Bailey Bear News

August 2017

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Welcome Back!

We are excited to start this new year with almost 800 students in K-5! It has been an incredible start to this new year and our students are embracing our school rules which are; Be Ready, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible. I hope that you have found Bailey Station to be responsive to your needs as it pertains to your child and that you will continue to foster the relationship with your teacher as well as our school. One of the most important things we do as a school is to build relationships with our students. We need to know their unique and incredible stories in order to make sure that we are meeting their academic and social needs. The second most important thing for a happy school year is to communicate with your teacher and likewise, the teacher will be communicating with you! I know that when we communicate and build relationships with each other our children are the winners! You will find at Bailey Station Elementary that our children always come first in school decisions because their success is why we are here!


Our keyword for this year is "Engagement"! We want to engage our students in learning and find ways to make learning more responsive to the needs of our students! The pictures below are of the faculty during inservice week.


Please call on me if you need anything! My email is ctesreau@colliervilleschools.org and the school number is 901-853-6380.


To a great school year!

Cindy Tesreau

Growth Mindset In The Classroom

This year you will hear a lot about having a growth mindset! Do you know what having a growth mindset really means? Students who have a growth mindset believe that intelligence can be developed (through hard work, using great thinking strategies, persevering through hard challenges, etc.) These students tend to see school as a place to develop their abilities and they are excited about challenges because they see them as opportunities to grow. Students with a fixed mindset believe that intelligence is fixed at birth and that it really does not change or might just a little if they practice. These students tend to see school as a place where their abilities are evaluated and they primarily focus on "looking smart" over learning and if they make mistakes it is a sign that they are not talented in that area. The students with a growth mindset worry less about looking smart and put more energy into learning.


Why are we talking about growth mindset with our students? It is so important that we start to dismiss the myths about learning with our students. Too many of our students believe that they are NOT smart! As teachers and parents, we can fall into this type of thinking and make assumptions about a child's ability based on perceived deficits or because of race, low-income status, language acquisition and a variety of other factors. We have to put a stop to this type of thinking because it closes the door for so many students that if given the proper tools and the proper attitude could do anything they put their mind to.


We are reading the book, Growth Mindset In The Classroom by Mary Cay Ricci this year as our book study. One quote from this book sums up what we hope as a faculty we will embrace for every child at BSE. "The focus of a growth mindset is on learning, not looking smart. An educator with a growth mindset believes that with effort and hard work from the learner, all students can demonstrate significant growth and therefore all students deserve opportunities for challenge. Add to this belief an effective teacher armed with instructional tools that differentiate, respond to learner's needs, and nurture critical thinking processes, and you have a recipe for optimum student learning." (Growth Mindset in the Classroom)


There is so much to talk about on the subject of Growth Mindset! This year we will offer Coffee Chats in October and November on Growth Mindset for those parents interested in learning what they can do at home to foster a growth mindset. Once I have the dates set, I will let you know and hopefully, you will have an opportunity to be a part of this discussion.

I will talk about expectations for children and how we should and should not praise our children as it relates to academics in the September Bailey Bear News! Stay Tuned!

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"Choices" - An Interactive Discipline System

There are many new parents at BSE and I thought I would take a moment to explain the philosophy of our school wide classroom management program called "Choices." Many years ago when I was a third-grade teacher I went to a third-grade conference in St. Louis, MO and attended a seminar entitled, "Helping Your Third Graders Make Better Choices". At the time I was searching for a better way to help my students manage behaviors that were not appropriate in the classroom. The punitive check marks, putting their names on the board, sitting in the corner were just not something that I felt was appropriate and it was not making a difference. Children in a punitive environment will mind for the moment so as not to get in trouble but they will continue the behavior over and over and never internalize better habits. Children need to be given opportunities to learn about and practice better strategies for dealing with anger, not belonging, jealousy, anxiety, and a host of other things that get in the way of learning in the classroom. Punitive actions from a teacher is a temporary fix. So, coming back from this seminar I started to overhaul the way I responded to negative behavior in the classroom and shared what was working in my classroom with other teachers. We adopted the strategies at BSE when it started in 2005 and we called our program, "Choices" An Interactive Discipline System". It follows in many respects the PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) that has started to show up in many schools around the country and in Collierville.


Here are a few of the tenets of this system of discipline:

1. Discipline is teaching, not punishment.

2. Different behaviors merit different responses.

3. Goals are to remove negative emotion from interactions, focus on the issue, not the student, move toward responsibility and away from obedience, don't dwell on what happened "this time", and help students develop strategies for dealing with the situation "next time."

4. William Glasser states that students have five basic needs which are to be loved, have fun, be safe, and have some power and freedom in the classroom. When a teacher meets these five basic needs it promotes involvement, increases achievement, and reduces the negative climate of the classroom.


In the September Bailey Bear News, I will talk about ways to help your children in the classroom as it pertains to behaviors!

Get to know your Principal and Assistant Principals!

At the beginning of this year, we had each classroom play a movie that introduced the students to the principal and the two assistant principals. We will continue this each nine weeks touching on topics that are important to our school and students such as growth mindset, being a leader, making good choices, etc. We hope this will give our students an opportunity to get to know us since we are not in the classrooms every day! This is my first attempt at making a movie as I am learning technology along with my students! It can only get better as we go through the year! Enjoy the video!
Beginning of School Movie 2017