The Important Book I love summer! But, it’s not for the reasons you might assume. Don’t get me wrong, I love the warm (or should I say HOT) weather, days at the pool, and time to catch up with family and friends, but I truly appreciate the summer months because it allows us all time to put our energy and time into things that are IMPORTANT instead of URGENT.

During the school year, our days are filled with urgent things that need to be addressed immediately; these can range from the sick child throwing up in the classroom to the homework papers that need to be graded.  It is imperative that we deal with these urgent needs, but unfortunately, it often means some of our important ideas get put on the back burner.

This summer, I have been impressed with the amount of Lower School faculty members who are working on IMPORTANT things during their “time off” from school.

To name a few:

  • Patrick Knox and John Fiedler worked with the Middle School Science Department to evaluate and improve the scope and sequence of the Pre-K through 8th grade science curriculum.
  • The first grade team spent time developing four different science units that will include weekly hands-on science lessons in the classroom.
  • Rachael Newton, Becky Tyler-Gay, Marianne Stapleton, and Beth Ansley worked collaboratively to plan for the implementation of reading workshop in fifth grade.
  • Rachael Newton also traveled to Las Vegas to attend a conference on differentiation in order to learn more about meeting the individual needs of our students.
  • Cara Dancy-Jones attended a leadership conference in Colorado to learn about ways to provide more leadership opportunities for students in the Lower School.
  • Suzanne Ray, Colleen Chaney, Mary Craig Brown, Eileen Price, and Julie Folsom will all participate in the 21st Century Teacher’s Academy.
  • Mary Glenn Crumpler began researching smartphone use in the classroom and how they can be used as an effective tool for teachers.  She also began exploring how Twitter and other social media can be used to connect and collaborate with other educators.
  • The second grade team began researching and gathering materials for two new science units.
  • The fourth grade team worked with members of the third grade team to plan for implementing the Sitton Spelling program.
  • Marianne Stapleton, Colleen Ramsden, and I attended an Independent School Women’s Leadership conference where Doreen Kelly was the keynote speaker.
  • All faculty members are reading professional books this summer and taking time to reflect on their instructional practices and how they can be improved.

Pretty amazing group of educators!

Now the question becomes, how can we protect time spent on important things during the school year and not get overwhelmed with the urgent things?

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