Archives for May 2015

Congratulations Graduates

Congratulations to the graduating class of 2015!

Youth Art Exhibition

Art work by students from Hutchinson High School will be on display at the Hutchinson Center for the Arts. The exhibition runs from May 18 through May 28, 2015.

The Hutchinson Center for the Arts is located at 15 Franklin St SW. For more information, contact the Hutchinson Center for the Arts at 320-587-7278, info@hutchinsonarts.org, or www.hutchinsonarts.org.

The Three Best Things About Teaching

The Three Best Things About Teaching

By Todd Grina, Middle School Principal

How often have you heard the saying, the three best things about teaching are June, July and August? Many will think that this is three months that the teacher has vacation just like the students.  But you should know that more often than not, this is not the case.  Teachers use June, July and August to become better at their craft.

Teachers are life-long learners and this is their time to become students.  During the summer months they take classes relating to their subject area because they are passionate about what they teach and want to stay up to date on the latest trends and teaching techniques in their subject area.  They take classes on how to connect with twenty-five to thirty different individuals in one class. All of whom have differing levels of knowledge and different learning styles.  They take classes to learn new ways to motivate the unmotivated.   They may take a class just because they are interested in learning something new.  But they certainly don’t stop being a teacher because the calendar says June, July and August.

Why do they do this?  Because teachers believe that what they teach is important and want to know their curriculum as best they can.  Teaching is more than just assigning chapters to read in a text book and handing out work sheets or assigning math problems as homework.  Teaching is about preparing students for life as best we can.

Why do they do this?  Because teachers love their job.  The days can be long.  Students can be reluctant learners.  Administration and colleagues can be difficult to work with at times.  Parents are not always supportive.  But even on the worst days when a teacher questions their own ability, there will be that one child that has the light bulb go on.  That makes it all worth it and they can’t imagine doing anything other than being a teacher.

Why do they do this?  Because they love their students.  Even the ones who forget to bring a pencil and paper to class every day.  Even the ones who have so much to share they forget to raise their hand and blurt out.  Teachers go home at night worrying about the student who can’t afford to pay for the Tech Ed project, PE uniform or field trip.  They worry about the student who has a history of self-harming.  If I had a nickel for every time I have heard a teacher say, “If I could take the student home with me”, I could be retired.

Often times the media portrays our education system as broken down and has classrooms full of burnt out teachers who couldn’t hack it in the “real” world of work.  I know, as an administrator for Hutchinson Public Schools that this is simply not accurate.  Hutchinson Public schools has many of the smartest, most patient and caring people I will ever work with.  They are people who could be employed in other occupations, making more money and facing less public criticism.  But instead they chose to continue as educators because they believe in the difference they can make in the lives of the students they teach. The Hutchinson community is fortunate to have such people teaching your children.

So when June, July and August roll around, remember being an educator does not stop for teachers.

Tiger Time Challenge

Thank you to all who participated,

volunteered and sponsored the
Tiger Time Challenge!

MRC Program – Literacy Tutor

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Click here to view an informational video about the MRC Program.

 

Would you love to help children grow their reading skills, succeed in school and get extra support? If your answer is yes, you can be trained to serve as a tutor with Minnesota Reading Corps at both West Elementary and Park Elementary. Whether you want to explore an educational career, reenter the workforce, or give back to your community, you can succeed as a tutor. Last year, Minnesota Reading Corps provided direct services to over 30,000 children in more than 700 schools across the state.

As a Literacy Tutor, you’ll use strategies that help students believe in themselves and succeed.  Positions available include: Kindergarten Focus and Elementary (K-3) Literacy Tutors. Full-time tutors typically serve most of their hours during the regular school day.

 

In addition to extensive training, tutors will receive on-site support from specially trained school mentors. Tutors come from many backgrounds and include recent high school and college grads, career changers, stay-at-home parents, and retirees. Tutors may earn a living allowance, educational award, federal student loan forbearance, and other benefits, and have the chance to make a real difference in the life of a child.

 

To apply or learn more about the research based programs, position qualifications, and benefits, visit MinnesotaReadingCorps.org (do not apply via the district website). Questions? Email recruitment@servemnaction.org or call 866-859-2825.

 

School Board – May 11, 2015

The ISD 423 Board of Education will conduct a regular board meeting on Monday, May 11, 2015 beginning at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers at Hutchinson City Center.

Click Here for School Board Agendas

Above-The-Line Behaviors

A Foundation of Above-The-Line Behaviors

By Lori VanderHeiden, Assistant Principal, Park Elementary

The elementary school years are commonly viewed as a critical time at which to teach foundational reading and math skills, creating a solid basis for later success in the content areas.  Equally important for students is a solid foundation in managing their own behavior choices.  Park Elementary utilizes the ideas of Corwin Kronenberg, a nationally recognized expert on behavior management, to teach students the Above-the-Line behaviors that are appropriate and acceptable versus those behaviors that are Below-the-Line or Bottom-Line.  Many of Kronenberg’s methods are not only beneficial for teachers in classrooms, but they are also useful for parents.  Here are a few of his major ideas for consideration.

 

  • Building relationships is the key factor in successfully managing behaviors. One must have a larger balance in the positive relationship “bank” to cover the withdrawals occasionally needed for discipline consequences.  We are reminded to offer more praise than criticism, at a ratio of at least 4 – 1 daily, to build a strong relationship with children that allows for occasional teachable discipline moments.

 

  • We can’t control anyone else’s behavior. We can only control our own behavior.  With this in mind, we should use enforceable statements rather than unenforceable statements.  An enforceable statement is when the adult tells the student what the adult is going to do (“I will allow you to ride the bus if you respect those riding with you”) instead of telling the child what he can or cannot do (“You can’t throw things at kids on the bus.”) Additionally, Park staff work hard to help students take individual responsibility for their own actions and to come up with ways to “fix” a mistake by changing their own behavior.  A speaker who comes regularly to our school promotes the idea that “Sorry is good, but change is better.”

 

  • We should never argue with a child. Instead, talk calmly through a situation with an even tone of voice and allow the student to analyze the situation by asking questions.  This keeps the student in the thinking mode rather than letting emotions take over.  Be careful to recognize when children try to cast blame on others (“Other students were doing it, too”) to distract attention away from their own actions. Rather, keep the focus on the child’s individual actions and possible consequences that are related, respectful, and reasonable.

 

  • Offer choices when assigning a consequence to a behavior. This reduces the probability of a power struggle and keeps the child in the thinking mode.  It also puts a deposit in the relationship bank when working mutually through a situation with the child.  Consequences should be given privately, and with sadness rather than madness.

 

By routinely practicing these ideas and modeling how to address behavior problems in this way, the children in our care will learn that making mistakes is a normal part of life.  The importance should be placed upon what happens after the mistake it made in a calm and logical manner rather than creating an environment wherein children are afraid of making mistakes and try to cover up or distract attention away from their negative actions.  As adults, we have the important responsibility of laying this important foundation in behavior management skills for children in order to prepare them to handle the many ups and downs that will come their way and to ensure their future success.

Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools