If indeed New York City does change the way students are admitted to elite schools, they are playing a zero sum game and the kids at the non-elite schools will continue to receive an inferior education. Perhaps someday they can follow my plan as they see innovative smaller districts roll it out. In the meantime, they will no doubt continue with their own version of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.
My one thing is to make sure that I get into at least one class a week, to model and participate in the learning that I hope and expect throughout our department. Students must be engaged. Teachers must be providing constant feedback and gathering data about what students are learning and adjusting along the way.
After I do my reflection, I always make sure to make an action plan. It's not enough to think about how things went or question, I have to try to change what I am doing. This takes a deliberate effort and finding the right strategies to grow. Reflection is a huge part of my educational diet and it has made me a better person, mother and educator.
Implicit bias will always exist but when we shed light on it and take actions to lessen the impact of it, then we can be more honest about the learning and growing we do together. No one is perfect and therefore we have to mind our own and each other's gaps.
Guest blogger Greg Fredricks shares his experience moving from teacher to leader in the Arlington Central School system. Read as he shares how relationships are at the heart of what is important in his new role.
Honestly, while I was reading and then subsequently doing the activity to figure out what I wanted to commit to, I struggle mightily with selecting one thing that I really wanted to work on. In many ways, my ego got in the way of my ability to really drill down, but as I started to think about what stung the most from last year's experiences, it was my own inability to get past insecurities and trust myself the way that I do in the classroom. Ultimately, this lack of confidence made difficult conversations one of the weak points in my ...
Guest blogger Tara Brown says, "Helping kids feel seen, heard and validated sends a clear message that kids are more important than content. Every emotional deposit, every positive connection from adults in the building increases a child's sense of well being and desire to be a part of the process. School staff who lead with their hearts have a strong commitment to making sure that every person's day is better because they interacted with me."
Each year we must consider what we have worked on and make a decision on a new focus that builds on what came before. This year, my #oneword is commitment; what's yours?
As we build more authentic learning environments, we must all seek to be compassionate toward those we work with. A warm smile and a positive attitude go a long way and it is our duty during the school day to ensure that all people feel safe and have what they need to be successful.
Last year I worried about every decision I made, reaching out to someone before I decisively made any movement - at least at the beginning. This year, I am clear on what we are doing and I'm sending a focused message to all I speak with and I look forward to our first department meeting where we can start to zero in on the work.