Saturday, January 28, 2017

You Matter

This week on our weekly #KidsDeserveIt chat on Twitter we talked about "Adults are Just Big Kids".  As we did the chat and I saw the myriad of comments online, I was brought back to one thing...we long to be noticed.  To be told that we matter.  To hear someone say "I see you and the work you're doing".

One thing we try to do here at Webb is find ways to celebrate each other.  There's always ways we could do better and grow in that area, because the truth is that you can never hear how valuable you are enough.

The conversations come up often, in my social cirlces, about the staff we have at Webb.  Sometimes administrators, or teachers, will talk about how much better things would be if "so and so" wasn't there.  But I look at our team, and at every one of our students, and I am so thankful for each of you/them.  Everyone, yes EVERY one, brings something valuable to our team and valuable to this school.  Sometimes, especially with difficult children, it's hard to see in the moment. But who are we to determine that a child isn't worth the work, or that an adult can bring nothing good?

Take time this week to find ways to build others up.  Use our You Matter GForm, plan a surprise lunch, bring their favorite coffee, cover someone's class for 15 minutes during your conference.  We're all in this together and it's going to take us building each other up every day to work through everything!

Week at a Glance

Monday - Pendana Field Trip - 9:15am-2:15pm
Tuesday - Math Vertical - 3:30pm - TP Room
Staff Workout - 4pm
Staff Bowling - 5:00pm - Info Below
Wednesday - Bible Study - 7am
Thursday - Team Leader Meeting - 7am
Staff Workout - 4pm

Staff Bowling

We will have our January Staff Outing at Grand Station in College Station on Tuesday at 5pm!  They won't let us reserve any lanes, so we're hoping it won't be too busy! We hope you can join us as it shouldn't be more than $10 a person!

Book Study

As you know, everyone got a copy of "The Energy Bus".  This week during PLC time we'll be discussing the first THREE chapters: "Flat Tire", "Good News and Bad News", and "The Long Walk Home".  The following teams do not have PLC time this week so the time we'll meet is listed below...

2nd Grade - 9:05am - Tuesday
Office Staff - 9:00am- Wednesday
Camp Teachers - 3:30pm - Wednesday
PreK IAs - 12:00 - Wednesday
PreK - 12:30 - Wednesday
SPED, Library, and All Other IAs - 3:30pm - Thursday


If you have not been recorded for whatever reason, please email Mr. Marvel with dates and times for this week.  We would like to be finished by the end of this week.  

Also, please remember to write up a reflection, rate your areas of refinement from TTESS, and schedule a follow up meeting with your TTESS appraiser.

Bus Rider Info

Please update your transportation rosters in the binder in the gym.  There are many students who have changed the way they go home since the beginning of the year.

PLC Time

This week during PLC time we will meet with ELA teachers.  BUT all team members will need to be there for the first part to discuss "The Energy Bus", and then Aaron will meet with Math Teachers to talk testing accommodations.  ELA teachers, please bring the resource from which you pull most of your ELAR lessons.

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

KDI Sequel

It's official! I signed the book contract on "Kids Deserve It: Stories from Webb" on Friday!  I announced publicly that I signed a contract, but will be releasing an official statement sometime this week that it will be about Webb!  Once I release that, you can tell anyone you want, anywhere you want, about the book!

I've started reaching out to staff about writing stories. I would love EVERY voice featured in this book. Including custodians, office staff, cafeteria workers, IAs.....everyone.

When planning with my publisher, we also have some creative ways to involve students and parents in the process as well!  The publisher is VERY excited about this book :-)

If you are nervous about writing or not sure what to write about, please meet with me.  You can write, I can interview you and write for you to approve, or you can use a ghost writer.  There are many options to alleviate any fears of writing. (And YES, every thing we ALL write, goes through an Editor who fixes everything and makes us all sound better, so don't worry!!)

I will probably start planning meetings with everyone throughout the next month to talk too!  The set in stone deadline is December 31st for this book to be finished writing, but I am hoping to have it done by August, so we can release it in time for the holidays!

Admin Video Lessons

Please make sure that all certified teachers have watched one of our admin lessons and left feedback in the Google Form by Monday.

Please take the time to fill out THIS Google Form

T-TESS Rubric is HERE.


Vivian Stenseth - January 31
Lisa Marsh - February 3rd
Brittany Taylor - February 5th


Boosterthon was a HUGE success because of YOU!! Our goal was set at $7,500....and with that we were being overly optimistic. To put in perspective, our typical Webb Fundraisers raise about $3,500.

Well, it just goes to prove yet again, to keep expectations HIGH and never count kids out regardless of their socioeconomic status.  Once we collect all money, and pay Boosterthon, we will have about $11,000 to keep.  Yes, you read that right.  WOW!!!!  THANK YOU for all you did to help push getting pledges!  Now we move into the collection stage for the next few weeks!

Reading to Classes

This week I would like to read to PreK and Life Skills/PPCD classes.  Please email me a few time/day options that work for you.

Kids Deserve It

This week featured the AMAZING Jennifer LaGarde.


Rockstar Educators

KVon Lambert - KVon is one of our Kindergarten teachers.  What I love about KVon is her hunger to get better.  She speaks her mind and takes advice wonderfully.  I love watching her interact with her students, hold them to high standards, and love on them.  I am so thankful that we have educators like KVon who are never happy with just being status quo and always want to be better for their kids.

Kheli LaBlue - Kheli is one of our 1st grade teachers.  Kheli has such a quiet powerful presence about her.  She connects deeply to her students and always speaks to them so lovingly.  She always trying new things and doing whatever she can to get her kids where they need to be.  I am thankful for teachers like Kheli who lead powerfully with kindness and strength that don't require a loud voice or commanding presence.

Lucille Glass - Lucille is one our Life Skill IAs.  But Lucille is so much more than that.  Lucille is so committed to serving our often most underserved kids.  Lucille's job is probably one of the most difficult jobs on our campus.  But she shows up every day, puts a smile on, and works tirelessly for our students.  If you haven't spent time hugging, building up, or getting to know Lucille, I hope this week you do, because the work she does and the effort she puts in is inspiring.

In Closing....

We all need to remind each other that we matter and that we are seen.  That the work we do doesn't go unnoticed.

But we also need to laugh.  Laugh at ourselves, our students, our circumstances, whatever.  Laughter can heal any bad day.  Here is a great video that had me laughing.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

We All Need Growth

Something we talk about quite often is growing.  Growing as professionals and personally as well.  Not one of us has reached that pinnacle of knowing everything.  Though sometimes we all like to act (yes, even me) like we do!

As campus leaders part of our job is to work with you to help you grow.  We send you to (and bring in) PD, we do walk throughs of your class, sit with some of you one on one, and use the T-TESS process to help us along the way.

We're always pushing you to help you grow.  Sometimes it's uncomfortable, sometimes it's fun, and sometimes it's hard and makes you want to cry or walk away. But one of my favorite lines to think about is, "How dare we ask our students to come to school every day and learn, if we're not willing to keep learning ourselves".

But one thing I never want to do, is I never want to ask you to do something I wouldn't do myself.  That's why I'm passionate about reading to classes, doing morning/lunch/afternoon duty, helping plan lessons, team teaching, modeling lessons, sitting in PLCs, working with Becky/Delic, and more.

I know for me that I have a lot of growing to do as well.  I make it a point to do a self inventory every week to remind myself of things I'm working on, ways I'm growing or trying to, and things I need to do to continue my growth.

One of the most dangerous phrases in education is "we've always done it that way".  But I'd like to say another phrase that's dangerous is "what I'm doing is working better than others, why do I need to grow?"

Growth is something we're all doing, or should be doing.  So let's remember to keep pushing, keep trying, and keep growing this week.  It's when we go through something and DON'T use it as a lesson to learn that things become dangerous for us as professionals.

Week at a Glance

Monday - Staff Meeting 3:45pm
Tuesday - Fire Drill
UIL at High Point - Students leave at 2:30pm
Staff Workout - 4pm
Grimes County Spelling Bee - 7pm
Wednesday - Bible Study - 7am
Thursday - Community Building Mtg - 3:30pm
Staff Workout - 4pm
Friday - End of Progress Reports
Fun Run
Kona Ice

Staff Meeting

We will have an all staff meeting on Monday.  This will be a learning meeting.  We will start at 3:45pm. We will have an activity, then Dr. Musick will be here to talk to all staff for 10 minutes, then IAs and support staff may leave. **PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO BRING YOUR AWARD TO PASS ON.

For the second half of the staff meeting we will work with teachers.  Since we never want to ask you to do something we aren't also doing.....Myself, Boenker, and Marvel recorded ourselves teaching a lesson.  We are going to allow you to choose to watch one of our lessons during the staff meeting and rate us using the T-TESS rubric.  We will then take those ratings and spend this spring semester trying to improve on two areas of refinement, just like you!

Fun Run & Kona Ice

You all have done an EXCEPTIONAL job of encouraging our students to raise funds for our school, which benefits ALL of us.  One thing to keep in mind is that we don't get to keep all the money we raise, so we want to keep encouraging them to fundraise until Friday!

On Friday is the Fun Run, and your grade level times are on the campus calendar.

Kona Ice will also be here to sell Snow Cones after you have run.  $1 a snow cone just like before.


UIL is on Tuesday.  Students will leave to head to High Point at 2:30pm.  We may need some extra hands going with them.  I will get with Kassi Lang (our UIL coordinator) to finalize those people tomorrow. We hope you can come out to support/encourage them after dismissal!

TP Time

This week during TP time we will be working on some new educational resources we ordered.  You need to bring nothing but something to write with to your day.

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


Don't forget to be submitting your self reflection statements via Google Docs to your evaluator after watching your recording from your class lesson.

The Energy Bus

If you have not stopped by and picked up your book for our Spring Book Study you need to do so Monday.  We will start having brief discussions about the book weekly, starting next week over Chapters 1-2 during TP time.  If you don't normally attend TP time, we will be scheduling a different time to discuss the book with you!


TODAY - Jan 21 - Karen Brzymialkiewicz (Mrs. B in Life Skills)
Jan 23 - Nina Salazar


If you have not voted for our staff members of the year, please do so TODAY!  Last day to vote is Wednesday. You can vote HERE.

Progress Reports

Progress Report period closes Friday at 3:45pm.  Make sure to have grades in.

Reading to Classes

This week I would like to read to Kinder and 1st Grade Classes.  Teachers in those grade levels please email me 2-3 times/days that work for you and I will send you a calendar invite with the one that works in my schedule!

Kids Deserve it

Here is this week's interview


Rockstar Educators

Konnie Harber - Konnie is one of our Second Grade Teachers.  I have seen Konnie grow a lot in these last two years.  Professionally and personally.  I love how Konnie allows me to push her to constantly be getting better.  She doesn't always love it in the moment, but she never refuses.  She cares deeply about her kids and wants to be as good as she can be.  I am thankful to have teachers like Konnie who are looking to grow and constantly get better.

Jane Brewer - Jane is our Math Interventionist for Webb.  When I see Jane in this role, I really feel like it was a role she was meant for. Jane is so great at connecting with kids.  What's important about an interventionist is that they do things differently.  And what I love about Jane is that she is the definition of doing things differently.  Our kids love going to her and she is always working with kids and helping them grow.  I am thankful we have specialists like Jane helping our struggling kiddos.

Sherri Desern - Sherri is one of our Kindergarten teachers.  I have absolutely loved getting to know Sherri and watching her grow.  What I love about her most is her quest for growth but also her quiet strength.  Sherri definitely has a challenging classroom this year, yet she never gives up.  She keeps trying different things to find what works for her and her students.  I know it hasn't been an easy year for her, but I am so thankful we have teachers like Sherri who push on.

In Closing....

When we talk about growth, one thing I think we also have to think about is our growth in learning and understanding different cultures, backgrounds, stereotypes, and more.  I saw the video below earlier this week and couldn't stop the tears from flowing.  How many lies do we believe, not only about our kiddos, but about people in general.  Let's take the time to learn about and truly work to understand and respect everyone.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Self Negativity

I know that each of us has worked on a team or campus where people complain.  Where people are negative.  They don't like a certain person and talk about it all the time.  They don't like a decision that was made and complain to you about it for hours (or sometimes days).  The parents are annoying. The kids are annoying. The curriculum, the school board, the central office, the principal, the cafeteria workers, and so on.  If we look for just a few minutes it is very easy to find something to be negative about.

But often, what I think is even more dangerous is when we begin to talk negatively about ourselves.

I have a few educators friends that I talk to on a regular basis.  One of those friends, every time I will compliment him or say something was impressive, he will shoot me down.  Tell me it's not that big of a deal, that everyone does that.  Or that others do much greater/cooler things than him.

I have another friend who every time I compliment or encourage him, he ignores it and flips it on me and how I do something well.  And I am constantly trying to get him to accept the compliment.  To feel worthy.

And I have one more who with every compliment, he says "yes, but I have lots of growing to do" or "well I'm not as great as __________".

I get so frustrated when trying to build them up because it seems like they don't even believe in their own greatness.  And then I find myself doing the exact same thing when I am complimented or encouraged.

Why is it so hard, for us as educators, to take a compliment?  Why do we have to be so hard on ourselves and negative about what we are doing right.  We're all in this profession because there is something great that we do.  And though it's hard to remember that, we must.

I will always remember what Angela Maiers told me... she said "Why aren't you sharing your genius with others? When you sit there and don't ever share your great ideas or what you do in your class/school, you're doing a disservice to others in our field, because then no one gets to learn from you and you bring great things to the table"

I see every team member on our campus do something incredible on a daily basis.  It's why I'm always pushing you to share out your class activities on Social Media, I want the rest of the world to see!!  So this week, try and make it a point to accept any compliments that come your way and take some time to share your brilliant ideas with others.

Week at a Glance

Tuesday -  Team Leader Meeting - 7am
Boosterthon (Fundraiser) Kickoff Event with Kids - 2:15pm
Boosterthon Kickoff with Staff - 3:45pm
Staff Workout - 4pm
School Board Meeting - 7pm
Wednesday - Bible Study - 7am
Thursday - Marvel Off Campus
Fire Drill
Nesloney off Campus from 1-2:30
Staff Workout - 4pm
Friday - Becky on Campus (meeting with all teams)


This week we start our annual school fundraiser.  For the next two weeks, your classes will go to PE every day.  Please make sure you've signed up on our Boosterthon Teacher page too that I emailed classroom teachers last week.

We will have a Kickoff Event at 2:15pm on Tuesday in the Gym for all grades and a Brief (15 min) Staff meeting at 3:45pm with Boosterthon.

Staff Meeting

On Monday, January 23rd we are having a Staff Meeting at 3:45pm.  IAs and Support Staff will be able to leave at 4:00pm, but teachers need to be prepared to stay for the meeting until about 4:45pm.  This has been on the school calendar since August so please plan to be in attendance!

TP Time

Please bring your lessons to discuss.  In 3rd-5th you need to bring one TEK for Math, Reading, and Writing/Science, that we will spend time diving into that is Highly Tested and we've scored low on.

Tuesday - Kinder
Wednesday - 5th
Thursday - 4th
Friday - 3rd

Becky Harrison

Becky will be on campus Friday.  All teams will need to meet with her.  Bring your typical data updates as well.  3rd-5th Grade will need to bring questions that address figure 19 from previous STARR tests to dive into.

Reading to Classes

This week I would like to read to 2nd and 3rd grade classes.  Teachers in those grade levels, please email me with one or two times that would work for you and I will send you a calendar invite to confirm.  I won't need more than 15 minutes of your class's time.  Thanks!

Ron Clark Academy

Don't forget applications for RCA are due by Monday, January 30th.

Kids Deserve It

Here is this past week's episode.


Rockstar Educators

Deborah Gonzales - Deborah is our Health Teacher on campus.  I absolutely love the passion Deborah brings to what she does.  Recently we've had the opportunity to really expand what our kids are doing with a gardening idea (to coincide with our outdoor classroom) and Deborah has taken the idea and truly run with it.  I've seen the excitement build in her, but she's also transferred that excitement onto her students.  I love the ideas Deborah brings to the table and her willingness to always help out where I need her!

Sarah Martin - Sarah is our LLI instructional aide, but Sarah is so much more than that!  In addition to the excellent work that Sarah does with our LLI program, she also helps run the SSR club and helps out when we have some ISS students.  Sarah brings such passion and intensity to all she does and the work she's help facilitate with our SSR Club has been phenomenal.  If you ever need a good book recommendation Sarah is also a great resource as she sets a great example for our students about being an avid reader!

Jessica McHale - Jessica is a 2nd grade teacher.  I love the amount of excitement and energy Jessica brings to her classroom.  Jessica has no fear of doing something different or looking silly in front of her students. I love that Jessica reaches out to community members and parents every week to invite guest readers into her classroom! Such a phenomenal idea that shows kids that everyone is a reader.  Jessica is full of ideas and is always one who will share.  I love what Jessica brings to our team.

In Closing....

I saw the video below featured on Ellen this week.  As I watched I thought, wow, any number of our staff could have just as equally been featured.

You do exceptional work, under the most intense circumstances, and our kids are the ones who reap the benefits.

Thank YOU for all you to do impact lives.  Especially since many of those ripples you leave, won't be felt until years down the road.  But what you're doing makes an impact.

Saturday, January 7, 2017


Fear. When you think about that word I think we all have something different we think of.  Some have a fear of snakes or spiders.  Others may fear the thought of losing someone or dying alone. And in the education system we have fears too.

The fear of failure is one. We work in a system where someone is always judging us. They watch our classroom management, our understanding of the standards, our interactions with our students, our interactions with our peers, our curriculum planning and more.  We all handle fear in different ways too.

Some of us do what is minimally expected without getting in trouble so that we can coast by and make things easier on ourselves and limit the possibility of failure.  Some of our are so controlled by our fear that it can stop us in our tracks and make us perform worse than we could have imagined.  Some of us are good at facing our fears and we tackle each one as they come.

The thing to realize is that all of us has fears in our professional careers.  But what we can't ever do is let that fear control us and the decisions we make.

We have to not only find ways within ourselves to face our fears BUT we also have to continually lean on those around us to help us face our fears.

I think about the things I've faced, and am still facing in my career.  There have been countless times where I convinced myself that I could fix it on my own.  That I could face it on my own.  And every time I come back to the realization that we weren't meant to do this alone.

And yes it's scary asking someone for help or even allowing them to see that I'm not strong enough to do it on my own.  But time and time again, when I allow those walls of insecurity to come down, I find that there's someone on the other side who connects with my fear, or understands it, or is willing to help me through it because they care.

Fear can control us if we let it.  But what we have to remember is that we're all growing.  We're all facing struggles and battles and our own insecurities.  Some of us are really good at sharing those, while others aren't.  But when fear begins to creep into our lives. When it begins to cause us to stumble or lose our breath, or doubt our gifts and abilities, that is just the moment where we find our people and lean on them to remind us.

And if you're struggling finding your people, come talk to us in the office.  We're all in this together and if you can't find someone who can help you, maybe we can.  Or maybe we can help you find that person.  The only true weakness is when we don't seek out the compassion and help of others.

My friend, Brad Montague (who also just happened to create Kid President) filmed this beautiful story about facing his own fear. I love it so much and share it everywhere. Could be great to share with your students too.  The world is a scary place. Share anyway.

Week at a Glance

Tuesday - Delic On Campus
Spelling Bee
Writing Vertical - 3:30pm - TP Room
Workout - 4pm - Gym
Wednesday - Bible Study - 7:00am - TP Room
CHAMPS Committee Mtg - 3:45pm - TP Room
Thursday - Workout - 4pm - Gym

TP Time

This week we will be going through lessons and lesson plans again as before break, so bring a lesson to discuss you're doing.

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

Community Building

We are purchasing our books on Tuesday, so if you wanted to join the "Community Building" committee please make sure you sign up HERE. We already have 15 signed up from almost every grade level! Awesome!

One Word

Please make sure you've gotten a piece of card-stock from me or Mallory and have designed your one word page and hung it up on the wall in the office.

Wish Lists

For those that have already turned in wish lists and ordered things from Lakeshore, those orders have been placed! Thanks for getting me your lists quickly!

Reading to Classes

I would like to start reading to every class once a month.  I am going to focus on two grade levels a week to help me do this.  So this week is 4th and 5th.  So if each 4th and 5th grade teacher can email me a 15 minute time block that I can come read to your class I will send you a calendar invite as confirmation!


Boosterthon is going to be our campus fundraiser this year. It starts next week. It's going to be quite different from what we've done in the past as we won't be asking ANY students to sell anything.  This fundraiser is kind of like WeWalk or other walking fundraisers.  There are quite a few incentives as well as a character education program built into the whole thing.  More information is coming but I wanted to give you a brief heads up now!

Monday January 16

Monday, January 16 is a school holiday for staff and students.

Ron Clark Academy

Remember, if you'd like to be considered to attend RCA on March 10th, please fill out THIS application and turn into me by Monday, January 30th.

Swivl Recordings

We sent out an email to all certified teachers this past week about our upcoming Swivl Recordings.  These are in an effort to help all of us grow and learn together.  Aaron has sent out all the calendar invites for when you will be recorded.  If you are a certified teacher, and you did not receive a calendar invite, please email Aaron.

We will have everyone recorded before the end of January.  You are expected to watch your recording, write a reflection while focusing on your two or three areas of refinement, and then plan a 10-15 meeting with your evaluator to discuss your evaluation.

As discussed above, fear is something that will always exists, but as we push through we learn and grow even more for the betterment of our students!


Our after school Istation program is starting Monday with Cewilla.  There will be approximately 45 Third-Fifth graders in attendance.  No younger siblings can stay.  Students need to be sent down when Walkers are called.

Kids Deserve It

Here's this past week's episode with Eli Casaus. As we move more and more into this semester and summer keep thinking of the story you want to share for our new book! And please keep sharing your awesomeness on social media with #WebbElem so we can keep sharing our school's story with the world!


Rockstar Educators

Loriann Whitman - Loriann is one of our 4th Grade Reading Teachers and is in her second year of teaching. Loriann took a leap with me and left 5th Grade to teach 4th!  Though she's faced some struggles, what I am constantly amazed by with Loriann is her ability to seek out help.  She isn't afraid to say when she doesn't know how to do something or knows there's a better way. I was blown away when Loriann selected her T-TESS during her most difficult class and a lesson she was nervous about because she knew it would provide her with the best opportunity to grow. WOW! For any teacher, much less a second year teacher, to have that kind of understanding of what it truly means to be a teacher is amazing.

Lisa Marsh - Lisa is one of our Kinder teachers.  I love listening to Lisa.  She has so many great stories to share, brings such passion and ideas, as well as never gives up.  This year especially, Lisa has faced her share of trials personally and professionally.  I am always amazed at the resilience of teachers in the midst of tragedy.  Especially in the last few weeks we've been at school I've begun to see that passion return and that joy, all while still facing terrible grief.  I love how Lisa also cares so deeply for her students that she will try 100 different things, even for one child, until she finds the one thing that works.  And this week there was great celebration as she may have found one thing, for one child! I love working with teachers with this attitude!

Sharon Ganske - Sharon is our Life Skills 2 teacher.  If you haven't take time to spend 5-10 minutes in Sharon's class, I challenge you to this week.  This week take a few minutes to drop by and see her in action with her students, and meet her students. Sharon has been a blessing since I have come to Navasota.  I am a better educator and person because of the learning I've gotten from Sharon.  She cares so deeply about her students and is truly the example of never giving up on a child.  I am blown away on almost a daily basis by her commitment and compassion. Sharon is truly a gift to not only this campus, but to her students.

In Closing....

This week, begin to face your fears.  Ask for help.  Let us grow TOGETHER.

And remember those around you are facing their fears, and it's hard and scary.  But let's help our kids face their academic and emotional fears too.

And what's more, let's not make an excuses for our students.  Let us never say the words "they're not ready for that", "They can't handle that", "my kids could never do that".  Because as this video reminds us below, when we quit making excuses for kids, they will blow us away every time!