We are now into the heart of the school year! Classrooms throughout the district are engaged in meaningful, relevant learning experiences. Student diagnostic data has been completed, and we are diligently designing days to answer the question, "What's best for kids?" It is amazing to have the opportunity to see "big picture" all of the small things happening that will create a wonderful year, and future, for the staff and students who call TVLS home.
Last week I had the opportunity to spend several days in Columbus. One of the keynote speakers of the conference continued to repeat the question, "Are you aware of the power and control you have over students' lives?" The speaker went on to share a story of a 12th grade girl whom many would have classified as hopeless, lost, and not going to measure up to much. Though the girl had been written off by many, a single teacher chose to see the possibility of potential in the student...not her academic failure, her poor behavior, or the stereotypes given to her by society. By the end of the keynote, the speaker, Kimberly Brazwell, went on to share that the hopeless student was in fact the speaker standing in front of us. She continued to share how her life had been transformed by educators who showed up, not just to pass on content, but to change lives. What about us? "Are you aware of the power and control you have over students' lives?" Are we taking the extra time to know our students? Are we nurturing relationships? Are we providing engaging learning experiences?
Our theme for October throughout the district will center around language~appreciating its subtle yet profound power. Ron Ritchart defines language in chapter three of Creating Cultures of Thinking as helping us to direct attention and action. "The words and structures that make up language not only convey an explicit surface meaning but also import a set of deeper associations and connections that implicitly shape thought and influence behavior. The is the hidden power of language: its ability to subtly convey messages that shape our thinking, sense of self, and group affinity." I look forward to seeing all of our book study participants (it's not too late to sign up!) on October 5 as we discuss the idea of language and what we can do to strengthen what we do every day at Tusky Valley. I trust great conversations will continue throughout October as our book participants share their learning with everyone at the October building meetings.
As always, if there is anything the Office of Student Services can do to assist you or your students, don't hesitate to let us know!
Together in Education!