We do not need our leaders to be our best users of technology, but they should know enough to safely use some of it and enthusiastically encourage and lead their teachers to use much of it.
Positive feedback and good relationships are foundations for good morale and motivating growth while negative feedback and charged relationships are dangerous contributors to low morale and little or no growth.
While schools are spending time and money on physically securing the building, attention to maintaining processes regarding student emotional safety must be paid as well. We need partnerships that will help all students by enriching our schools with a different kind of safety.
Perhaps a resolution to restore and reignite hopefulness is timely. It might change our attitude and our interactions.
Our most important job right now is to manage the raising of standards and educational rigor while protecting the space and attention given to the social emotional aspects of learning.
It seems counter intuitive that we are being called upon to develop youngsters who are innovators when we appear to be unable to innovate beyond the classroom. How can we develop innovators when we, ourselves, are not?
What can we do now that we are in the middle of this shift in standards and accountability? We should do what our reformers failed to do. The first step (although we are in the middle) is to create a community with a vision that is led by our knowledge and questions about how to best prepare our graduates.
If collaborative work environments have grown businesses into 21st century successes, why shouldn't schools truly operate on those principles?
A commitment to zero tolerance for failure might better serve students and teachers alike. This may be the perfect time to redefine what zero tolerance means in our schools.
Let's not forget the tremendous value of good classroom assessments; the ones that inform instruction, reinforce learning, and communicate information. Let's brave the assessment storm by building a value for good assessment in schools.