Educators talk a lot about student artifacts and how we can show evidence of student thinking and learning. Student artifacts are powerful because they not only show off what our students are doing, but they can also demonstrate student growth and developed skills. We often forget that teacher artifacts can have the same power and importance.
What is a teacher artifact, you ask? Well, I would say that it is an artifact that demonstrates how teachers think and how they are growing in the profession in order to support their students. They are achievements of what we are actively doing in the classroom to provide a safe, welcoming, and student-centered environment.
While there are many artifacts created by individual teachers and groups of educators teaching similar content, it can be rare to find an artifact that demonstrates the learning, growth, and passion of all teachers in one building. Well, my friends, our staff created a pretty awesome artifact of learning and achievement last week, and I am confident that this artifact will continue to motivate others around the building throughout the rest of the school year.
As a staff, we know the importance of social and emotional learning. Let's be honest...we all went into this profession because we want to work with and support kids. So, we know that it is extremely important to make connections with our students and make them feel safe, important, and valued in our classrooms. Knowing this importance, we make social/emotional learning a priority. We all have different habits and behaviors, but they all serve the same purpose: supporting students.
If you follow this blog, you know that I constantly preach about how important it is for teachers to learn from and inspire other teachers. When it comes to social/emotional learning, this is no different. As I said before, we all have different habits and behaviors, but if we were to share these habits and behaviors with other staff at our school, think about how many awesome tricks we would have up our sleeves when it comes to making connections with our students!!! Talk about teachers inspiring teachers!
Don't believe me? Don't worry...I have evidence. I have that awesome teacher artifact of achievement I told you about earlier. After our teachers reviewed the importance of social/emotional learning, they worked with their PLC's to make a list of what they do at the beginning, middle, and end of a lesson to make their students feel safe, valued, and important. Don't you worry...the conversation didn't stop there! Next, each PLC added their list to a shared Google slide deck. Each PLC was able to contribute their ideas on one slide, and boomshakalaka...by the end of that 60 minute work period, we now have about 70 slides in one slide deck - from ALL members of our teaching staff - that includes ideas for how to prioritize social/emotional learning at the beginning, middle, and end of lessons. Talk about an artifact of achievement! Talk about an artifact of learning and growth! And wow...talk about an awesome artifact that can help teachers support their students throughout the school year. We are Neuqua Valley, and we want our students to feel valued in our classrooms. Check out our artifact to see how we plan to put this into action. #whatsup