Saturday, April 29, 2017

Teacher Appreciation Week

This week is Teacher Appreciation Week!  I am so excited to be able to find ways to celebrate everyone on campus this week.  At this time in the year we are all a little worn out, tired, and sometimes a little more on edge than normal.

But I am so consistently encouraged by the hard work and love you pour into these kids.  From wiping their noses, to engaging their minds, to buying them lunch, to playing at recess.

It takes every one of us to work together to ensure that our kids are successful and grow into great human beings.  And they are because of YOU. Never forget that.

Week at a Glance

Monday - Nesloney Out
Book Fair Begins
Tuesday - Argueta Out
Team Leader Meeting - 7am
Community Bridges Meeting - 4:00pm
Wednesday - Bible Study - 7am
Thursday - Nesloney Out
Friday - Nesloney Out

You've Been Mugged

Please keep the mug passing around with goodies! Remember to pass the instructions with it! And when you need a "you've been mugged" sign for your door get it from Walker!

Teacher Appreciation Week

Here is our plan for this week!

Monday - Salty Snacks for all to enjoy!
Tuesday - Sweet Snacks for all to enjoy!
Wednesday - Homemade Pancake Breakfast cooked by Marvel and Nesloney
Thursday - Ice Cream Social
Friday - Lunch from PTO

Book Fair

Our Book Fair is this week! Let's make sure we really talk this up as this may be some students final opportunity to grab some books to read over the summer.  My goal is always to have every kids walk away from a book fair with at least one book.  So I will also be working with Haven to see how we can make that happen!

House Games

THANK YOU to everyone who played a part in making our House Games  happen in April! It was a HUGE undertaking and I know the kids really loved it.  Our final House Games is Friday April 12.  They will be an outdoor, water, house games and we'll announce our YEAR long winner!

TP Time

For TP time this week, during your team's time, you will meet in the TP room and write cards to other staff on campus expressing how you're thankful for them.  Since this is Teacher Appreciation week, we want you to express your appreciation for our fellow staff as well!

Monday - 1st Grade
Tuesday - Kinder
Wednesday - 5th Grade
Thursday - 4th Grade
Friday - 3rd Grade

T-TESS

This week is our final week to meet about end of year T-TESS evaluations. I STILL have several teachers who have not scheduled a meeting time.

Kids Deserve It

This week is musician/pastor/activist Melissa Greene.  Melissa is a former member or the Christian singing group, Avalon, and also helps run non-profit organization Timothy's Gift.


Blogs/Articles




In Closing...

Let's work together this week to start a joyful rebellion!






Sunday, April 23, 2017

Finish Strong!!

We're at that point of the year where we're exhausted, the kids are testing the limits left and right, and we're easily agitated and begin to get lax on some things!

The best thing we can do as we enter into these last few weeks of school is keep our expectations high, forgive often, love more, and push to the very end.  Our kids need us now more than ever to be at the top of our game!

If there's any way you need help or support, reach out! We're all in this together!

Week at a Glance

Monday - Positive Post It Note Day
Tuesday - Nesloney off Campus from 10-2 at Region 6
Bilingual Vertical Meeting - 3:30pm - Library
Wednesday - Delic on Campus for Tested Grade Levels
National Administrative Assistants Day
Bible Study - 7am
Kinder Graduation Pictures
Thursday - Switch Day
Leiva Wedding Shower - 3:45pm - Library
Friday - House Games

Positive Post It Note Day

The Annual Positive Post It Note Day is Monday!  We'll be picking up post its for anyone who may need them, but here's out it works!

Every person (adult and child) is expected to fill out 5 Post Its Tomorrow.  They write two post its to their peers, two post its to people who work at Webb, and one post it to themselves.  This is an opportunity for everyone to recognize the greatness in others (as well as yourself).

Remember to tweet out photos using the hashtag #PositivePostItNoteDay

Nesloney Off Campus

I will be off campus Tuesday from about 10-2 at a Principal Meeting at Region 6, but I will still have my phone on me.  So please reach out if you need anything.

Delic on Campus

Delic will be on campus to meet with tested teachers during their conferences.

National Administrative Assistants Day

This is on Wednesday! Let's find ways to celebrate Mallory, Jeanette, and Annie on Wednesday!

Switch Day

Switch Day is Thursday!!  Don't forget to plan with your switch teacher what you'll be doing.  Remember, those in tested Grades, you can reschedule your switch day for May 11th.

House Games

Our Black Light house games will be FRIDAY!

August Symposium

Jo Anna Moreland sent out a link to submit sessions for the NISD Symposium in August!  I would love to have at least 50% of our staff submit proposals.  ALL of you have something great to bring to the table.  All of those who submit a proposal, and it gets accepted, will have a MAJOR prize in August.  The link to submit is here: bit.ly/2017nisdsymposium

TP Time

PLEASE NOTE CHANGES

Monday - 5th Grade
Tuesday - 2nd Grade
Wednesday - 1st Grade
Thursday - 4th Grade
Friday - 3rd Grade

Kids Deserve It

Here is Episode 69, with Ron Clark Academy Teacher Wade King!  It's a very moving episode!


Blogs/Articles





In Closing...

All of our kids deserve for us to be our best for them every single day.



Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Today is the day many around the world celebrate our Easter Holiday.

It's a time for family!

So I'll keep it short this week so you can enjoy time with family!

Week at a Glance

Monday - NO SCHOOL
School Board Meeting - 6:30pm
Tuesday - Social Studies Vertical - 3:30pm - Library
Laredo Heights Hot Dog Cookout - 5:30-7:00pm
Wednesday - Nesloney Out - T-PESS Training
Bible Study - 7:00am - TP Room
Thursday - Nesloney Out - T-PESS Training
Argueta and Jackson out in the afternoon for Skyward/Admin Training
Friday - Kona Ice - After Lunches
Fire Drill

August Symposium

Jo Anna Moreland sent out a link to submit sessions for the NISD Symposium in August!  I would love to have at least 50% of our staff submit proposals.  ALL of you have something great to bring to the table.  All of those who submit a proposal, and it gets accepted, will have a MAJOR prize in August.  The link to submit is here: bit.ly/2017nisdsymposium

Laredo Heights Hot Dog Cookout

We are partnering with Navasota Jr. High to do our annual Spring Hot Dog cookout at Laredo Heights!  We hope to see as many staff members there as possible as we spend time loving on and serving those families.  It will be from 5:30-7:00pm, but always ends a little earlier.

Nesloney Out

I will be out two days this week for T-PESS Training.  If you need anything from me on Wednesday and Thursday, I will have access to my phone, voxer, and email.

T-TESS

If you have not already scheduled your final T-TESS meeting with myself or Marvel you need to do so by the end of the day Tuesday.  Remember, if Melissa was your evaluator, I will be your new evaluator.

You will need to log back into Eduphoria, access your Goals document, and complete it before your meeting with your evaluator.

Birthdays

April 18th - Lauren Mulgrew (Cecil)
April 20th - Liz Griesbach

TP Time

Please make sure your TEKS Deconstruction sheet is completed before you arrive at the meeting.  For grades 3-5 it should cover a TEK that was lowest on Benchmarks.

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

Switch Day

I have shared out the document for Switch Day.  If you are a 3rd-5th Grade teacher, and doing some sort of STAAR bootcamp, you may move your Switch Day to May 11th if that makes it easier.

HERE is the document with all switch teachers.

Kids Deserve It

Here is our chat with author of "Lead Like a PIRATE" Shelley Burgess


Blogs/Articles








In Closing....

I hope you enjoy this short story from my friend Brad Montague.



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Always Learning

As a leader, I've always talked to you about the importance of continuing your learning.  This weekend I had the pleasure of attending a conference called "Courageous Leadership Institute".  It was an intensive 3 day training.  And even though I'm writing this on Saturday evening, I have already learned so much from the sessions on Friday and all day today and look forward to learning even more tomorrow.

I know I am not the perfect leader (no where close).  And I know I have much to learn.  This weekend has been a firm reminder of the ways in which I need to grow.

But most importantly I look forward to becoming better, for you.  For our students. And for our community.  If I am not continuing to learn and grow, I am not setting the right example.

I am so excited to be back at work on Monday ready to tackle another week!

Week at a Glance

Monday - 3rd & 4th Grade Benchmark
Staff Meeting 3:45pm
Tuesday - 3rd & 4th Grade Benchmark
#LoveMySchoolDay
Writing Vertical - 3:30pm - Library
Staff Workout - 4pm
Wednesday - 5th Grade Science Benchmark
Bible Study - 7am
PTO Meeting - 5:30pm
Thursday - End of Grading Period
Spring Pictures (and Staff Picture)
Goodbye Celebration for Melissa Boenker - 3:45pm
Friday - No School

Benchmarks

I am working on finalizing the benchmark schedule.  Monday and Tuesday for sure, students will be testing in the gym, and lunches will need to take place in your room (or outside); except Anthony's class.

I am going to try and make Wednesday as normal a day as possible when planning.  I will have the schedule out to you Sunday evening.

#LoveMySchoolDay

This takes place every year and we want to make sure to celebrate with schools from across the world.  Please share out tweets all day on Tuesday of the great things happening on campus and include the hashtag #LoveMySchoolDay (and of course continuing to use #TxEdTuesday every Tuesday too)

Birthdays

April 10 - Darla Davis

Goodbye Celebration

For Melissa Boenker is Thursday at 3:45pm in the library.  Let's send her off, officially, with lots of love and well wishes!

TP Time

Monday - 1st Grade (only duty)
Tuesday - 2nd Grade (only duty)
Wednesday - 3rd Grade (only duty)
Thursday - Kindergarten

No School

No school Friday AND Monday (April 17)

Switch Day

If you've taught at Webb last year, you remember "Switch Day"! It's coming again April 27! Get excited! Your assignments are coming this week!

Job Placements for 2017-2018

I will announce all job placements on Friday May 12.

Kids Deserve It

Here is this week's episode with Joe Dombrowski



Blogs/Articles









In Closing...

As educators, we can't walk into our classrooms every day and ask our students to learn if we aren't continuing our learning ourselves.  Whether we're finding new research, reading a new book, attending conferences/trainings, or gaining learning from social media, we have no excuse not to always be learning! What's something new you've learned this week?

If you can share a tweet each day this week of something you're doing in your classroom, you'll get a Sonic Drink on Thursday! Spread the love!

Keep your sense of wonder and humor and don't be afraid to dream and act like a little kid!



Saturday, April 1, 2017

A New Week and Month Begin

Last week was full of information, experiences, stress, joys, and more.  From normal day to day activities, to STAAR, to losing Mrs. Boenker.

Our campus has been through a lot. Sometimes it feels like we may be the campus who's picked on, where our people are taken, where this or that happens.  One thing I know for sure, being a man of faith, is that I believe God does everything for a perfect purpose even when we can't see it in the moment.

Losing Mrs. Boenker hit me hard. Especially knowing she is leaving in March. Melissa is a powerhouse.  She is brilliant, creative, and such a go getter.  And even more so she's become a friend.  
BUT I know she will be a wonderful school leader and I know that our Navasota kids are lucky to still have her be a part of the NISD family.  I also know that Mrs. Argueta will be a great addition to help lead our campus into the last few weeks of the year and into next year.

I love our campus family and break over every loss we experience.  I value each and every one of you and there is not one person on this campus I would get rid of.  We all bring something unique to this school and we all need each other. 

Thank YOU for being a family who acts like a family.  We love hard, we sometimes fight, we work hard, we argue, we cry together, and we show up every day ready to start again.

When I say there is no where else I'd rather be, I mean it. I have many opportunities offered to me on a weekly basis, and I turn every one of them down because Webb Elementary is truly where my heart is and it's where my family is.

This week let's take time to recognize the greatness in each other, enjoy every moment, and spread love.

Week at a Glance

Monday - Kids Deserve It 2 Informational Meeting - 3:45pm - Library
Tuesday - National School Librarian Day
Team Leader Meeting - 7am - TP Room
Reading Vertical - 3:30pm - TP Room
Staff Workout - 4pm - Gym
Wednesday - Bible Study - 7am - TP Room
Special Olympics - 8:30am - NHS Stadium
Thursday - 5th Grade Field Trip to HMNS - Argueta is Admin attending
Nesloney Off Campus in Afternoon for Principal's Meeting
Staff Workout - 4pm
Friday - Nesloney Off Campus after 9am for TEPSA
3rd Grade Living History Museum

Kids Deserve It 2 Meeting

I have gotten a lot of questions from people about more specifically what I am looking for when it comes to submitting something for the sequel to my book "Kids Deserve It".  If you have any questions or want to hear more in depth my plan, then come to the library at 3:45pm on Monday.

National School Librarian Day

NSLD is Tuesday! Let's all find ways to celebrate Mrs. Wisnoski and all the great work she does on our campus!

Benchmarks

Just a heads up that we will be doing 3rd-5th Grade Benchmarks in a week.

TP Time

Please come prepared with your TEKS Deconstruction Tool Completed and ready to discuss an activity that fits with that TEK.  Everyone should be coming with their own completed and ready to share. Please also note the shift in some of the days and who is coming.

Monday - 2nd Grade
Tuesday - 3rd Grade (NO TP Time, but need you to help with duty)
Wednesday - 5th Grade
Thursday - 4th Grade
Friday - Kinder

Kids Deserve It

T-shirts are BACK!  You can get a baseball tee, v-neck, regular, OR our BRAND NEW Polos that are embroidered! They're only on sale until SUNDAY of next week. Get one HERE.

We had TWO AMAZING interviews this week.  One is with author Sally Pla (who wrote "The Someday Birds") and one is with Penny Kittle (who is a phenomenal ELA teacher).




Blogs/Articles







In closing....

I want our school to be one that thinks differently.  That looks at children and adults differnetly.  That loves deeply, and loves all of those bodies that walk through our doors.  Each week I try and share videos that celebrate diversity and differences.  Whether that is race, religion, disabilities, socioeconomic statues, and more.

Let us build a place where everyone is valued regardless of how different they may be.  Everyone is worth celebrating.






Sunday, March 26, 2017

Changes

Change.  It's never easy.  Sometimes it comes unexpectedly, sometimes we see it coming from miles away.  But in spite of change, good things always come!

As the campus principal, I have to make decisions that may not always make sense to everyone.  It kind of makes me feel like the CIA.  That there's so much information I'm privy to, yet I can only share bits and pieces with certain parties.

I lose sleep over our kids.  I lose sleep over you guys.  I want so badly to make sure that every decision I make is one that will leave an impact that is positive and changes lives for the better.

An opportunity arose recently to continue some changes.  As you know, Aaron Marvel is leaving us at the end of this school year.  A unique opportunity presented itself for us to be able hire an "interim assistant principal".  Someone who would assume all the roles of an Assistant Principal for the rest of this school year, and learn the ropes from Aaron before he leaves.

When making this decision, there was someone who reached out within district and expressed interest in the AP position (before they even knew anything about the Interim possibility).

So after interviewing and discussing with Aaron and Melissa, we have named Marylee Argueta as our interim Assistant Principal.  Marylee brings passion, a wealth of knowledge, and a strong connection to many of our families and students.  I know Marylee will help us as we continue our journey into building Webb to be the best school in the country.

Marylee will begin her duties on Wednesday.

But you may be thinking, "What about her class of students?"  Well over the weekend we also hired Ivonne Garcia to take over those duties as acting teacher.  Ivonne worked with me at Navasota Intermediate before leaving work to go full time to school to be a teacher. She graduated in December with her teaching degree. She is a hard worker, loves kids, and so ready for a challenge!

I am excited about these changes and hope you join me in welcoming these changes and having all of us work together to do what's best for our kids.

Week at a Glance

Monday - School Board Meeting - 6:30pm
Tuesday - 4th and 5th Grade STAAR
Science Vertical - 3:30pm - Library
Workout - 4pm
Wednesday - 5th Grade STAAR
Thursday - Boenker off Campus
Community Bridges Mtg - 3:30pm - Library
Workout - 4pm
Friday - House Games
All staff Mtg with Musick - 3:45pm

Friday

Please know that Dr. Musick would like all staff to be present at a brief staff meeting on Friday at 3:45pm.

STAAR

STAAR is taking place on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Let's work together to celebrate our kids hard work, to encourage them, to remind them they are prepared! The schedule will be sent soon.

TP Time

Please come ready to discuss a TEK being covered next week using the form shared with you from the district.

Monday - 1st Grade
Tuesday - No One
Wednesday - No One
Thursday - 4th Grade
Friday - 3rd Grade

Birthday

Debbie Abke - March 28

Kids Deserve It

Here is this week's episode with Assistant Principal Joshua Stamper


Blogs/Articles








Rockstar Educators

Sandra Smith - Sandra is one of our Instructional Aides.  I love who Sandra has rotated through different things I've asked her to do.  From working with PreK, to covering classes, to now working with Kinder Teachers.  Sandra always can make me laugh and really works at connecting with kids and getting to know them on a personal level. I'm thankful to have the opportunity to learn from Sandra daily.


Doris Banks - Doris helps in Art and PE.  I love seeing Doris get to be creative and express some of the brilliant ideas she comes up with.  Doris doesn't let excuses get in her way and so often I even find her purchasing her own materials to do things with our kids.  I'm thankful for creative minds like Doris on our campus


In Closing...

When one door closes another opens.  It's a phrase we hear often.  But life is all about perspective and using EVERY experience as a learning opportunity. I love how this video below shares just that.





Sunday, March 19, 2017

Refreshed

I hope everyone had a WONDERFUL spring break and that you spent a little time resting and getting refreshed! You deserve it!

Week at a Glance

Monday - Teacher Workday
K-5 Teachers - Cafeteria - 8am
IAs - Office - 8am
STAAR Training at 2pm - All Staff - Gym
Tuesday - Delic on Campus (for all 3-5 Teachers)
Math Vertical - 3:30pm - TP Room
Staff Workout - 4pm
Wednesday - Bible Study - 7am
Fire Drill
Thursday - Nesloney Off Campus
Staff Workout - 4pm

Monday

K-5 Teachers will need to be in the cafeteria by 8am. Please do not be late.

You will need to bring your laptop, lesson plans, and any Lead4Ward Materials you may have.

IAs will report to front office for assignments.

There will be a STAAR training for ALL staff at 2pm in the Cafeteria as well.

TP Time

Monday - 1st Grade (at 1:30pm)
Tuesday - 2nd Grade
Wednesday - 5th Grade
Thursday - 4th Grade
Friday - 3rd Grade

Birthdays

March 22 - Kevin Haliburton
March 23 - Eric Ceballos

Kids Deserve It

Episode 63 with Erik Qualman



Blogs/Articles






Rockstar Educators

Shelia Nelms - Shelia is one of our IAs on campus.  What I love about Shelia is that she will step up wherever I ask her to.  Whether it's been with car duty, PreK, Kinder, or even 1st Grade! And she is so great with our kids.  She shows up ready to work and our students really love seeing her and working with her. I'm so thankful we have compassionate and passionate educators like Shelia.

Theresa Sanders - Theresa is an IA in our Life Skills 1 room.  I admire Theresa so much for the work that she does and the difficulty of her position.  Theresa has one of the more thankless jobs in our school as so often she works tirelessly for the littlest improvements.  But Theresa is patient and has such a heart for our kids.  We need people like Theresa on our campus so much!

In Closing....

I wrote a blog post this week called "Speaking Louder than Words" and I loved this video that shows just how our actions affect those around us.



Saturday, March 4, 2017

Almost Here!

That's right, Spring Break is almost here! I can smell it!

As we go through this week please be cognizant of the messages you send.  Yes we are all very excited to get a well earned break!  But when you post online how much you can't wait to be out for a week, or when you're telling your students that, it sends a underlying message to parents and students! So just be wary :-)

Week at a Glance


Monday - Start of National School Breakfast Week

Becky Harrison on Campus (to meet with 3rd-5th)
Staff Meeting - 3:45pm
Tuesday - Dinner with a Gentleman 5:30-7:00pm
Wednesday - RTI Meetings
Bible Study Meeting - 7am
Crawford Bridal Shower - 3:30pm - Library
PTO Meeting - 5:30pm
Thursday - RTI Meetings
Boenker Off Campus
Friday - Boenker off Campus

Becky Harrison

Becky will be on Campus on Monday.  Teachers who will be meeting with her need to come with the materials prepared that we said would be discussed.

Dinner with a Gentleman

Our 2nd Annual Dinner with a Gentleman is Tuesday at 5:30pm.  Even though the women are not allowed to attend, we can definitely use a lot of help getting things set up on Tuesday after dismissal.

Loss in the Family

One of our own, Mrs. Longabaugh, lost her husband Saturday morning.  Please keep her and her family in your thoughts and prayers.  We will give you more info as we get it.

Birthdays

March 7 - TJ Longabaugh
March 10 - Maria Alcantara
March 11 - Brenda Parker
March 16 - Annie Walker
March 18 - Jeannie Robertson

TP Time

CHANGE OF ORDER: We will discuss Morning Routines, Discipline, and further discuss the article shared with us by Delic.  As well as the last chapters of Energy Bus.

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

Kids Deserve It

Episode 62 with Texas Principal, Dana Boyd.  And shirts are back up for sale here if you want one.


Blogs/Articles






Rockstar Educators

Cewilla Thomas - Cewilla is one of our counselors. She is a wonderful addition to our school family.  She connects with and knows just about every parent.  She is passionate about reaching every child and she always brings a smile to my face. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to learn from Cewilla and her compassion every day.

Annie Walker - Annie is our receptionist and attendance clerk, and so much more.  Annie also is never afraid to speak her mind! She always makes me laugh and is never afraid to ask a question when she doesn't know how to do something.  Annie does so much more than most realize and I am thankful we have her working on staff with us!

Amanda Reyes - Amanda is one of our PPCD IAs.  I love watching Amanda interact with her students and work hard! PPCD is no easy job, and Amanda shows up every day ready to do what's best for the students she works with. I am thankful we have Amanda with us!

In closing...

I just loved this video I found today online! As someone who has a friend with a son who is deaf, this video moved my heart.  Enjoy!


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Gratitude

This week's post is gonna be short....and all it is, is a challenge.

This week I challenge you to show gratitude to 5 different people on our campus.  To stop by and give them a hug or ask how they're doing.  To cover their class for 15 minutes during your conference.  To write them a note.  Get them their favorite snack or sonic drink.  For no other reason than to tell them they mean something to you, and that you "see" them.  And even more importantly, do it to 5 people who wouldn't expect you to notice them.

And you can even start today by using our "Webb You Matter" form HERE that you've all seen before!

Week at a Glance

Tuesday - Delic on Campus
Team Leader Meeting - 7am - TP Room
Social Studies Vertical - 3:30pm - TP Room
TELPAS Calibration 3:30-6:00pm
Staff Workout - 4pm - Gym
Painting with a Twist - 7pm - College Station
Wednesday - Bible Study - 7am - TP Room
5th Grade Mtg with Jr. High Counselors - 8am - Gym
Thursday - Nesloney Out
Black History Program - 7:45am - Gym
Staff Workout - 4pm - Gym
Black History Program - 6pm - Gym
Friday - Nesloney Out
2nd Grade Play for Prek-1st Grade
Attendance Bingo - 2:15pm - Cafeteria

Delic on Campus

Delic will be on Campus on Tuesday.  We will be looking at your display of student work in the hallway, current data (including benchmark breakdowns for upper grades), as well as intervention plans with struggling students.

Birthdays

February 28 - Julie Brooks
February 28 - Sharon Ganske

Painting with a Twist

PWaT is Tuesday at 7pm!  If you haven't already give me your money please do so, so I can be prepared to pay!  Thanks!

Energy Bus

We will not be meeting to discuss Energy Bus this week.  But you will need to have the book completed by next week, as we will be having meetings next week to discuss the rest of the book!

TP Time

This week, your TP time is yours for planning! Please take advantage of this time to utilize materials you've been given and plan with them, as next week we'll be going over what you did during this time. PLEASE STILL SHOW UP TO HELP WITH MORNING DUTY.

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

Happy Dreamer

In case you needed the link again, here is a recording of me reading Peter Reynold's new book "Happy Dreamer" HERE.

Kids Deserve It

Here is Episode 61 with Travis Crowder


Blogs/Articles








Rockstar Educators

Maria Alcantara - Maria is one of our PreK teachers.  Maria is phenomenal with her students.  She is calm and loving at all times.  She is a team player and does some of the most creative things with her students.  Maria is also great at connecting with parents.  I love watching Maria interact with her kids because it's clear she views each of them as her own child.

Liz Griesbach - Liz is one of our 5th Grade teachers.  Liz is a powerhouse.  Not only is Liz always full of ideas, but she's always willing to share with others, and to step up in a moments notice.  Liz is a natural leaders and someone who brings a lot to our team!

Ashley Dietert - Ashely is one of our Kindergarten teachers.  I have loved watching Ashley grow even more this year with her students.  She takes advice well and has really stretched herself.  She is also great at getting some of her parents to come in and volunteer as well in the classroom!  Ashley has been such a powerful asset in Kinder!

In Closing...

This week, brighten someone else's world with a few acts of kindness.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Ask Me

The closer we get to Spring it seems like the shorter our fuses get and the more rambunctious and misbehaving our kids become.

As a classroom teacher I loved having "those kids".  The ones that the teacher from the year before would warn you about.  The ones who pushed every single button you have, and those you didn't even know you had.  The ones who scream, who curse, who run, who say they hate you.  Those are "my kids".  Those are the ones I'm drawn to.

As teachers, we all have some of "those kids" in our class every year.  What I've learned though is that often we can let our own emotions over take us and the way we interact with students.

Time and time again, I've watched a teacher get upset with a child over a choice the child made.  The teacher would yell, or tell them they were a liar or loser, or send them out in the hall without another thought, or make them walk laps at recess, or sit at lunch detention, or more!  But sometimes, the piece I've seen missing has been this....actually talking with the child.

We work with kids who don't know how to control their emotions.  With kids who are taught at home that you scream back at someone when you're upset with them, that you shut down when someone is yelling at you so you can "hide" from the yelling, that you use your fists instead of your words, and more.

Oh how quickly we forget that.  Yes, we teach them otherwise at school.  We teach them school expectations. But they're children.  Those lessons are never "one and done" or even "twenty and done" lessons.  They are lessons we must teach again and again.

I worked with quite a few children this week in my office.  And this week, every single child that was brought to me, I sat down with the, spoke in a calm and quiet voice, and asked them what happened. Asked them to tell me their story.

And do you know what some of them said?
- This morning my mom told me I was her stupid child.  It made me so upset that all day I've been angry at everyone and can't figure out how not to be angry.
- He said something about my dad.  My dad is in the hospital and I haven't seen him in 3 days, so when he said that, all I could see was red.
- Yes, I made a bad decisions, but when my teacher saw, she screamed at me and told me she was sick of my behavior and brought me up here. She didn't even give me a chance to tell her I was sorry and that I knew better and wasn't thinking.

And that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Will kids frustrate us? Yes!  Will they lie, manipulate, get angry, and disappoint us? HECK YES!

So what can we do?  We only have on choice.  We have to be the adult in the situation.  We have to put our own emotions away and stop and talk to them.  Not every poor choice from a child HAS to have a consequence.  Many times you can talk to a child and see they understand their choice, and then move on with the day!

I mean, come on, look at who we have at lunch detention and walking laps at recess?  If it's the same kids, it clearly isn't working as a consequence.

Will having a conversation with a child fix the problem overnight? No. But it's our jobs as educators to grow every part of a child. And getting angry at them and sending them straight to the office before you have even had an opportunity to calmly talks to them, destroys your relationship with that child because they see you as the one who's not really in charge, the office is.

Let's take time this week to stop and talk to our students.

Week at a Glance

Monday  - Nesloney and C. Thomas Out
Inservice (info below)
Tuesday - Nesloney & C. Thomas Out
Writing Vertical - 3:30pm - TP Room
Staff Workout - 4pm
Wednesday - Nesloney & C. Thomas Out
Bible Study - 7am - TP Room
Thursday - Lock Down Drill
Moreland On Campus
Community Building Mtg - 3:30pm - Library
Staff Workout - 4pm
Friday - House Games (with Houston ISD visitors)

Monday

ALL Staff should report to HS at 8:00am for a district wide elementary training until 9:15am (4th Grade Writing Teachers will still report to Webb)

After the meeting you will return to campus.  IAs will meet with Aaron to discuss work for the day.

Lunch is on your own and shouldn't be more than an hour.

Kinder and 1st Grade teams will need to find a 45 minute period to meet with Melissa to go over some of our curriculum materials since we won't have a TP Meeting with you this week.

This should be a day spent organizing lessons and activities for the next few weeks leading up to Spring Break!

Nesloney and Thomas

Myself and Cewilla will be out Monday-Wednesday but will still have access to Email and Voxer if you need us.

Birthdays

February 23 - Ashley Dietert
February 23 - Loriann Whitman
February 25 - Lisha Crawford

The Energy Bus

During your TP Time (or other scheduled time) you will discuss the next three chapters (Chapters 10-12). Please have them read as they are short.

TP Time

This week is an ELA week for TP Time

Monday - Kinder and 1st Grade at some point
Tuesday - 2nd Grade
Wednesday - 5th Grade
Thursday - 4th Grade
Friday - 3rd Grade

Kids Deserve It

Here is Episode 60 with Beth Houf


Blogs/Articles







Rockstar Educators

Brenda Parker - Brenda is one of our PreK Teachers.  Brenda brings such a wealth of knowledge to our campus.  Brenda is also someone who fiercely fights for what's right for our kiddos.  She is such a huge advocate and voice for our littlest students.  She loves them as her own but holds high expectations for them and wants them to be their best.  Brenda is also always willing and ready to share ideas and resources with anyone. I am thankful for teacher leaders like Brenda!

Allison Thomas - Allison is one of our 1st grade teachers. Allison loves on her kids so much.  She is patient and works really hard to connect with each of them.  What I love about Allison is that I don't ever see her give up when working with her kids.  Even though they'll push all of her buttons, she keeps trying to reach every one of them. I love that we have teachers like Allison.

Susan Ballew - Susan is our Life Skills 1 teacher.  I'm not sure I've ever heard Susan raise her voice.  She works so hard to keep calm and love on her students no matter what choices they've made.  She will also advocate for changes and doing what is best for her kids.  She works tirelessly and never gives up! Our students are so lucky to have her as a teacher.

In Closing....

This week, and the rest of this semester, let's remember to in the midst of our crazy day, stop and have conversations with kids.  Find out what's going on in their lives, why they make the choices they do.  Sometimes it may feel like we're talking to a brick wall, but that doesn't mean we stop.  Great teachers never stop trying!



Sunday, February 12, 2017

Look Down

This week has been a week of deep reflection for me.  Every one of us goes through periods where we doubt our gifts, where we wonder if the place we find ourselves in is the place we're best suited.  And for whatever reason I've always felt that February is by far the most difficult month of the school year.  It's that period where we're over the Christmas Break honeymoon, spring break looms around the corner but so does testing, and the kids (and adults) can sometimes act like it's their first time ever in a school setting.

It wears on us, it tears us apart.  I know I am so blessed to work at a campus with 81 staff members.  I work hard to connect with each of you, to spend time in each of your spaces.  I know I could do it better, we always could.  I know I am blessed to work at a campus with over 750 students.  I work hard to get to know each of them, to spend some face to face time connecting with each of them.  I know I could do better, I always can.

I was informed in late December and early January, by several staff, that this year they felt under appreciated.  They felt like I could be doing a better job to bring us all together.  That I could do much better at providing feedback.  That I could be more encouraging.  That I could find more ways to recognize more staff.  And you know what? They were right.  And that kind of feedback keeps me growing.  It led to me (and the rest of the admin team) sending emails every time we do a 10-15 min walkthrough to give more consistent feedback.  It led to the creation of a weekly workout, weekly bible study, and a monthly staff get together.  And it's helped me adjust other ideas I've had too.

When I took a position as a principal, I had high hopes.  I wanted to be the best there ever was.  And though I am not anywhere near where I want to be, I still work at it.  I look at Webb and the growth we've seen over the last two years.  The decrease in ISS/OSS placements, the increase in males being involved on campus, the increase in love for reading, the staff retention, and more.  I'm so proud of our work.  Of the work everyone has done, because this is by NO means a reflection of me or my leadership.  Everything this campus accomplishes is because of the hard work you all put in.

The one thing I never expected when taking a principal position was the constant barrage of anger, disappointment, and frustration.  I want to be very careful how I express this because I LOVE my job and am not complaining by any means.  One thing I never knew as a teacher, that I now know as a principal, is that every day no matter how scheduled and organized I am, is filled with unexpectedness.  On a daily basis I have several parents who tell me how I am the worst leader, I have staff who come in to tell me what I need to fix and how I should be doing things better, I have upper administration who reprimand me for making a decision I felt was best for kids, I have students who are hurt and lashing out, I have the state asking me to do more or making sure we're on the right track, and more.

I look at the work left to do before me and at times it feels overwhelming.  It feels too much. I feel I'm not qualified enough, that someone could do it better.  That someone else should be doing my job.

It's one of the reasons I really don't like winning awards or being recognized for things.  I know I am not "the best".  I know I have a lot of work to do to even be half of what I want to be.

I am always looking at growth.  I push all of you to keep growing and trying.  I see the hard work you're putting in and I'm blown away every day that I get to even share the same building space as you.  You are the game changers, you are the rockstars, and I am the one who is here just to clear the path for you and carry some of your load so you can shine brighter.

I don't share this story as a "woe is me" moment.  I share this to let you know that every one of us deals with doubt.  I love this school so much and want to create the best environment for these kids because they deserve it.  They have enough going wrong in many of their lives that they deserve to come into a building filled with love and the best education ever.

So when it seems too much, when you wonder if you were meant for this, take a moment to look down. Look down into the eyes of the children we serve every day. And remember, you may be the only adult in their life who shows up every day for them.

Week at a Glance
Monday - Staff Meeting - 3:45pm
Tuesday - 4th/5th Grade Benchmark (see info below)
Reading Vertical - 3:30pm - TP Room
Staff Workout - 4:00pm - Gym
Wednesday - 5th Grade Benchmark
Bible Study - 7:00am
2nd Grade Trip to Reed Arena - 8am
Thursday - Boenker & Jackson Out
Staff Workout - 4pm
Friday - Boenker and LaPlant Out
4th Grade Field Trip
End of Progress Reports Grading Period
Saturday - EdCamp Navasota

Benchmarks

This week we take Part 1 of our final benchmarks.  There will be no camp on the days of our Benchmarks as the students will be using the Gym to test.  That also means that you will need to have lunch in your classrooms (or out at the outdoor classroom) those days.  If you need more breaks during the day those two days please let us know.

Schedule is HERE.

Thursday

There will be a period of the day (1:00-2:30pm) where the admin will be out for a meeting.  Please be cognizant of that on that day.

Birthdays

February 18 - Maura Pavlock
February 19 - Susan Brak

The Energy Bus

We will be discussing Chapters 4-9 at the Faculty Meeting.  They aren't difficult chapters to read.  Please have them read before the meeting.

TP Time

This week we'll be discussing math materials again.  So math teachers will need to be present for the PLCs this week.

Monday - 1st Grade
Tuesday - 2nd Grade
Wednesday - 5th Grade
Thursday - 4th Grade
Friday - 3rd Grade

Reading to Classes

This week I would like to read to 2nd and 3rd grade classes.  Please contact me with two or three times/days that works for you.

Kids Deserve It

Here is episode 59 with YouTube sensation Gerry Brooks.


Blogs/Articles







Rockstar Educators

Tamera Boyd - Tammy is one of our 5th Grade teachers.  I have loved working with Tammy over the last 3 years.  I have seen her grow and stretch herself in so many ways.  I love that when she has to be out, she always texts me the next day to tell me how much she missed her children and how happy she is to be back with them.  Tammy loves reading and loves sharing that love with her students.  She cares so deeply and truly wants to see all of her students succeed.

Carolyn Hafley - Carolyn is one of our SPED teachers. Carolyn is a quiet force of nature.  I have loved having conversations with Carolyn where she shares her deep excitement the moments her students make connections or fall in love with a story they're reading together.  Carolyn puts everything she has into her students and always keeps her cool.  She is like a mother to those kids and they absolutely adore her.


Karla Hinojosa - Karla is our 1st Grade Bilingual teacher.  I love watching Karla interact with her students.  But this week I was even more blown away.  This week Karla took the idea of learning money and financial literacy and turned her room into an HEB where students had bags of money and had to decide what they wanted to buy, and then come to her checkout lane to check out with her and count their money and purchase their items.  It was brilliant!  And the kids were having such a great time. I am so thankful for teachers like Karla who provide those immersive learning experiences.


In Closing....

I love the book "Wonder" and I love this little video that RJ Polacio did while talking to kids about what kindness means to them.  This week, let's take the time to spread a little kindness.