Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Teachers Building Up Other Teachers

We are just a few days into a new Twitter Challenge, teachers posting daily using a school hashtag and taking time to read each others' tweets. We began on Friday and we already have momentum!!

I am very excited about what is happening. Teachers are posting what their students are doing in class AND they encouraging other teachers to join in and get on Twitter and share their class successes as well. Real movement and change occurs when people see the relevance, meaning, and purpose to their work. When teachers feel the need to get others on board, we are in a GOOD place! The beauty of this sharing is that it is breaking down the walls between our classrooms and opening up the possibilities for teachers to try new and innovative approaches. It is safe to try and "fail forward."

The reality is that not everyone is on Twitter and therefore teachers are reaching out and sharing other ways to collaborate on ideas, share practices, and encourage each other. One way is the the #observeme movement that has been and continues to take place in our district and across the nation. Teachers inviting other teachers into their room with the #observeme sign to observe and provide them with feedback. Yes, they want feedback so that they can improve on their lesson delivery.

A teacher reached out to me this evening to help share another great resource called Flipgrid. This is an amazing way to capture student voices through video responses. I love how he referred to the tool as a "force multiplier." A way for teachers to capture and share what is happening in their classrooms without even leaving their campus. If we "multiply"our impact the potential is limitless!! Check out a recent Flipgrid from Colonel Avery's classroom: https://flipgrid.com/x9h3gua

Publicize this link, share with your staff! Let's create a "force multiplier" https://flipgrid.com/observeme 

Continue to be innovativecreative, and a model of excellence!!

Monday, February 13, 2017

HOPE and Revolutionary Love.......

I cannot take credit for this week's post title. I must give credit to Alisal Union School District in Salinas, CA. I continue to follow Josh Harris on Twitter, our previous amazing Ed Tech, who is now the Director of Technology in AUSD. Today #AlisalStrong was in force on Twitter. Their district was engaged in a district wide Good Teaching Conference. Among the many sessions they were offering they, just as we do in #FSUSD, see the need to help develop the whole child. I was struck by one of the presenter's slides titled, "What is Revolutionary Love?" The presenter listed seven bullet points:

  • Defined by inputs rather than outcomes
  • Unyielding BELIEF in EVERY child
  • Demands energy and passion aka Never Giving Up...
  • Continual search to be better
  • Taking responsibility
  • Being courageous
  • It hurts...

“When students feel a sense of self-worth, they’re five times more likely to be academically motivated.” --Professor Russell Quaglia

My daughter brought this Ellen video to my attention this weekend. She said to me, "Mom you will like to see this." She was right!!! 

As we head back to work this week on Valentine's Day, take some extra time to reach out and show that you value EVERY student in your classroom and on your campus. Be that one caring adult every child needs! Provide your students HOPE that they CAN and WILL be successful. It is up to us to provide that HOPE and Revolutionary Love!! 

Continue to be innovativecreative, and a model of excellence!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Every Child Deserves the BEST!!!

At the start of the school year, each member of the Ed Services Team reflected on his/her WHY? We then shared our WHY with all of the site administrators. Many of you then took that activity and shared it with your teachers who also reflected on their WHY. I think it is a pivotal time in the school year for each and everyone one of us to PAUSE and reflect back on our WHY. Why do you do what you do? Why are you in education? Why do you teach? Why do you lead?

Our students need us to be present in the moment, to appreciate them, and to make every effort to improve their overall experience in our schools. We can't connect if we are sitting in an office. We can't appreciate them if we aren't part of their experiences. And, we definitely can't improve their overall experience in our schools if we are only interacting and listening to the adults. I challenge each and every one of you reading this to go out and #ShadowAStudent. Walk the hallways, engage in discussions, be part of the classrooms and view our schools from the perspective of a student. You can learn a lot from walking in the shoes of a student for just a few hours.

GlennRobbins, @Glennr1809, a Superintendent in New Jersey, took on the #ShadowAStudent challenge. Here you see him with his backpack on enjoying one of his middle schools.

James Lane, @DrJamesLane, Superintendent in Virginia is seen here taking #ShadowAStudent to one of his local high schools. 

"Every Child Deserves Someone to be Crazy About Them" 

Continue to be innovativecreative, and a model of excellence!!