On Monday night I was pleased to attend a technology session led by Devorah Heitner and our own Andy Kohl. Devorah led a fabulous presentation that helped parents better understand the digital world of children. A couple of random items that particularly caught my attention…
- My generation(mid GenX) grew up where our tv show ended and was basically a half hour or an hour in length. Now the content online is limitless, it doesn’t end. In both media there is bad stuff but the good stuff is better – more ethnically and racially diverse -more gender roles explored.
- Do we implicitly model social interactions with each person on their own device in the family…are we teaching when to check text messages, email, etc.
- We used to wait – as I listened to Devorah this song was brought to mind…
I used to write letters
I used to sign my name
I used to sleep at night
Before the flashing lights settled deep in my brain.
- Misconceptions – Increasingly we find time needed to be spent with children combating the “I know it all” behavior that the immense amount of online information creates. Students tend to believe whatever they find online without cross-checking. Which leads me to:
- Mentor more then monitor
Mentors are curious about their kid lives
Mentors are conscious of their own habits
What does that mean for our own digital use?
- Encourage creation over consumption – have students publish work online. When that is part of the end result, the quality naturally rises. And there is a huge upside of being identified with your excellent content in your digital footprint.
- The concept of repair – when issues happen online my life isn’t over when I post something bad online and hurt someone’s feelings.Please check out Devorah’s blog listed above for more helpful and thoughtful information.
Really fun assembly today at Wescott where we recognized everyone in the school for their participation in the Wescott Walk. I wrote about that a few days ago and we were pleased to honor those whose seemingly small contributions change someone’s world for the better.
One example of this was recognizing an Advanced Disposal employee who helps a senior citizen bring his garbage cans back by his house. Students learned about that small act of kindness and how it makes a difference in the world. Thanks to Mrs. Latek for bringing that to our attention.
The second half of our assembly brought out the baseball fan in all of us to support our local Chicago Cubs – thanks to Mr. V and our teachers for pulling this together for our students.
Wednesday at Wescott was our annual Walk for Wescott and the weather helped make a great day even better! Thank you for your support of our school through this major fundraiser. There are so many of our fundamental beliefs that are touched by this day:
Physical fitness is as important as mental and academic fitness
Our Physical Education teachers organize our PE classes so that the entire grade level walks together during school day. Walking is a simple way to get and stay in shape, manage health conditions, improve your balance and coordination, and lift your mood when you are feeling down. Our faculty and staff walked as well reaping these benefits.
Small contributions here at Wescott create improvements in our world
Rich Rosenberg, Chairman of Soles for Kids, was on hand to share with our students how our donated shoes impact children around the world. As of today we are over our amount from last year and are still collecting any shoes as part of the donation. Mr. Rosenberg also mentioned that soccer balls could be donated as well!
Environmental Benefits of Walking
As we counted the number of cars this time of year in the past, there are usually over a hundred cars that drop off students. The last count I heard was in the single digits – what if we could do that every day? Even bundling up and walking during the cold winter months will continue the exercise throughout the whole year.
Students showing kindness throughout the Walk
Lastly, I observed many different acts of kindness throughout our walk. Students cheering other students on, making a tunnel for other students to walk through, our Wescott Sausages helping our younger students stretch and get excited about our walk, and even students helping my little guy get around the whole park.
Truly a special day that embodies so much of what is great about Wescott!
A great day on Monday for Popsicles in the Park, our annual reuniting of our previous year’s kindergarten class. First graders played on the playground at Willowbrook and saw old friends and their kindergarten teachers. Thank you to the efforts of our PTO to pull this together and supplying all students with popsicles!
What other events could we have over the years to keep the connection between our Wescott and Willowrbook students?
On Friday, we held an extended morning announcements to salute Patriot Day. I shared with students over the PA system to think about the famous quote from John F. Kennedy to “…ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” We will certainly strive to live up to this statement as we work on this year’s theme “Wescott makes a world of difference.” Special thanks to Mr. Vaananen for leading us in song and Mrs. Murnick and her class for being the chorus.