As the summer comes to an end once again, I like many teachers are looking at the upcoming school year with anticipation and possibilities. I am entering my third year of being a school administrator. I can honestly say that it has been a challenge. I have learned many of the unknowns that Principals do and I have a significant amount to still learn. Over the past two years I have been faced with many elements to ensure change and growth at my school. Most recently it was the replacement of two senior teachers, but we have faced literacy issues, social and emotional issues, economic issues and student achievement issues. For the most part I have as has the school, played a reactive role in dealing with these issues however, this will be a new year with a new plan. A plan that will integrate important elements for the beginning instead of throughout the year.
Last year in response to issues that were faced by our students in regards to literacy. The teachers at Seba Beach worked diligently with colleagues at central office and other professionals to create a school literacy program for students from the grades 5-9. With significant planning and the assistance of 5 parents we at the school created a wonderful literacy program that saw gains for over 70% of our students. These improvements where across the board this improvements were in all areas such as comprehension, fluency, cause and affect and many other literacy domains.
With the great successes that we saw as a staff we have agreed to continue this program in the up coming year with the hopes to see the same gains for students and we are looking to implement a Numeracy program, school wide that will work on students skills and abilities in respect to mathematics.
Now some that may read this post would be say well obviously these are areas that we should be working on as they are the foundations of students learning, but look back into everything that teachers are doing. All of the new initiatives, the innovative ideas, the new applications of technology, the focus on 21st century skills. Sometimes as educators we need to look back not only at our own work loads but at those that we give students. We directly control, excuse the metaphor, how much is on a students plate, and if they cannot manage to eat the basics then how are we expecting them to enjoy all of the other gourmet items.
At Seba we have noticed a need to step back and take better and longer look at the two basics and therefore we will be highlighting them in our school for the next year and hopefully for years to come. Don’t get me wrong, we will still be implementing items here and there, but always ensuring that the focus is student achievement and student success.