Sunday, June 13, 2010


Many years ago one of my favorite colleagues was giving what was then called the "citizenship" portion of the state test. It was the day of the test and she wrote on the board C-I-T-I-Z-E-N-S-H-I-* And turned around to give directions for the first portion of the test to her students. After a minute one of them pointed discretely to the board and indicated that there might be a need for revision. The image is emblazoned so perfectly in my mind that no one can say the word "Leadership" without me seeing it written on the board (with a "t" at the end). Yes, I teach middle school. I'd like to think that if I did that in one of my classes, the class "tablet editor"would walk up and correct my error-or at least highlight it.

Last week we teachers and administrators spent some time talking about what we need to do as leaders in our building to help those who lag or resist moving toward the next goal. We have an "i-team" made up of reps from different departments and grade levels who go back to smaller groups to interpret the message to the teachers who are doing the grass roots work, and then bring their experiences back to shape the goals. It was time well spent. We have a great team that is willing to nurture and kick, cajole and support as we move toward good use of common assessments and measuring valuable skill growth in our students.

Our team is reading Marzano's The Art and Science of Teaching first, and I'm enjoying how much toward the ART it leans in the opening-and yet it's supported by all the charts that are necessary to satisfy the science demand. As we read, we're sharing thoughts in segmented groups, but I'd like to be able to have the conversation as a group. Perhaps a wiki is the answer? Or maybe I should invite my team members to have the conversation here on the blog. Hmmm.

At the same time our technology committee made a 1:1 proposal to the board of education that was warmly met and bodes well for us moving to tablets in the next three years-what enlightenment! So with all this forward movement going on, who wants to sleep? Let's research right now! Or. . . go to the beach for a vacation. Or. . . do both? What an idea!

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Year

It was a year-was it a good year?

Children with whom I had conversations that involved their lives outside of school: 96 X 4
Children with whom I discussed how they learn: 93 X 4
Children with whom I discussed why they learn: 108 X 2

Incidental conversations about their situations: 93 X n


One child one connection that will last a lifetime.

These are only the ones that I can document. This is a good year.