Administrator’s Corner: Foundations for learning success

Published 8:00 pm Friday, January 14, 2022

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Administrator’s Corner by Nicky Severtson

The new year rings in with excitement, not only for Sibley Elementary educators but for all of Albert Lea Area Schools educators. Second semester kicked off with Dr. Phil Warrick delivering professional development to support our journey of becoming a High Reliability School/District (HRS). Dr. Warrick is an author and global consultant in the areas of school leadership and effective teaching and learning practices that promote high levels of learning for all students.

Nicky Severtson

A couple years ago the HRS model was embraced by our Albert Lea Area Schools, and we became certified in level 1, valuing and providing a safe, supportive and collaborative culture. To continue that journey, despite all the challenges that educators have been faced with, Sibley teachers have continued to commit to a culture of continuous learning and a focus on doing what is best for our students- socially, emotionally and academically. We will continue to keep students’ social and emotional needs met while also focusing on the importance of effective teaching in every classroom, level 2 of HRS. 

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At Sibley, teachers have been working in collaborative teams planning, sharing instructional strategies, analyzing student data, and seeking ways to improve their instructional effectiveness to create an environment in which all students learn and can be successful. Teachers are enhancing their pedagogical skills through reflection and individual growth and development plans to ensure success and student engagement in their learning. There are many amazing teaching practices happening in our classrooms that help support our students to shine and grow in their learning. 

A new year always seems to be the time that we reflect on personal and/or professional growth and then set new goals for the coming year. At the beginning of the school year, Sibley staff and students were asked to think of a word that would help each of them achieve their goals, chase their passion and be their best self. Their word would be an inspiration, a daily reminder of where they are headed while empowering them to focus on what matters and bringing more of their word into their life. Research shows that the words and thoughts we speak and think have a direct impact on our motivation, sense of purpose and our physical and social well being. With the start of a new semester, those words and goals will be revisited, allowing us to recommit to our goals and an opportunity to revive the enthusiasm and energy as the new year and the next semester begins.

At Sibley school, we will continue to establish an environment of positivity that provides a safe and supportive culture for our students and staff. Building relationships are the foundations for learning success so our students feel comfortable, safe and secure so they are able to learn, grow and succeed emotionally, socially and academically.

Nicky Severtson is principal of Sibley Elementary School.