Monday, December 1, 2014

Giving Thanks

Principal ponderings...

Last week I wrote about being thankful with my list of 100 things I am thankful for.  This week I want to talk about giving thanks.  It's one thing to be thankful, it's another thing to actually give thanks to people.  As educators, I know we have many students who we have had an impact on, but there are also many people who have had an impact on us over the years.  We may have had an amazing teacher when we were in school, we may have had a professor who inspired us, we may have worked with a mentor or a colleague who helped shape us, we may have had an administrator who we connected with.  My question is...have you ever reached out to that person and thanked them for what they did for you?

As teachers, I know we work with so many students and once we send them on to other schools, we don't always get to hear how they end up.  Last year, I was completely surprised when a former student of mine from VA found me and sent me an email.  He was a student I worked with when he was in high school, and when I moved to MA I always wondered...whatever happened to him?  Did he make it or did he drop out?  I am happy to say he is now married, has a little boy and is happily employed.  When he wrote to me he said that he felt like I was the one teacher who cared about him.  In fact, I taught him at a private school and actually talked with him about how maybe that private school was not the best choice for him.  He informed me that because of me, he switched to public school for his last two years, was able to take courses that interested him and ended up pursuing a career in technical drawing.  He was always sketching and doodling in his classes!  I can't tell you how happy it made me feel to know that I had had an impact on this student and years later he took the time to send me a message and thank me.

I have a friend of mine who I lived with during our first year out of college.  Several years ago I got a letter in the mail from her.  She had made a decision to send a card out each year to one woman who had had an impact on her life.  I was excited and honored that she included me on that list.  Her kind words about my strength and dedication to helping others were unexpected but greatly appreciated.  I still have the card and pull it out to reread what she wrote.

Words of gratitude are very powerful.  When we thank others who have inspired us or helped us along the way, we give that person support and inspiration to keep doing the great things they have done for us.  I challenge all of you to give thanks.  Put your thanks in writing and send someone who has inspired you a letter, an email, a sticky note.  Not only will you feel good, you will be making that person's day as well!

Who has inspired you as a teacher?  Have you ever thanked them?

Currently reading:
Since it's the last day of November, I have a few more picture books to share with you that I have read recently.  I had to make sure and read How To Babysit a Grandma since I read the grandpa version already.

I read another great math picture book called Zero the Hero.  Zero does become the hero in this book when his other number friends end up running into trouble with the Roman numerals.
I know many of you have read First Day Jitters to your students.  I read The Last Day Blues.  Definitely a good one to read on the last day of school!
I went to the Shrewsbury Library on Saturday.  I was excited to find a new non fiction book on the shelf.  It's a book called So We Read On: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why it Endures.  Since The Great Gatsby is one of my all time favorite books, I am looking forward to reading more about it and about F. Scott Fitzgerald.  
I need to be doing some serious reading during the month of December.  I have 40 more books to go to reach my goal of reading 200 books in 2014.  I think I can, I think I can, I think I can...

Events this week;
**Dianna and Liz will be having 15 minute para meetings throughout the week.
Monday - Report card entry on iPass will be closed so that pdf files can be run and sent to teachers.  Then they will be reopened in case any adjustments need to be made.  Liz will be hosting Dr. Rodriguez's Strategy Committee meeting from 3:30-5:30.
Tuesday -Dr. Rodriguez visits FloRo in the am, PTA touring new families at 10:00
Wednesday - Office staff, nurse and guidance providing breakfast in the staff room, Half day, 12:15 dismissal, evening conferences, PTA will be providing dinner for teachers/specialists, report cards will be available on iPass for parents in the am
Thursday - Half day, 12:15 dismissal, afternoon conferences
Friday - Deadline for submitting team grant requests to the PTA...make sure you submit one so we don't lose that money!
Saturday - Holiday Fair at the PAC from 10:00-2:00

Great things I noticed last week:

  • Mrs. Guernsey's class made an amazing banner for us to display in the front banner.  You can tell they put a lot of thought and effort into it.  Love that it is one of the first things people will see now when they walk into Florence Roche.
  • FloRo Spirit Day was a huge success on Wednesday.  We had a visit from our new school mascot, Flo!  Thank to the PTA for purchasing the mascot costume and to our PTA President for being willing to wear it around school for the morning!  Flo and I walked around to all of the classrooms and the look on the kids' faces was priceless.  So nice to see everyone in the building smiling!  Flo will be making another appearance this Saturday at the Holiday Fair.

Check it out:
Great message about educating with heart:

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