Thursday, June 21, 2018

Looking Ahead to the New Year of Teaching and Learning

It has been a very busy end of the school year. Overall it has been a positive end of the year since the students were engaged in a large number of positive events.

Since I expect that tomorrow will be a student-centered celebratory day, I want to write down a few notes about next year and where my priorities will lie. With everyday I solidify this direction more, and the superintendent's goals for next year have given me specific information with which to work with.

As I reflect on next year's system-wide goals, I am thinking what those goals might look like in the fifth grade program.

Elevating Achievement
I'm excited about this goal and the phrases used to define elevating achievement:
  • tackle academically challenging work - for fifth grade this means tacking the expected content standards and practices with depth and fidelity
  • precise and personalized supports - looking deeply at each and every student and how we might help them achieve
  • development of a challenging and engaging curriculum - using the curriculum supports and information as well as other resources to teach the standards in engaging and empowering ways
  • dynamic classwork - re-looking at the classwork students do to make sure it is dynamic. Also defining dynamic with colleagues to move this work forward.
  • leveraging students' passions - spending time up front to learn about students' passions.
  • solving real-world problems - matching expected standards' learning with real-world problems.
  • develop assignments and deepen teaching strategies - using data to assess assignments and teaching strategies that are more dynamic, working at this. 
  • clearest communication possible of student progress and steps for continued growth - always working with students to let students know where they are and where they are headed academically
  • use data effectively in this effort - finding more ways to to collect and use data regularly to assess the efforts we're doing. 
  • attention to students at all levels of performance related to grade-level goals - looking carefully at where students are and what the next steps for learning might be. 
These are exciting descriptors, descriptors I will return to as I reflect, revise, study, and enrich curriculum efforts particularly related to science and math teaching and learning this summer and into next year. 

Deepening Wellness Skills and Insight
Everyone knows this is critical to success and happiness in any area of life. Again, the descriptors that illustrate this goal provide a good road map to the assessment and enrichment of teaching/learning strategies:
  • build resilience to learn from mistakes - this will be a natural byproduct of dynamic challenging work.
  • develop the empathy to learn from others - efforts to collaborate with one another with character will build this. 
  • self confidence and well being of children - always work with children and colleagues to create a students-first teaching/learning environment that uplifts children.
Systemwide language and an action plan will lead these efforts. 

Program Impact
I will listen carefully to these efforts that will show what program efforts have the most important impact