Plato's First Week

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February 7, 2015

Dear Diary,

Wow! I can’t believe my first week as the Owl In Residence (OIR) at Socrates Academy is complete. Now I know how tired my teachers must have felt because I am exhausted! I have so much to report about what is going on around school.

On Monday, Miss Priganc and I visited classrooms to meet some of the students. I have a lot of names to learn, but all of the children were very nice. I had my picture taken with a kindergarten student named Cora who was wearing a groundhog hat. Punxatawney Phil saw his shadow, so there may be 6 more weeks of winter, but the weather here in Charlotte is so beautiful, that is hard to believe.

On Tuesday, I stopped by Mrs. Brighton’s office to wish her a Happy Birthday. Mrs. Brighton is a really great Assistant Principal. She has a lot of important jobs to do around the school. She works with teachers to help them be their best in the classroom, makes sure everyone has the supplies they need to do their jobs well, and is also the testing coordinator. I’m not sure what a testing coordinator does, but it sounds like a humongous job and Mrs. Brighton has to stay very organized! I hope she had some time to rest and relax on her birthday.

I also checked in on Mrs. Protopapadakis’ 4th grade to see what they were studying in science. Get this, they were learning about bird beaks and feathers. I am so excited!!!!! I watched them testing different beak sizes and shapes to pick up “food” and they were checking on the water resistance of feathers. I am so glad they are learning about birds because maybe they will understand me better.

On Wednesday, Ms. MacCauley’s students taught me some non-fiction reading strategies. I learned how to make notes as I was reading and use the diagrams and captions to better understand text. Reading nonfiction is very different from all the picture books I read to my little brother, Aristotle. You really have to concentrate so you can understand the information.

Thursday was a REALLY exciting day. Opera Carolina came to perform Hansel and Gretel. It was so interesting to see the costumes and scenery and to listen to the beautiful music and singing. The witch was played by a man dressed up like a woman and he was so funny! The performers were very talented and I got to take a picture with them afterwards. Mrs. Aphrodite Davis and Mrs. Stephanie Haney did a great job of bringing this cultural activity to our school and they were able to do so with funding from the Mecklenburg Council for Arts and Sciences. What a great way to bring learning to the schools!

Just when I thought that the day could not get any better, North Carolina released the School Performance Grades after the State Board of Education meeting. I kept my feathers crossed until we were sure that Socrates Academy was named an A school! Everyone was so delighted and the Leadership Team showed me how to do “The Happy Dance!” I hope we get to do that a lot while I am here!

After everyone calmed down, Miss Priganc and I were reviewing my tasks for the next day when she received an email that Socrates Academy’s charter was renewed for 10 more years! Again…THE HAPPY DANCE!!!! I fell asleep as soon as I got back to my nest on Thursday night. It was a very exciting day!

I was hoping that Friday would be a restful day, but it was the 100th day of school so there was a lot of excitement in the lower elementary. Miss Priganc and Mrs. MacCauley dressed up like they were 100 year old women. They looked so funny with their nightgowns and curlers in their hair. You should have seen Miss Priganc’s wrinkles! I can tell that Socrates Academy is an electrifying school. There is always something wonderful happening in classrooms.

Next week, I am going to try to spend some more time in the middle school so I can share the great things happening in those classrooms. The middle school students work very hard and they take some difficult classes so I hope I can keep up!

I’m going to try to get some rest this afternoon before I go to the Charlotte Checkers game tonight. Socrates Academy is hosting family night, so it should be a lot of fun. I hope everyone is enjoying my tweets each day and that they are learning a lot about our school. I am so happy to have this internship and hope that Miss Priganc and the Leadership Team will think about keeping me on after my semester is over.

--Plato Koukouvaiya

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