Today Matters, Vantage Superintendent Blog



Monday, August 29, 2016

Sweat the Small Stuff!

Isn't it the little things in life that mean a lot? They also make a difference.

This "sweat the small stuff" blog has a different purpose than preserving your sanity through not sweating the small stuff, the focus of a short book "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" by Richard Carlson. I came across a copy of his book early in my education career as a business teacher, and thoroughly enjoyed it. It also inspired me to show my students the times when doing the exact opposite--sweating the small stuff--while writing business letters and honing their skills and resumes, would be helpful!

Personally, I've always thought "sweating the small stuff" is important.

After helping our administrative team do the weekly recycling today, I can honestly say sweating the small stuff matters. The small action of sorting cans and bottles buried in the paper in your recycle bin and breaking down the boxes, will make a big impact on several other people every week in our school! Not only would this small action save time in our weekly recycle collection, it would also be considerate. A little time spent by each individual will help a lot of people doing the other end of the job.

Sweating the small stuff applies to so much more than recycling, and it has more benefit than making a job easier for someone else. The little things, which take hardly any time at all, are usually easy things.  Take time to give a kind "hello" or "how are you doing today?" to the people you pass or at the service counter in the automotive garage after work. Go even further by taking time to listen to what they say. Some people call it "being in the moment" or "be where you are". You can send a message of caring to someone who may feel hopeless or alone, just by taking time to listen. And you may do yourself some good.

Life is full of good things. It's full of great human beings and wonderful community efforts. It's full of young students with ambition and plans for their life ahead. The ability to sift out life's junk and bad moments and hold onto those things that will make a difference to yourself, your family, or others is vital. Our students will be a bit better prepared to successfully enter the world after high school if they can focus on what's important now. Stay in school. Be here every day. Be kind to others. Work hard to be the best "you" possible, whether it's taking time to do the math assignment right or sweeping the shop floor at the end of lab. Practicing these small actions every day just might turn into lifetime habits.

Today Matters. Sweat the Small Stuff!

Thursday, August 18, 2016

2016-17 Year Starts at the Bell

The time is near! The administrative team and summer staff can feel the excitement and energy as new and returning students drop by for student orientation or to pick up their senior schedule. Teaching staff have been working to set up their classrooms, make bulletin boards, prepare lesson plans and sort and stack piles of career tech supplies for students to be issued on the first day. The first official teacher work day is tomorrow, Friday, August 19, but several staff have been working in the month of August to prepare for their incoming students. At 8:23 a.m. on Monday, the bell will ring and (almost magically) every new student finds their way to their first class of the 2016-17 year.

And for me, it's back to "normal" in a daily schedule, meant to be filled with busy hallways and full classrooms, knowledge exploding from teachers, student-led group projects, and the synergy of engaged learners--all anchored by a competent and dedicated staff--from the cafeteria crew to the maintenance crew to the media center staff and the technology crew and all the support staff, teacher aides, counselor and administrators who encourage, guide, and serve students daily.

Our students are the future, and we will give them our best. After all, students and parents deserve no less.

Vantage Career Center will start its 41st year of career-technical and academic instruction for 13 area high schools' juniors and seniors on August 22, 2016. It's something special to watch these students grow in confidence and training, in knowledge and social skills, as well as enthusiasm for their future after high school. But in the first weeks of the school year, students are getting used to a new school setting and students from a dozen other schools in Van Wert and neighboring counties. Juniors beginning their year with us are leaving a school district which many have attended since kindergarten--leaving more than a few good friends and classmates to pursue workforce training. That's a big adjustment in itself for high school students. They'll still be a part of their "home" high school and graduate from that district in May, if they earn the necessary credits while attending Vantage. But their own "normal" routine has changed. Vantage students will form new patterns of contact with friends and home school staff, all while growing in confidence as they pursue a career and/or college training in their workforce field.

Vantage Career Center has nearly 450 juniors and seniors attending this year, each enrolled in one of 17 different career and technical education programs. I wish each of the them the best of luck in meeting their goals this school year. WELCOME, STUDENTS!

Remember, TODAY MATTERS. Make it great.