April 30, 2022
We know assessment in the service of learning makes a huge difference in student learning outcomes and that’s why it is important to plan for its central role in every new initiative whether we are thinking about welcoming newcomers to Canada, students with trauma, or supporting every teacher to figure out what students know and need to learn as the new year begins.
There are so many things I don’t want to talk or think about right now – the war in Ukraine, weather disasters, climate change, pandemics, the move away from democracy, convoys, violence in our communities and more. And yet, as educators we greet those impacted by life in these times each day as we welcome students into our classrooms and schools.
What does this mean for you and for us? As a young teacher, I marveled at how students’ voting patterns often mirrored that of the larger community. Schools reflect the larger community so as an educator I need to be informed and I need to be open to diverse ideas. As an educator working in public schools, I work towards democratic ideals. That means I am committed to learning about differing perspectives and forging relationships with all the children and families in my school community. Yet, it has been a long year with way more to learn than I ever imagined. Despite being resilient and taking care of myself, I’m tired.
As I continue to walk miles/kilometers daily with Kevin the dog, I’ve been noticing my trusty ‘go to’ boots are no longer ‘well-loved; rather have moved into the ‘no longer wearable’ zone. They have hit the ground 6-18 km almost every day and although I’ve cared for them and they’ve been incredibly resilient, they are done now. I’m in the ending stage (I don’t want to let go of these great boots… ) and the beginning stage (what colour boots should I get next…) both at the same time.
As educators we are looking forward to finishing this year and we are also planning for next year. We are taking our time as we reflect on how many new teachers and new principals will be joining us. We are wondering how we will capture the amazing expertise of our colleagues who may be leaving us at the end of the year. We are continuing to take care of ourselves as the ‘regular viruses’ regain their place among us.
We at Connect2Learning are taking this time to talk with many of you as we plan next year’s work together, we are planning the ways we will be ready to support new teachers and new principals, and how we might best support the next year’s ‘start up.’
Our wish for you is that you take time to take care of yourself, say your goodbye’s in ways that honour the hard work and dedication of your colleagues, and quietly yet deliberately plan for a great start for next year.
Let us know if we can be of assistance.
All our best wishes,
Anne, Sandra and the team at Connect2Learning
PS Here’s a photo of Kevin the dog after yet another long walk…