Posts

Don't Lose It...

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  As life goes on, there becomes an increasingly large number of things that a person can lose. If you're anyting like me, you probably feel like you are losing your mind more times in a day than you care to talk about! But there truly are kinds of things that we have grown to rely on every day to help us through our lives. Material things are obvious and losing a material possession can cause a signficant problem. Just misplacing a phone or a set of keys can cause some people to go into complete panic mode. However, there are many things in life that are not material in nature that are really driving the force in our daily lives. One thing that is so important for our students is that we do not lose our "why". Why did we enter the educational profession? What is our passion? All of us had a reason for entering education, and if I had only one guess to make as to what the vast majority of our "why" was, it would be to help improve the lives and futures of childr

Just Keep Going...

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  We are a few short days away from officially completing the first month of the school year. It doesn't feel like that is possible, and it also doesn't feel like it's only been a month. As with any first month of school, there is always a fun-loving grace period where everyone is happy to be back in school, catching up with friends that they haven't seen for a few weeks. This period is generally followed by meltdowns of students and staff who are facing real-life challenges that are suddenly more complex with the additional requirements of schools opening. And then the meltdowns are followed by the realization that we are officially back in the swing of things and everyone is reminded that working in a school is more challenging than ever. There was a time that most adults remember school as being a place where you went every day, learned some letters and numbers stuff, had some recess/lunch/social time, enjoyed gym class, or hated gym (and we shouldn't even call i

Is That Trauma...

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  As the school year gets into full swing, I have challenged our staff to focus on relationships with our students and each other in an effort to bring joy back into school and learning. One of the greatest challenges to building relationships in any school setting is the vast variety of differences that we all bring to the table. The ability to build a relationship is grounded in open-mindedness and understanding of the other person's perspective/experiences. To add to this, building a relationship with someone who has experienced trauma or a traumatic event is even more challenging, however, those people need someone more than anyone. Ironically, it can be argued that we have all experienced some form of trauma in our level, although not everyone has experienced the same kind of trauma. Trauma does not have to be an event or circumstance that we are directly involved with. Yes, some trauma is direct and is overtly known because we experience and feel it in a big way. However, som

Please Remember & Teach...

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  Every year on this historic day, there are all kinds of people posting comments and phrases, images and thoughts, with a general theme of "never forget." And this is true, we should never forget what happened on September 11, 2001, but we also must recognize that a growing portion of our population was not even alive when the attacks on our nation occurred. In fact, not a single student in PreK-12 education was alive for that day and we are closing in on a time when our new teachers/staff in schools also were not alive. In fact, many new teachers that were alive were probably too young to actually remember those tragic events. This is why we need to include "teach" as part of our thinking for this day. The stories that we all have from that day. Remember where we were when the first plane hit a tower, what we were doing, and then what happened as the events of the day unfolded. We need to share those stories with each other and our kids, as they become age appropr

Let's Have Fun...

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  The last several years have no doubt been a challenge for anyone associated with public education. No matter what your role or association with a student who has been in a public school, it has been a challenge. Unfortunately, Rome has had its own challenges on top of the general ping pong game that schools have faced. For the first time in several years, meeting with staff and speaking with parents/kids, people are in a better place to begin a school year mostly because we know what is coming. There are no more regulations to have to worry about. There is no more waiting every day to see what may be changed for the upcoming day or weeks. There are no more additional tasks and rules to try and constantly be worried about. People's minds are free to do what it is that public schools do best. Have fun with kids!! That's right, it's time to bring the fun back to our schools. Our staff has been working hard over the last few years trying to simply make sure our schools are op

Here Comes 22-23...

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  It's that time of year again when folks begin to think about and worry about all things related to the opening of school. I hope that you have had a wonderful summer and have been able to find time to rest and enjoy your family and/or friends. As we look ahead to the coming weeks when we welcome our students back to school, I just wanted to provide some information that is important for everyone to know. First, for the first time in a long time, there are no requirements for schooling related to COVID in any way. The removal of all restrictions and requirements will make a big difference in the mental stress that people have faced and bring physical relief by way of reduced daily reporting and other requirements that took away time spent with kids for our staff. Beyond this, the opening of school should come as a smooth and much more anxiety-free experience this year. Even though things should be more normalized and comfortable for many, that may not be the case for all. It is im

Class of '22...

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 There is no doubt that the pandemic has had some kind of effect on everyone and every group. However, it can be argued that the Class of 2022 has been impacted more than any group of students during their high school experience. Yes, their ninth-grade year was what we would consider a traditional school year for these students, but is ninth grade really a normal year for kids? First-year of high school, new places, new people, new opportunities. There is not much about a kid's first year of high school that feels normal and simple. Then, for this group of students, little did anyone know that the next 3 years of their high school experience would be impacted in some way due to the pandemic. This group of students has had to spend the rest of their high school lives adapting, adjusting, and showing real-life skills that many adults are still trying to figure out. Between the sudden switch to remote learning that had never been done by any secondary school on a large scale basis bef