Saturday, October 25, 2014

14th Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest-Fundraiser for United Way

It is that time of year again when the leaves are changing and the autumn festivities are in full force at Monteith Elementary.  As you know, the 14th Annual Pumpkin Decorating Contest-Fundraiser for United Way was a huge hit with over 100 families participating and donating. This is one of my favorite events; not only does the contest support a worthy cause, it also brings our Monteith Community together in a fun and creative way.  

People can live their best lives when they are educated, financially stable and healthy.

That's why the Monteith Pumpkin Contest has joined forces with United Way for Southeastern Michigan, to help connect all people in Greater Detroit to the resources they need to obtain a quality education, financial stability and a healthy life.  The United Way highlights education, income, and health as their primary consideration:

United Way Works to End America’s Education Crisis:

Education is the cornerstone of individual and community success. But with more than 1.2 million children dropping out each year, America faces an education crisis. The cost? More than $312 billion in lost wages, taxes and productivity over their lifetimes. These trends are reversible, but only when communities and public, private and nonprofit sectors work together.

United Way Helps Americans Achieve Financial Stability:

As many as one-third of working Americans do not earn enough money to meet their basic needs. Wages have not kept pace with the rising cost of housing, healthcare, and education and currently, 40 million Americans are working in low-paying jobs without basic health and retirement benefits.  For families walking a financial tightrope, unable to save for college, a home, or retirement, United Way is here to help.
United Way Works for a Healthier America:
Whether it is a neighbor without health insurance, a victim of abuse, or someone struggling with mental illness or an addiction, United Ways are working to ensure everyone has access to affordable and quality care.
Your financial support will help build a better tomorrow.  We appreciate the Monteith Community and their involvement in the Pumpkin Decorating Contest-Fundraiser for United Way.  Visit The United Way for additional information on how your donation can make a difference.

The Pumpkin Contest also supports our connectivity to each other.  I love knowing that families are working on this amazing project together.  I really enjoy the creativity and effort families put into their pumpkins.  It is amazing to see all the different festive creations!  I encourage families to continue to “slow down” and make an effort to spend “quality time” together, during these busy autumn days that are filled with school expectation, after school activities, homework, preparing for the holidays and other family responsibilities.  Supporting family relationships and slowing down to enjoy each other’s company will increase a happier and healthier America.  

Check out all our amazing Monteith Pumpkins!  

Have a great week!  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Be Connected, Inspired and Inspirational!

Being a connected educator allows for differentiated professional development and daily inspiration to support our professional growth. This blog post is a collection of inspirational videos, blogs and advice that will continue to guide our work as educators, understanding that sustaining and fostering positive relationships is the key to a successful school year!  Be Connected, Inspired and Inspirational!

  • Relationships - The Key to Learning
  • "Kids don't learn from people they don't like!"
  • "You say it long enough it starts to be a part of you."
  • "We teach anyway... because that is what we do! We are educators... We are born to make a difference!"
  • "Every kid needs a champion!"

You Tube session featuring @TaylorMali
  • "Teachers are miracle workers!"
  • "That's an excellent question, what do you think?"
  • "I'm a teacher, this is what I do!"

The Kid President gets it!  

  • "Ohh, now I get it."  
  • "Signs that the student is beginning to face themselves as a thinker."

I am inspired each day by our students and the many talented faculty at our school!  I am also inspired by user-generated content that I find online.  Many of the inspirational items listed above I saw on twitter. Following educators on twitter and blog reading is always uplifting, and it provides me with differentiated professional development, while connecting with great educators around the world.  It can be a bit overwhelming due to the amount of blogs, videos, and information available at all hours of the day.  I try to keep it simple and scroll my twitter feed two or three times a day.  It only takes a couple minutes.  Yes, I do not see it all, and that is fine because there is plenty of inspiration to go around.  I don't read every blog I come across, just the ones that might support our professional growth. I make it a point to check out the following blogs each week:

The Compelled Educator via @Jennifer_Hogan
Bailey & Derek's Daddy via @Jonharper70bd
Fueling Education via @Vroom6
The Colorful Principal via @benjamingilpin

I also read and follow members of the #compelledtribe. I have never met any of these individuals but their blogs inspires me to be a better principal.  They have great energy and passion for educating children and supporting professional growth.  Check them out if you get a chance. 

It is always important to surround ourselves with individuals who are passionate about their work, inspiring each other to be the best possible educators for our students and colleagues.  Be Connected, Inspired and Inspirational!

I look forward to sustaining another school year with an amazing group of connected educators and most importantly... students who inspire us each and every day!  

Enjoy sustaining positive relationships… it is the most important thing we can do for learning!

Keith Howell
Be positive and passionate about the greatest job in the world… teaching children!