Notes from Ed

My School Resolutions in the New Year
Here are eight of my school-related resolutions.  What are yours?

Happy New Year everyone!   My very best,   Ed

  1. Gratitude every day makes a difference…… We are discovering that gratitude (our school theme) is contagious, and that it makes a difference in terms of how we view and live our lives. I hope to help pass this wonderful mindset along to our entire school community.
  1. Play, and laugh, and smile….. Along with all of the hard work we do as educators and students, we need to remember to find joy in all that we can. It’s wonderful when it becomes difficult to distinguish between work and play. This is one of my goals for the new year. 
  1. Visit classes every day….. My relationships with staff and students grow in proportion to the time I spend with all of them. 
  1. Create family groups everywhere…. As you know, our students are all assigned to a family group when they arrive at Merriam (for Theme Days, Field Days, etc.). More recently, we’ve set up staff family groups – who have collaborative conversations at faculty meetings and other professional events. Perhaps there’s a way to have “inter-family” family groups within our community? 
  1. Find new ways to share our projects…. We are often modest about the really cool inter-disciplinary projects that our students create. However, lately I’ve begun to think that it’s important to get the word out more – to show that we take pride in what we do and that we want others to know even more about it.
  1. Invite the difficult conversations….. A number of us on staff are reading the book Difficult Conversations together, and are taking part in a monthly seminar where we discuss important aspects of the book. We all agree that when we’re able to get through a difficult conversation in a mutually respectful way, it is much better than letting challenging feelings simmer for a long period of time.
  1. Choose carefully the things worth fighting for…. I’ve thought about this a great deal recently from my perspective as a school leader – how there isn’t the time to fight every battle and how the respect you receive from others diminishes if you choose to fight over everything. I’m wondering how we might share this message with our students too.
  1. Make the simple things matter… the chocolate chip cookie, the smile in the hallway, the  “Good morning” greeting after a long weekend, the few extra minutes that someone gives you in a conversation.   These are all examples of the simple things that have mattered to me.  As many Merriam staff know, I really enjoy drinking tea.  So a couple of months ago I bought a hot water kettle for my office and a wide variety of teas to have on hand if anyone stops in.  So – if you come to my office for a meeting, please join me for tea.