Do you remember those high school dances as a teenager? I do and loved everyone of them(well maybe accept one). At my first school as an admin, I had been hearing stories that many of the high schools were cancelling their dances due to many problems. It was a shame.
I asked my group of students at the time if they'd be interested. They were very excited and it took off from there. The same held true at every school since. I introduced an atmosphere of safe, free spirited fun while listening to their favourite songs. Although I enjoyed it as much as they did, especially DJ'ing (reliving my youth? Maybe), letting go and giving the dance back to the students has been the most enjoyable.
I hope the feeling that I try and create carries on when the students eventually move on, so the dances can be just as much fun as I had when I attended high school. Awe, the memories!
Part of the job description as an administrator is selling your school to potential parents and their children. Not sure if this was in the owners manual when I signed up, but it is a time to reflect on what is going on in your school. If you believe you have built a culture of learning and care within your building, then the discussion with parents is quite easy.
That was the case the other day when I got the chance to speak with parents who wanted to know about our school for their son entering September 2015. I was extremely confident in my school and staff as to what we have built over the past three years since my arrival. It is very reassuring when you speak of best practices and how we, at our school, are preparing our students for the future.
No matter what the school, promoting our #vsb39 sites is important to continue growing what is a great District.
It is such a simple concept, but putting a few pumpkins out on the front grass (or on the gym floor when it rains) can really put the excitement into any child's eye. Hearing almost 180 pumpkins saying, "Pick me, pick me!" is quickly drowned out by that many kids in search of that perfect jack o'lantern.
The best part of the pumpkin patch was watching the Kindergarten and Grade 1 students pick the biggest pumpkin possible. So big, that they needed someone to help carry it back to their class. Some valiant efforts, but luckily no one got hurt - the pumpkins I mean.
Carving is next.
Today I had a couple of teachers from another school come and check out our Interactive White Board (IWB). I love sharing what we have at our school and what is working with our teachers and students. The more, we as a school board, get out and collaborate with our colleagues, the better our District will be as a whole. Remember, we are in this together and always stronger in numbers. Share the wealth!
Often the job of a school administrator can get pretty busy at times. As much as I have a calendar on my computer, iPad and phone, there is still that chance that something gets missed.
Case in point today. I get a text from my OAA asking if there was a TOC in for the class that was going to We Day. That's when the 'oops' moment hit me. I had completely forgot that only the Grade 7's were attending and that ten Grade 6's would be left behind. No worries. No need to panic. Call in a TOC; I'd cover until someone arrives; even bring together with my morning reading group. Not a beat missed and everyone survived. I even met my son's classroom teacher after taking the time to drop off in the morning.
I'm a few hours behind on this one, but I'll get it on anyway. Actually I'm writing from my iPhone.
Yesterday was the District Cross Country Meet at Trout Lake. Almost 2000 kids from K-7 race around the lake in distances that, for some, are challenging. This is always an exciting meet with so many people in attendance and the weather couldn't have been any better.
There were some great performances by a lot of students, including my own school. But I'm going to be a little selfish and say how proud I am of my daughter for finishing third amongst the Grade 2's. It was an incredible feeling to see her come around the corner amongst the lead group. Once she passed me, I ran to the finish line to congratulate her. Incredible finish!
This and other activities wouldn't be possible without the generous time that teachers and volunteers give up. Thank you! These are the type of experiences that kids remember.
Play. It's such a fun word and can mean so many things. The five year old who enters Kindergarten for the first time is all he or she wants to do. So why does it stop when we reach adulthood? There are moments we get the chance to play, but it seems so scheduled or organized. Hockey from 10-11pm; Run after school 3:30-4:30pm; tennis 9-10am on a Saturday; language arts 9-10am; art class Friday afternoons.
Where I would like to see more play is in how we approach our work with students. Play can also mean taking risks and having fun with the subject one teach's or the experiences that students are exposed to. If a child or young adult see you, the teacher, as having fun with a particular subject, there is no doubt that they will too; thus increasing the motivation to learn or take risks too. So get out there and play a little.
Today three of us were able to attend a Pro-D on Building an Inquiry Classroom with @Neilstephenson in Richmond. I knew what to expect listening to Neil and could only hope that the two staff members I brought along felt the same. It all came true; it was a real eye opener and there is a sense of excitement to bring back to the rest of the school.
The goal: Make our classrooms a thinking classroom.
A small percentage of my time as an administrator is teaching small groups as part of the school Resource Team. My morning reading group is already up and running with my 15 Grade 2/3's signed on to Edmodo; the platform I will use to deliver material and instructions.
My other project, which both the student I'm working with and I are excited about, is producing a news style podcast for the rest of the school to hear. We just recently sat down to brainstorm some ideas as to what other students would be interested in listening to. We both felt the ideas had to be interesting and informative. This project will provide my student with many different skills, maybe the most important being self confidence. Our goal is to get the first podcast out before Halloween. You can probably guess the theme. Stay tuned!
Most often the best part of working in education is continually finding ways to provide positive experiences for the students we serve.
This evenings meeting is no different. This years Acceptance Project is entering it's 5th Campaign and 3rd with the @whlgiants hockey team. It is a great partnership that has been formed and each time we all get together, the energy generated just gets you even more excited to get the project going.
So stay tuned for more things to come; almost 10,000 students and social campaign we hope will really inspire others to #spreadtheword.
I am the Principal at Mount Pleasant Elementary School in Vancouver, BC. I am passionate about inspiring others to be creative, curious and collaborative in their learning