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Monday, December 19, 2016

Promise Keeper

As I watched the snow fall and carpet the ground one recent Sunday evening I found myself thinking of that famous Robert Frost poem, "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Though the snow would eventually accumulate to the point that it produced hazardous conditions and an unexpected day off from school, it provided a beautiful picture as it draped a white shroud over the land.
Interestingly, Frost wrote the poem while living in nearby Shaftsbury, Vermont in 1922. Furthermore, Frost created this profound and enduring poem in just one sitting. Perhaps most unusual, Frost authored the poem in June, far removed from any vestige of snow.

What does this poem have to do with school, other than the fact we enjoyed a day at home because of the snow storm? Well, the poem emerged from a strong mental image rather than a concrete visual of falling snow. It shows the impact of a commitment to his craft and his ability to develop a personal vision powerful enough to pen one of the most memorable poems in American literature - a poem he wrote in the summer about a scene and setting that takes place in the winter. Finally, his last three lines evoke a dramatic pledge - "But I have promises to keep/And miles to go before I sleep/And miles to go before I sleep."
What better reminder of our calling as educators. We have promises to keep - a vow to promote success for all learners, at all ages and stages. And, while our burden often leaves us weary, we must sustain our progress with the same perseverance as Frost, when he ended the poem - "And miles to go before I sleep."

Social activist, Mary Harris Jones opined that " is a journey, not a destination." We are involved as a component in a continuous thread that brings form to the tapestry of civilization and supports its very existence. We have a professional responsibility to help build a better future by growing life-long learners. We are displaying our efforts toward that goal in multiple forms. Discipline referrals have decreased each month of the school year, which implies less time taken way from instruction to attend to inappropriate behaviors. Several grade level teams have constructed data walls in Math and/or ELA to offer a visual graphic to guide improvement. A review of template summaries of collaboration meetings reveals the teamwork necessary for us to stimulate increased performance among our learners. review and follow norms to begin the meetings. Keep the discussion and focus on path. End each collaboration meeting with the creation of the agenda for the next such meeting so we don't drift off and wander away from our purpose and direction.

Please read Frost's poem below.

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening


Whose woods these are I think I know.  
His house is in the village though;  
He will not see me stopping here  
To watch his woods fill up with snow.  

My little horse must think it queer  
To stop without a farmhouse near  
Between the woods and frozen lake  
The darkest evening of the year.  

He gives his harness bells a shake  
To ask if there is some mistake.  
The only other sound’s the sweep  
Of easy wind and downy flake.  

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,  
But I have promises to keep,  
And miles to go before I sleep,  
And miles to go before I sleep.

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