It has been a wonderful start to the new school year! Last week our parents of students in grades 5-8 had the opportunity, after a two-year hiatus, to meet teachers in person and learn a bit about what their child will be studying his year. Parents of students in Kindergarten through grade 4 will gather tomorrow for Back-to-School Night. In addition to learning content knowledge in Religion, English Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies, St. Michael’s School believes in the value of “educating the whole child,” by expanding on each person’s gifts and talents in the fields of Art, Music, Physical Education, and Technology. Beginning in grade 4, students are also exposed to Spanish instruction.
A few years ago, we asked a group of students from across the grade levels what it means to be a good learner. Students shared a variety of answers such as, “sits up straight,” “pays attention in class,” and “turns in assignments on time.” Through our extensive work in becoming a Visible Learning Associate School, we know that being a good learner is not just aligned to behavior or compliance. If we hope to instill a Lifelong Learning Philosophy among our students, they must take a pivotal role in their own learning – they must see themselves as the catalyst for success.
So, over the next few weeks, in addition to teaching content, teachers will also be helping students understand what it means to be a good learner. We have identified 8 important attributes, and to help them remember these skills, we created an acronym using our mascot, CRUSADER. From time to time, ask your child what each of these mean and how they are using them to become a good learner.
We hope that our students will foster a love of learning, that they will find passion in nurturing their God-given talents, and that they will not get discouraged when they are confronted with the aches and pains of growth. Learning is a process that really never ends. The more we learn, the more we realize how much we don’t know. Our teachers are thrilled to ignite the spark of learning, but it is up to each individual student to light up the world in their own unique way.