August 2010 Archives

The social media phenomenon continues to bring interactivity to the mainstream and lead more and more people into a connected world. A clear example of this is the Emmy Awards where NBS is rolling out social media on the red carpet: Official Twitter Stream: Follow all the news as it comes through on the Emmy's Official Twitter page Tweet About Presenter to Jimmy Fallon: "Tweet something about the presenter and Jimmy may use your tweet as part of his introduction for those presenters during the show" Backstage Ustream: 8 Camera webcast of various events backstage taking place live Red Carpet ...


The 2010-2011 school year is upon us, and with it comes many new teachers who are excited to enlighten the minds of students who will sit before them for the next 10 months. This is also a time where administrators may wonder how successful the teachers will be and if they are going to meet the challenges of becoming an effective expert teacher. Regardless of the time spent interviewing them on several levels, evaluating their demo lessons, and talking to their former colleagues, the question remains: Who are the teachers that are really going to shine? Potter Stewart, a U.S....


School leaders often complain about being judged by their standardized test scores. This is a fair complaint since these scores don't tell the whole picture. But instead of creating their own scorecard for their school, these leaders simply complain. Stop complaining and start keeping score. What percentage of your district's students attend and complete four year colleges? What percentage of your students feel safe at your school? Do you have a parent satisfaction rating? If not, survey them. What percent of your students are reading at grade level, based on multiple measures? And that critical thinking common assessment that your ...


It has been a while since my last contribution. If that sounds to some like the opening line of confession.... perhaps it is. I confess. I was a party to denying our kids. We received our test scores from the California Standards Test a few weeks ago and we danced for a while because we knew our students had done so well. Sky-high. Record results. We now have an Academic Performance Index of 835 which represents a growth of 320 points over the past ten years. And in California, edging above 800 is the name of the testing game. So ...


When a colleague, Daryll Powell, and I conduct workshops for teacher leaders and school principals, we frequently ask participants, "Why did you go into teaching?" This question led to many serious discussions on the values, goals, and aspirations on their decision to go into teaching. (To be fair, we also ask a second question to school executives, but that is another post). Now, I admit there is another motive at work here. I hope that as all teachers, teacher assistants, bus drivers, school secretaries, assistant principals, principals, and central office employees get the chance to take a moment during this ...


Condense it, consolidate it, and give us principals only what we need...the concepts. Expand it, expound on it, and give the teachers what they need...the training. I am writing this article sitting in AVID training in beautiful San Diego on Thursday, the fourth (and not final) day of the training, during the first week of August. I honestly could have left after Tuesday. I learned the concepts I need to know to recognize effective AVID teaching in my building, and I have received more than enough written material to keep me well informed during the year. And I ...


The discussion about web filtering in schools has been going on for quite some time. These powerful conversations have pushed thinking and ignited important dialogue as we consider the level and depth of filtering required and/or necessary to meet the learning needs of our students.  This week, I received a letter from a young educator that has fueled new questions and concerns with this issue. I hope sharing it with you, will lead me to a better response and understanding of what I fear is a growing trend - Filtering Our Teachers. She writes: Dear Angela, Today commenced my 2010-2011...


In my last post on my blog I was pondering the opening day that will soon arrive and what it will look like. George Corous posted his thoughts about the first day with teachers and the importance of giving them time. In my response to George, I mentioned that time is precious, like water in the desert. Teacher first, administrator second My administrative career has spanned 9 years in 7 different schools where I've been required to teach as well as be an administrator. My first principal position was one where I was principal of two schools - blocks apart ...


It was last year around this time that I talked about the start of meeting season. This was my call for all leaders to engage in a little activity to determine whether we are meeting because its a ritual, a long lasting tradition of the hierarchy of schools or whether we are meeting to enhance the learning community. Unfortunately, the culture of any organization can be too strong to shift such a legacy concept like the dreaded meeting season. So, I have two challenges for the start of this year as we continue to shift our precious time together to ...


For five years I have been espousing the importance of embedding the use of technology, and more importantly, 21st century skills into my teachers' lesson planning and instruction. I have incorporated the use of such web 2.0 tools as blogs, wikis, digital storytelling, and Google Docs into my own professional practices, and I have modeled these tools for teachers. Additionally, I have provided teachers with inservice opportunities, books, articles, and websites in order to educate them on how to move their teaching practices into the new century (although it's not so new anymore). I have been working with teachers ...


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