It's work, not camp!

Looking back over my career, I’ve served as a teacher, principal, superintendent and chief administrator. I was with my daughters over the holidays, and they asked me, “Is there a job you haven’t done, Dad?” They would try to find a job that I hadn’t done, but usually I had worked in some capacity in the job before I was a professional educator. The reason I shared these job details with them is because it was important that they understood that you have to work hard and pay your dues. I explained to them that before you become a professional, you have to find jobs that don't pay as well but working hard in those jobs can get you to the next level.

For us to get to the next level in helping our students reach their potential, teachers and AEA staff know it takes a lot of hard work. This seems to be one of the key components that politicians and the media forget. They seem to think that we have a magic pill that we can just give students and their ability to read and do math, solve science problems, and have knowledge of global issues will come easily. At the same time, we have to do this by making all of our students cheerful and happy. As the title of this blog states, “That’s why it’s called work and not camp.” There has to be a high standard and much dedication.

As a principal, I always felt that the months of January, February and March were the prime months for learning time. There are few distractions with holidays and outdoor scheduled activities. This seems to be the stretch when teachers can make the biggest difference in the students’ academic year. Yet, it takes hard work for all of this to happen. Teachers have had their students for over four months, and they’ve learned their strengths and weaknesses, both academically and socially.

So, thank you for all the HARD WORK you’re doing to help your students in the next two to three months. This is the time to not let up on your diligent plans to help each and every student in your classrooms. This is the time that does make a huge difference in how much they will gain or lose during this academic year. We all know that it’s not easy, and those who are not in education have no idea the energy it takes to make this happen. We all went into this profession to make a difference in the lives of all of our students. Now is the time to make the difference for each and every child in your classroom. Thank you for your efforts!

PLCs at Northwest AEA
On another note, I would like to thank all of the employees at Northwest AEA who share their knowledge through their own Professional Learning Communities (PLCs). This month, we explore "Routines-Based Early Intervention-Supporting Young Children and Their Families" by AEA employees Kim Blankespoor, Becky Buckridge, Kecia Hickman, Teresa Hobbs and Meg Otto.

To learn more, see the Northwest AEA PLC work here:

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Educationally yours,

Dr. Tim Grieves
Chief Administrator