Skip to main content

2014 reminders for rookies, newbies, novice educators, & teachers new to Norris

You are talented. You would not be here if you did not have the capacity to be great. Our selection process is very rigorous. We are looking for professionals whose commitment to the vocation and compassion for students drive your decision-making and we picked you because you possess that fundamental student-centered value. So long as you remain mindful of that, and base your decisions on what is best for kids and what is in the interest of furthering student learning, you will seldom go wrong.

You are never not a Norris teacher. You're always representing not just yourself but your team, your building, your school district, and your community. Remember that and conduct yourself accordingly, because in all circumstances you are an ambassador for the district and someone who incarnates the values of the profession.

We don't expect pedagogical perfection, but we do have an expectation of continuous professional growth. You must commit yourself to learning, because that is the most important asset or skill set that you can model for kids – a commitment to continuous learning. When you model the ability to be transformative yourself and show your students you have learned how to learn - they are more likely to adopt that mindset and acquire the resiliency life will demand of them.

Seize the day. There are mistakes you'll make as a teacher, but don't shy away from the teachable moment. You'll try things that don't work in the classroom or you may say something to get an outcome or to get compliance, and you realize that instead of motivating a child, this was detrimental to the relationship or hindered attaining the lesson's objective. But most of the time, the bigger mistakes are made when failing to follow through, not capitalizing on an opportunity, or omitting an action that could have realized your best intentions. So don't forget to seize the opportunity to say the affirmative words to a student, to offer specific praise, to validate your students and to support your colleagues. Follow through on the parent calls and contacts. Don't neglect to make the effort, because the relationship dividends are worth it. A thousandfold.

Technology has revolutionized education in so many ways, and has also made student engagement more attainable than ever. And that same technology has made screwing up in a grandly public and utterly ignominious fashion easier than ever. Choose wisely when you click 'send' and when you post or share. In every context.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Superintendent’s Coffee Talk for May, 2017

Superintendent’s Coffee Talk for May, 2017
Upcoming dates, events: May 10th Honors Convocation, final HS concerts 5-15, 5-16, commencement is Sunday, May 21st, last student day Mon. May 22nd. (Teachers are on contract for two days following the end of the student year). Seniors are finishing up May 10-11; seniors traditionally finish early.

Thursday, August 17th is the first day of school for the 2017-18 school year. The full calendar is available at https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BzNNwJp2xvrKUTFaZ0RDQVNGY28/view

Commendations: Spring activities success has been tremendous - top-ranked baseball team, quiz bowl state champs, Skills USA and FFA national qualifiers, the list goes on!

Thanks: We are grateful for the tremendous parent volunteerism that made post-prom a huge success and is spearheading another great PTO Fun Run event scheduled for Friday, May 5th.

Foundation: The Norris Foundation will award more than 30K in scholarships to graduating seniors at the May 10th Honors Convocatio…

Human Resources: The Role of the Superintendent: Talking Points for Doane Cadre

Talking Points for Doane Cadre Panel: June, 2015
What is the role of superintendent in the overall design, policies, culture and practices of HR?
Policies need to delineate roles and responsibilities clearly. Practices need to be professional: have a process that gathers multiple inputs & allows district to weight most important candidate characteristics. Practice the practice. Train up on it. Review it, recite it, so you abide by it or you will end up with slippage and quality control problems. Practices need to be both consistent and have an inherent degree of flexibility to capitalize on unique circumstances. Culture of HR should equate to culture of organization- hard to credibly say you are collaborative culture if selection decisions are made unilaterally.
What is your role in working with the Board and staff (such as principals) in implementing HR?
With board members, the most important thing is understanding protocol and for all of us to know and abide by our roles. Staff (pri…

What I hate about cold weather running & why I keep doing it, anyway

If you're just (insanely?) dedicated to distance running or you're already training for the local favorite Lincoln marathon, then odds are you have encountered the abysmal reality that cold weather running is a necessary precondition for putting the required training time in for those spring marathons and summer road races.  Here's a short list of some of the things I find to be persistently pestering about cold weather training - those December - March Nebraska runs that require you braving bitterly cold conditions:

1. Frozen eyelashes.  Betsy Barent pointed this one out the other day.  So true.  The eyebrows freeze and the moisture from your eyes eventually seals your eyelids shut...making it oh so much harder to, well, see.  Not to sound like a running snob, but, well, seeing is one of those things that really helps to facilitate the running experience.
2. First, when your fingers go numb. And then, when your fingers start to throb.  Eventually, though, if you can run t…