First Week of School… Check!

The first week of classes have come and gone, and what an amazing week. The first week of school always blows me away. Watching a building transform from a dormant shell into a vibrant community in a few short days is truly a phenomenal process. Getting timetables, finding lockers (figuring out how to open the lock), assemblies, and finally settling into classes brings anticipation, excitement, trepidation, and a lot of chaos to the first days of school. With all said, you can’t ask for a better time to be around a school.

As I started my sixteenth school year, this one felt different; a little more excitement, a little more energy, and in all, a really great feeling. I can’t put my finger on what exactly made this year different, but I’m sure glad it happened.

One thing is certain, the synergy in Oilfields High School was amazing this week. Everyone seemed to feed off everyone else in a very positive way. Veteran staff members were commenting on the energy and positive impact that new staff members were having on the school. New staff members were very grateful for the support, wisdom, and tutelage of the senior staff. Our senior students were inviting and nurturing as our new class of grade 7 students started school. And the grade 7′s were just wide-eyed with big smiles on their faces and bringing an energy of their own to the building. Very exciting to see what happens when everyone gives and everyone gains!

I would like to send a big thank you to our division’s executive team for taking the time to come by the school this week. This is a very busy time of year for everyone, and to see all of the executive come by means a lot. Especially when visits are more than just a quick fly by. Taking the time to get into classrooms to visit with staff and students is a greatly appreciated gesture.

The week ended on an incredible note. I received a call from a community member wondering if I could round up a couple students to help them move a 250lb bathtub into their house. It took no time at all to round up 4 students and a staff member that were more than willing to offer their backs to the cause. The community member was very grateful for the efforts; the truth is, these students were not only willing to help, but they enjoyed the challenge!

With opening day jitters in the rear view mirror and week one under our belts, the school year is officially in full swing, and time to get into the business of learning. Here’s hoping he next 40 weeks are every bit as enjoyable as this one.

Some readings from the week…

12 Things Students Should Never Do on Social Media – Stephanie Buck writes a great article worth sharing with students before they post something they may regret down the road.

14 Reasons Multiple Choice Tests Suck – John Spencer reminds us in this quick read that multiple choice tests are not the be all of assessment. A great reminder that we need to be conscious of purpose when we are assessing students.

Learning: Making the Implicit Explicit – A great blog post reminding us that two simple questions can really make a difference in the learning process.

The Paper Exchange – This is a must read! As we start a new year and review prerequisites and student files, remember that there is a person behind the reports!

Thinking about a lack of thinking – Thank you Grant Wiggins for this great essay. How can we foster more thought in the educational process? Not just for the students either.

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