I do not know how many times I have said this over the years, but I know today will not be the last time…RELATIONSHIPS FOLKS…RELATIONSHIPS!
If we trained to focus our attention on the child from the start and let this be the guide for creating the foundational priorities for his/her school year I would estimate that the number of those who fall through the social/emotional cracks would decrease substantially each year. We would be better prepared to meet the needs from the start thereby being proactive rather than reactive to needs such as depression.
The stakeholders that I primarily represent unfortunately fall through the cracks of the system more often than others. Relationships that are built on values of trust, compassion, communication, and advocacy can overcome all challenges over time…the system must champion the change to adapt to the needs of the student and not expect the student to adapt to the system.
The article below is meant to support parents; however, as educators we tend to spend more time with the children than the parents do at home during the week, and as such, we should be monitoring social and emotional signs of depression as well.
If I was asked what is more important to me…the relationship my child has with those at school or the content they are required to learn from teachers my response without hesitation is relationship. Information and facts can be learned anytime, but a relationship that can help overcome life’s challenges is far more important in my view.
Keep it Real Folks!
How To Monitor Mental State Of Your Kids
I read an article this morning that relates to this post…here is a link that presents a few ways one can manage stress related to depression:
How To Manage Stress – A Few Suggestions
Education may not always be fun but learning should always be exciting! Educators who can differentiate between the two and who consciously create lessons knowing this are the educators I want teaching my child. I encourage you to bring this up with your local PAC and/or School Board and ask them to provide support to those who may need assistance. Presenting solutions to a challenge creates positive dialogue.
While not to be an independent conclusion one gauge that can used to measure this at the high school level is to monitor your child’s attendance for each course (usually stated on report card). If you notice a high number of unexcused absences in one or more courses it can suggest a low engaging environment. You do not need letters behind your name to understand this…I f something is fun and exciting it is more likely people will want to stay to take part and less likely they will take off to avoid it.
Learning Matters More Than Education
When I entered the education system close to 15 years ago with my newly earned B.Ed Degree I admit there was a sense of disappointment as the system did not seem that different from when I was a student in K-12….desks in rows, textbooks, worksheets, quizzes/tests regurgitating classroom instruction, and little to no choice in achieving learning outcomes. Post-Secondary training was teaching us newbies Project Based Learning Strategies but there was little to no evidence of its existence in the system, and sadly I share, there are too many classrooms today that still resemble this environment. The Fins, who are considered leaders in the education field, have mastered Project Based Learning where teaching to the child has been replaced with teaching for the child and for some reason we are failing to meet the changing environment.
So what’s the problem?
In short the problem is not the problem….the problem is the lack of energy and focus on the solution. In the end it’s both the educators and the system who need to adapt and embrace the changing pedagogy. If the teachers are not conforming then it’s time to state direction…if the system lacks the needed support then it’s time to feed the cause.
The Fins have proved success…it’s evidence that it is possible…time to make it real in our system just as we would strive to do for our own children.
Project Based Learning….Make It Happen
The difference between a great school year and a challenging one can be measured on the amount of time committed to relationships at the front end of the school year. Too many educators focus on the amount of curriculum they need to cover over the course of the year, but if they invested significant time to build relationships with both children and family in the first month they would experience a school year like never before.
Strategies For Getting To Know Your Students
I, like others, interpret many things through experience as my personal understanding will help define the reality in a way that will make sense to me. I, again like others, will use a dictionary from time to time to help guide this personal processing and today I found myself exploring the internet for the definition of “Effective” to compliment the article I read this morning (link below).
Here are 2 definitions of “Effective” that popped up first:
- successful in producing a desired or intended result
- a soldier fit and available for service
The first one listed above, at least to me, is the flavour of the definition that tends to guide my interpretation most often…it is how I usually define my own reality when I use the term. Today I reflect on the second definition as I’m not accustomed to processing it in this manner; however, perhaps this is the way we should be using the term when it comes to those who are with our children for most of the day?
Is your child’s teacher “a soldier fit and available for service” who will endure all challenges and who will relentlessly support, strategize, and advocate to ensure your child will reach the desired benchmarks each year?
Time for me to reflect some more…
7 Traits of Effective Teachers
This week the Auditor General of British Columbia, Carol Bellringer, released her audited report of the Education of Aboriginal Students in the BC Public School System. The findings come to no surprise for many Aboriginal families, especially for those who reside in First Nation Communities, as the success gap between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal learners remains wide . The general theme of the report suggests a lack of both Accountability and Leadership within the system are the reasons for static results.
A few positive things to note:
- All Stakeholders acknowledge “The Gap” remains, including the Ministry of Education, and they recognize there is still much work to be done to address it
- The Auditor General’s recommendations are fairly specific and there are now means to measure accountability on results.
- There are many resources within the system intended to increase Aboriginal Success…This Report will now serve as the measurement tool that will hold School Districts Accountable to the Resources.
I could not be any more pleased knowing this report is now in play for stakeholders to utilize when discussing the difficult topics, but more importantly stakeholders can now use this report as the primary tool when creating successful Aboriginal Programs in all District’s of the province to target the “gaps” that exsist.
Last week I had the opportunity to attend the opening ceremony of NVIT’s Trades Facility at our Merritt BC Campus. NVIT’s president Ken Tourand MC’d the celebration with Key Stakeholders sharing a few words. Speakers included an Elder, Chief from one of the founding Nations, local MLA, the Premier, and myself representing NVIT’s Board of Governors.
Merritt Newspaper Article
Snippet Of Shane’s Message
I have been sitting on the Board for over 6 years and I could not be any prouder of our Institution and our NVIT family. We have been serving Aboriginal communities for over 30 years and now our Trades Facility will enhance our capacity to better serve industry needs throughout the province.
NVIT is a leader in Aboriginal Education and I look forward to seeing the influence it has on other Education Systems to enhance successful outcomes for Aboriginal communities in the future.