This September Grades 6 and 7 students at Myrtle Philip Community School worked together to choose a motto that would inspire them throughout the school year.
They were first encouraged to discuss different ideas with their parents and then came to school with several slogans that were shared during a class-wide brainstorm.
“The process of choosing was the hard part,” Neve Martin noted.
“Eventually, we chose something that suited us,” Kane Gascoigne added.
“If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you,” were the winning words.
Jeremy Demoe suggested that in sport, one is always pushing oneself to do more and more difficult manoeuvers, and when one falls down, they know that they are trying something new and making an effort to learn. Charlie McLatchie added that it’s the same with school, “When we come across something that is hard, if we are determined, we can learn from the experience.”
Once the motto was chosen, students worked in groups to create an artistic representation of the concept. They added a spaceship, which symbolized working towards something outside of the usual boundaries and wrote their goals on stars that were placed high on the classroom wall. Students wrote targets like asking one question a day, remembering to let others take the lead, staying positive when concepts get difficult and encouraging others in physical education class.
Students have been actively engaging with this motto through their learning. For example, during the solving of difficult math problems, some students have shown determination while others are able to encourage and guide.
Now three months into the school year, students are working well to collaborate in many of their projects like creating infomercials, which were presented, filmed and shared with their parents on Freshgrade (a relatively new platform with which teachers can share student work privately with parents).
When students recognize that an ability to cope with challenges is key to learning, they flourish. Students at Myrtle Philip thrive in a culture where they work together, encourage each other and have opportunity to be creative.
Shelley Ledingham is a teacher at Myrtle Philip Community School.