Sunday, October 23, 2016

The Words We Choose

Every one of us know what is feels like when someone shows interest in who we are as a person.  When they truly care.  Each of us also know what it feels like when someone says something hurtful that feels like it cuts us to the core.

Our words are powerful.  Aldous Huxley once said "Words can be like X-Rays if you use them properly -- they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced."

I have a friend who I met 8 years ago.  His name is Sergio.  He was staying with a family friend of mine as part of a foreign exchange program.  It was his very first time in a country other than his own (Venezuela).  He knew no one. He knew no English.  When you're thrown into an environment like that, it's terrifying.  Sergio quickly learned English though (he really had no other choice!)  Sergio and I, for whatever reason, also became quick friends.  He made it through his year of the Exchange Program and afterwards I went out and spent 3 weeks with his family in Venezuela and experienced a taste of what life was like for him, where no one spoke the language I spoke.

It's been eight years, but Sergio and I finally were reunited this week.  It was like not a moment had passed.  We laughed, we learned each other's languages again, and we had a great time.  It was then that I sat with Sergio as we were reminiscing.  I asked him how exactly we had become friends.  His response hit me and was the reason for the the title of this post.  He said "When I came to this country everyone treated me differently.  I was different.  Some thought I was dumb because I couldn't speak English.  Some people talked to me really slow.  But after being here for a few weeks, you were the first person who asked about me.  Who tried to speak my language and get to know the real me.  What I liked, what I didn't like, about my family.  You really cared."

That simple statement reminded me of how powerful our words truly are.

Our words can build up.  They can connect us, change our lives, and develop friendships we would have never expected.  But as I've seen in my own life and the lives of others, words can destroy to.  They can place mistrust, they can destroy reputations, they can cut you all the way to the bone where you wonder if you will ever heal from the hate that was thrown at you.

Every day we come into contact with others we have a choice with how we use our words.  Whether it's in what we say, the look on our face, of our body language.  Those are all forms of communication.

This week I encourage you to think about the words you're using with your students, your co-workers, and your families.  Let's be extra cognizant about the words we choose.

Week at a Glance

Monday - Becky on Campus (mtg with all teams at conference with normal data expectations)
PreK Field Trip (Marvel Attending)
Staff Meeting - 3:45pm - Cafeteria (BUY A PUMPKIN)
Tuesday - Picture Day (Mallory will call for classes throughout the morning. ABC order)
Reading Vertical - 3:30pm - PLC Room
STEM Night - Webb - 5:30-7:00pm
Wednesday - Moreland on Campus
NED Show at 9:20am in Gym
Thursday - Nesloney Off Campus
Friday - Nesloney Off Campus
House Games (MCd by Marvel)
Kona Ice (all grades will go after their lunch to recess to get Snow Cones)
PEIMS Snapshot Day (Mallory/Walker will probably be very busy)

TP Time

Final week of Lucy Calkins work.

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

Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans should be updated through November 4th

Morning and CHAMPS

This year we have implemented more CHAMPS expectations and have seen the wonderful results in several classrooms as well as the hallways.  Improvement is needed in the gym during bus duty.  Several children are reading, but there are also several children talking to one another.  In order to remain consistent with our expectations, we have to continue to teach, model, and enforce our expectations.  When children enter the gym, please report to our bus line duty post and remind children of the gym CHAMPS expectations.   Teachers should continue to model appropriate behaviors for the children.  Please refrain from holding conversations or using your cell phone until the children have loaded their busses.  

The morning gym procedures have changed to allow for a more comfortable interactive experience.  The children will be allowed to talk to their elbow partners in a level 1 voice.  Please enforce the level 1 voice level in the gym in the mornings.  Please feel free to use the microphone to redirect the children to use appropriate voices.  Administrators are needed outside for the breakfast line as well as the cafeteria, so we will not always be available to redirect the children.  Floaters should continue to walk through the students enforcing the level 1 voice and when needed redirect the children using the microphone.  If their voice levels are greater than a 1 after one warning, they can sit quietly on level 0 until dismissal.   We are making new CHAMPS posters for the morning gym procedures.  Please see the new poster HERE.

Kids Deserve It




October 24 - Lauren Neutzler
October 30 - Jeanette Enriquez

Rockstar Educators

Kitty Tripp -  Kitty is one of our 3rd Grade Math/Science teachers.  Kitty has been such a joy and jolt of energy for our team.  Kitty brings an IMMENSE amount of knowledge when it comes to educational technology and I have loved not only watching Kitty use the tools in her own classroom (and her kids blossoming) but also the heart Kitty shows for constantly sharing with others.  Kitty is always pushing her own learning and asking what she can do better.  She is hungry for feedback but also dead set on doing what's best for her kids at all times; emotionally and academically.  I am so thankful we have someone like Kitty with us!

Julie Brooks - I have loved watching Julie grow over the last three years.  She is such a great teacher and is so good with her students.  She is smart, energetic, and cares deeply.  She has clearly found her place in working with PreK kiddos and I love every time I get to watch her in action.  Julie always looks for feedback and isn't afraid of coming to administration when she has a concern.  I am thankful Julie is a constant learner who will step out of comfort zone time and time again.

Diddy Flores - Diddy is one of our new kindergarten teachers.  So often when I see Diddy with her students I would never have known she was a first year teacher.  She works so hard and has done a great job at taking advice and trying whatever works.  She has reached out to admin as well as other teachers on campus to really help her grow into the best teacher she can be.  I can't wait to watch her grow even more as she becomes an even better teacher.

In Closing....

Like in the opening, remember this week of how our words matter.  Find some way this week to celebrate those around you.  Your team, your students, other staff, and your family.  See how it changes things!

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