Blazers Bulletin 2/10/23

Dear RBS Family,                               2/10/2023

 In just a few more days, the Sturm household will officially have a teenager in its midst – my Gabi turns 13. And beyond the “how does time go by so fast??” reflections, my wife and I have been thinking a lot about how parenting changes as kids get older. We give them more choices, more responsibilities, hold them to higher standards (not to mention enduring more eye-rolls too….!), right? But I was struck by a moment of “huh!...” when I was talking with one of our staff about a lesson plan, and they shared a quote that’s been kicking around my head ever since:

 “Kids learn to make decisions, by making decisions; not by following directions.”

 Ponder that for a second. Especially as our kids move up and then out of the elementary ages, are there places and ways that we afford them more chances to really make decisions? To – whatever the outcome (and especially if our sense is it’s not going to be a great one) – let them own it, “soup to nuts?” It’s a goal Daniela and I are quietly setting; to let both our kids not just be good direction followers, but effective decision makers also, by trying, by failing, then learning, and hopefully – long term – succeeding.

 One area where we help our kids make decisions is technology use – and this is a place where I could use your help. Especially after the holiday break, we’re seeing more and more students bringing in and using connected watches (Apple Watches, etc.). I have and use mine hourly, my older one has one to text us when she gets home, etc., - we love ‘em and they’re very helpful, so this isn’t inherently a problem. But it can also become quite the distraction in our classrooms. Susan and I have talked about appropriate usage during the school day (which is “use it as a lowercase-w-watch”) with our students, and this is being reinforced by our teachers. One example: kids texting friends from the restrooms is, of course, not acceptable usage. I’d appreciate your having a short convo with your child if this is something they’re bringing in to school.

 As we cruise past the half-way mark of the school year and enjoyed the 100th day of school celebration earlier this week, we’ve had a number of staffing changes I wanted to make your aware of. We welcomed Emily Zepf back to the Grade One team, taking over for Traci Protz who accepted a new role at CREC last week. Taking over for Emily moving out of the Special Education Resource Team is Michelle Machado, who has served here at RBS as one of our Interventionists. And finally (thank goodness for a deep bench here at the ‘Brook!), Jenn Probeck has taken over the Intervention role. We’re in the process of hiring for Jenn’s now-vacant Teaching Assistant role, and will keep you posted on that!

 Have a wonderful weekend, and hope to see many of you tonight at our RBS Bingo Night!

 -Noam, Susan, and the whole RBS Team!