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Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Homework: Building a Better Program

My sights are always set on building a better program. Like most teachers I take a close look at how students are doing and do what I can to improve the program. Of course, that work takes more than just me so I often reach out to others for support, ideas, and solidarity in this effort. Some respond with interest and others do not respond or show interest. So I align myself with those that demonstrate interest and continue to think about how I might advocate and work to obtain needed support from those who demonstrate little to no interest in improving these program areas to better teach students.

Right now there is lots of interest and support for curriculum development in the following areas, areas that I'll collaborate with my grade-level colleagues to develop:

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)
The entire school staff and community are focused on this effort. I made the posters to below to help lead our effort, and the school is working on a other visuals created and discovered by colleagues to lead our improvement in this area. There is lots of support for growth in this area. I want to grow my knowledge and effort in this area by embedding SEL into the academic program more.

Social Studies Education
There is also great interest in this area. Our team will meet with administration soon to review these standards, and we've proposed summer work to build this effort. For homework, I need to review these standards prior to the meeting.

Recently leadership in EL reached out to offer greater and more consistent support too for students who need these services. This is a positive step in the right direction, and colleagues and I will work with that support to help students who profit from these services.

Developing the Co-Lab
Working with the WPSF grant source to transform the classroom to an environment that fosters optimal collaborative effort and skill.

Developing Standards-Based Environmental Education
Working with SUASCO, National Wild and Scenic River Systems, and Audubon's Drumlin Farm to develop our grade-level environmental studies.

I've reached out to leaders in other areas of teaching and learning and have not heard any response about direction, support, or data, hence in those areas, for now, I'll be moving forward with my grade-level team in ways that research propels me. I want to think about how I might advocate better too for support in some areas of teaching/learning where we notice potential to do better. These areas are important, but require buy-in and support from more people than just the classroom team. I'll continue to think about how we can use greater advocacy to make change in these areas. Onward.

Note that the language for the posters came from CASEL.