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Saturday, January 07, 2017

Better Schools: My Contribution

As I think ahead to bettering the schools where I teach, what comes to mind.

First and foremost, meet my expectations with strength. There's always work to do individually and collectively in this regard. Presently that means teaching math well, responding to students' needs with strength, and contributing to the school community in ways that matter.

Next, it means looking ahead and thinking about where our schools can go to become stronger and better. I always begin to think this way as the new year starts since I begin to think about the next year--what will do I believe will make our schools stronger in the year ahead. Some ideas I have with regard to this include the following:
  • Re-look at the schedule with colleagues to see how we might tweak our schedule to make it even better. We did this last year, and thanks to the support of many, we have a terrific schedule.
  • Look at where we need to learn more to do better as a team, and look for ways to get that learning in the spring and summer.
  • Look at the structure of materials and space we work in, and think about how we might improve that too.
  • Think about the supports in place and think about how those supports might better support the program. Currently, I identify the following movement in that area:
    • ELL services that start as close to possible to the first day of school. 
    • Title One programming/staffing beginning in September rather than February if possible.
    • Technology classes doubled to include weekly coding lessons for fifth grade.
    • One grade-level classroom changed to a STEAM/Science lab.
    • Moving towards the integration of an engaging and meaningful modern progressive math program approach that reflects current cognitive and math education research for math teaching and learning. 
    • More comprehensive, timely, and concise communication that helps all educators know what's planned, what's happening, and what has happened as one way to boost teacher leadership, collaboration, and contribution. 
    • Greater use of distributive leadership and teams-within-teams models of learning and teaching in order to maximize energy, talent, and time to teach all students with depth, creativity, and empowerment. 
I will work on these efforts in the days to come.