Lessons from a Fond Farewell

Farewells are memorable occasions. That sudden sense of finality can surface a variety of emotions and words for people. Through nine years of administration I have experienced a number of those moments. One conversation continues to resonate and guide my actions as an educator. It was mid-July 2014 and I was busy preparing for the launch of a new school year. Most late summer days are slow paced and a little lonely with limited personnel on contract. My phone rang that day and things quickly changed.

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Don’t Focus on Rigor without a Relationship

Three themes surface consistently when exploring the literature about school improvement and factors that support high levels of student learning: rigor, relevance, and relationships. As we begin the new year I would like to explore the power of relationships in the classroom. We must be intentional about establishing routines and procedures that support a safe and predictable learning environment. Below are two principles about learning environments.

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Making a Difference

A few things are certain this time each year: my seasonal allergies are doing well (and winning), I’m hiring teachers for the upcoming year, and we are celebrating teacher appreciation week. As I think more about that last item, I reflect about the giants of my childhood, the best teachers from my K-12 years who continue to drive and inspire my performance today.

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