Welcome to the second quarter! This is a busy and rewarding time of year as teachers prepare report cards, parents look ahead to conferences, and students launch into new learning.
INTEGRITY weaves through all of our SJCS Throughlines: Growing Believers, Healthy People, Active Learners, Effective Communicators, Collaborative Workers, Wise Decision Makers, Humble Servants, Responsible Stewards, and Engaged Citizens. Integrity means acting according to a sense of what is right and what is wrong. Exercising integrity helps us do the right thing in a reliable way.
As Teaching Principal I see students, co-workers, and parents who choose integrity as a way of life. Here are some of the ways I have seen integrity in the past week:
- A middle school student in my office this morning said, “I think I have the information you need to understand why I was sent here to see you.”
- A co-worker shared her joy in seeing elementary students choose to clean up misplaced tanbark to keep the playground looking great.
(Editor's Note: She even snapped the picture of the responsible steward trio in this blog.)
- A parent-teacher discussion on how to partner together in understanding a scenario and take next steps.
- An elementary student simply saying to a friend, “I am sorry. Will you forgive me?”
Tiger Talk: Questions For Your Family
Whether you're with your fellow Tigers at the dinner table or cruising home during your commute, take a few moments to explore these Tiger Talk questions.
- How do you know what is right and what is wrong?
- Can you name a time when someone else in our family has made the right choice even when it was hard to do?
- What is an area where you are struggling to know the right choice? Make the right choice?
Welcome to a new week, San Jose Christian Tigers! And welcome to my new part of the web, The Principal’s Blog. In my role of Teaching Principal, a great joy and most humbling calling, is to lead our community as we develop habits that honor God, offer health, and bring unity. Over the course of the school year I’ll use my blog to highlight and introduce some of the ideas and ways that our faculty bring these habits into the classrooms.
The first series comes from the Van Andel Education Institute (VAEI). Two years ago Ms. Hossink and Mrs. Truong attended a science conference at VAEI and brought back a tool called Habits of Mind. These habits support the SJCS mission to provide exceptional teaching and curriculum that engages and transforms culture for Jesus Christ.
This week we look at self-direction. SELF-DIRECTION is active participation and control over one’s behavior, motivation, and thought processes. It is taking initiative and responsibility for one’s learning. From Junior Kindergarten to Eighth Grade self-direction takes a variety of forms.
- In the Fireflies and JK this takes the form of student jobs. Students explore language, math and so much more as they choose activities which must be completed responsibly and according to a given set of guidelines.
- In some classrooms this takes the form of projects. Heritage Day (Grade 2), poster board biographies (Grade 3), mission projects (Grade 4), and state projects (Grade 5) all require self-direction in the form of time management and student initiative.
- The 1:1 laptop program in middle school provides abundant opportunity for students to grow in self-direction as they practice discernment and responsibility. Middle school sometimes calls self-direction "grit". Growing in self-direction develops grit as well as the skills of metacognition, homework ownership, and responsible technology habits.
Each blog entry will end with suggested family discussion questions. Know that when parents show a desire to grow and make healthy choices, kids are watching and learning! This week take time as a family to consider the following questions for each member of your family:
- In what roles or opportunities in my life do I show self-direction?
- Where do I have the opportunity to be more self-directed at work/school or at home?