Day 33 (of 183) seeing my school [and district] with outside eyes. With thanks to @principalgli @bcpvpa #bcpvpa
Today I had the opportunity to see my school and district with outside eyes; I was able to take @bcpvpa president @principalgli around our district. Every two years, our association president has the opportunity to explore and meet with principal groups in districts around the province. As our chapter president it was my turn to ‘be tour guide’.
We started out in my school (strictly because it is the first one coming from the airport he landed at – honest!). And while we saw some of the work we have embedded around self-regulation and eportfolio communication of student learning, I also confirmed another consideration about our learning community: we love numeracy
It makes me feel good because I remember math teachers at schools I was sending students to have one key sentiment: send them to me loving (he may have said just liking) math! Well we visited a loud grade two math class (it’s great to hear kids cheering about math options) and a quick poll of a grade 4/5 class confirmed that one of their favourite subjects is math. My wonder: is the work we are doing around self regulation having a by product of reducing math anxiety….?
We then toured the school I send my students to: Carlin Elementay Middle School. It was great seeing so,e of the amazing artwork that is visible in the hall on a temporary and permanent basis.
It was also cool to reflect on how much nature is part of us. Both Caflin and Sorrento are fortunate to have a woods-area (fenced) as part of our school grounds. Having a big space to play is important for a school that runs a dual schedule – one for the elementary side and another for the middle school.
It was also a nice bonus to see students that I have worked with over the pasth fee years either give me a secret wave or high five or quick chat. It was really neat to see the school during the day Andrew variety of activities that go on (from a mock parliament to some wicked Halloween crafts and creations).
We then toured the school that hosts my youngest daughter. And since the principals daughter is in the same class, we quickly recruited them to guide us around the school. It was neat to see “what was important” from the students point of view (I didn’t prep my daughter for this other than letting her know she would see us in the hall). But a tour of the outside gardens illustrated their connection to the learning community.
And we loved their passion when they started talking about how their three 4/5 classrooms so frequent worked together. Showing off their teachers sword-to-knight-great readers and a PowerPoint about “where the red fern genes’ helped show how connected the students are to what they are learning, why they are learning it and how it helps them as students! Their showing off what their classes have accomplished as groups further reinforced how much teamwork and collaboration is vibrant part of their learning journey!
At our dual-campus secondary school, we saw a range of academic successes (and a gorgeous view that I too often forget we have in so many of our schools) and individual achievements. From the students working on senior science courses to a student who gave us an impromptu drum solo.
In changing campuses we also saw an inspirED program that has students use their strengths to communicate their learning.
After the students had all left the schools in our community, we also had an opportunity to visit our DESC (District Education Support Centre) – the blending of our board office, tech department, itinerants and meeting spaces. A beautiful new building that is designed to be a central hub for so much of the supports to our schools. It was great timing that had our superintendent @gborthis lead the way (so I could check in with student services and human resources…!)
We concluded our day with a dinner gathering with our North Okanagan Shuswap Principals Vice Principals association (NOSPVPA) at one of our local restaurants. Because when we have a guest come visit, it’s nice to show off some other highlights of our towns (the wharf and downtown core).
Two years ago, the @bcpvpa president came to our district via ‘the south’ and was able to see Armstrong and Enderby. This year coming from ‘the west’ we were able to cover Sorrento Tappena and Salmon Arm. Next needs to be ‘the east’. And the continued realization that no matter how hard we may try, it’s just not possible to see all the fabulous things going on in #83learns in just one day!