When the team at W. Erskine Johnston assembles to learn together, it can be a beautiful thing. We kicked off our School Improvement Planning day with divisional meetings this morning and, as part of my role is to support the students in the Intermediate Division, I joined that discussion. Shelley introduced her plan for students at risk, which involves a series of workshops aimed at developing skills these students will need as they transition to high school: perseverance, resiliency, self-advocacy, to name a few.
As Shelley wrapped up her introduction to the plan, Dave asked why we couldn’t incorporate some of the activities she described into a program for all of our intermediate students. Bang on! An excellent question — Why not student success programming for all? Why not?
The team’s response was so cool. We started brainstorming a basic structure and some ideas for an initial half-day session, to take place in February. What we came up with was this:
– half day where all intermediate students ( grades 7 and 8 ) would sign up for 3 activities of 50 minutes each.
– we will invite people from a broad cross-section of creative and interesting careers to come to the school to provide a hands-on, visually stimulating workshop for the groups of kids. Some examples from our initial thinking: workshop in our woodshop, computer animation or film-making in the lab, circus workshop in the gym (quote of the morning: “There is nothing wrong with stilts”), etc…
– workshops will be hands-on and students will be involved in doing or making something.
I love the energy that the team put into the initial brainstorming and I am really excited that we are going to focus on hands-on experiences where students will have an opportunity to play with something that is outside of the realm of our typical curriculum. Stay tuned. If you have any thoughts regarding the types of creative careers we should be inviting, please leave a comment!