Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understood

This week I was reminded of Principle #5 from Steven Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People— Seek First to Understand, Then Be Understoodwhen we noticed a certain locker that kept being left open.

It may sound like a small thing, but it’s important for students to close and lock their lockers after opening them. It became such an issue last year, that students will be assigned lunch detention for leaving their lockers open.

This week, a certain locker was left open several times, and that student was talked to about it on at least four different occasions. She insisted something must be wrong with her locker and that’s why it was always open. Admittedly, the argument sounded weak, but Coach Stewart listened to the student and suggested they review the cameras from the hallway to verify her story. They did, and sure enough, she was right! She, in fact, did shut her locker.

That situation could have gone a different direction. Rather than listening to the student and seeking to understand the situation, Coach Stewart could have told her "the rules are the rules" and issued lunch detention. Instead he did the right thing.

James 1:19 sums it up: “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry."

An open locker is a minor issue, but we’re constantly faced with opportunities to be quick to listen.

This week, I’m challenging each of us to make a conscious decision to slow down and listen to students, parents, and colleagues in order to seek first to understand before we try to be understood.

  • The Wave was a HUGE success this year— it may be my favorite year so far! Thank you to everyone who helped with the devotional and/or at the park. I hope you had a great night and enjoyed the time with our students (and with each other). Let’s do it again next year.

  • Our annual CDL training is in the books. A big thanks goes to all of our bus drivers for attending the session to stay on top of all of the responsibilities that come with the Class B CDL endorsement. Our drivers are a critical component of having a successful school. Thank you!

  • The building looked great for Open House! Classrooms were in tip-top shape, and the hallways and bathrooms were very clean. Kevin Lloyd and David Mauldin did an amazing job getting things set up in the atrium, fixing things in the building, and making sure we were ready. Also, thank you, teachers, for preparing your rooms, and pod cleaners, thank you for working so quickly after school to make sure everything was ready for our guests.

  • Caroline Prestridge & Bradley Spencer teamed up again for their annual Crossover class activity. The required summer reading for 8th grade English was Crossover by Kwame Alexander. It’s an award-winning book about poetry and basketball, and our students love it! Coach Spencer led all of Mrs. Prestridge’s 8th grade English classes through basketball drills and referenced key parts of the book to help students make connections. Awesome job!

  • A big shout-out goes to Tamara Hodges for owning PM parking lot duty that past two weeks. The first couple of weeks are challenging as parents and students are learning the after-school pick-up drill, but Mrs. Hodges was able to get them in rhythm.

  • Have a form that needs to be turned in? Just send it (and 400 other ones) to Shelby Lillard. Right now she has handbook forms, internet forms, drug screening forms, and eclipse day forms coming at her— and she’s got it under control. We owe her a huge thanks… and it’s also caused us to re-evaluate how have students turn in forms. Until then, keep up the great work, Shelby!

  • Check out this story on THV about Patrick Smith and his family’s involvement with the 20th Annual “Walk with Me" for Easter Seals.

Upcoming Events
  • Monday, August 21-Friday, August 25— Grade Level Meetings
  • Monday, August 21— Eclipse Day (special bell schedule); click here for permission slip
    • 1st Period 8:00-8:35
    • 2nd Period 8:40- 9:15
    • 3rd Period 9:20-9:55
    • 4th Period 10:00-10:35
    • 5th Period 10:40-11:15
    • 6th Period 11:20-11:55
    • Chapel 12:00-12:30
    • Lunch/Eclipse Viewing Experience 12:30-1:45*
    • 7th Period 1:55-2:40
    • 8th Period 2:45-3:30
      *MS Shorts Bells will ring 8:53, 9:27,11:03, and 2:05.
      *Combined MS/HS lunch (pizza will be sold outside at football field)
      *Eclipse times: Begins 11:47 am Peaks 1:18 pm Ends 2:46
  • Tuesday, August 22— Senior Kick-Off Day (Seniors out all day; Mr. Collier out)
  • Friday, August 25— Meet the Mustangs (6:30 PM)
  • Tuesday, August 29
    • Football Game vs. Mayflower @ War Memorial Stadium (Pep rally w/ adjusted bell schedule)
    • Yearbook Staff Field Trip (Beebe Workshop; 8:00-2:30)
  • Thursday, August 31
    • Intercom Chapel & Class Meetings
    • Fall Sports Picture Day
  • Friday, September 1— Senior Picture Retakes

Responsibilities for Next Week
Week A
  • Cafeteria AM— E. Schramm
  • Cafeteria PM— C. Sherrill
  • Parking Lot AM— B. Spencer
  • Parking Lot PM— J. Thomas
  • HS Lunch— J. Gates, P. Smith, & H. Cruce
  • MS Lunch— C. Sherrill, C. Prestridge, & A. Diles
  • Chapel— J. Gates
  • Detention— T. Hodges

Remember, it is your responsibility to find a replacement if you are unable to cover your assigned duty. Click here for duty schedule.

Grade-Level Meeting Schedule
6th Grade— Tuesday, August 22; 3rd period
7th Grade— Tuesday, August 22; 5th period
8th Grade— Tuesday, August 22; MS Lunch
9th Grade— Tuesday, August 22; HS Lunch
10th Grade— Thursday, August 24; HS Lunch
11th Grade— Monday, August 21; 1st period
12th Grade— Thursday, August 24; HS Lunch

4 Values (in rank order)
  1. Model Christ
  2. Safety & Security
  3. School First
  4. Quality Instruction

Important School Documents Quick Reference

Resources Worth Checking Out For Personal and Professional Growth

What Great Teachers Do Differently (Part Two)

Cedar Point to open the ‘tallest, fastest’ hybrid roller coaster in 2018
Click here to learn more about the roller coaster.

Book Recommendation

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Through personal experience, compelling case studies, and current research on the mysteries of motivation and talent, Jeff shows readers how to find their vocation and what to expect along the way.