• Principal

    A Poem for the First Day of School

    Back to School
     
    On the first day
    we put on our new school shoes
    travelling back to the future
    knowing our desks soar like jets and
    pencils swim like dolphins.
     
    The first time we hear the bell
    we see our teacher wears a cape,
    super smiles and high fives among
    line-ups and hooks with our names
    beyond this classroom
    on the moon.
     
    We sit quietly not on a carpet or in a chair
    but on a massive drawbridge
    between the forest and the castle
    waiting for a glimpse of a dragon or a knight
    or to be invited to study with a wizard.
     
    At lunch we eat small bites out of boxes
    bouncing to go outside to a jungle
    and run with tigers
    giggle with hyenas and jump with frogs.
     
    We learn to count the days with robots
    (not the boring kind)
    our robots code the world
    and we will use them to change the world
    And: You. Will. Change. The. World.
     
    We ride unicorns in the afternoon
    our thinking and creativity and compassion
    unrestrained and generous.
    We learn outside of walls and boundaries
    guided by curious questions and wonder
    full of possibility.
     
    Tonight when your parents ask
    what did you learn at school today?
    You can say:
    we saved a life
    we created a planet
    we sang and danced beside giants
    we jumped into the centre of the puzzle
    and found algebraic patterns
    in the photosynthesis of numbers
    converting our spunky energy
    into brainy energy that will be released in time
     
    or you will humbly say
    nothing.

    © Jessica Outram

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  • Principal

    Number Talks

    A Poem Inspired by Learning Together

    We tell a story about a mother who is seventy-four
    and a daughter who is forty-nine,
    adding up time and
    difference
    along the line between them.

    We share an open array of numbers,
    imagining parts and wholes,
    our strategies exposed by quantities
    of numbers decomposing and
    composing
    constant relationships in our minds
    –before even holding a pencil.

    Hand over heart we tap
    until we see a place
    in a string of familiar anchors
    and friendly landmarks.

    We can count back to see the value, partial
    products of flexibility now.

    Voices of facts and concepts
    and ways to solve
    burst with numerate enthusiasm
    and joy, seeing how the teacher
    draws our thoughts
    together on a whiteboard.
    We gasp at its simple magnitude.

    © Jessica Outram

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  • Principal

    School Communication Plan

    My dream this year is to be a more intentional leader. When I first became a principal my focus was a lot like a lighthouse, moving in every direction as far as I could see, scanning for anything in dire need of my attention. Then it shifted to a stage spotlight. My work was more intentional, more focused, but it moved to follow the action. Now I want a laser-like focus. It’s my fourth year. I feel ready to try and shift my planning “from time management to priority management.” (Dr. Greg Wells taught us that. He has been working with our administrator group since August.) I feel ready to be more strategic.

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