Superintendent Update

Championing for Students

Wormeli, in his book, Fair isn’t Always Equal, addresses the importance of leveling the playing field for all kids.  In discussing late work, Wormeli makes a point regarding students who have already proven themselves as proficient, we hold them accountable to a certain level of meeting deadlines because they have learned the material, the skill, or content.  But there is a different frame of reference when you are first teaching students something they need to learn to become proficient.  Are we going to hold someone who is not proficient, who is struggling, to the same level of accountability as that of someone who has already mastered the content?  What can we do as a team of educators to advocate for students?
  • Seek to understand why the students won’t do the work.  Is it because they haven’t learned the necessary skills or other factors?  How do you build trust with struggling learners?
  • Maintain ongoing communication with the parents whose children are struggling.  There is no excuse for not contacting a parent whose student is failing a class and ongoing communication should exist.
  • Recognize that it is okay to ask for help.  Sometimes talking to the student isn’t enough we need to develop a plan.
  • Listen to students.  All students deserve to have adults who take time to listen to them.
  • ARM yourself for tough conversations – This means being strategic in your thoughts while creating an environment where people feel listened to and validated.
    • Acknowledge – Successful people enter every conversation focused on the other person.
    • Rectify – Strong teachers and leaders recognize that it is possible to stay calm and rationally seek solutions even in the midst of chaos.
    • Move On – Effective teachers and leaders have a unique ability to accept their circumstances and move on rather than spend time and energy dwelling on things that are beyond their control.
  • Address the barriers to a culture focused on championing for students.  There isn’t time.  It’s not my job.  Dealing with challenges isn’t worth the potential negative response.  When students behave poorly or fail to do the work, they don’t deserve my time or attention.
Students are the most important people entering our facilities.  Students are not an interruption of our work; they are the purpose of it.  We are not doing them a favor by serving them.  They are entitled to our service.  Students are not cold statistics; they are human beings with feelings and emotions like our own.  Students are people who bring us their wants, and it is our jot to handle them as expeditiously as possible.  Take care of the students; that’s why we are here.
In what ways can we personally invest in our students and each other so every member of a school community feels like they have a personal champion?
It is the policy of the Ar-We-Va Community School District to not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or socioeconomic status in its programs, activities or employment practices.  Questions or grievances related to this policy may be addressed to the district’s Equity Coordinator, Sharon Stickrod, at Ar-We-Va CSD, 108 Clinton Street, Westside, IA 51467 or call 712-663-4311.