Friday, October 28, 2011

Small Steps Can Change the World

The book of the month program we have at Chets Creek has long existed as one of the drivers of our thematic and instructional focuses each school year. Personally, I use it to continue to propel my own professional learning forward as I work to keep up with the newest information and research out there that will help move our practice forward and provide deep and meaningful learning experiences for students. It's my baby, well one of them at least, and it stretches my thinking as I work to get the maximum leverage I can get from using a 40 minute period to present it in a way that teachers can hopefully take back and use with students in their own classrooms. I even house all the artifacts for each book on a Wiki we've created.

With our heroic theme of "Empowering the Future" this year I found the perfect book to kick off our book of the month program for the year. Giant Steps to Change the World, by Spike and Tonya Lewis Lee, is an inspirational picture book filled with examples of real life heroes who have taken small steps throughout history that led to big change for the world. The one thing all of these heroes had in common was a big dream and then big obstacles standing in their way. Through challenges and with a resolute spirit they each overcame the hurdles placed in their way to make a difference. Even though the heroes are unnamed it is easy to determine them because of the legacy left for us through the descriptions of their accomplishments.

In front loading some background information about the heroes in the book we reviewed some of the commonly known tidbits but also had some aha moments about what made these folks and their contributions to the world so special. So in an effort to continue brainwashing my teachers into understanding that they are all indeed "real heroes" I have asked them to highlight their own heroic selves by sharing their answers to the following:

Something You May Not Know About Me:
A Fear I've Overcome:
My Finest Accomplishment:
My Quote:
My Big Dream Is:
My Next Heroic Step:

I really chose this book to remind us to look inward and search for our most heroic selves. Our work, in particular, requires it. Teaching is not for the faint at heart – it requires passion, courage and most importantly, conviction. There will be barriers placed in our way but we owe it to ourselves and to our children to never allow them to thwart our attempts at striving towards our goals. We all have the potential for life changing greatness and no amount of fear or doubt should stop us from dreaming big and taking that first step. Sometimes even the smallest step can have the biggest impact.

One child at a time...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Chet the Eagle has a BLOG!

This year at Chets Creek we have a new school blog that is being written by Chet the Eagle (really Melanie, our webmaster, but let’s keep that a secret). Chet is helping us highlight some school wide events and positive happenings that go on every week. Take a few minutes to stop by Chet the Eagle’s new blog and check out all the cool things that have already happened this school year!

Empowering the Future - one child at a time...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Dear Ms. Julie,

Was reminded yet again at the importance of building real relationships with our children when this letter came in the mail today for our front desk secretary from a former student...

Dear Ms. Julie,
Hello Ms. Julie. Its your old favorite student Nicholas. How is your family and your puppy doing? I'm being better at school. You will be proud of me. I'm making good grades. How are you at your job at Chets Creek? Will you please tell Ms. KK, Ms. Cole, Ms. O'Connor, Ms. Bass, Ms. Ciupak, Ms. Walag, Ms. Nash, Mrs. Montero and Mrs. Phillips hello from me and tell them I love them. I really miss seeing you every day. I can't wait to go fishing with you and your family!! See you soon. I love you!
Love, Nicholas

Lest you ever think that you don't leave a lasting impression on the children in our care - think again. One child at a time...

Friday, October 7, 2011

One Child at a Time

“Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” - Steve Jobs

This is one of my favorite quotes by far and when I ran across it again this week after the death of its author I was struck again by how much it reminds me of the faculty and staff at Chets. We are certainly held out as the misfits – the rebels, even troublemakers but no matter what, there is no denying that we are crazy enough to change the world, and we are – one child at a time…