WLE "Kids Deserve It!" discussion

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June 18th Chapters 6-9, pages 53-78

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message 1: by Sarah (new)

Sarah Schafer | 15 comments Mod
1) All school sites have one or two site based administrative leaders, but we all have opportunities to be a leader, daily. Looking at the list on page 55, where do you see your leader strengths? Which is one area you'd like to strengthen?

2) What ideas spoke to you in "Do the Little Things"? What are some things you do already (this may play off of last week's entry)?

3) What realizations did you have after reading "Leave It In Your Car"?

4) Doubt can be discouraging, hold power over us, and, at times, be crippling. What suggestions did you take away to combat doubt? How can we support each other in dealing with doubt?


message 2: by Kelly (last edited Jun 20, 2018 04:24AM) (new)

Kelly | 6 comments I think #2 (p. 55) Be courageous enough to make the decisions that are best for your kids—and then stick to them and # 4 Create environments where innovation is the norm by taking risks. Sometimes breaking the norm must be done if it is important for your students. Just because everyone else is doing something, doesn’t mean you have to do that, too. That is where being courageous comes into play, especially if you are trying something new or breaking from the norm. I also truly believe in being a lifelong learner (#7). There is so much to learn and try, it’s endless.

Its great to celebrate those little things and to recognize students and staff for the great things they are doing. I think its up to us to make sure we do this because we work so hard. There are so many amazing teachers and students, we need to acknowledge them as much as we can. Calling home, thank you notes, greeting people as you walk through hallways, and seeking out “loners” are great ways of showing appreciation and letting people know you care.

“Leaving it in your car” is important, but some days may be difficult. Having a positive work environment can help with this. You never know, doing those little things can change and brighten someone's day without you even knowing it.

Side Note: All of the names that the authors reference (p.64), go into your twitter account and make sure you are following them. You never know what great things they will post.


message 3: by Kelly (new)

Kelly Shissler | 8 comments 2) What ideas spoke to you in "Do the Little Things"? What are some things you do already (this may play off of last week's entry)?

It truly is the "Little Things" we do that can make the greatest impact on others. We remember experiences and going back to last week it said that research shows that our memories are based on emotional experiences. It's like they are melded on our hearts and brains but it's enough to know that it has made an impact in our lives. When we go back and think of the ones who have impacted our lives in some way, those memories are the first to pop up! I loved and often use several of the ideas listed to make our students welcome at school (pg 60). Again, a challenge from last week that follows into this discussion is the challenge for me to find ways to attend some extracurricular activities. I'm thinking that could be something even added to their "About Me" paper at beginning of year to ask about their "Sports/Extracurricular Activity/Sport Name/Season/Location" (something like that, just thinking out loud)

Speaking of the little things.... On a personal note, a couple weeks ago I was honored to attend a former teacher's retirement party of 36 years. My sister was one of the 3 speakers and it was so neat to hear the memories of her that stuck the most. Some of the memories of those speakers included music, fist bump, high five, hug, etc. My sister was the "oldest" student of the 3 speakers at age 40 and her vivid memories shared were as if it happened yesterday. WE as teachers are so privileged to be given this ability to mold and make the life of our students something really special.

2 Thoughts of Motivation as a teacher for me personally...

> Whatever your role in your school is, commit to being a leader worth following. (pg 57)
>Teachers need your passion and mojo for creating amazing experiences for kids, which light their fire and help them burn bright! (pg74)


message 4: by Linda (new)

Linda Davis | 9 comments Q1- I like to think that I give others credit and I own up to my failures- those being qualities of a better leader.
My "leader weakness" is probably #4- innovation and risk taking- I may be overly cautious and overly concerned with appearing incompetent.
Q2-Pardon my attempt to be casual, about Chapter 7, I say, " True that!" (I'm attempting to speak like some people I enjoy listening to :) Isn't that how some people agree? On page 59, "little things" are put in quotes and another time in italics because we all know these are NO little things. Chapter 7 is about environment changers.
Chap. 8- Absolutely! Everybody, teachers, leaders AND students come in with issues, we as the professional adults need to leave these things in the car. And sometimes the kids' issues can't be fixed by making sure they ate, or feel welcome, sometimes they have issues that all of us at school can't fix in a day, so sometimes I tell my students to try to focus on what we're doing right NOW if they can feel good about learning any little thing, maybe that gives them a boost and I tell them that a bit of math or a bit of reading can give them power to make things better in their own situations. Focus on learning and try to separate this learning we are sharing RIGHT now from all the out-of-control stuff going on outside our chance to use these minutes.
I tell myself and my birth children the same thing- do work at work- work on life at a separate time-compartmentalize your problems.
Doubt is a problem I have. I am going to spend some thought on the question in the book, pg. 76- "Where do we get the biggest bang for our buck?" If I can work on that answer, I'll doubt less.
Happy Wednesday!


message 5: by Dina (new)

Dina | 7 comments The "little things" can mean the "world" to a person. That truly resonated with me. I know it, but do I always do it? That is something I wish to reflect upon more this year.

I know that I can get caught up in all the paperwork and things that need to be crossed off the list each day. However, seeing the kiddos in action in the classroom and being able to interact with teaching and learning in the classroom are critical and can be life-changing. I love greeting the kids in the mornings, or assisting them when they get in their car in the afternoons. I even enjoy just popping down with them in the lunchroom on occasion. These interactions probably mean more to our students then we will ever realize. I need to make a more conscious effort to be a part of these routines daily.

I loved the comment about home visits. These are so powerful and so rewarding for children! On a side note...73 yard signs have been ordered for our students in grade 3 (11), grade 4 (21), and grade 5 (41) who earned a "5" on one or more of their state tests! It's an incredible experience delivering these. This is an open invitation to those teachers to "divide and conquer" the delivery of these signs to their homes...of the kiddos you taught this year. I will send an email once those signs are printed and on campus.

So many of the things I have read so far in the book I see in classrooms and in our school each day. It never hurts to remind ourselves of the things that make a positive "impact" on our students and their future.


message 6: by Racheal (new)

Racheal Ham | 4 comments 1) One of my leader strengths I heavily relied on this year was being willing to lean on others and ask for help. I spent countless hours in other rooms this year getting ideas and asking for the advice of my team. Having the humility to ask someone for help is a great sign of leadership and allows you to grow and learn from others. As far as where I need to grow, I want to improve on creating environments where innovation and risk taking are the norm. I want my students to feel open to exploring new ideas and being creative in my classroom. I must confess, I am a major control freak, so letting go and taking risks can be a hard thing for me. This is something I will be praying about and working on to become a better leader for my students next year.

2) I was also very inspired by "using people's names" in the Do Little Things section. When someone knows my name it makes me feel more appreciated and respected. I want to be sure that I am doing the same for my colleagues, students and other various stakeholders in our profession. One example is our custodians. This year I tried to get to know each of them and show my respect for them by using their names and I could tell it made them feel that way when I said hello. :)

4) Doubt has been a struggle of mine for many years. For me, lots of prayer and speaking truth into my life can be a powerful thing. I make sure to surround myself with people that will uplift and encourage me when I face doubt. Find people that you can trust who will walk you through those trials and be by your side. It has made all the difference for me!


message 7: by Alexandria (new)

Alexandria Walker | 8 comments #1 - I’d say one of my main strengths as a leader is #2 “make the decisions that are best for your kids - and stick to them” (p. 55). We have to do what’s best for our kids even if it is not “the norm” or not the easiest route for us as teachers! I’d like to work on taking MORE risks and pushing those boundaries (#4) ... taking even more steps out of my comfort zone and pushing the envelope!

#2 - “Do the Little Things” ... I know we all love when lessons are spot on, but nothing beats doing “the little things” and seeing our kids’ faces shine bright with excitement when we show up to extracurricular activities or knowing “Bob” is slightly obsessed with shoes.. therefore, we make a big deal about “Bob’s” shoes.. it stems back to last week’s discussion - doing the little things to build that rapport and relationship with all of our students!

I liked what Rachel mentioned about personally getting to know our custodians.. although I am (or at least I’d like to think) friendly to all our staff, maybe taking the initiative to get to know someone “better” this year, is a step in the right direction for building our school culture!


message 8: by Alexandria (new)

Alexandria Walker | 8 comments Sorry Racheal! My phone autocorrected “Rachel!” 😅


message 9: by Katrin (new)

Katrin | 6 comments 1. I feel like my strengths as a leader is having a clear vision for my classroom. I know where I want to go as a teacher and I love making a plan for how I want to accomplish it. I think that also goes with being courageous enough to make the decisions that are best for my kids and sticking with it. I always reflect on how a school year went and what worked and what didn't, and already start planning for the next year; however, I then meet my new groups of kids and have to alter and change my plan to meet their needs as well. Something I want to work on is taking risks and pushing boundaries because one my personality traits is definitely being cautious at times.

2. I love greeting my kids in the morning, this gives an opportunity to check in with them to see how their night was or to follow-up on something that they mentioned the previous day. I again want to make sure to incorporate phone calls home and I also love the idea of sending "welcome back" letters or postcards. Being new to a school this year with a lot of staff members was overwhelming, but I agree with Racheal about the importance of not only knowing everyone's name, but getting to know them on a personal level is a "little thing" that can build a better work community. Also, notice the loners is a huge deal! I think that it is very important to notice the kids that are alone or that are having a hard time socializing with the other kids. The kids are at school for a large part of each day and I want them to feel included and important when they are here.
4) Doubt is something I deal with from time to time because I know how important our job is and I want to make sure that I am successful at it for the sake of my students. This in turn can lead to be stressed and overwhelmed (another part of my personality sometimes:)) But like previous pages state, there are going to be times when things don't work out or something doesn't go the way you expect. I think the best way that I try to combat doubt is to reflect on positive things that happened and for the things that didn't work out how you thought, reflect, make changes, and try again. I also think talking with supportive colleagues is important because you can troubleshoot and work together in a positive way.


message 10: by Kathy (new)

Kathy | 9 comments 3) I learned early on in my teaching career to "leave it in the car." Things happen, issues occur in your personal life, life is not perfect. You have to separate yourself from that and pick it up again when you get back in the car if you want. We have to be like actors, and our role is to motivate, encourage and lead our students and give them our best. We cannot let our personal emotions from home interfere. It's hard some times, and we might need to reach out to a colleague for support or the prayer team with a prayer request.


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