Rose Ferrero School

August 22-September 2, 2022

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LCAP GOAL 5: HIRE & RETAIN HIGH QUALITY STAFF – Three New Faces at Rose Ferrero

In this section of the Bulletin, we want to introduce you to three new Rose Ferrero staff members. Pictured on the left is our Third-Grade DLI (Spanish) teacher Able Salazar. Born in Mexico, Mr. Salazar’s family moved to the south valley (Greenfield) when he was eleven years old. After graduating high school, Mr. Salazar attended CSUMB where he earned his teaching credential. After sixteen years of teaching in Salinas, we were fortunate enough to hire Mr. Salazar and have him bring his talents to our DLI team here at Rose. It is an added bonus that Mr. Salazar is a Packers’ fan, too! When asked why he loves teaching, Mr. Salazar will tell you that he loves interacting with the students, as well as being able to motivate them to become life-long learners and productive citizens.

Pictured in the center is our new School Psychologist, Adam Romero, who we share with Frank Ledesma. Born in Salinas, Mr. Romero grew up locally in Gonzales but returned to Salinas to graduate high school from Palma. After attending Hartnell College and CSUMB, he earned his Masters’ Degree in School Psychology from Brandman (or UMass Global). Mr. Romero interned and learned his craft form his mentor while being at Bardin Elementary School in Salinas. We are really glad to have found Mr. Romero as hi excitement for the job is very easy to see whenever he is here.

Pictured on the right is Isela Godoy, our newest Instructional Aide for our Transitional Kinder classroom. Mrs. Godoy is not new to Soledad, just Rose Ferrero (where we hope she will remain for the rest of her career). Before coming to Rose this year, Mrs. Godoy spent seven years at Frank Ledesma as a Pupil Supervisor, one year in Gabilan’s Pre-School, and one year as a para-professional at San Vicente. Mrs. Godoy will tell you that she loves working with the young students she serves and enjoys helping them achieve their goals. With the addition of these three, key, staff members, one is assured that Rose Ferrero just got stronger. All of us here at Rose are so glad you decided to become a part of our team and we hope you stay with us for a long time.

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LCAP GOAL 2: PROFICIENCY FOR ALL – Six Principles to Remember

Getting through a school year is never really “easy” – especially if you are a newer teacher in your first or second year. However, if you “prepare for turbulence” and set reasonable goals, you’ll stay calmer and make progress in all the right places. Here are six principles to remember this year:

1. It’s going to be a roller coaster. There will be transcendent moments—a child will tell you that they love you or that you’ve changed their life—but for the most part you’ll feel lost, not up to the task, and sometimes maybe even demoralized. “You might want to prepare for one of the toughest years of your life,” warns a veteran teacher, only slightly hyperbolically, and use that perspective to help you realize “it’s normal.” Consider writing a note to yourself—Don’t be surprised when this is hard—and put it somewhere you can’t miss it. Don’t exacerbate the inevitable difficulties by engaging in negative talk. Instead, invest time finding a small group of teachers who are positive, like-minded, and growth-oriented—then vent strategically when you’ve hit the wall and need to unload. Finally, remember that your toughest moments in the classroom are mere passing fancies for students and that when dealing with children, every day is a new day.

2. Establish a precedent on grading right now. New teachers spend far too much time grading assignments—the obligation spills over into personal lives, interrupts plans with friends and family, and steadily erodes happiness and well-being, and it hurts students too. Filling papers with red ink overwhelms students—they end up ignoring hours of your best effort—and assigning less work so you can keep up deprives students of much-needed practice. Marking up every sentence does nothing for the student, and it is a clear misuse of your time. Promise yourself that you’ll immediately adopt grading strategies that hundreds of experienced teachers say are best practices. Veteran teachers recommend that you make no more than three comments on everything you grade, and make sure to keep your feedback laser-focused on high-priority areas of improvement. Meanwhile, assign plenty of work to get kids practicing their skills, but resist the urge to grade all of it. You can even use the one-in-four rule and provide in-depth feedback to only 25 percent of any student’s assignments. Finally, teach your students to use preprepared assessment rubrics to self-assess or provide peer-to-peer feedback.

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3. Develop a simple set of relationship-building strategies. This is HUGE! Early in the year, students are more likely to explore classroom rules and test your boundaries. You’ll be tempted to confront every infraction. Instead, you should try to keep your perspective and tackle only the issues that threaten classroom equilibrium. When one or two students inevitably begin distracting peers, your welcoming smile might quickly turn into a neutral facial expression, referring to the development of “the look,” a powerful nonverbal classroom management tactic wielded by veteran teachers everywhere. If need be, one can follow up with a firm but kind “Please get back to the assigned task.” In the end, the best classroom management is invisible; veteran teachers rely on proactive strategies that emphasize strong relationships and then work prudently behind the scenes, discouraging misbehavior before it gets started, a 2021 study reveals. To nip disruptive behavior in the bud, make relationship-building core to your day: Greet your kids at the door; use brief, beginning-of-the-year surveys to ask about their interests, passions, or pets and family members—and follow up in future conversations; consider brief weekly or daily check-in activities to build culture continuously. Finding the right balance between being firm yet friendly takes practice—and probably more than a few false starts. Be patient with yourself. Even veteran teachers have to rein in the boundaries from time to time. Respect and firm communication of expectations will foster an engaging and fun class culture without crossing any lines.

4. Seek out the helpers. Great mentors are essential for developing great teachers—even if your instinct is to carve out your own path through your first years of teaching. Understand that you’ll never get to everything, referring to the mountains of grading, paperwork, and planning that lie ahead. But you’ll make inroads once you connect with a positive, veteran teacher to help you prioritize things. As for instruction, let your administrator know that you would like to observe a teacher in his/her classroom to see them in action. Most teachers will be glad to work with you and to talk afterward about your thoughts and observations. We get better at teaching when we talk productively about our practice.

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5. Make reflection a daily habit. A consistent habit of meaningful reflection is at the heart of every good teaching practice and can become immensely productive, fueling continuous growth and improvement. But finding regular time for it can be tough, especially after teaching a full day, grading assignments, providing feedback to students and families, meeting with advisees and colleagues, and then preparing for the next day. All of that might feel like a great reason to shelve reflection—but that’s a mistake. To make it a daily habit, keep reflection as simple as possible. During transitions in the day, jot down some notes or record quick voice memos you can review later. To make it less daunting, focus on just one or two areas of improvement at a time, and be disciplined about letting the rest go. For example, if you are concerned about the quality and effectiveness of your daily lessons, start by focusing on just one of them, and use simple guiding questions like “What proves that students actually learned?” and “What teaching skills did I use today to promote learning?”

6. Set a few personal boundaries—and stick to them. In a profession that’s notorious for its high burnout rate, setting firm personal boundaries, especially early in your career, is critical because if you spend all of your time and energy in your classroom, that becomes the expectation—even as life events happen. Thus, consider a few simple adjustments: Find ways to unplug: Consider removing access to work emails from your phone, for example, so you’re not tempted to respond to work emails nights and weekends. Learn to say no: You do not have to sponsor clubs, do extra unpaid activities, or really do anything that doesn’t scale to you being a good teacher to your kids. Do extra things if you really want to, but don’t let anyone guilt-trip you into doing more if you just cannot. Protect your time: Work will drift into your evening or weekend at times, so consider picking one day of the week that you work long hours. Do everything you can to keep your weekends free.

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Three Reminders:

1). All Staff: Please make sure we close and lock all entrances to the school after we enter to ensure the safety of everyone on campus.

2). Teachers: Please remember to be outside on the yard for the 10 minutes of Yard Duty you share with your Grade-level Team. Sometimes we are short Pupil Supervisors, and we are counting on your presence out on the yard to keep our students safe. Thanks.

3). Teachers: Please make sure to pick up your students on time from the cafeteria after lunch.

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