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  • Writer's pictureJim Mercer

SamTastic Weekly Tip: 11/19/18 - Gratitude, Attitude and Latitude

Today’s tip: Gratitude, Attitude and Latitude.

I had breakfast with my family Sunday at a local restaurant. The restaurant was playing Christmas music. Wow. I haven’t even gotten my head around the fact that Thanksgiving is this week. So, here’s three things to think about as we begin the holiday season:

1. Gratitude: Stop and discuss who on staff you most appreciate. Show them a bit a

love. Schedule a time on your TimeTrack for both of you, SAM and Principal, to thank a person on your staff you appreciate. It doesn’t have to be the same person. As a SAM, you might appreciate a First Responder while your principal appreciates a teacher who has made a significant gain in his/her practice. Take a minute to say thanks. You will feel better and so will the person(s) you selected.

2. Attitude: Do a self-check. Are you projecting an attitude that is welcoming, positive and conducive to the kind of climate you want to experience? If so, great! Take a minute to thank each other during your SAM Daily meeting. If not, what could you do

differently? Psychologist have found that when a person simply says out loud, “I am going to have a good day!”, it has a positive impact. Give it a try! Who on your staff makes you smile when you think about them? What do they do that has this impact on others?

3. Latitude: You spend time every day working to spend more time on instructional work. You are committed to being in the GREEN and having a dashboard where each month shows a higher level of instructional time. One thing you can do to help as you approach the holidays is to check that you have told TimeTrack which days you are not working. You can click at the top of these non-work days so they don’t count against you—this will make it easier to keep you in the green! One more latitude hint: be sure to schedule Monday, November 26 in the GREEN tomorrow. You want to know that when you come back to school after the break you are already in the GREEN.

Finally, enjoy your Thanksgiving Break. As NSIP Director Mark Shellinger says, “No one does more important work in America than SAMs and principals.” This is because you are doing work that makes the lives of your students better—work that will outlive you. Education has made this country unique and absolutely terrific—better than great. America’s education system has been an amazing equalizer focused on the very best for all. For this, I join everyone in the National SAM Innovation project in thanking you!

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