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We are in our 6th week of school.  My how time flies.  Students are getting settled in.  I'm slowly getting to know all the new students' names and learning something about each one of them.  When I eat lunch with these students, it's interesting how their true personalities come out.  I engage myselft in conversations that begin with simple questions like, "Who was your teacher last year?" or "What do you like to do?"  Depending on the mix of students, it could get busy with questions.  The 45 minute time frame goes by quickly.  We end our time together with a game and I take their picture.  These pictures help me reference back to keep their names in my memory bank.

I love football season!  As a child, cheering for the Minnesota Vikings was something I looked forward to.  Each year they had a competitive team.  There has been few seasons where we have not been competitive.  The Dallas Cowboys are much the same - always competitive.  The difference between the Cowboys and Vikings is that the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl.  We're 0-4!!

As for college football, I never had much to cheer for when I was a child.  The University of Minnesota had a team, but were very rarely competitive when I was young.  When I was three years old, the Minnesota Gophers (yes, I said "Gophers") football team was National Champions.  Since then, only 1967 they were competitive.  As an adult I can claim many teams that are competitive:  Since I lived in Lubbock, the Texas Tech Red Raiders were one of my favorites before I moved to Waco.  My two sons graduated from Texas A&M, so it's been fun cheering for them.  And of course, I live in Waco and I love to watch the Baylor Bears.

Of course, being from the North, I have grown accustomed to enjoying the cooler weather.  I really don't look forward to the frigid temperatures, but I do enjoy the cool evenings.  I am experienced driving on the snow, so that doesn't concern me as much as it concerns many here.  I grew up playing hockey -- a wonderful sport to play!!!  My North Stars became the Dallas Stars - a little burr under my saddle.

All-in-all, I enjoy being where I'm at.  I love my job and I look forward to making a positive difference in our students' lives here at Lorena Elementary School.  I might be from the North and cheer for teams you would never cheer for, but I'm a Lorena Leopard.  Have a wonderful Fall and let's hope to see some Autumn-like beauty here in Central Texas.
Teachers, staff, and administrators get up every morning - early.  We do our morning routine to get ready.  For some of my staff, getting their children ready is a challenge.  I remember when I was a school teacher.  My wife and I decided that having both our boys enroll in the school that I taught was the best thing.  I lived in Lubbock and travelled about 30 minutes to Abernathy, Texas.  I was a 4th grade teacher for many years and both of my children were in elementary school when I was a teacher at Abernathy Elementary School.

My oldest son was a quiet boy who had many friends.  He was smart and was good about doing his work.  When he was old enough to be a 4th grader, I asked my boss if I could have him in my class.  He was reluctant, but complied with my request.  For the most part, it was a great year.  He behaved well.  He never called me "papa" in front of his friends, but never called me "Mr. Anderson" either.  I don't remember what he did to get my attention.  I guess he raised his hands.  My wife was a "single parent" that year.  I say that, because I didn't sign any of his notes and my wife usually was the one to help him on his homework (I helped him some).  Needless to say, it was a good year - something most teachers would not do (to have their child in their class).  My son wasn't perfect.  Once he decided it would be cool to mock me in front of his friends.  We laugh to this day about how I had to give him a "write-up."  He said that was the only one he got that year.

My youngest son did not have me as a teacher.  We moved to Waco the summer before he was in the 4th grade.  I would've requested him if I was still in Abernathy.  In fact, he looked forward to being in my class.  Thomas, my younges son, was very social and was not shy like my oldest son, Lars.  Thomas wouldn't hesitate from walking into my class during my teaching when he was in the lower grades to get lunch money
from me.  It was a comforting thing to have both of my children in the same school with me.

As a teacher, I looked forward to each new year to learn names of my new students.  I enjoyed gettting to know each of them and teaching each one the skills of the 4th grade.  Workbook pages and tests are things I don't remember as a teacher.  My fondest memories are the students' personalities, their smiles, and the challenges that each one had.  I remember some better than others, some because of struggles that I may have had with them or the joy I had conversing daily as a teacher.  As a male teacher at Abernathy Elementary, I was "an icon" of sorts.  Besides the principal, I was the only other man around.  That in itself was an advantage for me.  I really enjoyed what I did and I was pretty good at it.

When I left teaching to become an administrator, I was ready to move on.  Every day I reflect on my fondest memories of being an effective teacher.  I want the same now - to be an effective administrator.  I want to make a positive difference in the lives of my students. I don't have one class anymore to get to know.  I have 375 students who need my leadership, my smile, my humor, and my energy.  I still have these qualities and use them every day in my role as principal at Lorena Elementary School.

There is no way I would be doing what I am doing if it wasn't for the students who come to school every day.


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  December 2016  
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Doors Open: 7:25 a.m.

Office Open: 7:25 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Assembly Begins: 7:55 a.m.

School Dismisses: 3:20 p.m.