The Fasten Your Seatbelt Sign Is Now Turned Off!

So that was a pretty intense first month of school! It’s tricky and difficult work opening up a new school year, and making sure that we all get off to a great start. So much was on all of our plates as we looked to build that critical trust with our students, our parent community, and each other. On top of that we have rolled out our new strategic plan, a new Skyward operating system, our first session of after school activities, our first season of sport, we began our standardized MAP testing, we hosted Carrie Ekey and received some wonderful professional development with Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop, and we hosted a tremendously successful Back to School Night, which showcased our new division and celebrated all the fantastic things that are on offer for our kids…wow! I think it’s finally time to exhale a little bit, and look to settle into a routine. It feels like that fasten your seat belt sign has finally been switched off, and now we can get down to the important business at hand…student learning!

I want to say how proud I am of all of you for being so professional, so hard working, and so flexible throughout that opening month, and now I want you to take a breath and take care of yourselves. The beginning of a new school year can take its toll on quality educators because it’s the norm to put in twelve to fourteen hour days…making sure that classrooms are set up, unpacking the standards and curriculum, completing baseline student assessments, attending countless meetings, and of course getting to know your kids in a meaningful way so you can personalize their learning. All of this can run you down, and it’s not uncommon for fatigue to set in. This week I’m asking you all to make finding that work/life balance a top priority, and to find ways to enjoy your lives outside of the school. Whether it’s with friends and family for dinners out, or quiet nights at home with a good book, or exploring this incredible city that we live in, it’s of paramount importance that you invest time in your personal lives…it’s only then that you will become the master teacher that you want to be for our kids and our community. Make sure to get plenty of rest, exercise on a regular basis, make time for healthy meals instead of eating on the run, and most importantly, make sure to lean on each other for support if you need a little extra TLC…we’re a family now so let’s take care of each other and ensure that our individual balances are aligned, and that our smiles continue to shine bright.

Congratulations on a successful start everyone, I couldn’t be happier with where we are as October closes in…however, if I’m being honest, most of the hard work still lies ahead. It’s one thing to start well, but a very different thing to sustain this positive energy for the next 9 months. We’ll encounter obstacles and we’ll face difficult challenges as we work toward becoming a great school over the next few years. We’ll only get there if we focus on ourselves and each other, and pick each other up when the going gets tough. Find that balance everyone and please know that I’m here for you if you ever need to talk, or need some support in any possible way…Have a wonderful week everyone and remember to be great for our students and good to each other.

 Quote of the week……

Work, love, and play are the great balance wheels of man’s being.
– Orison Swett Marden

 TED Talk – Rita Pierson (Every Kid need aa Champion)

http://www.ted.com/talks/rita_pierson_every_kid_needs_a_champion

 Great short Videos –

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC82Il2cjqA (You Can Learn Anything)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7XW-mewUm8 (Building the Airplane While Flying)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pk7yqlTMvp8 (Herding Cats)

 Work/Life Balance Articles/Websites –

http://www.theguardian.com/teacher-network/teacher-blog/2014/aug/20/teacher-wellbeing-how-to-prepare-for-new-school-year

http://www.educationrevolution.org/blog/finding-the-work-life-balance-is-all-about-trust/

http://www.creativeeducation.co.uk/blog/index.php/2011/10/10-top-tips-to-preserve-work-life-balance/

http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/administration/worklife

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/work-life-balance/art-20048134

About Daniel Kerr

Dan Kerr is now Lower School Director at the American School of Paris. He previously served as Intermediate Division Principal at Academia Cotopaxi American International School in Quito, Ecuador, and prior to that was the Middle School Principal at SCIS in Shanghai, China. Dan has also worked at JIS in Jakarta, Indonesia and he began his International career in Abu Dhabi. Dan is thrilled to be joining the ASP family and will be accompanied by his wife, Jocelyn, who will be working as a counselor, and his two children, Max and Gabby. 
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