Friday, August 17, 2012

One Picture = Thousand Words: How to express this first week of school!

Anybody know where this is?

To ponder this first week of school, it was tough to express the feedback, till this picture came along!  Four components are key in this picture that convey the ideas and successes we saw at Winfield Middle School during this first week of the 2012-13 school year.

To begin, the creek at the bottom alludes to a primitive form of travel or communication.  Rafts, boats and walking all remind us of strenuous effort necessary to build this country, across the frontiers, facing daily continuous dangers of the unknown.  Often times, it is the fear of the unknown that far surpasses the actual danger.  Communication that takes us literally seconds via technology would take weeks at best through mail being carried on foot and delivered by hand.  For our students, the fear of coming to the middle school seemed to melt by the end of the first day and by the end of the third day, students expressed the desire to be here, verses home.  (itself another commentary for another post)

Above the creek, the road symbolizes the advanced efforts of the assembly line that solidified during the early part of the industrial age, where we mechanized our efforts and looked to machines, electricity and efficiency to make our lives easier.  Communication through the form of telegraph and electrical circuits lacing the country side made our connections even quicker and more efficient.  We still needed an interpreter that could help us articulate our thoughts into the most sparse of messages as we sent telegraph messages into the Morse code and back to letters and words again.  A school metaphor may indicate the need to have multiple types of communication to meet multiple types of learners.  So many teachers used so many various forms of communication and connection and students had multiple opportunities to respond in every class.  This came through an engaging staff willing to combine technology, their own personalities, establishing a secure environment where students felt a risk was worth taking, especially an educational risk with a true demonstration of tough love and safe boundaries.

The train tracks parallel to the road, infer our communication became standardized as the width of most of the tracks in the US became  the constant four feet and eight and one half inches across.  Thus folks joined the norm, benefited from the commonality of community and improved their lot.  Communication wise, the telephone removed the need for an interpreter to translate things into and out of the code of dots and dashes, sort of like a computer translates everything into zeros and ones.  At school our connection becomes the way the curriculum adjusts so educations across the communities become equitable, fair and balanced.  neighboring communities can benefit through the communication enjoyed by all.  Students enjoy teachers at WMS that share common passion for helping, caring and reaching into their native generation that uses technology for much of their personal interaction.

Finally, the bridge represents the successful connection built from one side to the other, from one generation to another, from one individual to another.  Like Green Eggs, it begins with one party reaching into the life of another, demonstrating a true interest in helping and showing what it means to display unconditional live for a person, separate of their actions.  Like the person but not what they are doing!  The bridge crosses the gap, saves time and energy by not going around and forms a direct link over the chasm.  The staff at WMS have begun a very successful building process, laying a foundation for huge leaps and gains in so many students. Thank you, to any that may read this!

Can I express how well this first week of school went? 
         Not in a thousand words, due to my lack of articulation skills, but maybe this picture will help. 

GREAT JOB Winfield Middle School.   We are on the map!

Anybody know where that picture was taken?

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