Wow, how school conversations have changed over the years.  When I was in school, that was when Jesus wore pampers, talk was so much simpler than it is now.  As I recall, we used to talk about sports, talk about the coolest girl in  the school, talk about what we were going to do when we grew up.  Of course like all young students back then, we would tell jokes about each other, we called that “cracking” on someone until they gave up and stopped talking.  Those were the days.

Now the battle lines have been drawn by this generation of kids.  Their conversations are totally different than then.  Now they talk about vaping, what they can get away with, what gang they are a member of, of course this is just for them to attempt to grow their status in the school and now th

ey are starting more increasingly talk about shooting somebody they don’t like or have a disagreement with.  Oh, they also talk about putting that person’s house on fire or putting a bomb in it.

This is disturbing to me because in this current society you never know what is serious or not.  We must fight to change the conversations that are out there and teach the students what the importance of what they say.

At the school, we take any and all of this type of talk serious.  Every conversation that is reported to us initiates an investigation and a report to the parents and in most cases, the local law enforcement officer (SRO) of the school.

We are spreading the word around school that this is called “communicating a threat” and no matter if they are serious or not, we look into it for accuracy and the student will be disciplined for his/her actions.

We intend to continue to demonstrate that East Hall Middle School is one of the safest schools in Hall County.  Each parent, student, teacher and other school personnel are a part of that.

Kudo’s to the students that continue to report these types of incidents.  It shows that they want to be an intricate part of this safety team.

Have a great weekend.

I was inspired this week by a lot of good things that went on in the school.  If you didn’t know, we have been preparing for our every three year inspection.  That inspection was this past Tuesday.  There were about 23 outsiders showing up to go through our school with a fine tooth comb to see how we conducted business every day.  They interviewed me, the APs, the Counselors, all  the teachers and some parents.  They even watched the students as they walked through the hallways, as they do.  Sometimes, you don’t know what to expect in the hallway, you just don’t know.

But during one class change, one inspector told me “you have some great students, they are so nice and mannerable and quiet!” He asked “are they always like that?”  I thought it was a trick question.

The day before, I had mentioned to the students during our announcement, I said “do you remember when your parents would tell you to clean your room up and remember to be on your best behavior for tomorrow, because your Grandparents were coming?”  Well, pretend your Grandparents are coming tomorrow.  I think it worked because the students were fantastic!  They made me proud.

The inspectors were all smiles at the end of the day and said that we did a great job hosting them.  The said “thanks, for your hospitality.”

In other news, we held our 2nd student recognition breakfast this week.  We recognized about 18 students who were selected by their teachers for representing some of the Viking Values and being an example for others in the school. Each student was called to the cafeteria for donuts and fellowship.  Then each was given an award by me.  That was special.

Sadly, we have had a rash of students using inappropriate language resulting in them communicating a threat.  Though sometimes they may think they are only joking with someone, they need to understand that these types of threats cannot and will not be tolerated at East Hall.  Once I finish an investigation, the student may face serious consequences and that is not good.  Please be sure to talk with your son or daughter about the seriousness of threats in the school.  Each threat will be taken seriously and the student will be dealt with severely.

We completed our first round of ACCESS testing.  Mrs Pritchett and her team did a great job in organizing and administering the test.  It took about 1 1/2 weeks to test almost 340 students.

We are a good school, with good people, who care!  That is all I could ever ask for.

Until the next time.

As I look around the school every day, I stop and wonder how many people really know what is going on behind the doors of our school, any school for that matter.  When you  turn the TV on and watch  the news, more often than not, what you see are all the negative things that this generation of humans, our future are doing.  Very rarely do you see any of the good things they are doing, the efforts they are making, nor some of the conversations they are having.

Maybe that is part of the problem.  They continually get the wrong end of the stick.  They continually get beatdown and not built up in a society that has molded them to be who and what they are today.

I see, first hand, the good things they are doing at East Hall.  Students are getting training in TV productions, students are learning to read and singing their music, students are learning instruments to play and playing them very well, I might add.  I see students putting forth efforts to get good grades, not because of the pressure they get from their parents, but because they have a vision for a future they desire to chase.

These are some of the stories that you will never see on the news.  I am one who still believes that these good news stories still outweigh the bad we see on TV.

I see students learning technology, students learning the art of sports and teamwork, students learning great social and communication skills. Students are learning the best way they know how and how it is available to them.  Students are doing so much more than most people see.

The disconnect is the method in which it is taught versus the way it is received and learned.  Educators do a great job in teaching and pushing students to be great but it is lost sometimes in the way students see the necessity of  the subject being presented.  Students want to know the who, what, when, where, and why the subject is important.  That’s the jist of this generation, if we can explain the “W’s” to them, then they are willing to learn it their way.  I don’t care how they learn, I just care that they learn.  We, as educators, are the vessels for their knowledge and a step on their ladder.

Through us, the news media will one day get it right and show the good things that are going on in the world of education.  Here at East Hall, if you haven’t seen something good, click on the link below and be Blessed:

https://www.11alive.com/article/news/local/gainesville/east-hall-middle-special-needs-student-scores-in-basketball-game/85-28fd6f7d-3d94-44bd-97e7-cc6b9e73107a

 

According to Ubuntu philosophy, which has its origins in ancient Africa, people are born without ‘ena’, or selfhood, and instead must acquire it through interactions and experiences over time.  So the ‘self’/‘other’ distinction that’s axiomatic in Western philosophy is much blurrier in Ubuntu thought.  As the Kenyan-born philosopher John Mbiti put it in African Religions and Philosophy (1975): ‘I am because we are, and since we are, therefore I am.’

We know from everyday experience that a person is partly forged in the crucible of community. Relationships inform self-understanding. Who I am depends on many ‘others’: my family, my friends, my culture, my work colleagues. The self I take grocery shopping, say, differs in self actions and behaviors from the self that talks to my supervisor.  Even my most private and personal reflections are entangled with the perspectives and voices of different people, be it those who agree with me, those who criticize, or those who praise me.

The point is, we have gotten away from “it takes a village to raise a child.” Much like it was when I was growing up.  I remember when I did something in the community or around the corner from where I lived, when I got home, my parents already knew about it and I got dealt with, without question.  I didn’t have anything to say and I’d better not say anything negative to my parents or I might have lost a few teeth.  I dared not behave in a manner such as many kids do today.  I may have not made it to the age I am today, or at least I would think that.

I see the students every day in school and I think, “what happened?”  Has our world evolved so much that we have forgotten about the children.  Where is the village?  Where is respect and responsibility?  Where is the idea of caring for others?

My heart grieves every time I have to send a student home because of his or her actions in school.  My heart grieves not only for the student, but for the parents, and for the community because as a village, we must do better.  We can’t leave it up to someone else to correct a behavior that has been in the making for many years before the student gets to us.  I firmly believe that the village is stronger than any individual, but we must step forward and show our worth in the village.

I believe that students will only do what they are allowed to do.  Some because they don’t really understand, and some, well, because no one has ever explained it to them or told them that magical word “NO!”

I tell our students all the time, that they are the ones who will make our school a great school, not me and the staff.  The school belongs to the students, we just teach them, enforce the policies, and give them all the love we can.

We have had a great start to the new year, but we can do even better.  Our students deserve it.  The community deserves it.  We deserve it!

It is this time of year, as I get older and older, I think of how far we have come as a society.  I think of things that we usually take for granted or just take as a part of life.  Often, I find myself thinking of all the ladies that have had children, even thinking of when my girls were born.

Just the process is somewhat overwhelming, to say the least.  Especially the days leading up to the birth of the baby.  We now have the opportunities to summons medical assistance to get the new mom to the hospital and to be in the comforts of medical attention who can assist in the birth of the child.

I think of the contractions that mothers endure as the time comes closer for the birth of the child and all the things that are offered in the hospital during and after birth.

The happiness and joy that’s felt at the delivery and the excitement of taking the little one home for the very first time.

Then I think about this lady named Mary.  How difficult it must have been to be traveling on a donkey to try to get to a place for help.  I think about the labor pains she endured, not being able to rest and wondering what was happening to her.  Then to get to the Inn and find out there was no room for her and her husband there.  Somehow they find a barn to rest for the night, no other materials available for her at that time.  No bed to lay her head and no one there to assist her in the birth of her child.

Imagine a baby born, a child is born!

That is the story I know.

Merry Christmas

 

Thank you for allowing me to be a part of the East Hall family!  I am truly Blessed and encouraged, for this is my destiny that God has placed upon me.

This past week was a good one for all.  It seemed that everyone was in a celebratory mode.  Each day was something different, but the students all stayed their course in the classroom.  I am really proud of the way they conducted themselves overall and I have no doubt they will continue their success these last four days before the break.

I read the daily post that is passed to us every day and I thought it fit the season we are in:

“Be the reason someone smiles. Be the reason someone feels loved and believes in the goodness in people.”

I always remember this “I may not have much to give, but when I give, I give my all.”

Just a Thought!

I am reflecting back on watching the Georgia vs LSU football game yesterday.  Yeah, as a Bulldog fan, I was disappointed at the outcome.  Like many of the others who watched the game, some on TV and others at the stadium, there is so much expected of the members on the team in every aspect.  Perfection is expected, mistakes are frowned upon, and losing, well, is unacceptable.

I wonder how many people even stop to think that these boys are only 19-22 years old.  They are still trying to get their lives together.  But under the umbrella of competition, they are expected to do more, to be more, to display more.  Wow, that is a lot to undertake for an adult, less alone for a young man who is just starting to get his life together.

Which brings me to the point of this conversation.  Students!  Isn’t it interesting how much we expect of them on a daily basis.  No wonder they are under so much pressure.  I believe that we, as parents, have somehow now started to expect so much from our little ones that sometimes we forget that they are children.  The pressure of society and home adds to the difficult struggles that students have.  Society has made it so fast paced that children are now missing the important times of what it is like to be a child.

Students are being asked to perform task that beyond their years and brain development.  Technology has played a major part in this “child crisis” and there is no relief in sight unless there is a genuine concern to address it.

Do we not remember what it was like to be a young one in middle school.  I think of it often and realize, I was just like the students at East Hall.  I was no different.

I realize that children haven’t changed but it the aggressive society that has made us change in how we deal with children and how we must address them.  Teachers are challenged in teaching students because students are also learning from technology, TV, radio and “the streets.”

We have to be “social savvy” in the classroom in an affect to stay current with students and what they are learning.

The bottom line is “Children are still children!”  They’ve got to go through the phases of life to learn.

 

Well, it is the season that we all await.  Students are excited and ready for a long break.  I intentionally put up the Christmas tree last week as a way to make everyone smile when they entered the building.  I encouraged all students to think about how they recognize the holidays and then told them that I would pick some of them to talk to the school on the morning news.

This should be exciting because students will benefit in knowing that there are different ways to recognize the holidays.  Whether it is for religious purpose, family traditions, or personal beliefs.  Students will be able to learn to respect others in their beliefs and understand there are many differences among us all.

I look forward to spending time with the students and listening to their stories and feel their excitement over the next two and a half weeks.

We are truly Blessed at East Hall Middle School.  We have some fine young people who want to be the best they can be.

I heard a different phrase today and I will keep it in my daily work.

“We love them, we help them and we discipline them.”

Wow, it seems like the school year just started and already we are entering the holiday season.  As society continues to evolve, the holidays take on a different meaning to so many different people.  But the bottom line is, whatever the holidays mean to you, use it as it is meant to be used in your beliefs.  It is sad when others try to stir your thoughts or your learning to fit their beliefs, and in the end, who is right.

However you spend your time this holiday season, please be sure to spend some time with family and friends, those who mean the most to you.  I believe that time lost is time you can’t get back.  Reflect on the things that you are thankful for.  There is so much to be thankful for, sometimes we tend to take the little things for granted.  If I were to stop and write a list of the things I am thankful for, it would start off very simple with:

1.  I am thankful for being able to wake up this morning and have the use of all my limbs.

2.  I am thankful for the love of my children and grandchildren, as they are the reasons I do what I do.

3. I am thankful for the opportunities that have been awarded me in my life, because each of them was part of the process that got me to where I am today.

4.  I am thankful to be able to see someone smile when I talk to them.  Students are my passion.  A smile is warm and welcoming.

5. I am thankful to be in a position where I can truly make a difference in the life of others who will one day be a contributor to our growing society

And the list goes on.

The bottom line is;  I am thankful for my Lord and Savior and life, because HE has been good to me and I am forever in debt to it.

Happy Thanksgiving

It has come to us already!  The week before Thanksgiving Break.  I can feel it in the air and see it throughout the hallways.  Who knows that next week will bring as we count down the five days before the break.  And believe me, it is a welcomed break both for the students, teachers, and even the parents.

But during this time, these student continue to inspire me to continue to do the things we can to help them understand and how to cope in this difficult world. Two events impressed me this week (1) we had a chance to take the boys basketball team to a gave at the University of Georgia on Friday.  I can tell you that the boys had a great time.  They cheered and interacted with the other fans.  I was really proud of how they conducted themselves in public versus the way they sometimes act in school.  It reminded me of the old saying “you can act one way at home, but when you get out in public, act like to have some sense.”  That’s what my mother used to tell my brothers and I.

Then on Saturday, I got up early to go and see the wrestling team at the East Hall gym.  To see the students participate the way they did, showed me how tough they really are and their mentale is stronger.  Being a father of 4 girls, I was really glad to see the girls on our team who were hanging strong with the boys.  They really have a strong desire to win at whatever they do.

These events reminded me to keep on working with them at all cost.  Yes, they will make mistakes but remember they are only middle schoolers and they are trying the best they can.

Overall, we are doing great things at EHMS but we still have some  things to get under control and in line with the school discipline, but we will get there for sure.

One student asked me the other day “Dr C, why does it seem that you really understand me?”

Another student asked me “Dr C, did you fight in the Civil War?”

I just keep breathing.