Jon's Weekly Update 12-6-13

posted Dec 16, 2013, 10:05 AM by Cynthia Friedman

Dear Middle School Family,


We kicked the week off right, for sure.  Ukulele virtuosos Craig Chee and Sarah Maisel joined us Monday morning for our uke circle and showed us how it's done!  We swapped a few songs, played together, and even got a few important tips.  So grateful for the time they shared with us.  


Here's a link to one of the songs they played for us:


And then my cold won the battle and I had to stay home Tuesday and Wednesday.  


Being out for two days isn't a big deal.  Even teachers get sick.  The only reason I bring it up is because this is one of the things about teaching at Ridgeline that I'm most proud of (and grateful to be a part of): I am not the center of the students' learning.  The students are.


When I think back to 'sub' days when I was a student, it was videos and worksheets.  We were kept busy.  So much of my own education felt like it was just filling the hours of my day, keeping me busy, rather than engaging me as a learner.  


When I'm out, Carrie steps into the lead teacher position, and we hire a 'sub' to step into the assistant position.  There are always (at least!) two adults in the classroom with our 30 students.  And in Ridgeline's case, all our 'subs' are members of the Ridgeline community.  The students know them.  Our 'subs' are committed to our learning community, committed to our students.  Thanks, Amary (Quinlan's mom) for stepping in to help this week.  Thanks to both of you for doing such a great job.


A lot of learning happened this week (without me physically present).  Students' writing is getting markedly better with our sentence work.  Math rolls on.  Physical science continues to put the kids' hands on the concepts.  And the BANDS simulation?  You would be amazed by the complexity and depth of the small civilizations your students are collaborating to create.  There is huge hope for humanity if our kids have anything to do with it, and they will.  I am so proud of our community, so proud of our students.


I don't miss many days of school, and I miss them begrudgingly.  I don't want to be left out of anything!  Every day is an adventure.  It is a joyful responsibility to come to school.


I feel like I belong here.  I hope your student feels the same.



Jon and Carrie