Sunday, December 14, 2014

Revolutionize and Take Risks

This past week was Computer Science Education Week and it was a great experience at Fairfield High. So many students and staff members participated in the Hour of Code events during Advisory and in other periods of the day. The idea behind Hour of Code was to introduce Computer Science and coding to our students. The exciting part, teachers are already hearing from students that now want to sign up for our Computer Science classes next year!!! It is so important to continue to be on the cutting edge. Think of ways that you can revolutionize education and take risks. Students want to learn; we need to think of ways to engage. Capitalize on the excitement for innovation we saw last week! The passion is there!

Here is a video compilation of some of the moments from Hour of Code at FHS. I have also included the link to the Celebrity Video Chat that we participated in on Thursday.

This is going to be a short but busy week. Finals are Wed and Thursday and then the first semester is over!! Remember that Friday morning I will be cooking breakfast for all of you. Join us in the library for waffles, sausage, fruit, coffee, and a Good Time!!

Our ONE goal: To graduate every Fairfield High Student and to ensure that they leave FHS college and career ready!!! Inspire, Engage, Excite, Lead, Foster, Create, Empower!!

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Looking forward to the Hour of Code

Next week is Computer Science Education Week. In an effort to spread the message about the importance of computer science, started The Hour of Code last year. It was an unbelievable success world wide. This year is the second Hour of Code and will be even bigger!!

As a school site we have signed our entire site up to participate. That means all of our students and all of our staff members will participate. We have dedicated to participating during Advisory on Tuesday and Thursday, but you can do more with the rest of your classes if you want to! For those of you that may be asking the question, "Why should we participate in the Hour of Code?" or "How is computer science important to my students?" Here are a few answers from the website and co-founder Hadi Partovi.

What is the Hour of Code?
The Hour of Code is a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify code and show that anybody can learn the basics. 

Why computer science?
Every student should have the opportunity to learn computer science. It helps nurture problem-solving skills, logic and creativity. By starting early, students will have a foundation for success in any 21st-century career path. See more stats on

Who is behind the Hour of Code?
The Hour of Code is organized by, a public 501c3 non-profit dedicated to expanding participation in computer science by making it available in more schools, and increasing participation by women and underrepresented students of color. An unprecedented coalition of partners have come together to support the Hour of Code, too — including Microsoft, Apple, Amazon, Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the College Board.

Which activity should I do with high school students?
Across all ages, we recommend trying one of the beginner tutorials on to start, such as the tutorial with Angry Birds or with Anna and Elsa. A high school student should be able to finish one of these in 30 minutes and can then try a more advanced tutorial in JavaScript, such as KhanAcademy or CodeHS.

There are quite a few good videos on Youtube that speak to the importance and relevance of learning computer science. I have included a few here for you to watch and show your students. You can hear from Susan Wojcicki, the CEO of Youtube, Mark Zuckerberg creator of Facebook, and many more. 

Super Exciting News!!! Out of the 70,000 schools signed up to participate in the Hour of Code, Fairfield High was one of 96 schools chosen to participate in a Live Celebrity Video Chat!!!! My Advisory class and Mr. Patterson's Advisory class will participate on Thursday in the live chat with Jess Lee.   The entire chat will be recorded and posted afterwards on the Youtube channel. 

Jess Lee is CEO and Co-Founder of Polyvore.  Prior to co-founding Polyvore, Jess was a product manager at Google, where she worked on Google maps and launched features like My Maps and draggable driving directions.  Jess has a degree in computer science from Stanford University. 

Our ONE goal: To graduate every Fairfield High Student and to ensure that they leave FHS college and career ready!!! Inspire, Engage, Excite, Lead, Foster, Create, Empower!!

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Sunday, November 30, 2014

It is all about FAMILY

Webster's dictionary defines family in several different ways. The one definition most fitting for Fairfield High is, "A group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation." At FHS we are a family as we are united to educate ALL our students and ensure that all FHS students graduate high school and are prepared for college and career.

Over this Thanksgiving holiday we have all had an opportunity to relax and spend quality time with our own families. For me, the time spent with my family always renews my sense of purpose and passion for what I do in education. I send my two daughters off to school every day to get the best education possible. They come home each day with new stories to tell. Many of the best moments aren't out of a textbook, but the anecdotal stories their teachers have told them. The connections they make with other children and the adults on campus will stay with them for a lifetime.

As this week long break comes to a close, I will miss the quality time spent with my immediate family, but I am looking forward to the time I will be spending with my FHS Family. We have only three weeks left in this semester before we leave for our winter break. That means we have only fourteen days with our students to bring them one step closer to graduating and being college and career ready. Make every minute of every day count. Cherish your students as your own children and pass to them the knowledge and wisdom that has been bestowed to you through your years of experience.

Our ONE goal: To graduate every Fairfield High Student and to ensure that they leave FHS college and career ready!!! Inspire, Engage, Excite, Lead, Foster, Create, Empower!!

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Tournament of Champions

Saturday was the 26th Annual Tournament of Champions hosted by the Fairfield High Scarlet Brigade. The day lasted from early in the morning until late at night. Despite the event being named "Tournament" the feeling all day long was Camaraderie between all the schools. The awards show was outstanding. We were all packed into the stands in Schaefer stadium. We were literally shoulder to shoulder, schools side by side. As each award was announced for each category, everyone cheered and students from other schools were giving high fives and support to the winning teams. It was enlightening to see students from all over the state of California unified under the umbrella of music. A common interest and passion provided a bridge for communication and support. Saturday, November 15, 2014 was a Showcase of Champions!!

There is truly something special about music. It can pump you up before a big event, it can provide a calming effect through mood and tone, and it can conjure up memories of times past. A song that is dear to me and my family is Amazing Grace. When the Scarlet Brigade Pipe Band began to play Amazing Grace on Saturday I was filled with emotion. The song, as always, brought me back to my memories of my dear grandmother. I want to truly thank Brian Swetland, band director, and the Scarlet Brigade Boosters for sustaining an amazing music program. The benefits for our students and community as a whole are endless.

Our ONE goal: To graduate every Fairfield High Student and to ensure that they leave FHS college and career ready!!! Inspire, Engage, Excite, Lead, Foster, Create, Empower!!

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Igniting Genius.....Lighting the Spark for All

I had the pleasure of participating in the 4th Annual Conference of Integrated Computing and STEM Education at UC Davis on Sunday. The theme of the conference was, "Igniting Genius Lighting the Spark for All." 

Dr. Harry Chen, professor and C-STEM center director had this to say, "The successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards hinges on the creation and integration of authentic, project-based learning experiences that require students to engage in real-world problem solving. Join us in meeting the challenge of closing the achievement gap, and preparing all students to be college and career-ready." 

This is a very exciting time in education. Gone are the days of multiple choice standardized tests. We are in the midst of disruption. Let's capitalize on the disruption. We don't have the "standard" curriculum to fall back on which can be frightening for some. But, take a moment and ponder the amount of autonomy that provides you as an educator. You have the opportunity to be innovative and deliver instruction in a format like no other. For example, you can tackle mathematical concepts through a real world project. Darryl Royster had his Math 1 students work on a project where their company was tasked with designing a lobby for a high end hotel chain. Students had to use multiple mathematical practices to engage in this project successfully. Students were not only developing and applying mathematical knowledge, they were developing real world "soft skills" that are so necessary in today's job market.

Our ONE goal: To graduate every Fairfield High Student and to ensure that they leave FHS college and career ready!!! The steps to get our students to this end goal do not have to look like a cookie cutter high school. If something isn't working, let's not keep doing it that way and instead find an alternative that DOES work. If something IS working, let's continue to move in that direction. We need to continue to share good ideas. We need to continue to collaborate. We need to continue to be risk takers with the students' success as our guiding force. What excites and inspires you? Find that inspiration and led it DRIVE you!!!

My final thought for today. We took our daughter's to see Big Hero 6 today. When we got home my 7 year old began designing a robot on paper and said to me, "Mom, this is what I am going to build. Maybe I can ask for a few micro chips for my birthday." To me that is PRICELESS and speaks volumes to allowing our children (our students) to find what interests them and allowing that interest to DRIVE them!!

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Turn your Challenges into Opportunities

All of us have challenges in our lives, no one is exempt. It is not what the challenges are that matters, it is how we deal with them and how we adapt and adjust. Can we see through the struggles, and focus on the opportunities? Can we learn from our mistakes and do things better the next time around. Just as we expect our students to do this, we need to remind ourselves that we too need to support our colleagues in these endeavors.  We are the models of excellence for our students. Therefore, we need to ensure that we are working through our own challenges and struggles to find the solutions.

As I was on my run yesterday I continued to think about the staff and students at FHS and how all of us are so interconnected. What happens to one impacts another and the cycle of reciprocity occurs. The more that we are able to not only support each other, but help each other problem solve and make situations better, the stronger our school will become. If you see a colleague struggling and you have a solution to his/her problem, reach out and provide that solution. We all know the age old saying, "You are only as strong as your weakest link." Let's work together to strengthen each other.

If you have a fantastic lesson, share it. If you have a great classroom management strategy share it. If you have a struggle and you need suggestions, ask for help. We can and will continue to build our Culture of Universal Achievement each and every day.

On my run several songs impacted me as well...Here is just a piece from one song. You can listen to the entire song here on YouTube:

From the Nico and Vinz song Imagine 

"I met an old man once, and he said to me

The only thing that matters is what you believe
If you don't stand for something you'll fall for anything
In case you're wondering I'll be here for you"

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Sunday, October 26, 2014

The NEU Nation and Fairfield High

I attended the NEU Convention Monday-Wednesday this week and it truly rejuvenated me!! We are so lucky to be part of the NEU Nation where we are ONE of only FOUR high schools across the country that are NEU schools. We are leaders in this territory and we need to capitalize on that position.

Jack Canfield, author of Chicken Soup for the Soul, was one of the keynote speakers at the convention. Jack is an inspirational speaker, life coach, and has keys to maximizing your potential in your life and career. I was truly inspired by Jack and couldn't stop Tweeting!! Here are some of the major takeaways.

"You only have control over three things in your life--the thoughts you think, the images you visualize and the actions you take." --Jack Canfield

"When do you give up on your dream? When you get it." --Jack Canfield

"Change is uncomfortable. People need to see the value in the change and will accept being uncomfortable. Event+Response=Outcome" --Jack Canfield

"Self-confidence is the result of surviving a risk." --Jack Canfield

"If you are complaining then it means there is something you can do about it. No one complains about the things they can't change." --Jack Canfield

"When someone complains...Ask them what they would rather have and how to do it." --Jack Canfield

Give up all of your excuses. Be results driven!!

"You are empowered when you say I Can. You are weakened when you say I Can't." --Jack Canfield

"We have the ability with our thoughts to protect ourselves from negative energy." --Jack Canfield

"Replace a negative thought with an action thought. You move from feeling hopeless to an action step." --Jack Canfield

Focus on what you want, not on what you don't want. #positivity

"Commit to what YOU WANT and you will find the HOW.  Believing is a choice.  Your BELIEFS=Your REALITY."--Jack Canfield

"Writing down your goals increases your chance of success by 1100%." --Study reported in USA Today

"Only 4% of people who do not write down their goals followed through on their goals.  44% of people who wrote down goals followed through on their goals."--Study reported in USA Today

We need to add daily guided visualization to our practices. Both staff and students!!

"Perceptual Filters: You have to train yourself to consistently focus on the solutions and results that you want." --Jack Canfield


Denis Murphy, President of The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation was another keynote speaker. The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is a magical story about a 9-year-old girl, a start-up Division I women's lacrosse team, and a big dream.  In 2004, 9-year-old Jaclyn Murphy was diagnosed with a Medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor. In 2005, through chance of events, Jaclyn became connected to and later adopted as an honorary member of the Northwestern Women's lacrosse team. Jaclyn's strength, courage, relentless spirit and joy for life inspired the players.  The team began to play for Jaclyn and a achieved a magical "perfect season," winning Northwestern's first NCAA national championship in 64 years.  Jaclyn inspired the team to go on to win 7 consecutive Division I NCAA national titles.  Soon after Jaclyn shared a big dream with her father.  She wanted other children with pediatric brain tumors to have similar experiences of being honorary team members. The Murphy's understood that it is ultimately the love, support and friendship of others that give people the inspiration and courage to get through this challenging journey. In 2005, the Murphy Family started The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation to improve he quality of life for children with pediatric brain tumors and their families by pairing them with college and high school athletic teams.

The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation is the NEU Charity of the Year. Visit The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation website to learn more: The NEU Nation will conduct a fundraiser this year in support of The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.

The jewelry company Alex and Ani has a line that connects with charities and proceeds are given to the charities. Alex and Ani has partnered with The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. Their elephant charm bracelet was created solely for The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation. I am proudly wearing my Alex and Ani charm bracelet daily in support of The Friends of Jaclyn Foundation.

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Students Actively Learning Together....

All last week I had the pleasure of visiting many classrooms on campus. I was able to work with the entire English department three days straight; observing, planning, and debriefing. I was invited to visit two science classes on Friday that were engaged in a lab. What I saw was solid evidence of students engaged in real learning. I don't just mean students sitting compliant completing a worksheet, I mean active learning, critical thinking, and application. A picture is worth a thousand words, so here are a few to give you a glimpse of the learning & engagement going on at FHS.

It all starts with a solid objective. The objective tells the students what they should know and be able to do by the end of the period. Many teachers are now incorporating their agenda directly underneath the objective, that way students see the steps they will take in class to reach the objective.

 Lynn Bocca's Reading Lab objective:  Students used four different colors to annotate the text. Blue: Who, Green: What, Orange: How, and Purple: Why. 
Laura Shafer's Biology objective: Students were using models to replicate DNA.

Peter Gelpke's Physics objective: Students were proving if Newton's Second Law was true.

Kelly Tomlinson's English 12 objective: Kelly modeled the process for students so they knew exactly what was expected of them. 

What struck me were the conversations that students were having with one another. This is when I knew that students were actively engaged and making meaning. 

Here are a few student quotes:

"The air track is being used to cancel out friction to show that Newton's Second Law is true," Tramale Hughes.

"Weight is dependent on the force of gravity.  Mass is constant, weight can change," Kelly Ann Bautista-Ong and Iman Ereiqat.

"I have finished highlighting the who, now I need a green highlighter to highlight the what," Dalaun Grady. When asked about the highlighting he explained that it helps him understand the article better. 


Assistant Superintendent Malcolm Butler visiting a lab group in Gelpke's Physics class. 

Lab groups working on proving that Newton's Second Law is true using the Air Tracks.

Students working together to place the DNA molecules. 

Student annotating his article with the color coding rules. 

Student taking a measurement before placing the mass on the air track. 

Student piecing together her DNA molecules. 

Student painting her ceramic work of art. 

Student painting her original ceramic work of art. 

Student in Computer Science Engineering class working on building his app. The tablet shows his artwork and original app and the Chromebook shows the lines of code.


As you plan your lessons continue to keep in mind that 
we are preparing our students to be successful in both college and career. This visual is a great reminder of that! It is all about BALANCE. 

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Monday, October 13, 2014

Autonomy, Mastery, and Purpose

In a meeting last week a student made a statement that I feel was very profound. He said, "We should be able to decide the classes we want to take. We can show what we are interested in and then take classes that support that. Then, we would really be ready for college or a job after high school. We shouldn't have to take classes just because it is a requirement that we take it. When we are in a class we aren't interested in, we won't do as well." The truth of the matter is that there are many more students that feel the same way as this student. We obviously cannot put aside the state requirements for high school graduation, but we need to take this student's statement to heart. We MUST attempt to make every class as relevant and meaningful to our students as possible.

Every class has a purpose and a connection to the real world. I am calling on all teachers to find that connection and meaning and capitalize on it. If you teach English, bring in the journalists and published authors to talk to your students. If you teach math bring in the engineers, the chefs, and the carpenters that use math daily in their professions. Let students experiment with new ideas and applications. Our students need to be able to think critically and to apply their knowledge in the real world. We want our students to be great successes upon graduation.

When students feel purpose and meaning in what they are doing that they will in turn find intrinsic motivation. Ask yourself this before you hand out an assignment, "How will this assignment improve the success and ultimate productivity of my students?" If you can't find an answer to that question you should rethink the assignment/activity. As a No Excuses University school we are preparing ALL of our students for college and career. We need to ENSURE that our activities, lessons, assignments, and projects are truly preparing them for success in college and career.

I have mentioned Daniel Pink in previous posts, but now is a great time for everyone to read DRIVE by Daniel Pink. You have to watch this short ten minute video from Youtube. It is an RSA animate video that depicts the fundamentals in DRIVE. RSA Animate DRIVE

I also found an audio book recording on Youtube of DRIVE. I have provided you the link here. AudioBook recording of DRIVE

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Perseverance....Never Give Up....Push Yourself Further Than You Think Possible......

Webster's dictionary defines PERSEVERANCE as, "continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition: steadfastness." We not only need to develop perseverance in our students, but we need to continue to always persevere ourselves. It is in challenging times that we are forced to look deep inside ourselves and find the inner drive and passion to rise above the struggles, see the silver lining at the end, and push without looking back to reach the positive outcome.

Our Varsity Football players can attest to this! On Friday, the game against Armijo seemed like it was in the bag for us. Then, the tables turned and we were no longer in the lead and time was running out. The players did not give up. They continued to run their plays and look for an opportunity to overcome the opponent. That opportunity presented itself and we scored another touchdown. But, then Armijo, with a minute on the clock, was within 10 yards of their end zone and had possession of the ball. The Falcon Defense held strong and made the win happen. These young men have continued to train every week harder than the week before despite previous losses. They visualize the win in sight and continue to drive to make it happen. Let's have our Falcon Football Players be our inspiration this week.  Just as they did not give up on the field Friday night, we cannot give up on our daily endeavors to make change, impact lives, and educate students!! Keep the bar HIGH!!

Check out this Youtube video: A great overview of key strategies for improving teaching and learning in schools and in the classroom, with successful examples of each: Project-Based Learning, Technology Integration, Integrated Studies, Cooperative Learning, Comprehensive Assessment, Emotional Intelligence, Teacher Preparation, Parent Involvement, Community Partners, and Maximizing Resources.

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Sunday, September 28, 2014

Making Learning Relevant

We know that every subject has standards that need to be taught.  The standards in turn provide the foundation for our lesson design. But, we must stop and ask ourselves a few questions before we create our daily, weekly, monthly, and year long lesson plans. What are we planning for? Are we planning how to teach these standards? Are we planning how to deliver these standards? Do we know the relevance and importance behind the standards? What will our students gain from having a fundamental understanding of the standards? What does it really mean if a student has earned an "A" in your class, what does he/she have to know?

Where am I going with this? Schooling is not about teaching in isolation. School is not here to be about school. Fundamentally, we as educators are in a position to provide students with an environment where they can explore, create, grow and build on their prior knowledge. We are here to cultivate the engineers, the artists, the musicians, the experts of tomorrow. So......we need to look at our approach. We want our students to come to school every day because they WANT TO engage and learn more, not because they HAVE TO.  So, how do we bridge the gap between what we as educators have to do, and what we want to do for our students? I think it comes down to relevance and purpose. When I am working on my Macbook and I need to learn how to do something I am unfamiliar with, I go to Youtube to find a video that not only explains in words, but demonstrates the steps for me. I then put that in action. However, that Youtube video would have been on Youtube unseen by me until I needed it. If I had watched it five days prior to my need to know, it may not have impacted me the same and I may not have retained the information since it would have seemed irrelevant at the time.

The challenge I see that each teacher faces every day is this: How do I engage my students with the standards/curriculum and make it meaningful and relevant to them? How do I teach my class so that what is learned goes beyond the walls of my classroom? 

I can say with confidence that if we continue to use age old practices of the teacher "delivering" information and "pouring" it into our students heads, it isn't going to stick.  Many of you aren't using age old practices, you are innovative, creative and are reaching our students!! I want you to share your experiences. I am looking for educators to comment on this blog post and share how you are reaching your students and making the learning relevant so that they WANT TO LEARN MORE and APPLY what they have learned. Together we can collaborate, share and create the learning environments needed in ALL classrooms to reach and impact ALL students.

Here is a video that speaks to CREATIVITY! 

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Sunday, September 21, 2014

No Excuses.....After High School Comes College and Career

What is at the core of being an NEU school? I think back to last year when I attended an NEU presentation by Doug Curry. Presenter Doug Curry, principal from Travis Middle School in Texas, did an unbelievable job reminding us all about hope. Every student is listening even if each student doesn't make it seem like they are. We are here each day to give our students light inside any darkness they may be carrying.  When students make mistakes, human nature says we will make you pay. A No Excuses school works on correcting the behavior and welcoming the student back. Exceptional classroom management works with dignity and hope.

We need to remind ourselves that the students that walk through our doors each day are in our classrooms and our hallways on loan each day by their parents. The parents send their students with faith that they will be safe and empowered each day with new knowledge.  We must make sure our parents are supported just as much as our students.  We need to unconditionally accept our parents with no judgment. We must validate, affirm, honor, and empower our parents. We must connect with them and offer great customer service.

We are Committed: We believe that every student deserves the opportunity to be educated in a way that prepares them for college if they so choose to attend. We are Courageous: To display courage is to show strength in the face of fear. We do this by ignoring those who try to tell us our dreams for our students' futures are unrealistic and impossible. We are Collaborative: Our collaborative spirit is grounded on the idea that we each have unique strengths as well as different weaknesses. We are Creative: We are innovative and love to explore new ways to get results for our students. We are Character Centered: Character is doing the right thing when no one watching... this goes double for adults. We are College Crazy: College readiness is a tie that binds us as students, parents, and staff.  Because of this, we reveal the benefits of a college degree to all students in practical and achievable ways that offer hope for a better future. 

Look at your classroom environment. Does it scream College and Career? If not take a look at some classrooms that do and speak to your colleagues for inspiring ideas. I want to start sharing each staff members college experiences on the morning announcements. Please fill out the Google form with your information.  You can access the form here: College Biography Form Take a look at your classroom college wall. Does it need a facelift? Have you reached out to your college yet? I challenge each of you to take some time to reach out to your college and make a connection. Can you set up a guest speaker? Can you get materials, flyers, symbolism from the college?

Take a look at Shari Patterson's room. It speaks loud and clear to her enthusiasm and push for college preparedness. She also did a post on her blog recently where these photos were displayed and she explained the importance of each part of her room. Shari's blog can be found at

Shari's college wall represents Michigan in honor of her dad's family.  She has a picture of her grandfather suited up for a hockey game at Michigan State from the 1930's. She also has a cap and gown proudly displayed. 

Notice the college pennants hanging in front of the window. On the classroom door is a sign that says: "I went to college to become a teacher, what will YOU do?"

Our College Fair is this Thursday, September 25th!! Please fill out the Google Sheet to indicate when you will bring your classes.  We can accommodate five classes per time slot. Click here to access the sign up sheet: College Fair Sign Up Sheet  This is a great opportunity for ALL students. Click here to see the flyer: College Fair Flyer  

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence! 


Sunday, September 14, 2014

Push Hard....Seek Support in Others

This morning several FHS staff and students got up super early and participated in the Lagoon Valley Trail Run! Even though each of us ran a different race and had our individual time, we supported one another before, during and after the race. Kelly Briggs was the catalyst that got us to sign up. Her challenge to us was motivating and a chance to be part of a team. During the race, each of us found our own inspiration by keeping in pace with that individual that was just in front of us. Knowing that someone was behind trying to pace with you was also a motivator to keep going. Think of your classroom environment as one where you can tap into each student's strengths. It doesn't have to be just the teacher that motivates, pushes, and teaches. The students themselves are your best ally in moving your classroom forward. Challenge your students, then allow them to find support amongst each other. Show them the path that they need to take, then step aside and allow them to pace themselves in finding meaning. There will be some falls along the way, but that is part of the learning process. Students need to be involved every day in finding meaning and purpose. We CAN DO this!

If you are looking for new ways of engaging your students, I have included a few Youtube/Edutopia videos that I found this weekend!! These videos encourage you to think "out of the box. Remember to include your students in your planning conversations, you may be surprised by what you will find.

Me, Shelmae, and Beth pumped up before the 5K!

Me and Kelly after finishing our 5K!

Mary Llewelyn came out to cheer us all on!!!

The FHS Crew after finishing the 5K and 10K!!!
We even had the privilege of being interviewed for Channel 27. Check it out once it posts on their Facebook page. Channel 27 Interview

Many more great things are in store for Fairfield High!

Continue to be innovative, creative, and a model of excellence!