As a young child commented to me today, “It’s a good thing I love this work ’cause I sure do a lot of it, huh?!”  🙂  This reminded me about our conversation on attitude and effort—the only two things we really control in life—every single day and how love plays into the equation.  Yes, we make the choice on attitude as we get up each day; we can also choose to change our attitude throughout the day too.  We also make the choice about the amount of effort we will place into something as we go along.  In the school world, we invest our attitude and effort with bundles of love into our relationships with children, their parents, and our learning community.  In fact, we understand how greatness is built with the foundation of love…love of self and love of others.  (I LOVE these selfies too!)IMG_6724

In his book, The Carpenter, Jon Gordon reminds us how fear can sabotage our dreams and hopes…yet, when you love, greatness is built from the foundation of love.  He asks the question, “Will you choose fear or love?”  He notes:

Love the struggle because it makes you appreciate your accomplishments.  Love challenges because they make you stronger.  Love competition because it makes you better.  Love negative people because they make you more positive.  Love those who have hurt your because they teach you forgiveness.  Love fear because it makes you courageous.”

Yes indeed, it’s critical to love the work because there is a lot of it!  Here’s hoping you ponder love as we continue our one word journey this school year to #LoveServeCare at LME!  🙂

…and we’re back!

tools1What a blessing to spend the day with our #LoveServeCare Team at LME this year!  Our staff members arrived with lots of enthusiasm, smiles, and energy to get this school year started!  They came with innovative ideas and a quality crafting attitude as we channeled our inner-carpenter skills to create wooden team “toolboxes” for the year.  After doing their summer IMG_5361homework (reading Jon Gordon’s newest book, The Carpenter), we put our Love, Serve, and Care ideas into action.  Using hearts (and hammers), our LME Staff was not only handy but full of fun teamwork.

Be watching for those extra-special carpentry and craftsmanship touches throughout the coming year as we design dreams and build leaders everyday.  Welcome Back, LME!

Note:  We look forward to opening our school doors for our annual Meet The Teacher event this week on Thursday evening.   Our 3rd/4th/5th grade friends will join us from 5:30 to 6:15 and our HS/Kinder/1st/2nd grade friends can stop by from 6:15 to 7:00. 

Soup…stirring the pot!

Soup…it’s warm, hearty, nourishing, filling, comforting…  It’s a great day for some homemade soup in fact with the weather turning so cold once again, so the office staff did just that during our lunch time.  With two new members added to our LME office team since October, we started a book study by one of ourSoup favorites, Jon Gordon, called Soup…A Recipe to Nourish Your Team and Culture.  (Side note:  As a principal for many years, I should really own stock in Mr. Gordon’s company—we’ve managed to study ALL his books in some form or fashion over the years!  You can never go wrong with a JG book! )  🙂 

Soup is the story of Nancy, the CEO at Soup, Inc., a struggling company in steep decline.  Nancy is questioning her decision to run the company when she steps into Grandma’s Soup House one day, a little place that quickly becomes an unlikely source of great inspiration (often times, the answer we seek is right in front of us!).  With Grandma’s help, Nancy discovers the key ingredients to revitalize the company, the team, and herself in the process.

souptagSoup is a recipe for success for anyone in any position because it delivers the powerful message of how the quality of our daily lives (school, home, community) is really determined by the quality of our relationships with others.  The problem may be people, but the solution is also people…people matter and how we lead and work with them everyday matters most!  So, we’re positively stirring the pot with office team as we venture in 2014 in service.  After all, the one who stirs the pot is the most important ingredient in the soup…here’s hoping you stir your pot with your personal best everyday!

Thanks for those who came out today to participate in our LME Community Coffee with Dr. Stewart and his team; great job all! 

Training Camp

At LaRue Miller Elementary, we strive to be the BEST at three things:  (1) making a positive impact in the lives of learners; (2) helping students realize their potential as productive and successful citizens; and (3) providing engaging and meaningful learning experiences each school day.  In order to work on the positive impact portion each year, our staff willingly participates in a summer homework reading assignment each year.  Our focus for the coming school year is Jon Gordon’s Training Camp (in fact, we’ve studied two of his other books:  The Shark and The Goldfish and The Energy Bus–and if you’re reading this, Mr. Gordon, we’d love to hear from you!).  In anticipation of the coming school year, our Miller Design Team (made up of Miller staff volunteers who openly share, discuss, and help create campus culture) has created our campus theme:  “All Stars and MVPs; Miller is the BEST place to be!”  In order to kick it into high gear, we have an overall sports focus for the year, because “Every Day is Game Day at LME!”

In his book, Mr. Gordon creates a touching story about a man who faces his fears head-on while on his path to personal greatness—not only on the field but also on his life mission.  Based on his work with professional sports teams in a variety of fields, Mr. Gordon found that the BEST of the BEST, whether they are in business or education, sales or marketing, play sports or the oboe, share the same eleven traits and habits causing them to excel in their work and life:

  1. The BEST know what they truly want.
  2. The BEST want it more.
  3. The BEST are always striving to get better.
  4. The BEST do ordinary things better than everyone else.
  5. The BEST zoom-focus.
  6. The BEST are mentally stronger.
  7. The BEST overcome their fear.
  8. The BEST seize the moment.
  9. The BEST tap  into a greater power than themselves.
  10. The BEST leave a legacy.
  11. The BEST make everyone around them better!

Our staff is creating our team “playbook” throughout the summer as we ponder each trait.  We are also excited to be teaming with the T.E. Baxter Elementary Staff on this journey (thanks, Mrs. Courtney Carpenter, principal, for sharing your insight and wisdom).  We have several surprises in store for both campuses and look forward to our BEST years ever!

See . . . even teachers do training camp in the summer . . . Stay safe out there because everyday is game day!  🙂