In the Tall Trees of Learning

“Shhh! What’s that sound? Bruce, go check what that is.” Such was life in the great outdoors when my wife and I would take Bobby camping. It was very common for her to jab me in the ribs with her elbow and wake me up after she heard something outside of the tent. Of course, when I woke up, I never heard anything, but she would always swear that it was not her imagination. I’m not the bravest soul, and would never venture out, after all, what if there was something there? What would I be besides an appetizer? Looking back, what I really think she was hearing was the echo of my snores as they rattled around the northern pine trees.

We could imagine what was out there, and sometimes I’d joke about the size of the bear that must be sniffing around. Of course, I thought it was hilarious, but in hindsight, it probably explains why she was always so tired and wasn’t a huge fan of camping. I was able to get back to sleep while my poor wife had to suffer, wondering what the heck was making those sounds. Quite often in the morning we would venture out, looking for wild strawberries to have with our breakfast, and we’d always do our best investigating. We would be on the lookout for tracks or droppings from God’s nocturnal creatures, but being ‘city-slickers’ we couldn’t tell a deer track from a tricycle track. What we really needed was someone to walk beside us, and point out evidence to help us unravel the mystery from the night before. We needed someone to point out tell-tale signs of recent activity, and tell us if we really needed to be concerned.

This week we have an opportunity to act as ‘tracker’ for our students’ parents as we welcome them for our second round of conferences. This Wednesday and Thursday, we get to bring them along on the journey as we share with them the latest evidence of learning that has occurred for their children. Just as an expert tracker can spot things in the wild that a layperson like myself or my wife would miss, we have the ability to point out the tell-tale signs that their child occupies that space and that while they are there, they are immersed in some serious learning.

How will you approach the journey into the tall trees of learning with your students and their loved ones? Will you wait for them to ask, or will you have evidence ready for them? Will you lead the walk, or will you follow your visitors, pointing out things along the way? Will you identify the obvious tracks, or will you show them the things they might overlook without your expert eye? Just as a tracker can predict future behavior, what might you share that will shed some light on next steps for learning? Most importantly, what do you want each parent to learn as a result of coming to the school Wednesday or Thursday? How will you know if they have learned it? How will you be intentional?

We never did figure out if there were any wild animals rummaging through our campsite all those years ago. I was too afraid to go out with a flashlight to look around, and did not have a keen enough eye to spot all the clues the next morning. Let’s make sure we are pointing out the important evidence for our students’ parents as we look for the signs their wildlife has left behind. (Maybe don’t call their kids wildlife on Wednesday or Thursday night!)

Here is what is on the horizon this week:


  • K – 12 staff meeting (presentations begin with Steve, Joanne, and Bruce)


  • Brenda, Steve, and Bruce at Warman ~ Mental Health Literacy workshop


  • P/T Conferences begin
  • Jesse with students from grade 10 – 12 at Warman hockey tournament


  • P/T Conferences continue
  • Dwayne & Jade away with the grade 6 basketball teams


  • Day in lieu

As always, create a great week!

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