A message from Assistant Superintendent Jane Ann Kammeyer:
Happy New Year! It is that time of year when we stop to reflect and make New Year’s resolutions. I always start the new year with big goals… go on a diet, get more exercise. But, let’s face it; it usually doesn’t happen. However, here are a few school/work New Year’s resolutions you and I might actually be able to fulfill in 2018.
Coming off a much-needed break, make sure your classroom is a happy place for you and your students in the long stretch to summer.
I’m referring to your own personal classroom goals. We are at the mid-year point for school and it is a great time to do a check for where you are now and where you want your students to be in a few short months.
The caring professional relationships we develop with our students is important to the learning process. Continue to know and seek to understand each student in your classroom.
Be adventuresome in trying something new. Use technology or add a new evidence based instructional strategy each month to keep things new and challenging for you and your students. Making a list and assigning one new thing to each month will help you actually stick to this resolution.
I really need this one… With the fresh start following the break, now is a great time to get your classroom organization back on track. Being organized helps you feel so much better.
This is last on my list, but it is certainly not the least important. As best you can, keep school work at school and enjoy your time at home. Keeping yourself happy will be better for you and your students.
So, what resolutions will you work on this year? Whatever it is, I hope that you have a wonderful 2018.
December is an exciting month with all of the holiday activities, the music, and the gatherings with family and friends sharing traditions and the spirit of the season. It is about the relationships we have with those we care about. I feel very fortunate, that on a daily basis I get to work with people that I call my friends. I have the opportunity of collaborating with talented teachers, administrators and support staff who are driven by a desire to help all students. Just as important as our education family are the amazing students we work with every day. I see the strong bonds developed between a caring educator and their students and how it makes all the difference in the world when it comes to teaching and learning.
During our October Professional Learning Day, conversations were centered around Relationships, Rigor and Relevance. You can see that the word relationship is first. As educators we must establish stable, warm, and trusting environments for students. One of our amazing educators, tells of a story when he was a science teacher. He was working with a small group of students and they had been asking him several questions. One of them said he had one more question and then asked, "How do you make every student feel like they are your favorite?" If we want to ensure students learn, communicate and think at high levels, we have to develop positive, trusting relationships with students, all students.
In a TED Talk, Rita Pierson challenges teachers to understand the power of relationships. She believes deeply in forming strong bonds with her students: through simple things like apologizing, laughing and just acknowledging their successes. Rita states, "Strong relationships encourage learner exploration, dialogue, confidence, and mutual respect."
In Weber School District, we have great people doing great things that impact the lives of our children every day. Continue to value caring, professional relationships between students and teachers. Enjoy the month of December and the energy the students bring to the classroom ... even though you are exhausted from all the holiday activities. May you treasure this season and all of its wonder as you surround yourself with family and friends. Happy Holidays!
Jane Ann Kammeyer