Each year begins and we set goals. We set goals as individuals, we set goals as teams and we set goals as a building to annually strengthen programs already in place. This past week our Site Based Improvement Committee met to share our building goals with parents, community members as well as staff. Thank you, Patricia Hempstead and Kim Peake for organizing the meeting and thank you Alicia, Scott, Kari and Lauren for sharing your specific content areas with those in attendance.
Two of our goals are listed below and following each one, is an example of how I saw these goals being achieved within the past week.
Study and use the district written curriculum
On the surface this sounds really easy and straightforward, but the staff at Sigler is taking it a step farther and making sure the depth of knowledge necessary for students to grow is being addressed. This past Wednesday, Kindergarten was kind enough to allow me to sit in on their afternoon planning session so I could witness just how our teams are studying and using the written curriculum. Kindergarten teachers discussed how students at the young age of 5 can make connections with the settings in a story and how that can be translated to their own experiences. They discussed the importance of character development and sharing with students how characters can change in a story or how their feelings may change just as the feelings of KN students can change over the course of a school day.
It was pretty awesome to hear our KN teachers discussing such high level reasoning when it comes to reading when lets face it, not all of the students are reading! They may not be reading yet...but they are learning how to think about their reading which will pay dividends down the road. Keep it up Kindergarten!
While preparing for our SBIC Meeting, I came across this reflective question:
Does the activity/strategy you are planning directly support the desired learning outcome (learning target)? As you study and use our district curriculum, please reflect on that question with each activity/strategy you use.
Model and promote substantive collaboration to foster a learning community
Collaboration is something we are focused on this year at Sigler and I see examples of this daily. Specifically this past week, I was able to see this first hand through the observation of an ELD lesson again, in KN. Our teachers worked hand in hand to make sure this group of bilingual students were able to have a conversation back and forth, introducing each other and sharing the name of their teacher in KN. I am excited to follow the language development of this group of students over the course of the school year.
(In highlighting KN this week, I will aim to highlight 1st grade next week and work my way through the various grade levels/departments)
Our first early release was scheduled for this past Friday and staff had an opportunity to work together, study some student data and develop a plan based on their findings. Specifically, I wanted to thank 2nd grade for joining the conversation with 3rd-5th as they are working hard to collaborate with our "STAAR" grades so they can strengthen the support they are giving students as they are preparing them for 3rd grade. I'm excited to see 2nd grade flourish and soar as we involve them in more vertically aligned conversations.
In closing, I wanted to highlight a few statements made in the documentary "TEACH", which the staff was able to view Friday. Our staff works tirelessly for our students and every now and then, taking a moment to watch a move such as "TEACH" allows for the battery to be charged, reignites the passion, or simply allows your fire to burn brighter. Your reflections may lead you a difference direction, but these statements below, made me personally reflect and I hope there was at least one moment during "TEACH" that caused you to reflect.
"To teach is to question, and sometimes you have to begin by questioning yourself."
"Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th." - Julie Andrews