Sunday, January 12, 2014

January 12, 2014

Why am I an administrator? I went into education fifteen years ago because I wanted to make a change and an impact on the world. My parents had a great influence on my life and the path that I chose. I remember clearly the daily dinner conversations where my dad would tell me and my three sisters and one brother, "You can change the world. You can do anything you put your mind to. Have faith and you WILL make it happen." Those words were repeated and became a natural part of my thought process. I have felt compelled ever since a very young age to help people around me. I initially saw myself being able to make a large impact by going into politics, that is why I majored in political science in college. But the turning point for me was when I went and volunteered at my nephew's daycare. I saw that the potential to make a huge positive impact wasn't correcting the wrongs of society, but starting with the youth and providing them the tools that would enable each and every one of them to be successful participants in our society. It was then that I decided my calling was to go into education and do what I could to make things better.

Our community of students, parents, and staff at Crystal is unparalleled. We are not just a brick and mortar building we are a FAMILY.  One of the many definitions found in Merriam-Webster's online dictionary for family is a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation.  At Crystal, we are united by our belief that ALL of our students deserve a high quality rigorous education. It is our pledge to provide ALL of our students with the foundation so that each and every one of them is college ready! 

As the principal of Crystal Middle School it is my unwavering commitment to support each student, each family, and each staff member.  It is my daily goal to provide guidance, insight, and resources that will allow each member of our school community and family to reach his/her ultimate potential.  We are all learning and growing each day. Remember to reflect on moments in your past that have shaped where you are today. All of us in education are in a very unique position. Every day provides us a new  opportunity to provide a student, a parent, or a community member a new piece of knowledge that will make him/her more powerful. You are the facilitators of great learning. Our students are the critical thinkers that seek knowledge to become fulfilled, resourceful, and to be able to provide our society the next level of innovation. Be innovative, be creative, and guide your students to their optimal potential. 

Our next No Excuses Lesson is Monday, January 13th during fourth period. Each teacher will show the short video on RESPONSIBILITY and then have each student fill out his/her Goal Setting Page for 3rd quarter on page 5 on the student agenda. The activity should not take more than 15 minutes of your 4th period class. Here is the YouTube link for the video.

We have had many of you check out our Chromebooks so far this year. If you want to check out the lab please make sure to fill out the Google Form. The link to the form can be found at the end of this paragraph. The calendar that is embedded in this blog also shows the dates that have been booked.              

I would like to highlight Terry Murray and her use of  BYOD in the classroom. Terry ventured into new territory last week when she conducted a BYOD lesson. She also utilized the Chromebooks with students to access websites and YouTube videos for students to engage in "student driven" inquiry.  Terry engaged the students to think and discover  information on ratios and proportions. She encouraged independence for the students. Students accessed You Tube and other websites to develop an initial understanding of ratios and proportions. Terry then facilitated a class discussion where the students shared what they had found out. It was then that she was able to add additional information to their newly formed knowledge base. Terry was very happy with the level of engagement and enthusiasm that the students exhibited during the lesson. There was purpose to the technology. Students had autonomy, purpose, and were moving towards mastery. Here are a few links that students accessed during her class.

EXPLAIN: Explain is to tell someone about something in a way that is clear or easy to understand. 


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