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During this pandemic, we’ve all probably thought about staple ingredients we want on hand to minimize any grocery shopping we need to do. Surrey Christian School staff members are constantly thinking about staple ingredients as well, but in a different sense.
As teachers design units and plan lessons, they consider staple rhythms and routines—viewing them through the lens of their deep hopes, building off the BC curricular competencies, and designing units that help students live into God’s Story. Inviting students into CREW circles, unpacking learning targets, and empowering students to do real work that meets a real need for a real audience are only a few of the staple ingredients we weave into our classrooms. Equipping students to reflect on their learning and revise their work using peer feedback are important skills or staple ingredients we hope each child grows in and increasingly appreciates.
Our amazing team of education assistants also use a set of staple ingredients with their students. Their toolkit (or, should I say, recipe box of staple ingredients) differs for the individual student(s) they are working with to help meet each child’s specific needs. Some of the key tools used by our education assistants include simplifying instructions, re-teaching or reviewing concepts, and breaking assignments into smaller and more attainable tasks. Education assistants may also work through social stories to assist students in their peer interactions, help students learn skills to advocate for themselves, and encourage and model how to apply strategies that help students move into the “green zone” of regulation—a zone in which the student is focused and ready to learn.
Equipping students to reflect on their learning and revise their work using peer feedback are important skills or staple ingredients we hope each child grows in and increasingly appreciates.
I could go on and on and list the staple ingredients used by our maintenance and janitorial team, administrative assistants, bus drivers, and finance department.
While we are excited about the staple ingredients we use here at Surrey Christian School, it is also critical that we reflect on their use, tweak our practices, and continue working to strengthen the ingredients we mix together that help form, nurture, and educate your child.
What about you? Besides the physical necessities, what are some of the staple ingredients or rhythms and routines you have or desire to have in your life? Or in your family? Are there any staple ingredients that might not be staples after all? As you consider the staple ingredients in your life, I hope you can also identify what practices you want to deepen, while recognizing ingredients that could take less space on your shelf.
Above all, there are some staple ingredients we desire for every student at Surrey Christian School: that they feel known and loved by both staff and fellow students, that they experience the powerful love of our Heavenly Father, and that they’re empowered to actively play their role in God’s Story.