Had the chance to connect with some of my favorite people, the Calgary Leadership Rockstar Crew.  Michelle, Jackie, Kate, Laura, Cody, Rebecca, and I shared what we are doing at our Calgary High Schools to build school culture in our communities. It was great to see their faces and share how we were doing before getting down to business.  Here are some of the ideas we shared, but first, a challenge to you

ASAP – connect with your local student leadership advisor / teacher community – set up a zoom or skype meeting – you won’t regret it.  Then share any great ideas you have so we can all benefit.  I will pass them on.  Put them in comments or email to me bdicksoncalgary@gmail.com

We covered two topics – online training for leadership classes and reaching out to our school community to build culture. Thanks to the crew for all these great ideas 

Online training – I really liked this short video about emergency online education shared by my principal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_wS5BWPLVE&t=12s As a group we felt that we should not put too much demand on our students who will be feeling stress about accomplishing their core classes as well as everything else going on in their life.

One suggestion from Jackie at Wisewood was Mondays with Mike.  Show a Mike Smith video from the Harbor.  Then give the discussion questions available on the website as their assignment.  10 minutes to watch, 10-20 minutes to answer, and they are done.  Uplifting, entertaining, relevant, and not too stressful.  All the Harbor videos are currently available for free. Click on above link – if you don’t have an account scroll down to see how you can access videos for free. 

 We also thought about assignments that were to take action and help someone.  Click here to download a volunteer assignment that has been modified for social isolation  https://1drv.ms/w/s!Ah1BegozVtqB0T2I_61BIjlHAzTn?e=YhzFpY Another idea was spirit days in your class.  Rebecca suggested social distancing outfits – kids take a picture of themselves, submit it, and then you could share them with the class and announce the top three.

Building School Culture Social Distance mode –  all of our schools have active Instagram accounts so posting there was our focus.  @chinookcoyotes is doing March Sports Movie Madness.  They got inspiration from @wisewoodwarriors and @sconaathletics – check out those accounts for more info 

Some other ideas: 

  • JCS has talent – kids submit short videos of playing an instrument or some other interesting talent 
  • Would you rather – set up a poll on stories and they choose – maybe two different musicians or movies – if you are brave something a little nastier like would you rather smell dog poo or like a used bandaid – you decide 
  • Spirit days – have kids submit pics for you to post 
  • Pictures of staff showing they miss students – see @chscoyote for an example 
  • Feeling tech brave? Make a youtube video with your staff – here is a great example from West Halifax High School – https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=GYqz018ZaLM&app=desktop

Last idea is trying to make those personal connections. My teaching partner Michelle is going to start Lunches with Lowey.  A few kids at a time can sign up to do a videoconference with her to keep in touch. 

Got any great ideas? – please share – this is new territory for everyone – let’s help each other out. 

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