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From the West Wing

So, Mrs. Reid asked me this morning if I am going to write articles for the Eagle News this year. If you read the Eagle News regularly, you might have noticed that I stopped writing articles sometime towards the end of last year. Surprisingly, or perhaps not, I didn’t receive many comments about how valuable the blog had been and what a empty place there was. Sadly, it has been so long since I have written that I had to ask her how I did it before. She made me smile when she replied, “you open up a word document and start writing.” That’s not EXACTLY what I meant, but I digress. We have had a wonderful start to this school year. It has been extremely different than any other year, but there is definitely and excitement in the air. One positive addition to our school has been Fairview’s new Lead Pastor and his wife, Glenn and Jo McClimans. If you haven’t already made the transition to come in the front entrance from 7 – 9a in the morning, I would encourage you to do so. Pastor Glenn is there most mornings, along with fresh coffee! He is really enjoying getting to know so many of you and I have heard from some of you that you are enjoying the personal greeting in the morning. As we continue through this year, I hope that we can all hang on to our theme verse this year; Matthew 19:26: Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” I truly believe that...

from the West Wing

It should be no secret to anyone that I love Fairview. I’ve written several articles over the years enumerating the many reasons why I love Fairview. I tell my friends about Fairview, expounding on the great things we do here. Today, however, I am not going to write another article on why I love Fairview. Instead, I want to put out a challenge to all of you. I believe that you also love Fairview. I believe that you are aware of what a wonderful place this is. I believe that many of you talk about Fairview to your friends and family. So here’s where the challenge comes in. I want to give you some tangible ideas of how we can do an even better job of spreading the good news about Fairview. Are you ready? Write your story – or better yet, have your kids write their story. We would love to have stories about how great Fairview is to publish on our website. Unless you want to add your name, or your child’s name to the story, they will be published as “a parent’s story” or “a student’s impression.” Send up pictures or short videos that can be published to our Facebook page, Twitter, or website. We are sensitive to not tag students, but this is a great way to show the world what our kids are doing. Put up a sign in your yard or in your neighborhood. We have some signs, about the size of the political signs that are seen in the fall of the year, that can be used to help get our name...

from the West Wing

Well, we are a little more than half way through the third quarter of this school year. This morning I sent out progress reports for the third through eighth grade students. Progress reports are a reminder of how the student is doing so far in the current quarter, gives a heads up if there are any problems and hopefully give some time before final grades come out to correct any issues. As I prepared to send the reports out this morning, I got to thinking about how nice it might be if we periodically got a progress report. Don’t we all periodically vow to “turn over a new leaf”, “be a better person”, or “never to THAT again?” And wouldn’t it be nice if after several weeks we got a progress report telling us how we are doing? But, alas, there is no such thing as a progress report for life – or is there? I think perhaps there is, but we just have to be in tune. Of course, some of them are easy. We decide to lose weight and after two or three weeks we get back on the scale and the report is right before our eyes. Others, however, are not so concrete. We decide to be kinder or more loving. After a couple of weeks, we don’t get a report in our email stating “Good job! You are making wonderful progress on your decision to be kinder.” Instead, if we are really serious about being kinder, we must do some self evaluation. We must continually ask ourselves, whether or not we responded to a particular...

from the West Wing

I hope that you have enjoyed the blog posting over the last month as I shared with you some of the wisdom I have gleaned from Jim and Charles Fey from Love and Logic, particularly their views on technology and kids. I would even urge you to reread the articles all in one sitting. Today, however, I will return to writing my own material. This is the time of year that I do formal observations in the classroom. For the past week I have spent some time in the classrooms observing each of our teachers as they presented a lesson to the class. While the teachers are somewhat stressed by this, I must say, this is one of my favorite times of the year. The reason I like it so much is not because I want to stress my teachers. Rather, it is because I thoroughly enjoy seeing our terrific staff doing what they do so well. I must tell you that we are extremely blessed as a school. We have some of the best teachers anywhere to be found. What truly amazes me is the fact that each of our teachers is here at great personal sacrifice. Each of them could go most anywhere else and make more money. Instead, they have chosen to be here, working with, praying for, and giving themselves to you and your children. I could not be more proud to be part of this incredible team. As always, I consider it a great privilege to serve the Kingdom in this place. Thank you for allowing each of us to be part of your...

from the West Wing

One last installment on technology and kids. This one is written by Jim Fay. I was raised in an era when kids knew that it was their responsibility to entertain themselves. When we got bored we asked, “What can we do?” If your kids ask this question, you are doing a good job of parenting. Many kids today ask, “I’m bored. What can I watch?” This is difficult to combat in an era where television, internet and video games can keep kids in an almost constant state of stimulation. Research on the brain tells us that this constant excitement can wire a kid’s brain to prefer activities that offer immediate stimulation and entertainment. As a result we see many children who cannot handle the slower speed of a normal classroom. These kids see school as boring and often stimulate themselves by acting out. Our media-driven culture of constant stimulation through television, internet and video games contributes to the number of kids who need and demand instant gratification. Dr. Ed Hallowell describes these kids as attention-disordered. Do your kids a favor and limit the amount of time their brains are connected to electronic entertainment. More than one-half hour per day is hurtful to your child’s brain. Read our book, Meeting the Challenge and learn how to help children develop better attention and behavior skills.” I hope these articles have given you some things to think about. As I have read them each week, I’ve been impressed with how the idea of postive relationships with kids is woven into everything being said. I believe that truly the best thing we can...