Ruth Ayres has created a wonderful spot for sharing moments from your week. She even has a page to give you all the details you need to know about sharing your own celebrations. So head on over and see what everyone else is celebrating.
My celebrations this week, tend to revolve around this experience
Over and over again we were impressed with the staff and their willingness to share everything with us. We spent two days with these people. We met with students, teachers and administrators. They shared how they went about changing to competency based ed. They stressed what they believed were the things that they felt were the most important in building by in. They were honest in the areas they received a little push back. We heard the statement, "If we had it to over again..." several times.
And, more than what's in their head, they shared hard copies... One of the reasons we wanted to visit a school was to actually see what was going on. See how they did things. Teachers handed us rubrics and competencies. They shared with us all the information about student portfolios and student led conferences. All great examples that will get us moving forward.
At each juncture of the move to competency based ed, students were involved. They are truly a student centered school. Every committee has student members. Their site council has more students than adults! We brought two students with us on this trip, so they immediately found a student to partner them with. They were able to visit classes, eat lunch and visit with other students during the first day and part of the second. They brought a perspective to the conversation that we wouldn't get otherwise.
Student choice and voice has been at the forefront of my teaching this year. I've always allowed student choice, but this year, after taking part in several #stuvoice chats (Monday nights at 7:30 Central Time) I've made it a bigger part of my teaching world. I loved hearing everything they had to say about including students.
Visits to see how other schools work are eye-opening. You find new ideas, see what works and what doesn't work, and realize what you are doing well on your home turf. Our students came back with a new perspective on our high school and so did the rest of our team. In our quest for what's best for students, I think we realized that we do some things pretty well.
Another nice thing about visits, is the appreciation of home. Wednesday morning found us on the road again for our trip home. Rush hour traffic is not for this group of teachers. At one point on the way back to Boston a sign reported it would take us 31 minutes to drive 7 miles. Not one of us thought we could do that every day :)
After a week of go-go-go, it's nice to sit home this morning, in my pj's and sip on that extra cup of coffee. No rush to get to school, no rush to finish up a lesson plan, no rush to make a meeting. Saturday mornings...a good time to reflect and celebrate a great week.
And, because I got used to listening to this every morning this week. A little video bring a smile to your face.