VOl 4 NO 24, June 7, 2016
My husband and I are getting ready to move and this involves scrounging boxes. I was gifted old boxes from discarded school records. This past week I lifted one such box and the musty, stale odor brought me back to a room, with dusty sheets draped over old furniture, 1850 encyclopedias on a bookshelf, creaky floorboards, a lamp with spiderwebs dancing to the ceiling, and a man sitting in a chair.
It is funny how smell transports you.
My great grandfather was ancient. We visited him now and again and would rip up three sets of stairs to get to the brown room of his very old Victorian house. He fled from the Bolsheviks in Russia. We would listen to his stories. Eventually when my sisters drifted away he would ask me to play chess. He sat in an old armchair, chain smoked cigarettes, coughed, sighed and would slowly move his pieces. Each time I quickly made my move he would lean forward, raise his bushy eyebrows and raspily say, “Zhoo zure zhoo vant to zo zhat?” Usually he won the first two or three games. On the last game I always was able to beat him. Then he said “Zhat is enough!” and drifted off to sleep. This ritual lasted until he was 98 years old.
Thirty years later I was playing chess with my six year old daughter, it was the third game, and I let her win after she sweated, thought, retried, lost a few, then finally won. I started laughing. At that very moment, sitting on the floor with my daughter, I realized my great grandfather had let me win.
Why had I not realized this until that point? Since I was five years old, I had thought, I am smart, I can beat a Russian chessmaster. When I was struggling in school, I would think, Well I can do anything because I can beat my Opa at chess. All this time I had believed it was true. As a Russian he had some little pieces of paper certifying the chess prowess. He spoke five languages. There is no way I could have beat him if he was really playing. He had tricked me!
Do you have people in your life who pushed you without you knowing? How do we help our children struggle, and struggle just enough to push them, and then let them know they are smart? We can’t let them win all the time, we can not have them never win. Where is that sweet spot for stretching their minds and helping them grow and build confidence? That area of growth is in a different place for each child, and each area of learning. Finding the sweetspot is one of a teacher’s greatest gifts. If we can build knowledge and confidence, and not have our young people know this is what we are doing -- until they are well into adulthood -- we will have made them lifelong learners. And this is what all of you have been doing all year.
Eventually I got up and kept moving boxes….the memory drifted away ... the musty smell was starting to scratch my throat. However, even in the process of moving my home, I was thinking this past week about all the teachers out there. Thank you for stretching our learners!
Link to this month's CESU Works! May Newsletter.
ELA K-4 Committee meeting Monday June 27 @ Central Office
ELA work 5-8 @ CHMS and BRMS with Sarah Miller and Julie Parker June 14,15,16
Balancing the Equation Matt Larson (NCTM President) gave a talk on April 15, 2016, called “Balancing the Equation” at the Math Forum Ignite event at the 2016 NCTM Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA. After viewing the video, think about how you might share the message with others.
2016 VMI Summer Course Options
Math as a Second Language – July 11th-July 15th
Number Theory for Teachers – July 18th-22nd
Functions & Algebra for Teachers – July 18th – 22nd
Please save info from old websites as we convert to our new school websites - before June 30th: Schoolfusion - How and What to Save
We encourage you to call on tech support for help if you need it. This time may be a good opportunity to clean house - don’t copy or save what is no longer needed.
PK-8 Items NOT affected - no need to touch them: Google blogs, sites and docs; Schoology.
The technology committee is working with Finalsite to develop layouts and will provide training in August and September.
Summer CVEDC Opportunities: visit website
June 17, 2016 - Going Google One day workshop
August 18 & 19 - Tech Tools for Assessment- 2 day workshop
June 27-30 Weaving Technology, Standards and Lifelong Skills into Content Areas July 13-19: Personalized Learning Using Technology - 3‐credit
Great Ted Talk Sean Anchor- Gratitude- I recommend all watch it