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Working TOGETHER as a Community of Learners

Courage

These last few weeks have been nothing short of blur! June in an Elementary school is quite the experience. The grass is green, the sun is shining and these children are just plain old EXCITED!!:) The last few weeks have also brought the opportunity to celebrate as a community. Not only were we able to recognize and honor all of our grade 6 students with their Elementary Graduation ceremonies, but we were also able to celebrate with all of our Kindergarten students who successfully completed their first formal year in education. I couldn’t help but reflect on both of these groups of students and think about the courage it takes not only to get up in front of your peers and “walk across the stage” to receive the coveted certificate but in a bigger way, the courage to be learners, to be wiling to embrace learning in a willing and engaging way day after day. The smiles on their faces and pride in their stance were glaringly evident in both groups on both days. This is courage. We are so fortunate to be a part of the journey with  these children. It is such an honor to hold this space with them. Although this is true of every  single day with these children, it is even more apparent when we intentionally celebrate their successes and accomplishments together.

These past two days we were also able to celebrate Courage as we hosted our very own “Wheatland’s Got Talent”. This two day event was the opportunity for both Div one and Div two students to get up in front of their peers and “show off” their skills and talents. We were witness to singing, dancing, martial arts, piano playing, drumming, gymnastics, jump rope, and so on. It was FABULOUS!! Everyone was leader on that stage and what was also impressive were the conversations in the hallways and classrooms afterwards…”hey you were great today, I didn’t know you could dance like that, good job”  etc.  What a wonderful way to support and encourage leadership, strength and confidence in our children. This is the epitome of COURAGE and it was such a pleasure to be a  part of of this amazing event. As we wind down the year and begin to make preparations for a slower pace, we want to express our appreciation for the support of this community at Wheatland Elementary. It takes a village to raise a child but underneath it all, it takes our Collective Courage to make this place the best it can be for kids. On behalf of everyone here at this wonderful school….Happy Summer to you all. Be safe, have fun, and be good to each other,

sincerely,

Linda Tucker

You will never do anything in this world without courage. It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.

~Aristotle

Talent show Selfie
Talent show intermission Audience selfie:)

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Talk about learning

I was invited to join a Kindergarten class this week  outside to observe the “releasing” of beautiful butterflies that the children had been taking of for the past several weeks. These butterflies were introduced to the children as caterpillars and were kept in a large mesh zipped container in the classroom. Week by week, the children would watch with great anticipation the amazing transformation of the caterpillar into the chrysalis. There were very specific rules- they would tell me- about how close I was allowed to get, how careful I had to be not bump the table and how my voice had to be very soft and quiet. Although I find kindergarten children to be naturally inquisitive and easily engaged, these children were so excited about the life cycle of the butterfly they could hardly contain their enthusiasm.  Not only were they excited about the beauty of the transformation of this creature, they were knowledgeable and displayed a deep understanding of the science and process involved in their existence. They were fully committed and just had to share their exciting new learning! It reminded me of the “Bears” research project in grade one  a couple of weeks back and the strategies children creatively developed to ensure the very best Bear Safety in our National Parks. The conversation I had with children emphasized their deep learning, excitement and obvious processing of weeks of learning and scaffolding  to create this final culminating unit- the children could not say enough! Similarly, observing a grade five Social Studies class this week I was fortunate enough to be a part of student presentations of the “Famous Five”created using a special computer program complete with photographs, music, crafty editing, and rich in content. It didn’t matter that these children were older, they were still just as engaged and equally excited about their learning. Children just want to share what they know, what they have learned and spend a bit time just talking about the exciting things happening in their classrooms. What a privilege it is to get to see and hear first hand this “learning” excitement day after day at Wheatand school. Talk about learning…what a great opportunity for children to talk with confidence and for adults to share in this meaningful exchange.

Sincerely,

Linda Tucker

Reflecting back and looking ahead

It is hard to believe we are already half-way through May and that we are nearly finished the 2014-2015 school year!! This year has moved at a dramatically fast pace. Perhaps it is due in part to my fist year as a Principal, or maybe it is simply the nature of this vibrant and active elementary school that demands the minutes and days without pause. Regardless, this year has been an amazing journey. September 2, 2014-  I remember very clearly our first assembly…the gymnasium was electric and hopeful, the children excited and engaged, wearing their best and eager to be part of a bigger learning community-fast forward to today and that same tangible energy is alive in classrooms, hallways and at every single assembly. I am amazed at the vibrancy of their continued efforts as learners and commitment every day. What a dedicated group of wonderful young people we have the privilege of being a part of!! I am certain this has something to do with the fabulous adults in their lives setting the example and supporting learning in meaningful, thoughtful and nurturing ways. The staff at Wheatland elementary is a force to be reckoned with. Not only is there passion and commitment from every single member of the team, but this commitment goes beyond the classroom and is found at the very early hours of the mornings, many evenings and weekends and is very much noticed and appreciated. The adults in this building have worked diligently this year to provide the very best opportunities for these beautiful children. We know without a doubt that we couldn’t have had this successful year without the support and partnership of our parents and community. Not only do we appreciate the commitment, dedication and volunteer hours of our parents and families but we would be remiss not to mention our parent councils- both the Wheatland Parent Council and the Montessori Parent Council as they have been pivotal in supporting students and staff and many initiatives this school year. We couldn’t have done it without their support or partnership as we worked collaboratively to enrich the lives of all members of Wheatland school.  It takes all of us working together for the best interest of every child every day. We are better together! It has been a year of getting-to-know each other and finding new creative ways to carve the path to success for everyone and I believe this investment has paid off. As I reflect back on the year and at the same time excitedly look ahead, I am hopeful and committed to the possibilities as we all strive to Lead with confidence, Learn without limits and Love who we are…Wheatland Elementary school is the place to be!! Thank you for this continued wonderful experience.

       Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much. -Helen Keller

Sincerely,

Mrs. Linda Tucker

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