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!
Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am organized, super organized…I love organizing. Organization is also imperative for me to successfully function day to day and I take it very seriously. While planning back to school professional development for my campus, I thought…How do I organize everything we need to accomplish? How can I make this easy and simple for teacher to access? How can I model something that teachers can use in the classroom?
Then…a faculty Google site was born! It is a work in progress, but it is up and running!
One year ago, Dr. Howard asked me this very question. I was completing the component of my doctoral program that was preparing me for my principal certification and had the honor of having Dr. Howard as an instructor through the McNeil Education Foundation. I answered yes and gave the following reasons:
- I love change and I need change to keep learning and growing. (Every three to four years, I simply need a new challenge.)
- I want to make an impact on instruction. (My current position has influence and the potential to impact instruction.)
- I miss students. They are the reason I entered the profession.
- I miss teachers. I miss that feeling of collaborating and engaging in professional learning communities.
- I want to be a change agent. I want the opportunity to change the current model. (More PBL, please.)
Today I begin my journey as campus administrator. I have the opportunity to serve as an assistant principal for a remarkable elementary school. I am excited and I also feel so prepared. I have learned so much during my last four years as an district-level instructional coordinator. I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn a whole new prespective and connect with teachers and student on a more personal level. I will use this blog to continue to document my journey!
Our STEM Summer School is underway! I am so excited about how teachers and students have embraced robotics and the PBL model. Through the use of Google Apps, students and teachers are collaborating, problem-solving and creating. Students are engaged in learning and teachers are applying project-based learning in the classroom What more could one ask for?
After months of planning (curriculum, ordering materials, logistics) and anticipating, the big day is here.