We are celebrating Education Week and recognizing Mental Health Week in HWDSB. This week gives us the opportunity to reflect upon what is most important as we provide engaging learning opportunities for our students.
There is so much to celebrate in HWDSB. I visit schools regularly, and I see many examples of our students learning and thriving in classrooms with caring staff who know our students and respond to our students effectively. I experience students working collaboratively with one another, reaching new heights, thinking deeply about new ideas, being creative and inventive, and really learning. Students tell me what they love about school. They tell me about their teachers who care about them. They tell me about their friends who they look forward to seeing each day. They get excited when they succeed at new learning tasks. They are proud to share their work, and they are very willing to communicate what they want to learn and why.
We have been focusing on student voice in HWDSB. “Student Voice” is sometimes an overused term and I worry that it may not change the way we support our students unless we really respond to what our students are telling us. We are changing the learning environments in HWDSB so that students own their learning supported by technology. We are calling this direction “Transforming Learning Everywhere“. This direction will honour our students, their interests and learning styles, respect their talents, and provide appropriate supports in environments that are exciting and engaging, making our students want to come to school every day! If you walk into HWDSB classrooms you will experience this passion, and this energy, something that we celebrate this year in Education Week!!
We are also recognizing Mental Health Week. I believe a quote from the Mental Health Association website says it best . “We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Mental Health is more than the absence of mental illness. It is a state of well-being”. We are committed to improving student achievement and well-being in HWDSB and our work in mental health is a major component of this commitment. We work closely with our families and our community partners to enhance our students’ self-esteem, to build resilience, and to ensure that our learning environments are characterized by positive relationships that provide a rich foundation for our students’ well-being.
Celebrating Educating Week provides us with an important opportunity to celebrate our students and our staff and our families and communities with whom we partner. Recognizing Mental Health Week reminds us that we all have a part to play in supporting the well-being of our children. Together we are making a difference for our children!!!