"Education expert (Center of Teaching Excellence, California) Professor David Betancourt has just completed an extended stay at Frensham where he worked with staff, student and parents on ethos led learning, growth mindset, resilience, education in the modern world, technology in education, and teaching best practices. This film, by two Frensham students gives a flavour of his stay." -Frensham Heights School, UK
I gave my final report today! This picture shows some of the staff taking a nugget to remind themselves of the impact they have on students. It was a fantastic ride with 120 appointments (class visits, follow up chats, teach meets, workshops, presentations, and keynotes) plus a load of informal conversations. I will miss my new friends at Frensham Heights. After my final presentation I found myself sitting, reflecting on all the conversations and experiences I had at Frensham. I gave everything of myself that I could and I hope to leave this amazing community with as much as they gave me . Thanks Becks for capturing this moment.
Finished the final report today! What a great feeling to be able to put together this 75-page report for my colleagues at Frensham. It includes positive trends, challenges, recommendations, an action plan, and more! It has been a pleasure working with these great people, I hope that I leave inspiration as much as I have been inspired! One more day!
I have spent the majority of my time with the teachers at Frensham, but I have also really enjoyed getting to know the students a little bit and thought it would be great to have some sort of social gathering to have another opportunity to chat with them. Donuts are a great American tradition, so they came in droves to the after school 'Donuts with Dave' event: 200 students and 120 donuts . . . .it wasn't pretty!
I had the opportunity to work with some of the younger students today. It was so much fun to make music with these musicians. We laughed, we cried, and we made some pretty good sounds, especially for their very first time together! I am still completing a ton of classroom visits and follow up chats while also squeezing in time to write the final report. Also on the plate today; I facilitated a discussion session on homework with the faculty and delivered the first draft of the final report to the Heads of Department . . . they gave me fantastic feedback to implement for the second draft! Still more to do!
I have been inspired by the open conversations with the faculty at Frensham. Today I spent almost the entire day in follow up meetings, talking about teaching practices and how we can be better teachers. As always, these conversations are as rejuvenating to me as I hope they are to my colleagues .
I was relocated to a new office space for my final week. It is gorgeous, and the 'service' along with this beautiful campus it is just first class. Thank you for the generous supply of tasty pastries and the fancy water deliveries :).
Two weeks down and one to go! It has been incredible so far. Today I visited 3 classes, all primary grades, and had 10 appointments for follow up chats, plus an impromptu extended dialogue with a colleague about research and educational trends! As I was catching my breath at the end of the day I took a moment to once again reflect on not only the amazing people that work at Frensham Heights, but also the beauty of their surroundings. These to pictures are of the east side of campus, looking both ways . . . . stunning!
40 Years of Punk! I got to experience another "Morning Talk" at Frensham. The variety of topics is fantastic! Today it was the early history of Punk music. When was the last time you heard of an entire school getting together to talk about Punk music. The message given at the talk this morning: If you don't like the way something is, get up off your backside and change it! I think that was a direct quote!
Officially half way done! Had some great group discussions today. Ok, so everyday after school gets out the dining hall provides cakes and coffee/tea for the teachers and staff. They hang out and unwind in the staff lounge. Here is one of the staff members who got a hold of some firecrackers (poppers) and thought it would be fun to throw them on the floor of the staff lounge entrance. Did she go too far? I don't think so; look at the joy on her face!!
Added a couple of important sessions to today's schedule of class visits and chats. I had a session with the faculty. Each session has a different set up! I was also fortunate enough to address the parents of students. We spoke openly and honestly about parenting and education. It was a fantastic evening and also made me miss my family!