Friday, April 12, 2013

Spread the Good News and Share the Challenge!

Teachers want to know what's working. We want to hear the success stories--the ways our colleagues are positively impacting individual students and whole classes. We want to know what makes a difference.

At times leadership and teachers are reluctant to share the good news. Perhaps they fear competition or discouragement if they share best practice and resulting student engagement, happiness, or success. If done well however, sharing the good news can serve to lift the entire learning community.

The good news cannot be culled from a walk-through or observation as those are more staged.  Yes, you can pick up some ideas that way, but you really can't understand whole story in that way.  The best way to learn the story is to hear the beginning-to-end tale of how a teacher or team took a teaching/learning problem, strategized, implemented, and revised repeatedly until that teacher or team reached success with a student or class.

As you think about this teaching year what would you regard as a significant success, and what would you regard as an area where there's still room for growth.  For me, the significant success lies in teaching the students "learning to learn mindsets and habits" as that effort served to empower and lift the quality of student investment, effort, and outcomes.  The area where there's still room for growth is differentiation in math instruction.  Due to the varied rate of math concept, knowledge, and skill attainment as well as time constraints we are still challenged by this issue. I would like to work with others to utilize RTI and other efforts to more strategically and consistently meet the needs of all students with regard to math.

I hope that educators in my school and educators in my PLN will share their good news often as I'm eager to grow from their successful research, investment, and efforts.