Monthly Archives: August 2013

#thisyear

Although teaching is certainly the best part time job I’ve ever had, I start almost daily, full-swing-style planning for my classes a few weeks before school starts, usually the week before kids go off to college. This is not to say that I don’t make little decisions all summer long about organizational or management aspects of my craft, but there are some years that I feel more ready than others to enter the classroom. #ThisYear is one of those years.

In preparing to write this post, and in being deliberate in my call for others to participate in the mandate to be the change one wishes to see in the world, I searched the tag #thisyear. I was pleased to see that others had already started using #thisyear, and that they also seemed to be meaning it in the same context in which I mean it: that this school-year needs to be different than the last, and that their purposeful actions could achieve this reality.

This post is not meant to address my student learning objectives (SLOs and chuckles, for my teacher-friends), which are clear, reasonable, and achievable, not to mention handed to a teacher like me from both the IB and NYS. With that in mind, I’d like to publicly state a few of my own learning goals for #thisyear.

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Why our classroom and the “real world” purposefully look a lot alike

Dear student,

I think you will find that our learning environment mimics the “real world” that you hear adults talk about as much as is possible as a part of the free and compulsory American public school system. In an attempt to prepare you for the world of “colleges and careers”, as is my charge as your teacher under the federal Common Core State Standards, this mimicry is very purposeful.

In what specific ways does our classroom mimic the world of learning and work that adults are preparing to hand off to us?
Good question, young scholar.

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Technology leadership: approaching your craft systematically

leadershipday2013

Unlike teachers, educational leaders don’t necessarily attend professional development opportunities related to effective technology leadership.  DASA training?  For sure.  Implementation of Common Core?  Yup.  Navigating the new APPR process?  You betcha.

But going paperless regarding staff communications and training?  Flipping staff meetings?  Harnessing the power of a social network to encourage engagement and collaboration?  Doubtful.

While teachers often do get the benefit of participating in tech-specific training opportunities like the ones I suggested, these professional development sessions are certainly not required for administrators to begin to use technology purposefully.  All that is needed for administrators to become effective technology leaders is for them to be purposeful in their marriage of instructional delivery method and content.   Choosing the right tool for the task, by definition, is being a technology leader.  Let me explain…

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