Sunday, May 15, 2016

When Does One Size Fit All?

Principal ponderings...
I did something I haven't done in a while this past weekend.  I went shopping.  And then I remembered why I haven't been shopping in a while.  Besides not having any time to devote to shopping, I had somehow forgotten about the challenge of finding the right size, reading little tags, and having to take different layers of clothes off and on, over and over.  However, my little shopping trip did get me thinking about our students and the last few weeks of school.

I know in education we usually say one size does not fit all.  And I do still believe that is true.  In this case, as we are finishing our last few weeks of school, I am actually only thinking of one size.  XL.  This is the time of year when our students need extra from us.  I don't mean that they need extra learning...although of course, they deserve for us to keep teaching and learning with them up until the last minute.  What I think they need now is extra love.  That is the XL that I am referring to.

Yes, at this point in the year, we expect them to know the expectations.  We expect them to be making good choices.  We expect them to treat each other and their teachers with respect.  But I can tell you that for a 5-year-old, a 6-year-old, a 7-year-old, an 8-year-old, a 9-year-old, and even a 10-year-old...when summer is right around the corner, when the weather outside is taunting them through the window, when we are planning end of the year activities, it is hard to remember all of those expectations.

So when you are frustrated when a student asks a question that you think they should know the answer to or when two students who are supposed to be collaborating with each other start arguing or when a student interrupts you for what seems like the hundredth time that day...remember that right now they need XL from us.  Our students all need a little extra love this time of year.  

Before you let out a frustrating breath or tell them you are disappointed in them, stop and think about XL.  Give that student and all of the others some extra love these last few weeks.  Soon they won't be around to get your extra love and they won't be around for us to give them extra love.  

And I can guarantee you that we will both miss the giving and the receiving.

How will you use the one size fits all model of XL, extra love, for all of your students?

Currently reading:
Once again, I have to thank Dianna for a book recommendation.  I got my copy of Our Iceberg is Melting in the mail.  It is a fable about a penguin colony in Antarctica.  It's all about dealing with resistance to change, and I can't wait to reference it when I present on the topic of change this summer to other principals.
Events this week:
Monday - Kindergarten PD day @ SU, Liz and staff at DESE Spring Convening, 3rd grade PARCC math testing in am
Tuesday - 1st grade PD day @ SU, 4th grade PARCC math testing in am, Dianna, Maureen and staff at CPI Refresher training in pm, School Council Meeting @ 3:30, PTA Meeting @ 7:30
Wednesday - 2nd grade PD day @ SU, 3rd grade PARCC math testing in am, 3rd grade chorus @ 2:20 in the gym, Staff meeting 3:30-5:00 - Teams will be working on placement.  4th grade Parent/Student Information Night @ PAC 6:00-7:00
Thursday - 3rd grade PD day @ SU, 4th grade PARCC math testing in am, Dr Rodriguez visiting in the pm
Friday - 4th grade PD day @ SU, 3rd grade PARCC math testing in am, 3rd grade chorus @ 2:20 in the gym, **Supply orders are due to Carol today!

***Yahoo!!!  PARCC testing sessions are done!!!  Way to go FloRo!!!

Great things I noticed last week:

  • Mr. Rider was a winner of one of the lucky duck tickets.  He got to leave early on day last week, and I covered his class!  I didn't get to snap a photo, but I did have fun reading The Frog Principal to the class.  Then they gave suggestions about me turning into different animals and trying to still do my job.  
  • Student Council is working on a Memorial Day Assembly.  Can't wait to see what they do for the whole school!
  • Check out the awesome bulletin board that Kristen Kinneen created.  Can you figure out who is in the photos?!
  • This kindergartner was all smiles when he shared his writing with me!  He did some great writing about riding a bike.
  • Have you seen the new table and more comfy chairs in the library?  I had fun hanging out at a much lower level...just be careful...when you get down to that level, you might not want to get back up!
  • I loved seeing all of the great charts that the grade level teas created during the recent math multi-part series discussions!
  • And I was fortunate enough to finish my week by covering in Mrs. Mills' 4th grade classroom.  Helping them finish up seed work and beginning to discuss simple machines brought me back to my science teacher days!

Check it out:
Check out the blog posts on the MESPA site.  The latest one is written by a principal who is in my PLN and runs an all kindergarten school in western MA.  Be on the lookout...our very own Dianna will be writing a blog for the website in the next few weeks!

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