As we continue to acknowledge the nuance of learning and adjust expectations accordingly, student engagement and ownership over their own learning will improve. It's time to de-emphasize testing as a means of accountability and start working with the community to build relationships that apply the skills being learned and also better our surroundings.
Since we must evaluate teachers in New York, why not make that process valuable to everyone involved for the benefit of the students?
What happens when a school community decides it is time to emphasize learning over grades? Magic! Students are capable of so much more than we know; we must trust, release control and provide lots of feedback to support and empower our learners of all ages.
All learning experiences should be meaningful ones, even the reviews. How do you get students to review or recycle taught skills and content?
Feedback is a powerful tool and positive, sincere, specific feedback is a great way for them to know I see what they are doing and I appreciate it. Although I will always feel like I spend too much time in my office and think fondly of my experiences in the classroom, I look forward to the time I spend with the teachers and our kids and can't wait to get my first invitation to lead a lesson. I mean, I can't expect my teachers to take big risks, if I'm not willing to do what I ask.
When we exhibit the behaviors we'd like to see, the more likely they will become a part of the culture. So I aim high, ask for help and fear not the scrapes that inevitably happen. They go away, but the experience informs future leaps.
Since I can only learn as fast as I can, the more meaningfully I dive into the work, the better I will be for the folks I'm working with. That's why my #oneword for this school year is going to be discover. I can't wait to uncover all of the learning and nuances I will need to be a great collaborative leader.
If we want students to see themselves as life-long learners, who value progress in their own learning experiences, we need to promote an environment that fosters a formative feedback cycle in lieu of summative grades.
As we grow together as a team, I have high hopes that I can ease the woes of anticipation. Although my position title preceeds me as a person, it is my character and willingness to lead from the middle with my team that I hope drives our ability to do what's best for kids.
As a high efficiency kind of person who has always prided myself on getting things done and doing them better than well, I have a hard time allowing myself not to be productive. It may be time for me to redefine what that looks like and sounds like.