As the families gather on the compound my eyes scan the crowd for his familiar face. We promised we would find each other on the first day. You see, I know he is nervous and he knows I am too. Singer, songwriter Ani DiFranco sums it up best: “I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap.” We are both new. This is where we overlap. It is his first day here as a student and it is my first day as Assistant Principal. Each fall, schools open their doors to new faces. From the Old French word 'comunité', meaning commonness or everybody, “COMMUNITY” is the word that comes to mind as I watch the students, parents and teachers embrace the excitement of the morning. Everybody is here with a common goal and the energy is palpable. There is a tug on my dress. I look down and see my new friend. “Ready?” he says.
So what did I learn today? I learned that every child has something important to say about their learning and they will amaze us daily when we let them. So…. I am spending my first days being amazed.
Jennifer George is Assistant Principal at Douglasdale School with a passion for literacy, history, and curriculum that inspires. Twitter @firgeorge
The end of the school year is always a time of reflection. It gives us an opportunity to look back and say what went well, what didn’t and what do we need to work on. This year is no different as May and June have been a flurry of activity with graduations, year-end celebrations, and partner events. The common element though has been students, a reminder to all of us of what is really important.
Education is the core of our work and our values are the fundamental beliefs in which guide our work at the Calgary Board of Education. Putting students first, knowing that learning is our central purpose and that public education serves the common good, provides focus for each one of us regardless of our role. Because the cool thing is, we all have a part to play in public education and we are all in this together.
From the dedicated staff in facilities who ensure safe and caring schools, some of whom have been with CBE for over 35 years (WOW), to our kind lunch room supervisors and our caring education assistants who support our students, to our specialists in planning, transportation, Human Resources and Technology who without their support our massive organization may just grind to a halt. All these folks work tirelessly to ultimately support the work of our teachers and here is what I know; teachers are a rare breed. They are hardworking, selfless, caring, role models to our students who put in countless hours to ensure that our students are engaged and successful.
However all of this would not be possible without our partners, over 350 corporate and non-profits who provide programs, services, supports and financial aid because they also care about student success and making this world a better place.
Everyone has a stake in Public education and the stakes are high, as we strive to meet the demands in an ever changing world. Dealing with change, difficult decisions that result from change and often scrutiny can be stressful and demoralizing for those intimately involved in education who have devoted their lives work to making this world a little better. But here is the thing, we are all human and sometimes we make mistakes and we need to learn from those mistakes so that we can be better for our students and that is why we need to reflect.
CBE 182 has given our staff, students, parents and stakeholders an opportunity to share the great work that is happening each and every day in our school. We are able to hold our heads a little higher and to showcase to the world that at the Calgary Board of Education we are determined, resilient and committed to student success.
To everyone who is involved at the Calgary Board of Education, Congratulations for a great year, Thank you to each and every one who contributes to our organization and hears to moving forward together.
Joy Bowen-Eyre ( @JoyBoweneyre and Joybowen-eyre.ca ) is Trustee Wards 1 & 2 with the Calgary Board of Education. She loves running and traveling and is the proud mum of 3 #yyCBE students.
Today, my Grade 9’s started their human sexuality unit. Standing in front of a room full of raging hormones to talk frankly about the birds and the bees is a truly joyful, and not at all awkward/terrifying/scaring experience.
We started off this unit by discussing ‘positive self-talk’, something that I have struggled with my entire life. I tend to view the world through an overly critical lens so to teach students to recognize all the positive attributes of their ever-changing existence felt a little forced. I could see myself in the students that were struggling to put their own perceptions of themselves into a positive light but as we started to share our lists as a class I saw tiny sparks of ‘oh yeah, me too’ in some of their eyes. I am sure those same students saw my energy shift when the room started to fill with positive thoughts.
I’m no hippy, but the vibe in the grade 9 hallway today was truly grooving. All from a little bit of directed positivity injected into a world of tests, critiques, analysis, and assessments.
Phil Brayton is a former punk musician turned teacher at 12 Mile Coulee School (on a temporary contract, just saying)
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