Administrator's Monthly Update

Peggy Larson

A message from Peggy Larson
District Administrator

I hope you all had a chance to read Dana Wood’s article last week on the WCSD Facility/Enrollment Study. As Dana mentions in the article, phase I was a fact finding mission. The Board of Education is now processing and reviewing the information. As the Board begins to labor over the information and potentially make any decisions, I will most certainly keep you informed as to what will be on the Board of Education agenda prior to any decisions being made. As a reminder all of the studies presented at the community forum are on the district website.

I recently shared 10 tips to make your children’s learning more visible. I took the tips from the work of Ron Ritchhart. Hopefully these tips will help make you feel more part of what your child(ren) is/are learning at school.

Each month, I intend to go just a bit deeper into each of the tips. We are already are on Tip #4 of 10!

4. What Questions Did You Ask Today?
When Isidor I. Rabi won the Nobel Prize in physics, he was asked, ''Why did you become a scientist, rather than a doctor or lawyer or businessman, like the other smart kids in your neighborhood?''

He replied, ''My mother made me a scientist without ever intending it. Every other mother would ask her child after school: 'So, did you learn anything today?' But not my mother. She always asked me a different question. 'Izzy,' she would say, 'did you ask a good question today?' That difference--asking good questions--made me become a scientist!''

Our own questions drive us to learn.
Isidor Rabi wasn’t just any scientist. He was in the top one-percent. In addition to his Nobel Prize, his work contributed to the invention of radar, the atomic bomb, the laser and the atomic clock. His excellence stemmed from asking good questions.

He is not alone in understanding that success is driven by asking good questions. A person in any profession where results matter (is there any other kind?) needs to cultivate the habit of asking good questions. Doctors understand the need to ask questions - and listen carefully to the answers - before prescribing a successful treatment. Therapists know the value of asking good questions for successful counseling. Employers utilize the power of good questions to successfully determine the right job candidate to hire. Many business successes are driven by asking good questions – and often struggling to find the answers.

The right questions can help the child reflect on his or her learning and challenge them to think about his or her learning too.

Parents understand and/or have experienced the answer to the typical, “How was your day today” question. We often get grunt or “fine” as the response.

Ask when the time is right
Next time, before you asking questions of your child(ren) consider these cautions:

  • Don’t overwhelm them with too many questions right off the bat. Let your child(ren) unwind from school. Give them some time.
  • Chat with them casually first. Pause if they don’t seem to be engaging. If your child(ren) aren’t ready to talk ask again later.
Then, instead of the “How was your day?” try these specific questions:

  • What was the most interesting thing you learned at school today?
  • Is there something you would have liked to do differently today?
  • What was the one most interesting thing one of your teachers said today?
  • What did you notice today that likely other people did not notice?
  • Who did you sit by at lunch?
  • I need a laugh. Tell me something funny that happened today.
  • Did anyone have anything fun or interesting to talk about today?
  • Did your teacher give you any compliments today?
  • What was the best thing your geometry teacher asked you to do today?
  • How would you rate your day on a scale of 1 to 10? Why?
Remember, to use this tip effectively. Nobody likes to be grilled with a series of question. But like Isidor Rabi’s mother, with a little practice and the right questions, we could ignite a lifetime of curiosity and learning.

Happy Holidays! All the best to you, your family, and your friends. As always, if you ever have questions regarding the District, please feel free to reach out to me - 920 582-5802 ext. 3141 or larsonm@w-csd.org.

Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2018 West Corporation. All rights reserved.