It has been a while since I have blogged and the past few weeks have been exciting and busy. I decided to use photos for this blog to capture my recent experience at our week-long leadership training and getting my new office set up.
- A great quote that summarized our mission for the week!
- The Systems Thinking/Systems Changing Game was critical thinking and problem-solving at its best! This game is used by teams to experience what it takes to make effective systemic change in schools.
- Just me, still smiling and VERY EXCITED about Operation Transformation! I think it’s only fair to mention that I have the best principal ever. Seriously.
- This responsibility mural is posted in one of our hallways at my campus. We have several character trait murals, all in an effort to focus on character education this year.
- I just find it a bit amazing that I am listed in an “Important People to Know Book”. If I were to make one of these, I would list every student and staff member at my campus. They are truly amazing individuals.
- Just a few books of my bookshelf. This month alone I have added the following terrific reads:
- Growth Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
- The Constructivist Leader by Lambert, et.al.
- Elements of Grading: A Guide to Effective Practice by Douglas Reeves
Over the past several weeks, I’ve been immersed in Carol Dweck’s book- Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. This morning, I had the opportunity to hear her in person! Here is my big “take-away” from today’s session…
Our language tells students what we believe and what we value…do we value the process of learning or inherent intelligence? We should praise- effort, struggle, persistence despite setbacks, strategies, choices, choosing difficult tasks, learning, improving. This communicates a new value system.
- Dr. Carol Dweck
One of the most difficult things we face in life is coping with failure. Children need to learn this life skill. By reinforcing and praising their effort and work ethic, we are allowing them to realize that learning is challenging and setbacks are a part of the learning process. According to Dweck:
Even in the growth mindset, failure can be a painful experience. But it doesn’t define you. It’s a problem to be faced, dealt with, and learned from.
As a parent, this reinforces my efforts in giving my son specific feedback. For example, instead of saying, “Ryan, you are so smart!”, I will tell him, ” I really liked the way you read that book. You used good strategies like sounding out words and rereading the entire sentence to make sure you understood what you were reading.” This is what Dweck describes as process praise. Students should be praised for improving their learning. Praising his intelligence (smartness), I potentially send the message that intelligence is a fixed trait (which reinforces a fixed mindset). He will have the expectation that he is smart and learning should always be easy.
I am truly looking forward to facilitating a book study with my campus leadership team this year. We want to cultivate and nurture a growth mindset in our students.
You can read all of my notes here via Evernote!
After months of planning (curriculum, ordering materials, logistics) and anticipating, the big day is here.
I love reading. I love reading about how to be a better educator. I love reading about how to be a better leader. I love talking to other people about what I am reading. I love talking to other people about how I actually apply what I have learned from reading. I had a vision with a colleague to create a virtual space in which we read and discuss leadership. I launched the Leadership Book Study website today and I am truly excited. I am excited about all of those who are participating and the opportunity to grow my professional learning network.
The first book we are reading and discussing is Leaders of Learning: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement. We have participants from Irving, Richardson, Austin, and San Angelo! The next books on the list are posted on the site. This my first experience with this and it will be an adventure! I am looking forward to learning (virtually) with such a diverse group of leaders.
Twitter is an exceptional tool for the self-directed learner, especially educators. This has proven to be a valuable tool for networking with educators around the globe. This week I will be starting a new book study with other educational leaders. Last year, I participated in a book study of What Great Principals Do Differently by Todd Whitaker with principals and assistant principals in my school district. This was an excellent learning opportunity and we met several times throughout the school year. Whitaker’s newest book, Shifting the Monkey, provides another opportunity for a book study! This will be a virtual book study via Twitter! @PrincipalJ is organizing this event. I read chapter one and I am very excited about chatting with my fellow educators that offer different perspectives and experiences. You can join us! Follow me on Twitter and track the #shiftingthemonkey hashtag for more information! This will be a great opportunity to read a great book, help grow yourself as a leader, build your personal and professional learning network, and participate in some lively discussions.
I had the opportunity to network with some instructional leaders from districts in the metroplex today. We began talking about professional development and sharing some of our best practices. Project Share has been the portal for many of the elementary professional development sessions I created this year and I would like to start aligning the Technology Applications Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills and the National Educational Technology Standards to my professional development sessions. I think this well help teachers make the connection that the Tech Apps TEKS and NETS can be integrated into their curriculum. Looking forward on alignment and making connections!! Check out the NETS Family! (The NETS for Coaches and CSE are new to me!)
New resources have been added to my Teaching Media Literacy Google Site!
This site was orginally created in 2010 as a part of a series of professional development sessions offered to familiarize teachers with the new Media Literacy Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Model lessons for K-5 are now posted to the site as well as some new web-based resources.
The Texas Alliance of Black School Educators (TABSE) is an affiliate of the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE). TABSE is committed to improving the educational achievement of African-American students by increasing the participation and expansion of Texas affiliates. TABSE further believes in identifying and promoting those activities, which are designed to sensitize the public-at-large and educators, specifically to the needs of African-American students in academic and non-academic areas of development. You can read more about the history of this organization here. The essential theme is that education is a civil right- for all children.
It was very encouraging to know that so many educators were truly focused on (1) eliminating (not just closing) the achievement gap, (2) educational research, (2) school and district leadership, and (3) student achievement. The keynote speakers were incredible. Se7en, a spoken word poet, was exceptional. Every child deserves a teacher with that amount of passion and dedication to education. Dr. Tyrone Howard of UCLA was the keynote speaker at the annual banquet. He inspired ALL of us to have high expectations for all students.
I was honored to be a part of the McNeil Educational Foundation team, as we presented several sessions focused the principal strand. We met and talked with many superintendents, principals, assistant principals, and aspiring campus administrators.
Every now and then I google my name to be proactive in managing my digital footprint. I also use the Google alert feature. I receive a weekly e-mail informing me of when and where my name has been mentioned online. Today, I found a couple of post that were very interesting.
1. A Student Voice site featured my entry from a PBL training – Bethan Morgan
2. GCTE (Georgia Council Teachers of English) featured my Balanced Literacy and Technology Integration Google site in a recent professional development training. This prompted me to check out my Google Analytics for this site…pretty remarkable!
Google Analytics for Balanced Literacy and Technology Integration (as of February 20, 2012)