March 2012

March 29, 2012
Happy Spring Break Ravenna: Please enjoy the next ten days!  I wish all of you a restful or productive spring break!

March 23, 2012
Happy Friday Ravenna Staff:  And I mean happy Friday!  After all of the recent “heavy messages” from me recently, I thought this week would be a great week for pictures instead of words.  Truly, “a picture is worth a thousand words”.  Thank you to Annette Speidel who sent this out earlier in the week.  It made quite an impression on me!  Enjoy!

I hope everyone has an opportunity to spend time with family and friends!  Have a great weekend!

March 16, 2012
Hello Ravenna Staff: As we begin our staff training for the implementation of district wide inclusion, I can’t help but reflect on all of the initiatives and good work that is occurring district wide.  I ask myself when and where all of this ends.  Then I take a moment to think back on my previous 23 ½ years in education only to realize that it really, truly can never end.  Not until every child has graduated and is college or career ready.  Not until every student is 100% proficient in reading and math.  Not until all of us professionals are immersed in a productive culture of effective collaboration and communication

I do notice and appreciate the positive attitude and willingness of all our staff to engage in professional development as we continue to educate our children and move our testing numbers in a positive direction.  I hope everyone has a restful or productive weekend.

March 9, 2012 
Hello Ravenna Staff: After what has been a calm week, relative to last week’s occurrences, I would like to applaud every school’s staff this week for their professionalism and focus.  As I had the opportunity to visit each school, I could visibly tell that we were back to the business of teaching children and, that although the events from last week were still ever present in our minds, we were all focused and committed to our mission.

As we move in to “testing season” (the high school Ohio Graduation Test begins on Monday), I would like us all to be mindful of how important our daily influence is over our children.  Teachers and students have and continue to prepare for our yearly standardized tests.  Please do not underestimate the value and importance of your words to your students.  Being positive and confident are very important qualities of success.  Every word that you say has an impact on your students.  Choose your words and encouragement with much thought.

When I start to doubt the impact of how important words can be, and what context people may interpret them, I reflect on a video like the link below:  “Change your words, change your world”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=Hzgzim5m7oU&vq=medium

Have a great weekend and BELIEVE that our children, thus our organization, can make significant improvements and be successful!

March 2, 2012
Hello Ravenna Staff:  I am not sure what to say and certainly I am at a loss of how to say it.  The recent tragedies in Chardon and the additional localized inappropriate reactions have us all “on our heels and reeling”.  As most of you are, I am continually shocked and disappointed but mostly appalled by the reactions and some of the behaviors and comments from people during this incredibly difficult time.  Please understand very clearly that in times like these, we MUST be the stabilizing force; we MUST be the voice of reason; and most of all for our children’s sake, we MUST stay together, show unity and trust and remain good role models.

I understand that some people feel that we are “just teachers”, but all of us know deep down that we are so much more to our students every day.  Make no mistake that there are many sets of eyes on all of us watching to see our reactions.  I would encourage all of us to stay positive, speak appropriately about the current situation and most of all, be uplifting and supportive of each other.  Please know that there are no “cookbook” answers for how to react in these scenarios.  We all do the best we can with the information that we have available.  At the end of this week and in the next several years, it won’t be the specific days and hours that will be remembered, but rather the overall atmosphere, attitude and tone to which we all respond.

As I mentioned at the outset, words can hardly begin to describe or comfort what all of us are feeling.  PLEASE speak to your own children and your students about what is appropriate conversation in school.  Implore your students to be communicative, proactive but most importantly, impress upon them the importance of making good decisions.  As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or comments as I am only interested in the health an well being of all of the students and staff. 

Please try to rest over the weekend.