Sunday, June 12, 2016

Keep It Loose, Keep It Tight

One of my favorite musicians is a relatively new singer named Amos Lee.  He has a soulful, bluesy, folky sound that is perfect to work to or listen to while hanging out with friends.  One of my favorite songs is titled, "Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight."  Legend has it that the song was inspired by a homeless man who told Amos to "Keep it Loose, Keep it Tight" after he gave the man some money on the streets of Philadelphia one day.

As I was running last week, the song came on and I was moved by the chorus.
"We all need a place we can go 
to feel over the rainbow.  
But sometimes 
We forget what we got
Who we are
Oh who we are not
I think we gotta chance 
To make it right.
Keep it loose.
Keep it tight."

It might seem like a stretch to some but, the more I listen to the song, the more I'm convinced it could be a metaphor for life.  What matters most to you?  What are your priorities?  How is what you are doing or not doing aligned to your personal mission?  What happens when things are too loose?  Are you too relaxed or unmotivated?  How does being too tight, too anxious, or too serious affect your daily life?

I know that in my first year as principal there were many learning curves.  There were things that may have been too loose and too tight.  I think that balance in a school of too loose and too tight is a fine line.  How do we allow students to lead and encourage student voice while still defining rules and expectations that allow for a safe, positive, predictable learning environment?  Together, Kristi and I found ourselves in many situations we didn't expect to be in.  Personally, I know that I was forced to examine who I was and who I was not.

This isn't always a bad thing.  Madeline L'Engle once said, "It's a good thing to have all the props pulled out from under us occasionally.  It gives us some sense of what is rock under our feet and what is sand."  We can't change the past but we can reflect and learn from experiences right now.  Reflection is an art form that allows us to think deeply about our lives and make changes that lead to personal and professional growth.  As I reflect on this year, there are may things that I realize need to be explicitly stated, work that needs to be done to improve our school culture, and ways we can come together.  At the end of the day, we all want to do what's best for kids.  As you finish the school year, take some time to reflect on your year.  Ask yourself what I could I do better.  Yet don't forget to ask yourself what you did right.  At the end of the day, you changed lives.  You worked miracles.  Thank you.  
Keep it loose.  Keep it tight.

"We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today."  
Stacia Tauscher

"One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.  The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child."  Carl Jung

Big Rocks:
Thank you to everyone who helped organize the Volunteer Luncheon, brought food, and dined with our volunteers.  We heard nothing but positive comments from our families.  They couldn't believe what a wonderful spread was provided!

Thank you to Bill Lietz for organizing another fabulous Talent Show.  Our students really love this opportunity.  Time and time again, I've told Bill that he doesn't have to put in so much time but he always responds that he does it for the kids; that many of them need a safe and positive place to go after school and he's right.  Thanks Bill!  We just might need to "Keep it tight" with audience expectations next year.  ;)

Thank you to our fabulous custodians who have been very flexible with all of our end of the year shenanigans.  Extra garbage cans.  Tables moved around.  Chairs put out.  We appreciate you guys!

Check your email for the All School Celebration times.  For those classes who have the Kona Ice truck during lunch, teachers do not need to help.  We were only able to have Kona Ice visit from 11:30-1:30 so the noon monitors and Kristi and I will be out helping!  It's going to be a beautiful day!

Sixth grade teachers please review your emails for 6th grade send off information.  We will watch the rain carefully.  A big thank you to all of the 6th grade teachers but especially to Wendy for taking the lead.  This is always a wonderful day for our students.

An email will be forthcoming regarding autograph times for the last day of school.  There will be a Cooper lunch following the student departure.  There is a sign up for Jimmy Johns in the office from the Enthusiasm team.  Don't forget to come outside with us as we wave goodbye to our kiddos!

Thank you to Samantha Slack for filling in for Dawn at the end of the year.  It was not an easy job but we really appreciate it!

Sign up sheets will be on our doors this week.  Please sign up and don't forget to review your check out list and signatures prior to check out!

Calendar for the Week of June 13:
Monday: All School Celebration
Tuesday: 6th Grade School's Out Concert 9:35, 1:55
               Mod Pizza Dine to Donate
Wednesday: 6th Grade Send Off
                    PARS Data Due
                    Zoo Trip
Thursday: Last Day!

1 comment:

  1. Nice post Sarah! Always important to reflect and also look for balance. Sounds like you are doing both. Keep it up!!