ISY Elementary School Faculty Blog

Happy World Teachers Day

Mike Simpson

October 8, 2021

Tuesday was World Teachers Day. I had not realized until a student emailed me an apple!

On World Teachers Day a few years ago, a student of mine asked me who was the first teacher and who taught them? This was such a great question and we spent quite a bit of time talking about it in our class. 

The class decided that even though there are some very famous ‘first’ teachers in all different cultures, they could not have been the first teachers as someone would have taught them something and someone else would have taught them something and so on and so on. A student said you don’t need to be a teacher to teach and another one said you don’t even need to be a human because animals teach animals. And then we found out that even trees teach trees

So while we know that as teachers we are not the only ones teaching, we are fortunate that we get to devote our professional lives to such an important and rewarding act. It is not the easiest time to be a teacher or student at the moment and I am very proud of how well we continue to adapt and keep learning happening.

We all know we are doing our best…. even when we are not at our best!
Check in. How am I? What do I need? How are they? What do they need from me?
Ask for help and be helpful.
Be present and patient. Take time to fully understand others and allow time for others to understand you. Pausing, Paraphrasing and Posing Questions promotes our common understanding.
Share your ideas and be open to the ideas of others. Once shared, they become our ideas and anything could happen!


Please add any questions, items that come to mind to this ES Collaborative Agenda. The idea is that once we have a few things to discuss that can’t be addressed by email, we will meet.


Ina Sharo Lynn

As promised, Esther’s beautiful baby girl arrived yesterday.  Congratulations, Esther. She is adorable!

ES Faculty Meeting

This Monday at 7:15am MMT

This will be a short meeting to check in before the Thadingyut Break and to make sure we have all we need for reports and conferences and an understanding of what Quarter 2 will look like. Please accept the calendar invite.

ISY Annual Compassion Conference

Friday, March 4

This will be organized under the umbrella of ISY Definition of Compassion: The will and understanding to respect and value the identity, culture, perspective, and experience of others in acting to make a positive difference to their lives.

In addition to a key-note speaker addressing resilience in young people and an ISY student panel presenting on LGBTQ+ issues, teacher workshops will be an important part of this conference. 

Teacher workshops might relate to any of our ISY Inclusive Practices and will be organized under the following strands:

    • Inclusion
    • Service
    • Diversity

Workshops can focus on anything under these strands and we are particularly interested in workshops on the following:

    • Responsive Classroom Strategies
    • Science of Learning – memory, etc.
    • Teaching Creativity
    • Integrating Technology

Our TIF team of Ian and Lindsey will be helping us put this day together and will be popping into classes from time to time to get ideas and encourage teachers. Please reach out to them if you have an idea you would like some support with – whether you intend to present it or not on March 4.

      Recording Student Reading Levels

      Please make sure you have a level recorded for each student for the month of September.

      Please use this Elementary Reading Levels 2021-2022 to record the reading levels of your students. It is easiest to use the Reading A-Z assessment tool so use that and record that level – no need to convert it into any different scales. We will reorganize our ISY benchmark reading levels to fit this tool to help you with reporting.

      If you are using the DRAs that we have used in the past that is ok too – just put (DRA) next to the number so this is clear. We will record a level for every student in September, January and May. If you do assessments between these times, there are also columns for you to record the levels.

      From our TIFs

      Here are a curated list of helpful links for students and families as we begin the year. These videos can be helpful as you share information with them. 

       Quarter 1 Progress Reports

      Please click on this Q1 Progress Report Organization & Timeline document for instructions on completing this quarter’s Progress Reports. It is important that we keep to this timeline to make sure we can all have a clear week off for the Thadingyut break.

       Quarter 1 Grade Level Standards Checklists

      If you haven’t already done so, please check off the standards that you have covered in your subject in Quarter 1. Please make sure there is an ‘x’ in the first column of any standard you have covered in these Grade Level Standards Checklists. Please do this by the end of next week before we go on break for Thadingyut.

      Looking Ahead

      Quarter 2 Interdisciplinary Units

      Quarter 2 begins after the Thadingyut break on Monday, October 25.

      The last piece of the interdisciplinary puzzle was Social Studies content – i.e. what to teach! This has been solved with a free resource from Core Knowledge

      We will talk about this more in Monday morning’s faculty meeting. For now, I want to share with everyone an ES Scope and Sequence Brainstorm (including Social Studies Core Knowledge) that we have been working on behind the scenes for Grades 1 to 5. 

      This is very much a working document but please check it out to see what content will be being taught in Quarter 2. This will be very useful for specialist teachers thinking about how their subject can link to this content. There are highlighted links to the Social Studies content that will inspire the unit. Please note that this content is not the unit itself and next week we will be confirming enduring understandings and essential questions that will be drive the unit. I will explain more on Monday.

       Parent Teacher Conferences

      Wednesday, November 3

      These will be held on Wednesday, November 3. There will be no classes on this day. Parents will schedule meetings with you as they did last year based on teachers being available between 8am and 12pm MMT plus another 3 hours either side of this time. The tool to create teacher schedules will be available after the Thadingyut break. More details to follow next week.

       Grades 2-5 Google Classroom Set Up

      Please use the following heading for each week (Quarter followed by the week…)

       Friday Emails + Offline Learning

      We will send out our Grade Level Friday Emails next Friday, October 15.

      You will find the email templates in the folders below. Please update these emails in blue by 12pm Thursday MMT.

      In these folders you will also find the Offline Learning Activity templates that will be converted to a PDF to be emailed out every Friday. If you need to update these offline learning activities, please do so by 12pm Thursday MMT.

        ES Assemblies

        We will have an assembly this Wednesday. This time it is the turn of Grade 4 students to share.

        Assemblies will follow a Story + Student Share + Game format every week. Thank you for signing you and your students up for these activities on this Assembly Sign Up Schedule. There are still a couple of game slots free if you have any ideas.

        From the Library

        Lindsey and Christian in the library would be very happy to help get books to you that you might want to read to your class or have your students read. These books can be scanned so they can be used online so let them know if you are looking for something.

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