Monday, 29 September 2014

Our Nation's Capital

Hi my name is Hunter and I went to Ottawa and I got to learn about the Parliament Buildings. When I walked into the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings I saw a lot of security. Once I was inside the Parliament Building I noticed it has a nice wood and tile flooring. When you look up you see a bunch of pictures and slates of people in Parliament. In the Parliament Buildings there are 2 main rooms, they are the Senate and the House of Commons.  The Parliament Buildings were one of my favourite things to see in Ottawa.

~ Hunter, grade 6

Monday, 22 September 2014

Know Thyself


During the Teachers’ strike I have had some extra time to reflect on my chosen profession, but even more so on my role at DL.  I embraced house projects to keep myself occupied and tried to view this time as a gift.  As the days turned into September weeks, I felt a total restlessness. Why is that I asked and I knew that my rhythm of work had been disrupted. My need to help and serve others is vital to who I am.  But more than that, teaching enables others to be productive members of society and discover who they are.  What nobler cause can there be?  And I truly was missing it; an unfulfilled void existed!

The partnership that is co-created between students, parents and teachers is a wonderful thing. DL magnifies this! Just as goal setting helps me stretch and grow, to become a better teacher, citizen and person, I get to closely work with families toward their child’s learning goals!  DL takes me to a higher level in my teaching as I am challenged to think outside the box.  Knowing ‘the sky is the limit’, how can I best help you achieve your potential?

The endless possibilities of DL, where students, parents and teachers have the creative window of opportunities to enhance learning and help their child soar above the crowd, has me writing my growth plans and professional goals for the year. I cannot wait to hear and assist in your learning goals for the term and year.  I am so very thankful knowing who I am, that I value my work and noble profession and that I, with my team, will make a positive difference in some small way, to the greater nature of education. 

~ Marianne Minken, YouLearn teacher

Monday, 15 September 2014

Pick Your Own Lines!

On Saturday, I went mountain biking with a friend on Three Blind Mice. Never having been before, I was glad to have gone with someone who knows the trail system. Three Blind Mice is a network of trails riders need to be wary of as it contains a few challenging sections. Biking with Dave was great, but not only for obvious reasons.

Starting our ride with a climb, I found myself struggling. Two or three times I stalled my bike, and once, even fell. About a half an hour in, I began feeling frustrated and disappointed with myself—and I must say—never having biked with Dave before, slightly embarrassed. Was it my new bike? Was the trail too technical? Too unfamiliar? Was my fitness not up to the ascent?

After watching Dave ahead of me, I retreated to my "self-esteem treasure box" for a bit before I declared to him that I was going to fall back. I did, and this is when everything changed.

Suddenly, instead of watching Dave's back wheel, the trail appeared, as if for the first time! Along with it came the stillness of the cool morning air, the softness of an awakening sun and the greens and browns and greys of that which continues to draw me into the mountains to ride. Frustration turned to flow (Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi).

For the remainder of the ride I neither fell nor stalled; the difference being Dave and I rode fifteen meters apart rather than five.

Connecting on three or four lookouts to share the view, Dave and I concluded the same thing: don't be baited into following someone else's lines on a path or trail you share with them. Everyone rides differently. Some spin up hills, others crank up them. Some go left around rocks, others right, while others still, go over them! Ride with others this year as go about your learning. They will take you places you may not go alone. Just be sure to pick your own lines!

~ Will Eaton

Monday, 8 September 2014

Rock Ovens?

On the weekend, Glen and I biked the Kettle Valley Rail (KVR) Trail from Kelowna to Penticton. Along the way, near Naramata, we stopped inside Rock Oven Regional Park and looked closely at one of the rock ovens. Having been there before, I was surprised I couldn't explain the history of the ovens. Did they have something to do with the railway, or were they relics of indigenous people of a an earlier time? Looking closely, we assumed they were connected to the railway and we carried on our way. Once home I did a quick search and found that what we had concluded was correct: the ovens were built between 1911 and 1915 by immigrant workers while building the KVR. They were used to bake bread and feed the workers. Instead of letting doubt settle into your mind this year, take the time in the moment to quickly find the facts and get the story straight. Do it immediately, as questions arise, ask someone. If needed, cycle 30 KM to the nearest internet to get the answer! Just find out!

~ Will Eaton

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Connect and Share Your Learning

This past summer I took sailing lessons again and was lucky to spend a fair bit of time on the lake. One day in July while struggling to read the wind and maneuver my boat, my thoughts turned to learning, specifically the difference between theory and practice, or knowing and doing. Each week for the past three years I have asked my students to make connections between their learning and living. FYI- this year will be no different, but there I was, in the middle of my summer no less, doing the very homework I had reserved for my students!

To get to the point, students, regardless your grade level or age, habituate yourself this year to connect your learning. Don't allow your studies to be isolated from the larger world around you. Be curious, inquire, seek why's and patterns, and don't be afraid to try and uncover the deep wonder and meaning of the things you will be learning this year.

. . . as the wind died down and I glided my boat back to shore, I returned to land with a heightened awareness: what I know is so very different from what I can do! Although I'm able to name every point of sail that exists, I unfortunately can't yet always find them, or ride their winds appropriately.

Students: be sure as you increase your knowledge this year to also increase your skills! The two are not one in the same! Apply your learning as much as you can. Practice. Make learning a do!

~ Will Eaton