Thursdays With North (and East) Oakview – Every Day Evidence #14

    It is good to be back in my red tennis shoes and back on duty at the “drop-off” line. Our young students take great joy in what we, as adults, sometimes overlook. There is joy in knowing that this is the first day of the year “that we can see our breath.” Did you also know that if you bend over and “pick up a blade of grass you can see the frost berries left by the Frost Fairy?”

    One young boy asked me why I was spending time bent over looking at the grass when I could look up and see that the sun and moon were both in the sky. I told him that when the moon and sun were in the sky at the same time it meant the fishing was really good. His comment back stopped me in my tracks – “then why aren’t you down at the river like my grandpa?”

    A couple of kids asked me if I could tell the high school band to play louder. They thought I had the power to just tell people what to do, after all “you are the superintendent and they would listen to you.” Just a side note on the NHS Marching Band – were you aware that they often stop and say good morning to community members who walk the track each morning? You might hear the entire band shouting in unison “Good Morning Doug.”

    As I walked down the hall this morning one special needs student asked me where a certain teacher’s room was located. He needed to drop off a lunch ticket for a friend who dropped it when he got off the bus this morning. When I asked him why he was so kind to his friend he replied “that is the way we do it here.” The student was really excited as he is “going to gen-ed today” for art class.

    This is what WE ARE NORTHVIEW looks like when it is happening. For another student view of what it means visit this story by NHS student Garrett Bakos.

    Book talks were going on all over North Oakview today. It happens every day. Today I learned about a web site designed for kids (with parent oversight) to preview new books, share their favorite reads, and even do electronic book talks – I plan to try it out with my granddaughters soon.

    Today I learned that kindergarten students know their teacher loves them because she says “she misses them when they are gone.” They also love her.

    Meanwhile Back at East Oakview………

    A kindergarten teacher lined her class up at the door to the music room. One student was in tears and needed a little one-on-one time with his teacher. Ten minutes later the student came into the music room sporting a smile and immediately engaged in the activity surrounding the song Yellow Submarine (John Lennon is the composer/musician of the month and yes, kindergarten kids know the difference between a composer and a musician).

    When I asked the teacher what magic had been performed with the student, she explained that the student had recently been removed from the mother’s home and often has a meltdown. She went with the student into a room that has equipment for gross motor skills and let the child walk a balance beam and jump on a mini-trampoline until his focus came back. She is glad the student is in school and the student loves being at school.

    This student knows his teacher loves him!

    The art teacher shared some of the drawings done by 4th grade students. The lesson involved contour lines and perspective as they drew a picture of a tricycle – the same one their teacher rode as a little girl. Each student was given the biggest piece of paper they will ever have as a 4th grade student, a pencil, erasers that had never been used, and new black markers for the project. The idea is to draw what you see, not what you know. As a result, each picture is unique and full of details important to the artist.

    The gym class had students engaged in movement as they played “bean bag tag” to the song Brown Eyed Girl (two songs and artists I recognized in one day – amazing). Learning how to control space, stay safe, sing, and laugh were all part of the lesson.

    Closing Thoughts……

    • “I know my teacher cares about me!” Maybe the most powerful teaching tool we have on a daily basis.
    • This is why WE ARE NORTHVIEW!
    • Art, music, and PE are important to all children and are directly related to academic achievement and student success.
    • All students can learn just in different ways and at different rates.
    • We are all responsible for student success and learning.
    • I never thought the Beatles’ songs would be used as a teaching tool. I thought they were only good for making my parents crazy.
    • When I looked down at my feet just now, I confirmed I have on the red tennis shoes – on the right feet – and tied.
    • I can’t wait until tonight when someone at the Kent Intermediate School Board dinner asks me why I have on red tennis shoes.

    Thanks Travis and the staff members at North and East Oakview for helping me remember the important stuff!

    Sincerely and With Great Respect,

    Mike Paskewicz, Superintendent


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