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WVP teachers, students 'unhitched from the post'

Monday, October 1, 2018

Principal Shaw taped to wall

BCSD photo

Students at Westview Primary used duct tape and stuck new principal Aidra Shaw to the wall last week.

While it may have looked like a glorious moment of student mischief, it was actually a creative approach to supporting 21st century educational practices at the school. Students were challenged to design the best method for getting their principal to stick. They were encouraged to think creatively.

Educators at WVP are also being challenged to get creative and take risks. Shaw and her team decided having students stick her to the wall would be an excellent way of promoting the culture while also connecting with the community.

The problem-solving activity disguised as mischief was one of several for students and parents at the WVP fundraising event on Thursday, September 27. Money raised will be used to further pursue that creative approach, bringing gadgets, robots and modern supplies into classroom spaces.

After the event, the school had raised about 25 percent of its goal, which also aims to establish a dedicated “maker space” on the campus.

“Our goal right now is to work on using the STEAM mindset in the classroom,” Mrs. Shaw said. “It would be nice to have a space to get messy but not interrupt regular instruction.”

It’s a two-year project, but Shaw believes things could come together sooner. Her teachers are embracing the Four Cs (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, creativity) of 21st century learning, and the community has shown it’s also supportive of the mindset.

More than 200 families attended the event last week that also included art stations and games. Best of all, Shaw said it was an engaged group of parents.

“Our parents wanted to help,” she said.

As far as the teachers, Shaw said they’ve been “all in.”

“We’ve seen it in the classroom. Our teachers are taking risks and trying things. We’re jumping forward. We are excited to do things in a way that will prepare kids for the future while also having fun. …Like Dr. Ingram says, I have unhitched everyone from the post.”

Brian Troutman