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Monday, November 23, 2015

Preparing for That First "Real Job!"

My first "real job" beyond babysitting was working at Dairy Treat in Menominee, Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Pinterelli owned the place, and had high expectations for their workers. Here are some of the lessons I learned:

1) Weigh the soft serve ice cream cones every time to make sure a "small" is 3 ounces, a medium, 5 ounces, and a large 7 ounces. (Customers want to know what to expect when they purchase a certain size.)
2) Wear a clean white shirt/uniform every day, and make sure your hair is tied up. (If we weren't dressed appropriately, we'd be sent home).
3) Count out change appropriately (this was hard at first!)
4) When there are no customers, clean all the stainless steel metal cabinetry on day, the "woodwork" another day, and the "painted surfaces" another day. (We learned that everyone on staff is responsible for how Dairy Treat looked to our customers.)
5) After listening to someone's order, ask: "Would you like anything else?" NOT: "Is that it?"  and always say "Thank you."
6) Be on time, and always look to see if your co-workers need a hand. (Be respectful of the owners and of other co-workers.)

These seem like simple things, but when I was a teenager, I needed direction in order to be the kind of employee the Pinterelli's wanted and needed for their business. Some of the expectations didn't come naturally, and I needed coaching to do things the correct way.

Our students come from a variety of homes and have their own personal experiences. We cannot assume that they are perfectly ready to join the workforce.  Students at the Escanaba Student Success Center are fortunate that staff members are providing a multitude of career awareness experiences, and helping them develop the skills to be a good worker. Today, I noticed a bulletin board in the hallway where the staff members are posting a variety of open positions for students to review. I am pleased that our staff members are helping students get their "first real job" as well as helping to provide job shadowing experiences!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Wonderful Resource!

Dr. Gina Pepin is one of our Title I teachers in our district and works at Lemmer Elementary School. She is a person who appears to always be on the hunt for research, as well as to identify methods to increase student achievement, particularly in reading. Today she shared the Title I Blog from Lemmer, and I must say, it is excellent. Teachers and parents will be able to gather some great information from this resource. I encourage you to check it out!

Click HERE!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Escanaba Area Public Schools' Mission

Yesterday I wrote about our vision: "Escanaba students--equipped to embrace the future as leaders and innovators."

The vision statement is "our desired future."--It is what we hope to see if we were to take a peek into the future.

So if our "vision" is what we hope to see in the future, then how do we get there?

Our schools have a "mission"...this is the work we will do to help us achieve our vision.

The District School Improvement Team identified the following statement as our mission:

"Igniting passion for excellence while inspiring creativity and instilling strength of character"

In order for our students to be ready to be "leaders" and "innovators" in their areas of interest, we must help them become excited to engage in the opportunities that await them once they leave us. We want them to "do their best work" and to meet and exceed expectations in everything they set out to do. We want them to be creative, because with the world changing each day, we need them to be adaptable and flexible so they can manage these changes. Success in future college/training endeavors will help them get to their own desired futures, however they must also be good citizens, and contributors to their community ("strength of character").

We have a big job, and our vision and mission will help us work for the benefit of all of our students.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Escanaba Area Public School's Vision for the Future

Escanaba Students--Equipped to embrace the future as leaders and innovators...

That's our vision.

In 2014, the District School Improvement Team poured through feedback from a survey, as well as information from seven (7) input sessions. So....what does the vision really mean?

It means these things:

We want our students to be READY....for life.
We want them to have tools ("equipped") so that they have everything necessary to be able to be successful in life, as well as to be able to contribute to the good of society.
We want them to "lead"--to be able to think for themselves, to make good decisions, and to influence others to do the right thing for the right reasons.
We want them to be able to be innovative--to demonstrate their creativity, and to be able to solve problems.
We want them to be able to be passionate about whatever they do...when the future is "embraced," it is something that is cared for, something that is loved, and something that is meaningful.

The vision statement for our district is pretty simple, yet it is a result of many ideas that were developed toward creating the best future for our students as possible.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Parent Survey is still open!

I sent out a survey to parents via "Alert Solutions" (PowerSchool) in order to give them an opportunity to weigh in on our district's progress toward the Board's goals in the areas of:

1) Student Achievement
2) Communication
3) Facilities
4) Fiscal Responsibility

I am hearing that some parents never received the e-mail. There is still time to give your feedback! Here is the link to the survey:

Thank you!

OR just click HERE!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Family Time

Now that Parent-Teacher Conferences have concluded, our teachers and students are ready for the weekend. Many families have planned some special activities, with the 1st day of deer season falling on Sunday. Some people may be heading to "camp," while others might be using the time to do some shopping or perhaps to just relax.

I encourage our students, staff, and their families to carve out at least an hour or so to focus on "family time" over this weekend. For some, traditions such as spending time at hunting camp, watching the Packer/Lions game, or playing cards at  home can help serve as the binding agent for close relationships. Positive relationships where families can laugh and play together not only help families, they also strengthen schools!

So have a great weekend and be safe!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Parent-Teacher Conferences Today and Tomorrow

E-mail, newsletters, phone calls, and Power School Announcements and Power School Gradebook are all ways that our school staff members connect with parents know how their children are performing at school. I am pleased we have these tools available for our families.

However, one of the more powerful things parents and teachers can do, is to take time to sit down in person, to discuss a child's progress. It is normal for parents to feel a bit nervous about coming into school for this purpose. What will the teacher say? What kind of news will be shared?

Parents may not realize it, but sometimes the TEACHERS are nervous too! They might be thinking about how best to show a parent, all the things they've noticed about a child's performance at school. They want to be clear, encouraging, and helpful. They want to make sure they can find out from the parents, what has worked at home for the student.

I hope parents and teachers have productive conversations today and tomorrow at parent-teacher conferences. In addition, it is important that parents know that if at any time, they need to find out more about how to help their children succeed, that they should arrange to meet with the teachers MORE than just at parent-teacher conference time.