The final week is upon us, and it’s a time to reflect on 2015. How has your professional year been? Have you achieved the goals you set for yourself, or made progress towards them? Have your students surprised you this year? How? When you come back in 2016, what is it that you are hoping to try? Please feel free to take some risks, try to engage your students in ways you may have never thought of before….think outside the box, and when it works celebrate the heck out of it, and if it bombs, file it under the won’t try that one again file.
The students have been working hard on their preparation for the Christmas concert and we are all looking forward to seeing the finished product on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday night. Just remember that the gym will not be open for the week so plan your PE accordingly.
Some house keeping items before the break:
Make sure kids take home any perishable items and have them do a locker clean up
Joanne & Joe will be doing the floors in the high school end (all rooms) so we need to help them out by moving our desks/chairs to the hallway on Friday, period 5.
If you have furniture (i.e. couches/big chairs/area rugs, etc.) please have a couple kids move those to the stage
During the week of the 28th to Jan. 1st they are waxing the hallways so please do not come out to the school unless it’s an emergency
If anything else comes up, we’ll let you know.
What’s Happening This Week:
The gym will be closing today as we prepare for the Christmas concert this week
The sr. girls basketball team heads to Dalmeny
Christmas concert takes place at 1:30 – open to all
Gr. 8 bowling period 3
Baby Shower 3:45 @ Jen Willms’ house
Christmas concert 7:00
Sr. girls & boys hosting basketball games at Bethany
Classroom clean up
Note: the bowling alley is unavailable today
Finally, a wish to you all to have a safe and relaxing holiday. Take some time for yourself and make sure you give your loved ones that little extra hug.
So much learning last week, I’m not even sure where to start! Looking around the school I see a community learning together in preparation for the Christmas concert, I see interns exploring various grade levels to get a sense of life in a K – 12 school, I see teachers performing with students, it is truly humbling to be surrounded by such dedicated professionals.
Last Tuesday I had the opportunity to visit Venture Heights School to see how they are actualizing one of their school goals: making learning targets explicit. In every room, from Kindergarten to the PAA shop, you would see “I can…” statements for every subject that is being taught in that room. Along with that you would notice in many (not all) classrooms clear learning targets for the current lesson being taught. The teachers explained that these targets always support the larger I can statement that is a long term fixture in the room. Learning Link #1 called, Learning Targets on Parade, comes from Neda Wilson and it was used to support an activity at ALT on Tuesday, this talks about the importance of learning targets. Question: when someone walks in your room, what do they see that lets them know what the students are learning? Is this practice of posting learning targets reflected in MPSC?
On Thursday I was very fortunate to have a chance to sit one on one with our Director, John Kuzbik, to discuss student and adult learning. We also talked about my role as a vice-principal and how I can impact this learning. I’d like to share some of key things I learned during our time together. If John asked you these questions, what would you say?
focus on living in the moment and being the very best (insert role here) you can be. There is nothing wrong with goals and aspirations, but you can’t let the “finish line” detract you from what is important right now.
a question he asked was, “what is the difference between a personal relationship and a learning relationship, and how important are these relationships when it comes to student learning?”
he asked me to think about the very best teacher I have every worked with and then asked me to describe what it was that this person did that made them stand out.
This led to Friday and one of the best PD sessions I’ve been to in a long time. Jackie Salzl and I went to see Dr. Danny Brassell and listen to him speak about the importance of reading, especially for those reluctant middle and high school boys. My biggest take away from the day was the importance of relationships and personalizing the learning experiences for our students. He was able to use humor very effectively in his presentation and the numerous simple body breaks (i.e. learning how to bow properly based on Japanese culture) kept us from losing focus. He had a million tips and websites for us and I will share these when I get the e-mail from him (it contains his presentation). I also have 3 audio CDs for those who wish to tune out their carpool partners 🙂 Learning link #2 is a 17 minute YouTube video of Dr. Brassell, it is really worth the watch if you can take the time.
That takes us to what is coming up this week (I’ve included some other out of school things that are going on as well)