Posts

Melt.

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I have done a pretty good job shielding my own children from my emotions since March. (Let's be real. If you know me, I'm not known for my emotions.) Moving to remote learning after successfully being 5 days in-person since August 17 (due to a county-wide stay at home order) is heartbreaking. Tonight, I sat at our home computer, crying quietly after sending the letters out to families. My nine-year-old daughter came into the room. She asked me why I was crying. I said I didn't want to have to do remote learning again. She said me too. I said it's really hard. She said I know. I said mommy worries about you and your sister when we can't be in school. But I also worry about my 300 other kids. I worry how they are doing. I worry they are staying safe. I worry this is too hard. She gave me a hug. She is ok sharing her mom with 300 kids.  Emotional or not, this melted me. Tonight, I worry for all of us. Tomorrow, I work for all of us; and I promise that work doesn't

The Gambler

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I make an awful gambler. I like to play it safe to a fault. (Kenny Rogers didn't teach me anything I didn't already know.) Once in Las Vegas, I hit big--three-card poker, 2 big hands, 4 deals apart. I took all the winnings, put it in the room safe, and it actually went home with me and paid off the trip. Know when to walk away, know when to run. Boring, right? Even game shows that have a gambling component make me nervous. The game with the partners who are separated and the giant wall and at the end you have to go with a number or risk it all....that makes me 3rd person anxious. The "zonks" on Let's Make a Deal and the "Whammies" on Press Your Luck turn my stomach. I don't like to make any sports bets, mostly because I don't like to be wrong, and especially on an outcome I can't control. One in the hand vs. two in the bush and all. In June, I didn't know what we for sure had for this school year. First, we got cleared to start summer c

Teachers have Three Loves

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 " Teachers have three loves: love of learning, love of learners, and the love of bringing the first two loves together."–Scott Hayden It's been 3 weeks since our doors opened to students after what can only be described as a crazy end to the 19-20 school year and the worst professional summer I have ever experienced. These 3 weeks are the reward and the answer. Students are in the building and classes are full go. It is lovely. In the past 3 weeks we have come up with new phrases that are spoken throughout the day-  Mask Up! Spread Out! Speak up!- and new routines that have become commonplace. We have a new bell schedule that I am not sure anyone knows yet (except for the juniors begging me to keep a 1:59pm dismissal for next year. They know that time). The faculty and staff have formed new relationships with students we haven't had the pleasure to work with yet and great times catching up with students we had in years past. We do things different at lunch, but we kn

Athletic Spectator Policy Update

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  Dear Kennedy Families- Not so long ago, our prayers were united for our students. "Please let them be able to go to school." "Please let them have a sports season." "Please let us watch them play." How lucky we are that so far, our prayers have been answered. While there are certainly challenges to making all this happen, the Kennedy administration, faculty, support staff, and athletic department has risen to the call to serve our students to help facilitate these opportunities. Our initial spectator policy was a more liberal interpretation of the Ohio Dept. of Health order; after hearing the Governor's remarks and being in contact with ODH, Trumbull County Dept of Health, and Warren City Schools administration, we have dialed back our spectator policy for home football games to be more in line with those interpretations. In summary, here are the three major changes: Students may not buy individual tickets. (Students may only attend if they are famil

Winter is Coming.

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There are a few TV shows that impregnate our culture so even those people that didn't watch have reference to phrases, characters, or moments. I do not know the answer or even know what show "Who shot JR?" is from, but I know that phrase (Dallas? I am refusing to Google the answer). Fonzi jumped the shark; Ross and Rachel were ON 👏A👏BREAK👏; under anesthesia before my tonsillectomy, I greeted my doctor in Jerry Seinfeld's tone: "Hello, Newman." and when getting shocking news, I put a hand to my chest and yell, "I'm coming Elizabeth!" "Winter is Coming" is the Stark family motto from Game of Thrones. Didn't watch? You saw the meme a million times. Ned Stark, holding his sword. "Brace Yourselves. <Insert thing here> is Coming."  Winter is Coming. Be vigilant. Be prepared.  That is what we are doing. There are no good answers when talking about back to school. There are pros and cons to every plan, to every way of d

Commencement Address 2020

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Here is the transcript of my address for graduation on May 23, 2020, which was a hybrid celebration: in-person, personal graduations combined in a video along with other awards and congratulations. Link to the video follows. Good afternoon. It is my pleasure to address the Class of 2020 at your high school commencement. During this time apart, you’ve been inundated with advice and quotes and memes and slogans. Some poignant and some funny but I found none more fitting than this one. One of my favorite authors, and certainly one of the most quoted, CS Lewis, wrote, “What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.” Think about this. What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. This could be where you physically are, but more importantly, your role at the time. We call this empathy, or putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. This virus, this quarantine, has been inc

To the Class of 2020

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We delivered gift bags to the seniors. In the bag was their cap and gown, alumni sticker, gift from their House parent, a homemade cookie from Sra Santiago, and a letter from teachers and staff to each student. I would like to share mine. To the Class of 2020: Once upon a time, I was a student-teacher. As my time in that classroom was ending (after only a semester of school), I asked the cooperating teacher I was with, “how do you let them go? You are with these kids everyday, don’t you miss them?” She laughed, having 30 years experience, and said, “it gets easier.” It does get easier to say goodbye. Especially after the final nine weeks. If we were still in school, you would be DONE. Done, done, done. You would have either thought or said aloud something to the effect, “It doesn’t matter. I am going to graduate even if I don’t get this done.” You would have chanced singing the real lyrics at prom, hoping those old uncool chaperones didn’t know the real words and coul