The wheel is turning and you can’t slow down
You can’t let go and you can’t hold on
You can’t go back and you can’t stand still
If the thunder don’t get you then the lightning will

Won’t you try just a little bit harder
Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?
Won’t you try just a little bit harder
Couldn’t you try just a little bit more?

Round, round robin run round
Got to get back to where you belong
Little bit harder, just a little bit more
A little bit further than you gone before

The Wheel Songwriters Jimmy Tomes and Richard Stevens


Today I had a brief but important and stirring discussion with my principal, Dr. Jim Calhoun.

Several students are struggling to be academically successful, and more than a handful have chosen to retreat to a more structured learning environment. Great. Good for them.

But what about those struggling but wanting to stay in our environment even if openly acknowledging (even celebrating) their lack of academic progress?

In a traditional environment they would earn failing grades. Here, they spin their wheels and earn no credits toward graduation.

In a traditional environment, they would be asked to try harder. Do more homework. Even try some extra credit. Here, we don’t have a set plan in place nor carrots to force kids to succeed.

In a traditional environment, they might just begin not attending class. Here, they come, socialize, play.

After meeting with Jim and our RtI committee, we decided these students MUST stay. We must appreciate the social/emotional needs and acknowledge that while these students may not be demonstrating academic progress that can be tied to graduation, they are exhibiting positive behaviors – even if that is simply coming to the space.

Our goal is to help them grow, heal, communicate, reflect, and begin to identify how they are successful and can use the space and our mentoring to reach new goals. Starting with co-creating expectations and helping them identify their own plan.

I need to work a little bit harder. We need to go further than we’ve gone before. It’s us, not them.

How refreshing.