Guardian Column

A vision for P.E.I. education: Semi-annual meeting Oct. 24 offers chance to explore new ideas for schools

What would your school look like if you could design it? What are your dreams for the students in your school? What are the most important aspects of education to consider during the planning process? How big is your school district? Is it a small district where everyone knows your name, or is it a large district where there is access to many resources? Are there connections to other organizations or locations outside of the school? Travel? Can spaces be designed to encourage quiet reflection? Creativity? Are the spaces created to emphasize individual work, collective work, work from a distance, or other options? How are students grouped? How is success defined? What are students learning? Who should be part of the discussion? What else should be considered?

Learning must continue

 

In the past year, I have witnessed or taken part in many conversations about education and schooling in Prince Edward Island- from one end of the island to the other. These conversations sent a strong and clear message that the education of our young people is a No. 1 priority for Islanders.

Even during times of change, it is critical that childrens’ learning continues to be the primary focus of all the players in our education system.

In recognition of the excellent work of students, the P.E.I. Home and School Federation awards prizes in two provincial fairs. This years’ winners of the  Family Heritage Fair Prize  at the P.E.I. Heritage Fair are: “Yeo Shipbuilders” by Will Yeo (L.M. Montgomery Elementary, grade 5) and “The Outlaws in my Lineage” by Nicolas Dickieson (Immanuel Christian School, grade 7).

The "meat" is in resolutions: P.E.I. Home and School Federation holds AGM

On April 8th, 120 delegates and guests attended the 2017 Annual General Meeting of the P.E.I. Home and School Federation.

Discussions focused on how all partners in education can work together to ensure an equitable education for all Island students. The agenda included presentations on flexible learning, school food, and citizen engagement, and featured a demonstration of a collaborative workshop facilitated by our Dr. Helen MacDonald Scholars. The results of the workshop have been posted on our website.

Resolutions cover range of topics: Participants discuss issues such as equity, school food programs and flexible learning

“The teacher is of course an artist, but being an artist does not mean that he or she can make the profile, can shape the students. What the educator does in teaching is to make it possible for the students to become themselves.”  ~ Paulo Friere

Education plays a key role in determining your life chances and a better education means better health, higher earnings and a longer life.

Making education equitable means ensuring that everyone has access to the resources, opportunities, power and responsibility they need to reach their full potential. It also means making changes so that unfair differences may be understood and addressed.

Discussion before decision-making

Local discussion of proposed provincial policy resolutions is one of the most important activities that home and school associations go through each year.  These resolutions on issues of broad provincial importance are the way that the parents, guardians, teachers, administrators and staff of home and school can speak with a collective voice and have a direct impact on education policy.

 

Resolutions will be voted on by delegates from each school at the P.E.I. Home and School Federation annual meeting on April 8. Before that can happen, however, the resolutions must be discussed at home and school meetings in each school and a local vote taken on each one to guide the school’s delegates in their voting. 

 

Remember to say thank you: Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week will be celebrated Feb. 13-17

“In the new teacher she found another true and helpful friend. Miss Stacy was a bright, sympathetic young woman with the happy gift of winning and holding the affections of her pupils and bringing out the best that was in them mentally and morally. Anne expanded like a flower under this wholesome influence.” 

 

Research has shown that students who feel liked and supported by their teachers do better in school. High quality student-teacher relationships have been shown to reduce disruptive behavior, improve the ability of students to respond to stress, and increase student engagement in the classroom. A strong student-teacher relationship is also correlated with higher achievement in math, improved problem solving speed and early language acquisition. The student’s perception of “connection” to their teacher has been shown to be the single most important school-based predictor of academic growth in mathematics.

 

Time for reflection: January is a good time to reaffirm belief in potential of children

Even if you are not one to make New Years’ resolutions, January is a good time to reflect on your situation and set your intentions for the year to come. Research in neuroscience over the past decades has shown us that the human brain is more capable of change than we ever thought possible, even into adulthood.  How we use our brains every day shapes and molds them, so practicing new behaviours and new habits patiently over time really can change the way the brain is wired. The new year is a good time to consider the power of new beginnings and to reaffirm our belief in the potential of our children, to change, learn and grow.

 

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