Update: Here is a link to a story written by the students who participated in our first competency “strength building”activity. https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/ogmuCdtvPEyjKAsw1GivdA
We all know people whom we consider as being competent. When I have had encountered a problem that needs to be solved, and it feels beyond my own level of competency to resolve (which happens often according to my wife!), I have usually tried to seek out the most capable person that I can that can help me find an action plan to address the concern. In my years as a school Principal, when I would need help from the school board office with a specific issue or concern, I would usually find the most competent person I could to help resolve the issue, regardless of their job responsibilities or job title. This person is often referred to as the “go to” person within an organization because they are determined to be competent.
Being competent is more than just about job skills. Although skills are often an important part of the mix of attaining competency, limiting our understanding of competency to this word implies a narrow understanding of what the word really means. When I asked our students what it means to be competent, we came up with the simple definition that it means “to be good at something”. Moving from being competent to achieveng competency means that you are good at a number of things but that you can put the whole package together to be seen as “good” or “competent” in a more holistic way.
Becoming competent in preparation for life is the intention of the Core Competencies as presented by the BC Ministry of Education in the renewed curriculum which takes effect this fall. The use of competency in the curriculum is not intended to be narrowly defined as skills, although skills are often part of the definition. More than job skills, competencies comprise the DO part of the KNOW-DO-UNDERSTAND curriculum model and are the most practical outcome of secondary education. The Core and Curricular Competencies are at the centre of the renewed curriculum and have been given equal status with subject matter content as learning standards.
At MLIAS, we intend to become a competency-driven school and will be implementing these competencies as teachers design instruction for our students. To do this, we are using this target wheel developed by the Society of Christian Schools in B.C. which we were able to have translated into Chinese and painted on one of our walls so we can refer to this often when talking to our students.We have also created posters with the question, “What is your learning target?”, and each month we will have a theme built around built around one of the specific targets listed on the poster. Students will gather evidence toward each of the targetsfrom these and other experiences and track it during their years at our school on My Blueprint. When they leave our school they will not only have a high school graduation certificate, they will have an understanding of what it really means to attain competency so that they can better meet the challenges of post-secondary education and the ups and downs of life.
Learn 4 Forever will keep track of our progress in this and share stories about how we are trying to accomplish this task. Our first theme day is this Friday where we will be targeting the “Building Relationships” target from the Social Responsibility competency area. Students will be asked to track the ways in which they are able to build relationships with other students and the adults in the building. They will do some self reflection on what they are good at and where they need to improve to attain competency in this area.
We look forward to our students becoming more and more competent in preparation for success at school and in life!