Friday, November 6, 2015

Small Moment

On Wednesday morning, while walking my sweet language impaired Baby Girl into our school for her language therapy the most wonderfully small but precious thing happened.  She had taken me by the hand, as she does every time, so that we can walk safely across the traffic lane, but held on longer than usual.  Normally when we cross onto the porch she drops my hand and happily races to the door of the greatest school on earth.  In those few extra moments the most extraordinary thing happened. I'm sure what she said was simply something she has heard in a book or movie before but in the context of that moment it was the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.  In her lovely little sing songy voice she uttered "you and me forever"...and I have yet to fully recover.  I have no way of knowing whether or not she understood what she said to me meant, but I can tell you it meant the absolute world to me.  I could have easily missed those four little words.  Having a child who struggles to understand or communicate has taught me so much about how to really, really listen, how to focus on the context of every interaction, how to pay the closest of attention to every little small moment. She's absolutely and me forever baby and me forever.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Beg, Borrow and Steal

At my Principal's Meeting today I got several great ideas form some of my colleagues.  I cherish the opportunity to talk with and learn from them.  I work among some very talented and motivating folks. I am never above begging, borrowing or stealing ideas to keep things interesting.  we have several Blended Learning options available for student use this year and I have seen some incredibly brilliant and unique ideas for rotating students through the classroom computers to make sure students are accessing the tools.  I think its time for some school wide motivation and recognition for those who are meeting or exceeding the expectations. So...coming soon to a bulletin board near you...

Friday, October 23, 2015

Under the Big Top Fun!

Tonight was the ever popular PTA Fall Carnival.  It was by far the most well attended event we host all year and certainly the most fun.  I'm pretty sure we hit a record with size of the crowd, nearly running out of candy, prizes, and food.  Aside from the first rain in 17 years it was the smoothest I can remember.  I am always amazed at how everyone bands together to make these magical childhood memories happen for families.

Literary Character Parade

Today was our annual Kindergarten and First Grade book character parade.  Everyone dressed as their favorite character and together the whole celebrated the love of books with our youngest readers.  My ever amazing Media Specialist, KK Cherney, never fails to disappoint a single child by making sure ALL have a costume to wear each year.  This year she directed the costuming effort from the floor of her office, even sick she would not go home and stuck it out the whole day even through he Book Walk at the Carnival tonight. There is nobody who loves books or our babies more than KK!

Dismissal with the Blue Angels!

The Air Show is this weekend and one advantage to being just a few miles from the beach is that we get a preview of the star attraction - the BLUE ANGELS!!  Nothing quite like having them buzz the school!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Our Missionary Comes Home, For a Visit

Several years ago one of our homegrown teachers, Beth Young, decided to pursue a dream to move to Africa as a missionary.  She intended to use her teaching skills in her new job and train teachers at the various care points for the organization she was traveling with.  She has done a spectacular job providing materials and professional development for educators with the most limited of resources.  I am also proud to say that now she is in a leadership position and is coordinating the educational effort of her group in Swaziland.  I could not possibly be prouder of her.  It was great to see her and her about her adventure.  Her dedication and work is truly changing lives for the better.

Sketch Noting with First Grade

For this month's Book of the Month the Literacy Coach and I taught teachers how to use Sketch Noting with their students as a means of deepening the thinking students do as they listen to information filled text.  You can learn more about what Sketch Noting is here. This morning I got to teach two classes of our first graders how to use this skill as we learned about elections.  What was so cool about this experience was that one of the classes had already tried it and were able to mentor the other class who was new to the idea!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

My Mobile Office!

Last week I went mobile! Or at least my office did!! During CAST season I am rarely in my office on observation days and inevitably I find myself being somewhere and needing something. A great idea from a Principal colleague I've followed for years on twitter, Melinda Miller, has transformed my observation life!  She also happens to have a fabulous blog that I follow.  Look for me and my "office" in a classroom near you!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Thursday Morning was BOSS!

Yesterday my awesome faculty threw a Boss' Day celebration for me.  Boss - what a strange thing to celebrate.  I actually feel completely uncomfortable when I hear the word.  Seriously, I look around when somebody calls me that to see who they are talking about.  In my mind it implies such a top down oppressive, demanding or authoritarian type relationship, something I definitely don't want to be a part of.  I actually looked the word up in Webster's dictionary - there are a lot of different meanings for the word boss. Now don't get me wrong I can totally BE bossy, it's a family trait, but for the most part the only definition I could or would want to relate to is the slang definition, which ironically means, excellent or first-rate. Now those two things I aspire to be every day! An example in context - those BOSS teachers at the Creek threw a BOSS breakfast with BOSS pumpkin doughnuts and BOSS cider for their lucky and thankful principal and then gave her a gas card, the most BOSS gift ever! PS - I also got this BOSS poster from my BOSS Extended Day peeps! Love it and them!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

CCE Spirit Night at Chick-fil-A!

I had a great time this week as the office and admin staff hosted Spirit Night at our local Chick-fil-A. I am so grateful for this partnership and for all the franchise owners have done to support us over the years! These folks are some of our oldest and most supportive business partners. Thank you for consistently giving back to our school and students!

Friday, October 9, 2015

An Apple A Day Doesn't Always Keep the FLU Away!

Last week I was SICK! S. I. C. K. I rarely ever miss school due to illness but the flu bug jumped up and bit me hard last Monday and it took the entire week to recover physically and then this entire week to recover professionally!  It is amazing what you can miss in one day but in multiple days - yikes!  I greatly appreciate the patience of those around me as I have run double time to try and catch up.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Name That Job!

And some days I'm a Resource teacher...multi grade, double the class size...76 perfect little ways to start my day! 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

And so it begins...

1 observation down, 213 to go! Love it!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Calling All Readers!

This year's kickoff to our Readers to Leaders Million Word Campaign was "pie in the face" fun, literally.  To encourage our students to get started on the million words they need to read this school year I committed to getting "pied" if they made the promise to meet their reading goals for the year. I took it just like any good clown would, right in the kisser! I will do anything to get my kids to read!  I can hardly wait to see what's in store for them each quarter if they meet that goal!

Friday, September 11, 2015

All in a Day's School...

Being the principal means I have to be ready to do just about anything, anytime. On Tuesday, right at dismissal, a torrential downpour compete with thunder and serious lightning had me shuttling students to their cars, sans umbrella and shoes.  Everyone was delivered safely and the "Drowned Rat Crew" on the carport escaped only a little, ok a lot, water logged!

Today I was an exterminator.  I just could not get those wasps trained to use the primary playground appropriately so they had to go!     Principal Phillips - 4 and Wasps - 0

I can hardly wait to see what next week brings...

Monday, September 7, 2015

Family Fun!

This past weekend my family traveled to Clemson, South Carolina, where my oldest daughter is currently a student. Both my husband and I are from South Carolina and graduated from Clemson and travel all during football season to watch our Tigers play! This past weekend was extra special though as we got to watch our OWN Tiger hit the football field just like her Daddy and Granddaddy did before her, except she represents her heritage as a Tiger Dancer with the band! It was a lifelong dream for her to go to Clemson to continue her days as a student and to continue sharing her passion for dance! As her former principal I was so proud listening to her share how she is performing in her favorite classes and as her mama my heart nearly burst with excitement watching her perform for over 81,000 Tiger fans!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A Week's Worth of FUN Under the Big Top is DONE!

We had a wonderful first week of school at Chets Creek! From our amazing student WOW on Monday to an uneventful (finally) dismissal on Friday every moment in between was filled with smiles, a little craziness, and tons of excitement about what acts are yet to be developed and performed at the Greatest School On Earth! This Ring Master is ready for action in all three rings - new RELATIONSHIPS have been formed as our Creekers got involved and did some clowning around.  RISKtaking abounds as some have dared to walk the tightrope while others provided a safety net and above all RESULTS are coming as each act takes responsibility for themselves and their own performance. The circus is in town...are you ready to join?

Monday, August 24, 2015

BIG First Day Under the Big Top!

The Chets Creek Circus opened today to a bunch of smiling faces ready to perform outstanding feats of learning this school year. Our day started with a WOW for students like no other! The Amazing Yanina and Sergey and their troupe of Dynamic Doggies entertained and astounded us. I can't wait to see what other extraordinary acts await! 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Come One Come All to The Greatest School On Earth!

This week we welcomed back our incredible faculty and staff and hosted a back to school orientation for our over 1300 "acts and performers".  The school and every single classroom looks amazing! We’ve transformed our learning community into a three ring circus, the perfect place to help us clown around as we build relationships, keep our balance on the tightrope of risk taking and take responsibility for our results as we become the ring masters of our own lives! Our wonderful PTA has provided us with the perfect “costumes”—a brand new spirit shirt and our Teacher “Ringleaders” are ready to meet our students under the big top.  There’s free admission to all those who dare to dream!