School must be a place where students feel stimulated and excited about learning new things, experimenting and taking risks that stretch their thinking, not shut down by folks who feel the need to control them and how they think.
These events this week have been the moments that helped me see that change is happening. The relationships are being built and folks are seeing the possibilities. I'm still working to stop saying things like, "when I was in the classroom..." and just listen to teachers and help them find what works for when they are in the classroom with our kids.
The more we offer students learning experiences that ask them to collaborate, consider multiple texts and genres of text and then provide them opportunity to think deeply about the learning, the more connected and meaningful their learning will be.
As education continues to shift, we need to evaluate the long held systems in place. Grading teachers doesn't make them more effective, constant conversations and snapshot observations will. We can only help improve educators if we take the time to get to know them. Admin, know your teachers. What are you waiting for?
Changes in leadership can create discomfort with staff, especially if the prior administrator handled things very differently. Your team needs time to get used to new leadership and expectations. As relationships are being developed, everything is being watched. Every exchange is an opportunity for reflection and growth to become a better leader and develop more connected relationships.
Since being in classrooms is really what will inform my ability to help teachers serve students, I know I have to get into them more in whatever capacity I can, especially beyond observations and walk-throughs, though I acknowledge this is a good start. How do I go about getting off the treadmill and onto the real learning part of leadership?
Going gradeless was an idea that would begin to address a more active involvement by the students in the learning. I shared my thoughts with the staff and the School Council but cautioned them that I would need to seek approval from the Board prior to it becoming a reality. Initial reactions by most was to wonder if I hadn't taken a few too many hits to the head in a previous career.
In a world that has more methods of communication than ever before it is important that we develop the necessary skills to effectively teach and model multiple forms of writing. By dedicating time to practice writing, we get better in the process.
Odd. Eccentric. Peculiar. Positive. Assertive. Open. If there have been characteristics that accurately describe me throughout my life, the above would be true, as well as a whole host of others. The simple fact, though, is that I always felt different from people around me. And although I may not have looked overtly different, my thoughts and behaviors despite my outward "normalness" diverged from the usual. It took me some time to get used to that, but once I did, I owned it. And the funny thing about knowing yourself really well, is that once you are true to yourself, ...
Knowing school law is essential when you're a school leader. This post is the introduction to my final school law paper about the evolving issues with social media and schools. Hopefully it will get you thinking about some of the inherent challenges. What has been your experience?