FINAL BELL

I wanted to make my last entry in the “Starting Over” blog distinctive by detailing a chronology of the last week of school. Unfortunately, everything was happening so fast that I did not have time to write about it. Today, I am reserving the time for this special piece of work. It is so important that I am pushing back everything on the desk, including submitting invoices for my consultant’s salary that help feed my family. Nourishing the intellect is a more valuable use of time and energy. Kindergarten Graduation Our Kindergarten teachers really know how to plan a ...


Congratulations!

Four hours ago, Board members, Tracie, Madonna and I, had the privilege of presenting awards to a few hundred students at our school’s first annual Scholastic Awards Ceremony. The auditorium was filled to capacity for this special event. One of the teachers did an outstanding job of decorating the room for the end of year assemblies. Giant sized students in graduation caps and gowns, spring flowers, and other figures adorned the walls. In anticipation of the overflowing crowd of proud parents, the scholars were not seated in the auditorium; there would not have been enough room. Instead, we started ...


Prayers Answered

The operation on our former principal was a success. She has survived a pulmonary embolism, cardiac arrest, a medically induced coma and more. Now she is “out of the woods.” Thank you for all of you prayers....


Racing Against the Clock

In the past, I have always loved the closing days of school. Not because it signaled the end of the session, but because it was a time to assess what had been accomplished and begin planning for the next year. It was like getting ready for New Year’s Eve. In addition to the awards programs, promotional exercises, graduations, end-of-year parties, Teacher’s Appreciation Week, volunteer recognition celebrations, and other special events, we had the test scores to measure our progress. This year, we are doing all of those things, but the year is ending too quickly. Even this blog ...


In Prayer

Yesterday was an emotional time for me, with shocking ups and downs all day. The best experience was picking up the trophies, medallions, and ribbons for the Scholastic Awards Night which is coming up in two weeks. The worst was news that a friend and colleague, our school’s former principal, was seriously ill and had been hospitalized. I was in Slidell, LA picking up the awards when I had a reunion with the store’s owners. Pre-Katrina, I did lots of business with them at their store in Chalmette, LA. When it was time to order trophies this year, ...


A Beautiful Morning

The Professional Development day went off without a hitch. The atmosphere at the Basin St. Station was exciting. The meeting was held in the 4th floor reception hall with a view overlooking the neighborhood. The breakfast menu blended traditional foods with health foods. Good coffee is a requirement in New Orleans. We feasted on scrambled eggs, grits, croissants, strawberries, cantaloupe, sweet pastries, bacon, orange juice and yogurt. This was the first full day in-service for our faculty since school opened in August, with the exception of the meeting following the work stoppage in December. Today’s meeting was much more ...


Spring Fever

Do the students have Spring Fever? Have some of our teachers moved at a clip that was too fast and so hard that they are running out of gas before the end of the school year? Are there so many fires to put out that one administrator can’t possibly stay on top of them? I think the answer to all three questions is “Yes!” First the children: I have always noticed that the changing weather makes children shift their behavior. Our weather has been so crazy for the last month that we don’t know how to dress. The ...


Supply and Demand, Amen

As I searched the aisles of Home Depot a little while ago looking for chandelier cleaner, I spotted the famous McDonogh 42 Elementary Charter School Second Grade Teacher extraordinaire, Paulette Larkin, with her grandchildren making a purchase. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating her fame, but not her extraordinary status. She’s an excellent teacher who just happened to be pictured in a story on the front page of the Times-Picayune today. Okay, maybe it didn’t just happen, the principal selected her for the photograph, but she looks great in her photos. The photographer didn’t just happen to be ...


Awards Day Plans

I’m going to have some fun before I call it quits for tonight. I am going to create the Awards Day form for our teachers to list the students being recognized for outstanding performances. The reviewers need it by tomorrow morning, so I am on a deadline. This blog will be shorter than usual. Last week, while talking with the school’s principal, we discovered that we had different ideas about what an awards ceremony should look like for the school. At my former school, it was a big deal. We gave out trophies, ribbons, medallions, certificates, and pins. ...


If I'm on Time . . . .

I am going to an 8:00 meeting tomorrow morning to observe some principals in a focus group on leadership issues in New Orleans schools. This goes against the first of my four retirement rules. 1. No 8:00 meetings (a.m. or p.m.) 2. No Monday through Friday employment 3. No leaving the house if it’s raining 4. No interruptions between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon when The Young and the Restless is on. It will be a miracle, if i make it....


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