Participatory Democracy

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Participation is admirable. They came prepared. Armed with nachos, cheeses, chips and juices to fuel their hunger for a long night of participation of asking questions, voice their concerns and listen to other speak about the future of their education. … Continue reading

Are you wearing pink? I am!

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Pink is about acceptance. Pink is about safety. SAFE KIDS: “Schools play an important role in helping children and youth develop this essential aspect of their social development – both by teaching healthy relationship skills and by modeling healthy relationship … Continue reading

I am happy and I always will be.

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   Totem Pole Mother is the Beaver because she is hardworking, looking after the children, cooking, cleaning and everything else. Little sister is the loon because she goes up to her room and reads all by herself. Sometimes she goes … Continue reading

The letters in a school

letter better

For the month of April, some of the letters in the bulletin boards are about whales, bears and dragonflies.  These animals stand for respect, cooperation, kindness and courage.  The students wrote what they think regarding the nature of things.

What the children wrote is based on the circle of coexistence and cooperation of nature. It is a partnership of students, teachers, staff, elders and families in the community.  As a community, they can learn what these animals can teach them in life.

letter circle

Letters are not enough, the children worked with their hands by creating papier-mâché which is more fun than writing, in my opinion.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

The real reason behind this incorrectly attributed article

Recently, I received an e-mail about “Some Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School” and that Bill Gates gave this speech to a group of graduating high school.
bill-gates

Rule 1: Life is not fair – get used to it!
Rule 2: The world doesn’t care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3: You will not make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won’t be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4: If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5: Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: They called it opportunity.
Rule 6: If you mess up, it’s not your parents’ fault, So don’t whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7: Before you were born, your parents weren’t as boring as they are now. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent’s generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8: Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life has not. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they’ll give you as many times as you want to get the right answer. This doesn’t bear the slightest resemblance to anything in real life.
Rule 9: Life is not divided into semesters. You don’t get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you find yourself. (Do that on your own time.)
Rule 10: Television is not real life. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11: Be nice to nerds. Chances are you’ll end up working for one.

It sounds really good but I have a hunch it did not come from him, so I snooped around.

As it turned out this list was taken from Dumbing Down Our Kids: Why American Children Feel Good About Themselves But Can’t Read, Write, written by Charles J. Sykes with added three more rules.

Rule 12: Smoking does not make you look cool.
Rule 13: You are not immortal. (See Rule No. 12.)
Rule 14: Enjoy this while you can. Sure parents are a pain, school’s a bother, and life is depressing. But someday you’ll realize how wonderful it was to be a kid. Maybe you should start now. You’re welcome.

Actually, the only reason why I am posting this is so that I have a photo of him. He is so darn cute!

Priceless Treasures

Look into my eyes.  You are falling deeply in love with me.  Look into my eyes.
valentine lookI am perfect to fall in love with.  We are meant for each other, forever!  You are mine!  You cannot resist me for you are just totally in love with my soft fuzzy adorable body.  Feel me, touch me and love me.  You will do as I say.
valentine kyle

The Grade 1 and 2 students at VSB made their own “Splat” with black paint and chalk pastels.  Using toothpicks they gently dragged the wet paint away from Splat’s body to create his fuzzy fur.  Heart shaped doilies were added for a finish touch with “artist’s” name written on it.

With lots and lots of love and fur balls, Happy Valentines, Love from a colony of  Splats.
valentine Gr 1 and 2Working for the school board, the children are the treasure in my line of work.  One cannot help but fall in love with them especially when they come to show and tell what they learnt at school to our offices.  They are priceless.

The Joy of Children’s Performance

Play as you read along:  https://3psbyseeker.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/saint-lucia-in-sweden.mp3

Last week of school, the children came to the Board for show and tell.  They show us, tell us, and perform for us what they learnt at school.  We all look forward to this special event.  Working at the head office, we hardly get a chance to see the students.  Instead they come to us.

They came to post on the bulletin board their art work of Hanukkah Fingers

They decorated the Christmas tree with plenty of angels and sang Christmas songs in French.  These students study in a French Immersion Program in one of the Vancouver public schools.

Lord Byng String Orchestra

Lord Byng has a group of students that plays string instrument.  They, too, came to perform for us. The Lord Byng String Orchestra is going to perform at Lincoln Center in the spring.  Last year, they had the great distinction of being invited to an exclusive festival for American School Orchestras in Atlanta, Georgia.  They wowed judges at the festival and received a standing ovation.  They took second place.  It is likely that they did not win first place as the award probably needed to go to an American school since it was an American competition.  Also, as they wear concert black and not school uniforms they were actually docked points from their performance, another reason for not making first place.  (All American groups wear school uniforms).

One song that I love the most is Santa Lucia that a group of elementary students with angelic voices sang for us in earlier years. I beg the Maestro for a repeat performance and did not stop begging until he oblige.  It was a heavenly sweet delightful song.

The song you just listened to titled “Santa Lucia in Sweden” came from YouTube.

It will be quiet for the next two weeks on the school level while the children are on winter break to celebrate their life in their own traditional ways.

Parents Advisory Council

Ask the children to draw what their Mother is like, they are more than eager to show you their best work of art.

 
These are the pictures of the parents as drawn by the children.  In the eyes of the children, they rule just like a Queen.  
Most Mothers care enough to join the advisory council and children are delighted to see their Mothers getting involved in their school.  
Mothers
 
 As far as I can recall, when my Mother is in the crowd of sea of parents, all I see is her.  The rest does not matter. 

Bare

2013 Aug 13 blank board
The board is bare
Artwork of imagination
Fill my thoughts
The creativity of the student
 
2013 Aug 13 playground 4 (2)
 
The school playground is bare
The swing, the slide, the monkey bar
They are all empty.
 
2013 Aug 13 playground 4 (3)
 
No laughter fills the air
The children have all gone in hiding
Leaving only memories
That they were here once before
 
 Soon 
2013 Aug 13 playground 4 (1)
 
  
The school will start
here will be laughter
Children will fill this space again.
  
Then life will not seem so bare.

DP: Immortalized in Stone – Professional Day

“Your personal sculptor is carving a person, thing or event from the last year of your life. What’s the statue of and what makes it so significant?
Yeah, no school.  It’s Professional Development Day.  What can I do to take advantage of this day?  Teachers have so many options offered by their association.  Staffs have two courses course offered by their union:  Dealing with Difficult People and Assertive vs. Aggressive.  The venue is located at one of the schools.  Since I am a staff member, I registered for both. 
The school was empty when I arrived.  It’s strange to be at a school with no children running, playing, laughing. The hallway was so eerily quiet. The office was manned by administrative support staff.  The classroom where the seminar was held has a bulletin board with different articles posted.  Having an inquisitive mind, when there’s a bulletin posted, I read what is posted be at school or lamp-post.  
Two articles caught my attention: “Stop workplace drama” and “Myself and the world around me.”  One of my peers wanted a copy of “Myself…”  I offered to take a copy for him since I know where the photocopy machine is located.  I also wanted a copy, and I used my camera to take a picture of “Myself…”  The picture didn’t turn out properly.  Thank goodness my peer has a copy. 
Should I want to be immortalized, I want a plaque written according to “Me and My World” placed at school ground and head office.  This poem speaks volumes about my second life in another part of the world.  The flags which she drew happened to be the same country were I came from, Philippines, and we both now belong to Canada.  I am proud of this child and for the teacher who helped her shape her mind and for the parents as well.  I contacted the teacher at the school if she could ask the student to allow me to share her poem.  Request granted.  Sharing is the best way to learn, and I am sharing with you a brilliant child’s mind about Know, Belief, Wonder, Fear, and Dream.  
Janzen Camara is the Author of Myself and the world around me.  She is a Grade 10 student of Tupper Secondary School, one of 108 schools of Vancouver School Board.  Thank you, Ms. Janzen Camara. 
“Example isn’t another way to teach, it is the only way to teach.” – Albert Einstein