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ASCD Leader to Leader (L2L) News is a monthly e-mail newsletter for ASCD constituent group leaders that builds capacity to better serve members, provides opportunities to promote and advocate for ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, and engages groups through sharing and learning about best practices. To submit a news item for the L2L newsletter, send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Action Items for ASCD Leaders
Shutdown 101 for Educators
The first federal government shutdown in 17 years did not lead to immediate consequences for most schools and districts, but as each day goes by it becomes more problematic for the nation’s educators and students. See the ASCD policy team’s key takeaways and behind-the-scenes details on what the shutdown means for schools by reading our special edition of Capitol Connection and our ASCD Inservice blog post. They cover everything from how health and nutrition services for children and families are being affected to the long-term repercussions of the shutdown. And, for ongoing coverage, read your weekly issues of Capitol Connection!
ASCD to Host 23 Common Core Implementation Institutes November 2013 to February 2014
Starting in November, ASCD is holding institutes across the United States to help guide educators in implementing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). The one- and two-day institutes will be held in nine U.S. cities and are focused on Mathematics; English Language Arts and Literacy; Formative Assessment; Leading the Change to CCSS; and Common Core and the Understanding by Design Framework. View the full institute schedule on ascd.org.
New Whole Child Publication
The Korean Educational Development Institute’s KEDI Journal of Educational Policy publishes scholarly articles and reports on research that makes significantcontributions to the understanding and practice of educational policy on an international level. This month's special issue, “Promoting Students’ Social-Emotional and Character Development and Prevent Bullying,” includes an article written by ASCD’s Sean Slade, director of whole child programs, and David Griffith, director of public policy. The article, titled “A Whole Child Approach to Student Success” (pp. 21–35), describes the whole child approach to education and its global education policy recommendations.
Integrating Health and Social Programs Within Education Systems
In August 2013, ASCD and the International School Health Network began work on a new draft statement, titled “Integrating Health and Social Programs Within Education Systems,” at a global school health symposium held in Pattaya, Thailand. The two organizations would like to encourage readers to review and comment on the draft, which was developed to explain how health and social programs can be integrated more effectively within education systems.
Leaders in Action:News from the ASCD Leader Community
ASCD Welcomes the Competency-Based Education Professional Interest Community
ASCD invites you to join our newest Professional Interest Community, facilitated by ASCD Emerging Leader Jason Ellingson. The Competency-Based Education group is a place to share your ideas and connect with one another.
2012 Emerging Leaders Will Use Pilot Grant Funds to Benefit Students through 2013–14 School Year
This year for the first time, ASCD accepted grant applications from 2012 emerging leaders. The grant program, now in its pilot phase, is designed to give emerging leaders the opportunity explore new and innovative ways to support the success of each learner.
This year’s grant fund recipients are Jessica Bohn, Krista Rundell, Fred Ende, and Amy Murphy. Jessica and Krista are working independently; Fred and Amy are working as a team.
ASCD would like to thank all the emerging leaders who participated in the grant application process as we continue to learn and improve the program over time.
ASCD Leader Voices
Common Core Myths & Facts
Forty-five states have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and are preparing to fully implement them—including administering tests based on the standards—in the 2014–15 school year. But rumors and myths about the standards have run rampant, causing confusion among educators, policymakers, and the public. The latest ASCD Policy Points (PDF)clarifies what the CCSS are and are not and tackles these myths head-on.
Read the issue for straightforward facts and explanations that help combat common misperceptions about the federal government’s involvement in the standards, the cost of their implementation, the role of local schools and districts, concerns about student privacy, and more. We hope this Policy Points provides you with useful information about the CCSS that you can share with your local communities to help dispel confusion, counter opposition, and establish yourself as a trusted resource on the standards. If you have any questions, contact the ASCD policy team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Throughout October at wholechildeducation.org: Early Childhood Education
What does “education” mean for our youngest learners? The first years of school are as important for an educated population as any other period, perhaps more. Research shows that implementation of high-quality preschool programs can be beneficial for the lifelong development of children in low-income families and that an upfront commitment to early education provides returns to society that are many times more valuable than the original investment.
With the current focus on standards and academic achievement, is learning and testing coming too early? Curriculum and assessment should be based on the best knowledge of theory and research about how children develop and learn with attention given to individual children’s needs and interests in a group in relation to program goals. Young children have different social, cognitive, and emotional needs than older children and early childhood is where they begin to build skills and behaviors such as persistence, empathy, collaboration, and problem solving.
Download the Whole Child Podcast for a discussion on the importance of early childhood education with ASCD’s Walter McKenzie, authors Thomas Armstrong and Wendy Ostroff, the New America Foundation’s Laura Bornfreund, and ASCD Emerging Leader Jennifer Orr. Throughout the month, read the Whole Child Blogand tell us what has worked in your school and with your students. E-mail us and share resources, research, and examples.
Something to Talk About
Recently, I had the opportunity to speak with a “lurk and learner.” For those of you who do not know, a “lurker” is someone on Social Media who tends to sift through information, blogs, tweets, posts, or videos and quietly learns. They tend to follow more people than they have followers. They have become astute at checking hashtags for ideas and recommendations. But, rarely, if ever do they tweet, blog or put something out into the Social Media landscape.
Do you know how hard it is to get a lurk and learner to share their story?
There are many reasons why people lurk and learn. The lurk and learner I spoke with for this post was Celese Nolan, who is a curriculum coach in my district, and currently enrolled in a doctoral program. She is researching the connected administrators phenomenon through Social Media, and has attended numerous conferences, skypes, edcamps and webinars to both study and learn. When I asked her about lurking and learning, she said, “Lurking and learning has enabled me the opportunity to expand my horizons as a future educational leader as well as a way for me to provide resources to the school district through my current capacity as a coach. When I complete the doctoral program, I will most likely continue lurking and learning, but I also plan to pay it forward through blogs and other web 2.0 tools.”
According to Celese, she is able to lurk and learn almost everywhere. As a mom, wife, student, coach, athlete and friend she is very busy. She utilizes time to learn while she waits for her son to finish practice, waiting in line at the grocery store or while waiting at various appointments. All it takes, she says, is about 10 minutes a day. Often times, she will read her daily paper.li The Curriculum Connection which is generated from the stories circulating on twitter. She designed the paper to populate areas that she is interested in such as Common Core, Instructional Leadership, Language Arts Literacy and Math.
While at conferences, Celese has met many of the edutrailblazers she learns from on twitter. At ASCD in Chicago she met Tom Whitby, Eric Sheninger, Bill Sterret, Erin Klein, Jessica Johnson, and the infamous Will Richardson. A few weeks ago, while at NAESP in Baltimore she met Joe Mazza,Vicky Day, Tony Sinanias, Peter DeWitt, as well as Michael Fullan and Todd Whitaker. She felt a kinship with these educators because they are all part of her PLN. Knowing them through twitter enhanced her conference experience. She said that each have encouraged her to keep lurking and learning.
Celese credits her district administrators Dr. David Gentile and Dr. Pamm Moore for paving the way for educators in the Millville Public School District to become “connected.” “Dr. Moore and Dr. Gentile have modeled the way for innovation, systems thinking, and appropriate use of web 2.0 tools. They have shown us the importance of being connected locally, statewide, nationally and globally.”
Know someone who is lurking and learning? Make sure to support them and encourage them to continue!
Here are some helpful hints about Lurking and Learning:
1. Start small. Follow a few educators and read their tweets (see list above).
2. Find a hashtag (#) to follow. Jerry Blumengarten (aka Cybrary Man) has a comprehensive list
3. Follow a twitter chat. Here is the Schedule that Jerry posted
4. As you learn, pay it forward in your organization
The other night I received a phone call from a fellow recent graduate from Indiana University who came to me with questions prior to her elementary school interview. After a 45 minute conversation I found I had much more insight than I previously believed when it came to interviews. This is a continuation from my recent blog on resume tips: http://edge.ascd.org/_34Resume-Tips34-from-a-recently-employed-educator/blog/6537246/127586.html . Like in the previous blog post, I hope to receive feedback from other members both positive and negative welcome regarding my belief about interviews. During my student teaching I was fortunate to have 7 different interviews and also attend 4 job fairs. Below is what I have learned throughout this process.
1. Prep Work
- Prep work is key to a successful interview. Make sure you have reviewed the schools mission statement and possibly some procedures. Questions will not be about this, but it could give insight to what is most important to the culture of the school.
- Know the principal, VP, and division head if applicable to your position (For me it was the social studies department head)
2. Cover Letters/Resumes
- Make sure that cover letters are personalized. I made sure to have separate cover letters for the Principal, VP, division head, and anyone else I thought might be involved in the interview. Make sure to have at least 3-5 extra cover letters that begin with “Dear sir or madam” (still unsure the best way to address people that you do not know what their sex will be, but feel it is better than “to whom this may concern” or something similar).
o In one of my interviews 4 extra members of the social studies department were involved and I did not have their names specifically on the cover letters, which I did not think mattered much. The personalized cover letter is just an extra touch, but I believe is essential now days.
- Have a resume for each cover letter, but do not attach with a staple or paper clip. In only 1 interview was the cover letter really looked at during the interview.
o One teacher I worked with in the Chicago Public Schools explained that I should limit the barriers and with that a paper clip and especially a staple should be excluded when presenting the cover letters and resumes.
3. Interview Questions
- I spent a significant amount of time thinking about these questions and many of them are similar to the essays that are included in the job applications. There will almost always be questions regarding your processes regarding curriculum design, assessment, and classroom management. There are tons of practice questions online for teachers.
4. Bring your Portfolio
- Going into my first interview I had the typical portfolio that I was told to have (unit plan I created in my methods course and a few lesson plans). My next blog will be about what a portfolio should inculde, but here is just a quick summary: Bring lessons you have DONE and thought were successful, student work from these lessons, classroom management plan/philosophy. Use your portfolio as a tool to improve your answers to questions.
5. Ask questions when the interviewers ask if you have any!
o It is important to ask questions at the end of an interview when the interviewers ask if you have any. To keep this blog from getting too long, I will post my experiences and also questions that I thought were impressive in my interviews. There are a number of places to find lists of questions for teachers online.
6. Personalize your interview
- When asked questions throughout the interview, personalize your answers. If it is a classroom management question, explain what you have done in the past and possibly what you would do differently in the future. Do not say, if I had my own classroom I would ____. Using personal experiences helps you come off more candid and also more impressive by showing that you have been there and done that.
7. “Act like they would be dumb not to hire you”
- I received this advice from one of my close friends and fellow Indiana U graduate, who received a very impressive starting job in the finance sector. Because interviews are nerve racking, going in with confidence that you are the best candidate is key. Remember, in many instances, it is you vs. 200 other candidates and if you land an interview you ARE IMPRESSIVE and are most likely down to the last dozen candidates. BUT they are looking for only 1 so you must feel like you are the best candidate for the job. This does not mean be cocky and act like the job is yours,, but having the confidence that the job is yours if you want it shows during an interview and comes off as impressive.
Like all of my blogs, feel free to comment and critique what I have to say. I have limited experiences during this process and felt it might be beneficial for other teachers to hear what I have to say. You can reach me at email@example.com and follow me on twitter MrFritz8. Hope you enjoyed!
Something has been nagging me for a few months, specifically since returning from the ASCD conference in Chicago this past March. I’d tell you the whole story of what caused me to pause and reflect, but I’d probably be banned from presenting again. It’s not really something one should share on a public forum like a blog. On the other hand, I likely won’t have the funds to travel there anyway this year, so what the heck, right? Also at this point, I’d feel a little guilty about leading you on only to let you down. Perhaps what we could do is have you email me, and if you email me (off the record), we can have a private exchange (encrypted of course). Sound good?
I’m sure if you’ve made it this far into the post (thank you), you might be feeling a little cheated by that proposition, but I’m here to share that that, my friends, is the “taboo hook”, a presentation hook shared with me when I attended the ASCD session of Dave Burgess, a.k.a. “Teach Like a Pirate” original pirate, author, and presenter. The taboo hook is intended to snag learners, drawing them into the content or experience by making them believe it is forbidden. Essentially, you are sharing a secret...and because it is a secret, it is by nature juicy, forbidden--and highly desirable.
I met Dave the night before my 8 AM presentation when I realized I had forgotten my dongle, an essential tool for presenting. With no hope of hitting an Apple store at 11:30 PM, I frantically tweeted out an S.O.S. and Dave, being the true kind pirate he is, offered up his booty and even attended my session. Of course I wanted to support him, but even more, I wanted to know what “Teach Like a Pirate” meant, so later that afternoon, I found myself sneaking past the “session full” sign into a standing-room only “Pirate” presentation. What Dave did during his presentation was essentially turn teaching into performance art. He went through the ABCs of Pirating a class’s attention--Passion, Immersion, Rapport, Ask & Analyze, Transformation & Enthusiasm--and then he shared some “stand and deliver” style hooks. As a one-time rebel, the taboo one was my favorite.
When I left his presentation, however, I was stumped. Surely, I had just witnessed great teaching. On the other hand, all I did was stand, listen, and watch. I didn’t engage in a problem-solving initiative, collaborate, discuss, or do any hands-on learning. BUT...I learned! What Dave did for me in that session was not just share information which stuck but also inspire me to learn more about how to “teach like a pirate”.
As I learned more, though, I wasn’t sure I was cut out to be a pirate. I find that the best learning in my class takes place when I’m not presenting, or at least through a combination of teacher-centered discussion and student-centered experiences. I’m also not a great performer. I have terrible timing in my delivery, I’m not funny, and I don’t come across as particularly rebellious. If I tried to be a pirate, I believe my students would force me to walk the plank until the real Mrs. D returned.
This has had me pondering teacher style and whether we are allowing for each teacher to rock his or her best in the class or whether we are forcing all teachers to believe there is one “best” style of teaching. We all see how students thrive when allowed to play in their style of learning, so why wouldn’t the same logic apply to teacher presentation style?
Recently, Edutopia shared via Facebook a post by Principal Ben Johnson entitled “Great Teachers Don’t Teach”. In it, Johnson proposed that “great teachers engineer learning experiences that maneuver the students into the driver’s seat and then the teachers get out of the way.” As an educator whose style is aligned with this sentiment, I read it and said, “Yes, I completely agree!” Then, however, I thought of Dave, and I thought back to my own high school experiences and whom I would consider my best teacher, Mr. Craft.
Mr. Craft was charged with teaching us either honors World History or U. S. History, I really can’t recall, because all he did teach us conspiracy theory, and particularly the history and conspiracies surrounding the Kennedy family. As a teacher, I would argue that by the book, Mr. Craft was a terrible teacher. We did not learn the prescribed curriculum, we never engaged in collaboration, formal assessment, project-based learning, hands-on learning, writing across the curriculum, experiential learning. In fact, I would say we only ever engaged in auditory learning and discussion through debate. But Mr. Craft did something no other teacher in my K-12 educational experience did...he captivated my curiosity completely and inspired me to learn outside his class. I did all of my projects for every class that year on something Kennedy related (even my physics project), and my friend Ryan and I were the only people under forty when the JFK and Ruby movies premiered as we finished high school.
Mr. Craft was a great teacher because he was great at how he taught. He could not have been any other style of teacher--when he tried, he failed miserably and we were similarly miserable. When I shared Edutopia’s link and asked my Facebook friends to reflect on what made their “best teachers” great, they all made very different points. Not surprisingly, one of my friends also cited Mr. Craft.
Maybe there is room for differentiated style in teaching and a place for balance in the classroom. Instead of measuring a teacher’s presentation method against today’s “best practices”, perhaps we should be measuring it against student indicators of best learning. And, to be clear, by best learning, I don’t mean standardized assessment. Like many things in life, the best learning can be measured in the love it produces, the spark it ignites, the relevant connections it builds. I would argue that great teaching happens not when a particular method of teaching is employed but rather when great learning is achieved.
After meeting with various teachers, administrators, “resume pros,” interviewers, fellow students, mentors, and so on, I felt that I was able to finally condense everything I learned into a creative and effective resume. I was able to successfully attain a job as a social science teacher at a Chicago land high school and believe much of my success began with my resume. Below is a list of tips and advice that I believe should be helpful to teachers, especially new ones, as they search for jobs. Feel free to comment, add on, and especially criticize what I have to say (I do not believe that this list is the end all be all of resume tips, it is simply what I felt was the most effective during my interview process):
1. 1. 1 page resumes (especially new teachers)
- I found many educators pushed me to have a 2 page resume. Condensing to 1 page is important because new teachers tend to fall short on significant meaningful experience, which make a resume 2 or more pages long.
- These jobs are extremely competitive. Think 250 applicants for a single opening. When I see a couple paragraph news article, sure I’ll read it. If the same article is 5 pages long, most times I will take a pass (As I think to myself, I cannot even follow my own advice writing this blog)
2. 2. GET INVOLVED
- Get involved with your school and in your community and anything that has to do with working with kids (camps, babysitting, volunteer work)
- Everyone will tell you, join groups that have to do with your major (NCSS for me). Just by paying that $35 student rate fee for joining groups means very little on your resume. Try and get involved in these groups however you can so you have something meaningful to write in your resume or say in an interview. If you are young this shows you are a go getter.
3. 3. FORMAT CORRECTLY
- No white spaces or areas. Do not use just a simple line as a space. Using the page layout tools to put different spaces like 6 pt and 3 pt. between lines. I used 6 pt. for section spaces and 3 pt. for lists under the sections
- Have clearly defined sections of your resume. For this everyone’s may be different depending on their experience and skills. I played with the margins also so that it fit on a single page and go rid of the standard 1” margins.
4. 4. DO NOT STATE THE OBVIOUS
- Do not write that you are CPR certified, Suicide Prevention Suicide Certified (for my Indiana peeps), or you followed students IEPs during student teaching. It is a given that you are certified and followed IEPS otherwise it would be illegal for you to teach
- If you are a basketball coach, do not write you helped players with their jump shots. It sounds childish and pretty obvious, if you organized activities or did something significant put that down, otherwise leave it as Coach Basketball at _____ (I made this mistake on my resume and it made it look a bit unprofessional)
5. 5. BE MYSTERIOUS
- In other words your resume should give a brief but descriptive outline of yourself, but leave it open for a conversation where it leaves the reader wanting to know more about YOU
- I ALWAYS say this to my friends when I look at their resumes. You do not need a ton of bullet points under each activity you did. While you should highlight the important aspects of your job or activity, leave some things open for discussion during interviews.
- For example, I did UVA’s Semester at Sea and I left my description sounding exciting but leaving out details. It has come up in almost every interview I have had. When talking about things that are truly impressive you have done, your words spoken will excite an administrator much more than your words written.
6. 6. OBJETIVE
- Make sure that you have an objective- “To obtain a challenging and rewarding position……”
7. 7. CLEAR AND CONCISE IS THE NAME OF THE GAME
- When you are writing do not fluff up your resume with long drawn out impressive sentences. Be clear and concise with what you want to say. Remember there are 250 other resumes fighting for that same job
As a final note I want everyone reading this to know that this is simply my take on a solid resume. I am in still in search of answers, information and guidance. With that said, feel free to give me feedback, whether it’s something positive like, “Trevor you are a genius” (which I know is doubtful) or if you want to take a huge dump on my post and say something like, “How the hell did you get job?” Either way, give me your opinion and comments because my hope is to get some discussion going to further my development along with others in the teaching community.
You can contact Trevor at firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on twitter MrFritz8.
I was fortunate enough to student teach in the Chicago Public School system this previous semester through Indiana University’s Urban Project Program. The program allowed me to teach back in Illinois which allowed me a number of benefits that teaching in Indiana would not have allowed. I was able to teach in a difficult but fulfilling urban school setting, meet new friends, be close to home, and apply and interview for jobs in Illinois, all of which may not have been possible if I student taught in Indiana.
To start, student teaching at Roosevelt High School was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. I truly felt that I was able to impact many students’ lives as a social studies and ESL teacher along with becoming the varsity assistant basketball coach. I understood my students may have had difficult lives, which I could not fully understand, but I wanted to be a teacher that could push my students with challenges but also be there for them when they needed to talk about their difficulties whether they were school related or not. I was able to have an unbelievable and open rapport with my students, which allowed me to become successful as a player and a coach. I was fortunate to have 2 cooperating teachers who took a much different approach to education. I respected each of their philosophies and I believe that each helped me to think about what type of teacher I wanted to become. They allowed me to miss periods from time to time for job interviews, professional development, and career fairs. Without their support I would not be fortunate enough to have landed a job at Cary Grove High School.