“Do you know the difference between education and experience? Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don’t. ”
Our Spring 2014 Parent Survey is well underway. All of our parents received the link on April 2nd via email from our PTSA President Latoya Giles. Just in case you still need the link, you may copy and paste this link < https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/MS9RPZJ > into your search window and then complete the survey. We know we are able to have 100% of our parents respond this year and we are thankful in advance to you all for taking the time to complete our survey (as of the last Thursday, we had close to 50% response). Our goal: 100%!
–4/14 to 16, Audrey Toney on campus (NC New Schools Instructional Coach)
–4/14, School Improvement Team meeting, Mr. Burgess’ room, 2:30-3:30
–4/15, Mr. Matheson to WCPSS Central Area Principals’ mtg., Crossroads II, 8:00-12:00
–4/15, Mrs. Brannan and Mrs. Kilpatrick to 10th grade classrooms to practice mock interviews for Xtreme Beginnings on 4/17
–4/16, Mrs. Gibbons, Mr. Haymore, Mr. Matheson, and Ms. Yerkie to NC New Schools Secondary Lenses for Learning (Common Core math), 8:30-3:30
–4/16, Administrative Team meeting, Mr. Matheson’s office, 2:30-3:30
–4/17, Mrs. Brannan, staff, and parents to WCPSS Xtreme Beginnings for 10th grade, NC State McKimmon Center, 9-12:00
–4/18, Easter Holiday. No school for students or staff
–4/21 Remember: Monday, April 21 is now a regular school day to make up for inclement weather
“Personalization: Staff in schools working with the NC New Schools understand that knowing students well is an essential condition of helping them achieve academically. These high schools ensure adults leverage knowledge of students in order to improve student learning.”
Another term for personalization is relationships. Last week Mr. Matheson attended the fifth (in a series of six) workshop for WCPSS Principals entitledThe Effective Teacher Framework. The main goal of training is for all administrators (from Central Services to building administrators) and teachers to have a research-based, common vision as to what constitutes an effective teacher framework. By the end of this year all Central Services staff and Principals will have been trained–next year the focus will be on Assistant Principals and then begin with teacher training.
In The Skillful Teacher (Saphier, J., Haley-Speca, M., and Gower, R., 2008), the authors reflect on six areas that are identified by students as significant for teachers and Principals to model in the building of strong, positive relationships within both the school and classroom:
- Acknowledgment–greeting students at the door, welcoming them back after absence, making eye contact during discussion, and ensuring that all students participate in and out of class
- Communicating Value–showing interest in students both academically and with their lives outside of school, making school relevant to their interests, checking for understanding and being accessible for students, being an “active” listener, demonstrate persistence about high expectations and support, and reestablishing contact when a student does live up to expectations
- Respect–key words here are fairness and equity, and they are related to students trusting their teachers and administrators to treat them as valuable and capable human beings who are in school to accept the challenges, take risks and work hard, be responsive to correcting errors or discipline, celebrate success, and be inspired by their role models
- Fairness–demonstrating the components of respect will equate to the concept of fairness for students. — Students want to know what is expected of them for both academics and behavior, keep them posted as to timelines and deadlines, and want teachers and administrators to avoid anything that is seen as preferential or discriminatory
- Realness–one of the best categories of “being real” is for teachers and administrators to share their life experiences relative to the teaching/learning that occurs in school. Another key factor is to make teaching/learning relevant to a student’s short- and long-term goals
- Humor and Fun–just as we like to take advantage of a “teachable” moment, it is equally important to seize the opportunity to see the humor and fun “in the moment.” Being able to laugh at oneself, smile, and “seeing the glass as half full rather than half empty” is readily perceived by students as positive attributes of an enjoyable educational environment.
Rob Matheson, Principal