Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Seasons of the School Year: Spring Vision

This is the time for vision in schools.


It is that time of year when students are testing and teachers are completing year end units. It is also the time of year when grade changes, new teachers, shifting administrators and school assignments are in the works.  Ordering is right around the corner, and summer vacation is not far off.

By creating vision now and communicating that vision soon, schools will impact the learning for next year significantly.  This is true because determining vision now will impact assignments, ordering, scheduling and teachers' summer reading and study.

As you consider vision, consider the following:
  • How do you start the year with students and families?  What should the first day be like?  I always remember my first day at college--I felt so welcomed and cared for.  How can we make the first day of school a welcoming day for families and students, a day when teachers get to personally connect with each child?
  • Will your school employ advisory groups and give each professional in the building a small group of students to nurture, support and meet with regularly throughout the year?
  • What will be the expected pedagogy in your school?  Will you require teachers to devote part of their day or year to collaborative, 21st century, project base learning?
  • What are the tech expectations for students and teachers?  What tools should all employ and access regularly to lead their learning forward?
  • What do teachers and students want from administration with respect to professional development, tools and support?  Perhaps it's a good time to send out a survey so administrators can ponder the results over the summer months.
  • What materials should educators be ordering, and what materials are now seen as possibly obsolete?
  • Is there a need for structural changes in the school to match new pedagogy and learning design?
When considering the seasons of a school year, early spring is the season for vision--a vision that is shared and discussed with all educators within a system.