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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Working Better

The family-student-teacher conference period is a time of thought with regard to how I can do the job better with respect to serving students well. There is never a shortage of what we can do, but it's worth taking the time to think about how one can put new ideas into action.

The students are at the center of this work. How can we serve each student well?

Simplify
In the six weeks ahead, as we focus on test prep and skill, concept, knowledge points, I hope to simplify many of the learning structures so that I can focus in more on coaching students with positive mindsets and learning strategies. What that means is that the actual learning experiences will have less problems and a simpler format so we can focus on good work, collaboration, can-do attitudes, and asking questions. I'm hoping that simplifying will give me more time for student feedback and individual/small group coaching.

Notice Students Doing the Right Thing
During the conference period we discussed multiple goals, so now I want to make an effort to focus on students doing the right thing--making efforts to reach their goals.

Organized Classroom
At this turning point, it's time to restructure and organize the classroom. We've moved beyond many of the materials, posters, and items that fill the room so I can now put those items away and reorganize to support this somewhat traditional six-week test prep and learning time. After this six weeks, we'll move into a more hands-on, project oriented final six weeks of the school year and that will spur another reorganization at that time.

Professional Learning
I'll continue to work with the TLI and ECET2 groups at this time. The April break will give me time to catch up on this work and study.

It has been a terrific year so far. This six-week period is a time or serious study and student support. Following this period the learning will take on a more celebratory, collaborative, and project focus. Breaking the year up into multiple learning periods helps to keep the learning interesting as well as giving teachers the chance to support a wide variety of teaching/learning goals.