CN Jr/Sr HS WeAreOne
September 13, 2019
Thursday is Parent/Teacher Conferences and our first e-Learning Day. Please make sure you are communicating with students and parents regarding your plan for e-Learning and having students practice accessing assignments. This is very important for our 6th graders and all of our new students we have this year. Let's make sure everyone has the information they need ahead of time so that our first e-Learning day is a positive experiece.
Also please reach out to parents and invite them to conferences. Be proactive and make connections at 4 1/2 weeks so that we can work with parents to help their child throughout the semester.
I have struggled all week emotionally because one of our families from CN unexpectedly moved out of the district. When the young man we had at the Jr High came to CN last year, he didn't talk to anyone, he didn't interact with others, he would barely make eye contact. He struggled academically, he struggled emotionally, and he struggled socially. Mid-year last year he finally made a connection with Mrs. Vice. Many days after school you could find him in her office working on assignments, having a snack, and he finally opened up and started talking. His home life was chaotic, to say the least. He and his 3 younger siblings, all with special needs, were being raised by grandma with very few limited resources. Most of us have never lived a life like he was living, and our children never will either. His story was heartbreaking and it shed so much light on why he struggled in all of the ways he did.
Through his connection with Mrs. Vice and positive interactions with adults in our building, he started to grow. He started to talk more, sit with other students at lunch, go out for lunch rec, became aware of his grades, and every once in a while smile, laugh, and joke. The change in him from the beginning of last school year to the end was remarkable.
This year he started leaps and bounds ahead of where he started last year. Just a few days ago he came flying through the office on his way to Mrs. Vice room, when he saw one of his teachers, stopped, turned around, and came back to tell him good morning. It may not sound like a big deal, but to those of us who observed this happening, it was HUGE! We all talked about it afterward, and the teacher he had made of point of speaking to shared how well he was doing in class and that the student seemed to have a natural talent for the hands-on work he was doing. This small interaction, a simple good morning, was such a positive change and gave even more hope for things to come.
Then, without warning, we received word from grandma that they were moving (again). It happened so fast that there was no time to say goodbye, wish him well, let him know we were going to miss him, and that we were proud of the progress he was making. I can't imagine how this upheaval, yet again, has impacted him. He was finally making connections and now he is starting all over again.
We are going to reach out to his new school this week in hopes that we can share the progress he has made and that someone at the new school will work extra hard and making a connection with him right away. His connection wasn't with me - it was with Ashley. But through this connection, we all saw growth in amazing ways. Don't ever doubt the impact you can have on a student, the positive difference you can make by building a relationship of trust and respect. This student may have still been below reading level, struggled in math, was afraid to answer questions in class, but he was growing emotionally and socially, and I have no doubt that this growth was essential for his future success in school and life.
Reading in All Subjects
I read this quote by Richard Vaca this week on Edutopia. He said, "Adolescents entering the adult world in the 21st century will read and write more than at any other time in human history. They will need advanced levels of literacy to perform their jobs, run their households, act as citizens, and conduct their personal lives."
If you are a math, history, science, or art teacher, where does literacy fit into your classroom instruction? It's common to believe that literacy instruction is solely the charge of language arts teachers, but, this just is not so. Content may be what we teach, but there is also the how, and this is where literacy instruction comes in. There are a number of engaging, effective strategies to get students to think about, write about, read about, and talk about the content you teach. The ultimate goal of literacy instruction is to build a student's comprehension, writing skills, and overall skills in communication in every subject matter. When we make this a focus in every program, then we will begin to see real growth in our students' skills.
What's Up CN
Jr High Cougar U
First Friday Events - Save the Dates
9/18 - Midterm Grades
9/19 - PTC & e-Learning Day
9/20 - Amanda Lee Coffee Truck