Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Teacher Awards

Last night we had our third five minute staff meeting after school, for three weeks in a row, to present two trophies to celebrate our successes. What a fantastic idea! What great energy, enthusiasm and professionalism. The latest two receipents created the following little song:

Day in and day out
Every day, every day
Differentiated instruction
Is your only way!

You could use a valium too
But this trophy will have to do!

(sung to the tune of Mary Had a Little Lamb)

They presented to a teacher/Educational assistant combo! Now it is their turn to present next Tuesday to two other deserving staff members!

Sunday, May 31, 2009


One of my teachers, Mrs. Anne Stewart, has created two new excellent programs in our school this past school year: an art club and an elementary running club which is an inspiration and an excellent opportunity for many of our kids.

This particular staff member was assigned some new teaching duties this past year and I'm not so sure that she would have chosen those for herself. She is obviously a person with inspirational professionalism. Besides the two new extra-curricular programs, she has taken on a love for one of her newest teaching assignmnets. One of my greatest enjoyments from this past year has involved listening to her. She is always bragging about her kids and what they have accomplished. When she is not doing that, she is spending much of her time thinking about methods on improving their performances. She collaborates and she is willing to learn as much as possible from other professionals.

I wish we all, including myself, could so quickly and easily adapt and grow into a new situation with such dedication and professionalism!

Monday, May 18, 2009

27 More School Days

27 More school days as student contact days, and it is causing me a little stress. I have to finish (okay start) planning class configurations for the fall, but that won't take too long. I already have it "planned". Things will look fairly similar to last year, but the exciting part is the planning for team teaching. There are several ideas and plans in the works. My senior ELA/History teacher wants to do some team teaching with me for Grade 12 ELA and History... I think this will work well, and I could learn more CDN history. I'm not sure exactly how we will set this up on the timetable (how many classes we will actually be teaching together, how we will organize the planning...) Maybe we'll get a chance to meet this week to discuss.

I am worried about all of the needs for subs; this needs to be addressed. I need subs for track, golf, middle years' renewal, class trips, a few more prep days, ROS and NS days.

We are busy planning our awards day and finishing up our PGP meetings with staff. I am also considering our school goals for the fall. We have discussed some ideas including differentiated instruction (we did a little PD around this already), continue with math and writing. We don't need to include guided reading or technology anymore. This is going well- intgrated into practice...

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Learning Day

We had a great day on Friday with team teaching in full swing! We just don't know what works well until we try it and take a chance. My grade 3/4 teacher sent me an email and said that their afternoon went well. She was team teaching with the Grade 1/2 teacher and they were focusing on reading. They used the Smart Board, groupings, activities.. This is what she wrote!

Just thought you might want to know that our afternoon was a great success. The students so enjoyed being together and Munsch’s own rendition of the Paper Bag Princess off of the SmartBoard. They were able to do the quiz at the end with 100% accuracy and enjoyed working in groups of 4 to put the events of the story in order from a set of cards and then share the orders. They also enjoyed the muffins and juice (thank you) and then in partners created paper bag princess puppets which are hanging in the hallway by Christa’s door.

We decided that we will do more of these collaborative afternoons together.

I was working in the gym with about 100 middle years' students on pi day with two other math teachers and we had a great time, measuring, sharing,and eating pi. We had fun and we are going to plan more of these days - focusing on differentiated instruction.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Special Learning Day

Data from assessments can provide a focus. On Friday we are having a special learning day including math pi activities, reading activities and writing traits activities which align perfectly with our school goals. These days/goals seem like huge add ons but they provide some alternatives to the regular structure of dayandhave a purpose.

I do think that we may be over assessing, which causes unnecessary stress to the already stressful day of an educator. In addition the changing curriculum adds to the stress, so it may be helpful to postpone provincial testing until the new curricula has been in place for at least a full year.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Great Extra - Curr This Weekend!

Today we are hosting Senior Boys' Conference and it looks like our boys are off to Regionals! At noon they defeated Davidson, my old home town, in a bit of nail bitter! It was an exciting game, tied at half, and we ended up winning by about 15 points! Excellent Team Work Boys!

Last night my daughter who is playing Midget girls' hockey won the first of three against Elrose. They won 4-3 in overtime and my girl got the winning assist. She had a great shot on net and the Captain put in the rebound! Elrose comes back to play Game #2 on Wednesday. Tomorrow they play Game #1 for Provincials, South Final, against Fort Quappelle.

I talked to my son yesterday who is attending University in New Mexico to study and to play golf. He said that his game is coming along well. He has been working really hard and he loves it! He is also really enjoying his classes and he is moving into a pre-med degree. He sounded great, but I really miss him!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


A few tidbits from my over stimulated mind:
- PHD in Ed Tech
- PD should be 95% school based - now we just need an efficient and effective model
- The one astounding thing about this job, is not multi-tasking, but rather the vastness or erratic tasks. It moves from the building having no water to filing police reports and neither of these two tasks relate directly to "instructional leader" which is my top priority!
- Special Learning Fun next Friday - we'll see how it goes! I need to get on this by the end of the week.
- staffing plans - will do some drafts this week

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Another Degree

I have been considering completing my application to the University of Calgary - PHD - but I am having difficulty deciding between Educational Leadership and Educational Administration. If anyone has any words of wisdom for me, I would really appreciate some...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Learning Focus

I have been perusing some ed blogs and there are several administrators who have some excellent ideas about dealing with some of the always present issues such as cell phone use, attendance... and I think that I may try a few.

After teaching for over 20 years, I have to think back on my experiences. What constituted success in dealing with on-going discipline concerns- involving the students, no tolerance for disrespectful comments/attitudes, one to five critical rules, etc. I always ignored, what I considered to be irrelevant behaviour - like coming in two minutes late. If I had a habitual late student, I tried a few things like talking to him, having a quick fun thing at the beginning of the class... If those things didn't work, his/her problems were much bigger than my talks, my consequences... I never let those things consume me - other behviors like flicking something in a desk - I would just quietly walk by and remove it or give a little look...? I had excellent class control and management. I focused on learning - I spent all of my time on this. For the first 20 years of my career I focused on exciting lessons and relevant activities and now it needs to be on student learning. I wanted the students to be engaged all the time and the other management issues became insignificant.

Next week my staff is meeting and we are going to brainstorm what/how on how to create a Learning Day. I want the focus of our school to be on learning. We are going to connect this learning day to our school goals. Hopefully it will be great!