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Sunday, August 20, 2017


There will always be challengers in your midst.

If you listen carefully to their words, you will improve your work, relationships, and commitments.

New School Year Prep Continues

As the new school year approaches, there's more to do in the days ahead to prepare:

Revised orientation efforts
Our team is revising orientation efforts which we'll continue to work on in the days ahead.

Schedules, spaces, and routines
Prepping materials, spaces, and routines for positive school routine

Paperwork and materials prep
There's a host of paperwork and materials to prepare which are outlined on this post.

Intersect classroom, grade-level, school, and system-wide goals/vision
I've worked carefully on classroom/grade-level goals with colleagues, and in the days ahead I'll work to intersect and develop those goals with all stakeholders as I hear their words related to the outlook for the year ahead.

Observe. .Orient. .Decide. .Act

As I listened to Colonel Williamson speak to the parents of Marine Officer Candidate School (OCS) graduates, I heard many words of inspiration and instruction that I can use with my young elementary school students.

What stood out most were the words, Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act.

I will tell the students the story of the OCS graduates. I will explain that for six weeks they dedicated night and day to testing their endurance, building their physical, academic, and leadership skill, and working as a team to meet the requirements of graduation.

I'll tell them that they learned to observe, then orient themselves, decide, and act. Then I'll explain how that might help their learning all through the year.

First, observe. What's happening? What is important? What is the goal?

Then, orient. What do I need? Where should I sit? Where shall I place my attention?

After that, decide. What will I do? How will I do it? With whom, will I work? What materials do I need?

Finally, act. Do the work, and do it well.

Then of course, I would add, reflect. How did I do? What could I change to do better? Do I need greater supports next time? Who might be a good mentor for me when I attempt a similar task in the future? How can I build my skill more.

As I watched the OCS graduates and the pride that they exemplified yesterday, I thought a lot about my young students and the ways that I'll mentor them through "productive struggle" to achieve a similar level of learning and pride.

I thought a lot about the dedication, strategy, and leadership demonstrated by the many leaders who led these young men and women. They stayed true to the course and commitment. They made sure they did the job well.

I also paid attention to the ceremony and how that event acknowledged the many who worked tirelessly to get to that moment of accomplishment and pride.

Everywhere where individuals commit significant effort, ethics, and teamwork towards a noble and positive cause, we see promise, potential, and work well done. I want to replicate that with my work.

As one who supports peace, I hope to see our military continue to work towards peace over aggression in every way possible, and in the meantime I respect the deep care and attention that goes towards protecting our nation in ways that matter. Onward.