I am currently reading Michelle Obama’s book, 'Becoming'. I find Michelle Obama inspiring and am enjoying learning more about her life story. She has a motto she uses when she feels like politicians are no longer being civil: “When they go low, we go high.” To me, this is such a great reminder to be respectful even when we disagree.
I have been observing Greenwood school spirit since my first visit over a year and a half ago, and this week is proving to be super spirited. School spirit is a demonstration of the sense of identity and community shared by our staff, students, parents and alumni.
January can be a difficult month in Toronto, with some of the darkest and coldest days of the year (and this week’s snow storm certainly didn’t help). When Mother Nature seems to be against us, it’s more important than ever that we take care of our mental health.
“Every mile is two in winter”, a quote from George Herbert, might explain the way some of our Grade 11 students felt during their expedition that had them snowshoeing and dog sledding through some very cold temperatures, with only expedition tents to sleep in at night.
I am thrilled to be joining such a welcoming, vibrant, and positive community, and I look forward to working with staff, parents, and students to forward the values and goals that are important to us all.
We want to provide the best possible learning experience for our students. By conducting surveys, we can make sure we are doing just that, finding out what is working well and where there is room for improvement.
Teachers and staff have been working on marking micro-improvements to their overall well-being with the help of Dr. Greg Wells. As they become accustomed to Dr. Wells' program, they will pass along what they have learned to their students.
Improvements in technology come with many benefits from improved student engagement to improved communication and convenience, but they can also lead to disruption and distraction. Careful thought about technology use can help you keep these negative side effects under control.
Smartphones and social media can be useful tools, but they can also be damaging if they aren`t managed appropriately. As educators and parents there are several ways we can work together to help students develop better digital habits.
Our Service Learning program is one of the cornerstones of our emphasis on character and provides a great opportunity for our students to build emotional intelligence and greater understanding of communities outside of Greenwood.
One of our key aims here at the school is to help our teachers grow throughout their careers, as ongoing educational research continues to support the belief that teachers exert a powerful influence on student character and achievement.
Earlier this month, we hosted an evening with Dr. Leonard Sax, which a number of Greenwood parents attended. I have highlighted the key points of Dr. Sax’s message for those of you unable to attend the presentation
As you would have seen in Week at a Glance, our community service program is in full swing. Ideally, we hope that all students will participate in the program during their time at Greenwood, as it is a great way to develop civic character.
Each spring, Greenwood students participate in a student survey conducted by The Learning Bar. This online survey, which focuses on the factors that drive social, institutional and intellectual engagement, provides us with good student feedback on what we are doing well and how we can improve.
Throughout last year, the school developed a new strategic plan. If you attended Saturday’s Grand Opening event, you received a copy of Where We All Venture Further. This booklet includes the foundational elements of our new plan. Presently, we are working with staff on the operational elements of the plan, which we will share with the community in November.
Teachers are an integral part of Greenwood’s forward-thinking approach to education. The school supports the professional growth of our teachers by gaining feedback from students, providing time for teachers to collaborate and through financial support of teacher participation in various professional programs outside of Greenwood.
Student leadership is on everyone’s mind this week as we select next year’s Head Girl and Boy. I am thrilled to report that 17 Grade Eleven students have entered the race, which I believe is the highest number of participants in our 14-year history for this position.
For the past several years, I have hosted breakfast sessions about Greenwood's academic philosophy for prospective parents. Recently, when describing how our approach was rooted in teacher care and concern for students, giving students choice about how they learn and challenging them based on individual levels of readiness, a parent asked me at what point does care become coddling. It’s a great question and one we discuss often at Greenwood.
Athletics play an important role in the development of the whole person at Greenwood. There is a growing body of research confirming that participation in school athletics has a positive impact on students.
Ensuring that our teachers stay on the leading edge of learning technology is a vital part of Greenwood’s approach to personalized learning and plays a big role in our professional development program.
The attitude of Greenwood students flies in the face of some recent research about teenagers. According to an article published recently in The Globe and Mail, today’s teenagers may be less community minded and more individualistic than teenagers 20 years ago.
How students and staff work together and support one another is what makes Greenwood a special community. This important facet of our school culture has been evident on several different occasions in the past few weeks.
If you follow the world of education, you know there is a lively debate about the merits of homework, with some school boards going so far as banning it altogether. At Greenwood, we feel homework is important, as it helps students learn to work independently.
I returned back to school on Monday after spending three days at Kilcoo Camp. If you have a moment, take a look at the Greenwood Outdoor Education blog written by our Grade 12 students and you will have a good sense of the wide array of activities experienced by students.