One of the things that I got to do this week was meet with the school administrators at the monthly principal's meeting. It was there that I was able to share this website with them and talk about ways that we can come together to move literacy forward in the district. From this meeting, along with the other experiences that I have had this week, I have gained a number of first impressions. The following are some of my first impressions of working here at the NEA.
First things first, I think this district is in good hands. I have been very impressed with the senior leadership and the school principals. They have clearly demonstrated that they are confident and competent individuals that are doing great work to ensure that the district and its schools are doing what's best for kids.
Second, I have noticed that good work has been done in the area of literacy thus far. Ms. Patriquin and Ms. Whitehouse have made huge strides in improving literacy in this division and I look forward to filling big shoes as I attempt to pick up the ball and run with the work they have initiated.
In talking with the administrators about how to move this work forward, I was happy to hear that we all want the same thing - a collaborative approach to developing as sound literacy model for this school district. We all feel that it is important to involve teachers and other staff in this process because they are the ones that know the kids and understand what their learning needs are. I have also learned that there is a collective desire to have a model that is clear, succinct and cohesive across the grades, which will ultimately facilitate better student learning and student transitions as they progress from grade to grade and school to school.
One of the things that I will be doing over the next little while will be meeting with principals individually to discuss the learning and literacy needs of each school. I will also begin to be in classes and watch teachers and students in action. Not to be there for the purpose of evaluation, but to be there to observe the many good things that are already happening in our classrooms and schools. In fact, I look forward to showcasing many good activities and approaches that teachers are doing by taking photos and sharing them in the Evidence of Literacy section on this website. I think that it is important that our teachers are recognized for the great work they are doing here.
Anyway, I hope that you all find this blog informative and look forward to any comments or feedback you may have for me as I get going.