Monday, August 10, 2009

Work Travel . . . . . .

I'm in St. Paul, Minnesota . . . .for the first time ever. Home of the Vikings and the Twins, my husband's FAVORITE teams. However, I think I missed the excitement, wherever that may be here in Minnesota. I am sitting here in a hotel room, after a full day of training, looking out at what appears to be a lovely, abandoned office building . . . .and right next to that, another . . . abandoned  . . . .office  . . . .building. I am also lulled into a twitchy coma by the constant humming of a sander and the rat-a-tat-tat of a hammer or two or three in the hallway outside my room.  Ahhhh . . .work travel . . . .:-)
The silver lining is that I am being trained to go back and teach our schools how to implement an awesome data collection system that will help them track student behaviors and identify specific problems so that they can begin to DO SOMETHING PROACTIVE about it!  I love that our district is finally moving towards a much more proactive approach to academics and behavior, and hopefully moving away from simply being reactive. It's funny, whenever I'm at a training or event like this, I am driven to WRITE WRITE WRITE. I've been to Omaha, Florida, and now Minnesota within the last year . . . and for those opportunities, I am grateful.
 I'm also traveling with a colleague that has very kindred beliefs when it comes to Positive Behavior Support, so dialogue is always meaningful, and when we're not talking (during training) he's marking on me with pens, kicking my chair, and turning off my computer monitor . . . . . . . . yep, I'm all about making those real connections . . . . . and actually considering some Positive Behavior Support techniques for the mischevious Frank.
Tonight, we celebrate our mutual birthdays at some random restaurant, talk about missing our spouses and kids, and hope for a night of rest before the next cram session begins.  
I'm not sure how it would feel to never have a learning curve ahead of me, and I don't ever plan to find out! 

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bday :-)

What an amazing circle of friends and family I have. You are all the best birthday presents anyone could ask for.  Have a great day, Everyone!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

New Superintendent . . . .

I've been silently reflecting all day.  I had the chance to hear our new WCSD Superintendent speak to the public last night.  My personal and professional investment in this district have increased tenfold in the last few years, so last night was very important for me.  I have seen so many wonderful things happen in the district and I have also become painfully aware of some changes that need to be made . . .and fast.  
My first impression was youth and confidence, Dr. Morrison had a great energy!  He seemed comfortable with the very diverse audience that was full of administrators, parents, retired teachers, students, and people from our business community.  He answered questions with ease and had a great plan to present.  He was also a humble man, which I appreciate in a leader.  The piece that really stood out for me though, was the "village" approach he is taking as he enters the role of leader.  I feel passionately about ALL stakeholders (teachers, administrators, families, communities) being fully committed to our children's education.  I have seen, more than once in the last 12 years, so many educators that simply treat education as their "JOB". It's so much more than that, we have the amazing gift and responsibility to INSPIRE, LOVE, CHALLENGE and CELEBRATE children!  As Dr. Krystal Kuykendall has stated, we are "Merchants of Hope".  I feel that our new superintendent has the same vision and philosophy, and I am excited to see where he can take us.