Life in the Woods: Principal's Blog

May Board Reports

Board MeetingClick here for this month's Principals' Report, Faculty Report, and Student Report from the May Board Meeting.

Expertise + Humility

Izzy soccerYou may have seen the News and Observer article on our senior Isabel Pearce.  It was a well deserved recognition for someone who has worked so hard, and it adds to the excitement of this afternooon's tournament game where she has the opporunity to break the NCHSAA record for total goals over four years!  One thing I particularly admire about Izzy is her humility.  Sometimes such ahtletic prowess comes coupled with arrogance, but not so with Izzy.  She excels on the field and in the classroom but doesn't seek extra attention or recognition and doesn't place herself ahead of others.  She embodies the best of Woods!

Math Team Summit 2017!

Math Summit

As a faculty we gather formally at least one afternoon each week after school to talk shop.  Usually these meetings take place at the divisional level (middle school faculty with middle school faculty, high school with high school, etc.), but we also meet, at times, in departments and by grade.  The past two weeks I've had the great pleasure of joining with all of our math teachers K-12 for a set of meetings we've referred to as Math Summit 2017.

(Why Math Summit?  Because gathering for a summit is more exciting than gathering for just another meeting!)

The goal for these two weeks has been to begin to review our math curriculum together.  The prompts I offered in advance of the meeting, and that we spent the bulk of our time discussing were . . .

  • What are the various influences on your math curriculum for the classes you teach?
  • What are the main priorities of each of the curricula?
  • Do the curricula still seem appropriately matched to your goals and your students?
  • Where do you perceive we might have gaps in our curricula K-12? 
  • Are there places (in content or in philosophy) where are curricula are in conflict?

And I shared a few of my assumptions from the start:

  • We are better together.  When we are actively talking, debating, and grappling with ideas together as a faculty, we will reach better decisions than we would in isolation.  Transparency of practice is healthy.
  • Woods is, I believe, the only K-12 public school under one roof in North Carolina (which is it's own interesting trivia tidbit), and thus we have no excuse not to be vertically integrated with what we teach.
  • We are interconnected.  How we teach math in 2nd grade has an effect on a student's learning when she reaches 10th grade.

We came away from these initial meetings of the summit with much greater clarity about our curriculum priorities.  We also came away with a hefty set of questions for further discussion and inquiry.

math summit

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Expertise + Humility
Math Team Summit 2017!
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