With a student body population of 551, the Langley Meadows team, consisting of 9 teachers (representing both primary and intermediate divisions) plus two administrators turned out to be the largest group to represent a single school at the first Engagement Event! Our Meadows’ team is comprised of educators with a wide range of experience in teaching, life and technology. It is important to clarify that most everyone on our team would not classify them selves as being “tech savvy”.
When teachers were presented with the opportunity to attend and be part of this journey, the response was overwhelmingly positive and met with enthusiasm. The desire to share and participate in the district’s digital literacy initiative outweighed any reluctance or fear of the unknown. Most of us were at the precipice, just like the young girl at the top of the ski slope, determined to conquer our fears and ready to experience the thrill and exhilaration of the journey. Nobody wanted to be left behind at the top of the hill!
The first dinner meeting inspired and motivated us even further to want to reach out of our comfort zone in order to discover the place where the “magic happens”. Antonio Vendramin’s presentation encouraged us to become “lurkers” on Twitter and to seek out opportunities to engage our students and “to make our classrooms as dynamic as the world around us”.
Our school inquiry question centers on building relationships with our students and our community so Antonio’s question of “Why does school suck for so many students?” really resonated with us during our table discussion. As a whole staff, we are in agreement that relationships with students need to come first and the rest will follow naturally.
After school yesterday, our halls were filled with shouts of “Quiet on Set”, “Action!”, and echoes of laughter. The sounds (of people having lots of fun) drew the attention of others in our building causing them to come and investigate. Their jaws dropped when they discovered who was making such a ruckus. Teachers and administration were lying down on the floor with a stuffed lamb, markers and a roll of string as we recreated a Meadows version of a popular YouTube video. We realized that we needed to share what we knew with others because “when teachers stop growing so do their students”. Having fun is contagious!
We look forward to spreading this engagement (FUN) throughout Meadows and to the next Dinner Series event where we hope to take away more hands on ideas that we can implement immediately into our classrooms.
As a team we have been successful with giving students a voice to share their understanding through the creation of student: blogs, videos, podcasts, multimedia presentations, manipulation of text, website creation, online collaboration and recordings of primary students’ reading! It has been quite a year of learning.
Our question to others is… what have you implemented in your schools and classrooms that you have found to be successful?