Heartfelt Notes for February 2016

Climate of Mutual Respect

What exactly is a climate of mutual respect? Who is involved in creating this climate?

As I toiled with those questions, I referred to the Great Expectations' manual p. 13 that reads "Mutual respect among all the participants in an academic setting is not an automatic byproduct of assembly for educational purposes; and yet that courtesy toward one another, that ready affirmation of each individual, that confidence in safety, and that ever-present and uplifting encouragement is exactly what is needed to bolster learning and develop good citizens who will be life-long contributors to society."

Food for thought as we enter into this month of February..."The Month of LOVE".

How do YOU model and teach our youngest citizens about a climate of mutual respect?

Where is YOUR heart this month?

Quotes for Educators

Life Principles for February

Practice, Practice, Practice...

Which practice will you focus on in February? Think about which practices can help you develop and build a strong climate of mutual respect.
The classroom practices are as follows:

1. Educators and learners model desired behaviors and attitudes such as those set forth in the Life Principles and the Eight Expectations for Living.

2. Educators and learners speak in complete sentences and address one another by name, demonstrating mutual respect and common courtesy.

3. Learners are taught thoroughly and to mastery, insuring success for all. Whole group instruction is interwoven with flexible group instruction and individual instruction.

4. Learning experiences are integrated, related to the real world, reviewed consistently, and connected to subsequent curricula.

5. Critical thinking skills are taught.

6. The environment is non-threatening and conducive to risk-taking. Mistakes are viewed as opportunities to learn and grow.

7. Memory work, recitations, and/or writing occur daily. These enhance character development and effective communication skills while extending curricula.

8. Enriched vocabulary is evident and is drawn directly from challenging writings, informational text, and/or wisdom literature.

9. The Magic Triad, a positive and caring environment, and discipline with dignity and logic are evident.

10. Learners’ work is displayed in some form. Positive and timely feedback is provided through oral and/or written commentary.

11. Word identification skills are used as a foundation for expanding the use of the English language.

12. Learners assume responsibility for their own behavior. Their choices determine consequences.

13. A school, class, or personal creed is recited or reflected upon daily to reaffirm commitment to excellence.

14. All learners experience success. The educator guarantees it by comparing learners to their own past performance, not the performance of others. Learners are showcased, and past failures are disregarded.

15. Educators teach on their feet, thus utilizing proximity. They engage learners personally, hold high expectations of learners, and should not limit learners to grade level or perceived ability.

16. Educators and learners employ effective interpersonal communications skills.

17. Educators and learners celebrate the successes of others.

Dates to Remember

American Heart Month

Black History Month

National Children's Dental Health Month

February 1 - Frederick Douglass' Birthday

February 2 - Ground Hog Day

February 7 - Superbowl #50

February 9 - Mardi Gras/ Fat Tuesday

February 10 - Ash Wednesday

February 12 - Abraham Lincoln's Birthday

February 14 - Valentine's Day

February 15 - President's Day

February 17 - Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 22 - George Washington's Birthday

February 29 - Leap Day