A special tour…

IMG_3230The elementary princiPALs were treated this afternoon to a special tour of the new Midlothian Heritage High School by princiPAL, Krista Tipton.  This impressive learning environment of creative spaces and educational places for 21st century learners IMG_3233and leaders will open in August 2014.  Filled with innovative state-of-the-art features, the new school invites students from the moment you step inside the building.  Most impressive, though, is the extensive knowledge and obvious passion Mrs. Tipton conveys as she shares the planning and construction story of MHHS.

Heritage literally means “given or handed down from the past.”  It’s exciting to see strong MISD traditions being honored and cherished in a beautiful new educational setting.  Congratulations, Mrs. Tipton!

Hip Hip Hooray for Mr. Hemphill!

IMG_2081School Board members really have “the best of times and the worst of times” (according to some Miller learners, that is).  We were honored today to enJOY the company of Mr. Todd Hemphill, Midlothian ISD Board Trustee.  He came early and assisted in morning arrival duty with our Safety Patrol and staff members, greeting students entering the building.  He participated in our Friday Miller Rally talking about what a Board member does (and was interested to hear what some of our learners thought he did too!).  Each team elected a representative to talk and present him with a special team token of appreciation showing our Miller thanks for the time imageDSC_1071and service he provides to MISD.  Our Student Honor Council shared breakfast and a thorough school tour (I feel certain he most likely learned some secret things about LME that only the most privileged are selected to know).  🙂

We are grateful to have caring, civic-minded, service-oriented trustees in our district who serve willingly to uphold the highest educational standards expected from our community.  School Board members are volunteers, and while they don’t get paid, their work is priceless.  As one little learner summed it up after Miller Moves, “Hip, hip HOORAY for Mr. Hemphill today!”

Thanks to all our Midlothian ISD Board of Trustees for serving our district to ensure we continue to strive to be the leading learning organization in the nation.

Essential 55 + Excellent 11 = End of Molasses Classes…

It’s a known fact; I adore and deeply revere the teachings and writings of Ron Clark, master educator extraordinaire.  His message in each book is inspiring, yet he is equally quick to face the brutal facts (as we all should) no matter the situation.  He is all about leading each learner to greatness.

In The Essential 55, Mr. Clark showcases 55 key rules, all so simple and obvious yet equally powerful as life tools demonstrating exactly how each learner can become the best student and person imaginable.  He notes, “I tell my students all the time, a person can have the best education in the world, but it will mean nothing if that person doesn’t treat others with kindness, have respect for the individuals he or she comes in contact with, and attempt to use the knowledge and skills they have obtained to help others.”  From Rule #1, answering with “yes, ma’am or no sir,” to Rule #55, “Be the best person you can be,” the book talks about and walks through the important things in life.

While pondering The Excellent 11, Mr. Clark embraces the eleven qualities shared by children who love to learn; these same key elements are found in teachers and parents who know how to bring out the JOY of learning in any child.  He pinpoints what it takes to make a great learner by sharing eleven basic characteristics (enthusiasm, adventure, creativity, reflection, balance, compassion, confidence, humor, common sense, appreciation, and resilience), why they work, and how to incorporate these into the classroom, home, and life.

Finally, studying and discussing the The End of Molasses Classes with our Miller Design Team this year has created great conversation about innovative ways we enliven and ignite engagement in all learners.  His journey in this book is filled with successes, heartaches, mistakes, and multiple triumphs, culminating in the hugely successful Ron Clark Academy.  Beware though, he is tough on parents; he believes in the power of forming bonds with each child by sacrificing to make time for the child before anything else (including work and outside extracurricular activities).  As a working mom, I found myself yelling at the book while also applauding his strong commitment to personal excellence for each learner no matter the means.

His basic message for everyone:  “Be different.  Be bold.  Join it.”  I encourage you to read, study, and form your own opinions.  Here’s hoping as we continue on this LME journey to educational excellence, we all consider the essential, excellent qualities to avoid molasses classes!  🙂