As I sat and reflected over the week, the Robert Frost poem came to my mind. You know the one, "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled, and it has made all the difference."
I think about the job we have before us here in Navasota. There are so many factors that are working against these kiddos. And working here isn't easy, by any means. It's hard work, it's frustrating, it's heart-breaking work. But you took the leap with us.
I think about our kids here. Working in Navasota is more than a choice I believe. It's a calling. These kids NEED strong teachers. They need love, compassion, forgiveness, examples to look up to. By working in Navasota you are doing so much more than providing these kids with an education. You are changing lives. I see it every single day.
My favorite part of the week this week, was Friday afternoon when I sent a Remind text asking you to send up a child to my office for me to call home and celebrate. Aaron and I split the duties (and language barriers of course). It was a powerful reminder to me, of why celebrating kids is so important. I had two different parents cry over the phone. Why? Because no one had ever taken the time to tell them their kid was doing a great job. How have we missed that? We can't. It's too important.
But my favorite was a voicemail I had on my phone when I came back from car rider duty. One parent was unavailable when I called and so I left a voicemail. When she called back she left me a message that said (through tears), "Mr. Nesloney I just wanted to call you back and let you know how much that message meant to me to hear about my daughter. My heart sank at first when you started because I just figured she was in trouble! I have 4 children in Navasota schools, and I have never received a positive phone call about any of them. You don't know the difference you made today".
We must find ways to celebrate. We must.
I loved the story Cassie Reynolds (a 4th grade teacher on our campus) also shared with me on Friday about a student she was already having trouble with in class. She said she called home on Thursday and left a wonderful message with his mother but she didn't tell the student that. She asked the student to talk to his mom that night about why she called home. The student was terrified! He never got good calls of course. The next day he came back with a big smile on his face and quite the different attitude because someone said something wonderful about him to his mother, who I can assure you only received negative phone calls in the past. Every time we reach out to a parent we make a difference.
Sept 3 - Sue Meisel
This Wednesday we have our third book talk! It'll be right after car/bus duty on Wednesday in the Cafeteria over Chapter 3!
Team Planning times start this week! On your assigned day, your students will stay in the cafeteria at 7:45am and you will meet in the Team Planning room with Kathy French. Please remember to be on time to these meetings.
Monday - 5th Grade
Tuesday - 4th Grade
Wednesday - 3rd Grade
Thursday - 2nd Grade
Friday - 1st Grade
EduHero is due TOMORROW!
Please make sure you are collecting all those student handbook forms. I will be getting you one more tomorrow that is technology usage form that was left out of the original packet.
This week we start Walkers! Students must have a note to be a walker. PreK-2nd grade walkers will go to the First Grade hall where Ms. Gonzales, Ms. Longabaugh, and Ms. Robles will be.
3rd-5th Grade walkers will go to the 4/5th Grade Hall where Mr. Haliburton, Ms. Salazar, and Ms. Sanders will be.
As far as car and bus riders, please make sure you switch duties with your team mates between car and bus duty.
We will continue two lanes of cars on Monday and it is IMPERATIVE that all teachers are watching, helping, and walking students to cars.
We will release PreK & Kinder & All Walkers at 3:00pm, then we will release Car Riders at 3:05, Bus Group 1 at 3:10 and Bus group 2 at 3:15pm.
Please remember that we should not be taking entire class bathroom breaks. That's a huge loss of time. Students should be allowed in class to go to the bathroom when needed. If it becomes an overuse issue be creative and come up with solutions for that particular student. Specials usually doesn't allow students to go to the bathroom since they see them for such a limited time.
There are two AWESOME PD opportunities coming up that you'll definitely want to consider attending. Both are FREE!
One is EdCamp Katy coming up on Saturday, October 24th in Katy, Texas. I LOVE EdCamps and will for sure be attending. If we get enough people to go, we could even try and get a Navasota suburban if you guys are interested. Please let me know if you sign up for this. http://www.edcampkaty.com/register.html
The other is TCCA. TCCA is in Aldine, and I have loved attending it every year. They give lots of great prizes, have awesome sessions, and give you a FREE lunch!! Again, if we get enough people to go, we could even try to get a Navasota suburban if you guys are interested. Please let me know if you sing up for this. http://tccaconference.weebly.com/registration.html
I hope you've found some value in a few of the people I've suggested you follow. Remember to reach out to these people too! Share ideas, ask questions, have a voice! That's when Twitter begins to TRULY make a difference. I have LOVED watching what so many of you are sharing online! Those things don't go unnoticed! And if you haven't checked out the #WebbElem hashtag you should!
Ben Gilpin - Administrator in Michigan
Jon Harper - Incredible Blogger and Asst. Principal in Maryland
Felix Jacomino - Director of Educational Technology in Florida
Sarah Thomas - HS Teacher in DC
Nathan Lang - Educator in Tennessee
A new section of the blog that's starting this week is Rockstar Educators! People on campus who myself, or another staff member, have noticed being AMAZING!
These two people will get to park their cars up front (if they wish), they'll get their name and picture put up on our "Rockstar Educators" Wall that I'm working on, and they'll get a FREE lunch one day this week!
So without further ado, our two rockstar educators are....
T.J. Longabaugh - T.J. is a PreK Instructional Aide. I have been impressed with T.J. from the moment I met her. She is full of kindness and joy. She has an ability to notice the little things and step up in places unexpected and without anyone asking. T.J. took time to clean the outside trashcans by hand and wiped down all of the school windows out front because our school had to look great. She is a joy to be around and one definitely deserving of this honor!
Angela Calkins - Angela is a first year teacher. She is quiet and humble. But when I observed her class this week, I saw one HECK of a killer teacher. She was animated, active, engaging, and dead on with the material. Angela teaches in 3rd grade and is definitely one to watch.
Congrats you two! When you see these two on campus this week, let's find time to continually celebrate them and find creative ways to make them feel appreciated! Let's work together to do this!
Here are a few blog posts you can check out this week!
A Letter to Teachers from, "That Kid"
Math Activities for 5th and 6th Grade
The Power of Home Visits
A Walk to Remember
Give Out Lots of High Fives
Upcoming Important Dates this Week
Team Planning Starts this Week
Team meetings are during your conference on Wednesdays
Team Leader meeting Wednesday morning at 7:00am in Team Planning Room
And a video to end on (the one at 5 min and 30 seconds is my favorite)....