Tuesday August 22, 2017

2017 Catholic Education Summit - Reflection by Maggie Ossege

LISTEN:  Who inspired you?  Why?  What did you hear from presenters that offers new information, raises questions, or provides suggestions to you in your work context?  

Although I found many of the speakers to be inspirational, Peg Dubrowski seemed to make the greatest impact on me that day. First off, she was a phenomenal public speaker; high energy and passion makes it very easy to pay attention! All of Peg’s ideas hit home.  She was able to explain her ideas in such a simple form that it became common sense. Peg’s overall idea of faith formation being three key parts “LEARN, BE, DO” sounded simple. “Learn” and “Be” are the parts we teach well, or comes more naturally to the kids. When she focused on the “Do” part, I was intrigued, because I, like many others didn’t really know how to teach that aspect.  I am also responsible in teaching my students to be self-reflective.  Adding this into the curriculum needs to happen. During the day I realized I was not allowing enough time for self-reflection. Peg had great suggestions for teamwork and cooperation. Although I feel like cooperation is a huge part of my teaching style, I can always improve it with the self-reflection AFTER we “cooperate.” One other concept I appreciated from Peg was her “Picture Frame” idea. This was the idea that what we THINK will affect how we feel, what we do, and what we get. Explaining this concept to the students will help them understand that our attitude really does impact our actions. Role playing would be a great way to teach this to my third graders.


DIALOGUE:  Who inspired you?  Why?  What did you hear from other participants in small group, during presentations, at lunch, and/or with vendors that offers new information, raises questions, or provides suggestions to you in your work context?  

I was sitting with my colleagues, and we all kept coming back to Peg’s “Above or Below the Line.” Most of the time we were talking about ourselves making choices when we were “below the line.” This gave us such awareness. Again, another simple concept, that makes complete sense.  If our student can verbalize where they are in relationship to the LINE, think of how easy it will be to navigate with them throughout the day!

Bullying was another topic of discussion at our table. Before Rhonda and the ECHO staff presented, we were all discussing how that term is overused by parents because it is a BUZZ word. When the presenters gave us the actual definition, we were so relieved, and agreed that this was something we needed to take back to our principal and possibly have the definition stated in our handbook. I was able to discuss some of my students who have high anxiety, with those at my table. Since they were colleagues, some of them had the same students throughout the year and we were able to agree on things we had seen. One thing I did not realize is how common it is for children to have multiple disorders. Or, how one disorder can look can look like multiple disorders.

 PLAN:  What do you intend to initiate, change, enhance as a result of your participation today? What is your time line?  Who must be engaged? What is your overall goal?

 Immediately, I wrote down ideas to take back to the classroom with me. Since self-reflection is such a large part of teaching children to be great human beings, I would like to make time for Christian Meditation in my daily schedule. I would like my students to feel safe and calm in the classroom so I will also teach them about “Above and Below the Line.” They need to know how I’m feeling and how their classmates are feeling in order to help each other make good choices. Starting the year with these ideas will help to establish a routine and hopefully make stronger connections with each other. In turn, I would expect our kindness and caring toward others to rise and our cruelty (or lack of thoughtfulness) toward others to decline.

“In the end,” Peg Dubrowski said, “It’s the people they remember.”  I want to be that person they remember, even if it is only for ONE of my students.

 By Maggie Ossege, St. Luke School

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