Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Start of Something New

The Educators of Akron Public Schools kicked off our year yesterday by meeting together as a collective group-all 2000 of us!  Wooo-hoo!  The theme for this year, delivered by our superintendent and assistant superintendent, was a message of knowing that we have building systems over the last 5 years and now it's time for refining them.  WE will no longer be building the plane while flying it.  They inserted a little humor by having us watch this video clip:  

We heard from our team that this year should be smooth sailing-a year of refining our in-flight experience as we're enjoying flying the plane now that it's all built and things are going to be different.  The systems are in place and now we'll just be tweaking them to make our journey together a world-class experience.  
Then, we watched a dramatic video of an airplane taking of and flying with dramatic inspirational music.  We felt empowered and inspired by listening to the presentation our leaders shared with us.  

We then listened to the leaders of our district talk about working on the work for this year and for the next three years with PLCs (professional learning communities) and closing the achievement gap being the focus. We were also filled-in on details surrounding changes and upgrades that have taken place to prepare us for this year's assessments-moving to MAP, CAP and DAP.  All in preparation for the up-coming PARCC assessments that will align with the Common Core Standards.

Our symposium closed with inspirational testimonials given by three teachers from the district.  They all shared why they chose to be educators.  One shared that she believes she was created for the job.  She has a place in the world to inspire hope and caring for children everyday.  Another educator shared how she was inspired by all the gifts some of her teachers had given her.  The most important one being the gift of music-which she still uses today.  And then the last teacher shared how he was inspired by the gift of education through the influence of his parents, who were also teachers.  He then performed a musical number with a student from the high school choir.  Many of us were moved to tears by the performance!

Overall, our kick-off filled our hearts with hope and inspiration to begin a new school year with energy and enthusiasm!  So this slice begs the question, how are you motivated and inspired to begin something new?


  1. I love the idea of a testimonial from teachers. I've never seen anything like that but am sure it is powerful. I find myself inspired by words and the age-old belief that anything is possible in a new year. Struggling students can become readers and disgruntled teams of teachers can find common ground. Unhappy parents can be inspired and we might all begin to work together to assure our students have the tools to be all they want to be! As hard as a "fresh start" is every year with new decorations and new back packs, a fresh start is also a good thing for us all.

  2. Your day sounds marvelous, Amy. Fun video too! Several years in a row our former head had some of us write & share why we became teachers. I got to do it & loved sharing, but just as much, loved hearing others' reasons. I imagine those teachers were the best finale & "take-off" you could have! Have a wonderful beginning! My motivation is always the students, and second working with my staff-great group!

  3. What an inspiring way to begin the school year - there seems to be a collective sense of mission in your school district. Lucky you!

  4. This was a wonderful take off for a year. Have a great flight!

  5. Such a positive and encouraging way to start a school year!

  6. Love the video! I feel like we're still building the plane, but I also feel very supported by our administration. Have a wonderful year in your new position! Hope your systems don't require too much tweaking!

  7. Thank you for sharing the encouragement you got to launch into the school year. It isn't like that everywhere so it makes me happy knowing that kind of top down support exists.


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