To help encourage dialogue and reflection about the ways that we find joy and carve out time for joy in our lives, our question of the week is: What brings you joy and how do/can you make room in your day/schedule for joy? Making Time for Joy (Week of 4/4/21) (This is an anonymous Google Form)
Blake's Guiding Lights
Blake's Core Values: Respect, Responsibility, Resourcefulness, Reflection
Our Essential Question: How can we cultivate and curate the progression of student learning and growth?
Our Mission: Blake Middle School believes in a living mission statement, based on the concept that our community seeks and respects knowledge, integrity, character, wisdom, and the willingness to adapt to a continually evolving world.
The most important attitude that can be formed is that of desire to go on learning. - John Dewey
You cannot teach today the same way you did yesterday to prepare students for tomorrow. - John Dewey
As shared via e-mail last Thursday, I hope that this long weekend provided some time for whatever was needed for everyone. And, for those who celebrated Easter or Passover this past week, I hope that they were enjoyed. We had a pretty quiet weekend and felt fortunate to be able to see my parents and Katie’s mom Sunday afternoon for a low-key get together. With all three of the grandparents now fully vaccinated, we were excited to safely gather all together!
Claiming Our Grief and Joy
by Terry Kawi in PBS Teachers Lounge
As we near the end of this school year, I know that planning and doing extra work is the last thing that educators have on their minds. But what if we start planning now to celebrate our students, families, and each other for all the ways we have shown up? Now, students may not remember each lesson they learned this school year but they will remember how their teachers and school community wrapped around them and loved them during a pandemic.
Here are some ideas to consider as you think about ending the year with joy.
- What are all the ways you and teammates can do to celebrate students and each other?
- What is an activity or project that students can engage in in your respective class that is self-directed and self-explorative?
- Is this an activity or project that can be implemented schoolwide?
- What might a virtual gathering look like at your school?
- What might a Week of Joy look like at your school?
Sampling of Responses from Last Week’s ‘Question of the Week’: If you could design your own day of learning, what would it look like?
- I would have more mask breaks in between classes, I also think I learn the best when we have shorter class periods because it’s easier to lay attention and not lose interest.
- A lot of reading and memorizing.
- It would be a Olympics games day and throughout the day advisories would compete against each other in a bunch of games.
- Wake up, start at 10, do some work, eat lunch, do more work and finish it.
- Less breaks so that way we can end earlier
- If I were to design my own learning day, it would consist of completely remote assignments. In the beginning of the year, when we would get completely remote assignments, I thrived. Some things I struggled with. Which leads me to my next learning day design. Optional zooms. If you are struggling with a certain topic in a subject. Zooms would be available for help.
- I would make it a week long. I would like to shadow a craftsman or carpenter to better learn how to use tools and complete 'handyman' projects. I've picked up a lot over the past years but would like to see it from the pros. I think most people would benefit from this type of know-how and the gratification it gives you when you complete a project.
- In person, some group projects but not all projects but in groups with friends or that we choose, having time to work on our own, time during the day to work on homework.
- Different games, student led discussions.
- I would blend a good mix of individual time to read, work, and reflect along with lectures on topics of interest with time to discuss with others as well.
- It would be like it was before we had to do remote work and wear masks.
- Research contemporary art museums this past year to see where artists are going with visual art works
- Very interactive things where you are allowed to sit anywhere you want, without just writing things down and taking notes.
April is National Poetry Month and each week I will share a poem or two to foster connections and dialogue about poetry in our our lives. In keeping with the importance of down time, joy, and showing up, Mary Oliver’s poem, The Summer Day, is one that touches on all of these ‘themes’ for me…
The Summer Day
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean--
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down--
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?