For this school year, I have had the honor and privilege of working with a wonderful team in Learning Community 8. The team has worked very well in areas of team building and collaboration. Although we were not fortunate enough to have had common planning time with all four teachers, we managed to make the extra effort to be in constant connection with one another. As a result of this our students were all well aware of the commonality among the entire Learning Community.
I feel that I have experienced a considerable amount of growth in the way I develop my lessons and assess my students. I have incorporated many opportunities for students to gain knowledge through inquiry. Students have always been aware of how they can improve their work and how they will be assessed. At times, students were given the opportunity to be actively involved in deciding how they will be assessed. Through many projects being made public within the school, the students felt a sense of pride of the final projects.
Throughout this school year, I was given the opportunity to be part of a group of teachers from Parkland who participated in Professional Development around the topic of ‘Learning Coaches.’
During this process, I gained a tremendous amount of knowledge in the areas of ‘Cognitive Coaching’ and ‘Universal Design for Learning.’ From being part of the cohort and meeting regularly, I learned so much from my colleagues; such as effective practices and how we at GCMS are always making changes to benefit our students.
This year has definitely been one of the most difficult years for staff and students of Greystone Centennial Middle School. Due to the events that have occurred during this year, I believe that we have all strengthened the bonds among us. Everyone has truly shown how much they respect and value one another. As yet another school year has come to a close, it has only become more evident that we need to cherish every moment in our very busy and hectic lives as we never know what lies ahead. We need to make time to do what we value with those we care about, whether this be part of our personal or professional life or a balance of the two.
~ Peggy Bly, Learning Community 8 Teacher