An expression of awe

This week has been a challenge. Some of you may also be hitting a wall and looking for this to end. For me, the remedy has been dropping into classes and one-on-one chats with students. The creativity, resilience and flexibility that I have witnessed over the last few weeks make the least normal days seem a little more normal. This week, I want to take the time to acknowledge the adults at Boulden House.

Mr. Wilson’s wit and humour, evident face-to-face, are intact in his classes as he keeps students engaged and optimistic. Mr. Wilson and Mr. Powles both ended their March Breaks early to return to TCS to plan for the professional development for teachers to get our e-learning platform up and running.

Ms. Crawford sent students on an Escape Boulden House mission – her enthusiasm bubbling over as she challenged them to complete this in the fastest time possible.

Mr. Cousineau and the Grade 6 students shared stories of hope and kindness in homeform, taking turns reading to each other.

Ms. McClure has been putting her tremendous time and organizational skills to the test. She is offering structured times for students to complete work and is keeping track of everyone’s work completion and needs.

Mr. Powles, always bubbly and optimistic, has led Grade 7 students through sweat-inducing workouts, online, partaking in the full workout himself.

Mlle Popovic is embracing learning new ways to make French accessible to all through e-learning, including prerecording herself and creating videos with background information and front loading vocabulary.

Mr. Murray’s office hours are jam packed with students asking questions, looking for clarification; and he epitomizes patience as he finds yet another way to explain a concept or a task.

Mrs. Reid has reached out by phone and email to all students she works with. She provides steady guidance and a kind and empathetic ear, even virtually, to those who seek her out. She has also agreed to pen a weekly piece on how to support students at home that will be included in the newsletter.

Ms. Hessin juggles motherhood and art classes with grace and poise. Students have told me that they love having art tasks to complete at home and each of your communities are better for the shout-outs to the front line workers keeping everything running.

Ms. Torrible continues to give wise counsel to Grade 8 students and is tapping into their creative nature so that they can complete their Hearts and Minds Projects. These inquiry-driven and action-based projects are shaping up to be meaningful and authentic demonstrations of the habits of the heart and mind.

Ms. McNutt, from behind the scenes, is busy orchestrating events like Boulden’s Got Talent and my one-on-one meetings with students, following up with students if they lose track of time and forget their Meet, as well as taking part in all of our Junior School meetings.

Ms. Elliott, who knew, has become an awesome videographer? Without hesitation, she put together a video to inspire and challenge students to do MOGO (“more good”) for the Earth during this Earth Week. Her Mystery Creature of the Week has students clamoring to guess what the animal is.

Mr. Gordon has volunteered after school hours, twice now, to provide entertainment for all the staff at TCS, bringing the community together virtually at a time when we cannot be together physically. He is keeping the classroom student-centred and student-driven, encouraging ownership over learning and facilitating meaningful discussions about current events.

Mr. Schmidlin has been challenging students to one hour per day of physical activity and Stella, his daughter, has become his main model! Students created their own workouts based on their first and last names, with each letter of the alphabet having a set number of drills to complete.

Ms. Hodder has hit the e-ground running, taking on teaching science to Grade 7 West. Her level of collaboration and innovation is being praised by many; Ms. Hodder has been whipping up videos and engaging lessons for the students on the new learning platform without a blink of an eye.

Father Don has pivoted beautifully. Who would have ever imagined chapel online? FD is layering spiritual messages with TCS history and his musical talents, playing piano and singing hymns within six to eight minute videos shared weekly in homeform.

To the adults who make the Junior School what it is, my deepest expression of gratitude.

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