May 23, 2012
This May we had a Professional Development Day on the 22nd. A main part of this day was starting to tackle the topics of what is student success, how to implement inclusive education, how we can guide transformation, and how can we engage all the members of our learning community. This is a lot of tackle! Student success is very individualistic; it cannot be solely measured from a summative assessment tool like a test or a Provincial Achievement Test. Just as learning is individual, it only follows that measuring learning needs to be more individualistic. In a lot of ways inclusive education is simply good teaching. The challenge that inclusive education gives us is success for all learners. I think I am a “good” teacher, but I can honestly tell you not all my students succeed. My challenge, and all the teachers at our school, is to have all of our students succeed. Schools are changing. The grade 6 class that I teach is a lot different than the grade 6 class I attended at St. Edward’s School in Saskatoon, or the grade 6 class I taught in Slave Lake in the 1990s, or even the grade 6 class I taught three years ago at Children of St. Martha’s School. Students think differently, therefore will need to teach differently. I truly believe our system of education is in a transformation period. The classroom will be a very different place in just a few years from now. Our opportunity is as we transform, we need to meet the needs of all our students. There are bound to be some ups and downs as we try new approaches, but I am looking forward to the journey that is in front of us. Finally, we will be looking at ways to better engage all of the members of our learning community; our staff, our students, and our parents. By better engaging our community we hope to focus on student success, inclusive education, and transformation. In all of these, we will be permeating our faith. Together we will achieve our vision of being a safe and caring, Christ-centered community of hope and learning.