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?
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.