Important Upcoming Dates
- December 12 – GMS Community Service Day during our Early Release Day
- December 12 – The Teacher Workshop portion of the Early Release Day will focus on technology.
- December 13 – Monthly PIE meeting in the GMS Library beginning at 6:00 pm
- December 14 – Progress Reports go home to with students.
- December 14 – School Dance sponsored by the 8th Grade 6:00 – 8:00 pm in the GMS Gym
- December 19 – Faculty Holiday get together during the faculty meeting. Details to follow.
- December 21 – Last school day of the year activities: Music Concerts, team activities and the annual Student/Faculty Basketball game.
- December 24 – January 1- Christmas Holiday Break
We still have some tags on the cabinet doors by Laurie’s desk for families in need this Christmas. If you would like to participate in making the holidays a little brighter for some of our middle school families, all you need to do is take a tag, or two, from the cabinet doors and and bring in the requested item, wrapped, to Teresa Merrill. There is absolutely no obligation to participate in this!
Scholastic Books Sale
This sale is so amazing, that it should not be missed. Books for as much as 80% off the cover price and a great selection too. They also have lots of other stuff that make great stocking stuffers for kids and adults. The sale begins on December 6th and runs through December 15th. It is at the Scholastic Books warehouse in the Saco Industrial Park.
For more information you can checkout the sale on the Scholastic Books website. (I think you can also get a coupon for a discount)
What are Teachers Reading?
Unfortunately, with age comes the destruction of brain cells, and that keeps me from remembering who first posted this to Twitter. Could have been Patrick Larkin, George Couros, Alex Couros or just about anybody, but I thought it was important enough to pass on to our faculty. The 50 most popular books that teachers are reading is a very comprehensive list of titles of interest to teachers. Rather than having me plagiarize myself, I am just going to place a link to the site here: http://edudemic.com/2012/12/best-books-for-teachers/ .
Some of these titles I have read, but many are very new to me. Guess I know what I am going to be doing over the Christmas Break!
“I was just kidding!”
Both Mrs. Hanley and I have lost count on how many times we have heard this as an excuse for some sort of inappropriate student behavior. Often, when students make this statement to us in response to our question of “What did you do?”, we tell the student that “if we had a nickel for each time we heard this…” I know that this isn’t really a good response and the kids really don’t understand what we are saying, or why we are saying it.
It is our experience that most of the behaviors that escalate into that zone of inappropriateness, start out as just fooling around. Kids will be kidding each other and then one takes it to a different level, or it get overdone by one student and they don’t realize that they are now creating discomfort with their acquaintance.
We all really do need to be more mindful in out words. Words that we don’t think could create a situation for someone, often does. Once we utter those words, it is impossible to bring them back and the hurt that accompany those words hurt for a long time. We only need to look at the circumstance that was created by a couple of “fun loving” morning DJ’s in Australia to find an example of fooling around going very wrong!
I know it’s early for New Year’s resolutions, but this is one I am going to push in the weeks ending this year with our students and for myself. So, in honor of Emily Dickinson, who was born on this day in 1830, I close this section with the follow quote on words: “A word is dead when it is said, some say. I say it just begins to live that day.” Happy Birthday, Emily.
GMS Community Service Day
This coming Wednesday all of our students will be engaged in some kind of service to our community. Last week I gave several examples of the tasks our kids will be taking on. For me, this is the best day of the year. It really is great to see our kids engaged in making the lives of many of our community members brighter, better, experiencing some joy as these kids go out into our community to share the joy of their lives. It is a day where both the “givers” and the “receivers” experience the warmth of human kindness in every way.
A Personal Plea from My Advisory
Our Advisory students are taking on bullying behaviors head-on! We have spent the past two months researching ways for our school to lessen the incidents of bullying and we think we have discovered something.
First, we ask all of you to go to the StopBullying. gov website and vote for the top anti-bullying PSA. These PSA’s have been created by students from school around the country and entered into the website’s contest. These videos are all very powerful and they deliver a great message for students and adults. To vote, you need only click on this link: http://stopbullying.challenge.gov/submissions.
When you have viewed the videos, select the one you like the most (I promise you, this is a lot harder than it sounds!) and submit your vote.
The deadline for this contest in 11:00 pm tonight (sorry for the short notice), but your vote will help to choose an excellent PSA and you will have seen 7 great videos to help change your disposition about bullying behaviors.
Check This Out
As we have examined our practices to make sure that we align our curriculum with the Common Core State Standards, there has been a lot of conversations about where poetry fits in. This video from our very good friends at TED, I hope, will rejuvenate our thoughts about where this form fits with our students. Prepare to be amazed!
They say the the true sign of aging is when your perception of time passing increases. I know that I am getting old when I continue to refer to the fact that “I can’t believe that it is time for Progress Reports again”! But, alas, it is that time again when we report out to parents and guardians on the progress of the children. We will distribute the Progress Reports on Friday, December 14th, during advisory period. You can look for the Progress Reports when your child gets home and then asks you for $5.00 to go to the dance that night!
If, for some reason, your child’s report is not what you expected, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s advisor for answers. You do not need to wait for Parent/Teacher conferences to come around again. Also. you can check on your child’s progress using the Infinite Campus Student Information System Parent Portal. If you have forgotten how to access your child’s account or if you never got your user name and password, please call Terry LaMontagne in our Guidance Office and she will help get you connected.