What sets you apart?

What sets you apart?

Kurt & The Boys

Kurt & The Boys

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)




  • The grade 8’s are hosting a tea for local seniors, this will be held in the library starting at noon (set up) and going all afternoon, so please plan accordingly
  • The sr. boys and sr. girls basketball teams head over to RJC
  • TIME Magazine announces their person of the year



  • Rachel & Courtney’s last official day of their internship…time sure does fly!
  • Jr. boys basketball head to Vanscoy
  • Even though everyday at a school is lost and found day, there is an official one….and it’s today!


  • Jr. girls basketball home tournament


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