I started my week talking on the school news to my students encouraging them to read this summer. The assistant principal and I dared our kids to pick up books and read all summer and we were up to any stunt to energize them! I think I mentioned blue and yellow hair. Both of us asked the students for ideas this week to collect.

Then came yesterday when I received an invitation to really challenge myself! How would I like to go over the edge and rappel off a 15 story building? Talk about taking things to the next level… going to new heights for my students…. dropping everything to read… the puns began to flow.

But I also paused to reflect on what this actually could mean. I have watched this year the students take on challenges to learn. I have witnessed other challenges they have faced bravely and succeeded with. Tough conversations between friends. Difficult hurdles to accomplish goals. Falling and picking each other up. Figuring out how to move forward when life slips up.

I have seen how the staff has faced so many challenges as well. Common Core and learning new curriculum in every content area all in one year! Facing the challenge that only change of any kind can bring! Looking into the eyes of each child and doing everything they could do to bring success!

I talked with my own daughter about the opportunity. While my daredevil son told me no, she inspired me the most. She told me that these are the moments that you have to take in life. If I don’t take advantage of these kinds of opportunities, then life would be dull.

This year has been anything but dull. I have LOVED the incredible opportunities of life jumping moments that we have had at Joyner. Looking back at my own reflections for the year, I see only a tiny slice of what happens everyday.

I am inspired by my staff. I am inspired by my students. I find the drive and intensity of real learning and growth for students in every step we take at Joyner. So yes, I will take a leap on Saturday. I will celebrate the challenges and hurdles that we have overcome. I want to honor the work that we have put into this year.

Challenges make life interesting. Success is in the learning. And learning makes it worth it. Thank you, Joyner for this year! And wish me luck on Saturday!

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