Ruth Thompson Middle School

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Ruth Thompson Middle School by Mind Map: Ruth Thompson Middle School

1. Key Observations, Reflections and Conversations

1.1. Theme

1.1.1. Each year the school has a theme. This years theme is Peace. The mandate for the school year is "Peaceful Relationships"

1.2. Mr. Woo's Grade 7 Science Class

1.2.1. One piece of advice: Build a relationship with your students. Make sure to take the time and effort to know their names and familiarize yourself with their interests and dislikes. He advised that this will help in planning lessons. Also, self-reflection after each lesson will improve our teaching. Some questions that I should ask myself are: How did the lesson go? How did the students respond to your activities? Could you have explained the term better? How?

1.3. ESL/ SES Teacher

1.3.1. One piece of advice: Do not simplify the material but rather teach it in a way that provides opportunities for learning. Also, as a future teacher, I need to be aware of the many resources that the school pays for. For example, "RazKids' is a resource for ESL teachers that provides a variety of differentiated instruction materials and strategies.

2. Interview with Principal Questions and Answers

2.1. What are some issues that you encounter on a daily basis?

2.1.1. Parent Concerns

2.1.2. Administrative duties

2.1.3. Ensuring parents, staff and students are all working together

2.1.4. Organizing staff and student council meetings

2.1.5. Addressing issues right when they occur example traffic build up infront of the school due to no bus system in place

2.2. What are some attributes that you look for in a new hire?

2.2.1. The candidates interests

2.2.2. Something new that they can bring to the table

2.2.3. Advised that principals know within the first few minutes if the teacher candidate is right for the position

2.3. How do you foster an open parent teacher relationship?

2.3.1. Open House

2.3.2. Monthly calls home or voicemail messages

2.3.3. Newsletters

2.3.4. Addressing issues during meetings and student council

2.3.5. Bring your parent to school day or activities after school such as Parent-Student Tennis night

2.4. How do you ensure a positive, inclusive environment?

2.4.1. The inspiration quotes all around the school were created as a reminder for the students. For example "Lean on Me" or "It takes one step at a time to get closer to your goals"

2.4.2. The school was initially going to be called "Fresh Water" but the entire school has a nautical theme. All around the school there are figures and pictures that have great meaning to the school. For example the light house resembles a safe harbour, one that guides you to safety. Also, each student is provided with a link for their keys which signifies that you are "linking together and always helping out the weakest link." More importantly, the link symbolizes that everyone is "linked together"

2.5. Differentiated Instruction?

2.5.1. In order to reach and engage each student it is necessary to use different strategies. However, it is important to gauge the type of learners in your class. Do not get discouraged if group work does not work for some students, as all student are unique and learn differently.

2.6. How did technology become such an immense part of the school atmosphere?

2.6.1. A teacher candidate advised that he took a technology course and was discussing how technology could be implemented in the school. As a teacher candidate it is important to highlight your interests and what you could bring to the school. As a result, our school is extremely technologically advanced and we now even have a technology course.

2.7. Any wisdom for the future?

2.7.1. Passion

2.7.2. Honesty

2.7.3. Heart

2.7.4. Prioritize and make time for your personal life as well

3. Keys to Success: Tips for my Future Teaching Practices

3.1. Be aware of the resources around you, talk to the other staff members

3.2. Be empathetic and kind, remember equality for all does not mean treating ever student the same!

3.3. Differentiated instruction is key for success. Each student is unique and in turn, learns differently. As teachers, we need to provide them with the tools to succeed. It is more than just renting your knowledge but as future teachers, we need to provide the resources for students to own and further develop their thinking. Ruth Thompson Middle School was extremely technologically advanced, which allowed them to effectively incorporate technology into their assignments, lessons and student learning processes. For example, MindMeister, BitStrips, Prezzi, and Powerpoint.

3.4. Be Innovative! Ruth Thompson Middle School created "Thompson Time" where students can exemplify leadership qualities. 'Thompson Time' are a group of students who are selected for the week to conduct a micro lesson on a topic that the principal, staff and parents agreed upon. This weeks was "Perseverance and Motivation." The students who are presenting the material are referred to as the "Board of Trustees." This was an interesting way of teaching students about leadership and a variety of inspirational topics.

4. Address: 5605 Freshwater Drive, Mississauga, ON L5M7M8

4.1. Physical Attributes

4.1.1. 10 years old

4.1.2. Each year has a theme: 2013 theme- Peace: "Peaceful Relationships"

4.1.3. Quotes all throughout the school: As soon as you enter the school in the foyer: "Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the wind in your sails. EXPLORE.DREAM. DISCOVER."

4.1.4. Small community of houses: semi and detached houses. Predominantly middle class

4.1.5. Plaza walking distance: Tim Hortons, Wendy, grocery stores

4.2. Transportation

4.2.1. Walk to School

4.2.2. 90% of the students carpool or get a drive

5. Questions?

5.1. Pre-Visit

5.1.1. The school is located in the predominantly middle to upper class area. How do I reach the student's who may not fit into that category without singling them out?

5.1.1.1. Possible solution: Make a friendly call to the parent and access the situation. Talk to the principal and see if there is any financial aid that the school could provide.

5.2. During my Placement

5.2.1. How do you maintain a safe environment in between classes?

5.2.1.1. Principals advice: After your students leave the classroom, make sure to stand outside in the hallways and monitor what is going on. This will help you familiarize with the students who are not in your classroom and keep and eye on your own students. As the principal stated "Bullying often happens when no one is watching, such as the new trend of cyber bullying... have a teacher present at all times will hope to prevent bullying in our school."

5.3. Reflections

5.3.1. As a future teacher, it is necessary to constantly reflect on my teaching style. Although I most likely will make a number of mistakes, I need to understand that these mistakes will be key opportunities for learning. I need to gauge my class to see what strategies are the most effective.

5.3.2. In the grade 7 Science class that I observed, I noticed that Mr. Woo would outline the learning goals and success criteria for his lesson. This provided the students with an outline of the lesson and a framework for some of the key terms.

6. Web Observations

6.1. Mission

6.1.1. Ruth Thompson Middle School, a "lighthouse" middle school community, is dedicated to learning, leading, giving, and succeeding -together

6.2. Vision

6.2.1. Ruth Thompson Middle School is a tight knit community where everyone watches out for the well being of each other, all voices are heard, and everyone is valued.

6.3. School Mandate

6.3.1. The Ruth Thompson Promise: We believe in service, citizenship, good will towards others and helping each other be successful.

6.4. Collective Committments: Staff, Student, Parents

6.4.1. A strong, school wide, planned agenda and Teacher Advisory Program with a focus on goal setting, time management and character education.

6.4.2. Excellent classroom programs offering a wide variety of teaching and learning strategies, cross curricular connections, and rich assessment practices

6.4.3. Respect each other's strengths and needs and treat others in the way we would like to be treated

6.4.4. Attend School Council meetings, volunteer, information evenings, and support the classroom and special events

6.4.5. Engage in the community e.g. Community Connections, Parent Evenings, English classes, in order to help students be more successful

6.5. Each person who enters the school community feels welcomed and included

6.6. The Voice - Student run newspaper. Includes jokes, extra curricular activities, information in the media and school events

6.7. Pictures of students, EQUAO results, and FAQs for parents and staff members. A good resource to get to know the school environment and atmosphere.