To start the year I have chosen a recent article from Brain Pickings, one of my favourite blogs. This is all about Brené Brown who writes and talks about vulnerability. She has a TED Talk on the subject. I think this is a great topic to help us prepare for the new year. I am including the links her, but not the full article – it’s a short one and well worth the read.
Good luck everyone on our first day. I know this is going to be an amazing year and I am so excited to get started!
Away we GO!!
Art by Lisbeth Zwerger for a rare edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The most transformative and resilient leaders that I’ve worked with over the course of my career have three things in common: First, they recognize the central role that relationships and story play in culture and strategy, and they stay curious about their own emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Second, they understand and stay curious about how emotions, thoughts, and behaviors are connected in the people they lead, and how those factors affect relationships and perception. And, third, they have the ability and willingness to lean in to discomfort and vulnerability.
St. Anthony This First Week
Tuesday, September 6
Meet the Teacher Day
- Students and parents enter the school at 8:30 bell (message to parents)
- short introduction and welcoming in the gym
- students form up with their teachers and go to class – parents follow
- coffee and snacks in the hallway right outside the office
- teachers intro to parents and teachers – hope to get as many forms signed as possible – non-homeroom teachers assist with in-class sessions
- emphasis on media form – looking for 100% ‘YES’
- Meet the teacher done by recess – National Anthem and announcements to be done just before recess to set up the ground rules for the new yard (ie. no jumping off the rocks in the outdoor classroom etc)
- Tweets today #ocsbfirstday
Wednesday, September 7
No events are on the calendar for the remainder of the week – we will use this time to distribute computers and forms that need to be returned and to collect the student fee.
If there are events that should be on the calendar, please let me know so I can inform the parents. Opening assembly for the students will be early next week once forms and money have been collected and computers have been distributed. Very important for me to know if you are short computers so I can order additional machines. All students, grades 3-6 should have their own computer. Grade 4-6 students can bring their computers home as soon as the Acceptable Use forms are returned.
- media form
- Acceptable Use
- Student Verification and CASL form
- Walking Letter
- Student Activity Fee letter
- Pizza and Milk forms will be distributed later in the month – Pizza will be once per week this year.
There is no letter going home from me, I have sent out my message to parents (above).
Thursday, September 8
Friday, September 9
What Is Teaching Well?
After teaching for many years, it can still be challenging to speak up for what you believe in and have learned to be true about teaching and learning. No one educator knows it all, but teachers who have dedicated decades to the profession have certainly gained some knowledge about what works and what doesn’t work.
Generally an experienced teacher understands that good teaching is a combination of tried-and-true traditional work plus new researched-based efforts. It’s not one or the other, but both.
Good teaching also depends on a level of spontaneity and responsiveness. This means knowing your students well and then choreographing and leading the learning in ways that matter to your students. Good teachers are very observant. They have a stack of great lessons and learning materials, and they employ that collection at the most advantageous times.
Good teachers know that teaching is an organic task–not a static effort. Good teaching is always changing to meet the needs of context, students, new research, and timely materials.
Good teaching is well planned with room for flexibility and response–the kind of “loose-tight” planning that’s advantageous to most tasks and efforts that involve people.
Good teaching reaches in and reaches out. We reach in to care for and teach our students well, and we reach out to gain more insight, knowledge, and ideas to do the job well.
Good teaching is a collaborative endeavour that utilizes state-of-the-art effort to learn and employ the best possible teaching/learning plans and effort.
As educators we have to stand up for what we need to teach well including the following:
- timely, inclusive, transparent communication
- worthy, collective, collaborative problem analysis
- good structure, research, and process with regard to decision-making
- substantial time-on-task with students in responsive, sensitive ways
- significant lead time and value related to planning and preparation
- educator/student voice and choice
- up to date materials, tools, furniture, and learning/teaching spaces
- time for worthwhile, targeted, differentiated, and useful professional learning
- honest, direct dialogue and debate focused on what students need and why they need it
- honest, worthy rationale for efforts imposed and directed