Monday, March 19, 2012

NC Middle School Diversity and Leadership Conference Concludes

On Thursday, March 15, 50+ students from Canterbury, New Garden Friends, Greensboro Day School, and Noble Academy came together at the North Carolina Diversity and Leadership Conference here at Canterbury School. During a full day of presentations, workshops, small group dialogue and activities (Check out the 2012 Program Outline for a complete schedule of the day), students grappled with the heady topics of bias and prejudice and how we can face them down in our schools, especially when they manifest themselves as bullying.

At the end of the day, the schools met with their delegations to discuss what they had learned, reflect on what it looks like at their school, and brainstorm ways in which they can bring the skills they learned to bear in a meaningful way meant to change. I was very proud of our delegation which had an open and honest dialogue about bullying first, but also how the "-isms" we heard about can be the catalyst for that bullying.

What really brightened the discussion was the eagerness with which the students discussed how to address the issues when they come up here at Canterbury. They came up with two approaches: Individual Accountability and Awareness.

The 28 students who were part of our delegation discussed what bullying looked like - the often subtle nature of it was a hot topic, what it would look like to interrupt an instance of bullying, and how to bring allies into the fold to help interrupt and prevent bullying. The key understanding came when they realized the exponential nature of influence (see Pay It Forward). They decided that each one of them would stand up to bullying when they saw it and would get one friend to agree to do the same. When we thought about the numbers we realized that meant 56 students in the middle school would be on board. If those 56 each got one more friend on board, that would mean 112 students in the middle school would be on board. We have 114 students in the middle school.

The group also discussed ways they could put this topic in front of their classmates. Ideas ranged from a skit at a chapel service, to a Diversity Day, to showing a video for a BIG Question, to making posters and signs for each classroom. They agreed that the key would be the follow up. There was genuine enthusiasm for the next step and we plan to capitalize on it.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

8th Grade Homeless Experience 2012

This past week, our 8th grade spent 24 hours learning about the plight of our nation's homeless and hungry. Through a number of experiences, they gained an understanding of the various factors that lead to homelessness and hunger. Furthermore, they were introduced to ways in which they can help. Tricia Fisher, Director of Venture Out, wrote the following letter to our 8th grade parents outlining those experiences. Below that you will see the agenda for the Experience. 

Dear Eighth Grade Parents,
I hope by now your children have shared some of their thoughts and stories about the Hunger and Homeless Project. Our goal was to help the students better understand hunger and homelessness both globally and locally. The two-day event was full of meaningful activities.
It was quite a sight to see all of the students with their hairnets singing loudly while filling 10,000 meal packets for Stop Hunger Now, an international relief agency based in Raleigh, NC. For two frenzied hours, the students filled plastic bags with rice, soy and dried vegetables, that will be shipped to countries around the world. The students worked and learned so much about what a difference a few people can make in the lives of many in need.
We were fortunate to have Cherie and Hayes Holderness (parents of Canterbury alum, Murphy) share their personal story of Biking Burritos here in downtown Greensboro. We were all moved by the Holderness’s dedication to helping others right here in our community. The students were surprised to learn how many local citizens are in need of food and support. Each weekend Biking Burritos feed some of Greensboro's homeless citizens and let them know that people care about them, giving them hope and support. A main breakfast item (usually burritos but can be something else, like sausage biscuits), bottled waters, and hot coffee are given out on Saturday mornings in Center City Park.
The 8th graders cooked and prepared breakfast burritos for this outreach. A number of students expressed a desire to participate in the Saturday morning outreach. I will be going to help Cherie and Hayes in the morning (this Sat. 17th) and would gladly welcome any of our 8th graders (and families) to join us. We will meet at the Center City Park on the corner of Friendly Avenue and Davie Street. We will meet at 7:55-8:00. It usually only lasts about thirty minutes. Feel free to call me this evening if you have any questions. My cell phone is 601-0140.
Please ask your children about their food shopping experience, their chapel service, and their reflections on what they learned.
Check out these web pages for more information.
Biking Burritos:
Enjoy your weekend!
Thanks so much,


2012 Schedule:

Wednesday, March 14th

12:30 - 1:00     Overview of Scheduled Activitiies
 Stop Hunger Now Burrito Bikers $1.50 mealChapel Service Expectations

1:00 -3:00      Stop Hunger Now
3:00               Snack
3:30 - 5:00     Play practice, sports practice
                      Burrito preparation
5:00- 6:00      Cherie and Hayes Holderness: Burrito Bikers
6-:00- 7:30     Shop at Save a Lot and eat
7:30- 8:15      Set up shelters and homework
8:15- 10:00    Movie Reflection: With Honors
10:00             Vespers/Chapel prep (8th graders presented a chapel reflecting on what they've learned to the middle school)
11:30             Sleep

Thursday, March 15

7:00 am       Wake up and breakfast
8:00 am       Chapel prep and service
8:35 - 10:45 Back to classes for First and Second Period
10:45           Third Period: Six Hats Reflection with Mr. Skeen

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Canterbury Lacrosse: Practice 4

We've started our season and since the boys are out of school today due to conferences, I've posted the practice here. Each day I post a quote with the practice plan and if the boys know it by the end of practice, I take away some of the cardio work I've planned for them. So while they might have hoped for a day off of knowing the quote it is not to be....

Here it is:

Canterbury Lacrosse Practice 4

Extra credit: Be able to define "bray."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Cost of Rewards
I came across this post on Edutopia this afternoon and thought it was an interesting look at the cost of rewards in school and in parenting. Check it out: