JCHS Instructional News

News & Celebrations from James Clemens High School


September 15, 2014

Hey There Jets,

It was definitely a reflective week. Your shared "YETs" and "WHAT-IFs" from Flight School along with various conversations this week have prompted lots of thinking about how to move forward as a learning community. Thank you for being so open to questioning your current mindset and classroom practice and for always stretching yourselves as learners. I promise to try and do the same by using your reflections to guide the planning process for our collective learning sessions. Though your perspectives varied widely, the consensus of our Flight Crew might sound something like this.... "We are not there YET, but WHAT IF we keep seeking out ways to build a growth mindset? WHAT IF we utilize the resources available to us (e.g., engaging in frequent dialogue with each other, getting to know each other, embracing our diversity, being open to changing our opinions, sharing and celebrating our talents, and listening to varied perspectives including those of our students)?"  Though we don't have the answers YET, the conversations we are having can only move us forward and make us better.

Our students also provided opportunities for reflection this week with their candor about mindset in our school and amongst themselves. Some things they say can be hard to hear (and many of their concerns mirror our own), but the good news is they are ready to partner with us to make positive change, and even when their words are disheartening, their resolve to be a part of making JC the best is inspiring.  I am convinced that there is GRIT in the DNA of the JC Jets!

I look forward to seeing everyone and continuing our conversation in Flight School on Wednesday.

Have a great week! Go JETS!  ✈️

:) Alyson

Coming Up This Week...

Pilot's Lounge-Tuesday, September 16th (during the lunch waves)

This week's session: The Nuts & Bolts of Learning Targets Facilitated by Brandi Harper & Alyson Carpenter

Flight School- Wednesday, September 17th

Fall IPN Retreat- Thursday & Friday, September 18 & 19 (I will be out of the building.])

More About Mindset...

We will explore the article below in Flight School on Wednesday:

A few quotes from Mindset Author Carol Dweck:

“If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.”

“We like to think of our champions and idols as superheroes who were born different from us. We don’t like to think of them as relatively ordinary people who made themselves extraordinary.”

“What on earth would make someone a non-learner? Everyone is born with an intense drive to learn. Infants stretch their skills daily. Not just ordinary skills, but the most difficult tasks of a lifetime, like learning to walk and talk. They never decide it’s too hard or not worth the effort. Babies don’t worry about making mistakes or humiliating themselves. They walk, they fall, they get up. They just barge forward. What could put an end to this exuberant learning? The fixed mindset. As soon as children become able to evaluate themselves, some of them become afraid of challenges. They become afraid of not being smart. I have studied thousands of people from preschoolers on, and it’s breathtaking how many reject an opportunity to learn.”

“So what should we say when children complete a task—say, math problems—quickly and perfectly? Should we deny them the praise they have earned? Yes. When this happens, I say, “Whoops. I guess that was too easy. I apologize for wasting your time. Let’s do something you can really learn from!”

Terminal Tours... Coming Soon!

The kick-off for JC Terminal Tours (Teacher Learning Walks) will be September 24th! Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from the other members of the JC Crew.

A Few Details...

*Dates: Wednesdays (non-FS Wednesdays)

*Times: We will follow the same schedule as Flight School
(last 45 minutes of blocks 1, 2, & 3; first 45 minutes of block 4)

*Credit: Attendees will earn Professional Development Credit.

*What to expect (Visiting Team Members):
*Walking Teams will gather briefly in D122 to discuss "look-fors" related to our school-wide and individual goals.
*The team will select 2-3 classrooms to visit.
*The team will visit classrooms (observe, talk to students, etc.).
*The team will return to D122 for debrief & feedback.

*What to expect (Classrooms Visited):
*Walking teams will visit classrooms for 5-7 minutes.
*Visiting teachers will take notes and steal ideas!
*Visiting teachers may talk to students and ask questions such as:

-What are you learning?
-What do you do if you don't know the answer or get stuck?
-How will you know when you've finished?
-How will you know what you've done is good quality?

*Feedback will be shared with visited classrooms.
*We will CELEBRATE what we are learning from each other.

*Look for more information and a chance to sign up to walk coming SOON! :)

Around JC This Week...

Let's Connect!!

Things JETS are Tweeting About:

Flight Crew on Instagram

Something for Everyone...Pinterest

Contact Info:
Alyson Carpenter, Instructional Partner
James Clemens High School
Madison City Schools / Madison Alabama

Phone: 256-216-5313
Email: acarpenter@madisoncity.k12.al.us