Chestnut Talented and Gifted
May 2020 Newsletter
Hello, Chestnut TAG families.
I sincerely hope this finds all of you healthy and making it through this difficult time. By the time you receive this I hope you will have accessed our new learning materials and student schedules on our TAG website. This has been a time of constant change and we have tried as a school to adjust to remote learning without overwhelming TAG families with communications and constant changes to what we are offering for remote learning. To that end, all information about our remote learning, can be found at www.chestnuttag.com. But we need your help in getting 100% of students "plugged in", attending Tuesday and Thursday live classes and completing the work. This will ensure that students start the next school year ready for the next grade level. Please reach out with questions.
We may not be in school, but... the learning doesn't stop!
Ms. Smith studied creative writing at Lynchburg College in Lynchburg, Virginia from 2002-2006. There, she earned a bachelor’s degree, received 2 writing awards, and road the pine all four years for The Hornets, a nationally ranked, division III field hockey team. She transitioned out of undergrad by coaching field hockey, ice hockey, and softball for 2 years in the Boston area. That experienced landed her at Springfield College, where she fell in love with Springfield and teaching. By year two of her master’s program she finally realized she was built to teach physical education. Smith started teaching at Chestnut in 2011. She is in year 9 of teaching Physical Education, year 5 of Health, and year .5 of ELA. She has coached well over 20 seasons of sports at Chestnut and has no plans of stopping soon. In 2020/2021 Smith will move into a leadership role at Chestnut, developing fellow Physical Education and Health teachers.
What three traits define you?
To answer this, I am going to quote a former student: “You’re helpful, caring, want what’s best for your students but strict.” – Amy Zeng
What is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment was traveling to South America (Peru) alone. It was something I wanted to do for 15+ years. I always found an excuse not to go. Money, companionship, schooling, teaching, family, fear. I know it seems simple but I had to fight through some social constructs/norms to make it happen.
What does true leadership mean to you?
True leadership to me means empowering folks. I hope to empower anyone that I lead (child or adult) either directly, through instruction or indirectly, through observation. To feel/be empowered I believe that people first need mutual respect and confidence. As a leader it is my priority to foster those two things first.
How do you define success?
I define success by living one’s life with fidelity. By staying loyal, faithful, and honest to oneself, a cause, a purpose, relationship, belief no matter how difficult and tumultuous it may be at times.
What would you most like to tell yourself at age 13?
Hahaha. I would tell myself what my sister told me when I was 12/13. “When they say (insert lame insult), just laugh along. Don’t react. That’s what they are looking for.” I was a feisty pre-teen/teen who spoke her mind, loudly! This was the best advice I got in middle school.
Literacy! Reading and writing can be in English, or in your home language, or in a combination.
Writing can help with getting your thoughts down, can provide a distraction, or you can explore your creative side. Either choose a school notebook for use as a Writing Journal (it's ok if there are other things in there), or staple paper together. Each day, choose two activities from the list (it's fine to repeat activities). How long should the piece of writing be? Whatever your able to comfortably write. It will be different for.
- Pick a room (bedroom, living room, kitchen, family room, even bathroom!) and describe your dream version of it. What would it look like? What would it have in it?
- Write a conversation between two people in your home, or two imaginary people, where one person is surprised by something in the conversation.
- Interview a person in your family about their childhood. Ask about their favorite: games to play, foods to eat, and music to listen to. Write it up in your journal.
- Write a journal entry about how you're feeling and what your day was like.
- Write down your dreams
* Parents and students, take a picture of your daily journal and send it to me using the contact info below. I will send comments back to you to share.
Contact hours for Guidance with the new scheduling.
Feel free to log into Teams, and have lunch with Mrs. Staine and Mr. Vanasse from 11:45- 12:15 Monday thru Thursday.
We will also have a check in hour at the end of the day from 2:40-3:40, Monday thru Thursday.
Guidance is also available Fridays for Social Time.
10:10- 10:55 -Mr. Vanasse.
11:45-12:15- Mr. Salas, and Mrs. Staine.
Connect with us on Teams.
Please take our 8- question parent survey every Friday. The purpose of the parent survey is to understand how we can improve directions, access, and resources that families need to support their students in remote learning. The survey is available on the Chestnut TAG website.