Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Best Part of My Day...

I often tell people how lucky I am to have the job that I have.  I get to see children grow and accomplish things that seemed impossible on the first day that I met them.  I get to have interesting, insightful, and really mind-altering conversations with my colleagues and teachers who work so hard for the same reason that I do.

So... someone asked me, "What is the best part of your day?"

Wow, that is a really hard one.  Each day I greet the students as they arrive in the morning. Rain, snow, wind, or sun, I am the first person they see as they get off the bus.  I really love seeing them in the morning. Today, one student, who is usually in a great mood and greets me with a "What's up",  got off of the bus and started dancing like John Travolta in "Staying Alive" (for those who are as old as me).  We laughed and joked and he went into the school with a great big smile on his face.  Usually this tells me what kind of day I'm going to have.    Maybe that was the best part of my day.

But...I really like getting in the classrooms and seeing all of the great learning activities the students are engaged in.  Today, one teacher made sure to point out that students were developing questions to ask each other about their reading (distinguished in 3B in Danielson).  The thing was, the questions the students arrived at were really thoughtful and complex.  Wow!  This is what I was hoping for. The students are really getting it.  Maybe that was best part of my day.

But...I usually go into the lunch room and wander around, talking to the kids, checking on their day, making sure students are not playing around in the bathrooms, etc.  There is one student who has had some difficulty this year with behavior and family issues.  I always try to touch base with him when I see him.  For the past few days, I asked, "________, how is your day going?"  His answer was, "Amazing!"  So I ask, "Why is it amazing?"  He proceeds to tell me about a science project they are doing in class and how much he likes science and how much he really likes his teacher.  Maybe that was the best part of my day.

But...I had lunch with four third grade students who have been bugging me to come to my office to eat.  Their laughter and thoughtful questions about what the next year, where they are going to a different school, would be like was so inspiring.  They talked about what they learned while they were here and how great their teachers were.  They played games and made me laugh and smile for forty five minutes.  Maybe that was the best part of my day.

But...I always like the end of the day when students are getting on their buses.  I get the chance to smile at them one more time and make a joke of remind them to do their homework (usually I tell them to get out side and enjoy the weather when it is nice).  When there is no after school program going on, usually on Fridays only, I savor the time I am going to get to clean up some paperwork with no one in the building.  Maybe afternoon bus duty is the best part of my day.

Nope.  It can't be singled out.  All I can say is I am very lucky to do what I do and work with the people I work with.  I am very lucky to be a part of this amazing school.  The best part of my day is all day, every day.  

Monday, May 5, 2014

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week

In honor of teacher appreciation week I am re-posting something I wrote before Thanksgiving.

What I am thankful for during Thanksgiving
As Principal of Slackwood Elementary School, I am thankful for:

·         That are as diverse and curious as any in the state.
·         That continue to show their golden hearts to each other on a daily basis. 
·         That have a thirst for learning that is fueled by high expectations from their teachers. 
·         That make me smile and laugh each day. 
·         That I continue to learn things from on a daily basis.

Parents of students:
·         That want the best for their kids. 
·         That come to conferences and want to know about their children and how they can help them at home.  
·         That come to our events and enjoy spending time with our staff and their children.
·         That continue to make Slackwood a better place to be. 
·         That support our amazing PTO and all of the activities that are for our kids.

Staff members at my school:
·         That have high expectations for the students and equally high expectations for themselves. 
·         That don’t dismiss my crazy ideas and actually jump on board to make these things happen.
·         That come up with ideas to make our school better and then make them happen. 
·         That come to work with a positive attitude every day.
·         That continue to remember why we are here and always give something extra. 
·         That take on new initiatives (such as Danielson Evaluation or SGO’s) and despite some reservations, take the rubrics, dissect them and make themselves better teachers. 
·         That quietly give so much to others.

Slackwood Elementary School is such a unique and special place to work and I am thankful every day to be the Principal.