The Story leading to our Framework for Enhancing Student Learning (FESL)
During the past two years, administrators, staff, students and parents participated in a scanning process. We observed, surveyed, interviewed and discussed to find out who we are and what we value. We asked students four key questions:
1. Can you name some adults in this school who believe you will be a success in life? How do they show you this?
2. Where are you going with your learning?
3. How are you doing with your learning?
4. Where to next?
While we will continue to scan our population, here is what we have found out so far:
- We confirmed that our students feel connected to other members in their community. They could easily name several adults who believe they will be successful. They know who to ask for help. All students can explain how to solve problems peacefully and most are working towards being able to do so.
- We noticed that many students think of their learning in terms of subject areas and may not always be connecting details and content to a bigger idea or context.
- We noticed that many students were not able to explain the importance of what they were learning.
- We noticed that many students are dependent on external assessment (teacher, tests, marks) when they explain how they are doing with their learning.
- Some students and staff expressed a feeling of being hurried and a desire to slow down the learning process. A Grade 5 student said “My teachers show me they believe in me when they are not demanding, they take it slow so I can understand, and they are not forcing me.”
Where we will concentrate our energies; our focus:
Mitchell staff took many months gathering data about our story from students, the parent community and staff members. Administrators did interviews with students and had discussions with staff. The school closure process highlighted the strong positive feelings that Mitchell’s community has for its school. After much discussion and reflection, we have chosen our focus. “Learning involves patience and time.” This is also one of the First Peoples Principles of Learning.
The principle that "Learning involves patience and time" can be linked to the Personal Awareness and Personal Responsibiity Core Competency. Students and teachers need to recognize that each individual learns in different ways and at different paces.
Our next step is to discover how each member of our school community can begin to use more patience and time in our teaching and learning.