Sitting Beside Our Students - Mid-Pacific Institute

Elementary School Principal's Blog

Sitting Beside Our Students

Posted on January 22, 2017

by Dr. Edna Hussey on January 22, 2017


No, this is not an elementary classroom. But "best practices," a term we use to identify high quality teaching and learning practices, crosses all ages and grade levels of learners. Assessment consultant Sandra Herbst spent three days this past week in middle and high school classrooms to model different ways to assess students' understanding of content and skills in writing, social studies, and math classes. The three principals (TED for Thomas McManus, Edna Hussey, and Dee Priester) and the high school vice-principals likewise met with Sandra to deepen our understanding of assessment and the implementation of the assessment guidelines across the campus.

Our preschool and elementary faculty have been applying best practices in assessing student learning for several years and continue to refine our learning. Weʻre always looking to improve what we do! Currently we are focusing on the notion of documentation beyond merely capturing moments of learning via photographs and the collection of student work as evidence of learning. The nature of Reggio-inspired work alive and well in the preschool is precisely the high level of assessment to which we are aspiring.

This semester the elementary faculty and I will be taking a closer look at student performance, literally sitting beside their learning (the root assesere means "to sit beside"), via their work products, discussions, and daily learning to inform our instructional practice. This is the work of assessment that will improve our teaching, and ultimately, deepen our students' learning. Note: The faculty and I meet in small groups during lunch, all voluntary, to have these faculty inquiry lunch meetings (referred to as FILM). We enjoy the intimacy of the small group, chatting about our personal lives, then shifting to the evidence of learning in front of us. We've been doing this about five years now.

Heads up about Chinese New Year at the preschool and elementary. The lions will be on campus this Friday, January 27, sometime between 10:00am and 10:30am. If you'd like your child to "feed" the lions with li see, please send your child to school with $1 to $2 dollars (suggested) and the teacher will provide the red paper envelope for the money. Many thanks to parents Charlie and Melanie Long for arranging this beloved cultural tradition. It's also Mid-Pacific Spirit Week, so check the Owl Updates for what the children can wear on specific days of this week and the homecoming game.

E Kūlia Kākou! Letʻs strive and aspire together!

For our children,

Edna L. Hussey, Ed.D.