Here I sit, pondering the first time I will meet my teachers and my students at my new school. While I have met some of the teachers in passing, I have not yet met the students I will be teaching – Grade 5 Health and Career Education and Grade 6 – Physical Education.
What is it that I want my first message to be to each of these groups? You know, like when you meet your students for the first time. You are standing in front of the room with all 60 eyes looking at you. It is at this moment that I need to make a few very important things known to the students.
So, what do I want for my message to them? What do I want them to be left thinking about after our 50 minutes together (that’s how long the prep. classes will be)?
In no particular order, here are some of the things I want them to know:
- Even though I don’t know them yet, I believe in each and every one of them. I am on their side and I am there to ensure they learn.
- I am a learner, just like them, and I plan to experiment this year with my own learning in an effort to make their learning more personal, motivating and relevant. This learning will include integrating technology into our lessons and our work on a daily basis.
- As a learner, I will be taking risks, and making some mistakes. I expect the same from them. We will be there to support one another.
- We will be completing most, if not all, of our work during class time (little, if any work will be completed at home) – so try to keep this in mind when you are working. If needed work will be completed at school – at lunch or after school.
- The process of learning is important to me – not the grades. Having said this, there will be grades given at the end of each term. These grades will not be given throughout the term though. Assignments will be assessed according to criteria made collaboratively. These will be self-assessed, assessed by me, and even assessed by peers.
- I look forward to getting to know each one of them: their strengths, their learning styles and their areas they would like to improve upon.
- Let’s have fun together.
The message to the teachers could be somewhat interesting because I am not sure if I will get the opportunity to deliver my message to them as a group. With job-action scheduled to begin in the fall, the teachers will not collectively attend any meetings with administration. As a result, I think I am going to have to get a little creative with my message to them. I will need to think outside of the box so that I still get my message across to the teachers. Perhaps, these messages will have to be recorded and placed in a blog or in the Weekly Memo (I wonder if they will read/view these weekly memos?).
Some of the most important things I want the teachers to know about me as their vice-principal include:
- I believe in each and every one of them (sound familiar). They are doing a job that is often very challenging, but it is also one that is full of rewards.
- I look forward to learning about them, their teaching, their students, and their families, this year.
- If they need anything, I am here to support them in any way I am able.
- My door is always open. If, at any time, you want to discuss something, I am available. If you have a question, feel free to come and ask. If I don’t know the answer, I will try to find out for them.
- This is going to be a year of learning – as every year should be. We should all be life-long learners. I would love to hear about their learning this year. I will share my own learning blog with them as well.
- Even though I do not have a great deal of time as a vice-principal to observe in classes, I plan on making that a priority. So, if you see me come into your room, don’t mind me, I’m just checking out what the kids are doing in an effort to get to know them and the school as a whole.
- All of my decisions will be based on what is best for students and student-learning.
I know there are many things I would like the students and staff to know about me as a person, an educator, an administrator, and a mother of 3, but those are some of the things I think are important to get across early in the school year. Many other things will come up as the year progresses.
What are some of the most important things you would want new students and staff know about you as an educator and/or leader in education?