To help encourage conversations and dialogue about the importance of play time, down time, and family time, our topic/question for the dinner table is: What do you do to relax and take a break in your ‘down time’? Time to Play (Week of 9/30/18) (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.
It is hard to believe that October has arrived and we are over a month into the school year, yet we just finished our first five-day week of school! It was an activity-filled weekend for us - attending the Holliston-Medfield football game Friday night, kids’ sports games on Saturday and Sunday, and trying to do ‘fit in’ some gardening and yard work in the beautiful fall weather. I know I am not alone in sometimes feeling as though the weekends are more hectic than the weekdays. With this in mind, and trying to ‘practice what I preach’ about balance, down time, and ‘slowing it down, I am intentionally taking a step back and keeping it brief - trying to foster and allow more time for me to ‘play’
Topic/Question (Week of 9/23/18): What is one step you can make this year to better support student learning?
- I'm going to try writing more alongside my students this year and informally sharing out our writing more (including my own).
- LOVE them!!
- Always try to understand HOW they are learning and see if this is another way, in which you can learn, their way, too. If it is a silly way...they will see you being silly and then go in another direction, (that you might include at that moment), that is a good way to move forward in learning. Also, other students might be better at helping a particular student learn better than the teacher imparting their learning information.
- Taking notes in class
- Make others feel comfortable
- One step I can take this year is to help others if they are struggling.
- Listen when the teacher is talking.
- Give them my heart, and be consistently clear that I truly hope that my students make the effort to participate in the process, and prepare for what comes next (effort, participation, preparation)
To Raise Independent Kids, Treat Middle School Like a Dress Rehearsal for Life
by Braden Bell in The Washington Post
Bell offers a nice perspective on parenting, as a teacher and a writer, acknowledging the challenges we encounter as we want things to ‘go well’ for our children. Embracing the ‘messiness of middle school’, Bell offers some mantras he strives to embrace as a parent - they are ones worth embracing as educators as well: I’m not going to intervene; I’ll try to give the gift of perspective; I’ll focus on effort, not outcomes; I’m going to help him develop empathy; I’ll laugh and enjoy the ride.
The goal of a successful production is not a polished dress rehearsal. That confuses the process and product. Sometimes the best productions have messy dress rehearsals because the only way to integrate the complexities of scenery, costumes, props, lights, sound and special effects is to make mistakes.
Middle school is a dress rehearsal. It’s almost always messy, and we worry that it foreshadows a disastrous future for our children. Meaning well, we jump in and initiate, fix and micromanage, telling ourselves we will stop when the child matures enough to take over. But middle school is supposed to be messy. It’s how kids mature. This means making lots of mistakes, then experiencing consequences just strong enough to be an incentive for correction, but not strong enough to damage a life.
I look forward to the work that lies ahead for all of us.
As always, let me know of any questions/concerns in the school.
Enjoy the week and take care.