getting started

I finally made it! After putting off starting this blog for a few months I felt I could ignore it no longer.  I am not only getting started with my blog this week, but also getting started with a new group of students tomorrow morning. I run the bridge program our high school offers to the incoming freshman class and I couldn’t be more excited to greet 275 members of the class of 2017 as they enter our doors tomorrow morning!

With this excitement comes a heavy load of responsibility.  I have thought long and hard about what I should say to them to make that first impression just right.  Here are a few ideas that I have come up with:

  • High school will be what you make of it, period.  Make it awesome!
  • Keep an open mind, learning is everywhere.
  • Your teachers, administrators and classmates are here to challenge your thinking and help you grow.  They need you to challenge them as well, we are in this together!
  • Pursue what you are passionate about.  Then share it and we will all learn.
  • Connect with someone new, relationships are key.
If on the first day I can let the kids know that I care and I am in this with them, I will feel successful.  Relationships take time, but there is no time like the present to get started.  We begin this journey working together in the spirit of growth and improvement.
If you are wondering about the blog title, I am usually one of those teachers that is seen as thinking “outside the box.”  Many times the easy answer is not the best one for our students, and I refuse to give them anything less than my best each day.  Sometimes, when there is a fork in the road you have to grab a spoon!

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  1. Garnet Hillman June 10, 2013 at 6:33 PM - Reply

    Thanks for reading and commenting, Jenna! Feeling a little uncomfortable because of a challenge is where some of the best learning happens!

  2. Jenna June 10, 2013 at 6:18 PM - Reply

    I really like #3. I think students need to understand that being challenged is not only NOT a bad thing, but in fact a very good thing. Challenging and being challenged are what help all of us to grow together. Good luck with your program this summer!

  3. Patricia Surman June 10, 2013 at 11:39 AM - Reply

    Your commitment to the students today is seamless. You and OZ have done a wonderful job starting off these close to 300 students! The loyalty song in the auditorium really WORKED!!! Love your outside the box thoughts! Keep up the great work. I am committed to helping you any way I can.

    • Garnet Hillman June 10, 2013 at 2:37 PM - Reply

      Thanks so much for all your support, it allows me to try new things and learn from them whether they succeed or fail. I have been able to grow so much and look forward to all the new learning ahead!

  4. Dan Welty June 10, 2013 at 5:24 AM - Reply

    Greta title! Welcome to the world of blogging, thanks for making the time. I look forward to reading more on your self-reflections.

    • Garnet Hillman June 10, 2013 at 2:34 PM - Reply

      Thanks so much, Dan! Looking forward to having a home for my self-reflection. Appreciate the feedback and support!

  5. Kimberly Hurd Horst June 9, 2013 at 9:53 PM - Reply

    Great Job Garnet!

  6. Karl Lindgren-Streicher June 9, 2013 at 7:27 PM - Reply

    Love this list in the middle! The second half of the third point – for students to challenge teachers too – is so important and can be hard to hear, but that is when I get the best feedback from students.

    • Garnet Hillman June 10, 2013 at 2:30 PM - Reply

      Thanks Karl! I agree, when students give me honest feedback it is my greatest opportunity to grow and improve. We must listen to our students, they know their needs and want to learn!

  7. Deb Day June 9, 2013 at 7:20 PM - Reply

    Good start, Garnet. I really like the first rule. HS is always what you make it….I just wish more kids realized it (and maybe a few teachers too!)

    • Garnet Hillman June 10, 2013 at 2:27 PM - Reply

      Thanks so much for reading and your comments, Deb! I am working to help more students (and teachers) realize that their mindset can make or break an experience. When we take ownership of our learning, great things can happen!

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