March 8, 2019
Last week I wrote about creating rigorous and relevant lessons for our students of today not those of 20 or 30 years ago. I wrote about creating rigorous and relevant lessons for students that have experienced first-hand and secondary trauma. About how as educators we create rigorous and relevant lessons and experiences when we are also exposed to secondary trauma.
Well this week, having spent time in many classrooms, I write to share the tremendous evidence of rigorous and relevant lessons that engaged our students. About lessons that were filled with student voice. About lessons that were inclusive of our neediest students. About the amazing amount of collaboration that happens in our schools.
This week while visiting Northeast, I observed several trauma informed lessons. Lessons that reflected the time and commitment the faculty and staff there have to responsive classrooms. I witnessed a couple of our most challenging and marginalized students being included in all manner of lessons and activities. I observed students supporting students in reading groups. I observed the dedicated staff providing the guidance and essential support to all students.
This week while visiting Northwest, I again witnessed rigorous and relevant lessons that included trauma informed practices. Lessons scaffolded to support the success of all students. I observed the tremendous care and compassion staff have for students. I could actually feel the commitment to support and include students.
This week while visiting R.I.S. I again observed small groups that provided scaffolds and supports to ensure all students achieved at high levels. I observed “family” meetings to support the immediate response to things that occurred that may have potential harm to the community. Finally, I witnessed a building of educators and students wrap their collective arms around students as a result of a horrific incident that impacted the community.
And today at R.M.S. I witnessed eighth grade Legislative Day. What a demonstration of the tremendous collaborative efforts of the eighth grade team. The lessons were relevant, rigorous and filled with student voice. I experienced lessons that had every student thoroughly engaged. Lessons that had been well researched that led to passionate and respectful debates.
Next week I share some of the great things I’ve seen or heard at R.H.S., Allen St. and Howe Center.
Thank you for your tremendous commitment to Every Student, Every Day!
Adam Taylor, Superintendent