Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 12 "Past experience should be a guide post, not a hitching post."

Alison and I are looking forward to meeting with you tomorrow and Wednesday. We'll have conferences in my room since the tables will provide more comfortable seating. Please accept our apologies in advance for the limited time we can offer--fifteen minutes isn't much, but it will give us a chance to begin the conversation.

It's important to remember that your child faces many demands at school: sitting quietly for extended periods of time, listening to and following directions, making mistakes and receiving (constructive) feedback, working independently, meeting expectations and deadlines, getting along with others, waiting patiently for help, being organized, adjusting to rules and consequences, controlling behaviors, dealing with rejection....

Without a doubt, schools are learning places, but children learn far more than how to read and write. They learn to pick themselves up when they fall. They learn that the challenges they face in school will provide them with many of the skills and "habits of mind" they'll need to be successful in life. They learn that learning never stops.

Like families, teachers create a safe, caring environment to help each child deal with these demands. We observe academic strengths and challenges, but also social and emotional ones.
Although the child is ultimately in control of his/her learning, we work in partnership with all of you to provide them with the experiences, opportunities, and support they require to be successful.

And so we begin.