Welcome back to Bashaw School for the 2018/19 School Year!
I’m excited to be back for my fourth year here! For many students, this will be their first time with me as their teacher. Want to know more about what I’m about? Click here for my teaching philosophy. Below you’ll find some answers to frequently asked questions about my teaching and classroom policies.
My teaching load is primarily in Social Studies and Sports Performance this year and both disciplines are close to my heart. You’ll find both course streams infused with all sorts of things I’m passionate about: Numbers aplenty, First Nations/Metis/Inuit perspectives and ideas, critical thinking, and an appreciation of our world.
What’s up with this website?
This website is a multi-purpose tool aimed at broadcasting our work together to students, parents, and a community of teachers.
In lieu of Google Classroom–which requires a sign-in and often parental difficulty–I use this platform to post assignments, forms, news, and the like. Student work will be submitted through Google Drive.
The super secret added benefit for me is that if I ever leave this school all my work is conveniently on my website. Shhhh.
What materials are my kids expected to bring to your class?
That largely depends on the class.
In gym based courses, a change of clothes (gym strip), runners (indoor and outdoor), and a water bottle are essential.
In classroom based courses, a water bottle is pretty important too. Stay hydrated. As my classes are moving to paper-“less”, bringing writing materials (paper, pen, etc) will move towards becoming optional *when technology is available* depending on student needs.
Highlighters are great tools for those that don’t like to read off a screen. Sticky notes or other annotation tools may also help.
Headphones are welcome and encouraged.
Flash drives come recommended: As much as we put our faith in Google, flash drives ensure your work can be accessed even when the Internet fails you.
Some students like to have a mouse for use with the school chromebooks.
I still encourage items like markers, glue, scissors, and the like as my courses tend to offer projects that can be created or presented in a variety of ways. If your child benefits from these tools please ensure they have them!
My policy is pretty simple on this: If it’s getting in the way of your learning, or the learning of someone around you, it’s gone.
We use tech frequently across my classes to access information, to interact with polls or quizzes, or to connect our learning with our in-school collaborators.
Students who don’t respect a first warning will be asked to send their phones to the in-class charging station for the remainder of the period. Further issues beyond this measure will be referred to administration.
I hear you’re weird about people contacting you?
Yes and no.
I’m always open to discussions about your child’s learning or their place on one of my teams. However, to ensure some degree of work-life balance, I do not take phone calls or emails after 5pm. If you leave a message or email me during this time I will get back to you on the next business day if time allows. Sometimes I just need a reminder!
If for some reason I’ve ticked you off (it happens, sorry), I may suggest a “cool down” period of a day before we resume discussions. This is not me shutting you down: It’s my way of acknowledging that we are at an impasse, either of us may say something we might regret, and time will do us both good to refuel.
The overwhelming majority of parents and students I work with find I’m easy to communicate with. That’s because they see me at hockey games, at the grocery store, community events, running around with the RCMP in the Amazing Race, whatever: If you see me out in the community consider it an invitation to talk to me!
These are two separate things so I’ll address them in order.
- With respect to homework I simply don’t assign it. If your child is bringing home work it’s because I’ve given ample in class time to address the work and your child still has not accomplished the work ahead of its due date. Make no mistake: Big, ambitious projects are often used in my classes, but with them comes LOADS of class time to make the magic happen.
- With respect to lates, I’m governed by Administrative Procedure 360, which states:
Measures used to assess and evaluate student achievement shall be based on the outcomes defined in the Alberta Curriculum and Program of Studies.
Handing in something on time is not an outcome determined by the Program of Studies (with a few potential exceptions in CTS/job skills courses and performance based areas) and as such late work will not be assessed a penalty.
There is a real penalty for submitting work late: Delayed feedback.
The deadlines I set are so I can provide feedback to students about their learning in a variety of forms. When I don’t see the work until months later it is difficult to provide targeted support. I re-teach concepts based on quiz results, I have one-on-ones based on misconceptions in written work, and I reach out to parents when it’s obvious the work across subjects isn’t connecting.
What extracurricular will you be involved with this year?
I haven’t made final decisions on what that will look like at this time. With new staff comes new opportunities to reshape our extracurricular offerings. At this time, I’m committed to the following:
- I will be returning as the Head Coach of the Sr Boys Basketball team. I am currently filling my bench staff and will announce that line-up in November.
- For volleyball provincials, I will be serving as the Media Chair, which will include all of the event’s web presence, creating the program, and managing our local media.
- Along with members of our community I will be introducing Handball to Bashaw School this year with an exhibition season. I haven’t decided on whether this will be in coaching or managerial roles, yet.
That’s it! If you’ve questions feel free to ask 🙂