Thursday, December 14, 2017

It's not all bad

For the last two days I had the opportunity to deliver professional development to all my teachers during one of their planning blocks. I started getting negative feedback before the training even started about how long it was going to be and when it was being offered. The negative feedback continued both during and after the PD sessions were done.

I honestly want to know what people think and want to work to improve what I am presenting.  At the same time it can be hard to hear some times.  Especially when it comes to something like when to offer the PD, there is never a perfect time.

As I was sharing some of my reflection and frustrations with one of my Assistant Principals I was reminded that not all of the feedback was bad.  In fact more people had positive things to say than the number of negative ones.  It can be so easy to let the negative drowned out the positive.  Next time you started to dwell on the negative feedback try to remember some of the positive as well.  For that matter give some positive feedback to others as well. It often doesn't come as frequently as it should.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

December 2017 #LCPSedChat Topic

December’s LCPS Twitter Chat

This Month’s Topic: Why is collaboration important and how do we use it to improve student learning?
What does student collaboration look or sound like in the classroom? How can we build collaboration into a lesson?  Join fellow LCPS educators as we examine and explore the ways to change what happens inside LCPS schools and classrooms. Have a cool activity or tip that you would like to share, be sure to check out the Twitter chat on December 7th at 8:00 pm  

1. Discuss the relevancy of collaboration in the classroom.
2. What does student collaboration look or sound like in the classroom?
3. What are some ways a teacher might build student collaboration into a lesson?
4. What are some digital tools or strategies that can facilitate collaborative learning in the classroom?

When: Tuesday December 7th, 2017 at 8:00 pm

How: Login to Twitter and simply search the hashtag #LCPSedchat

Where: Via Twitter… So where ever you and your phone are. ;-)

What: “Why is collaboration important and how do we use it to improve student learning?”

Hashtag: #lcpsedchat

Who: EVERYONE! ALL are welcome! This month’s Twitter chat will be moderated by @MiriamCheuk and @SusZanti5. Follow the moderators!

Questions and Suggestions

·        Introduce yourself and jump into the chat. Ask questions, answer questions. This chat is for you! Tip: Address someone directly by using their username if you are answering/asking them a question.

·         Questions will start with a Q#.  When you answer please respond with A#.

·        EVERY tweet must include the #lcpsedchat to be seen by the group.

·        If you have any questions please tweet the moderators.

·         Remember: Chats can move fast. It’s ok! Take a deep breath and get ready!

·         Have more questions check out our FAQ’s

Monday, November 27, 2017

#IMMOOC School vs Learning Thoughts

George Curious wrote a blog post in December of 2014 about comparing school vs learning.  (Here is a link to that post In this post he explores some of the differences he sees between what happens in school vs what learning is.  I found it very interesting to look at learning in this way.  Many of the things he mentions are things we in Loudoun County are trying to encourage.

Things like learning is about: starting with a question, making your own connections, is personal.

In his book Innovator's Mindset Curious also challenges us to think about some additional things we can add to the list.  Here are a few I came up with:

School is about teacher knowledge, Learning is about student knowledge
School focuses on the preparation for historical needs, Learning focuses on preparation for future needs.
School is about the teachers interests, Learning is about the students interests.

These ideas definitely excited me.  I hope to be able to use some of this with the teachers I coach to open up some dialogue around what we are trying to do.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Failure in Goals

In recent years there has been a good bit of conversation in education about allowing students the room to fail and then learn from their failures.  The idea of Genius Hour or 20% time support this and encourage students to stretch themselves to learn new skills and sometimes limits.

We are even encourage as educators to try new things and to not worry about the lesson always being perfect.  The school I work in is encouraging teachers to try project based learning and personalized learning.  During the PD I present I often say "just try it" and "the kids can help figure out the technology."

Recently I was struck by this failure and how it might relate to goal setting for teachers.  The state that I work in requires that 40% of a teachers evaluation be based on a measurable assessment of student growth over the course of the year.

A teacher recently asked me to review one of their goals.  It was something like this "On this year's PBL project 90% of the students will achieve an 85% or above based on the rubric."  It made me start to think about whether we can really encourage the students to stretch and possibly fail if this is your goal.  Maybe the goal could be rewritten to allow for the experimenting.  Maybe the rubric already allows for the measurement of the process and not just an end result.  I would be interested to hear your thoughts as well.