Here we go…. the countdown is on! When we return to school on Monday, we will have only 20 days left with our current SAC crew and only 18 days with our current cohort of students.
As I reflect on the upcoming month, I can honestly say that I am feeling the emotions of pride, pressure and purpose.
Pride ~ As a school that is just finishing their second year, we have much to celebrate and be proud of. Our team of educators have already built a reputation of being a strong, caring, highly motivated, intelligent and fun loving crew. We are known as a school community where kindness, collaboration and high standards are non-negotiables. As our population continues to increase, we continue to welcome more educators, who embody those same traits. Our students are afforded incredible, cross-curricular, engaging and challenging learning activities on a regular basis. Each of our classrooms could be featured in a “Third Teacher” Ministry monograph. Our staff has embraced a Learning For All model of instruction, support and assessment. My Walk Throughs are celebratory moments. Moreover, if I am having one of those days, when the emails/phone calls and system needs overshadow the important work of getting to classrooms, I can always count on a few visits from learners excited to share the number of books they have read, their latest persuasive paragraph or their latest math strategy for decomposing numbers. We have a number of magical places that morph and evolve on a regular basis (our LLC and our Forest of Learning to name but a few) and arrive daily to find out what is in store for our staff and students.
Beyond the classroom, our students have been offered a large selection of sports opportunities, Arts opportunities and community projects.
Our vision of what a school could be, with everyone invested and seamlessly working together is quickly being realized. I wish there was a word stronger than PRIDE.
Pressure ~ “So much yet to do and so little time” is probably the same mantra that all of my administrator colleagues are thinking this weekend. Timetables, supervision schedules, final newsletter, class placements, fire drills, ordering furniture and equipment for 4 new classrooms, welcoming new team members, hiring for unfilled positions, graduation, report cards, final staff meeting and PD Day plans, transition meetings for incoming K1s and similar meetings for our a few of our K2s who will be going to grade 1 in the fall. I am sure that I am missing a few more things on this list.
For me, the list is not as important (as tasks always seem to get done) as being able to maintain a sense of calm and business as usual as we work through the list. Our students and our crew deserve for month 10 to be just as wonderful as every other month of the year. For some of our students, they have already started to exhibit signs of anxiety as we near the end of the school year ~ so we need to dig a bit deeper into our support tanks.
Purpose ~ Last week, I was challenged by a friend of a parent (of a student who is struggling with being kind and not physically assaulting peers and adults) who felt that I was overreacting by holding the student accountable for his actions. She started to quote the phrase, “boys will be boys” and then asked, “Who did I think I was trying to control those natural tendencies”. She tried to share that this type of behavior happens everywhere and therefore we should not be making such a big deal about it. I, calmly, but sternly replied that although that may be her experience at her child’s school, we are determined to actively watch for, address and alleviate all unkind behavior. It would be easier to turn a blind eye, but we have our purpose is to create a safe community.
As we look towards the bigger picture of school improvement, we want to ensure that we are honouring what is special about SAC throughout the process. I want our Purpose to lead those discussions ~ not a deadline.
Finally, our main purpose is to ensure that we continue to love and care for each other during our final month together. Two years ago, as I was planning our first June PD day, I intentionally created a day filled with team building, fun and laughter as I wondered, what would it look like if we created a family, not just a staff of educators. Would those nurtured relationships allow us to come together to do the best work possible and to create a school community where we are just as invested in each other as we are in our students? From what I see each and every day, I would say that our Purpose is alive and well.
What emotions are you juggling throughout the final month of this school year?
Come write with me…