Alaleh Sadri- 3rd Grade Teacher
“Be the Change you wish to see in the world.”
Change in Mindset:
Last year, we began our journey with restorative practices. This meant a change in mindset for both staff and students. Not only did we need to learn a new approach to character education and discipline, but we also needed to learn a new language- the virtue language. We started small by implementing community meetings in every class, including special areas, to help build relationships. We then continued to enhance our work by teaching students how to use the virtue language and how to problem solve through “I messages” and justice circles. You can now walk into any classroom and hear students talking about perseverance, commitment, unity, and the meaning behind demonstrating those virtues throughout their lives. Instead of hearing teachers say “great job”, you will hear statements such as “I am proud of your diligence and purposefulness during that assignment”, or “thank you for your helpfulness and orderliness as we cleaned up the classroom at dismissal.”
Change in the Building:
As we focus on making all of our school wide initiatives cohesive, we are continuing to enhance our work with literacy and restorative practices on a daily basis throughout the building. You can now find a classroom library in our gymnasium for additional information on the sport of focus, and if you enter Mr. Allard’s art class, you are welcomed with an interactive timeline of art through the years. Mr. Allard dives deep into vocabulary while promoting questioning using artwork during community meetings, and Mrs. Keller connects digital citizenship to the virtues so students are able to demonstrate their understanding of the virtues throughout their day. When you walk into any classroom during math instruction, you can hear students using math discourse and explaining their reasoning while questioning others using mathematics vocabulary. Our essential questions for reading come to life during community meetings when teachers have additional time to enhance the understanding of the questions using connections to the text using additional literature they are reading. Literacy is everywhere!
Change in Our Community:
As we work to expand the Glyndon community outside of the walls of our building, we have been taking our academic celebrations into the community. Last year, we began the school year by riding a bus around our surrounding neighborhoods, giving out supplies to our families, and letting them know how excited we were for a great school year together. In October, we had our second annual “Fall Fest” outside of the apartments surrounding our school. Families joined us for a night of food, literacy and math games, the Book Fair, as well as a visit from Oregon Ridge Nature Center and the BCPL library.
Students enter into the building knowing that they are a part of a strong community of learners. We strive daily to ensure our students reach their maximum potential in learning. Using their knowledge, self-discipline, and self-awareness, they can #bethechange they want to see in the world.