After 9 months of pondering, consulting, and planning, it looks like the BRAINSTEM Educator SYmposium is a go for MAY at RHS. How do we teach the whole child in a school of silos? There will be one day of STEAM focus, ONe day of structures, PLC, practices and culture and then a third day at the various break out sessions of Council. We are very luck to have Michael Furdyk to give a keynote, thanks to the high school council.
It has been a wonderful Crazy couple of months and I have not recorded much of it.
Armand and I have been doing some work together. One of the projects is about passion projects. How can we make a connection between what the kids love in their own life and Modern History? This is their passion projects that take all semester long. It is worth its own post all on its own.
Armand won the Prime Minister’s Award for teaching for his work that he did while at middle school. It has been interesting watching him take all the cool things about middle school and adapting it to high school. It sounds like Mr Trudeau is interested in some of the passion projects and may want to launch some Canada wide.
Nureva has invited me to ISTE. It also sounds like they might invite the twins to go as well. They speak about Engineering Brightness as well as what it was like to be a part of Armand’s History Class.
I was just reviewing The Making the Shift to Student Led Learning white paper that was done last June. It was fun to look at how far we have come in the past few years. Lots of pics of my room with other people in it. It has been exciting working with new teachers and seeing how the collaborative technology in my room is being used for different subject areas.
Armand Doucet has been particularly involved. He has created his own style and philosophy of education. I am glad that my room was waiting for him to arrive so that he can go one little bit further in his journey with students.
The Minister of Education called a meeting of all the anglophone principals grades 3-12 in the province. I was asked a while ago, “if high school reform could ever change?” There seems to be a sentiment globally that high school cannot change despite the fact that elementary and middle schools and even universities are changing. Riverview High was asked by the minister to present how we are changing the high school experience.
My principal invited me and three other teachers to present along side of him. He joked that he did not want to be know as the principal just because he was wearing a tie or because he was the center of the conversation.
The preparation for the talk was most insightful. I got a chance to really reflect and group think about how the structures that we put in place changed our practices and eventually our culture. There was some debate on the order. I am convinced that they are all required simultaneously. For some teachers who have the cultural idea, but do not have the structure in place, their desired practice cannot happen. For some early adopters, we were waiting for the structure to allow us to practice the way we want. For others, the structure provided a vacuum or pressure which eventually changed practice and culture.
I wonder what this means for programs. Perhaps we should introduce a program for those who are ready and then wait for the program to make space for others to jump on board.
I guess the big question is…how many to you need on board to make a change??
Grant Frost is doing educators and education a wonderful service. He highlights the fantastic work that local Nova Scotia teachers are doing every day. We do not have to go to some far off country, we have world class teachers right here at home. Thank you Grant for taking the time and energy to profile the many heroes that work in school systems everyday.
Thank you for making space for a couple of New Brunswick teachers and thank you for it being me and Nathan.
I got to talk about why I got into teaching, about how my work at SHAD UNB has gradually been infiltrating into my classroom at RHS. The end of my segment was about Engineering Brightness. The general theme was bringing relevance to student learning by having them solve real problems for real people. The example we used was Engineering Brightness.
It turns out my students/sons were with us. They did the last segment of the episode and talked about their experience with Engineering Brightness. They spoke so calmly, impromptu, and intelligently about their work.
Untold Thank You to SMART for supporting Engineering Brightness. Tracey and John were meeting with SMART after their great work on their booth. Not only did SMART already bring us to WE Day Alberta, but they also created a fantastic video for us. We were already appreciative and humbled by their support thus far.
It was a wonderful surprise to us when they quietly and nonchalantly announced that they were going to expand their support in a concrete way. I found it wonderfully refreshing that it was done without any kind of pomp or circumstance. They just wanted to do it because they believe in what we are trying to do. That means something special to us. SMART have already been wonderful to us. Now we hope to be able to connect some of their engineers, web designers, media specialists and graphic artists with our students.
Thanks to SMART, we are expecting our banner year as we break out onto the world stage as not only an organization trying to make a significant difference in the lives of individuals who are in light poverty, but also as a way to teaching and learning.