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! 


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