Adventure Specialists' Advice

May 5, 2017

You Are Appreciated

I just wanted to take some time at the end of Teacher Appreciation Week to let you know how much I appreciate each of you. You each bring something unique to our team, and the combination is truly amazing. I am so thankful each day to work with all of you. There are lots of problems and challenges to overcome in my job, but thankfully staffing issues are not a big part of that.

Chris Lim, thanks for being consistent, efficient, and thorough.

Deana, thanks for having high expectations for your students.

Michele, thanks for the hugs at just the right moment!

Jesi, thanks for the laughter and the listening ear.

Christine, thanks for helping the kids to get organized.

Mark, thanks for seeing what needs to be done and then doing it.

Dave, thanks for giving the kids room to ask questions and express doubts.

Bethany, thanks for providing some calm in the middle of the storm.

Scottie, thanks for always being ready with a song.

Chuck, thanks for trying to turn the 5th grade boys into men.

Chance, thanks for dreaming big and moving us forward.

Lisa, thanks for finding ways to make things better.

Pam, thanks for always saying yes, no matter what crazy thing I ask.

Emy, thanks for coffee! Also, thanks for spreading your joy as you go.

Dustin, thanks for showing the kids that everyone can be an artist.

Craig, thanks for challenging the kids to become better.

Sharon, thanks for helping the kids to learn self-discipline, often the hard way.

Tom, thanks for walking the line between two divisions and doing whatever is best for the kids.

Chris Ramos, thanks for your words of encouragement.

Andy, thanks for pushing the kids every day.

Susana, I cannot even begin to list all of the ways I am thankful for you. Helping the kids to learn to manage conflicts and relationships, managing MAP testings, scheduling all kinds of things. . .

SAT leaders, thanks for your daily discipleship of kids.

If I left any of you out, it was not intentional!

Again, thank you for investing your life in our kids.

I Thessalonians 2:7-9

Just as a nursing mother cares for her children, so we cared for you. Because we loved you so much, we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well. Surely you remember, brothers and sisters, our toil and hardship; we worked night and day in order not to be a burden to anyone while we preached the gospel of God to you.


Important Dates

  • May 3-12 - ES and MS MAP testing
  • May 4, 2:00 - Volunteer Appreciation
  • May 9 - Divisional Meeting (awards decisions)
  • May 12-20 - Fine Arts Festival
  • May 15 - Fine Arts Set-Up Day (no school)
  • May 17 - SCIPS transition day, 12-3 (5th and 6th grade teachers)
  • May 17 - Last day of MS X Blocks
  • May 18 - MS Fine Arts Concert 5th/6th at 5:00; 7th/8th at 7:00
  • May 19: MS Activity: Talen Show and Sparks of Passion
    • Fine Arts Jazz Concert (MS and HS Jazz, 5:00; HS Concert band and choir 7:00)
  • May 23 - Senior Assembly, X Block time
  • May 25 - MS Drama, X Block time
  • May 25 - Yearbook Assembly, X Block time
    • First Set of Comments Due, 8 AM
  • May 26 - Senior Chapel (11:30)
    • 2nd set of comments due, 8 AM
    • MS Shirt Signing (2:30)
    • Sports Awards (7:00, those involved with varsity sports)
  • May 28 - Baccalaureate
  • May 29-June 1: Half-Days, 8th-12 Final Exams (schedule to come)
  • May 29 - 3rd Set of Comments Due, 8 AM
  • May 30 - Battle of the Books (5th/6th)
    • 4th Set of Comments Due, 8 AM
  • May 31 - 5th Set of Comments Due, 8 AM
    • Senior Tea, 7 PM (optional; all staff bring a dessert to share)

Clear Targets

We’re talking about the four essential questions for education. The first question is: What do I expect my students to learn? At Dalat a few years ago there was a big initiative to have teachers write their daily objectives on the board in a “Students will be able to…” format. The rationale behind this was to help teachers remain accountable to their standards/objectives and to help students know what they’re expected to know or do. Research shows that this is such an important part of the learning process.

One issue that can come with writing up learning objectives is that they’re often written in “eduspeak” and are not very easy for students to understand. While the practice of putting objectives up on the board can be very helpful, students need to learn how to understand these targets. A simple exercise suggested by the experts at the Pearson Assessment Training Institute is to have students decipher the daily objective as a way to begin class. Students would need to write the following:

1. Today I am learning to…(fill in the objective)

2. This means that I will learn to…(student explains this in their own words or looks up the key verb in the dictionary to get some help.)

Here is an example of what a student might write for a lesson on inference:

1. Today I am learning to infer.

2. This means that I can make a reasonable guess based on information.

Obviously you can’t do this every day, but it’s a good practice to do on a regular basis. It helps students to understand what it is that they need to know, and it helps us stay accountable to the essentials. Remember, keep the target clear!

Susan Allen

HS Teacher, Instructional Coach

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