Dear Blake Families:
I hope everyone was able to enjoy some of the beautiful spring weather and that you were able to relax after another busy week. Our weekend was a busy one with family and social commitments, and we are certainly looking forward to the upcoming vacation. Seeing our students on stage was a wonderful way to end the week - another amazing success and testament to the talents we have at Blake! It is always a joy to see the culmination of the students' hard work come to reality. A special thank you to Tracy and Kathleen for their leadership, commitment, and support of our students along with the help of Nancy Deveno, Kayla Armstrong, Matt Frazier, Nancy McLaughlin, Judy Silva, Kerrie Krah, Patty Graham, and Dawn Townsend. An additional thanks as well go to the parent volunteers, organized by Beth Compson and Pam Jones, and the high school students who helped out. The student performances on Monday were outstanding as well!
As noted above this past week was a busy one with several nights out, so I am keeping it brief this week in an effort to take a break and unplug. Thank you to everyone for their kind words and support last week in regards to the Goldin evening. It is an honor, for sure, but as I have said is merely a reflection of the entire Blake community - students, staff, and parents. I was inspired by the honorees and left encouraged about the future of our profession. With this spirit of inspiration in mind, while trying to stay succinct with my words, I am sharing two quotations I shared Thursday evening and a couple of posts that I believe underline the importance of our work and the need to keep the students and their needs at the forefront of our thinking.
"The students watch us, all the time. We must honestly ponder what they see, and what we want them to learn from it." - Ted and Nancy Sizer
"...if we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow." - John Dewey
What Americans Like Best About Their Favorite Teachers
by Valerie Strauss in The Washington Post
This post by Strauss references a 2012 Gallup study and speech made by Brandon H. Busteed, the executive director of Gallup Education.
"...a strong majority of Americans say they have trust and confidence in public school teachers (even if many school reformers don't). ~He also said that when asked to describe the teacher who had most affected their lives, the attribute that was seen as most important wasn't smart or demanding but, rather, “caring.” The 2012 Gallup study, titled “Public education in the United States: A nation divided,” said this: Over 40% of Americans describe the teacher who had~the most positive influence in their lives with words~such as caring, compassionate, motivating, and inspiring; while just 17% of Americans thought~intelligent, knowledgeable, persistent, hard-working, and demanding were words that describe the teacher who had the strongest influence on them."
Good Teaching Really Matters! Who Knew?
by Nancy Flanagan in Education Week Teacher
This post references teaching at all levels and the complexity of our role as educators. I found the studies referenced within to be of interest...
"I'm certain I am speaking for teachers everywhere when I say this: Pedagogy is a real thing. What teachers--and professors--do in their classes matters. It impacts learning, application and motivation. And pedagogy is not simply technique--it's not a bag of management tips and tricks. It begins with knowing your students, having a clear picture of what they need to learn, devising and adapting strategies, sometimes shooting from the hip. And paying attention to your results."
Thank you all for your ongoing care and commitment to our students and our profession.
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