have the power to transform our health, happiness, performance, and success. Grateful people are happier & more likely to maintain good friendships. Gratitude and appreciation are also essential for a healthy work environment. A simple thank you can make all the difference. Be sure to say thank you to those around you each and every day!

With parent-teacher week upon us, I wanted to share the following blog post:

‘Twas the Night Before Conferences: A Parent’s Perspective on Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-Teacher conferences offer teachers & parents the opportunity to see, celebrate and support each individual child. Just as we all appreciate praise for our efforts, parents appreciate praise for their efforts & their child’s progress. As you offer information about the students in your room, always remember that you are speaking about someone’s ‘whole world’ and remember to be mindful of how that information will be received by your audience. I’m confident you will exude professionalism and confidence this week as you inform parents about curriculum, assessment, grading/reporting, strengths & opportunities for growth. I know you will continue to develop a working relationship with your families and deepen that home-school partnership. Thanks for all that you do in preparation for this very busy week! :)

Here are some ideas from my “conferences” board on Pinterest. (if you’re looking for ideas)

and here’s our week at a glance

Monday, November 18th
American Education Week
Parent/Teacher Conference Week
*If your schedule changes, please be sure to submit an updated copy to the office. Also, Jane and I are able and willing to attend any conferences, if needed. 

Tuesday, November 19th
Parent Visit Day (9am-10am and 1pm-2pm)

Wednesday, November 20th
Kennedy Faculty & Staff Thanksgiving Feast (in lounge)
Board Meeting @ 7:00pm
Happy Birthday Rosa Worwa :)

Thursday, November 21st
Spirit Assembly (Integrity)
Happy Birthday Emily Kronlage :)

Friday, November 22nd
No Student Attendance: P/T Conferences

11/25-11/29 Thanksgiving Break

(11/25) Happy Birthday Jill Geritano :)

“Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire. 
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don’t know something,
for it gives you the opportunity to learn.
Be thankful for the difficult times. 
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations,
because they give you opportunities for improvement.
Be thankful for each new challenge,
because it will build your strength and character.
Be thankful for your mistakes.
They will teach you valuable lessons.
Be thankful when you’re tired and weary,
because it means you’ve made a difference.
It’s easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles,
and they can become your blessings.”
                                   -Author Unknonwn 

Week 14: 11/11/13 – 11/15/13

From Venspired:

“In our excitement, they find motivation. In our kindness, they are reminded to be kind. In our questions left unanswered, they seek more questions. In our collaboration with colleagues, they see that working with others is not just a ‘school rule’ but a way of life. The lights may brighten the room, but it is our actions that bring energy to the learning space. Whether on a nature walk, a spot on the playground, at the school library, or in our classroom. It is in our hands to define the learning environment or destroy the inquiry. We are not meant to control each student with our thoughts, words, and actions. We are meant to create the type of environment where self-control develops, where learning reigns, an where our actions support that.”

Here’s our week at a glance:

(11/10) Happy Birthday Gloria Reyes :)

Monday, November 11th
2nd & 3rd Grade Veterans Day Performance @ LMS (9:00am)
Happy Birthday Julie Fister :)
Happy Birthday Becky Shoufer :)

Tuesday, November 12th
Faculty Meeting @ 2:30pm (very brief)

Wednesday, November 13th
PATS Field Trip to Schliler Park Library
SLC/SLBC Outing to Mariano’s
Happy Birthday Sarah Mixa :) 

Thursday, November 14th

Friday, November 15th
Reading Room Plan Day
5 by Friday!
Justin Muro from Lincoln Investments in lounge during lunch
PreK Field Trip to Shedd Aquarium
Happy Birthday Sandy Montes de Oca

(11/17) Happy Birthday Jennifer Kemling

Week 13: 11/04/13 – 11/08/13

Here’s a great article on the Phases of First Year Teachers, however, I went through these phases as an experienced teacher and still now as a principal. The difference is that I know to expect these different phases of the year, and that I will make it through each one. I don’t know about you, but I don’t even need to look at this image below to know that we’re at the “survival” point of the school year.

The key to the survival phase is to make sure that you are taking care of yourself, because you can’t take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first. I appreciate the thoughtful time you are putting into preparing for report cards & Parent/Teacher Conferences and that you will have great conversations with your students’ parents to inform and involve them in their child’s learning. I realize this means you have many late nights ahead of you in the weeks ahead, so please make sure to make time for yourselves to relax or do whatever it is that you do to rejuvenate!

Some other great tips to avoid teacher burnout include:
-Ask for help
-Don’t sweat the small stuff
-Don’t play the teacher at home
-Take time for yourself
-Remember why you teach

Here’s our week at a glance:

Monday, November 4th
Vision & Hearing Exams
Buddy Committee Meeting @ 2:45pm (Room 109)
Parent Teacher Collaboration Committee Meeting @ 6:00pm (Art Studio)

Tuesday, November 5th
Celebrations Committee Meeting @ 2:30pm (Room 104)
Mentor Meeting @ 3:45pm (LMS)
Community Forum @ 6:00pm (LMS)

Wednesday, November 6th
Vision & Hearing Exams
PATS/PreK Thanksgiving Feast in cafeteria (2:00pm-3:30pm)
Report Card Common Plan Time

Thursday, November 7th
Vision & Hearing Exams
SLT Meeting @ 3:00pm

Friday, November 8th
Vision & Hearing Exams
Union Breakfast in teacher’s lounge
Parent/Teacher Conference Schedules due to the office!
Dress Rehearsal (2nd & 3rd grade only) for Veterans’ Day Performance (@ LMS)
AM PreK to Washington School for Buddies Activity @ 9:10am