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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Demonstrate a Commitment to Strong Schools

As I look ahead to the 2017-2018, I am reviewing this renewed commitment to strong schools that I wrote last year. What does this mean a year later--how did I do last year?

A commitment to strong schools means making a commitment to the kind of work and effort that contributes to positive, proactive school environments. No matter where we work, we can make this commitment and demonstrate it through our good work and effort.

What does a commitment to strong schools look like?

A Positive Relationship with Every Child
This is the critical factor with regard to strong schools. This is not always easy, but it is what is most important. The golden rule leads our work in this regard, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto to you." Treat every child with respect. Make time to get to know every child. And teach every child in engaging, empowering, positive ways.

Overall I achieved this goal. In hindsight, I wish I wasn't as quick to conclude about programs or supports for a few students who presented a more complex profile. I wish I had listened a bit more and decided with greater discernment. I believe that I promised a bit too much, and then those promises stood in the way of a more streamlined, effective approach to relationship building with those students. This year I hope to use a more comprehensive, assessment process at the start of the year, and begin slowly with regard to promises. I want to choose quality over quantity of service and relationship building. 

Welcome Families as Critical Members of the Learning/Teaching Team
Partner with families to teach children well.

Overall this went very well, and like the point above, the one change I want to make is to listen more at the start of the year and promise less as I get to know specific students and their families. 

Create "Home Away from Home" Learning Environments
Take the time to create a warm, welcoming learning environment.

The atmosphere was definitely comfortable. Umbrella chairs were terrific additions. Next year I hope to write a grant to purchase new furniture for the classroom. 

Engaging, Empowering Learning Experiences
Inspire students with wonderful learning opportunities. Enlist student voice and invite student choice.

Our signature events are powerful, engaging events for students. I would like to build in more math-centered signature learning events. 

Student Choice and Voice
Make sure that students take center stage in the learning and teaching.

Frequent meetings led to this and I will continue this practice. 

Practice
Give students the time they need to practice new concepts, knowledge, and skill to make it their own.

I want to pay greater attention to unit roll-out and include greater practice time. 

Programming
Work with colleagues, administrators, families, students, and the greater community to craft the best possible programs for engaging, empowering teaching/learning programs.

Our team will give this careful consideration in August.

Professional Learning
Know the content well. Be a lifelong learner. Target your learning in ways that matter with regard to your teaching.

I truly enjoy this area of learning/teaching, so I will continue. 

Shared Teaching/Learning
Look for opportunities to collaborate with colleagues to teach students well. Support TEAM: Together Everyone Achieves More

I belong to great teams at school and outside of school, so this will be easy to accomplish. 

Advocate for Streamlined, Effective Learning/Teaching Organizations, Systems, and Institutions
Find ways to advocate for best possible teaching/learning organizations, systems, and institutions--the kind that forward best possible work for and service to students.

I continue to look for ways to advocate well. I am all ears when it comes to forwarding my practice in this regard. I have a number of events coming up that will help me in this regard. 

There will be challenges in every teaching/learning organization, but individually each of us can demonstrate our commitment to strong schools with the actions listed above.