Who are the people in your school?
My field experience school has 27 teachers, 7 support staffs, 3 staffs at literacy centre, 1 at library,1 technology advisor, and 3 caretaking staffs. Students are from kindergarten to grade 5, and the principal told me there are about 600 students in total. There are parent volunteers in school as well. I had an opportunity to eat lunch at staff room with teachers today, and they seemed all friendly, and it seemed they all have good relationship with each other. The principal is a caring person; for example, he visits classes often just to say hi and I saw him this morning picking up garbage on the street which made me believe he really cares about his school.
I met my mentor teacher for the first time today because she was absent last week. She was very friendly and she is all about students’ independence and diversity. She always has options for students in any tasks, and she loves seeing her students’ creative ideas. Madam “M” gives students a lot of positive feedbacks as well. I noticed a lot of teachers in my school often empower students. They respect students’ independence and they are there to guide, not to control them.
How would you describe the school and surrounding community?
The school is about 20 years old or older and they just added French immersion program this year. The school is located in a small town (30,000 people) in family residential area with a before after school building ran by Boys and Girls club next to the school.
(Left: Boys and Girls club before after school building, Right: My field experience school)
I thought having before after childcare right next to the school is such a great idea for working parents. The childcare can share the school playground as well.
Inside the school is fairly bright and a lot of students’ projects are on the wall.
The community has mixed culture; there are a lot of people from Phillipines and middle east countries as well. The community has been growing because the area is famous for oil and gas industry.
What and who do you see as creating the links between school and community?
They have around 30 students from reserve area which is a long bus ride for kids, so they created breakfast program so they won’t have to start their school hungry. The program is also available for any student in the school.
Additionally, they are having parents’ conference this week, and parents made dinner for teachers because most of the teachers live in Calgary which is over 30 min drive away from the school. Parents made dinner for teachers so that they don’t have to go drive long way home hungry which shows great relationship between the school and the parents.
When I was in different schools for my education assistant practicums, I didn’t see much connection between teachers and parents. It is very nice to see teachers and parents are working together.