Sunday, October 30, 2011
Project #3-C4T #3: Summary
The teacher whose post I was commenting on is a principal in Massachussettes, Julie Vincentsen, and this year was her first year. She posted that she had sent out a letter to the parents of 4th and 5th graders at her school announcing the new chorus program that observes Art in Education, and she invited parents to explore the importance of arts in education by visiting the websites. Her excitement was evident, and she outlined the benefits of teacher collaboration during this period. I commented that as an artist, I appreciate the power and creativity that the arts can bring to students, and the impact that their participation will have on their learning; her enthusiasm is well delineated in her open invitation to parents to become involved in their children's schoolwork, and I told her that I hoped to work alongside someone as innovative and inspiring as she. Of course, I wished her and the students good luck!
Ms. Vincentsen wrote about her first staff meeting to begin her first year as principal, and its postponement due to weather. She went on to say that the meeting did take place, much to her relief, and that she chose to use a concept she became familiar with in her years of camp counseling, called Unpacking My Invisible Backpack . This euphemism she referred to as a way to get to know her staff, their strengths, goals, experience and views, and how she can best use them to make sure that she and her team always communicate to keep their school operating and educating at its optimal level.
I mentioned my years of Girl Scout camp counseling (in the same state as she!) and how it had also left me with strong team-building activities, goal-oriented teaching outcomes, and how to produce the best possible learning atmosphere, given the strengths and contributions of those involved in its success. Many of the camp-oriented concepts she mentioned were second nature to me. I felt that my experience, as well as hers, also gave me an edge that will make my teaching more effective. She certainly is an inspiring leader, and like a good one, goes that extra mile!