Friday, August 29, 2014

First Week @RMSHanover

I can't believe my first week @RMSHanover is over.  I vividly remember my first visit to RMS last year.  When I came home from participating in Instructional Rounds, I said to my family, "I want to be a part of that school someday."  I didn't know I would be fortunate enough to achieve this goal so soon, but I am grateful for this opportunity to be a part of the RMS community.

This week was a flurry of new faces and visiting classes.  The pace of a middle school is constant motion and while it is important to continue to move forward, if I am not careful I will not take time to be mindful of working on the goals I set for this year.  I have a creative office space that looks out into a busy hallway.  From my desk I can watch students as they are passing through the hallways, but they can also see into my office.  I love the design, for when I am in my office I am still immersed in the energy of the students.  Starting next week, I am going to challenge myself to post a goal of mine for the week on my whiteboard as a reminder to focus my work towards my goals.  Posting my goals will also hold me accountable and hopefully maybe even encourage a conversation with the students about my goals.

We encouraged all of our students to take a moment at the beginning of this year to write a goal of theirs on a post-it note that we would then display in the cafeteria for the first few weeks of school.  The idea is that it is important to take a moment to acknowledge a beginning and to set goals.  The purpose of the goal wall is to help keep the goals present for the students, but also as a way for students to see what others might be working towards.  Our hope is that these visual goals can be a way to engage students and staff in conversation about different interests and focuses in our first few weeks at RMS. I heard great feedback from teachers this week that they enjoyed talking with their students about their goals.  My hope is that students will take time to read each other's goals and consider their role in working toward their own goal, but also how they might work within our RMS community to help others reach their goals. I would like to revisit these goals in a few weeks and do a reflection activity with the students.  I'll post a follow-up to this blog.

As I sit here on Friday evening, I am exhausted from this first week, but more importantly I am exhilarated.  This week I was able to meet some incredibly talented and kind students, connect with passionate and creative teachers and staff, and work with and learn from our considerate and forward-thinking principal @mlepene.  I am very lucky to be a member of the RMS community.

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