I was recently tagged in a meme by Penny Ryder at Teaching Challenges. I couldn’t bear to let her down! Besides, I had such a great time learning more about my PLN through the last meme that I have to participate in this one. I love anything that focuses on the positive parts of what is going on in our schools.
Here are the rules:
The general format for a meme is to 1) mention the person who tagged you 2) write your response 3) tag someone else. I want this meme to be flexible, so there is only one rule: “If the shoe doesn’t fit, change the shoe”. If you want to change the number of things, change it. If you want to change the wording, change it. If you don’t want to tag anyone, don’t. Take it and make it your own. (Feel free to pass this paragraph along)
Here are the 5 things that make my school unique:
- Wednesday is Team Planning Day. Every Wednesday afternoon, you will find all of the teachers in the school participating in grade level and/or vertical planning. We make decisions, review curriculum, share resources, vent and celebrate together every week. We talk about intervention and accleration strategies. We plan school trips and social outings. These weekly meetings ensure that every student in our school gets the benefit of all the brains. Also, no teacher is left behind as planning and sharing takes place!
- We love technology. I wish we could say that we had it all figured out, that all of the teachers were model instructors in 21st century skills. For the most part, our staff is open and excited about what technology has to offer our students. Our administration has put their money behind this vision. Every classroom has a SMARTBoard. Every teacher gets monthly training and sharing opportunities. When something comes up that looks interesting or engaging for students, then the teachers take it upon themselves to seek out the resources to implement new activities in their classrooms.
- It’s about the kids. When it comes to spending money, planning budgets, organizing resources, or dividing up personnel, we are able to keep our eyes on what is best for our students. There is less petty discussion over what’s mine or yours and more focused debate on the greater good.
- The substitute teachers. OK, so that sounds a bit odd, but it’s true. We have a core group of substitute teachers that are at the school almost everyday for one teacher or another. The amazing part is their dedication to the art of teaching. Because all classrooms have SMARTBoards, they requested training on them. They didn’t want the teachers to have to change their plans or deviate from the technology that the kids love because someone was going to be out. They give their own time to keep the kids at the forefront.
- Holiday Hall Parties. We don’t do a Christmas party at school. We celebrate for the whole month. Throughout December, each hall (there are 4) provides a meal for the whole staff on their hall. Some choose to serve breakfast, others do finger foods, and some do soup and sandwiches. It sometimes seems difficult to see what other grades and halls are doing with their students. This is a great chance to socialize, to learn and to be in awe of the things going on around our school every day!
Thanks Penny for starting this meme. Now I’d love to hear from…
Ana Buckmaster at http://upperhouse.edublogs.org/
Todd Williamson at http://thetechnorateteacher.wordpress.com/
Paul Blogush at http://blogush.edublogs.org/
Ed Shepherd at http://learningtocollaborate.blogspot.com/
Shelia Teri at http://technologydelight.edublogs.org/