Archive for September, 2013

We Are All Learners

IMG_5926I am so proud of the amazing staff we have at West Langley. I have said that many times in conversations with colleagues and parents. And while the list is long as to why I am so proud of the educators at our school, one of the biggest reasons is that they truly embrace their role as LEARNERS. This past week, we had an excellent Professional Development Day at West Langley. While students enjoyed a long weekend, all the teachers and support staff were engaged in a variety of activities related to our school goals. The teachers and support staff at West Langley understand that not only do they need to model learning for the students, but that they also need to consistently be reflecting and enhancing their own practice in order to truly provide our students with what they need to be successful.

One great example of this commitment to learning can be seen in the number of staff who actively use social media IMG_5927tools such as Twitter and Pinterest as a tool for learning. Many of our teachers dip into this sea of professional development on a regular basis to see what the latest research and the world’s best educators are saying about how best to support children in their learning. Some of our staff are even sharing their own learning with the global community through these networked websites. It is encouraging to see many of our staff members embracing the importance of a professional learning network in the world of education.

Another great thing some of our West Langley teachers have began doing to contributing to professional reflective blogs. This connected forum allows them to not only share their thought processes as they continue their journey to become better educators, but also allows them to interact with other teachers, administrators and education think tanks about what is happening right at West Langley. The ability to tap into the vast expertise out there is truly priceless.

IMG_5930At West Langley, we have a mission statement of “engaging students in authentic learning empowered by technology.” It gives us great confidence that we will meet that vision with our students when the adults in the building are modelling the same thing.

I would encourage you to go to our school website and check out the different West Langley class websites, Twitter accounts and professional blogs our staff are engaged in. And by way of a comment below, we would be interested in knowing what other learning tools you feel educators could benefit from.

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Split Classes: What Does That Mean?

Today we put students at West Langley into their classes for the year. There was a lot of excitement as students and teachers began that important relationship that helps guide learning throughout the year. As you can imagine, many of our students are in split classes (70%) and this often creates a bit of a concern for some of our parents.

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Last year, Chris Wejr from Kent Elementary wrote a great blog about this topic entitled Split Classes: Will My Child Be Okay? It is a great resource for parents who have concerns about their child being in a split class. He very eloquently outlines many of the same research and philosophies we have here at West Langley when it comes to class composition and putting students in the best learning environment possible. I would encourage you to give it a read.

At West Langley, relationships and learning are what drives us to do what we do everyday. In moving towards our vision of “engaging students in authentic learning empowered by technology” we know that class placement can play a vital role in the success of a student. And when we talk about class placement, what we really mean is the relationship between teacher and student, not necessarily the grade make-up of the room. Students are individual learners and we need to be sure to work towards that end, whether we have a split class or a straight class.

As always, we welcome your comments regarding this topic, or anything related to your child’s learning at West Langley.