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Monday, November 21, 2016

Target Advocacy and Effort

Everyday the young man shouted from the mountain top. His voice became part of the landscape and no one heard his words.

This can happen to anyone who is always finding fault, criticizing, and speaking up. In short time, no one listens. No one can champion all causes, and when anyone tries to do this, the work and advocacy are diluted or not effective at all.

In this regard, it's essential to target advocacy and effort. What can you do that truly will empower your efforts and effect as an educator?

In my teaching and learning world, I have to continually redirect myself to the main areas of effort and concern. I write again and again to coach myself forward in ways that are supportive, positive, and effective--direction that matters. Ideally individuals wouldn't have to do as much self-coaching, and instead profit from collective coaching and direction. I'd like to see learning communities grow to include that kind of coaching/mentoring--a deeper level of professional learning and development that would happen due to greater streamlining of current efforts, revision of roles, routines, and structure, deeper elevated use of technology, and greater use of inclusive, transparent strategic process.

As I think of this at the start of the week, the areas I am focused on include the following:

Effective Math Teaching and Learning
This requires teaching lessons well, responding in ways that empower my students, and learning as much as I can about worthy, brain-friendly and effective math teaching and learning. This is the mainstay of my teaching efforts at this time. I really enjoy this work and am motivated to do this.

Currently this work includes teaching the scope and sequence, teaching and planning for RTI, participating in team meetings, and reading/research about the topic. I'd also like to get involved in more professional learning events related to this goal. There are many to choose from.

Social Emotional Learning and Classroom Community
To teach well requires that the classroom is a strong, positive community of learners. I will continue to collect good resources, learn, and facilitate this kind of community in the classroom. There is a lot of positive support inside my school district and beyond it with regard to this goal. One specific goal related to this is our grade-level goal related to culturally proficient teaching. A goal that includes updating curriculum units, field study, reading Emdin's book, and working together to boost our collective efforts in this regard. Another goal is learning more about emotional intelligence, and incorporating that learning into the classroom goals and efforts. I've ordered a good book related to this. A final effort is my work with a professional SEL research/writing group I belong to.

Professional Learning, Coaching, and Collaboration
In addition to math and SEL, I want to learn as much as I can about the new ESSA laws, distributive models of leadership in schools, and ways to embrace modern knowledge age learning/teaching communities. I believe this kind of movement will empower, engage, and positively affect all school stakeholders resulting in better teaching and learning. I will forward this effort via my work with Teacher2Teacher, TeachPlus, The Teacher Collaborative, CTQ, NEA, MTA, local union efforts, and NBPTS. I want to think more specifically about a weekly routine and good collaborative groups/efforts for this work.

There is so much to choose from when it comes to bettering one's efforts as a teacher and learner. There's infinite potential, but to do well, we must choose so we are not the young man on the mountain top crying out in vain.