May 8, 2018
In honor of staff appreciation week, we’re posting school-specific electronic bulletin boards where we encourage all the members of our community: students, parents and guardians, administrators and fellow staff members to drop a note of appreciation to any of our dedicated staff members in the Portsmouth School Department.
The links below lead to each bulletin board. They are also posted on our district and school websites. To add a note to any of the pages, simply click the plus (+) sign in the lower right corner of the page.
Anyone who works in a school knows a single school day is a wonder and each comes with a healthy portion of strange twists and changes to the plan. String one hundred and eighty or so of these days together and you get a evolving story arc full of plot, subplots and a whole lot of character development.
As with most professions, educators start each day with a schedule and a draft script for the day. No school day ever goes as planned. Our “clients”can be unpredictable in many ways; whether it’s taking a discussion in a unexpected direction, surprising us with their knowledge or a unique insight, or coming in off the bus with a personal storm cloud over their head, the kids always manage to make education interesting and we love them for it.
The best educators have to be resourceful and adaptive to productively address the ever-changing needs of our learners. The best educators relish the fact that their job is dynamic. In Portsmouth Schools, we’re fortunate to have a bounty of these highly-adaptive staff members who bend and never break to support our students. They come in many roles: from teacher, to custodian to paraprofessional, and many more. Their draft script for the day is likely filled with a well-mapped word study plan, a high-level algebraic problem solving exercise or a class debate on recent federal legislation and those make-up the formal teaching and learning for the day. What never gets written down is the informal teaching and learning woven throughout each school day: coaching a child through an uneasy social situation, connecting kinetic vs. potential energy to a student’s interests, or scouring the playground for a missing Pokemon card on a desperate child’s behalf. While all of the educators in our system have clear job descriptions on paper, in practice their roles and responsibilities extend far beyond anything that could be described through a bulleted list.
We’re grateful to have a staff who are so engaged in the difficult work of doing whatever it takes to support Portsmouth students and facilitate their growth.
Steve and George