Dear Blake Families:
Hopefully this update finds everyone rested and relaxed, having enjoyed a nice Memorial Day weekend. After sleeping in and taking a nap on Saturday afternoon (what have both become annual traditions after the trip to D.C.), we enjoyed some much needed family time - playing with the kids, dinner out, birthday party for our niece, and simply being. The excursion to Washington, D.C. was a wonderful success and came home feeling proud and honored to work with and 'for' such a caring, compassionate, and thoughtful team of students and teachers. We often remark upon the character of our students, and I am proud to share that they were commended for their actions and interactions by adults throughout the week at memorials, monuments, and museums. On a much, much smaller scale, the words of FDR come to mind when I think about the honor and privilege I have to work at Blake and in the community of Medfield...
"I never forget that I live in a house owned by all the American people and that I have been given their trust." -- FDR
I would like to also extend a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of our chaperones for their care and support of the students throughout the week: Eileen Hurley, Kelly Dengos, Matt Millard, Jason Heim, Erin Kearney, Tracy Allen, Seth Hellerstein, Sandy Spierdowis, Kristen Kirby, Sara Callahan, Jim Cousens, Amanda Santucci, Susan Cowell, Tricia Williams, and Susan Bycoff.
As I shared with the 8th grade parents in Friday morning's update from the road, I was particularly struck this past week by the place and role that 'reflection' holds and plays at the museums, memorials, and monuments. This practice is one of our core values and aligns with the mission and vision we have for our students as an integral part of the learning process. With this in mind I am sharing a few posts below that provide a window into some of my current 'thinking' as we approach the end of this school year, as I am reflecting upon our work and the hopes we have for our students...
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: How Can I Be a Better Teacher Next Fall?
post by Richard Curwin in Edutopia
I shared this post by Curwin last year at this time, and Kelly C. 're-shared' it with me a couple of weeks ago. It holds some nice ideas and simple mindsets for approaching the end of a school year in a productive fashion. I think it's worth sharing again.
"Sure, there is a lot to do this time year, and students have started counting down the hours left before vacation -- and for many teachers, we are counting down the days. In my view, this is the best time for reflection about what we can do to make next year even better than this year."
This is a Great Time to be a Teacher
post by Daniel Edwards (@syded06)
With the rapid change and evolution of the learning environment for our students, this post by Edwards from October, 2013 is one that I find myself reading and rereading. His words resonate with me on many levels, and this past week was a tangible example for me of the excitement and inspiration that surrounds us when we open the door to learn with our students...
"It is a great time to be a teacher because we have the tools available to us that provide increased scope for engagement, stimulation and creativity. It is a great time to be a teacher because there are qualifications available that challenge the exam factory ideal. It is a great time to be a teacher because we are so connected with information and each other that opportunity is presented daily. It is a great time to be a teacher because we need to learn with our students."
Twitter Support for Educators and Parents
post by Dr. Joe Mazza (@Joe_Mazza) in Edutopia
As educators and role models for our students, we are always learning. As you know I have found Twitter to be an incredibly powerful learning tool and source of professional development. As a novice and one who was new to social media, I can certainly identify with those who are hesitant to explore or enter the 'twitterverse'. That said I continue to encourage staff parents to come on this journey. If you have questions, I do not have all of the answers, but am willing and ready to learn with you.
Is Your Teaching (or Leading) Out of Balance?
post by Jeff Delp (@azjd)
As a reflective person and one who is continually struggling to find 'balance', this is a question I ask myself quite often. I particularly like some of the quotes and mindsets within..
"Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least." -- Goethe
It has been a week and weekend full of reflection for me. There were many quotes that stood out at the various memorials and monuments and I will be sharing them at different times, I am sure. I look forward to the important work that lies ahead...
"I do the very best I know how - the very best I can; and I mean to keep on doing so until the end." -- Abraham Lincoln
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