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Focused on being ready for our students

August 27, 2010
I have been thinking a lot about how the teaching staff starts the school year.  This year we are not having the traditional all staff gathering at the high school.  This year will be my 16th year with Saline Area Schools, and the first time we have not had this opening event.

We are trying something new.   Extended meetings and days of professional development will come at other times throughout the year.  I will record a short  (I promise!) speech to be played during the one hour building level staff meetings.  The administrators and I are focused on getting our teaching staff into their classrooms to prepare for their students.  With the reconfiguration of grades and the closing of two buildings, we want the teachers to have time to feel ready for the students.

Some staff may think the traditional meeting and subsequent meetings provided an excellent opportunity to introduce new initiatives for the year.  Based on my experience and discussions with staff, how engaged are staff at this moment?  Their minds are most likely “preparing for the opening day” and what they need to do to be ready.   I encourage staff to be as energized and welcoming to our students as possible all the time, but especially those first few days of school.  Even with all of this time, they are still going to stay long after the “normal” work day. The last thing I want is staff staying until midnight the day before school starts.  You need your energy!  Thinking about what is best for our students, I want the staff as well rested (although most of us can’t sleep the night before) and as prepared as possible for the kids.

We want to set the best tone possible during the first few days of school.

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