•  
Results 1 - 20 of 926

926 Search Results for "Jersey City"

  • Leader to Leader News: April 2 Leader to Leader News: April 2014

  • The Obsessive Educator The Obsessive Educator

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:

      A hot buzzword in education is the term ‘connected educator.’ For the past year, I’ve gone to unconferences, EdCamps, and had countless Twitter interactions. We always talk about what a ‘connected educator’ is.


      Well, what about an ‘obsessive educator’?


      It’s important to recognize this type of educator, too, as they are a strand of the ‘connected educator’. An obsessive educator is eternally hungry for teaching and learning knowledge. So hungry, that they’re never full. They’ll attend Saturday free conferences the weekend before Thanksgiving because they want to learn something, be inspired, meet others like them, and go home with their passion ablaze. Snow on a Saturday in Philadelphia? No problem for the obsessive educator. The pros way outweigh the cons. The obsessive educator burns the candle at both ends, only because there isn’t a third end.


      The default setting for an obsessive educator is to communicate. Once an obsessive educator learns something new, they need to try it out immediately. And, then share out: not to brag or show off, but to deconstruct what just happened -- so more learning can occur. They want to break down why something worked, why something didn’t, or what they can do better.


      They also want to help others get better. Making an investment in someone else by sharing new knowledge makes the obsessive educator happy. They know at some unknown future point, their investment will pay a dividend because a student will learn. And, that’s in their job description..


      The obsessive educator is a teacher first, next, and always. And with teaching, there will be times when their peers don’t comprehend the material. They won’t see its relevance. Why do that? Who has time? Everything is already good the way it is, the obsessive educator hears. However, the obsessive educator sees a different picture than others hear. They don’t see the forest or the trees. Their vision is longer term, and it’s beautiful: a place where we are all connected and an obsession with learning becomes the norm.


      But, they understand that their obsession is not the norm now. They understand that not everyone gets stoked when Tom Whitby and Todd Whitaker follow them on the same day. They understand that by taking pictures of the educational badges from the conferences they’ve attended that people they love, respect, and even marry may call them “Nerd Camp.” Because, the obsessive educator believes they get it -- the rest of the world will just catch up soon.

    • Blog post
    • 1 week ago
    • Views: 471
    • Not yet rated
  • Shiny Happy People Shiny Happy People

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:

      It was the middle of a long week and there was no end in sight. My priority list seemed neverending. I grumbled as I walked into school. I was tired, and I didn’t care who knew it. My vibe was not a good one. And, it was the wrong one.


      The first day I welcomed in a new group of students and told their parents not to worry, that their children would be fine under my care, my life stopped being about serving myself and began about serving others. This job stopped being about me a long time ago, and I’d forgotten about that.


      I felt like road kill. And, that’s okay. It’s human to be tired. It’s not okay in our field to let it affect us, because that impacts not just us, but the students we serve, the families who entrust us to keep their children in the forefront of each decision we make, and our teammates who feed off our energy.


      That’s why outside of this day, whenever a student or a co-worker had asked me how I was doing, I’ve always told them some combination of: “I’m awesome,” “I’m great,” or, “Never had a bad day.” Because everyone benefits from hearing that. Maybe it lifts us up, maybe it serves as a model for keeping a positive attitude.


      Or, maybe my students, parents, or peers walk away and think I’m nuts. But, if they’re tired, not feeling well, or life has dealt them a bad hand that day, I’ve at least given them something else to think about: that guy must be nuts. How is he always in a good mood?


      In reality, I’m not always in a good mood. I have arthritis, which can make some mornings tougher than others to loosen up and get moving. I have two boys, a three-year-old, and a 19 month-old. Neither has mastered sleeping overnight. However, I have the potential to wake up and put others in a good mood each day, and that’s a powerful thing. How many people can change someone’s day with a handshake, a smile, a nod of the head, raised eyebrows, or a silly face. Who was I to take away someone’s potential positive mindset because I had a long to do list!? That’s a misuse of power, and, that makes me sad, which is worse than being tired.


      As I walked into my classroom, I reflected on how I felt, acknowledged it, and put it aside. Because, my day was now about investing in others: making each person I came in contact with feel significant, that they belonged to something, and the environment they came to each day was fun. This was no place for a sleepy party pooper.


      I checked my coffee and diet soda to make sure I was armed for the day, turned on the tunes, and sat at my desk. It was time to review my plans, look at my morning message, and create another positive experience for those I would come in contact with that day.


      We may not always feel like shiny, happy people. But, we do need to put that out there for our students, their families, and our peers. They deserve nothing less than our best. We can always nap later.


    • Blog post
    • 2 weeks ago
    • Views: 589
  • The Opt Out Testing Movement The Opt Out Testing Movement

    • From: Elliott_Seif
    • Description:

      On Sunday, March 30, 2014, the New York Times published an important article about the opt-out testing movement In New York City and State: “Standing Up to Testing”.  Here is the URL to the article:

       

      http://nyti.ms/1f9Nbvs

       

      Perhaps a movement such as this can get our Federal and State officials to understand how deep seated the feelings are against standardized testing, how much they distort educational practice, and how each individual can make a difference in determining the direction of educational policies and practices in the future.

       

    • Blog post
    • 2 weeks ago
    • Views: 149
  • Critical Literacy Across the C Critical Literacy Across the Curriculum

    • From: Eric_Sheninger
    • Description:

      By Lisette Morel, Colleen Tambuscio, Lynne Torpie, and Joanna Westbrook


      Rather than being daunted by the literacy demands posed by PARCC and the Common Core, three teachers at New Milford High School have embraced the challenge. This semester, they collaborated with a 9th grade ELA teacher to develop critical literacy across the curriculum. What arose from that collaboration was rich and pushed students to interact with text and present their ideas using the discourse of each discipline.

      These teachers worked to create tasks that foster the investigative, critical thinking and written communication skills that embody real-world endeavors. Though literacy skills are the foundation upon which these outcomes are built, these teachers felt unsure about assessing critical literacy and needed guidance in building clear rubrics. With the support of an ELA colleague they were able to develop activities to engage students in authentic writing tasks as they analyze and synthesize content.

      The Science Task

      Infographics in Science:
To connect the cognitive learning goals in science class to the cognitive learning goals in ELA Mrs. Torpie worked with Mrs. Westbrook to create the Infographic Project. For this project, students collected data then presented it graphically using Infographics such as bar graphs, a column graph, a pie chart, or a hierarchy. In addition, students compared their data to other representative data, drew conclusions, and made specific recommendations.

      Click HERE for the assignment and rubric.

      Common Core Standards Addressed: WHST.9-10.6; WHST.9-10.8; WHST.9-10.9

      The Social Studies Task

      Curating an Exhibit in History
Since students often experience history through museum learning, either within the walls of a museum or through online exhibitions, the Become a Curator assignment provided an authentic method for engaging social studies students in learning. Mrs. Westbrook and Mrs. Tambuscio built this task using an advanced text on the subject of Nazi ideology. To begin, students utilized a specific chapter in Nazi Ideology and the Holocaust by The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to research their assigned cluster of non-Jewish victims of Nazi oppression. The goal was to allow students to understand the many layers that encompass Nazi ideology while citing specific artifacts and evidence to support their conclusions.

      Click HERE for the assignment and rubric.

      Common Core Standards Addressed: RH.9-10.3; WHST.9-10.2; WHST.9-10.4; WHST.9-10.5; WHST.9-10.8.

      The Art Task

      Artist Statements
The task created by Mrs. Morel and Mrs. Westbrook asked students to write Artist Statements to accompany their finished pieces for exhibition. Mrs. Morel provided mentor texts from the art class MOMA fieldtrip which students used to create their own statements. These statements mirrored the professional standards of the art world. This assignment gave them experience in articulating their process and in writing clear statements to describe their intended effect.

      Click HERE for the assignment. 

      Common Core Standards Addressed:WHST.9-10.2; WHST.9-10.4; WHST.9-10.9

      Conclusions

      What these teachers learned from their collaboration is that writing in the content areas can no longer be centered on tired, recycled 5 paragraph essays students write year after year – the idea of making the content classes into extensions of the English class just does not have traction. What does have traction is work that couples real content with real literacy and that threads reading/writing opportunities throughout the curriculum.

    • Blog post
    • 4 weeks ago
    • Views: 547
  • No Shame in My Game No Shame in My Game

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:

      There I was in the front of the room. Eager students looking back at me. All they wanted to know was more about mood and tone as story elements. And, I couldn’t tell them. This wasn’t my first day as a teacher. It was the middle of my 13th.


      To be more precise, it was a couple days ago.


      I often wondered prior to that moment why teachers aren’t more open about what they don’t know. Aren’t we all lifelong learners? Aren’t we supposed to make mistakes every day and learn from them? Don’t we tell our students and our peers, “If you don’t know something, just ask,” or, “No question is a bad question.” Don’t we all fail more times than we succeed, and isn’t that okay because failure is the first attempt in learning?


      Then, I stood in front of the class. While falling down and failing it all made sense.


      I’d taught this lesson on mood and tone before. But, as I listened to students respond to what they thought mood and tone was, and as I tried to use their answers to guide my instruction, I froze. I didn’t know at that moment how to use their responses to scaffold my instruction. I felt shame, embarrassment, stupidity. All the things we tell our peers and students not to feel when they don’t know or forget how to do something.


      The kicker was, I had a resource in the room. A colleague of mine who was there to support specific students. She leads staff development on the Columbia Teachers College Writing Workshop model . She moonlights as a professor at Bank Street in New York City. She probably reads the CCSS from right to left, just to challenge herself. But my challenge was giving up control. Of being open. Of admitting, at the exact moment, I didn’t know what to do.


      And by not knowing I finally learned why some peers aren’t open to admitting what they don’t know. Because, it’s hard. It’s emasculating. Because people may view us differently than we’d like, and we’d rather people respect us for who we aren’t, than fear they see us for who we are and think we’re not worthy.


      I reached out to my colleague during my moment of doubt, and said aloud, “What do you think?” She caught the cue, used the students shared responses to drive the learning forward, and we co-taught the rest of the lesson. I moved past my frozen moment, and the students learned. Even though we both knew I’d messed up, she merely said, “That was fun. I miss co-teaching. We should do it again sometime.”


      But, how many times do we not ask for help? Couldn’t we grow the profession so much more if we just said, “I don’t know. What do you think?”


      I’m leaving myself vulnerable by sharing this experience with the hope that others who read this will connect to this moment, and make the decision I did, that it’s okay to ask. That it’s better to be supported and know, than not to and suffer alone. That if people are going to judge us, so be it.


      In the end, it isn’t about us and our pride. We need to check our egos when we feel this happen, and keep the focus on what’s best for kids, because that’s why we do this job.

       

      I wonder where you stand on this. When I stood in front of my students, I choked and fell. But I got up again with the help of a peer. I hope you do the same. I’m believe I’m better for it. I believe you will be, too.

    • Blog post
    • 4 weeks ago
    • Views: 783
  • 3 Easy Steps to Get Started wi 3 Easy Steps to Get Started with Google Apps

    • From: Robert_Zywicki
    • Description:

      Google Apps are a set of high leverage tools that help teachers connect with their students, as well as, save time on common teaching and planning tasks. The key to getting started with Google Apps is to take it slow and play with the many applications and features as they fit into one’s schedule and workflow.  Here are three easy steps for teachers to get started with Google Applications for Education.

       

      1.    Download Google Chrome

      Chrome is Google’s web browser and works seamlessly with all Google Apps and extensions. Chrome allows for painless downloading and uploading with Google Apps.

       

      2.    Explore Google Drive

      Many district provide teachers with a networked ‘P Drive.’ A great place to test out the functionalities of Google Drive is to upload one’s P Drive to Google Drive. In a matter of seconds, teachers will be able to access all of their files from any internet browser or mobile device. Additionally, teachers will be able to test the sharing functions and conversion capabilities of Google Docs.

       

      3.    Join Google+

      Google+ allows teachers to integrate all of their Google Apps in a fun and easy social media platform.  Many teachers use their Google+ account to replace their traditional webpages to share files and assignments with students. With Google+ teachers can use Google Hangouts to video chat with up to ten people while viewing Google Docs. You can also place free Google Voice calls via Google+. 

       

      

       

      Robert R. Zywicki is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction of the High Point Regional School District. He is completing his Ed.D. at Saint Peter's University. You can follow him on Twitter at @ZywickiR.

    • Blog post
    • 4 weeks ago
    • Views: 340
  • Creating a Roomful of Leaders Creating a Roomful of Leaders

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:

      There was a quote spoken twice over a week-long span that resonated with me. The first time I listened to it I tweeted it out. It was a great thought in a presentation full of them. The second time the quote was said, I understood it. There was a difference.


      The quote was, “Leadership is what happens after you leave the room.” Irvin Scott, Deputy Director of Education at the Gates Foundation said it during his evening keynote welcoming us at ECET2 (Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching). A week later, after hosting 50 New Jersey educators at a professional development event on digital leading and learning, Matt Hall, Supervisor of Science and Technology in Bernards Township said the same thing.


      So why did it take me two times to truly figure out what they both meant?

       

      It’s a complex thought: the idea that what you do and how you do it will show itself (positively or not) when you’re not there. The rationale is that if we’ve created the right environment, empowered the people in it to be involved in the environment’s creation, agreed upon very specific norms about what’s expected and why when we are there, the people who inhabit the room will continue to follow it when we’re not. 

       

      Why? And, how does this apply to teacher leaders, site-based leaders, and the students they serve?

       

      Whether you’re a teacher or an administrator in a building, chances are, if your environment is running smoothly it’s because you’ve created an expectation about ‘how things are done here’. There is buy-in because those involved were given a voice and a choice in how ‘things here’ operate. Then, once rules and guidelines were established, the teacher or administrator made sure to reinforce expectations when needed, but in a positive way so teachers or students retained their dignity. This created an atmosphere of trust between those in the room and the person in position of power. It’s clear to all who witness a private exchange take place that even if they can’t hear what was said, the way the teacher or administrator handled it was respectful. When a teacher asks a student to step outside for a moment and then never refers to it again, or gently whispers something in a student’s ear and continues their room rounds, the student knows, ‘if I mess up, I’ll be held accountable for it, but I won’t be embarrassed publicly. It’ll be a private thing.’

       

      The same holds true for when a conversation like this is held between an administrator and teacher. When an administrator visits a teacher in their room and has the hard conversation in private this may make the teacher uncomfortable, but it also creates mutual respect. At some point, just as other students know a conversation took place but don’t know the details, teachers know when an administrator spoke to a peer. Someone always sees or hears something. And, when (or if) it’s our turn having that conversation, we’re going to feel comforted knowing it will be handled the same way we know it was handled before. That shows caring.

       

      As a teacher, the note I love to read from a guest teacher when I am absent is: ‘your students were wonderful. They were just a pleasure to teach.’ This lets me know that even when I’m not there, my leadership still is. It’s there because I have empowered my students to be leaders. They police themselves, support each other, have the hard conversation, and hold all accountable (even themselves). Because, they want to. My hope is that when they become a leader in their own field, they will continue to model these qualities and the cycle will continue. 

       

      The next time someone says, “Leadership is what happens after you leave the room,” remind yourself of the time spent in the room to create the environment that functions well when you’re not there. Because, the students aren’t doing it by themselves. They’re modeling leadership in the room you taught them in.

    • Blog post
    • 4 weeks ago
    • Views: 657
  • The National Archives Contains The National Archives Contains Over 40 Online Exhibits

    • From: Ryan_Thomas1
    • Description:

      The National Archives website is an historical goldmine where users can dig for ancestry and military records, browse photographs, and even order ship passenger arrival records (1820-1959), Eastern Cherokee applications, and federal military pension files from 1775-1865.

      To top it all off, there are 40 other online exhibits. We didn’t have time to browse all of them, but we do want to highlight our three favorites.

      the national archivesEyewitness
      Here you’ll find vivid and intensely personal accounts of historical events:

      • Thomas Jefferson reports firsthand on the fear and panic that grips the city of Paris in July 1789, during the first violent convulsions of the French Revolution
      • President Lincoln’s family physician poignantly describes how the President clings to life through the night of April 14, 1865, after being shot in Ford’s Theater.
      • The crew of the Apollo 8, in 1968, travels farther from Earth than anyone ever has and sees Earth as no one has ever seen it.

      the national archivesDigital Vaults
      This exhibit contains over 1,200 documents, photographs, drawings, maps, and other materials. Using a keywording system that visually links records, the Digital Vaults enables visitors to customize their exhibit experience, create posters, movies, games, and share them through email.

      the national archivesPicturing the Century
      This exhibit contains over 100 years of snapshots from revered photographers Walter Lubken, Lewis Hine, George W. Ackerman, and Ansel Adams to name a few. Users can browse by artist portfolio or by galleries to find photos that depict some of the most beautiful, horrific and pivotal moments in the history of our country.


                                                                Social Media Strategies for Teachers

    • Blog post
    • 1 month ago
    • Views: 121
  • A response to White House Init A response to White House Initiative on Excellence for African Americans: Strategic Diversity Plan

    • From: Zernon_Evans
    • Description:

       

      Response to White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African

      Americans: Strategic Diversity Plan Executive Summary for African American Males in the Arkansas Delta.

      If we continue to call the institution that our children attend to acquire an education “school” we must begin to demonstrate some evidence of learning. Names can be very misleading; the name of an entity should match its purpose and accomplishments. Based on the ineffectiveness of most school in the nation, to call our institutions for learning “school” is a misnomer.  Locally, our students continue to score low on the Arkansas Comprehensive Testing Assessment and Accountability Program (ACTAAP); we continue to sustain the employment of incompetent teachers. We continue to use the same instructional strategies that have failed to advance students achievement even though there are alternatives that have proven to advance academic achievement available. The key to success in diverse classrooms is selecting and implementing powerful instructional methods that simultaneously address a variety of different learning needs (Voltz, Sims, & Nelson, 2010). The students in this district are mostly African American; we have about two percent of other groups. Yet, we still have a diverse group with in the African American student culture. Diversity refers to differences in persons.  It incorporates skin color, gender, age, abilities, economic-status, sexual preferences, religious preferences and language to name a few. 

      African American male students should learn to identify with their own culture before they can be expected to respect other groups. There is a profound diversity within the African American culture. Because of insufficient grammar/language skills and lack of travel experience our African American youth are English Language learners in their own Nation.  We cannot justify nor expect the community to accept and support our failure to educate African American males.  When I compare data from the Arkansas Comprehensive Testing Assessment and Accountability Program (ACTAAP) test scores and academic progress in class over the last five years, I find that African American males in this district have not received the encouragement they need to be successful. These students are not aware of the history of cultural racism. Cultural racism is the practice of recognizing the activities and contributions of one racial group in preference to others within a multiracial society (Koppelman, 2013). Black males need to know and understand why their present conditions are as they are. By exposing them to their history, we can help them gain such valuable insight. Without this understanding, they will continue to accept incarceration as a natural condition rather than as the consequence of centuries of racism (Kafele, 2009). It is the responsibility of this district to provide these students with the means to navigate through obstacles and master academic challenges.

       

      Students spend more time at school than any other place that they venture. I foresee a school climate where students are interested in learning. This comes about with motivation and encouragement from administrators, staff, teachers, community patrons and parents. Also students are more productive when they experience success; therefore I envision teachers that model high expectations and reach out to students with total acceptance; we must work to ensure that all students have a sense of importance in the school environment.  Some students do not feel valued in their home. The response they receive at school can fill that void and improve their self-esteem; when students feel safe they achieve more in class. Also children lack sufficient physical and emotional support in their homes; we must put agencies in place to help with issues of food supply and heat/air conditioning when needed.  Children are experiencing crime in their neighborhood; fears begin to grip their minds leaving little room for academic function. A positive culture inspires optimism and hope; a negative culture promotes cynicism and defeatism (Danielson, 2006).  Since the school/community is laced with apathy, poverty, Black-on-Black crime and violence, it is easy to see how the children in the public schools adopt the motto, “none of us will learn.”

      Over the next five years, we must decrease the number of African American males attending alternative schools. This is not because alternative school is detrimental, but due to the fact that in society there is no reward for not being able to conform to the norm.  Lack of respect and outlandish behavior can result in a prison sentence or an early grave in the real world. Young men must learn to control their behavior and respect authority to avoid dire consequences.  Alternative schools should service students that need a legitimate alternative. We service students that refuse to participate in class, blatantly disrespect teachers and instigate chaos all day.  We will focus on engaging these students in grade-level appropriate, authentic, purposeful curriculum that reflects their interest, culture and academic needs.

      Absenteeism is a hindrance to academic achievement.  Many students skip school because they feel so unappreciated and cannot demonstrate competence in grade level subject matter. These students need a curriculum that addresses their interest and moves them from underachievers into the arena of successful grade level accomplishments. Students who see themselves in the curriculum will want to attend school; we must provide them with the proper curricular. This is a major issue for third through sixth graders even though attendance is not a profound problem at this age group; parents still have the control to make them go to school in the lower grades. We must draw these younger students into our present so that we can administer the instructions for the strong foundation they need in order to be prepared for upper grade level proficiency.  On the other hand, high school students cannot perform well on the Arkansas Comprehensive Testing Assessment and Accountability Program (ACTAAP) unless they are in attendance when instructions are being given. Eleventh grade literacy, tenth grade biology, algebra I, and geometry scores reflect the necessity for increased attendance rates.

      Our Black males are struggling to write a single paragraph; we must give them authentic purpose for writing and using correct grammar. For black adolescent males, in order to offset resistance that occurs because of cultural differences and to develop their identities, it is essential to establish culturally responsive instructional practices and infuse the curriculum with culturally relevant materials. (Tatum, 2005)

       African American Males need competent male teachers.  Poor achievement among our neediest students is the result, at least in part, of a lack of strong, positive black educators in the classrooms. This nation needs to move swiftly to engage more African-American men in teaching. No longer can we simply be OK with black men representing less than 2 percent of our teacher workforce. It is unacceptable (Nicolas, 2014). He continues, “I have also seen the tremendous impact an effective black male educator can have in the classroom. Notice I use the word effective; this is because an effective black male educator can have a more detrimental impact on a school than perhaps a teacher from any demographic.”

       

      Our mission is to prepare students for college, careers and life. All district and school personnel are equally responsible for the success of students. In order for us to move high school students from fifty five percent basic to fifty-five percent advanced we must create and implement a shared vision that all of us will support. School security guards, secretaries, nurses, custodians and cafeteria workers are all a viable part of the organization. All these internal patrons will interact with students in a way that reflects acceptance, and respect. It is the responsibility of the Principal to set the tone for the school culture.  With support from the principal the teachers will receive professional development that takes the needs of the students into account. Teachers must learn to focus on the emotional, physical, psychological, social and academic needs of the students. They must also learn to reflect on their own personal prejudice and strive to be fair to all students by eliminating inconsistences that hinder the performance of students. There is a requirement of innovation, concern and educational reform to increase the academic performance of our students. The district administration office must support the principals and provide finances, resources and technical support as the schools engage in transforming students from kindergarten to twelfth grade into lifelong readers, learners and American Citizens.

      By the end of the 2014-2015 school years the district personnel as well as the local community will be aware of the vision, objectives, mission and other components of the strategic diversity plan. Successful schools are much more than a list of strategies or activities. At their core, each of the “breakthrough” high schools demonstrates a belief that every student in the school can be academically successful (Westerberg, 2009). The district office will contact Mr. John Hoy, Assistant Commissioner Division of Public School Accountability for information on equity monitoring at the school.

      Administrators and the stakeholder will have met together to create, distribute and implement the goals and objectives. This will include the community patrons, parents, students, staff and teachers.  The plan will be posted on the school web-site, also. School leaders will ensure that teachers have begun professional development and will have already begun to revert to instructional strategies that are proven to ensure academic excellence for the targeted students. The literacy coaches will meet with the K-12 teachers periodically to vertically align the curriculum. During the 2015-2016 school year administrators will monitor this process ensuring that teachers are following the instructional strategies that match the school vision. Teachers will be responsible to participate in professional learning communities that include community patrons to collaborate and share in the planning and implementation of the identified goals. Administrator will work with teachers to clarify problems or misconceptions that they may have encountered. In 2014-2019 the administration and teachers will use the data to identify students and procedures that require special attention including academic, social and emotional growth of the students.  In the 2014-2019 school years the administrators will assess title one funds as well as other state funds to plan the expenditures for resources to cover the needs of the district.  Individual school will submit their school plans to the Federal Program Director for access to funds to support their programs. 

       

       

       

      Task Force for School Diversity Plan

       (Pseudo names to demonstrate how we will select a task force)

      1. Mr. Moore is a local pastor. As a member of the committee he will be able to reach community patrons on all levels. He is in touch with parents and students on a weekly basis; also, he has been on the school board so he is aware of the problems of the students in this community. He is able to contact other ministers with information and can persuade them to work with the parents and students in their churches. He will be available to meet with students, parents, other community patrons, and teachers. Reverend Moore can facilitate community meeting to share the school vision and mission for the improvement of academic performance of African American students.  Reverend Moore is also a radio talk show host. He will be able to use that platform to highlight students’ accomplishments and inform the community of school activity.

       

      1. Mrs. Jones is a parent in the community. Mrs. Jones’s son was murdered on the streets of this community. Mrs. Jones’ experience, even though it is very painful, can be used to reveal to parents the importance of guarding their children from spending too much idle time. Mrs. Jones speaks to parents on many occasions during community events. She acknowledges that her son was disruptive in school and preforming several grades below his grade placement. Mrs. Jones will be instrumental in convincing parents to support the goals of the diversity plans based on her experience of losing her child to a senseless murder. She will bring a serious tone into the process of developing a plan to redirect the lives of the African American males in this city. As the district reaches out to train and support parents, Mrs. Jones can help facilitate seminars and witness to parents that teachers are sincere when they reach out for parental support. She will be instrumental in rallying parents to attend workshops and encouraging their sincere commitment to the school/community.

       

      1. Mr. Smith is the Junior ROTC director in our high school. Mr. Smith has a background in the military. He is a good disciplinarian. Also, the students love ROTC and will do anything for Mr. Smith.  Mr. Smith will contact students, parents and community patrons with information about the diversity plan and its value to the students. Mr. Smith can also intervene for parent and teachers when students are not doing their best work in class. Communication skills are paramount in succeeding in the real world. Mr. Smith, because of his experience in the military, can help with students that rebel against the school discipline rules. African American males need strong men of their race to mentor and guide them as they struggle to defend their manhood in an institution that challenges their authority.  Instead of killing the gift to be a strong independent Black man, Mr. Smith can work with other Black men in the community to find occasions to use the gift in a more appropriate way.

       

      1. Keith Rollon is an honor student at the high school. He is in the eleventh grade. The majority of the students are loud and undisciplined. Keith is not threatened by their behavior. He is not embarrassed to be a nerd. Keith can meet with small groups of students periodically to discuss the necessity of academic achievement for having a successfully life. He will also be good as a tutor in some of the after school programs. Keith can represent our school in seminars and report back to his peers. He can help organize study groups for students that need help in content areas. Keith will also organize groups to act mentors for the lower grade students.

       

      1. Judge Ann Hall is a Juvenile Circuit Judge in the family courts. Judge Hall has created programs designed to give more options for children. Before becoming an attorney, Judge Hall taught elementary, junior and high school.  Judge Hall will help us secure a safe learning environment for our school/community.  Judge Hall will share information with students pertaining to her educational background and show them how they can become anything that they set their minds to.  Judge Hall can familiarize the school/community with the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. She will lead in understanding policies and acquiring funding for the school. There is a chance that we can start a local organization to focus on prevention as well as develop new methods of dealing with juvenile offenders.  

       

      1. Mayor Robert Lee will be able to help us plan programs that are available through city grants and other finances. Some programs and grants are only available to schools through the city. Mr. Lee will work with us to get addition finances for community programs and summer programs for the schools. His office will find research data from other cities that have programs for youth in the school/community. The Mayor will travel to these cities and collaborate with the Mayor and city officials to learn about programs for the youth of our city. The Mayor will visit classrooms and engage in activity with the students. He will plan for visits to the city council meeting and work with the staff and students to understand the role of the mayor. The strategic diversity plan will become part of his agenda during city council meetings. He will relay information to other city departments such as the fire, police, sanitation, street and water departments.

       

       

       

      Diversity Strategic Plan                                                           

      1. African Males will improve their performance by 40% on the end-of-course Literacy test with emphasis on reading literacy and content passages.

      1.1     K-12 teachers will use instructional strategies and curricular that’s researched and proven to increase student performance of African American males.

      1.2     Staff, teachers, and community patron will exhibit a school culture of safety, acceptance and high expectation for all students.

      1.3     Parents will be included in developing and implementing a vision for the school that supports the emotional, social, cultural, and academic needs of the students.

      1.4     Teachers will have on going professional development and collaboration that support the vision and mission of the school.

      1.5     Incorporate frequent surveying  to assess the students’ opinion of the school culture

       

       

      1. African American male’s attendance will reflect a 25% decrease in absenteeism.

      2.1 The cafeteria will provide a nutritious breakfast and invite parents and community

             Patrons to serve students.

      2.2 Provide weekly incentives for students that come to school every day.

      2.3 Allow students to visit the elementary school as peer tutors during the morning hours.

      2.4 Modify instructions to allow reasonable success.

      2.5 Allow students to use their personal I phones to research in class.

      2.6 Conduct bi-weekly recognition of attendance and academic progress.

      2.7 Allow students to use their talent such as singing, playing musical instruments, and

            Art.

      1. The placement of African American males into an alternative learning environment will decrease by 30%.

      3.1     Provide professional on effective classroom management

      3.2     Train students to handle conflict resolution

      3.3     Provide counseling/medication

      3.4     Connect students with police officers as mentors

      3.5     Create a culture that encourages parents to visit classrooms

      3.6     Arrange for convicts to come in as resource/scared straight tactic

      3.7     Arrange for former successful residents to return as a resource speaker

      3.8     Model/role play appropriate behavior

       

      1. African American males will show an increase of 40% proficiency on their portfolio of

      Writing/grammar mini lessons.

      4.1     Read and write using technology/online portals

      4.2     Use culturally appropriate interesting fiction/nonfiction text

      4.3     Teach writing/grammar skills in context of literature

       

      1. African American males (K-12) will improve their performance by 30% on the Arkansas Comprehensive Assessment and Accountability Program (ACTAAP).

      5.1     Develop curriculum that reflects the cultural social, emotional, physical, developmental, and Cognitive needs of African American students.

      5.2     Raise the bar/rigor to accomplish grade level reading proficiency

      5.3     Teach African American history/inventions

      5.4     Visit colleges (3-12)

      5.5     Keep a personal portfolio of graduate credits (9-12 grades)

      5.6     Employ competent African American male teachers

       

       

                                                                                          

       

       

                                                        

                                                                        References

       

      Danielson, C. (2006). Teacher leadership That Strengthens Profession Practice.

               Alexandra, VA: ASCD.

      Kafele, B. K. (2009). Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School & in Life.

              Alexandria, VA: ASCD

      Koppelman, K., L. (2014).  Understanding Human Differences Multicultural Education for a 

                Diverse America. (4th ed). Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.  

      Nicolas, Donald G. (2014).  Where are the black male teachers? Education Week, 33(22), 28

      Tatum, A. (2005). Teaching Reading to black Adolescent Males. Portland, MA: Stenhouse 

                 Publishers. 

      Voltz, D. L., Sims, M. J., & Nelson, B. (2010). Connecting Teachers, Students and Standards

               Strategies for Success in Diverse and Inclusive Classrooms. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

      Westerberg, T. R. (2009).  Becoming a Great High School 6 Strategies and 1 Attitude That

               Make a Difference. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.

       

       

       

       

       

       

       

    • Blog post
    • 1 month ago
    • Views: 137
    • Not yet rated
  • Check out these #ASCD14 Sessio Check out these #ASCD14 Sessions with ASCD Leaders

  • 99 Problems but a Mentor Ain't 99 Problems but a Mentor Ain't One

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:

      I was having a great week. I had returned from ECET2, a convening celebrating effective teachers and teaching. It was hosted by the Gates Foundation (@gatesed), and all 350 attendees were nominated from major educational organizations. From that experience, I gained new friendships and possible opportunities for future collaboration. Our NJASCD North Region had a successful weekday PD event with Eric Sheninger (@NMHS_Principal) on Digital Learning and Leading. Eric even stayed 45 minutes after his presentation ended to ask me, and my North Region Co-Director, Billy J. Krakower (@wkrakower), how we were doing personally and professionally. Life was good. But all I could think about was some offhand comment someone had made to me a few days earlier.


      It was an innocuous comment made to me by someone I don’t know. And, it’s so silly it doesn’t even bear repeating. Yet, I stayed in my car for almost ten minutes before reversing my car out of my parking spot.


      In prior posts I’ve written about the importance of treating each other well and modeling it daily, the importance of honesty in our relationships with students, parents, and peers,  and staying true to our core values as educators. I pride myself in finding the good in others, in our field, and myself, which is why as I reflected on this moment, I wondered where my unwavering positivity went. Why would I let someone I don’t know, who doesn’t know me and will never see me again, have a lasting effect on me? Why would I allow someone to take away my excellence?


      Eric Bernstein (@bernsteinusc), in his race to write more than I do, wrote a beautiful piece about the importance of understanding who students are as people, and where they are as learners. (http://edge.ascd.org/_Lessons-From-the-Fonz-Part-1/blog/6562962/127586.html). His belief (and mine, too) is: the better we know our students, the more successful we can educate them. I think we can extend this concept: the better we know and are honest with ourselves, the better we can educate our students because we will be in a better place, too. And, it’s important for us to be honest with ourselves, acknowledge what irks us (like a throwaway comment by a stranger), and have a support system in place to assist us when we hear the negative whispers after a comment like that which feeds into our insecurities.


      With the hope that this post supports other educators who hear and sometimes can’t block out the negative whispers, here is my advice to keep the faith:


      1. Get Some Ed Therapy: Twitter has salvaged my day more than I like to admit. When I’m down, drained, or dejected, I click on my Tweetdeck shortcut and connect with my edufriends. They have become an extended family, one I share my thoughts, questions, concerns, and ruminations about life in and outside of education. I know they will always be my rock when I need them, and hope they know the same is true for me. My #ASCDL2L, #satchat, #njed, #arkedchat, #iaedchat, #edchat, and #ECET2 crew, I love you all. (Hashtag that).


      2. Find Your Matt Hall: every person in education needs one person in their district who believes in them and shares of themselves, so we become better by learning from their experiences, instead of having to go through them ourselves. Matt Hall (@MHall_MST), the Science and Technology Supervisor in my district, is that person for me. Because he’s paid his dues, knows my driven nature and my end goals, listens to me when I speak, and guides me when my thinking needs redirection. And, he’s a vault. What goes on with Matt Hall, stays with Matt Hall.


      3. Have a Phone Call with Someone from Iowa (or North Carolina, Minnesota, or New York): it was one year ago when I was at a crossroads professionally. I wasn’t sure where my path was leading, or if I could go further. Jimmy Casas (Casas_Jimmy), who I’d known briefly from a couple Twitter interactions, called me and spoke with me for an hour. We discussed me: who I was, who I wanted to be, what my long-term goals were, and why. Jimmy reminded me I couldn’t change my current situation, but I could change my mindset. And it was that conversation, followed by conversations with Steven Weber (@curriculumblog), Kimberly A. Hurd (@khurdhorst), and Maureen Connolly (http://goo.gl/RPN7DH) that prompted me to e-mail Marie Adair (@todayadair), the Executive Director of NJASCD, and ask what I could do to help the organization. Her response: “Whatever you are comfortable with. We’re just happy to have you join us.”


      Like Eric Bernstein’s post, I tried to focus on three main points. Additionally, Eric mentioned his desire to keep his message short, but acknowledged the challenges inherent in that. With that being said, I wanted to list the 99 people who have mentored me on the anniversary of my mindset changing conversations. I am not a better person, father, husband, or teacher without them in my life. I have listed Eric Sheninger, Billy Krakower, Eric Bernstein, Matt Hall, Jimmy Casas, Steven Weber, Kim Hurd, Maureen Connolly, and Marie Adair already, so I will start at the number ten, in no order. Each one of them has helped shape and mold me in some way. To acknowledge that, I have included their Twitter handles if they have them. All are worthy of a follow, and will reciprocate sharing ideas with the goal that we all go further together. We may have 99 problems, but a mentor should not be one:


      10. David Culberhouse (@dculberhouse)

      11. Daisy Dyer-Duerr (@daisydyerduerr)

      12. Scott Rocco (@scottrrocco)

      13. Brad Currie (@bcurrie5)

      14. John Fritzky (@johnfritzky)

      15. Jay Eitner (@isupereit)

      16. Anthony Fitzpatrick (@antfitz)

      17. Diane Jacobs

      18. Pam Lester (@njpam)

      19. Mariann Helfant

      20. MaryJean DiRoberto

      21. Tom Tramaglini (@tomtramaglini)

      22. Matt Mingle (@mmingle1)

      23. Alina Davis (@alinadavis)

      24. Fred Ende (@fredende)

      25. Becki Kelly (@bekcikelly)

      26. Kevin Kelly (@emammuskevink)

      27. Tony Sinanis (@tonysinanis)

      28. Ross LeBrun (@MrLeBrun)

      29. Darren Vanishkian (@mrvteaches)

      30. Glenn Robbins (@glennr1809)

      31. Rebecca McLelland-Crawley

      32. Bruce Arcurio (@principalarc)

      33. Scott Totten (@4bettereducatio)

      34. Kevin Connell (@WHS_Principal)

      35. Krista Rundell (@klrundell)

      36. Cory Radisch (@MAMS_Principal)

      37. Meg (Simpson) Cohen (@megkcohen)

      38. Tina Byland

      39. Klea Scharberg

      40. Suzy Brooks (@simplysuzy)

      41. Eric Russo (@erusso78)

      42. Walter McKenzie (@walterindc)

      43. Kristen Olsen (@kristenbolsen)

      44. Kevin Parr

      45. Robert Zywicki (@zywickir)

      46. Chris Giordano (@giordanohistory)

      47. Jim Cordery (@jcordery)

      48. Drew Frank (@ugafrank)

      49. Jasper Fox, Sr. (@jsprfox)

      50. Kate Baker (@ktbkr4)

      51. Megan Stamer (@meganstamer)

      52. John Falino (@johnfalino1)

      53. Jon Harper (@johnharper70bd)

      54. Grant Wiggins (@grantwiggins)

      55. Kirsten Wilson (@teachkiwi)

      56. Dan P. Butler (@danpbutler)

      57. Tim Ito (@timito4)

      58. Andre Meadows (@andre_meadows)

      59. Tom Whitford (@twhitford)

      60. Matt Renwick (@readbyexample)

      61. Chris Bronke (@mrbronke)

      62. Daniel Ryder (@wickeddecentlearning)

      63. Emily Land (@eland1682)

      64. Jessica (J-Wright) Wright (@jessicampitts)

      65. Phil Griffins (@philgriffins)

      66. Jennifer Orr (@jenorr)

      67. Sophia Weissenborn (@srweissenborn)

      68. Kristie Martorelli (@azstoykristie)

      69. Michelle Lampinen (@michlampinen)

      70. Manan Shah (@shahlock)

      71. Tom Murray (@thomascmurray)

      72. Rich Kiker (@rkiker)

      73. Irvin Scott (@iscott4)

      74. Vivett Hymens (@lotyssblossym)

      75. Jon Spencer (@jonspencer4)

      76. Jozette Martinez (jozi_is_awesome)

      77. Peggy Stewart (@myglobalside)

      78. Michael J. Dunlea (@michaeljdunlea)

      79. Karen Arnold (@sanford475)

      80. Ashleigh Ferguson (@ferg_ashleigh)

      81. Jill Thompson (@edu_thompson)

      82. Rick Hess (@rickhess99)

      83. Maddie Fennell (@maddief)

      84. Todd Whitaker (@toddwhitaker)

      85. Jeff Zoul (@jeff_zoul)

      86. Jen Audley (@jen_audley)

      87. Kevin Scott (@edu_kevin_)

      88. Kathryn Suk (@ksukeduc)

      89. Baruti Kafele (@principalkafele)

      90. Peter DeWitt (@petermdewitt)

      91. Anthony McMichael (@a_mcmichael)

      92. Natalie Franzi (@nataliefranzi)

      93. Paul Bogush (@paulbogush)

      94. Sam Morra (@sammorra)

      95. Spike C. Cook (@drspokecook)

      96. Colin Wikan (@colinwikan)

      97. George Courous (@gcouros)

      98. Scott Taylor (@tayloredlead)

      99. Dave Burgess (@burgessdave)

    • Blog post
    • 1 month ago
    • Views: 888
  • tagz.jpg tagz.jpg

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:
    • 1 month ago
    • Views: 127
    • Not yet rated
  • Lessons From the Fonz - Part 1 Lessons From the Fonz - Part 1

    • From: Eric_Bernstein
    • Description:

      “All You Need to Do Is Keep That Child Buoyed”

      The First of Three Lessons on How to Support Students with Learning Differences from the Fonz

           One of my self-proclaimed areas of relative strength as a teacher educator is in helping regular education teachers understand learning disabilities and how to work with students who have special learning needs in the regular education classroom.  I suspect that the earliest contributions to this strength had to do with my (as yet officially) undiagnosed ADHD.  Having been that student who did not fit the traditional learner mold, but usually being a high achiever, I understood early on that every person did not learn the same way and that just because people do not learn the same way does not mean they do not learn well.  After seeing Henry Winkler (@hwinkler4real) on a recent episode (February 12, 2014) of Morning Joe, I learned that Winkler is another (far more famous) example of my personal experience and understanding of learning differently.  Listening to Winkler, I felt validated in the way I have approached discussions with pre-service and in-service teachers about teaching students with disabilities—reading disabilities, in particular—and was moved to write my next blog based on Winkler’s words in that interview.

       

           After my last blog post theme, connecting teacher professional learning to Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (http://edge.ascd.org/_Meaningful-Learning-An-Excellent-Adventure/blog/6562392/127586.html), I thought that maybe I could write about lessons in education or learning from Henry Winkler’s famed Happy Days character, “The Fonz!”  I searched the web for quotes from Happy Days in hopes of finding ways the Fonz’s wisdom could be connected to teaching and learning.  Sure enough, I found a pearl in Season One of Happy Days, the episode “Fonzie Drops In,” which (just as surely) proved that this approach was probably not my best brainchild ever:

       

              Richie [speaking to the Fonz]: You make school sound like good fun.
            Fonzie: Well, school's got good points. I mean, smoking in the bathroom, cutting classes, showing my tattoo to the chicks.

       

      So...I decided that pop culture would NOT form the theme for this blog post!  Ultimately, though, I hope that Henry Winkler has actually created a new pop cultural icon, Hank Zipzer.  Winkler has created this series of chapter books together with co-author Lin Oliver (@linoliver) based on many of Winkler’s own experiences. The Hank Zipzer series (www.hankzipzer.com, @hankzipzertv) follows the adventures and misadventures of this bright fourth grade (then fifth and sixth, and soon second grade in an anticipated prequel series) student with the same learning challenges Winkler experiences.  My third grade son (who is learning to master some of his own differences in learning style) has just started reading the first book in the series and it has been great to see him relate to the story and character and be motivated past some of his own reluctance to read.

       

           After re-watching that interview on Morning Joe, I realized that I didn’t need the Fonz for this blog post.  I realized that I could address several important points from the words of the Fonz’s self-proclaimed alter-ego, Winkler, himself.  I decided to focus on understanding the experience of being a student with a learning difference and how educators (and parents) can better support those (and ALL) students. Three things that Winkler said in the Morning Joe interview anchor some salient points from my thinking about supporting students:

      1) “I covered my shame and humiliation for not being able to figure out what was going on, with humor...” (MSNBC, 2014)

      2) “...we have to start teaching children the way they CAN learn and not what we think they SHOULD learn....” (MSNBC, 2014)

      3) “...all you need to do is keep that child buoyed...” (MSNBC, 2014)

       

           Mostly in an effort to keep up with the blogging pace of Barry Saide (@BarryKid1), I have decided to break this into three different blog posts (perhaps also to save you from a single 5000+ word blog post—which I think probably violates some rule of blogging! I know @Joe_Mazza, there are no rules...nonetheless, 5000 words seems excessive for one post).  Each post will address one of the three key points highlighted by Henry Winkler’s words from that Morning Joe interview.

       

      “I covered my shame and humiliation for not being able to figure out what was going on, with humor”

       

           One of the most powerful professional learning experiences I ever had with respect to understanding the experiences of students with disabilities was watching the film F.A.T. City Workshop (Lavoie, et. al, 2004).  The shame and humiliation that Winkler describes lead to the “F,” “A,” and “T” in Lavoie’s F.A.T. City:  Frustration, Anxiety, and Tension.

       

           Children who struggle with different learning needs experience increasing frustration that they just can’t “get it.” There are many things that we tell students who are struggling, especially to read.  Lavoie notes three of the most common in F.A.T. City:

      • We tell them to “look at it harder.”—What does that even mean?  How do you look at something “harder?”
      • We say we will give them something if they can do it!—Telling a student with a reading disability that they can be first in line for recess if they can read a passage is no more effective then telling a student with a fever that they can be first in line if they lower their temperature.
      • We blame the victim, we tell the student they are lazy and not trying hard enough—Despite our admonitions that something is easy and they must not be motivated, motivation only enables a person to do, to the best of their abilities, something that we are already capable of doing.

       

           As Winkler explained in a different interview, “I was called lazy. I was called stupid. I was told I was not living up to my potential.” Yet, he went on to explain that all the time inside he was thinking “I don’t think I’m stupid. I don’t want to be stupid. I’m trying as hard as I can. I really am” (Yale, n.d.). Students who are struggling already know they are not getting it and our typical responses only compound the frustration—as they really do WANT to get it.

       

           The persistent experience of “not getting it” results in anxiety about being called on in class or looking stupid in front of peers.  Winkler described being called, in 1999, to read for a new Neil Simon play—ostensibly, a significant career opportunity—and he explained how he very easily initially reacted to himself “you can’t do this, you’ll be out of the business, you’ll be out of your life. Aside from this, you’ll be embarrassing yourself into oblivion” (Yale, n.d.). Winkler had that anxiety after already being an established, successful, and even revered actor.  Imagine the anxiety that is experienced by the student with learning differences every time the teacher is cold calling, or as the ping pong reading comes ever closer to her or him.  Lavoie explains, and I have seen in my own classrooms, the cognitive demand of the anxiety that those students are experiencing when thinking about what or when they will be called on and how their “not getting it” may make them look in front of the teacher or, worse, their peers. 

       

           The cognitive load of the anxiety leaves little space for focus on things that those students would otherwise be able to learn and understand.  We need to come up with strategies to reduce that anxiety for our students.  One simple change would be to have a silent cue that only you and the specific student know—when you give them that cue, they know they are the next person to be called on.  This will likely not reduce the anxiety the student experiences at the time you actually call on her or him.  What it will do, though, is relieve the cognitive load of worrying if they will be next—allowing room for them to engage with and learn the content that is being delivered in the mean time.

       

           Winkler describes covering his shame “with humor.” The acting-out behaviors that generate the laughs create the third aspect of Lavoie’s F.A.T. trifecta, tension between teacher (or parent) and the young person.  Winkler aptly notes that “A child doesn't wake up in the morning saying 'Wow, I'm gonna be an idiot today, I'm gonna cause trouble,' ” yet, causing trouble is often the only way that young people who are struggling with learning can “save face” or avoid feeling ashamed by their lack of understanding.  Those who don’t act-out, often exhibit another protective behavior, hiding—making themselves small and hoping no one notices they are even there.  In either event, there is always a reason why young people behave in an apparently asocial manner.  That reason is almost always for self-protection or self-preservation. Research by Walker, Colvin, and Ramsey (1995) resulted in the construction of a cycle of acting-out behavior and explain that even maladaptive behaviors typically serve an adaptive purpose.

       

           Most often, educators and parents focus on punishing the asocial behaviors of young people. Winkler describes his experience with his own parents growing up: “My parents were determined to find the punishment that was going to force me to get better grades” (Murfitt, 2008).  However, as Walker, Colvin, and Ramsey (1995) explain, punishments for the acting-out behavior tend not to be effective or long-term behavior changers.  Actually, they note, punishing the acting-out behavior often reinforces the behavior by fulfilling the need (e.g., avoidance of the originating situation).  Rather, they explain that the underlying behavioral contingency (the if-then construct—e.g., if I act out and can get in trouble, then the teacher will focus on punishing me and will not make me answer the question I don’t understand and I won’t be embarrassed by giving a wrong answer or if I refuse to read my book and, instead, argue about it with my parents, then I will get sent to my room and not end up having to do the reading) must be identified and the needs that lead to the behavior are what, in fact, should be addressed. 

       

      The bottom line:  We should use our energies to seek an understanding of what motivates student behavior and ask ourselves why this young person feels compelled to act-out (or hide).  This lesson is absolutely one that will benefit all of our students, regardless of learning styles and disability—and will support a positive, safe learning climate in all of our classrooms.

       

      Thank you for taking the time to read this far and I do hope that you will be on the lookout for part two of this blog post—“...we have to start teaching children the way they CAN learn and not what we think they SHOULD learn....”

       

      ----------

       

      Lavoie, R. D., Rosen, P., Eagle Hill School Outreach., Peter Rosen Productions., & PBS Video. (2004). How difficult can this be?: Understanding learning disabilities: frustration, anxiety, tension, the F.A.T. city workshop. Alexandria, VA: PBS.

       

      MSNBC. (2014, Feb12). Morning Joe: Henry Winkler’s kids book tackles dyslexia. Video retrieved February 18, 2014, from http://www.msnbc.com/morning-joe/watch/henry-winklers-kids-book-tackles-dyslexia-148785731602.

       

      Murfitt, N. (2008, Dec 8). 'I was called Dumb Dog': Henry Winkler's happy days as The Fonz were blighted by condition undiagnosed for 35 years. Daily Mail. Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1092477/I-called-Dumb-Dog-Henry-Winklers-happy-days-The-Fonz-blighted-condition-undiagnosed-35-years.html.

       

      Walker, H. M., Colvin, G., & Ramsey, E. (1995). Antisocial behavior in school: Strategies and best practices. Pacific Grove, Calif: Brooks/Cole Pub. Co.

       

      Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity.  (n.d.).  Henry Winkler, Actor, Producer, Author.  Retrieved February 20, 2014, from http://dyslexia.yale.edu/Winkler.html.

    • Blog post
    • 2 months ago
    • Views: 467
  • Six Planes, Six Plans. Six Planes, Six Plans.

    • From: Suzy_Brooks
    • Description:

      This post is a part of the ASCD Forum conversation “how do we cultivate and support teacher leaders?” To learn more about the ASCD Forum, go to www.ascd.org/ascdforum.

      My February vacation was unlike any other I’ve experienced.  With two trips planned - I had it set in my mind that one would be about Education, and the other would be about Family. I would spend 3 nights in Snowbird Utah, as a guest of the Gates Foundation. Their Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching Convening (#ECET2) was a chance for teacher leaders from all over the country to talk about the challenges we are facing in education.  I was expecting to be immersed in all-things Education for those 3 days - and I was.  For the next 3 nights, I would be with my family in the midwest, where we would be visiting my daughter’s #1 college choice: The University of Minnesota.  There would be lots of laughs, meals shared, and stories to bring home. I was expecting to be immersed in all-things Family for those 3 days - and I was.


      
What I wasn’t expecting? Was the amount of overlap between Family and Education during my 6 day, 6 flight adventure. This week has had a profound effect on me as an educator, and as a individual.  I couldn't help but re-think some of my goals, priorities and beliefs by the time I arrived back to Cape Cod.

      BOS - SLC: Am I a leader?

      In a recent post on ASCD’s Edge, I reflected on this question… Flying to Salt Lake City, I thought long and hard about it. I believe all teachers are leaders in their own way - some just take it beyond the classroom.  My leadership extends beyond my classroom by way of the Internet. It is online where i am able to shine as a leader. Online, I offer an opinion without fear. I have time to formulate my thoughts before typing. I share what I’m doing in my classroom without shyness. I connect with others I wouldn’t have the courage to offline.  It is the “face-to-face” leader I am reluctant to become.  ECET2 brought me out of my shell through cooperative opportunities designed for meaningful interaction. I worked closely with teacher leaders from all over the US, and in the process, I began to see my skills mirrored in theirs. There were soft-spoken, shy, thoughtful teachers. They are working hard to bring teaching and learning to the next level. I saw them as leaders, and in doing so, I started to believe in myself as well.

      PLAN: Connect with teacher leaders, and recognize my role as such.
      ___________________________________________________________________________

      SLC - BOS: Where’s the balance?

      Flying home from Snowbird, my thoughts were consumed with the concept of Balance.  Every conversation I heard touched upon the struggles teachers face when it comes to finding balance in their lives…  How do we balance our role as teacher with that of teacher leader?  How do we find time for our family? How do we find time for ourselves?  Unfortunately, I came away with far more questions than answers. I am always amazed at the number of teachers who face the challenges of anxiety and depression. The more I tell people about my diagnosed, unmedicated anxiety, the more stories I hear.  Too many teachers I connect with are having to rely on medication, exercise, diet and counseling to help them cope with anxiety and depression.   In a profession where working at home is necessary, what strategies do teachers use to make everything fit? And, when it doesn’t fit, what is the price we pay? Do we leave the profession? Do we leave our family? What is conventionally billed as an excellent fit for families, a career in teaching doesn’t quite deliver. Balance is one of the biggest struggles I face in life. I have yet to figure out how to teach, lead and connect in effective, consistent ways.  Because of this, I live a distracted life - trying to juggle everything well, knowing I’m dropping balls left and right. Though I was surrounded by passionate overachievers at #ECET2, I left wondering where my answers would come from.

      PLAN: - Define boundaries where my attention is not drawn away from what is important.
      ___________________________________________________________________________

      BOS - STL: Can my students Achieve the Core?

      My family and I took off from Boston 6 hours after I landed from Utah. As we prepared to visit my daughter’s #1 choice for college, we talked about the university’s requirements for entering freshman.  Common Core students should start arriving on the doorsteps of colleges nation-wide, well-prepared to think critically, work cooperatively and demonstrate understanding in multiple ways. Teachers all over the country are given the responsibility of delivering curriculum to fit these national standards, and we are essentially still at the ground level.  Understanding the shifts of the Common Core takes extensive reading and reflection, and it cannot be done alone. Teachers must work together to better define what teaching and learning will look like in the classroom at all levels.  With careful, thoughtful implementation, our students will be set up for success.  Isn’t that what they deserve?

      PLAN: Build capacity in my own Common Core understanding while continuing to offer PD for teachers.
      ___________________________________________________________________________

      STL - MSP: Who put me in a cage?

      Before landing in the Twin Cities, I thought about the sessions I attended at #ECET2. After attending one particular session called the Cage Busting Teacher, facilitated by Rick Hess (@rickhess99), and Maddie Fennell (@maddief) I was empowered to think of myself as a leader who can have difficult conversations.  My anxiety often gets in the way of my actions - but Rick and Maddie offered entry points to engage education stakeholders. While the premise of the workshop was based on the idea that teachers are stuck in cages created by our education system, I saw it a little differently. What holds me back, is myself. I am in a professional and personal cage because I allow myself to be there.  I censor my responses, suppress my opinion, let others speak up because my fear gets in the way.  Typing this paragraph is a challenge for me, because I know deep down it is a commitment for me to break free of what holds me back.

      PLAN: Find inroads to necessary conversations as they relate to what is important to me.
      ___________________________________________________________________________

      MSP - MKE: How does the fate of our individual journey figure in?

      After spending a few days on a college campus with my family, I couldn’t help but think about fate.  How do our individual choices culminate in an life-long journey?  Each of us have a story to tell - what makes us special; what life lessons we have learned.  Each choice leads us in a particular direction - and when we multiply out dozens and dozens of decisions, we end up at a certain destination. My daughter is at a time in her life where her decisions are starting to shape her journey. I was emotional several times during our visit, as my Big Picture thinking made me realize how our journeys shape us as individuals. To have it to do all over again would result in a different path, a different destination. I’m not sure I’d be wiling to risk losing the good and the bad of where I am now, for that unknown.  The teachers I met this week shared touching, inspiring stories as unique and special as they were.  Honoring our decisions (good and bad) as part of who we are, is so very important.

      PLAN: Recognize the importance of future decisions as being catalysts towards my ultimate fate.
      _____________________________________________________________


      MKE - BOS: This I do for me.

      As I was in my final leg, and almost home, I took a break from reading a book and started thinking again… I am very thankful for where I am and what I am able to do.  I am honored and grateful for the recognitions I have received, and I love going to school and coming home each day.  I am very aware of the fact that my happiness comes from helping others.  In that quest, I often forget about the happiness that comes from helping myself.  Small messages came through to me throughout my trip…  Slow down, Suzy.  Pay attention, Suzy.  Exercise, Suzy. Relax more, Suzy. Be brave, Suzy. Essentially, the more I do for Suzy, the more I am fueled to do more for others.  So, as I wrap up this blog post, I am committed to a new plan.  I want what is best for my family, students, friends and colleagues. I am more than any of the individual roles I define. I am more than a mother, a wife, a teacher, a leader. Yet, it is the sum of those parts that make me unique. 

      PLAN:  Take better care of myself so I can better meet the needs of others.

      It is with sincere gratitude that I thank ASCD for my nomination, the Gates Foundation for the invitation, my amazing #ECET2 peeps for their inspiration, my family for our conversation, and my students for the motivation.  I’m a lucky girl.


      
Dream Big.

    • Blog post
    • 2 months ago
    • Views: 519
  • ECET2: We Are Family ECET2: We Are Family

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:

      

      What is family?


      If you go by the dictionary definition, it’s people who are related to you by common blood and descendants. If you follow the lyrics of Sister Sledge, it’s based on friendship, commonalities, closeness. And, if you were at ECET2, you realize it’s the 350 people you laughed, cried, and shared stories with during a three day convening based on a common passion for being an educator.


      ECET2 is an acronym for Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers and Teaching, a convening hosted and funded by the Gates Foundation (@gatesed). Each of the educators invited to attend were nominated by a professional organization to best represent them. These organizations put up their A-Team, their MacGyvers, their Shakespeares, believing within each nominated person’s DNA was a common trait: a desire to support the whole child and their families. These attendees were not superheroes. They were more than that: people whose only invincibility was their unwavering belief that all students had the power to learn, as long as we empowered them to do so.


      I was one of those 350 edustars. I was nominated by ASCD. Surprised that they chose me, smart enough not to question it, just thankfully blessed, I humbly accepted. (Didn’t want them to reconsider). I would find out later that this “Why me?” question was another commonality my new edufamily shared, because in our minds just doing our jobs got us here.


      Our role at home was to help raise and nurture the next group of societal leaders, using our classroom and subject matter as the forum to teach problem solving, questioning, active listening, collaboration, teamwork, and advocacy. As ECET2 attendees, we would model, rinse, and repeat these skills through three intensely thought provoking days, 8,000 feet above sea level, in Snowbird, Utah.


      The elevation in the ECET2 acronym meant raising our edugame through guided discussions, interactive presentations, Ted-style talks, and social downtime. We met in small, colleague circles, discussing chosen focus topics. We shared resources, asked questions, and actively listened, all under the agreement that the first rule of colleague circles was you don’t talk about colleague circles. It was the law of Las Vegas: what goes on in the circle stays in the circle.


      This respectful collegiality, this understanding that our takeaway from each colleague circle, presentation, and discussion was to learn from and with each other, signified the power of a phrase I learned from George Couros (@gcouros): the smartest person in the room is the room. Or, as my friend and ASCD co-presenter, Eric Russo (@erusso78) said during our presentation on EduCore, “Barry and I were geeking out before with our breakfast table. Talking growth mindset, special education, school culture, and problem of practice, sharing documents we created, all while eating bacon.”


      We all geeked out with each other by alternately learning, teaching, and leading so each member of our ECET2 family got better. So they could celebrate their new knowledge within their district, school, and student families. And, so we could all feel a little more effective in the process.


      Katie Novak (@katienovakudl) called ECET2 “a movement.” I love her thinking, but it runs deeper than that for me. Originally, I saw the nomination by ASCD and the invitation to ECET2 by the Gates Foundation as a sign that ‘I’d made it’. When I attended the convening, I realized the  ‘it’ was just the beginning of the journey. The real test to see whether I was worthy of my invite and had learned from my experience was what I would do next. How would I show my appreciation for my experience with my ECET2 family? How would I pay it forward to my edufamily at home?


      The underlying approach to learning at ECET2 was to challenge and provoke our thinking through honest dialogue. No one at the convening did this better than Rick Hess (@rickhess99), of American Enterprise Institute, and Maddie Fennell (@maddief) who co-presented on ‘Cage Busting Leadership’. I asked him if he was interested in collaborating on a weekly Twitter chat. I believe our extended education family needs to hear his voice, have an opportunity to interact with him, and grow from these discussions. Rick’s response: “Love the chat idea...will figure out a way to make this happen.”


      Challenging and provoking thinking comes from teacher activism. I touched base with Jessica Wright (@jessicampitts), Suzy Brooks (@simplysuzy), Chris Bronke (@mrbronke), Jen Orr (@jenorr), Vivett Hemans (@lotyssblossym), Emily Land (@eland1682), Tamera Dixon (mstdixon), and Dan Ryder (@wickeddecent). They are my pre-ECET2 family. We’d organized and led a Twitter chat the night before the convening began (http://storify.com/barrykid1/pre-ecet2-twitter-chat-on-2-16-14). We’re going to continue that discussion with a bi-monthly Twitter chat for all past and present ECET2 attendees, as well as any educators interested in Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teaching and Teachers. We’ll expand and turnkey focus topics discussed in Utah, and globally extend our colleague circles. Maybe members of the Gates Foundation, like: Dr. Irvin Scott (@iscott4), Dr. Vicki Phillips (@drvickip), Nate Brown (@hnborown1), Amy Hodges Slamp (@amyslamp), and Isis Randolph-McCree (@isismccree) would guest moderate. (hint, hint).


      Teacher activism needs to be local, too. I connected with the three other New Jersey attendees at the convening: Peggy Stewart (@myglobalside), Michael J, Dunlea (@michaeljdunlea), and Katherine Bassett. With the help of our new friends from Pittsburgh (@ecet2pgh) who’ve previously hosted a regional ECET2, we’re going to figure out a way to do one too, to elevate and celebrate our effective teachers and teaching family in New Jersey. We’d love to collaborate with others on this, so if others in our area would like to pay it forward with us, let us know.


      I know Sister Sledge and the dictionary both have it right: family is bound by like DNA, commonalities, and a similar mindset. That is why we say our close friends are ‘like family,’ and certain friends are ‘my brother,’ or, ‘my sister.’ From my three days in Utah, my edufriends became edufamily. And with their help and support, who knows what we will achieve? Regardless of outcome, our journey will continue together as we elevate and celebrate each other, and make one another more effective in the process.


      Author’s note: to honor all who influenced me and helped make me better, I noted people’s Twitter handles. They’re great teachers, and even better people. Give them a follow. They’ll make you better, like they did me. And, you won’t have to go to Utah to do it.

    • Blog post
    • 2 months ago
    • Views: 695
  • Leader to Leader News: Februar Leader to Leader News: February 2014

    • From: Meg_Cohen
    • Description:

      ASCD Leader to Leader (L2L) News is a monthly e-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 toconstituentservices@ascd.org.

       

      Action Items for ASCD Leaders

      • Join the ASCD Forum conversationFrom now through April 11, ASCD invites educators worldwide to join a conversation on the topic, “How do wecultivate and support teacher leaders?” Learn more at www.ascd.org/ascdforum.
         
      • ASCD Emerging Leader Program applications are openNominate a colleague; we are accepting applications until April 1.
         
      • Presenting at ASCD Annual Conference?Send your session number to constituentservices@ascd.org by March 3 for inclusion in a special ASCD Annual Conference L2L newsletter. We’ll highlight your session so that your fellow ASCD leaders know to come out and support you!
         

       

       

      ASCD Nominations Committee Selects Candidates for ASCD Board of Directors

      In January 2014, the 2014 ASCD Nominations Committee selected five candidates to run for two open positions on the Board of Directors in the next General Membership Election. Those five individuals are Tony Frontier (Wisc.), Josh Garcia (Wash.), Patrick Miller (N.C.), Lorraine Ringrose (Alberta, Canada), and Anne Roloff (Ill.). The election process will open on April 1 and will run through May 15.

       

      ASCD Releases 2014 Legislative Agenda

      The key priority for ASCD in 2014 is to promote multimetric accountability so that standardized test scores are not the sole measure of student achievement, educator effectiveness, or school quality. Multimetric accountability systems must

      • Promote continuous support and improvement.
      • Be public and transparent.
      • Include a range of subjects beyond English language arts and mathematics.
      • Incorporate important nonacademic factors such as measures of school climate, safety, and parental engagement.

      The 2014 Legislative Agenda (PDF) contains four policy recommendations:

      • A Well-Rounded Education: All students deserve comprehensive and engaging opportunities that prepare them for college and careers and to be active, productive citizens.
      • Conditions for Learning: Students need a strong foundation of support—including in-school social and emotional learning and meaningful parental and community engagement—to attain their full potential.
      • Multimetric Accountability: Standardized tests should never be the primary measure of student or educator proficiency; instead, accountability systems must include a range of subjects and promote continuous support for growth.
      • Developing Educator Effectiveness: Continuous educator preparation and professional development must provide personalized support that recognizes educators’ strengths and enhances their growth.

       

      ASCD Educators Connect the Classroom to the Capitol

      Educators throughout the United States recently convened in Washington, D.C., to attend ASCD’s legislative conference, the Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy (LILA). Attendees had the opportunity to meaningfully network with colleagues, build knowledge to expand their personal influence, and hear from top education thought leaders including U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan who urged attendees to “seize the day.” Duncan also commended ASCD and its members for “walking the walk when it comes to professional development,” helping classroom teachers and schools leaders commit to a “rich, well-rounded, rigorous education.”

      If you were unable to attend this year, see LILA’s storify collection—which brings together your colleagues’ pictures, tweets, and reflections. ASCD Emerging Leader alum Hannah Gbenro also shared her reflections in an ASCD EDge® post Educational Advocacy: Why and How.

      Other conference highlights:

      • Rick Hess of the American Enterprise Institute delivered a provocative keynote address during which he encouraged advocacy and offered attendees advice to improve their meetings with policymakers, from beginning meetings with a positive attitude and presuming the reasonableness of elected leaders to offering workable solutions and compromises instead of only raising issues and complaints.
         
      • With bipartisan panels of congressional staffers and policy experts, attendees learned about the pessimistic outlook for Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization.
         
      • In interactive skill-building sessions, attendees walked through the steps to developing a personalized advocacy message using ASCD’s 2014 Legislative Agenda (PDF) along with their own examples and data. Attendees then took their messages to Capitol Hill, where they met with their federal policymakers to share policy recommendations for improving education.

      Access follow-up resources from the conference, including more detailed policy recommendations and an overview of the legislative agenda.

       

      ASCD Emerging Leader is Facilitator of New Professional Interest Community

      Congratulations to ASCD Emerging Leader Jill Thompson, facilitator of ASCD’s newest Professional Interest Community on the topic of personalized learning. Please join the Personalized Learning group on the ASCD EDge platform to stay connected on this important topic.

       

      Congratulations!

       

      Join the ASCD Forum Conversation on Teacher Leadership

      The ASCD Forum is the chance for educators to make their voices heard on a topic of worldwide importance. From January 15 to April 11, ASCD invites all educators to explore the question through online and face-to-face discourse, “How do we cultivate and support teacher leaders?”

      To learn more about the ASCD Forum:

      To join the conversation:

      Join the ASCD EDge® group and respond to the comments from other educators.


      Read and comment on these blog posts:

      Follow the conversation on Twitter at #ASCDForum.

       

      Write your own blog post on the topic of teacher leadership. Here’s how.

       

      Join us at ASCD Annual Conference in Los Angeles at session #2124 hosted by ASCD President Becky Berg on Sunday, March 16, 8:00–9:30 a.m. pacific time.

       

      As the most active leaders in the association, you are integral to the success of this conversation. Your leadership helps set an example for others to make their voices heard. Please join the discussion on teacher leadership!

       

      ASCD Leader Voices

       

      Association News

      ASCD Releases 2014 PD Online® Course Catalog for K–12 Educators—ASCD announced the release of the 2014 PD Online course catalog. The new catalog offers more than 100 user-friendly courses developed by ASCD authors and experts available anytime, anywhere to educators, including 21 new PD Online courses. PD Online courses are developed to help educators increase their knowledge and discover best practice methods. Read the full press release.

      ASCD Announces Expanded On-Site and Blended Professional Learning Services Offerings—ASCD announced the new ASCD Professional Learning Services, enabling more school districts nationwide to receive greater customized professional development from the association. The ASCD Professional Learning Services offerings are customizable based on the needs of a district or school and are available in on-site or blended solutions. Read the full press release. Read the full press release.

      2014 ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show Set to Host Sessions Focused on Technology, Leadership, Common Core Implementation, and More—ASCD announced the full schedule of events for the upcoming 69th ASCD Annual Conference and Exhibit Show. The upcoming conference will be held March 15–17 at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, Calif. Attendees will learn ideas and best-practice strategies that drive student achievement while unlocking ways to boost teacher and leadership effectiveness. Read the full press release.

      ASCD Releases Four New Professional Development Publications to Transform Learning—ASCD announced the release of four new professional development titles for educators. As educators face new standards and classroom challenges, they will find solutions for prioritizing school improvement efforts, working with difficult students, bringing joy into teaching and learning, and teaching vocabulary effectively in these new professional development publications. Read the full press release.

      ASCD Brings Spring and Summer Common Core Professional Development Institutes to New Cities in 2014—ASCD announced the lineup of one- and two-day Professional Development Institutes for the spring and summer. Expanding to eight new cities, ASCD’s institutes are designed to provide greater support to educators nationwide as they continue to implement the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), while meeting educators where they are. Read the full press release.

      ASCD Releases 2014 Legislative Agenda, Calls for Increased Multimetric Accountability—ASCD released its 2014 Legislative Agenda on Monday, January 27th, at the association’s Leadership Institute for Legislative Advocacy in Washington, D.C. Developed by the association’s Legislative Committee—a diverse cross section of ASCD members representing the entire spectrum of K–12 education—the 2014 ASCD Legislative Agenda outlines the association’s federal policy priorities for the year. Read the full press release.

       

       

       

    • Blog post
    • 2 months ago
    • Views: 271
    • Not yet rated
  • Kelly_Moore1

    • ASCD EDge Member
    • Points:250
    • Views: 169
    • Since: 2 months ago
    • Not yet rated
  • Find the Good Find the Good

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:

      This post is a part of the ASCD Forum conversation “how do cultivate and support teacher leaders?” To learn more about the ASCD Forum, go to www.ascd.org/ascdforum.

       

      Find the Good.

       

      When I first started teaching, I’d heard and read of the importance of finding something to like about each student, even the student whose positive qualities were hard to find. I was told, “It can be as simple as the color shirt they’re wearing. Maybe they’re wearing red and you like red.Use that to drive your interactions with that student.”

      Thirteen years later, I realize what the messenger meant. I think they meant: “maybe the child has a nice sense of style. They dress well. The shirt is a cool one, and I wish I could get away with wearing that one now.”


      I hear from time to time when meeting with parents: “I know you have your favorites. It’s natural, everyone does.” I agree with the premise, that some students are very personable: they come in with positive experiences about school and the world. Perhaps they have a great support system. They’re charming, social, or their wittiness is matched by great comedic timing. They’re easy to like. They’re easy to find the good in. You don’t even need to tell them, they know. Someone’s probably told them before you even met them.


      However, we didn’t get into this field for the easy. We did for the intrinsic rewards: the ability to create positive change by finding the good in those who may not know the good they carry. To shine a light on what’s not readily evident. To search, find, and celebrate. We’re unique. That is good.


      Sounds easy.It’s not.


      Students, their parents, and we educators all come into our environment each day an unfinished product. We’ve got our warts, our schemas, and our issues. Sometimes they’re easily visible, and sometimes we just think they are. While we cannot change anything that has happened when we were wards of the education system, we can create a positive one for those who move forward through it now. That means we can embody the good, find the good in others, make sure we call attention to it so the student and their parent knows it, and use that knowledge to help the child and his/her support system trend positively from this point forward. 


      This repeated process enables us to find the good quicker in others, as the lens we look at people through has changed. It keeps us positive during the challenging days. And, it reminds us that all of us are capable of growth and learning. We just need to be willing to stay consistent to the process, because finding the good is a repetitive one. Find it enough, and it will find you, too.


      ASCD has found the good in me. Members of the organization nominated me and three of my peers to attend Elevating and Celebrating Effective Teachers (#ECET2). This event is sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The 250 of us invited by the Foundation, will connect, collaborate, and leverage the goodness in each other. Prior to meeting everyone this coming Monday, we will host a Tweetup on Twitter Sunday night from 8 - 9 PM EST. All current and past ECET2’ers are welcome. Our goal is to find the goodness in each other, carry that with us to the convening, and turnkey it back home to our students. 

       

      Find the good. 

       

      Then, let it find you.

       

    • Blog post
    • 2 months ago
    • Views: 600
  • Be Excellent to Each Other! Be Excellent to Each Other!

    • From: Barry_Saide
    • Description:

      This post is a part of the ASCD Forum conversation “how do cultivate and support teacher leaders?” To learn more about the ASCD Forum, go to www.ascd.org/ascdforum.


      One of my favorite movies during my high school years was ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure.’ The movie focused on two lovable, sweet, but nowhere near valedictorian high school seniors who need to pass a history report in order to graduate. With the help of a time machine, and some luck, they pass their class, meet the girls of their dreams, and are able to start their own rock band.

       

      At one point in the movie, Bill and Ted are transported to the very distant future, where they meet three people, aptly named ‘The Three Most Important People in the World.’ These three people recognize Bill and Ted, and seem to revere them. The men are speechless, waiting to see what Bill and Ted will do:

       

      Ted: Bill, I think they want us to say something.

      Bill: What should I say?

      Ted: (shrugs) Make something up.

      Bill: Be excellent to each other.

       

      After BIll’s comment, the three men nod appreciatively, as if this is the wisest thing the two transported teens could say. And, when thinking about teacher leadership, I don’t think Bill or Ted is that far off when they say we should be excellent to each other.

       

      Being excellent to one another is really what’s at the core of teacher leadership, for me. Excellence begins in the way we interact with each other, as professionals. We greet the secretaries in the main office. Even if their heads are down, it’s important to acknowledge them, and validate the important role they play as the first line of communication (or defense) in our buildings.

       

      Interacting with excellence includes saying hello to each other in the hallway, even if we’ve just seen each other, or don’t know one another. We respect each other’s role in the school, and each one of us helps make our school community function positively. That quick greeting we gave may be the one that perks someone up. Or, it may be the first positive interaction that person has had all day. We’re not always cognizant of our role and effect on others, and we should be, because we’re in-tune with how others affect us.

       

      Our students see the interactions we have with our peers and co-workers. Students see if we greet each other with a smile. They also hear our sarcasm, and see us if we use negative non-verbal communication, like turning our backs, ignoring comments from peers, or averting eye contact. Students then internalize our mannerisms. After all, we are their teacher. Aren’t students supposed to do what their teacher says to do? Don’t actions speak louder than words?

       

      At some point, students will replicate us: either in how they talk to the peers or co-workers we spoke to (or one of similar status), or in how they speak to their own classmates. We have an opportunity to model excellence in leadership without ever leaving our classroom by ‘being excellent to each other.’ Perhaps the ‘Three Most Important People in the World’ understood that. And, perhaps Bill and Ted had a little more social intelligence than we gave them credit for in that movie. Because, creating an excellent environment depends on the consistency in which we carry our excellence with us.

       

      Now, go be excellent to each other. See how that feels. Chances are, you’ll enjoy it.

       

      Then, take that feeling and party on, dude. (couldn’t resist).

    • Blog post
    • 2 months ago
    • Views: 1348
Results 1 - 20 of 926

Terms of Service