What I learned from Nelson Mandela…

I vividly remember the day Nelson Mandela was set
free and the rejoicing throughout South Africa. I also vividly remember
participating with excitement in the first democratic elections and the sense
of awe and hope that filled the air as all South Africans queued side by side
to cast their vote for the first time.

Nelson Mandela has achieved so much with grace, humility, love and compassion.
He worked tirelessly and selflessly for the benefit of all. He embodied
tolerance and forgiveness. His humanity is a gift to us all.

His actions and words are an inspiration to millions of people including
myself. I will take consolation and inspiration from these words as I reflect
on my accomplishments and shortcomings for this year and look to the year ahead
and what I want to achieve.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never failing, but in rising
every time we fail.”

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life
that is less that the one you are capable of living.”

RIP Madiba


When students own the learning they are motivated…

Skills and attitudes demonstrating ownership of learning.

Skills and attitudes demonstrating ownership of learning.

“When can we do our mapping learning, Ms J?”
Various students have asked me this question since our mapping inquiry time on Friday and Monday. I love how excited many of them are.

During Monday’s mapping session, my students demonstrated ownership of learning throughout. They were totally engaged and noticed and named behaviours, skills and attitudes that relate to ownership of learning. I heard students saying things like, “We talked about it and now we’re back on track”; “I need to make that decision”; “I need to ask myself that question before going to ask Ms J”; ” We’re ready to move on to part 2 – we’ve thought about it and made a plan so we are ready.”

Some students worked independently and collaborated as needed. Others worked in groups and made an effort to compromised fairly when making decisions.

When we reflected using What Went Well? and What challenges did you face? Many groups responded that they faced no challenges on Monday – things went smoothly because they communicated and cooperated with each other.

I noticed how students used their strengths and knew who to go to for support with a skill they lacked or for feedback,etc. I noticed some students being mindful and reflective.

I can’t wait for our next mapping session on Friday either.