Sunday, April 2, 2017

Roll Up Your Sleeves

Principal ponderings...

This weekend, I wasn't feeling well.  Another bad cold appears to taken control of me.  But I still had things to get done this weekend.  There was a sink full of dishes piled high.  So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.  And for now, there are no more dishes in the sink.

My sister-in-law had given us a giant container full of hand-me-down clothes for Emerson.  I have been driving around with that container in the back of my car. I finally brought it inside and knew that I needed to go through her dresser and get rid of clothes that were too small to make room for some "new" clothes.  Lucky for me, Emerson got to her dresser before me, and threw every single piece of clothing on the floor in her room.  So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.  And for the moment, she has an organized dresser with just the right size clothes in it.

During the week, there were several days where we were short staffed and did not have enough coverage during recess and lunch and on some days in classrooms.  So I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.  I was a 1st grade teacher because that was what we needed on a certain day.  I wiped down tables in the cafeteria because that was what we needed on a certain day.  I was a 1:1 paraprofessional in the art room because that was what we needed on a certain day.  I spent time in a kindergarten classroom because a meeting ran longer than expected and that was what we needed on a certain day.

Lots of different scenarios, but always the same step...I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.  Yes, there are days when I am tired and there are days when I am sick.  There are days when I have other things planned, but my plans get changed.  There are days when I think maybe someone else will do that for me.  There are days when I am so productive and I love checking things off my list.  But it always comes back to my mantra...I rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

I challenge all of you to have this attitude no matter what you encounter this week.  Did you give a math assessment and you realize that many students did not get one of the concepts?  Time to roll up your sleeves and reteach that concept.  Did you somehow come across a difficult situation in the hall or on the playground with students who aren't even in your class?  Time to roll up your sleeves and help them solve the problem.  Did your plans last week look one way on paper and something totally different when you taught your lessons?  Time to roll up your sleeves and rethink how you will plan out your instruction this week.  Did have a parent meeting that did not go the way you had hoped?  Time to roll up your sleeves and figure out how to mend that important relationship.  Did your students write some amazing pieces or blow you away with their reading progress this week?  Time to roll up your sleeves and plan for how you will help them continue to grow and learn even more this week.

We are in the business of educating kids, and it is hard work.  No one said it would be an easy job.  No one said you wouldn't be exhausted by the time the end of each day comes around.  Molding future minds takes lots of strength and determination and hard work.  Whether it's one student, your whole class, the kid who you walk by on the way to the staff room, the younger grades that you haven't met yet or the older ones who you almost don't recognize because they have grown so much.  All of them need us to do the tough job we signed up for.  The job that certainly did not have everything we would need to do listed in the job description.  Our students need us to do our job.  That job can take all forms and can require us to do all sorts of things.  We all need to have that can-do attitude.  Our students need us to have that attitude.

So today I am going to roll up my sleeves and get to work.  Who is with me?

Since it's National Poetry Month, I thought I would kick it off with this poem.  I thought it went along well with my message in this post.

It Couldn’t Be Done

Related Poem Content Details

Somebody said that it couldn’t be done 
      But he with a chuckle replied 
That “maybe it couldn’t,” but he would be one 
      Who wouldn’t say so till he’d tried. 
So he buckled right in with the trace of a grin 
      On his face. If he worried he hid it. 
He started to sing as he tackled the thing 
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it! 

Somebody scoffed: “Oh, you’ll never do that; 
      At least no one ever has done it;” 
But he took off his coat and he took off his hat 
      And the first thing we knew he’d begun it. 
With a lift of his chin and a bit of a grin, 
      Without any doubting or quiddit, 
He started to sing as he tackled the thing 
      That couldn’t be done, and he did it. 

There are thousands to tell you it cannot be done, 
      There are thousands to prophesy failure, 
There are thousands to point out to you one by one, 
      The dangers that wait to assail you. 
But just buckle in with a bit of a grin, 
      Just take off your coat and go to it; 
Just start in to sing as you tackle the thing 
      That “cannot be done,” and you’ll do it.

Currently reading:
I was excited to listen to Big Magic during my drive to and from work during the month
of March.  This book was all about not being afraid to be creative which was the message 
I needed to hear as I wrote daily for the slice of life challenge.  Now I have just started 
listening to Harper Lee's Go Set a Watchman.  To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my all time 
favorite books so I am hoping I will enjoy this book.  Plus, I love that the person
narrating the audiobook is Reese Witherspoon!
Last week, I spent the day at a writing workshop in Boston with Zoann, and we enjoyed listening to authors such as Alma Flor Ada, Lois Lowry and Nikki Grimes.  Of course there were books for sale there, and of course I bought several!  I started reading one of the books by Lois Lowry which she talked about during one of the sessions.  It's called Looking Back and it consists of black and white photos from her life where she writes a little bit about what was going on in the photo and then often relates it to one of her books she has written.  
I bought several of Nikki Grimes' books and since it is National Poetry Month, I am excited to be reading her novel written in verse called Words with Wings

Events this week:
Book Fair will be in the library all week!
Monday - 2nd grader Micah is Principal for the Day!
Wednesday - Liz at DESE in Malden in the am, Laser Science Show assemblies in the PAC in the pm (K,1, and 3 at 1:00, 2 and 4 at 2:00), 2:25 3rd grade chorus, Staff meeting 3:30-5:00
Thursday - Grace, Holly, Jill, Marcia and Liz attending MRA Conference
Friday - Liz and Dianna at SLT from 8:30-10:30 @ Prescott
*Reminder - 3rd grade ELA MCAS will take place next week

Great things I noticed last week:

  • I happened to catch some very excited 2nd graders as they were headed out the door, ready to board buses and drive to the New England Aquarium! 
  • You probably heard from Mrs. Lanctot's class...big news...Crayola is retiring dandelion yellow and her students were writing opinion pieces about which color should be its replacement! 

  • I loved spending the day with Zoann hearing from authors and talking about writing at the JFK Library in Boston! 
  • I caught Mrs. Benkley and her class doing a little movement break using GoNoodle! 
  • Snow on Saturday meant the Science Fair got moved to Sunday.  I enjoyed seeing all of the awesome experiments and research done by our students.  It's also great to see both elementary schools come together for this event. 
Check it out:
In case you need a smile is a short video about social stories for teachers...the copier one is my favorite!

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