1. Principal’s Message
2. Parent Volunteer Celebration
3. Stand Up and Plant Something Day – Thank You
4. HPTA Updates
5. Important Dates and Events
1. Principal’s Message:
I don't look to jump over 7-foot bars; I look around for 1-foot bars that I can step over.
In last week’s family update I asked parents to respond to the question: What makes a great teacher? I’ve enjoyed reading the responses and, as promised, here are the parent responses to the question: What makes a great teacher?
My favorite teachers had respect for the students. That respect had them challenge us appropriately and appreciate what we contributed. In turn, we treated those teachers with respect and the environment led to inspired learning and teaching.
Great teachers are excited about what they are teaching, and great teachers get students excited about what they are learning.
Great teachers teach in creative ways. For example, I remember learning about the civil war by 'acting' it out - each student represented a state, and that state's point of view, etc. In some years the south actually won (not in my year).
Great teachers really care about their students, they want the student to learn and exceed.
Great teachers are passionate about what they are doing.
Sensitive to varying student needs (both academically and socially)
Ability to differentiate
Ability to challenge and motivate the students
Ability to weave fun into learning
Effective communicator with peers, students and parents
A good listener and able to think 'out of the box'
Like a candidate for a corporate job, there is something called "fit."
A less-qualified candidate on paper can actually do the job better because of corporate fit. I think the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher is fit, meaning: that they simply get kids. They are not there for the pay, the retirement package, the summer off. They are there because they love to teach. They fit with kids. And like the comments from the kids: they make it fun, challenging and interesting.
The key is to find the teacher where this fit comes naturally. Many of the young teachers try too hard and it does not translate.
This is not a "concrete" answer, but this has been my experience with three kids going through elementary school. The teachers at this level must be able to understand kids.
In a school system such as Hopkinton's, the teachers should be of the finest caliber. My two very basic criteria for a good teacher are: a) that they are engaged, and b) that they are engaging. In my mind, it's really quite simple. In thinking back on teachers who have made a positive impact in my life, they shared these two very basic qualities. I can remember those special teachers to this day...I can remember specific moments in class...I can remember particularly interesting subject matter...I can remember mastering certain facts and the excitement from doing so. This says a lot about those teachers as I graduated back in the Dark Ages. :-)
My description of a great teacher would be something like this...great teachers prove over and over that their belief in their students' ability to learn is immeasurable.
I think Great teachers sow the seeds of inspiration in their students. I still remember some inspiring words that my teachers told me and how it got me thru tough, long nights of studies and exams and then later in the real world.
George Patton said, "You know you are a good leader when you are no longer necessary". Same thing applies for the teachers.
One who has the ability to accurately assess each of their student’s personalities and academic capabilities
One who has the energy, the ambition, the patience and the drive to instill confidence and a love of learning into each and every one of their students
One who finishes the year with a group of students having been enriched academically, personally and socially whether they were classified "within state standards, below state standards or above"
They care about your child and help them achieve their maximum potential academically and otherwise whether it’s identifying their leadership, coaching or mentoring abilities or being good in sports or something else. They exhibit belief in your child.
2. Parent Volunteer Celebration
We know that we have so much to be thankful for when it comes to the community of parents, friends, and relatives who tirelessly volunteer in our schools; all of your efforts help to create the excellent learning environment offered here in Hopkinton. The Elementary schools are hosting a Thank You Breakfast to share our appreciation with all of our volunteers. Please join us for our Volunteers’ Thank You Breakfast on Thursday, June 6 from 9:30 to 10:30 at Elmwood School. Let us know if you plan to attend by emailing Kim Piquard at email@example.com
3. Get Out and Plant Something Day
Our Get out and Plant Something Day, held on Wednesday, the 15th, was a huge success. We thank Weston Nurseries for their contribution of various perennials to our Community Garden (Hawk’s Nest) and also for helping our Principal Cabinet members plant the perennials. We encourage you to please come by and look at the beginnings of our beautiful garden when you have a chance.
4. HPTA Updates
o May 22 – 24: Middle School Book Fair
o May 25: Bottle & Can Drive
o May 31: HopSwap Drop Off
o Jun 01: HopSwap