There are so many life experiences to choose from as I look for a personal connection in this edition of my superintendent’s blog. After setting aside my vanity :), I’ve decided to go for it and share with you my 40th birthday as the personal connection to what is going on in our educational lives. At the time that this blog will be published, I will have just celebrated my 40th birthday. I could look at this moment as a signal that “it’s all downhill from here” or I could look at my 40th birthday as an opportunity.
It is the opportunity to think about what is really working in my life and make an effort to continue those practices, Family, Faith, and Friends. It is also the time to think about the things that have happened in those first 40 years that could have gone better and devise a specific plan to remedy those items on the list.
As I share with you my personal connection, we are at the halfway point to the 2015-2016 school year. We have just received our 3rd Grade Reading Guarantee Fall administration scores, completed winter benchmarking using NWEA MAP, ended the 2nd quarter, and awarded high school class credit for block classes.
This marks a time when we as educators should look at what we are currently doing to benefit students and maintain the pace to keep those great practices moving forward. But at this halfway point, we also have the opportunity for reflection. We should be reflecting on the data with the sincere belief that we have the time and the skills to improve upon the results. We must rely on our teams, colleagues, and support staff to generate ideas, share the workload, and foster the energy needed for the work ahead. I believe we have the good fortune, with half the school year still in front of us, to make an impact on the academic achievement and growth of students.
It’s sometimes hard to seize this moment, as we tend to get stuck on the things that aren’t working. It is hard to believe in ourselves and know that significant growth can still take place. But think back, we have been here before and we have done TREMENDOUS things. As educators we have to extend ourselves some grace, erase the missteps, and believe that what we do from here on out CAN and WILL make a difference like it has in the recent past. Our team of staff, parents, and students can accomplish amazing things.
Take what you currently know about your students in stride, adjust your adult practices intentionally, and make the impact our students and community deserve. I believe in our students and I believe in all of you!
Danielle Prohaska, Superintendent of Schools