Two full days of professional development . What incredible learning opportunities were offered. Leyton Schnellert and Shelley Moore talked about inclusion – but it’s always much more than inclusion as we might traditionally think about it. They wove in:
- The new curriculum
- How to teach SEL within the context of a series of lessons
- How to teach with all kids in mind
- The First People's Principles of Learning
- Story – your story, each child’s story, and how to collect multiple stories
The idea of STORY is a powerful thing. We can learn so much from hearing stories. Shelley shared about ‘snapshots’ – how we need to collect more than the ‘snapshot’ we get of our students to see what is really happening; Leyton told us stories of two boys and what happens when you teach to their strengths, adapt things slightly to empower them. We heard about the ‘wind’ – how we can’t control it but we can channel it to do wonderful things.
In addition to Shelley and Leyton, Naryn Searcy shared about seeing our students who challenge us the most as ‘trickster students’; these are the students who teach us, change us; we become better teachers because of them; and Myron Dueck told a story about using the 2 x 10 strategy as a vice principal, not a classroom teacher, with a student in the hallways, the discomfort and the changes he saw.
We can not connect with some students without the story, or at least some of the story, or at least showing we are open to the story; the connection with our students – especially those who may not be connected with any other adult in the building, is the most important factor in keeping kids in school and engaged in a meaningful way.