What’s Good for Some…March 12 – 16th

Every adult at Waldheim School will have a deep and thorough understanding of every student they work with as learners in their subject area(s). A goal like that can seem quite daunting,  however I’ve been so excited to witness this coming to life everyday in our school.  Some of the things I saw last week speak to how you are getting to know your learners. I watched as students talked about their  favorite animals and the teacher learned about them as researchers and  presenters. I watched as students sat beside their teacher discussing how to potentially solve their math problems, all the while the teacher learned more about them as mathematicians. I watched as teacher and student problem solved how to fit a lid on a beautiful jewelry box, the teacher learning about the student as a problem solver. I watched as a teacher worked with a small group of students as they shared what they noticed in a picture from a big book. I could go on and on, because everywhere I look everyday I see all of you getting to know your students as learners. It’s an incredible thing to watch.

I was thinking about this today as I made another trip to Table Mountain, however this time Eva joined the twins, and this would be her first time ever skiing. I quickly learned that how I helped the twins learn to ski was not going to work for Eva, as she was much more tentative. After her second run down the hill, with tears in her eyes, she said she’d had enough, and wanted to quit. The lift operator saw this conversation, and offered me a ski aid (just a reinforced hoola hoop), which we used for quite a while. I was hoping that she’d be able to start skiing on her own, however she remained very dependent on me and the ski aid, to the point that I wasn’t sure what to do to help her, after all, I can only say “pizza skis, pizza skis” so much. One of the great things about Table Mountain is the many volunteer instructors who are on the bunny hill, and one of them, Dave, happened to spot us getting ready to go for another run down the hill. He asked how Eva was enjoying it, and she sheepishly replied that she was having fun. Dave offered a couple of pieces of advice for her, and as he modeled this for her, I was able to pick up a few things I could use as I continued to help her. It was amazing how quickly what he taught her had her swishing down the hill on her own, I was amazed! The day wound up with her cheering about how much she loved skiing, and I was so happy for her as she called out, “dad, I’m doing it, I’m skiing”! I just wish I could have found Dave to thank him.

On the way home I started thinking about how sometimes we get stuck as we work with our learners, just like I was stuck with Eva today. It took the advice of someone else, in this case it was an expert instructor, to help get us out of the learning rut we were in. Tomorrow we get to learn together as Jesse has worked hard to tailor the PSSD PD to meet the needs of Waldheim School. We get to learn together, and in the process have an opportunity to ask each other for the help we may be needing. As you come into tomorrow’s PD, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What will someone else learn because you were in the room?
  • What are you hoping to learn?

Here’s what lies ahead this week:


  • PD/Prep Day (pot luck lunch)


  • Bruce & Jesse at ALT (Steve acting admin)


  • Classroom visits: What would you like us to notice?


  • Classroom visits: What would you like us to notice?


  • Classroom visits: What would you like us to notice?

As always, create a great week!

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About the Author: Bruce Mellesmoen