I am excited to begin a new school year again. There are so many things to talk about that it is hard to choose which one to start with! I will try to put all the information I give out at Back to School Night on here, so check back to see about different topics like using computers, spelling tests, reading stories, etc. Right now I'd like to talk about Virtues.
You may know that I am a convert to Catholicism. having grown up in the United Methodist church. When I first heard people talk about The Virtues, with a capital letter, I didn't know for sure what they meant. I was only aware of the use of the word as an adjective - a virtuous person, acting with virtue, etc. So, my own definition of virtue was "being good". As it turns out, that's not so far off from the Catholic definition of Virtues which are holy habits that make us more like Christ and lead us to Heaven. I would say that's being good!
I had the opportunity to go to a conference in the Archdiocese of St. Louis to learn about a program called Virtues Based Restorative Discipline, or VBRD. You will hear much over the next few years about this amazing way of life, because it is just that. I believe it is life-changing, school-changing, and parish-changing. The basic idea is meditating on the virtues, living the virtues, and teaching our students about the virtues. As a result, when someone is harmed, we will utilize circles to help those involved use virtues to change the dynamics of the situation and restore harmony to the community.
The Diocese of Wichita is adopting this program, but it takes a while to fully integrate it. At the present time, we have chosen UNITY as the virtue we want to work on as a school for the entire year. Within that, we will emphasize and learn about other virtues that relate to unity, and work on defining and understanding all the virtues, and using them in everything we do. And I do mean WE, teachers included.) You can expect to hear more about all this in the coming weeks and months. Please pray for Virtues in all our relationships!
I will be using the same homework policy I introduced last year. I will explain it at Back-to-School Night. It is this: 1: Play, 2: Read, 3: Sleep I feel that these are very important for second grade-age children, and for all of us for that matter. CREATIVE play develops the brain, reading ANYTHING helps with all aspects of academic work, and children need 9 - 11 hours of sleep at ages 7-9. These are all scientifically proven necessities in order for children to develop their mental capacities to the fullest, though you may read different numbers on different websites for the sleep hours.
This doesn't mean they won't ever have homework - I will ask students to bring things from home at times, and I really appreciate your cooperation, since those items will be a direct part of the learning at school, and your child we be at a disadvantage without whatever it is. I will either email, or have the students write what is needed in the agenda in this case.
Also, I would like them to practice spelling words at home, and to finish any work not completed at school. And, I may occasionally send home a short homework assignment, but it will not be often.
I am aware that some parents want their children to become accustomed to homework early, so if this is so, you are the primary educators, and I will be happy to visit with you about second grade standards, and what your child could do to up his/her game a little bit.
Thanks for reading - I had intended this to be a SHORT post, but you know us teachers, we like to be sure we've covered everything!
SAVE THE DATES for 2017-2018 second graders!
First Reconciliation - March 4, 12:00 Noon
First Communion - April 29, 12:00 Noon
Please check the documents section at the top. I have uploaded a Student Information sheet. I would like all parents to fill out for me. It is information I think may help me to teach your child more effectively. You may either fill out a paper form at Back to School Night or print it, fill it out, and have your child bring it back to school. Not all questions have to be filled out, only the ones you feel apply to your child, or you haven't already written on 10 other forms. And, of course, always feel free to call, email, text, or come in if you have anything else you would like to discuss. I am NOT open 24 hours a day, but I do not mind calls at home. :)