Friday, June 10, 2016

Working on that Epic Finish

Each week I send a brief newsletter called "What's Happening" at Slackwood School to my staff. This is an easy to read calendar of upcoming events and timeline details.   I also try to share inspirational quotes or brief thoughts on our school.  Believe me, it's nothing special, but it serves the purpose.  For the past two weeks I've used quotes about ending the year with the same fervor and excitement that we started the year with.  I realize this is hard with all of the deadlines and all of scheduled activities that are creeping into class time but I feel it's important, now, more than ever, that our teachers create those life-changing lessons and provide our students with experiences that make them excited to come to school.

It's Friday at 11:00 AM with one week of school remaining and I'm walking through the building. The rooms are not quiet as you might find in some schools. The students are everywhere working. Working, talking, collaborating.  There is excitement and fun. Each class I walk into students are excited to show me what they are working on. Excited to show me their superhero costumes or their writing assignments.

It's T- day in first grade so there are big classroom games of Tic-Tac-Toe going on.  One class in second grade is working on multiple projects which include a classroom movie and their Academy Awards of Books, complete with after-party (Student said, "Can we have an after-party?" As part of the planning for these book awards.  Teacher responds, "Why of course!"). This is all after this class finished skyping with another class in Massachusetts.  Another class is finishing a science unit and working on making a depiction of the solar system.  Students are excited to show me everything they are doing in every class I walk into.  I walk into a third grade class and the students are working in groups on their parts for reader's theater.  The same thing is going on right outside in the hallway with a second grade group of students practicing their parts and working (without knowing it's work) on their fluency.  In and out of every classroom and it's the same. Fun and exciting learning activities everywhere I turn.

Last year, I wrote a post about how the Slackwood Staff really had taken to Teaching Like Pirates.
I get to see teachers doing amazing things for our students on a daily basis. It hit me in the face today, just how lucky I am to work in a school where all of the people get it. A place where we always do what's best for kids and we always work to build a love of learning. One more week until summer break and I know that our students are excited about each and every day. It's not only going to be good, it's going to be EPIC!

Below is a copy of a quick email I sent out to staff to recognize their work.

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