It’s been almost an exact month since the first bell rang out to start the 2018-19 school year. It was my first journey back to a school after 2 years of working at a system level. Flipping the calendar to October is a great time to reflect on my first month in.
My two glows…
Glow #1… I was fortunate to be follow an admin team who had already worked hard with staff to establish a system for self-directed learning and to land in a school that has an open stance to professional learning. We have continued this work and have set our 2018-19 professional learning plan in motion.
Staff have selected their area of focus. We have a variety of groups working to better both theirs and their students’ learning in area like Global Competencies, Growth Mindsets, Mathematics and Project-based Learning. The focus of each learning team is directly linked to our school’s Improvement Plan. We set aside time at each staff meeting, provide opportunities for release, group learning, after-school sessions and guests and experts to join us on our learning journey. We have established an “Ask me… Help me” board where staff can offer support in an area of strength or ask for support in an area of further growth. We think this will be a great way to leverage the expertise in the building. The seeds of learning has been planted and the work already well under way after our first month.
Glow #2… FSL has taken a prominent place is the eyes of our students, especially our Junior-aged ones. Our FSL staff have been working hard supporting students’ early learning and have been heavily promoting the use of French. Our students know their principal speaks the language and practice with me every chance they get. We are adding French to our morning announcements. I even received a letter from our Grade 1/2 classroom inviting me to enter their space and teach them our National Anthem ‘en français’. They’re at least 2 years away from any ‘formal’ learning in French!
Our ‘non-French Immersion’ school is well on its way to making Français a visible part of daily learning!
My one grow… I have been less ‘visible’ than I’d like. And, I’m saying that having already been approached by parents who appreciate the level of visibility they have noticed in our common spaces before, after and during school. I’m saying that knowing that I still make my way into most classrooms on most days. But I need to get into classrooms more and stay longer. I need to place a greater focus on sharing the great work staff are doing. I need to make a more concerted effort to tap staff on the shoulder and encourage them to share with others. No one has to tell me to make more time for classrooms. I know that already. I take my role as instructional leader seriously.
There are other glows and grows: student leadership opportunities are coming on board soon; we’re trying to be clear and consistent wth our school-based communication; I’d like to increase our presence on Social Media.
However, one month in, I know two things: working in a school is a hard, complicated and rewarding journey… and I love where I landed.