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.
I hope that the ‘No Homework Weekend’ was embraced by everyone, providing some down time or simply time to catch up, relax, breathe, or simply do something different! We did our best to do that as well, amidst the ‘normal craze’ of weekend activities. I want to express a sincere thank you to our entire staff for embracing and supporting these efforts - thank you!
As I shared in my e-mail Friday afternoon, I did my best to ‘practice what I preach’ this past weekend by trying to unplug and take a step back. When I am able to do that by setting the intention and following through with it - certainly not an easy task for me - my reflections run deeper and I gain new perspectives. In this vein of stepping back and allowing time for reflection and thought, I am sharing a sampling of responses to last week’s question (keeping learning at the forefront of our collective work), a post by Jessica Lahey, and some words that resonate from Peter Drucker and Karen Bass…
Topic/Question (Week of 11/4/18): Share one (or more) change or adjustment you have made this year as a learner.
- My learning happens on the fly, so one adjustment I have made is to incorporate into the class time individual and small group conferences. Now, I am learning how to have productive efficient conferences, while at the same time learning more ways to keep the rest of the class focused on the task at hand; or in other words, helping them make the effort to participate in the process to prepare for what comes next.
- When I'm unhappy with something someone else is doing, I try to imagine being in that person's shoes.
- I think more positively now. :)
- I have started taking pictures of what is written.
- I don’t know if this sounds too simplistic, but this year I’ve tried to be less hard on myself. As a learner take the class as it comes and quite that voice that screams at me to “pay attention you have to get the A”. This change has helped me enjoy the learning process.
- I do a lot of walking
Why parents need to be patient with their school-age kids
by Jessica Lahey @jesslahey) in The Boston Globe Magazine
Lahey, author of How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success , shares a healthy and centering perspective about parenting and supporting middle schoolers. The words at the end hold true for my hopes for our students and staff - that we continue to become our ‘very best selves’.
These middle school students, like all adolescents, are on a long and arduous journey of what’s called individuation, a normal and necessary process of becoming one’s own person, of constructing a sense of self that’s theirs and no one else’s. Becoming this person, whoever that may be, can be painful, particularly when the emerging adult does not match the parents’ vision. You should be smarter. You should smile more. You should be thinner. You should have a passion. You should be more driven. You should be more like him, more like her, more like me. We offer the “shoulds” because we want the best possible lives for our children, but when we focus all of our effort on who they should be, we inadvertently invalidate who they are.
Admittedly, seeing kids for who they are rather than the people we wish they’d be can be terribly difficult, especially when the combined pressures of grades, sports, and college admissions, not to mention the weight of our own hopes, dreams, and regrets, cloud our vision. It’s important to recognize these moments, however, to question whether the goals we have for our kids are truly for them, or for us.
...remember that our children’s achievements don’t define our parenting. What does matter in the final accounting is our children’s trust in us to support and love them as they become their very best selves, no matter who that turns out to be.
Enjoy the week and take care.