Sunday, November 26, 2017

Permission to disconnect

It's Sunday afternoon as I write this, and as I sit on my back porch watching the squirrels play and the leaves fall, I am in awe of the beauty in front of me. I celebrate the past week of visiting with family and friends and having my college-age daughters home for a bit. 

It's hard to believe that the week is almost over... feeling so long at times and so short at others. I feel the Sunday angst and excitement creeping in, knowing that tomorrow is back to the place where lives have an opportunity to be changed for the better. 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Are twitter chats 21st century PD?

When we get our teacher or administrative certification, it doesn't mean it's time to stop learning. In fact, for most educators it indicates that the learning has just begun. 

In a school - a teaching and learning organization - having educators who pursue learning is vital. When teachers and leaders actively seek out learning opportunities and apply what they learn about the most up-to-date strategies and information, the result is meaningful change and growth in the organization. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Helping kids to be successful in the classroom

I had a great conversation the other day with another assistant principal at our school. We were talking about student performance, the impact of teachers on student outcomes, and how to tell if students are well-prepared in their classes. 

The other assistant principal and I discussed a lot of topics that day, and one topic we were discussing was vertical alignment in subject areas. We agreed that in a vertical alignment, teachers of later grades often know how well students are prepared in certain teachers' classrooms in earlier grades. I remember when I worked in another district, an English teacher of 11th graders told me that she could always tell which students had which teachers in 9th grade based on how well the students knew their grammar rules. They would tell me, "Certain teachers have a way of getting their students to learn grammar more effectively than other teachers."