Sunday, October 2, 2016

Leave It In Your Car

Every day when we come to work, we have a choice.  That choice looks very simple on paper, but in reality it isn't quite that easy.

What is that choice?  That choice is to come to work with all of our baggage or to leave it in our car.

Our students show up to school every day with their own pain.  The absence of a parent and they have to take on the adult responsibilities, the cycle of physical/emotional/sexual abuse at home, the fear of the electricity or water being turned off again, gangs down the street, drugs sold out on the front porch, family member arrested again, little brother sick and no money to get medicine, drunk parent coming home late again, and so on and so on.

When our kids come to school they come longing for a safe place.  A place where they feel loved, appreciated, and wanted.  A place where the monsters go back under the bed for a little while.

They long for a place where they can escape the harsh realities they're forced to live in outside of school hours.

And sometimes they come into a school (or a classroom) where the adults haven't left their own baggage in the car.

Buildings (or classrooms) where they employees are angry and take it out on their students.  A classroom where they teacher never smiles.  A classroom where students are told to sit down, shut up, and do their work.

As adults we all have bad days.  And some of us have more bad days than others.  I am by no means saying that you don't lean on your school family. You do! Go into a colleagues room and just sit and talk and cry.  Go into the office and find a quite space to be alone for a little.  Take a walk around the building to clear your head. All of that is ok!  We all need our "moments".

But what we have to remember, what we can never do, is bring our personal baggage into the classroom.  When we walk into that room, all of our own personal things disappear, and we have to be there completely for those kiddos. And sometimes we have to "fake it til we make it" and put that smile on and bring the energy regardless.  Our kids deserve to have the best, most encouraging, and safest place in the world when they enter your room.

Let's make this week awesome for our kids!

Week At a Glance

Monday - FUNgineering (Prek-2) - Schedule Below
5th Grade CAMP (all 5th go to PE)
Tuesday - Nesloney Out
FUNgineering (3rd-5th) - Schedule Below
Bilingual Vertical Meeting - 3:30pm - TP Room
Wednesday - Nesloney Out
All of PreK (Ts and IAs) Out
Thursday - All of PreK (Ts and IAs) Out
Superintendent Information Mtg 1 (4:00)
Superintendent Information Mtg 2 (4:45)
Friday - Fire Prevention (All Classes go to PE)
Face Painting
Saturday - EdCamp Katy


Please keep the families of Lisa Marsh and Doris Banks in your prayers this week.  I'm sure there's many more, but those are two that I'm aware of.

FUNgineering Schedule

Your camp schedules will be changed Monday and are the new times you will need to report to camp on those days.  Lunches will still be at the same times.

MONDAY - ALL PRE-K - 2nd will Report to GYM (and 5th); 3rd and 4th will have normal CAMP classes.


TUESDAY - ALL 3rd-5th will report to GYM; PreK-2nd will have normal CAMP classes.


Superintendent Information Mtg.

There will be two different Superintendent Informational Meetings you are invited to attend.  They are both Thursday.  One is at 4:00pm and the other is at 4:45pm.

TP Times

We are beginning Writing Work in TP Times.  You will not need to bring anything except your laptop.

Monday - 2nd Grade
Tuesday - Kinder
Wednesday - 5th
Thursday - 4th
Friday - 3rd

Parent/Teacher Conferences

REMINDER: Parent/Teacher Conference week is NEXT WEEK!  You must meet with every parent from your class.  We are pushing for in-person meetings.  You will have your conference time, before school, after school, and one TP time to plan meetings. If we need to meet parents "where they are" and do home visits we are willing to do that as well.

If you would like to start some of your conferences this week, that is fine too!

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans should be updated through October 14th


October 8th - Sherri Desern

Upcoming FREE PD

EdCamp Katy 
Saturday, October 8 -

EdCamp College Station
Saturday, October 15 -

TCCA - Aldine - Keynote is Angela Maiers
Saturday, October 22 -

Kids Deserve It

Here are two different interviews.  One is with Ike Ramos who is a former educator who now works and does raps for Flocabulary.  The other is LaVonna Roth who travels inspiring educators from around the world.


Rockstar Educators

Aaron Marvel - I wish everyone on campus really truly knew how much work Aaron Marvel does behind the scenes that he gets zero credit for.  In addition to his already full plate, Aaron is a believer in always learning something new and pushing himself even further.  I am so excited about his VLTs and the Assessment for Learning he has started.  I am so thankful we have someone on campus like Aaron who is incredibly researched based but also willing to push the boundaries, try new ideas, and always has a positive attitude. I am so thankful we have leadership on our campus like Aaron.

Courtney Moore - Courtney is one of our 5th grade teachers.  I love how much Courtney loves learning and looking for new things.  Courtney is in her second year of teaching now and I have seen such tremendous growth.  She cares so deeply about her students too.  Courtney has taken over the gardening too and is cleaning up our back pallets (and starting an after school club) to bring gardening to our campus! I am thankful we have so many educators, like Courtney, who step up in different ways to give our kids amazing experiences.

Dorton Matthews - and speaking of amazing experiences, Dorton Matthews has done just that this year.  This year I changed Dorton's expectations a little.  I was tired of having a computer lab that existed as part of a CAMP rotation that just was another chance for our kids to "practice skills" on a computer.  We need to challenge our kids and give them all kinds of experiences, and when I brought the idea to Dorton he was totally on board.  If you did not check out the Cardboard Challenge day on Thursday, YOU. MISSED. OUT.  WOW!  I don't even know where to begin.  The kids had an absolute blast and it was true creativity, passion, and excitement on display.  I am so thankful we have educators like Dorton who are willing to run with new and crazy ideas......because they know it's what's best for kids.

In Closing....

As we go through another week together I want us to remember two things this week....
1.  We can't do this alone.  Lean on those around you for support, encouragement, and a listening ear.  If you don't have those people around you, come up to us in the office.  We all will sit with you for as much time as you need.
2.  Leave the Drama in the Car.  Our kids need us at our best. Every Day.  It isn't easy, but we have to put our own things aside to give our kids a safe and happy place to come into every day.

I am so thankful to work on a campus as innovative and exciting as this one.  Between Cardboard Challenge and House Games, this past week was a TRUE testament at how we are all changing lives and changing this school.  We had 3 different visitors this week.  Two from Humble and one from in the Texas Panhandle.  All left in awe at what we've been able to accomplish in less than two years.  And all were begging to come back and see more.  That's because of YOU.  So, thank you.

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