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Archived Principal Message

Principal Message: October 2016

Our Glendale “Big Rocks”
When walking into the school, many of you may have noticed our newest display in the front hallway. As a staff community we have created four shadow boxes in the front hallway of our school that collectively represent our “Big Rocks” that guide and drive the teaching and learning we do with our students as well as how we work together. 
Our “Big Rocks” are those things we value and feel are truly most important when working and supporting all learners.  Our “Big Rocks” become our priorities that we want to make room for every day within the teaching and learning that occurs daily. 

The professional learning book, Creating Cultures of Thinking by Ron Ritchart has supported our learning both guiding our thinking and confirming our beliefs regarding teaching and learning and creating a culture of thinking for each of our students.  Take some time to look closely at our community “Big Rocks”… Do our “Big Rocks” align with your “Big Rocks?”

This Year’s Staff Retreat… Building on our “Big Rocks”

On Thursday, September 22nd and Friday September 23rd, Glendale teachers joined together for two very valuable learning days to plan the teaching, learning and direction for the 2016-2017 school year.

At Glendale School we provide rich learning opportunities through an inquiry-based approach to curriculum. Our learners take ownership by discovering and developing their potential, passions and gifts. As life-long learners and deep, critical thinkers, they are able to make significant contributions within a complex and changing world. 


Building upon the idea of our “Big Rocks,” we asked teachers to share their “Inquiry Big Rocks.” (Pictured above.) Utilizing our “Big Inquiry Rocks” as the foundation for our planning, teachers worked vigorously to not only chose overarching topics which include significant questions that have confronted human beings for centuries but we also spent significant time examining the connections of our inquiries to the Alberta Program of Studies.  As a result of this process, we enable children to explore a topic in depth, to return to earlier topics, and to make connections in their learning in our classrooms and in their lives beyond our school walls. We encourage our students to critically question their world. Remembering that as teachers and parents we offer models of adulthood to children, we show them that we too are lifelong learners who still have many questions to ask. We recognize and model the importance of wonder and imagination.

Believing that we often do our best learning when we have someone who will talk it over with us, we support dialogue in our classrooms and engage children in thoughtful conversation. We know that children also need to have voice in decisions about their learning and choice in how they will take it up.  In addition, we look to you as parents to also engage in dialogue about your child’s learning.
This week, parents are invited to join us at our “Meet the Teacher Conferences” on Thursday, October 6th and Friday, October 7th.  We welcome you to take the time to examine the display in our hallway and to speak directly with our teachers about this way of looking at teaching and learning. 

We look forward to seeing each of you this week.

Michelle Speight
Proud Principal of
Glendale School

Archived Principal Messages