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Director's Notes: Students' target behavior is 'respect'

Welcome to 2015 with all of its hopes, challenges, victories and, unfortunately, defeats that may come our way. One of the fun things about working in public education is that we have the opportunity to get "fresh starts" at different times of th...

Welcome to 2015 with all of its hopes, challenges, victories and, unfortunately, defeats that may come our way.

One of the fun things about working in public education is that we have the opportunity to get "fresh starts" at different times of the year.

The start of school in the fall brings a great deal of excitement and promise and it always brings with it a great deal of energy. Right around mid-year, we experience what in many ways amounts to a "halftime" with our holiday break. With cold weather and shorter days, a mid-year break can help to re-charge our batteries and we feel fortunate to be able to do so.

As we re-engage our students with the start of a new calendar year, our target behavior for our students is Respect. By definition, respect is to have esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability.

How this plays out at Crosslake Community School looks a lot like the ability to listen. When adults are talking to us, are we listening or choosing to ignore?

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When other students disagree with us, are we too quick to shout over the top of them to make our point rather than be still and allow the other person their time to state their position on something?

One of the most powerful teaching tools adults have at their disposal is modeling. In other words, am I demonstrating the behaviors I want to see in my children or students, or do I behave in a way that would say: "Do as I say, not as I do"?

As we start our new year, one of my goals is to be a better listener, which I hope will translate into a level of respect above what I am currently showing others.

Beyond the behavioral lessons we continue to work on here at school, we also have the formal task of periodic formal assessments that take place during the year. Beginning this week and running through Jan. 27, our students will be participating in NWEA assessments.

These tests serve as a benchmark, helping us to evaluate our curriculum and instructional practices as well as to gauge how our students are progressing during the year.

On a completely separate note: Please put on your calendars our annual Cabin Fever event, which coincides with Crosslake's WinterFest activities. We will be hosting games, food and music for our youngest community members from 3:30-5:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6. Please consider joining us!

Stay warm, folks.

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