The Bear Necessities

Sept. 17, 2018

Future Ready Learning

At the CFMP (Comprehensive Facility Master Plan) Community Engagement meetings this week, the district is talking about more than boundaries. First, I hope that you have taken an evening to attend one of these events, Jeanie and I both learned things when we went. The district is really trying to figure out the space issue while at the same time being very thoughtful to "Future Ready Learning" environments. What does this even mean? Well, I've got a few blogs you might hop on and read, follow them if you will get regular communication on the topics related Future Ready learning. I will tell you, that as an Early Educator, you will find that the new movement to be more child lead, student focused, etc is very much what we all believe deeply in!!

Did you fill out that survey yet? If not, please do so!! Our voice needs to be heard, there is an opportunity to type in the boxes...please type in the boxes!!

Staff Parking

If you work at GBEEC, travel or not, please do not park out front. We hold those spots directly in front of our door, from tree to tree for visitors to our building. We want them to have the least amount of parking lot to navigate with their little ones as possible. Thank you for your consideration.

Special Programs at GBEEC

Here is what I know, all kids could benefit from a bit of time in a special program....but let's get real, they aren't very special if they have higher enrollment than a blended classroom (which happened last year). Let's remember that these programs were designed for the most impacted students and are to be smaller in enrollment size. If you are thinking a student of yours could use a little time in a special program, your probably not wrong, but the reality is, it can't happen for most kids.

I want you to first ask yourself what you would do if there were no special programs. We seem to have many students needing unique instruction including "Learning to Learn" behaviors. This is the basis of all early education and more specifically "Early Childhood Special Education". Exhaust ALL possibilities and then make sure to invite me to ANY and ALL meetings regarding the movement of a student to a special program.

I encourage you to plan for kids instruction like you were a stand alone program, which is how most of this state operates. Plan like there is no other classroom, problem solve like your room is the only option.

Please consider if your style and schedule is no longer working, be willing to make a change. I had an elementary principal tell me she gave her whole entire school permission to teach nothing but social skills and how to "do school" for the first two weeks...her teachers had to write down that she had given them permission. What does this tell us? Our kids are different, they do not have the "soft skills" needed to function with schedule, rules, peers, etc.

We know our kids are different than they were even 5 years ago, the big question to ask yourself is, do you teach/plan/schedule any differently?

Does your paraprofessional run a second shorter circle for those who can't handle your more traditional circle? Do you have your paraprofessional teaching those "Learning to learn" behaviors directly with that one or two students who need that true one on one coaching model? Are you running a different schedule for this little one than the rest of the classroom? Have you had other staff come look at this kiddo to give you tips or ideas? (OT/PT/SLP/STARS Tchr) The thing is: YOU'VE GOT amaze me daily with the outside of the box problem solving things you do to meet kids needs.

Your job is tough, you want what is best for kids...but I hear a lot of talk about moving kids to our special programs, and it just can't be an option for most of them. So how do we do things differently? Happy to hear your thoughts!!

Faulkner's Pumpkin Patch

Scheduled for Oct. 29-30...more to come

Early Education

I had the chance to meet with the governors office Wednesday in Jeff City...we spoke a lot about Early Education and how it really was the base for ALL other things (workforce development, social issues). Below is a link to some new data...thought you might find it interesting.

Collaboration Teams

You have new teams and you will need to meet at Satelite locations at least half the time. Please ride together if possible. THANKS

Where are they??

Monday - Jeanie at Federal Programs Conference, Kerry here

Tuesday - Jeanie at Federal Programs Conference, Kerry 3:00 mtg at SLC

Wednesday - Kerry sits down with KCUR for EC series they are working on and Parks and Rec Mtg, Kerry and Jeanie here and at 3:00 leave for PIE (Partners in Education Event).

Thursday - Kerry to Academic Leadership Team 8:00-11:30 SLC, then Jeanie joins for Elementary Principals Mtg. 11:30-1:00

Friday - 11:00 front office staff mtg (let me know if willing to answer phones/door), CPI Special Class 1:30-2:30