Monday, October 21, 2013

Summary of Nan's Visit

Hello all.  I thought you might be curious about Nan’s reaction to her week on campus.  So, let me share a few of her thoughts with you.

The bottom line: Nan loved being here and agrees that “it feels good.”

Respect: There is a feeling of respect on campus. Nan especially appreciated how teachers interact with students in respectful ways.

Happy: Everyone seems happy. It feels good.

Small groups: In classes where students are working in small groups, it is “beautiful.”  The children know how to transition, there is a calm learning atmosphere, and students are engaged in their own learning. “It was wonderful to hear the children talking together about what they are learning.”

Earthquake drill:  Yes, Nan listed this as a highlight!  She was impressed with how prepared the children are, how seriously it was taken, and on how the focus was safety. It’s about the children.

Founding principles and reminders:
We learn what we do (not what we hear).  Students need to interact with the material and apply it. Sitting and listening is going to help only a small percentage learn the material.

Small group work: Present new material in small pieces and have students work with it before moving on. More than half of each class period should be spent with students working in groups or partners to learn, apply, and transfer their knowledge.

On-time start: Nan feels strongly that an on-time start, however short, is important in setting the tone for the rest of the day.

Flag salute: Everyone is asked to do the flag salute everyday.

As you will agree, it’s been a long time since Nan spent extended time on campus.  I trust your bucket was filled with a dose of school philosophy and why we do things the way we do. Nan and I met each day for over an hour – my philosophy bucket is certainly filled!

Thank you for welcoming her so warmly.  She was happy to be here – her bucket was also filled.  It’s all good when we share the real reason we are here – the children.