Saturday, June 29, 2013

One Last Post? Saturday, 29 June

First, here is a link to my farewell at the Grade 7 Leaving Ceremony:

I had a long but happy day at school yesterday.  I thought I might feel melancholy as I packed up, but I didn't.  I did do much reflecting on the year as I was creating a sample folder of the grade 6s' writing for their next-year's teacher, and as I recycled old test sheets and packed up boxes, but I had a recurring feeling of satisfaction, not sadness.  I was also not sad at our little good-bye celebration for the 17 staff who are leaving the school this year.  Mr. Brown noted that I am the only one who left by choice: that sounds terrible, doesn't it.  I enjoyed the company of everyone on staff and have had moments of doubt about my decision to leave such a positive place.  I have thoroughly enjoyed my year at the Creek.  I have also appreciated the willingness of the staff to challenge our practices and discuss our vision as we ask what school could be like in our quest to deliver the best opportunities and the best programs for our students.  I truly believe exciting times are ahead for the whole school community.  I have received many kind words about my efforts over the past year and they are most appreciated.  But I didn't do it alone.  I was well supported by Carol, Jay-Ann, Sarah, Ms. Henderson, Mr. Pond, Ms. Foster, Ms. McBain, Mr. Clements, Ms. Rive, Joanna and the many parents who were able to support us up front and in the background. We teachers care a great deal about what we do and there is no better fuel for that fire than affirmation from an appreciative school community and the satisfaction that comes from a job well done.  So, thank you, everyone.
All packed up and ready for the next step

Joanna asked that I post this for her:

Here are all the wonderful words and gifts you have all given me.  A beautiful still life reminding me of the good feelings I have from the year and how honoured I feel.  Thank-you everybody!

Thank you, Joanna, for teaching me how to do this:
the piece I'm most proud of!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday, 25 June

Thanks everyone for a wonderful day of celebration for our grade seven class.  It was busy and there were, as usual some last-minute issues to deal with, but everyone was very cooperative.  I want to send a special thank-you to the parents who set up the gym this morning, and also the folks who stayed behind to help return things to order.  I'd also like to thanks the students (many of them grade 6s) who worked this morning to help get things organized. A special thank you to Gus and Nicholas for safely operating the wheelchair lift so that Sarah could fully participate in her leaving ceremony.  I think it shows a lot of class and is a true indication of the type of people who are in our school that she was able to be front and centre just like everyone else.  I'd also like to thank Oliver who gave up his whole day to manage the sound system including setting it up TWICE and then staying after school to help put the gym back in order - speaking of class, he has it all.

Tomorrow, I'll be leaving at recess to attend the Pender Secondary grad ceremony.  The computers will be available, and students will have a chance to finish any of their art projects that are not yet complete.  I'll also ask folks to tidy their art portfolios and clean up the room.  Anyone who has not yet done so, should bring a container to school in order to take home everything from his or her desk, cubby, et cetra.

Thanks, everyone for being so good about tidying up the outstanding fees.  Only a few students are left to bring in the $10 for art supplies - please try to remember:

Gage, Amber. Bowen, and Avery.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Yippee, Monday 24 June

Today was a good day with the Sea to Sky crew at Camp Elphinstone and Gambier Island.  At first some seemed disappointed by the rain but it proved to be of little consequence for everyone had a good time in spite of the weather.  Actually, the rain let up for most of the day so it was not a big deal anyway.  I don't know about the other canoes, but there was a lot more water coming into the boat by way of splashing paddles than liquid sunshine.  While on Gambier we had the chance to pick the activity we wished to do: some studies the inter-tidal zone, others went up a creek while a third group hiked up a big hill to achieve a view of the surroundings.  Thanks to all of the parent drivers; once again the parents came through for Division Two!

Tomorrow is the grade 7s' leaving ceremony.  Here is the shape of the day:

09:00 - 10:45 - non-instructional time for catch-up activities such as finishing art projects

10:45 - 11:30 - rehearsal - all grade 7s are required to attend but need not be dressed in their good clothes.

11:30 - 12:30 - time to dress and primp hair etc.

12:30 - 1:00 - last minute details, visiting the washroom, etc.

1:00 - 2:15 - leaving ceremony (ending time is approximate)

2:15 - grade 7s are dismissed and parents take over for a planned beach activity.

I'm looking forward to a wonderful day, tomorrow and thanks for a wonderful day, today.
Please e-mail me or post a comment to this blog post if you have any questions.  You may also call me at home - my number is in the directory.

Note: Students are asked to bring a container to hold their school supplies so that desks can be emptied and cleaned.

Note: Anyone who has not paid $10 for his or her art supplies is asked to do so.

Friday, June 21, 2013

It's Friday: happy summer solstice - 21 June

First, I'd like to thanks all of the parents and students for a wonderful time at the grade 7 banquet last night.  I really enjoyed myself, so much so that I didn't want to leave: what a positive energy you all created.  Thanks to all of the parents who were involved in the long-term planning, but also to the many hands who made it all come together on the actual day.  I know that many of you put in many hours of your time and it is most appreciated.  I enjoyed our conversations and who will ever forget "Dancing Queen?" Sorry for that.

Sorry, also, that I didn't get a post out last night, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it as I scurry to get all of the little jobs done that have to get done.

On Monday we will all meet at the school at 9:00 and then get in the volunteer drivers' vehicles to make our way to Camp Elphinstone.  There is no need for parents to stay at the camp for the day, we have enough adult supervisors scheduled to attend.  Drivers will be asked to meet back at the camp for 2:00 p.m. in order to get the students back to the school in time to catch their regular school busses.  Students are reminded to come prepared:

That means BRING YOUR GO GEAR = big lunch, 1litre water bottle, walking shoes, water shoes/sandals/Crocs, sun protection (hat and sunscreen), bandana, rain gear, and asthma puffer/meds (if necessary).  You might wish to add a towel and extra shorts/t-shirt in a garbage bag just in case your canoe tips - I will be doing so.

Here is the list of drivers - again, we got more than we needed - you are all so supportive of our class: THANK YOU!  It is so easy to plan outings with this group (all forms in, all fees received, and all drivers planned in fewer than three days - outstanding!).

Joan H. = 7 passengers
Lucy J. = 7 passengers
Jenine G. = 6 passengers
Lyne L. = 4 passengers
Me = 3 passengers

Today we had a blast at sports day, and that is all I'm going to say. I've got to proofread my report cards and get them to Ms. Rive for vetting.  I hope everyone has a super weekend as we get ready for the grade 7 leaving ceremony on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Better late than never: Wednesday, 19 June

Sorry for the late post: we had a staff meeting, then I stayed to complete my Jack Shadbolt-style painting, and then I came home to complete my report cards - uhg.

First: we have drivers for 16 right now, so please check your schedules or we'll have to cancel Monday's planned activity.  Remember, also, that we need the $10 and the consent forms.  Please also try to bring $10 for art supplies is you haven't already done so - the list of those who have is growing - thanks.

Tomorrow is a big day, as are all of the days left in the year.  We will return our instruments in the morning (9:00-9:30) and then have band.  After recess we will have a rehearsal of the leaving ceremony in the gym (the parents will be setting up for the grade 7 banquet/karaoke extravaganza - planned for 5:00-9:00).  In the afternoon we will have a 30-minute meeting with Mr. Brown about sports day, and then we will do our cardio fitness test.

Today was a very artsy day.  We painted before recess and then had the Academy Awards for most of the rest of the day.  Thanks to Kira and Andrea who gave lots of help cleaning paint pots and brushes.  Thanks to others, like Carol, who also helped keep the operation on the rails.  Thanks especially, to Joanna for showing us the way.  Here are some pics of the day:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tuesday, 18 June

Today we began by running through the calendar of events for the final days of school.  

I gave the grade 7s their sheets to write some things about themselves to be spoken when they go on stage to get their diplomas on Tuesday.  Next, I spent some time discussing the Division 1 and 2  Sea to Sky event planned for Monday.  The students will arrive and leave school at the usual times on that day. We need each student to meet the following three criteria by Thursday or we will be forced to cancel:

1.  the permission/consent package returned, singed with all lines completed

2.  payment of $10

3.  enough volunteer drivers with all necessary documentation in at the office. (I have one driver already!)

See yesterday's post for more info on other happenings.

We spent the rest of the day listening to the passion inquiry presentations and they have all been very good.  Everyone has put a good deal of thought and creativity into the sharing of his or her learning and the audience has been very respectful and attentive.  I would like to thank everyone for his or her cooperation.

Tomorrow is art and Academy Awards, but on Thursday we will finish the passion inquiries and complete the cardio section of the fitness test.

Now I'm off to complete my report cards.  Enjoy the day.


Monday, June 17, 2013

Plein air painting pics: last week's art lesson of the Group of Seven style

Thank you, Carol, for once again acting as our logistician and photographer!  No laughing at the fact that I spent almost the whole class just trying to mix my paint!  My canvas is still white in every photo.