I always enjoy Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts opinion piece on CBC Sports so I thought I would try my own version as I reflect back on the first three months of the school year.
1. Inquiry continues to deepen its roots throughout the classrooms at Ridgeview. Our foundations of time, collaboration, and trust have allowed a culture of inquiry to permeate throughout our school.
2. We have time for grade level collaboration built into our weekly schedule for teachers to plan and share their units of inquiry.
3. Time and collaboration with Janet Hicks started last year and continues every Tuesday as part of our innovation grant. Our Director of Instruction Lynne Tomlinson described the successes of these grants around the district in a recent post.
4. Our five week cycle with Janet includes 2 weeks of planning, 2 weeks of team teaching/coaching and 1 week for reflection. This has proven to be a great success with our teachers and inquiry-based pedagogy continues to further engage our students’ learning.
5. I mentioned trust above, and this was something I spoke about recently at the BC Superintendent’s Association conference in regards to Innovation and TEDxWestVancouverED. Working in a district where the philosophy is a Culture of Yes, we are trusted as educators in a manner that gives us permission to try and permission to go where the magic happens.
6. We began our BYOD program at Ridgeview in September and within the first two weeks we had 92% of our students in grades 5-7 bringing their own devices to school. That percentage has further increased as the term has progressed and our students’ level of engagement with their learning has continued to grow.
7. As part of our BYOD initiative we hosted a Digital Boot Camp for Parents. During this evening session parents attended workshops about our virtual classrooms and dashboards, social media, Mathletics and Dreambox, Back to Basics for parents wanting to get familiar with their hardware/software and online tools for helping their students research the web safely and effectively. Most importantly, a number of our students showcased how digital access had positively impacted their learning.
8. Ridgeview continues its relationship with Sentinel’s Work Experience Program (WEX). This term we have four WEX students in grades 11 and 12 connecting with Ridgeview students in K, 2, 5, and 6. Whether one-on-one, within small groups, or engaging the whole class, these students are making a positive difference in our students’ lives.
9. TEDxWestVancouverED is returning in September. We have Kath Murdoch arriving from Australia and will begin looking for others who are Rethinking Education in the coming weeks. Do you know someone with a story that will resonate?
10. Finally, our district recently had a professional development day with the theme Collaborative Conversations. The thoughts and ideas from the day were shared on a Padlet that was seen by everyone at the same time. This allowed us to build on the ideas of others and brought our teachers together to connect as a professional learning network. http://padlet.com/wall/wvdistrictpd
Fantastic to see how you have led the professional learning in your school (district?). I was most interested to read about the introduction of BYOD in your school, and, I think, is worthy of a blog post or paper of its own.
I’m sure Kath will treat you and your staff to an enthralling few days.
Thanks Travis. Perhaps a BYOD post would be worthwhile in the future. My commitment to BYOD has its roots in the work we did at Tokyo International School and from seeing the power of digital access on student learning. Their depth of learning, responsible conduct and level of engagement was inspiring. As for Kath, perhaps you’ll come over for some professional development?
Travis, my newest post is inspired by your comment.