Archive for June, 2014

With a sniff and a smile

I noticed this morning that the children’s hugs lasted a little longer. Children wandered the halls to visit their other teachers. Parents stopped a bit longer to connect and talk. It is the last day of school at Joyner. And the family is all heading off to some time in their own homes and places. Some of the family is leaving us to move forward in life into middle school.

Yesterday when I spoke with our fifth graders, I emphatically reminded them they will always be connected to Joyner. Just as with family, they will always be welcomed to come back. We want to hear their stories and their joys and experiences. We are so ready to hear where they go and all they will succeed in.

We all feel a little melancholy to say goodbye to a class that have build strong community and relationship with. And we are excited of upcoming new experiences.

And then we have the Staff vs 5th grade Kick ball game. This is a fun way to celebrate and just have a fun family outing. The teachers laugh and act silly. The kids cheer for everyone. The fifth graders want to leave one last mark on the school. It is a great time to laugh and enjoy our last moments together for the school year.

Thank you children for bringing the joy to Joyner. Thank you parents for supporting our learning and growing. Thank you teachers for creating a loving and welcoming environment for us all to live in each day.

Have a wonderful summer!

Summer Action

I have found myself asked about my summer a bit more often this past week. Parents and students all ask what I do, am I bored, is it lonely. It is difficult to put to words the whirlwind of summer. First of all, YES I feel lonely without kid and teacher voices in the hallways. The walls are lost without artwork and displays. School misses its soul with children and teachers not here.

But these are the moments that we begin to do our crafting for the next year. We plan budgets, look for supplies, complete the design of our schedule, hire, and the list goes on and on. When I stop to think about it, I am pushed with my creativity as I look ahead and plan and map our next year. I think of new possibilities. I hear from staff. I read reflections they have provided. I look at the data that will come in. I meet with many different folks that are involved in the many layers that make schools run.

I truly allow myself to open to many possibilities. I am able to recharge my batteries through reading and building my own professional knowledge.

And I think about our students. Summer is their time to recharge their batteries as well. I encourage our kids to be creative. I want them to stretch those creative juices. Create those imaginative play areas in the backyard or under the table. Look for ways to develop new skills.

Of course, I wish for everyone to read. I want to hear about new books and different genres attempted. Take on adventures around the corner or across the world. Try a new food. Be open to possibilities.

I hope everyone finds a wonderful summer full of excitement and fun. Thank you for every word of support, every effort given for kids, and every moment you made better the life of a Joyner student.

Happy Summer and I look forward to seeing many of you in August!

Summer is almost here!

I stepped out of my car last night as I got home and yes, the humidity has arrived. There is not denying that a North Carolina summer is coming sooner than I can believe. We have only days left of school. People keep asking me if I am counting down. My response is always one day at a time. I don’t think too far ahead because we have so much to do each day. EOGs have been a large focus but also final assessments, projects and fun are planned and in action.

But I will pause to share with families, that I want YOU to go ahead and start thinking of summer a little. Our students have made such amazing strides in their learning. I encourage you emphatically, don’t let the momentum stop. Keep reading with joy and celebration. Share stories of the places you go and things you do if you stay. Write about the fun. Encourage the math in life.

Explore ways to connect to the community. The museums and libraries offer summer programs. Even local bookstores offer summer reading programs and challenges with free books at the end! There are activities at the local parks departments. There are so many ways that our students can stay active in their minds as well as their bodies. Visit with that friendly elderly neighbor. Call an older family member and ask for their story. Help your child continue to ask questions and learn about who they are.

I am not ready to say goodbye for the summer so I won’t, but go ahead and find me if you want more ideas of what to do. Keep that mind busy while having fun and relaxing.