Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Favorite Day

In NJ, this was a busy week for school teachers, administrators and students.  School started this week on Thursday.  Before that, we had two days of professional development and meetings. There is always so much to do and so much to prepare before the students arrive. We often wish for another day or another week, just to make sure everything is perfect. When the students got here, we were ready... or as ready as we could be.

On Tuesday all of the staff returned and our superintendent opened the meeting with an inspiring and well-thought out speech. For the first time since I've worked in the district, we had a guest speaker, Dr. John Draper.  He had an inspiring speech about the myths about public schools.  Guess what, things aren't so bad, and... they are actually getting better every day.  For the rest of the day the teachers and administrators were engaged in professional development and meetings.  This was definitely my favorite day.

Wednesday brought the staff in to their own buildings. The staff at Slackwood are so inspirational and so energizing.  I love to see everyone and get them ready for the school year.  We opened with a meeting.  Since we are really trying to bring the "Teach Like A Pirate" philosophy into our school and our district, I decided to go all the way and be a Pirate as I led the meeting.  I think some of the staff were a little taken aback, but the student teachers, who had never met me before, really didn't know what to think.  The meeting went great and I was really proud of my staff for their full participation and buy in to the new technologies and ideas I brought to them. I know they were chomping at the bit to get to their classrooms but they were fully engaged in all that we were doing.  What was really nice was the feedback after the meeting.  One of my teachers used to gather feedback from the teachers, without my knowing.  It was her first attempt at using this tool, which I had modeled at the meeting.  How nice to see words such as inspiring, enthusiastic, super and (maybe because of the pirate outfit) surprising.  It was so much fun. This was definitely my favorite day.

Well Thursday arrived and the along with it, came the students. It was great to see so many families
Clap In 
arrive with their children and the excitement was evident everywhere you went. We "Clap In" all new students and staff.  It was awesome to see the new kindergarten students as they entered the gym while the rest of the student body cheered for them. We have more students this year than in recent years and we had a large number of students join our upper grades so it was really crowded but so exciting.  In the afternoon I had the opportunity to do a virtual Read Aloud to the whole school. The students gave me great feedback. It was such a great day and definitely my favorite day.

Friday came and it was to be the first day with no interruptions and the first day that the teachers
Cooling the kids off!
really have the opportunity to dig deep with the students.  I was so proud of my staff for all of the relationship building activities they were doing. They were really getting to know the kids and giving the kids opportunities to get to know each other. Teachers were modeling behaviors, using students to role play, practicing routines and working on classroom rules. Students were totally engaged and immersed in learning. Friday night came and our PTO ran a Popsicles on the Playground get together.  100's of families showed up and mingled while the kids played. What  a great event and it was definitely my favorite day.

But I have the feeling that when Monday comes, it may be my REAL FAVORITE DAY!

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