Dear Blake Families:
I hope that this update finds everyone well and that you were able to enjoy the beautiful autumn weather this weekend. After our eventful start to the week with power outages and inconveniences, it was great to see the spirit at Blake on Halloween and the pumpkins in the LMC have become a wonderful tradition! Thank you to Eileen Hurley and Kelly Dengos for leading the Student Council with these efforts. Our family had a nice weekend - dinner out on Friday night, soccer and other activities for the kids on Saturday, and we all participated in a 5K 'fun run' in Holliston on Sunday to help raise funds for a new playground at one of the elementary schools.
It is hard to believe that November is already here, and I know I many of you share the feeling that 'time is moving quickly' and the 'pace of school/life' is rapidly increasing. I am also aware that I contribute to this pace with expectations and initiatives that are in place and shared throughout the year. As I look ahead to the coming weeks with many wonderful programs 'in the works' and the inherent stress and 'craze' of the holiday season at our doorstep, an overwhelming feeling begins to percolate. As shared at the meeting at the meeting with cluster leaders this week, I do recognize these feelings and I hope to find ways to alleviate and help to establish and maintain a balance for students, staff, and families alike. I have used this expression before, and I believe it applies but it is often a challenge to, 'say no to a good idea'. However, timing is important and this is something I know I need to remember, that oftentimes an idea is a good one, but the timing itself may not be right.
On a personal level I also recognize that some of the pressure and expectations I feel with the 'pace' and 'busyness' can be self-imposed. I hold high expectations for myself, and although I believe that is a good thing, I also know that it is important to keep them 'in check' and balanced. I do not define myself as a perfectionist, but tendencies in that regard are certainly part of my composite. Along these lines, I have posted two articles that I came across this week that I believe you may find of interest. The first comes from The Wall Street Journal, entitled 'Inside the Minds of the Perfectionists' (located on the Articles tab of this blog), and the article highlights research that has connected the influence of both genetics and child-rearing on one's perfectionist tendencies. As is often the case, I found the information beneficial on three levels - as a parent, educator, and for myself. I hope you do as well. The second article, 'In Defense of Repetition' (located on the Articles tab of this blog), is written by Kathleen Porter-Magee and relates the actual 'practice of practicing' to the art of teaching and instruction. In this brief article, the author highlights Doug Lemov's book Practice Perfect: 42 Rules for Getting Better at Getting Better. In essence it is noted that our culture recognizes that practice and repetition are understood as being critical for many professionals' development and training, and we need to keep that in mind for teacher training as well. Having both attended and led professional development, I found myself particularly drawn to this notion. These two articles represent a balance as well - it is important to practice and repeat in order to improve, but it is equally important to reflect and allow oneself to simply 'not be perfect'. I will continue to try and find this balanced approach.
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