This book is about a teacher's expectations from the students. Wishes for a new school year to all the students at: CILT Centro Interescolar de.
At the end of the 2011-2012 school year at Bloomington [Indiana] High School South, biology teacher Kirstin Milks, PhD ’09, MA ’10, a recipient of the GSE’s 2017 Alumni Excellence in Education Award, left her customary parting words for her AP Biology class. Student Philippa Tanford was in that class and recorded those words as they appear here:
“[These are some] things I wish someone had told me a little earlier in life. And as this is the conclusion of our structured time together, I thought now would be a good time to tell you.
“Number one: Find what you love. It might take a while; it may change, but find what you love. Does anybody remember how old I [told you I] was when I realized this is what I wanted to do with my life? Tweeenty-eight. Ancient as the seas. You should try to find what you love, but you should know that it might take a while. So your best bet is to set a course, and know that the course can change.
“Number two: Find. Work. Buddies. Go to college, go to your career, do your parenting, find somebody who’s also doing the same thing, especially if the work is hard. Studies show that this is the No. 1 most important thing that guarantees success in careers and in college. Find work buddies that aren’t going to be all cutthroat and grade-pissy with you, and work collaboratively (in the way that I know all of you do with such skill and grace at this point) to make yourself smarter, especially if the work is hard. I think a lot of people won’t do this when the work is hard and would rather struggle in silence. That’s stupid, and it does not lead to school success.
“Last but not least, you should try to make yourself happy in life. That means that if your parents are telling you that you need to become an endocrinologist when you would like to become a dirty hippy, then maybe you might have to make some negotiation about that. But, really, you should try to find something to do in life that makes you happy. If you are really, deeply, soul-crushingly unhappy looking at your significant other, or thinking about an exam, then you need to do something to make it less soul-crushing.
“At the same time, I would like to posit to you that you should work to make others happy. Making yourself happy is all very well and good, but if it were the only important thing, many people would just be sleeping in their parents’ basement playing video games all day. So the balance to that consists of thinking about ways in your life that you can make the world a better place, to make others happy, and there are lots of ways you can think about doing that.
“It has been a total and complete joy, and I am so proud of you.
“[There are various ways to contact me], and I adore you, and I’m so proud of you, and seniors, come check in with me, I'd appreciate that. ...
“… Raise your hand if you’re going to Indiana University next year. Look around, please. If you guys don’t find each other when the going gets rough, I’m going to be ticked at you.
“If you don’t find each other when the going gets rough, I’m going to be angry with you, so make sure that you do that.”
-- Barbara Wilcox
Photo: Kirstin Milks, PhD '09, MA '10 (STEP) shares teaching insights at the June 2014 STEP Conference at Stanford.
Dear Students: This year has been fantastic! It is hard to believe that it is coming to an end. On this last day of school, I want you to know that.
Gavin and Ava Grant of Margate are collecting school supplies again this year.
MARGATE – Two former Eugene A. Tighe Middle School graduates who are currently students at Holy Spirit High School are giving back to the community by collecting school supplies for those who need them.
Ava Grant, a sophomore at HSHS, and her younger brother Gavin, who will be a freshman, said they realized last summer when shopping for the upcoming school year how much their parents actually spend on school supplies.
“It’s a lot, and some people might not be able to afford it,” Ava Grant said. “That’s when we decided to give back to our community and help those who cannot afford to buy school supplies.”
They posted that they were collecting school supplies on their personal Facebook pages and put a laundry basket on the front porch.
“It filled up pretty quickly and as summer went on, we kept getting more. At the end of the summer, we dropped them off to the Boys and Girls Club of Atlantic City,” she said.
“The woman at the Boys and Girls Club was so appreciative,” mom Tracy Ann said. “We called it the ‘magic basket,’ because every morning we’d put out the empty laundry basket and at the end of the day, it was filled. It was very emotional.”
Although both teens shunned recognition for their good deeds, they want to get the word out that they are collecting school supplies again this year – still using the magic basket, but also at Tighe School.
“I talked to Superintendent Dr. Baruffi before the end of the school year and asked if we could put a flyer in the Wednesday folder that goes home to parents,” Gavin Grant said. “He said yes and allowed us to put a box at the Tighe School. We collect it every few weeks.”
Gavin Grant with the school supplies he and his sister Ava collected last year.
Gavin Grant said this year’s drive, which has more than a month to go, is going even better than last year when they filled the trunk of their mom’s car with school supplies.
“We’re going to collect until mid-September and then bring it to the Boys and Girls Club,” he said.
Tracy Ann Grant said they are expecting to have enough supplies to deliver to other organizations or schools if they need them.
Items collected last year even included lunch boxes and Thermos bottles, she said.
“It was like Christmas morning every day. It’s unbelievable how much people contributed,” she said. “The donations increased as the summer progressed. It was like parents were shopping for school supplies for two kids and wound up buying for four.”
The Grants are collecting any supplies students may need for school, such as bookbags, pens, pencils, paper clips, Post-it notes, notepads, loose leaf paper, pencil cases and the like.
“We can even pick up the supplies if you can’t drop them off on our porch or at the school,” Tracy Ann Grant said.
“I like what we are doing because we in Margate have a lot to give to people less fortunate than ourselves,” Gavin Grant said.
Ava Grant relayed the same sentiment but focused on what she’s learned at HSHS.
“I had an amazing freshman year. Going to Holy Spirit has been enlightening. Everyone helps out there, and when I learned that someone might not have the ability to purchase supplies, it was an easy thing for us to do,” she said.
Former director of the Atlantic City Boys & Girls Club Maryann McElroy Kinghorn with Gavin Grant, now a freshman at Holy Spirit High School.
Tracy Ann Grant said that she is proud of her children for caring about others.
“They were exposed to doing community service when they were at Tighe School. But I’m even prouder because this is something they thought of on their own in the car on the way home from Staples,” she said.
Anyone interested in donating school supplies can email [email protected] for the location or drop them off at the Tighe School. Anyone interested in obtaining the school supplies for their school or organization can call Tracy Ann Grant at 609-226-5886.
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The act of giving and receiving empowering messages has just as much a place in our schools as anywhere else. We sometimes don't think of this as being the place where such a thing can survive. The truth is it happens a lot more than we think.
Our words matter greatly, especially when we are teachers. There is peer support of every kind in the school environment. Students hearing and sharing empowering messages in their formative school years is more than just an act of personal betterment. It's a betterment of others as well.
With just a few words we can enhance a student's classroom experience, or utterly destroy it. That's how powerful words are, and how fragile young people can be. Below is a list of 10 empowering messages to give to your students.
The trials of yesterday are behind you. A new school day dawns, and with it come possibilities. Chances for success, empathy, and discovery are abundant. Inspiration is everywhere you look. The opportunity to be better than you were yesterday is right here, right now.
When we're young, we have a harder time letting stuff go than we do as we get older. Your students can benefit from being reminded that a new day is always a fresh start.
But how? they'll ask you. How can they think about learning something when all they can think of is what they did wrong? How is this making them better? This is the perfect time to introduce students to useful failure.
Before anything else, students must know they are learning in an environment with zero judgement from you. First they must realize they are safe to make mistakes. Then you can explain how errors can become learning experiences. Learning from mistakes isn't always the best way, but sometimes it's the only way.
It's true; we are either our own best ally or our own worst enemy. It's up to us to decide which one, and we actually do have that choice.
Eric Thomas claims, "When you want to succeed as badly as you want to breathe, then you'll be successful." When we pursue something that means more to us than anything, we'll care more than most others do. That's just fine. Those ones who do care with us will appear at the right time to champion our cause in the right way. Believe it as the truth, and the truth it shall become.
Our students should be encouraged to care about learning with the exact same passion. Learning is personal to each one of us. As lifelong learners we decide what, when, and how we learn. If we can plant the desire for success in them early on, then they'll be unstoppable.
So what do we say about pursuing success? Tell them this: it will be hard, it will be exhausting, and sometimes it will be lonely, but it will be worth it. If you want it bad enough, you'll never give up though the worst goes before you.
Even teachers are always learning. That's the shared journey that connects teachers to their students. If you're all learning together, you're making terrific progress. Your students need to know you're neither above or beneath each other.
If they can make mistakes without being criticized, then as the teacher you deserve the same courtesy. Any classroom can become a strong network of support when this kind of honesty and transparency exists between teacher and pupil.
As far as empowering messages go, this one is a classic for a reason. Too often, many of us live with more awareness of our limitations than our potential. It goes back to our experiences with well-meaning adults in home and school situations when we're much younger and more impressionable. We were brought up with many beliefs, right or wrong, about ourselves and what we could do. Not all of them may have been proactive.
The time to change that is now. You can give your students a new program to download into their subconscious mind. Let them know they are capable of anything they set their minds to. The only limits they have are the ones they choose to place on themselves.
One of the world's greatest humanitarians was Mother Teresa. Great as she was, even she cautioned, "We can do no great things, only small things with great love." Tackling too much at one time is a recipe for disaster. So start small; begin at the beginning and make a great change one step at a time.
It's important to build on previous successes gradually and carefully, preserving the progress of every previous step. That's how greatness manifests.
The teacher is no longer the gatekeeper of all knowledge. Their role has switched to guide, assistant, and enabler of student potential. Students must know that you're there for support and for guidance. The responsibility for learning and succeeding, however, is still theirs.
This one needs no explanation. Everyone can benefit from hearing this. No better time to start than right now.
The Persian poet Rumi told us, "Stop acting like the wolf, and let the shepherd's love fill you." Young students carry the weight of the world on themselves. In troubling times, it's easy for them to feel like no one has ever felt the way they do, and never can.
That's understandable, of course. They haven't lived long enough and witnessed enough of others' suffering to learn that it's often universally shared experience. Nevertheless, this is the time for them to become aware that empathy and understanding are within arm's reach. Again, it comes down to the student feeling safe enough to open up. As teachers, that's our mission.
A lot, actually. Nothing empowers student like teaching them how to be critical thinkers in an ever-changing world. Get started right now with The Critical Thinking Companion from Wabisabi Learning.
This guide is packed full of cool tools, engaging games and activities, and lots of brain-boosting content for every teacher and learner, including:
Get your copy now from Wabisabi Learning. Empowerment awaits.
The act of giving and receiving empowering messages has just as much a place in our schools as anywhere else. We sometimes don't think of.
June 12, 2013
Dear Pinewood Parents,
We have had a wonderful end to the school year with a multitude of celebrations and culminating events. In concerts, drama productions, field trips and even final exams, we have had the opportunity to see our Pinewood students shine in so many venues and to celebrate a year of growth at our school. Indeed, it has been an inspiring finish to a wonderfully fulfilling academic year.
Sadly, we say goodbye to one of our most treasured teachers, Mrs. Ann Kalathas, who has taught the youngest members of Pinewood, the 3-year old class, for many years. We wish her the very best as she moves to Australia with her husband!
We also welcome a new teacher, Ms. Sophia Konstantindou, who will teach a new Modern Greek program for native spekers in the Elementary school. In addition, we welcome a student teacher from the United States, Ms. Caroline Curtis, who will be working with our Grade 1 and Grade 5 students in the first semester of next year.
Pinewood is committed to providing the highest quality of education to its students while taking into consideration the economic demands of our families. In doing so, we are pleased to maintain our tuition and fees at no increase again for the 2013–2014 academic year. Moreover, I am delighted to share that the Early Years Program tuition has been decreased for the coming year.
Accordingly, I kindly remind you to register your child(ren) and submit the first payment before the end of the schol year or during the summer months. You may view the Schedule of Payments options on our website by visiting www.pinewood.gr and clicking on “Tuition” under the “Admissions” tab.
Importantly, a signed Registration Form must accompany all payments and is available in downloadable form here or by visiting Ms. Andrianopoulou in the Admissions office at school.
For all questions regarding Registration and Payment, please contact Ms. Youli Andrianopoulou in the Admissions office [2310 301221 ext. 13]. Your cooperation in registering your child(ren) and submitting the first payment for 2013–2014 is greatly appreciated as it plays a vital role in our planning for next year. I thank you for your support in this important process.
As I always say, effective school growth is a continuously evolving process as ideas develop and demands change. Each year, we reflect on what we do and ways in which we can grow. Ten new examples of growth for which our school & students will benefit next year are: (1) a newly introduced iPad Pilot Program for Middle School teachers, (2) a dynamic, new online reading program in Grades K-5, (3) the installation of new equipment in Elementary and Secondary classrooms to enhance the use of technology in teaching, (4) official 5-year evaluation of our IB program, (5) the development of a 5-year strategic plan with input for all constituents of the school, including parents, teachers, staff, students and Board of Directors, (6) the implementation of important health and safety procedures, (7) the continuation of our English Curriculum Review across all grade levels, (8) the redesign of our World Languages program to improve class levels and provide for more student options, (9) a newly designed language program for native Greek speakers in the Elementary School and (10) the adoption of MAP (Measure of Academic Progress), a modern computer-based standardized test that adapts to each student’s responses in English, Mathematics and Science content in Elementary, Middle and High School.
We are so fortunate that you are part of the Pinewood community. Your cooperation and contributions to making our learning environment a dynamic one for our students each year is deeply appreciated and we look forward to welcoming you back again next year. Should you like to provide any feedback about your family’s experience at Pinewood, please feel free to email me at [email protected]
Finally, please note that Pinewood will be open during the summer months from 9:00 – 14:00 daily (except August 12-18 when the school will be closed).
On behalf of the entire Pinewood faculty and staff, I wish each of you a wonderfully and relaxing summer holiday!
Dr. Roxanne Giampapa
Many thanks go to our community for a great school year! I wish everyone an enjoyable summer and I hope that wherever you may travel, "the.