Please welcome Ms. Tori Portman - another fantastic new teacher joining Via Vita this fall! We are eager to get the year started with this enthusiastic, kind, and talented team player. Enjoy getting to know Tori with her recent blog post as she prepares for her first year, of many, with us at VVA!
Hi everyone! My name is Tori Portman, and I’m one of the new teachers joining the Via Vita Academy family! In my many years of adulting, and trying to stay a life long learner, it has come to my attention to pass on my recently acquired knowledge:
We are all continuous works in progress.
Isn’t that amazing? How has it taken me so long to realize this and yet we teach our students constantly to persevere, and know that another day, another year, or another change is right around the corner? So I think if there is any advice I could not only pass on to my fellow students or staff, but to myself, it is that we all deserve a chance to take a breath when it comes to growth.
I have always struggled with not being “immediately” perfect at a skill, or lesson, which has run over into my teaching ability as well. Why didn’t that lesson go perfectly? Is it obviously my fault? Why couldn’t I get it on the first try? Realistically, when do we ever get something the first try? Those odd opportunities when we have already mastered a skill, or find out we’ve been lucky to figure it out right away, but these are unrealistic expectations to meet on a daily basis.
So for this year, I have reminded myself to breathe, reflect, and realizing I am still building up the teacher I hope to be one day.
And that’s ok! Really!
I tell my students constantly that one day does not define their abilities. So why should we put the pressure on ourselves as adults, as educators, as parents to think the same rule does not apply? We are constantly rearranging the building blocks of our life and I hope take time for myself to do the same this year. This school seems to provide it’s staff and students exactly that space. Lesson didn’t go well? Try again tomorrow! Try it differently! Have someone there to tell you it’ll be ok and provide you with whatever support you need in that instance. What more could you look for when trying to find your “forever home” as an educator. Already from my few weeks of working at Via Vita, I can see the relationships and constant building up that staff and students focus on rather than breaking people down and reminding them of the faults they are usually self-aware of from the start. I can not contain my excitement at the success not only my students find, but that I hope to find within myself. Self-positivity is something I constantly preach in my teaching values, but not always something I practice actively. If I had primary goal for this year, it would be that. Someone remind me I said such coherent ideas when it’s December and I’m looking for somewhere to hibernate and de-frazzle my brain.
As a teacher I am ready to promote this theory. As a fellow learner with my students I am looking forward to practice building myself up every day.
Look out 2018-2019 school year, Tori Portman is coming atcha!
*insert power pose with ultimately clumsy results here*
A Work in Progress
Please welcome our Grey Fox Class with today's Blog Post in honour of 'Random Acts of Kindness Day', which is coming up on February 17th! Our Grey Foxes are in grade 3 and 4 and wrote this together with the help of their teacher, Ms. Zoe. Way to go, Foxes! What do you think - can you help add to their list?
February is a time to celebrate love, friendship, and family. It is a time to give thanks for the wonderful people in our lives, and to think about how we might share love with others. With ‘National Random Acts of Kindness Day’ soon approaching on February 17th, the Grey Fox class has been looking into ways to spread kindness all around. After all, kindness is infectious! Let the kindness challenge begin! Here is the list that we came up with; let’s see how many of these you can practice this month!
-Offer to help someone
-Hold the door for someone
-Listen to others
-Show respect for others
-Practice GRATITUDE! (give thanks for the people in your life and show your appreciation)
- If someone drops their things, help them to pick them up!
-Help to cheer someone up if they are sad
-Hugs!! (with permission)
-Buying a meal for a stranger
-Babysitting for adults so they can have a night out
-Offering to take a photo for someone
-Giving to charity
-Manners…”Please” and “Thank-you”
-Cleaning up the house (before being asked!)
-Helping a sibling with something
-Helping to cook dinner
-Giving someone a bus ticket or paying their bus fare
-“Comfortation” (term coined by the Grey Foxes that’s means: to have a comforting conversation or moment with someone) :)
Can YOU think of any others?
Please welcome a post from our oldest student, Charlotte Jones. She came to us at the start of grade nine looking for something different, not sure what she had gotten herself into here at Via Vita. It didn't take long for Char to become everyone's big sister. Winning this year's student-choice award for kindness and strong moral character, Char is a true role model for all of our students. She sent us a little note to post on the blog that we hope you'll enjoy reading. A true leader and inspiration for all of our students. We enjoyed every minute of being your teachers, Char. Have a wonderful summer!
My name is Charlotte. I am a grade nine student that loves Via Vita.
Next year, I will be in grade 10.
I don't want to go to public school because you don't form the same relationship that you do with the teachers at Via Vita. They make sure you are caught up and that you understand everything you're doing. I have had more laughs than ever this year. I have developed so many memories and made so many long term friends coming to Via Vita. It makes for an unforgettable childhood. I wouldn't change or trade my grade nine school year for anything.
I have never not wanted to leave school at the end of the year. I love my second family.
Something I will never forget is being called up onto the stage because I won the student choice award and bursting into tears because I realized I was around so many people that I love and so many people that love me.
I never knew what it was like to have a big family. I do now.
(From Left to Right: Helen, Charlotte)
Helen and I, with the help of our classmates, created a list of interesting stuff you might want to know about Via Vita Academy!
1. We are a big family.
2. There are 11 different grades but it feels like one.
3. We learn off of each other.
4. We cook and do physical activity everyday.
5. We have performances and cook for the families at the end of every term.
6. Grade 7 and up get to walk to Tim's or Avery's at lunch.
7. We get a lot of one-on-one learning.
8. We call our teachers by their first names.
9. We laugh a lot.
10. At Via Vita it feels like you leave your home in the morning and to another home.
Welcome to Our Blog
Each post is written by a supportive member of Via Vita Academy, be it a teacher, parent, student, community member, who is invested in the topic of education. Take a read and comment below!