As many of you may remember, last spring, our lower school faculty members were privileged to work with Dr. Milt Uecker, an instructional consultant and coach. This was brought on by our desire to continue to improve and establish a strong foundation for mathematics. Teachers were provided with in-service opportunities, demonstration lessons, teacher observation and curriculum alignment across the grades. Dr. Uecker has been brought on staff for the 2018-2019 school year, and we thought we would let him introduce himself and his new role with you in this week's blog!
It was my privilege to serve WCCS last year, and I am thrilled to come on board part time in a school that is committed to providing classrooms where 21st century knowledge and skills are not just talked about but are becoming a reality! The lower school's desire is to take an already exceptional group of teachers and enable them to continue to grow professionally.
The children may have talked about someone’s “grandfather” teaching them math. That is because I am beginning my 50th year in Christian Schools. During that time I taught in all of the elementary grades, was administrator of a Pre-K through fourth grade elementary school, served as program director for early childhood at Regent University and finally as the Dean of the College of Education and the Graduate School at Columbia International University. My doctorate is in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in early childhood from the University of Virginia. My wife Linda and I have three sons and nine grandchildren. Two of our sons, along with their families, live in Indian Trail, NC and the third is in Waco, Texas.
What exactly does an instructional coach do?
According to the PA Institute for Instructional Coaching, an instructional coach is “ someone whose chief professional responsibility is to bring evidence-based practices into classrooms by working with teachers and other school leaders… instructional coaching involves two people: the classroom teacher and the coach. Coaches work one-on-one and in small groups with teachers, providing guidance, training, and other resources as needed. Together, they focus on practical strategies for engaging students and improving their learning.” (Retrieved on August 18, 2018 from http://piic.pacoaching.org/index.php/piic-coaching/what-is-an-instructional-coach).
As instructional coach my goal is to:
Shift the role of the teacher from telling to asking as a means of facilitating thinking within the classroom
Develops strategies that promote active engagement as opposed to passivity on the part of students
Promote understanding as opposed to memorization and simple recall of information
See that students have a positive attitude toward school and their role as a learner
Continue to develop math teachers that are confident, effective and enthusiastic when teaching math
Assist in providing a successful transition to a newly updated science curriculum
Assure that all students, as image bearers of God, have a greater opportunity to reach their fullest potential as they prepare to serve God and glorify Him.
I look forward to meeting you and interacting with you throughout the year as we together strive to bring up and “educate your students to bless our world as disciples of Jesus Christ.”
We are excited to introduce to our WCCS families several new faces for the 2018-2019 school year! We can't wait to see how God uses these individuals to point our students to Christ!
Click on each of the banners below and get to know a little more about our new Kingdom educators.
Your new Chaplain, Jake Tassy, here. I’d like to introduce myself to all you WCCS friends, families, and students and let you know why I’m so excited to be here!
First of all, let me tell you a little bit about me and my family (because we’re a packaged deal)!
I am a follower of Jesus. I love to talk about God’s Word. I enjoy family. I married up (for sure) to the new WCCS high school administrative assistant, Katie Tassy. We’ve been put in the same office space so we can tag team when needed. We have enjoyed 25 years of marriage and are still going strong with Jesus’ help. 17 of those years we lived in Charlotte. The last 8 we lived in Ecuador and then Kansas City, Kansas. We have three children all born in Charlotte. Stephen just graduated from NC State, Jenna is currently at John Brown University in Arkansas, and Micah will be a Sophomore here at WCCS! Together, we have been involved in Education, Family, and Youth Ministry for over 30 years. Katie and I have loved all of the stages of our family growth. That’s probably why we love working with families.
"I believe God has called our family here..."
I believe God has called our family here, and I’d love to share a little bit of our journey in answering this call with my new WCCS friends and families. You might even be wondering what a Chaplain’s role is in a school environment, so I’ll share my thoughts on that as well!
When considering whether or not this position was for me, I came across this quote, “The chaplain role is a crucial one in terms of setting and overseeing the spiritual tone within the school. The chaplain is responsible for actively engaging students and staff in developing the Christian/Spiritual culture of the school.”
Now, when I read that, I said to myself… “Self, can you really do that?” And then I went, “Ah, Nope! Not without the Holy Spirit’s help.” To tell you the truth, when I took in the job description from Scott Dillon, my wife, Katie, and I reviewed it, and I told him “No” at first.
My initial “No” had nothing to do with the job description. It was more about all the realistic parts that came with this kind of position. Realities mixed in with perceptions can simply be messy in a school community. Teachers, families, and students each have their own ideas about the responsibilities of a school chaplain.
But, after some heavy persistence, pursuit, and prayer, Katie and I began to see God’s hand was indeed moving our family to WCCS. We love education both inside and outside the school walls. My degree is Elementary Education, and I have learned a lot through many environments. We love the “Ah-Ha” (good, bad, and ugly) moments when Jesus does His things in and through students and their families, and I’m excited to experience A LOT of those moments at WCCS.
I am an exhorter and a bridge builder. There is already a solid team here, and from what I know so far, a community that likes being with each other. I plan on being a listener and a learner this first year, especially.
Here are a few things I am hoping you will get from the guy who is now your WCCS Chaplain.
Spiritual support of both staff and families
Chapel development on both campuses
Making of connections with local youth and family pastors for additional support
Developing of students into disciples throughout grades
Presentations of the gospel that are never boring or dry
Lastly, I love to help make the “climate and atmosphere” of any environment simply be joyful. Honestly, I’m not sure all God has for me in this Chaplain seat for the WCCS community. What I do know is that when students grab hold of the Gospel, it affects everything. I’m living testimony of this. God is never surprised by anything and DOES do impossible things.
Pray for our family as we join in here. We count it a great privilege and task to help bring Biblical grace & truth, which will motivate us all to love and good deeds. There is no greater thing to live for today, and to see our children walking in the truth. So let’s go be and make some disciples! I can’t wait to meet you all.