The Class of 2019 at Benton Community had an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishment of high school graduation. As a community, our school district worked together to coordinate an experience for both our seniors, our younger students, and our staff to celebrate together.
Our senior Bobcats had a chance to walk the halls of all our buildings in the district one more time as a class. During this experience we visited 4 elementary buildings and finished the experience at the middle/high school where they currently attend. We hope this experience allowed our seniors to know how proud we are of this accomplishment in their life. We also hope that this experience allowed our youth to see the final goal of education in action!
Graduation is the beginning of new opportunities for our students. As educators in the system, we are so proud to have played a small role in helping these students accomplish the life they have chosen for themselves. Good luck Class of 2019! It's a great day to be a Bobcat!
*This post is intended to accompany podcast episode #6 "The Bobcat Experience: A Student Perspective". This can be found on the "Podcast" tab at the top of this page.
This winter was a rough one, I think we can all collectively agree on that! Missing 12 days changed more than just our instructional scope and sequence, it pushed our system to go deeper through May and into June with students. This intensifies the age-old challenge of how to combat the “May Slide”. There is no denying that May is a tricky time to keep your foot on the accelerator to optimize student opportunities for learning, but our kids deserve that...as Bobcats we believe this. One way instructional coaches can provide support is to take a page out of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and “keep first things first” (please see the linked video below). As I think through this lens, I think about how I intentionally plan my week to be responsive to my big rocks (teacher and district needs).
So...here are my big rocks for May!
These are my big rocks that I will continue to push myself to honor and prioritize through the end of the year. Feel free to share with me what your big rocks are and how you push yourself while supporting others through the end of the year.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been intrinsically motivated to learn. When I was young, I remember spending a countless number of hours learning as much as I could about the Titanic, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and the branches of government. As a mother, sister, daughter, granddaughter, niece, friend, and community volunteer, I’m constantly trying to learn how I “add value” or can learn and contribute to overall well-being of others in each role.
As a lead learner in a school district, learning occurs on the daily. Some days, the topics I’m learning about are big and heavy. I’d include ESSA, system cultures, and second-order change in this category. I’m also learning about people, who my colleagues are personally and professionally, and how I can bring my best for all Bobcats. I also learn things that are “quick wins” but vital to serving successfully in my role. ISASP sticker labels, PO account codes, and the bell schedule seem to be ideas I’ve put in this category as of late.
I believe everyone should be learning on the daily. However, I believe this is especially true for those leading learners. We should all be prepared to answer that question at any time. As I think and reflect on this idea, I have been considering what I’ve learned most recently.
Last weekend, I finished a book focused on the gifts introverts have to offer the world. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is a text that analyzes and synthesizes research done on personality tendencies and how those tendencies impact society, relationships, and even the educational experience a person has.
What I’ve learned and what I’m thinking about as a result of the learning…
Nature and nurture both play a role in whether a person is more introverted or extroverted. As I think about this as a parent and as a teacher, I wonder about the experience introverted children have at school, on the ball diamond, basketball court, lunch table, or even at recess. What can I do as a parent to support healthy risk taking and personal growth in my child while honoring the gifts he is able to share with the world from his introverted lens?
People are naturally more likely to follow the most dominant in the room, regardless of the quality of their ideas. Society favors people with extroverted tendencies consciously and unconsciously. What does this look like in my life personally and professionally? What did this look like in my classroom? How did I support students who would identify as introverts or extroverts? How are other teachers supporting the needs of both types of learners and how can I help highlight those practices?
Cain wrote another book on introversion geared towards adolescents. I’m excited to read this with Carson this summer.
The Power of Introverts TED Talk
Once I finished Quiet, I started Culturize by Jimmy Casas. I’ll share key takeaways when I’m finished!