INVOKING CHANGE at MES
– Article by Mrs. Michelle Wiebe in Learning Matters, a plublication of the HSD Superintendents Office (click here for more)
Before you even enter our school, you’ll likely notice the abundance of trees adorning our schoolyard. You’ll walk past thriving planter boxes lining the pathway which leads into our building. Once inside you’ll be met with the happy buzz of staff and students experiencing another great day of learning together. Growth and learning – that’s what we’re about. However, prior to last June, if you happened to be in our hallways at the buzzer sound, you’d also encounter the disconnect between this hospitable learning environment, and its bossy and intimidating bell system.
Bossy and intimidating? That’s not what we’re about. None of this disconnect was lost on a class of Grade 1 students at our school. After considering what images of the assertive buzzer came to mind, they went to work, limitlessly imagining what a new buzzer could sound like. Why not imagine purring kittens? The ice-cream truck? The sound of violins or wind in the trees? The class loved their ideas so much that they took it upon themselves to write a letter to the HSD Superintendent, Randy Dueck, giving voice to their feelings about the intrusive buzzer system, but also sharing their great suggestions. You can only imagine their sense of pride and accomplishment when in mid June our buzzer sound changed to a kind and invitational tone, instead of one that angrily demanded us to move along.
“It was a valuable opportunity for some of our youngest learners as they experienced their collective potential to affect a positive change.”
Later in June Mr. Dueck visited the class to thank them for their letter, and to affirm to them the power and agency of their words, to invoke a meaningful change for themselves and others. It was a valuable opportunity for some of our youngest learners as they experienced their collective potential to affect a positive change. Today if you visit our school, everything about your visit, from our beautiful community, schoolyard, friendly staff, happy students, and even our buzzer system will tell you that Mitchell Elementary School is indeed, a great place to grow.
Michelle Wiebe, Grade 1 Teacher Mitchell Elementary School