Congratulations to all of us for getting to the end of another school year. The end is always a busy time with lots of activity. From the activities with the Grade 12 students that culminated with graduation on May 24 to final exams a week later to sports day to the final couple of assemblies and then……it’s good-byes all around, some permanent and some temporary until August. It is an emotional time. It is important to feel emotion when a good friend is leaving or a teacher you respect is moving on, that means the relationship has value in your life.
I appreciated the last few days of school. In particular I appreciated the final assembly. The final assembly allowed us to acknowledge and send off all of our Grade 6-11 students who are leaving LCS. Every year students leave…..and it is emotional. We also farewelled 12 teachers. Students did a great job in farewelling the teachers. Students, through their claps and cheers and expressions of “we will miss you” created an atmosphere of appreciation that sent a powerful message to their teachers. These relationships matter. All students should know that these relationships matter to all of the teachers as well. Teachers care deeply about their students.
A school is just an empty set of classrooms until students and teachers show up. Then relationships are built, connections are made. It is in the power of the learning amongst teachers and students in schools that real change happens.
I hope and trust students have finished the school year in strong fashion and that you are prepared to enjoy the next couple of months and, most importantly to me, that you are well rested to begin again in August. There will be many new students, new courses, and new ways to explore options and interests. For right now, on a Sunday night at the close of the first weekend of summer vacation, enjoy the horizon of time that stretches in front of you. I will be sending periodic posts in the coming weeks. I want you to read my posts!!! Maybe, if you are so motivated, you will even leave a comment!
The move from Grade 5 to Grade 6 is a big deal. Having said that, witnessing this transition for students for the past 20 years it is also fairly predictable. It is exciting and challenging for the average student. It is extremely difficult for kids who struggle with organization. It is a joy ride for students who thrive on multiple notebooks, organized pencil cases,and multi-colored highlighters. By and large, it is an opportunity that most kids embrace to experience growing privileges, added responsibilities, multiple workloads to balance, and a fast paced collage of social interactions that include complex friendship groups, online exposure and interactions, “by the lockers” gossip. Make no mistake, the social world of a Grade 6 student is a not so subtle challenge.
Add social challenges to the academic workload to the new found freedom to moving between classes to exposure to older students and older ideas and you have a stew that brews for weeks and months and leads to a myriad of challenges along the way. It is not easy being a grade 6 student.
But…..all is not lost! Good teachers who are sensitive to the needs of this age group, structured opportunities to interact, ongoing and specific attention to challenged students, and a general openness of grade 6 students to discuss and consider right and wrong choices provides a mix for supporting, guiding, and teaching.
I’ve always considered Grade 6 students as the “morality police”. They really do insist upon “fairness”. As they move through grade 6 at different paces, they are Continue reading
Last Monday, students didn’t come to school, but teachers did! What were we doing at school on Monday? What happens on those “Professional Development” days? What happens at those weekly meetings that teachers have every Wednesday afternoon?
The answer is alot of learning, planning, reflecting, dialogue and professional growth. Check out the link below (in blue) to a short collection of images:
We are a learning organization. On days like Monday or on weekly Wednesday afternoons, faculty spend time preparing classes, lessons, unit plans, assessments, and engaging activities.
LCS faculty are professionals, interested in their own personal learning and professional growth and, most importantly, improving the experience for students. This is the mission we, as faculty, are on. We strive to ensure that students have high quality learning experiences at LCS. I salute the LCS faculty for their commitment and effort. Faculty are working hard on behalf of students and families.
In a recent professional development morning with faculty, we watched a presentation given by Mr Lance King (www.taolearning.org) Mr King talked at length about developing students as self-regulated learners. His focus upon students as self-directed lifelong learners touched on many areas. One in particular struck a chord. In order for students to become confident in their abilities moving forward, it’s helpful to have strong role models that they can relate to. It’s great to hold up people like Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and Mother Theresa as role models but these exceptional people are, just that, exceptional. They are not particularly accessible to our students. Mr King talked about the valuable role alumni could have as role models for current students. Identifying alumni as role models and celebrating the successes of alumni could be valuable in helping current students understand options, develop confidence, and instill a sense of self-efficacy moving forward.
I was recently in London recruiting new teachers. While in London I had the
an impressive collection of LCS alumni in London, Jan 2013
pleasure of attending the first international LCS alumni reunion, organized by Khushboo Moolchandani (class of 2005) and Stan Osei-Bonsu (Class of 2005) Here is a list of some of the impressive young alumni who attended.
- Fritz Riha – class of 2005, spent a couple of years at Lincoln, currently works at Barclays as a Digital Designer in their Customer Experience team)Guendalina Gianfranchi- class of 2005, left LCS in grade 6, currently studying in the UK for her masters.
- Nathalie Wilson- class of 2005, left LCS in grade 6 as well, studied and works in the UK as an Online Marketer
- Gun Ming Chung- class of 2007, he is a lawyer Continue reading