Although the weather was not the most accommodating on Friday, my adventure and experience while visiting Carolyn Cameron and the students and teachers at Greystone Centennial Middle School was wonderful. My time at Greystone was a great learning experience, however before I go into what I learned and my take-aways from my visit I am going to provide a short section about Greystone and Mrs. Cameron.
Greystone Centennial Middle Schools belief is that middle years is a time to exert extra effort to make school appealing by engaging students in learning and by offering them a variety of activities to keep them connected to the school community. The schools highly collaborative teaching teams who remain with the same group of students for 2-3 years establish strong supportive relationships that promote individualized, personalized learning for students. The teachers really get to know the unique learning needs of their students.
Carolyn Cameron, is the Principal of Greystone Centennial Middle School. She states that she is inspired, daily, by the passion and energy for learning that she sees from the staff and students at Greystone. She is always open to sharing ideas that cause her to question, explore and build her knowledge as it relates to Inspiring Action in Education and how she, along with her amazing team at Greystone, can continue to make the dream of meeting the needs of today’s learners a reality in their school community.
My day at Greystone was filled with some great experiences, however the learning was also excellent. One of the items that is required as an administrator is to observe teachers in their practice and assist them in their achievement of the Professional Growth Plans. I was able to sit with Mrs. Cameron and observe to classes. The first class was Mr. Dhaliwal’s grade nine Science class and the second was Mrs. Nicholls grade six Math class. Being unaware of the backgrounds of the classroom I was lucky in the sense that both subjects are areas in which I am familiar and enjoy teaching.
Both the observations were great in that I was able to see how Mrs. Cameron did her teacher observations. There are three very important things that I noticed. First of all in both settings Mrs. Cameron ensured that she was not in a position that would cause distraction from the lesson or to the students. In one we sat away from the students allowing us a fish bowl view, while the other one had us placed in the classroom sitting among the students. Secondarily, Mrs Cameron stated that she is always looking for the answer to a specific question which she either listens for during the lesson or asks students directly when it is appropriate and that is “how does this apply to students lives?”. Lastly, I learned that although Mrs. Cameron takes into account all of the TQS standards, that her primary focus in her observations relates to teachers Professional Growth Plans, something that I did not place more of a focus on.
Observing Mrs. Cameron in her observations as well as being able to participate in a post conversation has shown me the process in action from an administrators point of view, something that I had not been able to previously witness. I would like to thank Mrs. Cameron, the staff and students of Greystone for the wonderful learning experience, for inviting me into their classrooms and for allowing me to participate in some excellent learning opportunities and activities. I am looking forward to making some of the changes at my school from what I have observed at Greystone.