Posts

Finished. For now.

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The end of the year is in sight. While the finish line looks so close, right after that last sign of relief, the work, and the journey, will continue.



Our students are preparing for finals and while scheduling their courses for next year. Their choices are reflective of their performance from this school year. They are working eventually towards earning their diploma, the ultimate finish line of high school.

The seniors are gone. They walked out with clean lockers (well, mostly), finals complete. Next week holds practices for the end of the year celebrations. Done? No....Just beginning in fact. Even though I have a "milestone" high school reunion this year--my own graduation feels like it is a million miles in the past, BEFORE the beginning of my adult life. College, career, family...it's all just the beginning.

The teachers are counting down too. Unless you have worked in the school, it's hard to know how emotionally draining being an educator is. I even forgot a li…

Test Less. Smile More.

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Standardized testing season is upon us. At Kennedy, we are thankfully removed from much of the high-stakes testing requirements imposed by federal and state mandates; however, we are required to give tests to determine points for graduation (which replaced the Ohio Graduation Test, or OGT, for the Class of 2018 and beyond). The Diocese has selected the IOWA assessments- a nationally normed test that allows us to track academic progress in key areas. We also use the ACT college entrance exam. Students receiving state-funded scholarships are required to take the state-mandated tests in grades 3-8 as well.
My history with this high-stakes testing is a bitter one. I was a teacher in a public school, in a tested subject. I had to get all my content taught before the test at the end of April. I had to review, guess what content the state would stress this year, ending with student scores published in the newspaper at the end of it all. I am not a nervous or anxious person by nature....and …

Just for Kicks, Just for Kennedy

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It's auction season!

I have told you all before that auction was the first Kennedy event I really attended. It was 10 years ago (wow!).


What an amazing night! I was really blown away by the whole event. Being at a live auction for the first time was so exciting. I admit, I got caught up in the moment and bid on a Lake Erie Boat trip, which to this day I haven't lived down. Thankfully I didn't win--at that point, we were not at a financial place to spend over a thousand dollars on a day trip--but it sounded great at the time. (Please refer to the Friends episode when Joey buys the Mr. Beaumont. One of my favorites). I didn't win anything in the Chinese auction that year. (I do have a Gucci and Juicy Couture purse from the following two years though. On a current 7-year slump, looking for luck at the purse table next week). I also was outbid on every silent auction item. I went to the Kennedy auction and didn't "win" a single thing.

However, that night wasn…

Our Hearts, outside our body

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Having a child is to "decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body" -Elizabeth Stone
Every day, I send my heart to school. They get out of the car with bookbags too big for their little bodies, winter hats already mussing up their ponytails, wearing jumpers and kneesocks. They kiss me, say goodbye and off they walk into school. 
Every day I drop them off, there isn't a time my throat doesn't catch as they close the door and I pull out of the parking lot. I should be worried if they will eat all of their lunch, or if they get along with their classmates, or if they should be more advanced in their reading level. I shouldn't worry there could be a safety incident.
Every day, my heart is across town. I can't be there; and parents at Upper Campus, you send your hearts to me. So I want you to be assured that while we can never guarantee a risk-free environment, we, the administration and faculty, are working hard to be proactive regarding…

Remember Why You Started

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Exercising is hard. It's hard to find time in my day. It's hard to be motivated. I don't particularly like doing any solo exercising, like running, but trying to fit in a class, or find enough people to play a sport is harder and harder as we all become more busy with our parenting schedules. 
I happen to have a friend that is really dedicated to exercising. Her social media posts are inspiring, her habits are enviable. (Not to mention her workout gear is totally on point, you know who you are!). She posted this quote recently:


It really hit me in the feels. I know it was about getting in a workout. But it was something I needed. When things are hard, remember why you started. 
Being an educator is important, and it is important EVERY. DAY. Sometimes its grueling, with demands coming from every which way. Sometimes it is thankless. Often making a decision that is right is not always one that is politic or popular. Sometimes I make mistakes, sometimes I have to excuse mist…

One Word

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Trending in early 2018 was #oneword. The idea is based on New Year's Resolutions and the highly unlikely chance that anyone follows through with their list of things to change in the new year. Instead, choose one word only, and focus on that. Just one word.

In reality, my one word could be something like... #laundry. Man, does that stuff pile up. But I only get ONE word. So laundry seems pretty ridiculous as the number one thing to focus on. After all, when all the clothes are clean, I don't think I have enough hangers to put it all away...

There were a few words that I liked, but felt a little ambiguous. Just like a joke isn't funny when you have to explain it, these words lose their meaning, or worse, take on a negative tone. For instance, I want to be #relentless. Hard-working and determined; non-stop grinding at my tasks until they are done to the best of my ability and when finished, step back and see what I can do better. Except #relentless makes me think of my kids…

It's a Chromebook Christmas!

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Hi Kennedy Families!

I have had several parents contact me asking about Chromebooks as Christmas gifts and what should they be looking for in a model (whether they are purchasing themselves or writing a list to Santa). I am a BIG fan of Google Chromebooks and Google Drive. I earned my Google Certified Educator Level 1, and many of my training sessions when I worked at the Educational Service Center were based around Google Drive and the Chromebook itself as more and more schools move away from iPads and Windows machines to Chromebooks.



What is a Chromebook anyways? I often use the phrase "it's the internet in the form of a laptop." A Chromebook uses Google's Chrome OS (not Windows or Mac). It feels a lot like Windows, with the launcher in the bottom left corner and the ability to pin apps to the taskbar. You have to have a Google account (@gmail or @warrenjfk.com are both Google accounts) to log into a Chromebook.

A Chromebook runs online apps-- you can't downloa…