Recently Mr. Smith transferred from grade 4 to our newly vacated physical education position. Naturally this has created some anxiety for parents since they were excited for their child to be in Mr. Smith’s classroom. Over the last few weeks I have interviewed many applicants to make sure I find an excellent replacement teacher. I am happy to report the outstanding hire we have made in bringing Megan Salvucci to our school.
Last year Ms Salvucci was the Student Owned Strategies (SOS) teacher at John Glenn Middle School for grade 6. Those who have worked with Ms. Salvucci describe her as a “great teacher” and a “very positive and energetic person.” Although the Middle School is disappointed to lose her, they understand her desire to be an upper elementary classroom teacher.
I asked Ms Salvucci a few questions to help you get her to know her better.
Why are you excited to come to Lane School?
“I am overjoyed to be joining the Lane School community. I have been fortunate enough to have spent the last two years working at John Glenn Middle School. From the beginning of my time there it became very apparent to me what a truly remarkable community Bedford is. It is an absolute honor to teach in a district where the best interests of the students are undoubtedly put first.
Teaching is my passion and I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. Lane school is a warm environment comprised of enthusiastic students, staff, and parents and I cannot wait to join this group. As a new teacher to the school I want to foster the academic growth of my students in unique and exciting ways right from the start. Equally important to me as promoting academic growth, is developing good character in my students.
I believe my personal philosophies coincide with those of the School. I can say with certainty that Lane School is the perfect fit for me.”
What are your main goals for your grade 4 students?
I am eager to create a classroom climate that fosters individuality, trust, and respect. I want my students to feel comfortable sharing their feelings, thoughts, and questions not only with me but with their peers as well. I will work hard to build a sense of community among my students and highlight the importance of collaboration and teamwork. It is essential that each student know just how much he or she is truly appreciated. It is my goal that each of my students be aware of his/her important role in our classroom.
I will teach lessons that are engaging, educational, and fun. I want to inspire a love of learning in each of my students and plan to do so by keeping lessons fresh, entertaining, and compelling. I want them to understand the purpose of their learning and the notion that it is a never ending process. It is my hope that each student leave my classroom with a multitude of knowledge, educational strategies, and organizational habits that can be implemented throughout their academic careers.
What is one thing Bedford parents and students would be surprised to learn about you?
Each year I think it is important to survey our parents to find out “How We Are Doing?” at Lane. All of the input from parents helps us to find ways to improve. Here a few highlights from the survey (the entire results can be found here):
Increase in parents stating their requests are handled well by office staff
Increase in parents stating that there is adequate supervision during arrival and dismissal times
Increase in parents stating there child feels secure on the bus (however- the number of 61% needs to be improved)
For me, the most important indicator is the final question,
“The overall performance of Lane School is. . . “
The results have been very similar for both years. My goal is to reach 95% for combined “excellent” and “good.”
Bullying remains a hot topic in the news with incidents being reported daily. Its important for everyone to realize that this is more than a school issue. We can develop plans for dealing with bullying, but in the end we also need help from parents and the community.
Stan Davis, a bully prevention expert from Maine, gives some valuable guidance to parents:
How can I talk with my child if he or she bullies someone else?
Help your child tell you exactly what he or she did, without excuses or blaming others. Remember that even if the other student involved did something, your child made a choice to do what he did. Encourage her to
talk about how that behavior affected the other person. Help him find the goal he was trying to reach through hurting the other person- Did he want attention? Power? Fun? To be left alone? And help her find other ways to reach that goal without hurting others. If your child has been punished at school, it will probably not be necessary to punish again at home (unless the behavior was severe). Encourage your child to behave better next time.
How can I support my child if he or she is bullied at school?
Avoid blaming your child for what others have done to him or her. Think twice before giving advice- your child may have already tried the strategies you are going to suggest. Get as much information as you can. Talk
with your child’s teacher, principal, or counselor and ask them to help your child be safe. Their
intervention may include consequences for the student who bullies, increased supervision, and
helping your child make more friends if he or she is isolated. Ask your child what she has already tried to resolve the problem. Praise her for all the things she has tried. Give him permission to stop doing the things that haven’t worked to stop the bullying. Encourage him to keep telling you and other adults. Help him to think about what has worked- or what might work. If your child is isolated, help her make connections through activities, hobbies, or clubs. Help your child to heal through art, hobbies, positive relationships at school and away from school, and through helping your child see the cruel behavior as a choice made by those who bullied him or her, rather than as something he or she caused.
Below are the results for our Lane Parent Survey. I think of it as a “State of the Union” update for how we are doing. Feedback (good or bad) is helpful as we try and make sure we are excellent in all areas. One of the noticeable areas where we need to do some work is bus safety. Too many students don’t feel 100% safe riding the bus. This will be addressed immediately. But overall I was pleased with the results. 95% of the parents rated “the overall performance of Lane School” either “excellent” or “good.” We’ll shoot for 100% as we move forward.