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Thursday, March 09, 2017

What's True Today May Not Be True Tomorrow

The world of teaching and learning is in constant flux.

What is true today may not be true tomorrow.

There is a need to balance change in this respect. You don't want the teaching/learning to be similar to a fire walk where people are hopping from one step to the next due to so much uncomfortable and disruptive change, but you also don't want your work to be a dull, flat walk with no regard to changing research, knowledge, need, and opportunity.

Good process and communication aids this effort. Keeping all stakeholders in the know and including them in the process with regard to change helps to keep that good balance of new and old as we work to teach well.

This morning as I think about this, I'm thinking about the learning to come and how I'll approach those meeting with that balance in mind.

SEL Study Group
Today at the SEL meeting we'll discuss in depth the ways that we believe SEL can be embedded into the academic program. I want to listen carefully to my study group colleagues as they discuss this as I want to continually work to embed this important body of work into my daily teaching. I believe this will help students to develop their emotional intelligence quotient, a quotient that helps people to live a good live and be successful in the endeavors they choose.

MTA Professional Learning Committee
Later in the evening, I'll meet with a MTA committee charged with discussing and planning professional learning events. There are great leaders on that committee so I'll do a lot of listening about the kinds of professional learning they are promoting in view of the changing landscape of educational expectations, needs, and requirements.

Math RTI
Further, tomorrow our broad grade-level team will discuss math teaching and learning. Recent assessments demonstrate the need for greater review and practice related to some students' progress with the curriculum expectations. I wonder how the team will respond to this, and what great ideas will come up as we talk.

Showcase Portfolios and Parent Conferences
Next week will be filled with parent-student-teacher conferences. It will be a busy week of celebrating students' progress and creating end-year goals for learning and teaching. In the meantime, students will organize and update their showcase portfolios in preparation for these important meetings.

New Superintendent
The screening efforts I took part in with regard to the new superintendent search will be announced today. It will be interesting to hear from the school committee about the next steps related to this effort. It's my hope that a new superintendent will be chosen so that we can engage in a thoughtful transition and begin a new chapter of school leadership and effort next fall--a chapter that I hope will last for many years to come. As a system we have enjoyed that kind of continuity with superintendents in the past, and that has been positive.

Standards-Based Core Teaching/Learning Program
We could literally teach math all day in order to help students master the core program expectations, but we don't teach math all day so the next few weeks will find us reviewing standard after standard as we prepare students for the spring MCAS tests and mastery over the curriculum expectations. Even though the common core shortened the number of standards for each grade level, the added depth still makes teaching the entire 5th grade standards list a mighty curriculum goal for many students. I want to think about ways that we can enrich this work with deeper, more engaging project based learning and worthy, constructivist tech integration. I will be thinking about this in the days, weeks, and months ahead as I continue to work with my team to teach and develop the program.

Special Events and Projects
There are many special events and projects on the horizon and lots of work to do in this regard too.

Time to get ready for a busy day--there's lots to think about, plan for, and work with colleagues to develop. Onward.