Saturday, July 25, 2015

#Satchat: A Positive Push

This morning #satchat hosted @pammoran and +Ira David Socol live from the ASCD conference. Pam and Ira focused on the topic of growth mindset and school change. They relayed countless examples of how they've brought positive change and growth to the Albemarle School System. I look to Pam and Ira as well as the #satchat hosts and participants for leadership and growth regularly.

The talk was challenging for me because I often feel stuck when it comes to change with regard to the work I do. I look outside for support, encouragement, and collegiality in this regard, but as inspired by Ira this morning, I need to look in too to see how I respond to the need for change and the desire to embed new ideas into the work I do.

Hence, after today's talk, I'm challenging myself with the following points.

Children First
I have taken this to be the centerpiece of my work, and I want to continue this effort. Pam continually discussed our need to first and foremost pay attention to the needs, interests, and passions of children, and she stated that when we put children first, we inherently need to take risks to do what is right.

Inspiring, Welcoming, Learning Environment
Creating an environment that's inviting and inspiring is important when it comes to teaching and learning well. The way we organize the furniture and materials, and the protocols we create with children to lead our learning community matter with regard to moving schools from old time factory models to new age centers of innovation, inspiration, and intellectual development.

New Structures for Learning Success
Our team is employing a new shared model of teaching that breaks away from the old-time one teacher-one classroom model. The work we do in this regard matters. I'm fortunate to work with educators and a building leader that support the change. To make it successful we need to plan carefully, be mindful of what we do, and record our efforts regularly so we can support continued change and development to best meet the needs of all students.

Curriculum Development
Moving the learning to deeper and more engaging and empowering experiences. I need to think carefully about what I teach and the way I teach it with regard to my responsibility as a math teacher, STEAM coach, and reading, writing, and math interventionist. How can I inspire, support, challenge, and coach my young students with strength.

In the past few days I've reached out to some leaders for support and information related to the work I do. I was hoping for positive encouragement and response, but I got little response or encouragement. Instead I was met with silence and more rules to follow. Perhaps I didn't give it enough time or I'm expecting too much. I was very discouraged, but then this morning, Ira and Pam challenged me to look in and do what I can with the critical colleagues I have, people who are willing to try something new to teach children better.

Also advice from many on the chat made me realize that strategic, respectful action is what it takes to move change beyond the classroom. I'll think more about that as I focus on the change and efforts listed above.

Once again thanks to the #satchat moderators, Pam Moran, and Ira Socol for tremendous inspiration this morning. It's this kind of inspiration and information that helps teachers like me throughout the globe do the work that's possible to promote what's best for each and every child. I appreciate.