Thankful for Excellence

Every job is a self-portrait of the person who did it.  Autograph your work with excellence. ~Author Unknown

Week 14 in Review

Last week was an eye-opener for me.  I know the teachers and staff members I work with are really good at what they do, but last week I had a stark reminder of what the journey for excellence has done for us at Benton.  Recently I was able to participate in a school review with a team of qualified educators “lifts the hood” of the school and really looks at the “engine” that makes a school function.

Review team members are not allowed to share details of any school review, but we are allowed to learn from the review to make our own schools better.  I want each of you to know what I learned.  I learned that although our journey for improvement has been difficult, your work has been rigorous, and your time has been taxed – you are the epitome of a highly functional, leading edge, instructional organization.  From one end of the building to the other, you are working hard to harness data teams.  The process is known by 100% of our staff and implemented by 100% of our departments.  That didn’t happen easily nor by accident.

What I learned reviewing schools is that true friendship and authentic relationships come when we endeavor and triumph together.  We need to celebrate our success.  And we need to be thankful that our learning is genuine and substantial.  If you were able to go to another school and compare what you know about teaching and learning using data and collaboration, you would discover that you are the leading edge.

I am so thankful that I work with a school I can compare to any other and know, without a shadow of a doubt, I work with teachers who autograph their work with excellence.

Week 14.5 – A Look Ahead

It’s a short week.  And I am thankful.  We are four weeks away from finally launching our laptop initiative. Thankfully!  We are successfully implementing data teams, and will soon see the fruits of our labor.  Thank You!

In our short week, we still have a few events that need to be shared:  Tuesday is CAMP Congress (we missed last Friday due to the Apple meeting).  Please ask your students to bring information for the parent newsletter we are sending home in December.  Tuesday is also the ACT Academy.  I want to take this moment to remind everyone how immensely important it is to continue to build students’ vocabulary and reading skills.  Our overall ACT average from the October test yielded positive results for our seniors, but one area we lost ground on was in reading.  Please, please, please include non-fiction reading pieces in your lessons with accountability to students’ comprehending and inferring the text.  Do not spoon feed reading.  It doesn’t challenge the students where they need to be challenged, and their growth is limited during a time when it could be stretched.  And finally, Wednesday is a two-hour early out.

In a week when we are all thankful for so many things, I want you to know how thankful I am for you and all you do for the kids who come to us each day wanting and needing so many different things from us.  Thank you for who you are and the sacrifices you make for them.  And with all my heart, I wish you and your family the best this Thanksgiving.

Excellence is a journey not a destination. 

 Photos are CC on Flikr:  “Twin Toms” by eye of einstein; “Turkey Lurkey” by Sugar Daze (f/k/a LittleMissCupcakeParis); “gobble gobble” by patti haskins; “Turkey Legs” by plushoff.


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