Congratulations, Cub Fans!

November 3, 2016

Dear Families,

Congratulations, Cub fans! Steve Bartman can come out of hiding. The goat is dead, and the black cat no longer hinders the batter’s box. It’s a good thing you won it all. Now I can say my Giants were knocked out by the World Champions. That makes us the second best team in the NL!

I hinted last week that the Wacky Worley’s are baseball fanatics. We eat, sleep, and breathe baseball. When Hunter was between the ages of 10 and 12, I used to stay up and watch ESPN’s Baseball Tonight just to keep up with his quest for knowledge. The Giants are our team. Period. But tonight, we watch the final game of this historic series divided. Hunter and I find ourselves battling each other. Two ultra-competitive Italians in disagreement. Not good. Tonight, our house is loud. Very loud.

While watching the game, I found myself pondering two critical decision. First, Madden’s decision to pull Hendrick’s with only 63 pitches to replace him with Lester. It cost him his catcher, too. I found this decision to suggest a lack of trust in his players. Second, his decision to call for a suicide squeeze with a 3-2 count and 1 out in the top of ninth. If the batter misses the bunt, he strikes out. Allowing him to swing away, allows him to stay alive and fight.

I, of course, found a way to link this to our students. I began to reflect and ask myself a few questions. Do we do anything that communicates we don’t trust our students? As teachers, do we need to adjust anything so that we entrust them with more opportunities to grow? As parents, do we need to provide opportunities for them to develop our trust? Do we need to adjust anything so that they can continue to “battle off pitches” rather than cause them “to strike out automatically”? Are we so afraid that they can’t get something done on their own that we try to fix it for them instead of letting them fight off the challenges? In this week’s reflection, I intend to ask the students three questions. On Friday, please ask your student(s) the questions I asked. My hope is that the questions will spark family discussions for the weekend.

I want to take a minute to reflect on the successes of this year.  First, each grade level leadership class has established capstone projects. Sixth-grade leadership works with our Kindies on reading and literacy. It is one of the most beautiful things I have witnessed. Seventh-grade leadership navigated researching, funding, and building corn hole games for students to enjoy at lunch. Additionally, they created an affirmation locker. Students are able to give peers affirmations for demonstrating life-long learning and honorable leadership. Eighth-grade leadership is currently working on “Hawks for Haiti,” a week-long service project designed to provide support for children orphaned in Haiti by the hurricane.

StuCo coordinated, organized, and facilitated our first Spirit Week. They will lead us in a pep rally today during advisement. Nothing makes me happier than to watch middle school students lead each other and take ownership of their school.  High school peer tutors serve our middle school students during advisement. They offer help with homework, organization, and study habits. Siena Negron, a 5th grader, invited the middle school students to participate in Project Night Night, a program designed to provide a blanket, book, and stuffed animal to homeless children.

Reflect on all that you just read. All of this planned, organized, coordinated, and facilitated by middle school students. Clearly, they can be entrusted with a great deal. The more they are empowered to lead the more they do. I challenge each of us as adults to continue to demonstrate trust in our students. We shouldn’t pull them with a low pitch count or push them to risk an automatic out. Let them battle. They have too much gas in the tank.They are simply amazing.

Honored to Serve You All,

Janet Worley

Food for Thought: Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids I always tell my kids, “I want you to live in the land I like to call reality.” They remind me regularly, “That’s not a problem with you as a mom.” While their reminder is filled with sarcasm and a failed attempt at a guilt trip, I hear only a compliment.  Our world is tough.  I won’t be around to help forever.  They have to problem solve on their own.  If I let them problem solve their disasters while I am around, they will have the tools when I am gone.  But if I prevent the problems from occurring to save them heartache, challenge, and grief, I develop two failures-them and me. According to the article by Mickey Goodman, “Kids need to align their dreams with their gifts. Every girl with a lovely voice won’t sing at the Met; every Little League baseball star won’t play in the major leagues.” Believe me, the latter point is WELL covered at our house. I hope that you find this article as helpful as I did.

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