Thursday, January 21, 2016

My Hometown

I've always loved that song by Springsteen and it's how I feel about my birthplace of Chicago. Even though I grew up in northern Michigan and have lived here all of my adult life, I still feel like I'm coming home every time I visit Chicago. We left Illinois when I started school and went back every year for Christmas and to visit relatives. So it was no surprise that visiting Chicago was like a homecoming.  It was a place where family gathered and reunions happened. I distinctly remember telling my grandparents that I would move back "home" when I was grown up and for a time I did consider returning after college. Now at 43 and with two daughters in middle school,  I'm comfortable with the idea of just visiting Chicago and living in Michigan. However, I still have a strong bond with the Windy City that will always remain.

One of the reasons I believe I have such a fierce pride in my hometown is the fact that I'm adopted. Growing up, I didn't know anything about my birth parents, my heritage, or any of the other things that children often take for granted. But I did know one thing, I was from Chicago! It was the only thing that I could claim as my own from birth. Everyone has a birth place and mine happened to be in one of the most interesting places in the country (especially to a boy growing up in rural Michigan). I remember going on a field trip to Chicago and beaming with pride when I shared out that I was born there and had many relatives there. I have proudly worn my Cubs jersey through many a depressing baseball season, I had a poster of Walter Payton from the Bears on my wall, and looked at Michael Jordan as the player on "my" basketball team. It was that one piece of information about myself that helped give me an identity and it was one that I was proud to share.

As educators, we need to find what our students identify with and what they feel proud of. It might be easy to identify and it might take a whole school year of digging to find out. But if we take the time to get to know our students and what motivates them, then we will be one step closer to helping them be successful in school and in life. Maybe it's their hometown, maybe it's their family history, maybe it's that they dream of becoming the first person in their family to graduate. Whatever a child identifies with, find it and help them celebrate it and reach their dreams!

Back in the Windy City:) 


"I adore Chicago. It is the pulse of America." - Sarah Bernhardt

"It is wonderful to be here in the great state of Chicago." - Dan Quayle

"I didn't realize it was October until I saw the Chicago Cubs choking." - Jay Leno

Principal Coupon Book (3 minutes)


Monday, January 25: Parent Meetings (Weakley) 8:00 am (Berrelez) 8:30 am
                                  DATA DIVE meetings in the LMC (all day - rotating subs)
                                  Parent Meeting (Larabell) 4:00 pm
Tuesday, January 26: Twitter Presentation at Churchill (Wennstrom) 8:00-9:00 am
                                   Martin Observation 9:30 am
                                   Robertson Observation 1:00 pm
Wednesday, January 27: REED (Limberg) 8:20 am
                                      M-Step Analysis at Riley (Bartnick/Casucci) 8:00-11:00 am
                                      YMAD Assembly (Star Wars theme) 3:00 pm
Thursday, January 28: Staff Meeting with Ben Hillard 8:00 am
                                    Merchant Observation 9:30 am
                                    Nadon Observation 10:30 am
                                    Handbook Revision Committee (Wennstrom) in Rosedale LMC 2:00-4:00 pm
Friday, January 29: No Students / Teacher Work Day (Optional Report)

Monday, February 1: OSS Committee at Central Office (Nadon) 1:00-4:00 pm
Tuesday, February 2: Staff Meeting 8:00 am
Wednesday, February 3: Parent Meeting (Nadon/Wennstrom/Jouppi/Robison) 8:30 am
                                        Student of the Month Assembly 3:00 pm
Thursday, February 4: Jon & Others to Lansing for Title I Conference - Bill Green on call
                                   PTA Meeting 6:30 pm
Friday, February 5: Daddy Daughter Dance 6:00-8:00 pm

1 comment:

  1. So so important to know about our students, and this is a great place to start. And I may be biased, but Chicago is pretty amazing! :-)