Summertime!

It’s officially summer today, the longest day of this year in fact.  Around me are reminders we’ve been out of school for two weeks (although the building is abuzz with summer school and all manner of activity).

ECarleDadOn top of this excitement is the celebration today of our fathers.  Our dads…those remarkable guys who may not always say “I love you,” but most certainly show the love in action everyday.  My maternal grandfather often observed:  “If people concentrated more on the really important things in life, there would be a real shortage of fishing poles around here…”  We loved to fish together and he taught me much about life during those early morning adventures.  Likewise, I am blessed to still have my daddy living close by who often reminds me, “Don’t count the days; make the days count…doors are everywhere so open one today.”  Truly, my dad is unconditional love in action, word, and everyday living…a real servant leader who leads by his daily example in life.  Here’s hoping you take a moment today to call or visit with your dad if you’re blessed to still have him; if not, reflect on those powerful memories, stories, and legacies he left you and your family.  Happy Summer and Happy Father’s Day, LME family!  :-)

Awards and Accolades!

As we begin to officially close out this extraordinary school year, we celebrate the many personal educational achievements and everyday successes along the way.

IMG_7623Yesterday, I enJOYed a scrumptious meal with several LME friends who achieved the coveted Principal’s Luncheon opportunity.  We dined at Carinos in true Italian “la famiglia” style with lots of yummy treats and eats, including gelato.  From Kinder to 5th grade friends, those who achieved, received!

Likewise, today was our annual LME Awards and End-of-Year Celebrations.  We shared achievements, more treats and eats, and our traditional LME Clap-Out for 5th graders entering middle school next year.  I always wrap up our 5th grade ceremony (before the party) with a special gift to each student.  As is a Miller tradition, on the first day of Kinder each year, I read The Little That Could to each Kinder class to introduce them to the concept of how your attitude and effort determine personal excellence daily–they are the two most critical things you control everyday.  On the last full day of 5th grade, IMG_7628I gift them a copy of I Knew You Could, A Book For All The Stops In Your Life.  I remind them of our first Kinder day talk and look at all they’ve accomplished in their six years so far–great attitude, effort, determination, and believing in yourself no matter what truly yields extraordinary results!

There’s more about life that you’ll learn as you go;

Because figuring things out on your own helps you grow.

Just trust in yourself, and you’ll climb every hill.

Say, ‘I think I can!’ and you know what?  You will!

To our fifth grade friends traveling new tracks, we send you big LME hugs and lots of love for your bright futures…and hopes for lots of “ducky days” ahead!  :-)

Communicate!

“The single biggest problem with communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” ~George Bernard Shaw~

This is true everyday in the education world…we think we’ve done our best to get the message out and then someone communicates to us otherwise. As part of our core principles, we believe communication and collaboration builds trust. Trust is critical to our work as educators daily. communicateAs a parent, you have to trust we are trained and properly certified to teach, to act in a crisis situation, to make educationally sound decisions for each individual learner (your personal treasure)…the list is endless. Likewise, when we are wheeled into an operating room, we have to trust the surgeon and the anesthesiologist have communicated various allergies, reactions, and other medical concerns with each other. TRUST is involved on a daily basis.

My conversations throughout many school days often involve this very issue and usually include some form of misunderstanding on everyone’s part. As we talk through each situation, offer ideas or solutions, and work our way to final resolutions in order to move forward, it is apparent the need to LISTEN first is really the challenge.

We teach our learners to “use your words” to share and “use your brain to really listen” as we communicate and collaborate together each day. Sometimes we miss a critical step but assume we did it; sometimes we just do it all too fast.

It’s important to remember how everyone involved in any situation carries a piece to the overall puzzle…usually, it’s as simple as asking, “Can we talk?” Always let us know what we can do to communicate and collaborate better with you as we wrap up another extraordinary year at LME!

Speaking of communication…This final week holds several special notes:
Tuesday: Principal’s Luncheon for honorees
Wednesday: Awards and Parties throughout the day
Thursday and Friday: Early Release @ 12:45 p.m.

Having enough…

gratitudewordle2In walkabout today, several learners commented to me about their gratitudes and blessings of this school year–what they really were grateful to have learned along the journey this school year.  While this is a common theme in our classrooms this time of year, I genuinely hope it becomes practice throughout each child’s life.  In talking with one particular learner who is dealing with a great deal more than a young child should know, I was reminded of this saying my Granny B often quoted:

May you always have enough…

  • happiness to keep you sweet,
  • trials to keep you strong,
  • sorrows to keep you human,
  • hope to keep you JOYful,
  • failure to keep you humble,
  • success to make you eager,
  • friends to give you comfort,
  • wealth to meet your needs,
  • enthusiasm to look for tomorrow,
  • faith to banish worry, and
  • determination to make each day better than before! 

Yes, it is important to teach our children to share and embrace the gratitudes of daily life along with the necessary coping skills to deal with stress and pressure too.  Our daily focus on strong character traits at school (like trust, respect, responsibility, service and more) help to reinforce these coping skills and focus on the blessings all around us.  Together, we are working to truly design dreams and build leaders for today and everyday.  Thanks for walking the journey with us; thanks for sharing your most valuable blessing, your child, with us this year!

Kitty Cat Capers!

IMG_7446There was mischief and mayhem with scaredy cat struts as our Kinder friends presented their MEOWvelous program, Kitty Cat Capers, to a packed house this evening! Under the musical direction of our extraordinary Amber Perez (and written by Jill and Michael Gallina), the music, singing, and rhyming speaking shared a day in the life of a kitty. From the elaborate individual kitty costumes (great job, parents and grandparents!) to the whiskers, mannerisms, and songs, we all left humming a merry tune. Great job, teachers and staff; outstanding work, Kinder friends! As one little friend shared, “We avoided CATastrophe…meow, meow, meow!” :-)

Planting seeds…

Graduation is usually a time when we contemplate our future and purpose. It can be both a time of great excitement and, what I like to call, preventative worry. I certainly remember the anxiousness I felt after each graduation. Whether you or your child are graduating Kindergarten, middle school, high school, or college, or just know a graduate, take note of the 11 lessons author, Jon Gordon, shares from his book, The Seed. seed400 May they empower you and your child on the next steps of the journey forward:

1. You are here for a reason and the most important thing you can do in life is to find, live, and share your purpose. It’s the one thing in life that truly matters; if you don’t pursue it, everything else is meaningless.

2. Follow your passion; it often leads you to your purpose. You may not know what your passion is right now. That’s ok. To help find your passion, seek out learning experiences or jobs allowing you to use your strengths and gifts.

3. Beware of hobbies. Just because you enJOY social media doesn’t mean you would enjoy working for Twitter. Just because you love to cook doesn’t mean you would enjoy owning a restaurant. What aspects of the hobby do you love and work from them.

4. When you quit, quit for the right reasons. Don’t quit because work is hard or you’re experiencing challenges. Quit because in your heart you know there is something else for you to do.

5. Learn from every experience. Every job, good or bad, prepares you for the work you were ultimately born to do.

6.Your current situation may not be your ultimate purpose but it can serve as a vehicle to live and share your purpose.

7. Whatever job(s) you take after graduation, decide to simply serve. When you serve in small ways you’ll get more opportunities to serve in bigger ways.

8. Your dream job is likely not the one you dreamed about. So often we end up in amazing careers that have nothing to do with our college degree or childhood dreams.

9. The quest for your purpose is not a straight line. It is filled with mystery, signs, obstacles, victories, dead ends, delays and detours. Your job is to stay optimistic and faithful on your quest. Teachers are the best at knowing learning does not come in a straight line; there are many curves on the road to success.

10. Don’t rush the future. There is a process all seeds must go through in order to become all they are destined to become, and you must go through this same process to become the person you are meant to be and do the work you are meant to do.

11. Be the Seed. Seeds surrender themselves to the ground so they can be used for a greater purpose. Wherever you are, decide to plant yourself where you are and allow yourself to be used for a greater purpose. When you plant yourself and make a difference, you grow into the person you were born to be and produce a harvest that will benefit others and change the world.

Here’s hoping our planted seeds of this school year truly change the world! :-)

Keep Calm!

It’s been a full week of blessings, praise, accolades, bravos, and so much more! From the festive themes each day (and dressing choices) to the cute snacks and scrumptious treats, we have enJOYed Teacher Appreciation Week indeed! Thanks to our amazing PTO for the homemade meals and dailyteacher-appreciation mailbox surprises. Thanks to the parents and families who showered our teachers in special gifts and daily lunches. Thanks to our learners for the sweet notes and fancy cards. As one little friend shared with me today: “Mrs. Van, it’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice…thanks for always being nice and calm all the time.” What a blessing to be in a position to share the JOY of learning with others everyday! Have a safe, calm weekend, LME! :-)