Two weeks ago, I asked the students how they were progressing in this new academic year. Most looked at me with puzzlement in their eyes. “We just started school!” was what they seemed to say with their looks. I challenged the grades to sum up their sense of progress for me before Berlin Fair Friday, and if I received a summary from each grade in a well thought out and presented manner, I would consider a “dress casual” day for Berlin Fair Friday.
Soon, the assessments started coming in. With students from four to fourteen, you never know what you are going to get. I received some gems. Here are a few samples.
“This is what I plan to make progress on now: math. This is how I plan to do it: checking my work to make sure it’s right.” – 2/3 MAG Student
“I have shown progress by being a good role model to the K-3 students.” – 4/5 MAG Student
“I have shown progress in math by learning the right way to rename in subtraction.” – 4/5 MAG Student
“Our class has definitely learned about the importance of using a planner.” – 6th
“We are all excelling in our own individual ways.” – 7th
“We have all gotten stronger as a group and have become better friends.” – 7th
I leave you with two more that span the spectrum of age and sophistication. The first is priceless in how it underscores how adults tend to see things in very complicated ways and how children see them in very simple terms. The second is an interesting reflection of the growth and progress in the 8th by them.
“Something hard for me is reading books. This is how I plan to [get better at it]: reading books.” – 2/3 MAG Student
“Over the past three weeks of the school year the eighth grade class has rapidly progressed. We now work together better than ever and get along very well as a group. Also, as a class, we have learned to better manage our time so we can be more punctual on the sports field and when handing in homework. Over these three weeks we have also found the younger grades looking up to us for help and guidance during sports. As the oldest grade, we have had to quickly learn to be leaders. Some of us have even become captains, which means taking on even more responsibilities. Each one of us has also conditioned ourselves to be independent and to solve problems for ourselves. This lets our teachers feel better about giving us more freedom to study the way we want. We are proud of our accomplishments thus far, but throughout the year, we will continue to develop as a whole during the Year of Progress at Mooreland Hill School.”
One of our goals in our Mission Statement and Educational Philosophy: “Central to the mission is the conviction that each child is encouraged to develop a realistic sense of self, a respect for others and the environment, high moral character, and a strong feeling for family and community.” Self-reflection is hard, but our students are measuring up well in their ability to look at themselves objectively. From this develops the ability to assess next steps for growth and success, academically and socially.