September 1, 2016
Let’s start with Good Things! I love your students! Thank you for sharing them with me everyday. I missed them while I was away. I missed walking around the cafeteria and chatting with them about their day. I missed the look on their face when they realized I learned 10 more names. I missed sending them home with their daily launch. I missed reminding them that they are important and they matter. Mostly, I just missed them.
While in Flagstaff, I received a text with an attached video. What was in the video? Thank you for asking! Students sharing the daily launch and affirmation with the entire middle school. I shared the video with our server at Chili’s. Shout out to Sr. Negron. He implemented this in my absence. With that, another honorable leadership opportunity is born. Moving forward, students will share the daily launch. Ask your student to share the daily launch with you. Discuss what it means to them.
Sixth graders embraced learning in a tangible way this week as they ventured off to Outdoor Ed at Stone Canyon Camp. We enjoyed lighting fires. (Oops…Maybe I wasn’t supposed to share that part). We soared through the air on the zipline. By we, I mean they, they soared through the air on the zipline. We shot arrows at targets desperately trying to earn seconds for dessert. We examined creek water for all sorts of life. You will be happy to know the water registered in the “safe” zone. We measured and competed to reduce landfill waste. I believe that Mr. Kuffel, Mrs. Bow, Ms. Spangler and I ate a combined total of 500 grapes each to avoid waste. I’m competitive, what can I say.
With the official launch of teacher websites approaching, I wanted to share a short YouTube video. It requires four minutes of your time. It provides valuable information. Best of all, it gives you the inside scoop on Google Classroom. Watch the video and astonish your student with your 21st-century knowledge. When they gaze at you, mouth gaping in awe, look at them and respond calmly, “I know. I’m amazing.” Dab and walk out of the room. Google Classroom Until the parent app is officially released, I encourage you to visit your student’s Google Classrooms together. This will allow your student to share their education with you. Additionally, it will empower them with the opportunity to teach you how they navigate school. Finally, it will provide an opportunity for you to spend time together while you gradually release them to further independence and self-advocacy.
Finally, I’d like to close with the following launch: “Courage is the commitment to begin without any guarantee of success.” When your student displays courage like this, remember to tell them you are proud of them, regardless of the result.
PS: If the link doesn’t work, click on it. The address should appear. Then you will be able to select it.
Food for Thought: 15 Things Your Middle School Student Wishes You Knew
Interesting Reads: When More is Not Enough: How to Stop Giving Your Kids What They Want and Give Them What They Need By Amy L. Sullivan