I had a TOC on Wednesday (to attend professional development) and the TOC reported no problems with my classes! Give yourselves a round of applause, a big pat on the back, a happy dance!
Way to do yourselves and your school proud.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
We met in the library. In short time, the English teachers all crowded around a long table and started to do some brainstorming. What should we create? What might students like? I won't tell you what we came up with, because we aren't finished yet.
I just thought you should all know that, when we ask you to collaborate in groups, we are asking you to do something that we also do. We collaborate with other teachers to try and make our lessons better, to try and help students learn more and to try and learn more ourselves. Ten heads are better than one!
There was a bit of joking around and laughing but we made a great start on a wonderful and exciting unit. Yes, it will still involve you thinking and working, but it should prove to also be fun and interesting. Yeah, GMS English!
A crew of teachers and admin from GMS went to a meeting with other schools from around the district to discuss what we're doing for Presentations of Learning. It was a very interesting morning and I learned a lot.
I wasn't at GMS for the POL's last year, so it was great to spend some time talking about them with Mr. Robinson, Mrs. Z, Mr. Cassidy, and Mrs Wiberg. I learned a lot about what went well last year (the grade nines all participated at a high level) and what didn't (they didn't include enough school content and started a little late).
We talked about how to make this year's presentations a smashing success. First, we need to collect data on how awesome you are throughout the year instead of trying to remember what happened during the year (while you work on the presentations in June). Then, we talked about how to add depth to the presentations. There were some amazing presentations done last year but most focused on extracurricular activities and, while that's great, we need to focus a bit more on collecting curricular data this year.
The more I learned about this process, the more I wished I'd been able to go through this process when I was in grade nine. You are a lucky bunch of peeps!
I had conversations with two different students today. Both were legitimately irritated at a teacher (one at me and one at someone else). They had every reason to be angry, because the teacher was doing something that could, from an individual student's perspective, entirely unfair. However, the teacher was looking at the big picture and was, from his/her perspective, being fair.
So why do we have so much trouble seeing the world from someone else's perspective? Why do we become frustrated with other people when the other people are just doing their best? It's probably part of the human condition that this happens, but I really think it's something we should all try to change.
We do it because we're human, but we also have the power to change. So, people, let's change!!! I will make it one of my personal September Resolutions (I don't do New Year's Resolutions in January, because my new year starts in September) to change my classroom for the better. I vow to analyze my classroom structures and behaviour not only from the perspective of a successful classroom but also from the perspective of individual students. I've always tried to do this, but I will make even more of an effort.
What I need you all to do is to let me know when I've messed up. But wait... I need you to do this in a respectful and appropriate way. For example, you might not want to yell out, "Ms. Sanders, you SUCK!" as that is neither respectful or appropriate. However, you could say, "Hey, Ms. Sanders, could I chat with you about something that's bothering me?" and then I'd say, "Sure, let's step outside for a sec." Easy peasy.
Thanks for reading!
Attribution: Image: 'no more hate'
Found on flickrcc.net
Our latest Mentorship classes were focused on gratitude. This topic was inspiring and I really enjoyed reading what students wrote about gratitude.
To be honest, I also spent quite a bit of time thinking about the things and people I'm grateful for... my family, my silly dog (Ozzie), my friends and the beautiful, safe place we call home.
Those might all be a bit cliche I guess but when I started really thinking about it and really started examining the little things I'm grateful for (like playing with my nephew) it made me feel more satisfied with my little piece of the universe.