We all want what is best for our kids. As adults we do things for them, starting at an early age, and think we are helping them but we aren’t. It is not apparent, at that moment, the damage we may be causing and I think we may be creating monsters that awaken later on in life. I see it with my own kids that are 6 years old and 4 years old and I certainly see it with our middle school students. The things we do – help them clean up their room, work with them on their school work, print out assignments, assist them in research – all good things that seem like good ideas, but we are not allowing them to develop independence, responsibility, critical thinking and decision making. More importantly, we are not allowing them to fully “take ownership of their learning."
Students need to focus on the PROCESS and not the RESULT. I know that sounds easier said than done but it's worth pausing for and important enough that this was my topic for last week’s Middle School Town Hall.
'Twas the night before school, When all through Palmer Trinity Not a peacock was stirring not even yours truly. The students were all tucked in their beds, With the thoughts of the bell ringing filling their heads. The classes were prepped and the parking lots all done, Life in the middle was sure to be fun. Lesson plans were ready and learning was about to take place, Once students arrive, delight would fill my face. But before you arrive, make sure you get rest, Before you know it, you'll have your first test. Students will soon write and they will certainly learn, Many wonderful grades they are about to earn. School will be great with pep rallies and spirit days, Navigating your schedule will be easier than a maze. Get your sleep and rest easy my dear friends, I hate to say it but, summer officially ends.
At 6:45 p.m. local time, after almost 22 hours of travel time, our plane finally landed in Hong Kong. Being that Hong Kong (and the rest of China that we will be visiting) is 12 hours ahead, we have flipped our days upside down and even jumped a day. I'm glad that my iPhone can keep track of date and time because I sure can't.
After we got our baggage (it all made it), we met up with our tour guides and boarded a bus to the hotel. From there, the grogginess of the flight seemed to be erased and changed with the excitement of the days ahead. After a quick check-in, we then went to dinner followed by a glimpse of the night life in the market areas.
What a great year we have had! Now that school is official out for the summer, the Palmer Trinity School campus is a desolate place. Gone is the sound of laughter, school bells, bustling of backpacks, pencils gliding over paper and the clicking of keyboards. It is a perfect time to sit in my office to reflect and, as I look back over this school year, there are many things that were wonderful about 2015 – 2016: