Saturday, February 17, 2018

Thinking deeply about the school program

The superintendent and principal walked in to view the teaching/learning program. It wasn't a star lesson, but instead a necessary nuts-and-bolts teaching/learning time as I caught up with a child who didn't complete a test and others practiced math skills with a number of online sites. The room was quite messy too since it was the end of an eight-week period of lots and lots of active learning that included multiple supplies as well as the remnants of days of play on the mid-winter muddy playground. As I've noted before, the room is ready for another renovation given the changing needs of the program. Students, however, were relaxed and engaged, and there was a clear plan in place so there was no problem. It was a typical day.

The room renovation will take about eight hours since the room is filled to the brim with tons of supplies and old storage containers so there's lots of decisions to make. Do I get rid of the old storage containers? I'd like to, but then I'll have no place to put the multiple supplies. Do I get rid of lots of supplies I don't use that often? I'd like to, but I know that those supplies come in handy for creative projects and other learning events and I don't want to have to buy them or collect them again.

I think I will write a grant proposal to modernize the room. The grant source said they didn't want to fund furniture, but perhaps I can convince them that furniture will help to make the room a better math/science lab--one that can be flexible and more spacious for greater hands-on learning and teaching. That would clean up the room and make it better for the teaching and learning. We got some new furniture years ago, but we didn't have a say as to what we got so we got the old fashion furniture, not more modern day teaching/learning furniture. Through grants we have obtained popular stand-up desks and hoki stools which have made the classrooms more inviting to students. If they don't fund the furniture, I'll send the same grant to another source this spring.

The students are invested in the learning program. They know that my colleagues and I care about their progress and will do what we can to help each of them master the standards and learn with engagement and meaning. I'm prepared for the weeks after vacation and will spend a bit of time during vacation writing the grants, researching, and deepening what I can do. Onward.