Monday, August 31, 2015

Superpowers and Kryptonite

Principal ponderings...
And we're back!!  I hope everyone had a fabulous summer vacation!  While I was on my blogging hiatus this summer, a really cool thing happened.  The number of times this blog has been viewed surpassed 10,000!!!  That might not be that cool for you as readers, but for me that means that lots of people have stopped by to read what I have written.  I began writing this blog for my staff, but I know that it has now reached many other people outside of my school.  Thank you for taking time to read my thoughts and ideas on this blog.  I have been making a list of lots of new topics to write about and reading many other blogs this summer for inspiration.  Looking forward to sharing more with you this year!

I have come across a version of this saying in many places.  Yes, educators do have superpowers.  They have the ability to connect with all sorts of students.  They have the ability to function on very little sleep and a whole lot of coffee.  They have the ability to multi-task with 20 other individuals around them in an enclosed space.  They have the ability to plan and change plans in the blink of an eye.  They have the ability to reassure a parent, comfort a child, and boost the confidence of a colleague...all before 9:30 in the morning.  Yes, we educators have superpowers, but people need to remember that we are not super heroes.
Take five minutes to watch this video about teacher superheroes:

The message is that teachers are not superheroes.  We have to remember this and do everything we can to help avoid teacher burnout.  I know it seems crazy that on the first day back I am talking about burnout.  But like many other schools, this year, we have new initiatives, new curriculum, continual change.  We have a new math program.  A new writing program.  We will be talking about growth mindset and MA Tiered System of Support.  And our educators will take a deep breath, jump in feet first and exceed expectations as far as what they accomplish this year.  Just like they do every year.

But we need to remember that teachers are not superheroes.  They are human beings who get tired, get stressed, get frustrated.  They are human beings who make mistakes, learn from their mistakes and then make more mistakes on the twisted path to success.  They are human beings who love their time outside of school.  They are human beings who have family issues.  They are human beings who laugh.  They are human beings who cry. (Good news, I have a whole new supply of tissue boxes in my office!) Educators are not superheroes.  They are human beings who have super powers and do super work in order to shape the future and have a positive impact on children.

So think about what your super powers are.  Channel those powers.  We each have unique powers.  Let's share our powers with our colleagues.  What I do well, you might benefit from, and what you are a master at, I can learn from you.  And of course, we all have our own version of kryptonite.  There are some skills or lack of skills that we each have that cause us to stumble or struggle.  Whatever your kryptonite is...make a goal to work on improving that skill.  We all have things that we can get better at.

My questions for you this morning...
What are your educational super powers?  What is your teaching kryptonite?

Currently reading:
While much of my summer reading has been board books or multiple re-readings of On The Night You Were Born, I have also done some other reading!  I ordered some new books to read in classrooms.  One of my favorites so far is The Day The Crayons Came Home, sort of a sequel to The Day The Crayons Quit!  And it might even be better than the first book!
Another cute story that I just got shares the important message that we sometimes need to step away from technology and not forget to connect with the world around us in person.  The book is called Dot.
I have also been reading one of the MCBA books, The Wishing Spell.  Fun fact...this book and the other two in the series were written by Chris Colfer...if you ever watched the show "Glee", you know who he is!

Events this week:
Monday - First day back for staff!  Staff meeting at 10:00, PTA luncheon at noon
Tuesday - District opening remarks at 8:00, New staff and paras ALICE training at 9:35, SPED staff meeting at 9:35, FR and SU teachers meet to talk about math @ 9:45 in cafe, New Family Welcome @ 2:00 in the gym
Wednesday - First day of school!!  Playground drop off plan, K bus run @ 11 and 12:15 in the classrooms and gym
Thursday - Kindergarteners first day of school! Playground drop off plan
Friday - Playground drop off plan

Great things I noticed last week:

  • We had an amazing turnout for our kindergarten playdate on Thursday!  And beautiful weather!
  • Many teachers were already in getting their rooms ready for the first day.
  • The new teacher orientation happened at Prescott and I was able to meet all of the new teachers that will be in our district this year.
  • The crisis management team met to review and update crisis plans and talk about plans for drills this year.
  • I'm famous!  Well at least maybe I will be after the showing of the school safety show that we filmed at the high school with the Groton police dept and the Dunstable police dept.  I'm very excited that we will be working with Officer Mead, our school resource officer.

Check it out:
Here is a post about 6 ways to teach growth mindset from day one:

And I will leave you with this thought...