Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly

Woods' Weekly is written by Superintendent Brian T. Woods and is sent to Northside ISD staff every Monday to keep them updated on local and state education issues.

November 16, 2015     

Good morning.  You may have heard of Jon Gordon.  He is a consultant and author of many books including the popular Energy Bus.  Several folks sent me a post where he quotes Angela Duckworth's research on grit.  He says that the research, “…demonstrates that the key predictor of success is not talent, title, wealth, or good looks.  It is Grit:  the ability to work hard for a long period of time toward a focused goal and keep moving forward in spite of challenges, obstacles and failures.” 

I know most of you have seen that before.  However, Gordon goes on to comment on Duckworth’s view that Grit is about long term goals and the metaphor of “a marathon and not a sprint.”  Gordon says, “I would add that it's actually a marathon and a series of sprints combined with a boxing match.  You are not just running but getting hit along the way.  Grit keeps you moving forward through the sting of rejection, pain of failure and struggle with adversity. When life knocks you down you may want to stay down and give up but Grit won't let you quit.”  This is the part I particularly enjoy.  We are all in the position we are because of some measure of grit.  All of us have had experiences where we felt knocked down and yet we got up and kept pushing.  We need to create this same grit in our students as we know they will have similar experiences.

Last Saturday, Carnahan held its annual Trees for Veterans Arbor Day event with education for parents and students on the importance of planting trees native to our area.  Carnahan is led in this regard by science facilitator extraordinaire Kent Page and by namesake Peggy Carnahan.  Both have incredible passion for science education and are widely recognized as leaders in this field.  Both have worked hard to expand the reach of project ACORN that now exists at many NISD campuses.

Last Wednesday, Veterans Day, thousands of 

students and staff honored our nation's and Northside's veterans.  Classroom lessons and school wide activities across the District paid tribute to the men and women who served this country and ensured the freedoms we enjoy today.  It was my honor to attend several ceremonies.   Please take three minutes to watch this partial summary of events: https://youtu.be/ev94VltGO2g

Last week I mentioned that many United Way agencies work directly in our schools.  For instance, during the summer of 2015, the San Antonio Food Bank provided more than 300,000 meals and snacks to children.  Also, a group that we are closely associated with in Northside, Communities In Schools, provides comprehensive case management partially through United Way contributions.  Please consider donating and designating specific organizations that you personally believe in.  One of the special things about San Antonio is the sense of community that exists in this very diverse city.  Together we can make a difference.

Finally, I want to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving!  All of us are so busy and I certainly appreciate a little time to slow down and reconnect with what I am personally thankful for.  The other night the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving show was on.  I have to admit I have a sentimental place in my heart for the Charlie Brown holiday shows.  Toward the end, when it’s time for Charlie Brown to understand the real meaning of the holiday, Marcie says to Charlie Brown, “But Thanksgiving is more than eating, Chuck…Those early Pilgrims were thankful for what had happened to them, and we should be thankful, too.  We should just be thankful for being together.  I think that’s what they mean by ‘Thanksgiving,’ Charlie Brown.”   Please know that you are on my list of people to be thankful for and I appreciate our ‘togetherness’ as we do this important work.  Thank you for all you do to benefit NISD students. 

Have a great week.