June 22

The day of the life of a COVID-teacher

Got to sleep in until 6.30. Love this working from home thing.

Get up.

Shower.

Quickly get dressed and plan out zoom meetings.

Feed year 9 son and set his work for the day because his school hasn’t. Trying to teach year 9 maths, japanese and english is pretty hard. Meaningful lessons? Maintain consistency is the key. Must keep learning.

8am Zoom meeting for personalised planning. Don’t have to drive to school. Love this working from home thing.

8.30 Year 12 Zoom meeting.

10.30 meeting with faculty to look at how we’re going to adjust a practical subject to online. Glare at husband when told that I couldn’t sit on lounge because he was Zooming with his job and I might hear “secret business”.

Keep headphones on and pretend my video isn’t quite working so I can secretly boil the kettle while on Zoom meeting.

Yell up to son to make sure he’s out of bed and started working on the useless school work I’ve set him because his school wasn’t setting anything.

Shove a couple of biscuits in my mouth while walking back with coffee to the next Zoom meeting. Get told I look like I just woke up. Remind myself to take the hoody off next time.

3 hour zoom meeting about personal plans. This working from home thing is tiring. Haven’t had lunch yet because back to back Zoom meetings. Starting to hate the sound of Zoom. This working from home thing kind of sucks.

Zoom meeting to talk about Zoom meetings for next week.

4pm Can fit in another Zoom meeting with a parent to talk about the fact their child is not working.

Working on scaffolding 80 page folio for a student. Haven’t had lunch yet but don’t have any Zoom meetings!

Marking portfolios and providing video feedback to students. Different than a Zoom meeting.  Why is my throat so sore? Is it COVID? No, Zoom. Havent’ talked this much in a day in a long time.

Write some more PP’s for students who are working from home.

Record videos for parents on how to access canvas calendar and answer emails about students who couldn’t get on Zoom, or did the wrong thing on Zoom.

Realise I have a 7pm zoom meeting with Church about mass via Zoom. It’s 7pm and I haven’t had lunch or dinner yet. Having trouble with my camera again so I can drink coffee while Zooming.

Final email for the day before I go off and make some dinner. “teachers are just on an extended holiday”

Final check of facebook while I drag myself off to bed, not having a break all day. Talk about Zoom fatigue.

Flick through son’s school facebook. Turns out I’d set a months worth of work thinking that his school hadn’t set any. They had. Why? “Yours is more interesting Mum”.  hmmmm…..

Yep, extended holiday. I love working from home.

 

June 22

The birthday

This year I had a “milestone” birthday to celebrate. It was a weird mix this year. A lovely celebration from people at work, who spent time that they didn’t have to prepare morning tea and embarrassingly put me in front of the whole staff to sing happy birthday to. It was also a terribly sad day, because we sent all our students home.

We’ve learnt so much during this time.

About teachers: how fast and hard they can work, how dedicated,  caring, responsive and resilient they are when we change things every five minutes.  How much that they care for each individual as they Zoom for set periods, set and check work and call home when worried about students, and bring to the forefront quickly kids that need extra help.

Students: how resilient and hard working they are. How independently they can work when there is a need to and how much every student needs the connection to their school. Our attendance rates post-COVID are a lot higher than prior. Are the advantages of school now more appreciated?

Parents: How much they (mostly) value school and teachers seems to have risen in this time but also the awareness of their children. COVID bought the classroom into people’s homes. And on the most part parents were extremely grateful of the work that teachers did to facilitate student learning.

March 24

It’s all anyone’s talking about.

What a year this week has been.

Over the weekend, some great leadership from the state in terms of shutting schools.

Sunday, kids go to school tomorrow, we’ll make an announcement on Monday night. Let son stay home for obviously impending school closure. Cheers to the state for this.

Sunday night, our PM gets online and says with great disgust to the Australian people “You obviously can’t look after yourselves….we’ll look after you so cafes, restaurants, gyms, and pubs…closing. Cause you can’t implement social distancing….but schools will remain open….huh?

Monday  some good leadership from our State saying “Keep the kids at home unless you can’t” Well that’s confusing. Clarification from schools across the state “Please keep your kids at home”.  Clearly made the right decision about keeping son at home. Clearer information from principals with great leadership “I’m begging you to leave your kids at home”

 

NSW says that they’ve been working on online learning for the past 2 months, and they are ready now to hit the button with learning. Son still has no work. Fine, I’ll set some.  Noting those necessary things that are included in his “work”

Get up, shower and dress

Walk the dog

Unpack the dishwasher.

Ring your nan and ask how she is.

And yes, rigorous learning activities. Probably more so than he’s done before in some subjects. Lots of game playing too I’m sure.

Tuesday 24 kids turn up in our part of the school. Teachers work all day getting work together. So much work to do, such great work from teachers who are totally changing the way that they work.  Amazed at how much our teachers are just totally focused on kids, when each of them have different family situations at home.

Myself? Feeling sad, angry, frustrated, sad, happy. Needing more hugs in a time without hugs.

Potential for so much jump in teacher learning and so much loss at the same time. So much potential for student learning and so much potential loss. We talk about HSC and how it will be different this year when really we’ll see a 12 year impact.

 

February 24

Big kids and projects

I sometimes forget, in the rush of being in a K-9 school, (and loving the celebrity that comes from walking through stage 3) that most of my history in teaching is actually teaching big kids. Really big kids.  For the past ten years, aside from teaching in my current setting, where little kids (and yes, they do scare me) are rife, my experience teaching mostly lies with senior TAS subjects. A range of subjects, a range of kids.

I’ve taught a number of subjects across the KLA to a year 12 cohort, and have taught in this time a range of students. My favourite though is major project subjects. The pressures of major project teaching I’ve always found to be greater than that of a normal exam based subject. Your own blood, sweat and tears, and sometimes, also funds (thousands of funds) go into the projects, and often times the new ulcer that you develop every year as you coax, push and cajole students across the line feels like you care more about their projects than they do.

Nothing beats that day though, where they are standing in front of their project and it’s completed. Where a student can stand there and say they’ve done a substantial amount of work and that they can see the culmination of that work. That their work is complete, finished, and for a lot of those students, better than anything they’ve done in their schooling career. That they have something that they can see is the fruit of their labour.  My favourite projects are always those kids that you have to “hassle” the hardest.

The other day I heard my principal talking about good leadership being knowing what levers to pull and when. This is so relevant to general teaching as well as leading.  Knowing that sometimes you can stand there with a student that has done nothing and what to rant but what comes out is “That’s okay….you still have time….we can fix this…” to setting goals for students, to calling parents, to hassling but with love.

This is the job of a teacher of projects.  And this starts with empathy.

Maybe that pressure is because you can see kids wasting time over the course of the project. Maybe it’s because you can see that dip in their spirits as they realise that the date is coming up and they will never (even the best project) be completely happy with it.

The job of the project teacher is to be their support. As I said to a year 4 teacher once…I teach 17 year olds. I expect them to be organised, but I’m not stupid enough to trust them to be organised. We are the safety net for kids.

But that pressure is also flipped to pride when you see what the project is….fulfilment of potential.  What an honour to be a part of that.

February 15

It’s not about the chairs

About 13 years ago, my classroom (in a previous school) was firebombed. Although it was pretty horrific at the time, it gave us a chance to redesign the computer rooms from a room that had 15 desktops that were set up around the edges of the room, to bays where students could both write notes and work on computers. They had ergonomic chairs that could spin between the work station and a writing station in the same space, while also allowing students to work in groups. Ergonomic chairs and the placement of the teacher desk at the back of the room so that we could see all the screens were the great innovations of the time. We had desks specially made and people came to visit to see what we had done in the set up of the room. We were a “lighthouse” school in the diocese and people would say “we could do that but we’re not that school”
Fast forward three years and I’m in a different school. I remember secretly taking a photo of the room from my first staff meeting. It was placed on Facebook with a “yes, this is a classroom” comment. I was stunned with the bank of local laptops and the use of LCD screens centrally controlled from the teacher podium (not desk). The office style room, with round tables and chairs, for students to work in groups, with 60 ergonomic chairs and a small break out space were the innovations at the time.
Slowly, the school removed all teacher desks, and replaced all the tables and chairs throughout with round tables. The idea was to take control away from the teacher. There wasn’t any way that those classrooms could have been re-jigged to straight rows of chairs and tables. Every classroom throughout the school was replaced with these tables, to the point that we then had no spaces to run HSC exams and had to rent spaces in the local university campus.
People came to visit us all the time to see what we were doing with pedagogy, and you often heard people say things like “good for them they get all the money” and “we could do this but we don’t have the furniture”. Essentially “we could do that but we’re not that school”.
Now, in my third school, we have gorgeous rooms, and beautiful, colourful, comfortable furniture thats’ designed to be set up to align with the vision of learning at the school.
Again, we  still get visitors coming through  and saying “if we had furniture/budget like this, we could do this too”. Interestingly though, the school is now growing at a rate that we can’t keep up with with our beautiful furniture. Furniture companies take time to make stuff, and we’ve grown in 3 years from 86 students to over a thousand.  That’s a lot of chairs.
In three years, our year 9 class has been in 6 different spaces due to growth of the school. Teaching and learning in each space is a little different, and needed to be reacted to differently, but there was still great learning in each space.
This year, we’ve had to supplement for three weeks with fold up tables from Bunnings and the chairs that we use for assembly. This didn’t effect the teaching and learning however.
The message is the same thing that I’ve been saying for the past 13 years: It’s not about the furniture.  Good teachers with good support could teach on the oval (and do). What is required is persistence when faced with difficulties.  The courage to admit that maybe it’s not about the furniture and it’s about what you do in the classroom. It’s being creative in the way that you work. It’s about relating to students in a different way, and to your team teacher that you spend more time with than your partner. It’s about a constant cycle of try-reflect and try again. It’s about going home even after a terrible day, but having the strength to go back knowing that you are doing the right thing, that you have the right vision, that you’re not going to get everything right the first time and knowing that it’ll be okay because students are the centre of what you do.
It doesn’t have anything to do with the furniture. It’s about people.
December 15

15 years ago, I vowed never again to go to camp

15 years ago, I vowed never to go to camp again.

Last time I went it rained for three days straight. Everyone was miserable. The instructors claimed that there’d never been a camp that was so bad.  I didn’t find out until later but I was pregnant at the time, and the bouts on the giant swing wasn’t helping my general attitude of just feeling miserable.   Then, the year co-ordinator and her mates went off to the pub and left me and another teacher with 180 soaking wet and miserable year 7 kids. I came home, walked in the door, went straight to bed and told my husband “I’m never going to camp again”.

This year, I was put in the position of having to go to year 8 camp.  I tried as hard as I could to convince people that it wasn’t worthwhile sending me.  My problem is that I find it difficult to say no. But there was certainly a lot of (not subtle) hinting.  “There’s a meeting on that day that’s really important” was met with “you’re going to camp”.  “This person is coming out to visit today” was met with “you’re going to camp”. A workplace injury happened a week too early, and although it was difficult to walk up the hills while I was there, and I had to miss out on the archery (too much of a hill for me recently damaged knee) I was still healthy enough to go to camp. Damn.

What I had forgotten to factor in is how wonderful our staff and students are. Students who were carefully selected to be in groups with only one of their friends supporting those students who they would normally have nothing to do with. The moral support of encouraging someone to jump of the edge of a pole (while fully harnessed) astounded me. It broke my heart and I nearly cried when one of the girls in year 8 got stuck at the top, and regardless of the sound of all the encouragement below, she could not jump. The instructor had to go up and get her. She then jumped down with his encouragement and made it to the bottom in sobbing tears. Every student in the group hugged her. She then bravely announced that she would do it again, and proceeded to jump up to the pole again.

I was so encouraged by the way that students were treating each other and the staff. Even me getting students out of their room at 10 o’clock because I put the potentially noisy group next to my room was met with politeness. “I’m exhausted” I begged….”please let me sleep”. They must have sensed that I was on the edge of losing it, or they were really very considerate because they didn’t make another sound all night. Might have also been because I quoted some things that they said during the last half an hour (who brings Monopoly to camp?) as the walls were less than paper thin.

It was interesting how student perception of staff changed over time also. My first bout of laser tag saw me asking the team with the least people on it if I could join them. I can’t run, with this knee (from my injury) but I can shoot. A student looked me up and down, sighed loudly and said “I suppose”. My limping through the field yelling “someone shoot Mr Whitman” and my score of 144 (even though Mr Whitman’s team beat my team every time) must have earned someone’s respect, because on the next game, I asked a totally different group which team I could join, and they were elbowing other student’s out of the way to get me on their team. Feel like it’s taken me forty years to be selected first on a sports team.

Looking back to my previous camp experience, aside from the weather, the main difference would have to be the staff. I’m constantly astounded by how amazing St Luke’s staff are. We talk about “open to learning” and “willing to work hard”, and this comes through in all facets of working with St Luke’s staff. I do not know what it is, but it’s something special. Maybe it’s our size, while our SOL staff is still small, but I’ve never worked at a school before where every teacher is just brilliant. I hope it lasts.

All in all, I don’t think I’ll wait 15 years to go again. I’ve booked in the camp for next year. But a week later I’m still exhausted….so maybe if I start hinting now….

November 10

Flexible assessment

At St Luke’s Catholic College, Marsden Park, our vision is to nurture faith filled curious children to be creative contributors and innovative problem solvers. St Luke’s began in 2017 with an agenda to change the format of education to allow students to follow their passions, and to challenge traditional school processes. While working within a framework of inquiry, project based and problem based learning, assessment in many schools still looks like a “traditional” assessment where every student does the same thing, disregarding interest, ability or choice. At St Luke’s, we have redesigned the assessment process to align with strict state and federal requirements, but to focus on student choice, cross key learning area and bringing in things that students do outside of the classroom.

At St Luke’s, there’s no marks, no grades, no exams, and students can choose to disregard set tasks, so long as they can demonstrate achievement of the outcomes. Students can bring forth, with mentoring from teachers, any evidence that they wish to demonstrate this. This requires students to explain how they meet particular course outcomes and capabilities but may use evidence from anything inside or outside of school to do so. Can we do better at this? Absolutely, but the push is there at the moment. We’d like to see more students take this up with the extensive portfolio of things that they do outside of school.

Each unit of work comes with an assessment outline that includes the following statement

Student Choice: Students are encouraged, as per our assessment policy, to suggest alternative methods of assessment for outcomes or pillars. This style of assessments  involves students and teachers discussing for each student what evidence is provided to demonstrate their achievement of skills and content. This evidence may come from other subjects, from work students do outside of school, or work completed in class. Students need to discuss this with teachers at the beginning of or during the unit of work, with significant time prior to the assessment being due. This modification can not negatively affect other students or the teacher, and must effectively assess the outcome specified. Students are encouraged to discuss other methods of assessment for one or any of the outcomes in this course. 

For each unit of work, students are expected to construct a blog post that explains how they’ve met the outcomes and pillars within that unit of work. This was meant to be a summative reflection of their work, but has become so much more than that with incidentally, students understanding and unpacking the syllabus outcomes explicitly, leading to a greater understanding and visibility of what students need to know and have learnt. This also serves as a great portfolio for us in terms of student writing, and student growth in writing has been substantial particularly in stage 4: with blogs, coaching of teachers by our IL: Literacy, and tools such as Scribo to support and assist teachers in understanding what good writing, and good writing teaching looks like.

Students develop over time, a portfolio of work, published publicly and to parents, of examples and evaluations of their best work. This leads to twice a year students presenting in student led conferences with their parents and a teacher, focussing on the achievement of students over the year, centred around their strength across capabilities. This along with student reports, serve to bring prominence to social and enterprise skills expressed in our 6 pillars

 

 

 

 

 

September 26

The St Luke’s Inquiry Process

 

The St Luke’s Inquiry Process

Our inquiry process at St Lukes was designed in order to ensure that there was a consistency of understanding of what inquiry looked like from K-12. In this case, it needed to be simple, with easy to understand elements for students (and teachers), with the flexibility to work differently for more experienced teachers in inquiry. The model that we’ve used is adapted from research into many different inquiry learning models around the world.

The process starts at understanding the problem, immersing students in skills, knowledge and capabilities, in order to create something (whether this be an essay, a physical project, a poem). Reflection sits in the center of all of this, as reflection sometimes sees a student moving around and in and out of the cycle at different rates and pathways based on the student, the KLA and the specific piece of learning that they are doing.  Learning should be based around whatever is at the best interest of that student at that point of time based on the particular thing that they are meant to learn.

 

Understand
Understanding process includes the engagement and unpacking of what is required by the problem.

This includes an entry event where teachers open the idea of the unit of work to students. For example, in the unit of work on Forces and motion, students played games that involved different types of motion in groups, rating each game and noting any different types of motion that they utilised.

Students then watched the OK Go Rube Golberg video to look at possibilities for their Rube Golberg Machine.

Students then construct as a class a Need to Know list, which elicits pre-existing knowledge and questions that students may have about the project.

Students then, under the guidance of their teacher, immerse themselves in activities that guide their further understanding of knowledge and skills necessary to build further questions to explore. For example, prior to developing their Rube Golberg machine, students will need to do some research on different types of forces, and the different types of machines that can generate these forces. However, students that have no understanding of what a force is, cannot guide their own inquiry during the information gathering process. Therefore, this process is intended to immerse and engage the students in their needs to know.

SOL Staff’s thoughts about what might go in this section: 

  • Brainstorm 
  • Entry document/event
  • Get data and information 
  • Unpack the problem 
  • Knows and need to know.

Immerse
Within the Information gathering process, students gather skills and knowledge through experiences and workshops designed and guided by their teachers.This knowledge and skills acquisition process is guided by the needs to know with students identifying the need to know something, students then further exploring and then gathering and refining the information that they need to know to construct their end product or answer the question.

For example, in the Rube Goldberg project, students conduct a number of different science experiments in order to gather knowledge and understanding about different forces. Students then undergo small practical activities in order to understand the concepts of forces. Students should have choice integrated into what they are doing…choice around what to research, how to apply that knowledge, so long as it meets the outcomes of the course.

SOL Staff’s thoughts about what might go in this section: 

  • Facts, Knowledge, data
  • Content
  • Authentic connections: Immerse, connect, understand
  • Note-taking
  • Effective Research skills: Key/Main idea/Summary
  • Technical skills
  • Processes
  • Workshops
  • Group work 
  • Modelling 
  • Demonstration 
  • GRR
  • Benchmarking 
  • Scaffolding
  • Exemplars of work/Blogs
  • Plus/Minus/Next steps (peer assessment
  • Goal setting
  • Self assessment and teacher feedback and peer feedback

 

Create
Students within the make/create process are constructing the object. This may be a written activity or a creative activity that requires students to demonstrate their achievement of outcomes. This requires a heavy focus on draft-construct-share as a process of developing prototypes and drafts in order to improve through reflection and feedback. Finally, presentation of their final product, to ensure that students can see that there is an authentic use where the culmination of their learning has a purpose.
A note about the process…
This process is not step by step. The process has reflection as the centre as during the process of learning, students are asked to regularly reflect on their process.

Assessment of outcomes for subjects and pillars are based around students selecting components of work across the project that exemplify their achievement in this outcome. Each outcome is linked to a pillar, with cross-kla outcomes being mapped in order to ensure that students can submit examples of work for multiple outcomes and pillars across different programs.

Eg, in the Rube Golberg, students are required to: WS8 selects and uses appropriate strategies, understanding and skills to produce creative and plausible solutions to identified problems (Science outcome) and 4.5.1 applies management processes to successfully complete design projects (TAS outcomes) both of which requires them to work collaboratively (pillar) and manage themselves (pillar)

SOL Staff’s thoughts about what might go in this section: 

  • Problem solving 
  • Experimentation 
  • Testing 
  • Refining
  • Evaluate, retesting, 
  • Use feedback effectively to improve product
  • Prototyping: Draft, sketch, design 
  • Teacher created samples
  • Student choice

The option to start at different points on the diagram, and to delve back into previous areas based on need, is provided for through the arrows that link backwards and forwards in each element. Teachers may guide students through the understand segment, to information gathering, and then back to further understanding based on their information gathering. Teachers may also start with creation of prototypes in order to fully understand the problem, and then work through the process in a different direction. Central to all is reflection.

SOL Staff’s thoughts about what might go in this section: 

  • Feedback loop (reflection happens throughout) 
  • 2 stars and a wish 
  • Evaluation (qualtrix) 
  • Maths pathways/education perfect/scribo to get data
  • Teacher feedback: Timely and consistent 
  • Student response to teacher feedback 
  • Blog
  • Critical Friends. 

 

August 2

Here’s to the crazy ones

I think thinking little late a lot lately about what’s the difference between old and new. At St Lukes,  there’s a challenge to do things differently.  That’s really fun in a sense, but the problem is that new is often uncomfortable.

I have these old pair of plastic glasses that I love. Putting them on is like a pair of old tracksuit pants. They are comfortable, worn, and they look okay on my face. It’s the same style I’ve worn for a while and they’re just easy. I can go to sleep in them and not worry about breaking them.

Problem is that I can’t really see in them.

Doing the same thing the same old way is kind of like this. It’s comfortable, worn, but easy. You don’t have to worry about it. Some times it’s hard work. Hard effort, but easy in thinking. Because after a while doing the same thing you become expert.  And expert becomes easy.

And like my glasses, you can fall asleep in it. And you sometimes can’t see in it.

My point: when you’re trying something new and you’re sitting on the cutting edge, it feels uncomfortable, and sometimes like you have no idea what you’re doing.

The problem with this is that you are actually feeling constantly like a novice. You’re pushing yourself beyond your knowledge and having to research things, to search for ideas and to string those ideas together into new ideas and then figure out how to apply them. And then this brings new questions, new ideas.

So, you constantly feel like you’re no longer expert. And that in itself is hard. Every day you feel like a first year teacher scraping together ideas on the bottom of a barrel.

And it’s tiring.

It’s why week 2 feels like week 8.

So, in the words of Apple….Here’s to the crazy ones. The innovators. The rebels. The troublemakers. While some may see them as troublemakers, we see them as genius.  Because those people that are crazy enough to think they can change the world usually do.

Let’s challenge ourselves to go out into the deep…even if it means getting sand in uncomfortable places. 

June 20

This is what we live for

The last of student led conferences tonight, where students of St Lukes reflect upon the work that they’ve done in their core classes, but relate them to how they work within our pillars. Essentially, how they witness in the way of Christ, relate to others, manage themselves, think, inquire and create. They use evidence of work that they’ve done in class to support their achievement of these pillars.

Having a conversation with some of the staff afterwards, what really struck me is the amount of love that our families have for their kids. Of course they all want to do their kids to do their best, but they’re also proud of the students ability to stand there and present for 20 minutes about their chosen topic. To be honest, I’m proud. And so are our teachers.

I’m proud that a student can stand there and say “I want to improve my focus by sitting away from people that distract me” or “I want to focus on improving my work by adding detail because I’m a tick box person and try and get it done”.

Each year I’ve done this I pick a few student interviews to sit in on. Some of these are students (or parents) that have flagged for some reason (good or bad), some are to make sure that the first year teacher isn’t left to interview for the first time by themselves. And some I actually just enjoy seeing the parents (#favouriteparents). I’ve then, unbeknownst to both student and teacher, keep checking in with this student’s student led over the (“vast”) history of our school. Students are surprised when I turn up (again). As are students that are my new “drop ins” that I will see the next year.

This is what I really love about my job though….the ability to see student growth. And what better time. It’s almost like the joy that you see in airport reunions. The joy and pride that you see in both parents and students…there’s a whole lot of love in those rooms.

Sitting having coffee with our head of mission on the way home (Starbucks is on our side), we chatted about where we’ve seen this before.

For me, major works night where a student who’s not been successful in any schooling in their life suddenly creates a beautifully crafted piece of work, and stands proudly by it while their friends ooo and ahhh, and parents snap photos. For Julie, similarly, seeing kids achieving in practical subjects like cooking….where kids who find their joy in places like this shine.  

For the kid in stage 2, who loves electric cars….he’s an industrial technology student hoping to survive school to make it through to where he can do industrial tech. And the kid in stage 3, that is an amazing artist and loves to draw.

This is what I love seeing. Joy that they’ve done something well. The first principal I ever worked for used to call year 12 kids in and tell them their grandparents wouldn’t care if the band 6 that they got their mention of in the paper for was construction. They care about the fact their grandsons name was in the paper.

This is what makes me makes me a bit sad when we talk about “other klas”.

Yes, literacy and numeracy are foundational and are essentials in learning.

But, to loosely quote Robin Williams, art, music, dance, this is what we live for. This is what we write and read about.

And for some of our kids, this is what they drag their bodies through school for. To once a week learn about torture in medieval Europe (HSIE excursion today), or to work in the makerspace to laser cut or just to even sand timber for an hour.

How can we tap into this excitement for learning in science and music to encourage kids to write?

We can start by figuring out what to call them other than “other klas” because honestly, every time I hear the term, I read the word “unimportant” in the middle of them. “Other unimportant klas”. And for those kids whose love of music, art, science, technology, HSIE or PDHPE, what kind of message are you sending to that student? That where they find their joy is “unimportant”. That it’s less.

And because every time we say “other klas” they are the time that gets interrupted. It’s the time when we put on assemblies and masses, when we have excursions and carnivals.  Because they’re the “other klas”

Remember: this is what we live for. This is what we read and write about. Let’s start bringing that message to our students.